Best Breast Pumping Products and Accessories of 2023
Best Breast Pumping Products and Accessories of 2023
January 5, 2023

Best Breast Pumping Products and Accessories of 2023

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Best Breast Pumping Products and Accessories of 2023.
Best Breast Pumping Products and Accessories of 2023

Breastfeeding, like parenthood, is a different journey for everyone. Some babies latch and feed well from the start. For others, it can be a struggle. And if you’re pumping, too—whether pumping exclusively, at work or enough to bottle feed on occasion—that can add an extra layer of complexity.

The right pumping equipment and accessories can make a huge difference.

From items specially designed for pumping on the go to products that will make you more comfortable, these are the best accessories to make pumping life easier and more successful.

Pumping Bras

If you own a wearable breast pump, then you already understand what a game-changer hands-free pumping can be. This easy-on, easy-off bra gives you a hands-free pumping experience—and it’s an absolute must-have if you plan on pumping even a little bit throughout your feeding journey.

The Simple Wishes bra is a bustier-style bra that holds your breast shields, flanges and bottles securely in place while you pump. It features a front zipper and can be worn on its own but is most commonly (and more comfortably) worn right over your nursing bra. It’s fully adjustable thanks to a Velcro panel across the back and can be thrown right into the washing machine when dirty.

The Simple Wishes bra is perfect for turning any bra into a pumping bra, but for more regular wear (and especially if you’re pumping overnight and need a sleep bra that’s also pump-friendly), the Larken X is the absolute best. It’s unlike any other pumping bra on the market.

The Larken doesn’t have wires, elastics, clasps or tight straps. Instead, it slips on like a racerback-style sports bra and has two layers of soft material in front that crisscross to hold your flanges in place in an oh-so-cool way. (There’s a video to show you how.) The bra is comfortable enough for all-day and overnight wear and can easily be pulled down for nursing, too.

Bodily’s Do Anything Bra is just that—a bra you can do anything in when it comes to nursing and pumping. Developed with a lactation consultant, this bra enables you to pump hands-free with all leading pump brands. All you need to do is clip down the front panels and slide your flanges into the fabric slits, make sure everything is securely in place then start pumping.

We love the style and smooth, silky feel of this bra as compared to most other pumping bras on the market and that the sliders for adjusting the bra’s straps are on the front rather than the back for easy loosening and tightening. The bra also converts to a racerback style for extra support if needed.

One more pumping bra to add to the list: one that’s compatible with a wearable breast pump like the Willow or the Elvie. When you’re looking for a wearable-friendly bra, you need to make sure it’s full coverage and both stretchy and supportive. The Sublime is all of these things and more. (It works just as well if you’re pumping with a traditional pump and flanges, too, a nice perk.) It comes in regular and busty sizes ranging from sizes 30B through 44I.

Milk Storage and On-the-Go

If you’re pumping enough milk to build a stash for your baby, you’re going to want a leak-proof bag for secure storage. We’ve tried almost every breast milk storage bag on the market and land on these Lansinoh bags every time.

Thanks to thick construction, reinforced double-seal side seams and a double zipper seal on top, Lansinoh bags are a safe, secure spot to store your liquid gold. They stand easily when filled and are designed to lay flat for freezing to maximize storage space. The measurements are easy to read across the front, and you can use an adapter that’s compatible with most major pump brands if you want to pump your expressed milk directly into the bags.

For a more eco-friendly milk storage option, check out these bags from Haakaa. They’re not ideal if you’re an exclusive pumper (they’re expensive, bulkier than plastic storage bags and need to be washed and air-dried after each use), but if you’re storing smaller amounts of milk they’re a much more environmentally friendly choice. Each bag holds six ounces of milk and they’re freezer-safe. Try repurposing them for food storage once you’re done pumping.

The Ceres Chill advertises itself as the “ultimate game-changer” and honestly—we could not agree more. This revolutionary breast milk chiller is a genius solution for storing breast milk while you’re on the go, at work or for any time you’re away from baby and not near a fridge.

The Ceres Chill is a large double-walled stainless steel bottle that keeps up to 24 ounces of milk cool for over 20 hours. It replaces the bottles, ice packs and cooler bag that you’d previously need to lug around with just one item that’s easy to use and easy to throw in your backpack or diaper bag. It’s travel-friendly, dishwasher safe and can also work as a bottle warmer when you’re on the go. (You can even pump directly into the chiller if you’d like; it’s compatible with most major pumps without an adapter and works with even more pumps with the addition of one.) And it can be used long after your nursing days are over as a hot or cool water bottle.

For another chill-on-the-go option, this “why didn’t we think of that?” cooler bag is another pumping accessory at the top of the list. Instead of using ice packs to keep things cool, the bag itself is insulated with freezable gel, and the whole thing pops right into the freezer. It eliminates the need for ice packs altogether, which means one less thing you have to worry about when you’re hauling around allll the other items you need to remember to pack when you pump. Win!

And since we’re on the topic of hauling things around…A roomy, sturdy pumping bag is a must to make your life easier if you’re a pumping parent. This bag from Petunia Pickle Bottom is designed specifically to carry a breast pump and all the accessories that go along with it. The backpack style makes it easy and comfortable to carry, and the interior and exterior are water resistant and wipeable.

A wet bag is clutch in so many parenting scenarios (we’re looking at you, adorable baby outfit post-blowout) but is especially useful if you’re a pumping parent. This waterproof, washable, reusable bag has so many uses. It’s great for keeping your clean pump parts and pumping accessories organized in your diaper bag. It’s also the perfect spot for used parts once you’re done pumping. Once your nursing and pumping days are over, it works for wet bathing suits or clothes, snacks, toy organization and pretty much whatever else you can think of.

