Best Pumping Accessories for Work
Best Pumping Accessories for Work
July 9, 2020

Best Pumping Accessories for Work

Best Pumping Accessories for Work .
Best Pumping Accessories for Work

Heading back to work if you’re a breastfeeding or pumping parent can be daunting. Pumping at work can be challenging, especially when you’re also trying to adjust to work life post-baby and all that comes with it.

Being prepared with the right gear and accessories can make pumping at work a lot easier. These 13 products should be on every pumping + working parents’ list. They’ll help you pump more efficiently, stay organized and stay on track for however long you decide to express milk for your little one.

Pumps

First things first if you’re planning on pumping when you return to work—you need a powerful, efficient and (ideally) portable electric breast pump. The Spectra is one of our favorites for a few reasons.

Most insurance plans now cover the cost of a pump, and the hospital-grade Spectra is often included on that list, so it’s a good choice if you don’t want to pay out of pocket for a breast pump. It’s quiet yet powerful and has multiple massage and expression modes so you can find the setting that works best for you. It’s also extremely portable. It runs for up to three hours on a rechargeable battery, making it especially useful if you’re pumping at work and don’t have access to (or don’t feel like dealing with) an outlet every time you express your milk.

Looking for a completely cord-free, hands-free option? Check out wearable pumps like the Elvie and the Willow. They’re more expensive (and generally not covered by insurance at this time), but some working parents find the benefits far outweigh the cost.

A manual pump takes a bit of time and effort to use so you won’t want to make it your first choice when deciding which breast pump to use at work. But you will want to always have one on hand as an option just in case.

This manual pump from Medela is compact, efficient and easy to use. You can easily store it in your car, desk, locker or bag so you always have access to it if you need to pump on the go, don’t have access to an electrical outlet or don’t have time for your usual pumping route and have only a few minutes to spare. We like that this one comes with a bottle stand to prevent spills and features an easy-to-grip handle.

Milk Storage and Transport

Regardless of what type of pump you choose, you’ll need some sort of container to pump your milk into and a cool spot to store it during your commute to and from your workplace or if you don’t have access to a refrigerator. Most pump brands also make a corresponding container + cooler kit (the one shown here corresponds with Spectra pumps, but other popular pump brands like Medela make them too), and we think it’s easiest to start with this as your first option and then go from there.

If you do decide to branch out, the Skip Hop Grab & Go Double Bottle Bag and the JL Childless MaxiCOOL are two other solid cooler choices. We also love the PackIt cooler bags that feature freezable gel built right into the bag itself and don’t require additional ice packs.

Breast milk storage bags are a critical part of the pumping process as they’re responsible for holding the liquid gold you’ve put so much effort into expressing. The bags you choose should be sturdy and leakproof—and these Target Up & Up bags check both of those boxes.

These affordable bags easily stack up to any other higher-priced option. They feature reinforced side seals and a double-zipper top to resist leaks, and they stand easily for refrigerated storage or lie flat for easy freezing. We recommend keeping a stash at work or in your bag at all times so you’re always prepared.

Get ready to build those arm muscles, because as a pumping parent you’ll be hauling a lot more to and from work than you did pre-baby. A good diaper backpack can help.

This classic from Freshly Picked is a great choice. It’s a backpack style, always a plus, but can also be worn as a crossbody or a purse. It features one large main compartment that’s big enough to hold most pumps as well as plenty of other smaller pockets and zippered pouches that are perfect for holding all of your extras. It’s made from vegan leather and can be dressed up for more formal work environments or down for more casual ones.

And while we’re on the subject of hauling things back and forth…you’ll also want a spot to store your pump parts that’s separate from the rest of your stuff. A Ziplock bag does the trick, but if you’re looking for a longer-lasting, reusable option, then a wet/dry bag is the way to go.

This one features a waterproof lining that keeps liquids from seeping out. It wipes clean easily but is also machine washable when it’s time for a more thorough cleaning. Once you’re done using it for pumping, these bags are great for storing things like dirty diapers and wet clothes or bathing suits.

Pumping-Friendly Clothing and Accessories

A hands-free pumping bra is essential if you’re planning on pumping at work. It holds everything in place while you pump, leaving your hands free to do whatever needs doing while you express your milk.

The Simple Wishes bra is the best of the best. It’s easy to get on and off (just fold down the flaps of your nursing bra and slip it right over everything then zip it into place) and adjusts to fit different body types. It’s tight enough to keep everything securely in place but isn’t uncomfortable to wear while you pump. And it’s machine washable for easy cleaning.

If you’re pumping in a completely private space at your workplace, then you may not be concerned with covering up. Many pumping parents share pumping rooms, however, or need to pump in a makeshift space without a ton of privacy. If that’s you, a nursing scarf is a great pumping accessory to purchase.

This nursing cover doubles as a regular old infinity scarf so no one will be the wiser if you’re actually wearing it for pumping privacy. It’s made from lightweight muslin and is comfortable enough to wear throughout the day. It even works as a blanket or a car seat cover if you’re in a pinch.

Another good investment if you’re a pumping parent at work: a pumping-friendly top. Maternity brand Ingrid & Isabel makes some of our favorites for Target that are versatile, stylish and of course super affordable.

This one works during and after pregnancy and features crossover layers that give you easy access for pumping. (And for breastfeeding when you’re with your little one.) We like the simple design, flattering fit and versatility.

Cleaning

Pumping at work isn’t much fun, and we’re sorry to report that dealing with cleaning your pump parts at work is also fairly low on our list of things we enjoy. But it’s an important and necessary step to ensure everything stays clean and mildew-free, so you need to have the right accessories available.

Dapple does a fantastic job of removing the hard-to-tackle residue that breast milk can leave behind on bottles and pump parts. It’s also fragrance-free, hypoallergenic and made from all plant-based ingredients. If you have access to water and a sink at work, we recommend keeping a small bottle on hand for easy scrubbing.

You’ll also need a bottle brush that’s dedicated solely to cleaning your pump parts and storage bottles. The OXO Tot is a standout. The bristles are soft and flexible enough to clean small, hard-to-reach spaces but firm enough to accomplish a thorough scrubbing without a ton of effort on your part. This brush also holds up for much longer than others we’ve tried, so you should be able to get many months of use out of it before needing a replacement.

Pro tip: worried about germ build-up on your brush? Pop this one right in your dishwasher to sanitize it for an extra cleaning.

Soap, water and a good scrubbing is what the CDC recommends to clean breast pump parts properly. But you may not have access to water and a sink at your workplace—so these wipes are the next best thing.

Free of alcohol and bleach and fragrance-free, use them to clean your pump, breast shields and accessories after pumping at work. (They’re also great for a quick cleaning if you’re in the car or anywhere else where you won’t have access to soap and water.) Just be sure to give everything a good scrub when you get home as these wipes can’t access the small nooks and crannies that many pump accessories have.

Last on your cleaning supply list should be a portable drying rack. Since pump parts should be fully air dried after cleaning, you’ll want a dedicated space with good air circulation.

This rack has special ridges and prongs to help keep your parts elevated for a faster dry time. It comes with two special brushes designed just for cleaning pump accessories and folds compactly so it’s easy to store either at work, if that’s an option, or in your bag.

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