If you haven’t yet heard, pumping at work is… well, let’s just say it’s not the most fun you’ll ever have. There’s the actual act of pumping, of course, but there’s also the long list of items you’ll need to have on hand. (Seriously, it feels like you should just pack a daily carry-on bag!) We’ve put together a cheat sheet of what you need for your daily pumping to help make the process just a bit less stressful
1. Your Sanity
We’re kidding. Sort of. Before we dive into the nitty gritty, take a moment to pat yourselves on the back for committing to pumping at work (or anywhere, really). It’s a mental and physical commitment and we commend you for taking on the challenge!
2. A Second Pump
If you can swing it, we highly recommend getting a second pump so that you’re not having to schlep a pump back and forth every day.
3. Photos and Videos of Your Little One
It might seem like pumping is a good time for you to get some work done over email, but try not to give in to that temptation if you can help it. Instead, use the time to relax, especially since this will help you pump better. Look at pictures and videos of your baby, meditate, read a book. This is your time, so take a moment to relax.
4. Breastfeeding Cover
Some people are pumping in a space designated for pumping, while others are pumping in their office. If you’re pumping in an office or a space you don’t feel 100% secluded in, we recommend using a breastfeeding cover to put over you while you pump.
5. A Second Set of Parts
If possible, it’s also best to get a second set of parts and bottles that stay at the office so you’re not lugging those back and forth with you too. A good trick is to put them in a Ziplock bag and pop them in your office refrigerator so you don’t have to wash them after every single use. It also means you’ll be covered in case you forget anything at home.
6. Steam Bags or Breast Pump Wipes
If you’re cleaning your parts at work rather than bringing them home, steam bags or breast pump wipes are a quick and easy way of getting them clean quickly.
7. Mini Cooler Bag
Once you pump the milk, use a small cooler bag to store it, either in your office refrigerator or by your desk with an ice pack. This also makes it easy to transport home without fear of spillage.
8. Extra Pumping Bags or Bottles
Inevitably, there will be a day when you forget something. Make sure to have extra pumping bags and/or bottles on hand in case you left home without them. (It’s better than running out to the nearest baby-supply place!)
9. Paper Towels
Since you’re dealing with a liquid, it’s always a good idea to have paper towels or a cloth diaper on hand for easy cleanup.
10. Breast Pads
It’s worth having some breast pads on hand in case the timing of your pumping sessions gets pushed back. Sometimes, even a 15-minute difference can have an impact.
11. Nipple Cream
Pumping can be a bit painful so we recommend having some nipple cream on hand just in case you’re not feeling great after a pumping session.
That is everything you need to pump at work! Do you think we missed anything important? Let us know in the comments!
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.