A product that serves more than one purpose is always a win in our book, and this one checks a lot of boxes. It offers plenty of coverage if you’re in need of some pumping privacy (same goes for nursing too, of course) but also works as a cover for a car seat, high chair or shopping cart or as a scarf. The fabric is soft and stretchy and there are tons of patterns and prints available.

Cleaning

You’re not always going to have access to a sink when it’s time to pump, but you’ll still need a way to clean all of your pump parts. These wipes offer the ideal solution.

Quick Clean wipes are safe for wiping down your pump, flanges and any pump accessories. While you’ll still want to give everything a good scrub with soap and water at some point, these are definitely worth keeping in your diaper bag, your car or wherever you think you may need them when you’re out and about.

One of the more frustrating aspects of pumping is all of the tiny parts that need cleaning after each session. A good cleaning brush can help make this less-than-fun chore a bit more bearable.

About the size of a first aid kit, this on-the-go cleaning kit comes with a full-size bottle brush, a nipple cleaner and a carrying case that unfolds into a drying rack. It’s the perfect all-in-one cleaning and drying kit if you’re pumping at work or away from home.

There’s one more cleaning must-have to add to your pumping arsenal—these microwave steam bags. You can toss in your pump parts (along with anything else you’d like to sterilize like bottle nipples or pacifiers) and pop the whole thing in the microwave for three minutes for a quick, efficient cleaning.

Each pack comes with six extra-large bags that can be used up to 30 times. We recommend always having a pack on hand for travel and at work.

Accessories and Breast Care

Most nursing and pumping parents will deal with a clogged duct at some point in their feeding journey. This small, portable lactation massager packs a big punch and is helpful to have on hand whenever you may need it to both provide relief and help unblock a clogged milk duct. It’s rechargeable, has multiple vibration modes and is waterproof so you can use it along with breast massage in the shower (our favorite place to work out a clogged duct).

And did you know you don’t need to wait for a clog to use a lactation massager? Lots of nursing and pumping parents use vibration to encourage letdown and increase pumping output.

Frequent pumping can take a toll on your nipples, especially in the early days. These breast therapy packs pull triple duty in the relief department. Pop them in the fridge or freezer for cold therapy to relieve engorgement, swelling and pain; heat them in the microwave to help with plugged ducts or mastitis; or heat and wrap them around your breast pump flange to encourage letdown and milk flow.

Many pumpers find traditional plastic flanges uncomfortable. This flange system is something completely different; it’s made from a soft “liquid” silicone that molds to your breast tissue. Why is this a big deal? It’s a lot more comfortable, for one, and it’s super flexible, so it collapses down around your nipple and helps to compress and massage it just as your baby’s palate does when they nurse. These kits are an investment, but one you may find worthwhile if you’re pumping frequently or don’t love the feel of a plastic flange.

Frequent pumping can be tough on your nipples and cause irritation and cracking. Nipple cream can relieve and prevent these types of issues and is helpful to keep on hand from the first time you pump through the last.

Lots of nipple butters are thick and sticky—but not Earth Mama. The 100% organic formula is botanical-rich, lanolin-free and goes on smoothly. You can use it to relieve irritation or preventively prior to each pumping session. And since it’s all natural, you don’t have to worry about washing it off before you feed your little one.

Sometimes the littlest details can make a big difference when you’re doing something over and over again like pumping. Unlike the valves you’ll find on most breast pumps, these duckbills feature a pull tab so they’re easy to take off when it’s time to wash your pump parts. They’re compatible with most major brands of breast pumps including Ameda, Baby Buddha, Motif, Medela, Spectra and more. (Check the website for a full list.)

Pro tip: did you know breast pump parts wear out and should be replaced over time? If you pump frequently, you’ll want to replace your duckbill valves or valve membranes about every month. If you’re a less frequent pumper, every two to three months is recommended. The same goes for backflow protectors if your pump has them. Frequent pumpers should change theirs out about every three months, while folks who pump less often should replace them about every six.

And speaking of ditching the flanges, collection cups are another pumping accessory that can make your life a lot easier. Collection cups make pumping hands-free and more discreet and are a more affordable alternative to a wearable breast pump. These lightweight cups each hold eight ounces of pumped milk and are compatible with lots of different pump brands. There’s a spout for easy pouring and a flat base to lessen the chance of spills.

Keep in mind that while collection cups are a convenient alternative to flanges, many pumpers find they don’t fully empty their breasts in the same way flanges do. (Also note the same holds true for wearable pumps.) Lactation consultants advise using them for one or two pumps a day if you’re concerned about output.

Traditional nursing pads help safeguard against leaks if you’re a pumping or breastfeeding parent, but they’re also expensive and wasteful. Reusable pads offer a smart and economical substitute, and Bamboobies are some of our favorites.

These pads are thin, comfortable and, most important of all, washable. They’re made from an ultra-soft fabric blend and feature three layers of fabric for absorbency. Parents like that they don’t irritate sensitive nipples and get softer after each wash.

If you prefer a disposable nursing pad, these Stay Dry pads from Lansinoh top the list. They absorb 20 times their weight in liquid so you won’t have to worry about leaking through your shirt, and they’ll keep you dry overnight, too. They’re thin and contoured for a discreet fit and soft enough for sensitive skin.

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