As a breastfeeding mom, I’m really attached to my baby in the literal sense. Newborns need to eat frequently, with some “dining at mom’s” every two hours or so. If you want to breastfeed and go back to work, go out on a child-free date with your husband, or just have someone else take one of those night feedings, you need to pump and store your milk. Here are some of my favorite picks for pumping it up!
Breastpump: Some mothers find they are successful with a simple hand pump but personally I recommend splurging on the breast pump so you’ll use it more often. Medela produces high quality pumps with convenient features for moms and all parts that touch the milk are BPA-free and Phthalate Free. I tested the Medela Freestyle Breastpump ($350). This pump is lightweight (under one pound), portable, hands-free, programmable, and efficient. For breastfeeding moms who plan to head back to work, hands-free technology is quite simply indispensable. Even after a full day of breastfeeding, I found the two phases, stimulation and expression, to be very effective. If you are looking for a single pump, the Medela Swing Breastpump ($120) has a lot of the same features for a whole lot less.
Convert To Hands-Free: If your pump is not already equipped for hands-free pumping, try a band. A number of experienced pumpers recommended the Easy Expression Bustier Hands-free Pumping Bra. I also like the PumpEase (available in fun patterns) to achieve the hands-free effect.
Nursing Camisole/Tank: Whether I’m pumping or breastfeeding out in public, I prefer to keep my stomach covered. Nursing camisoles are comfortable and fashionable and also give you a smooth line.
I like the Medela Nursing Camisole ($34 on sale) for pumping because it is compatible with my hands-free Freestyle and is made of a Oeko-Tex certified bamboo and cotton blend. Breathable and comfortable, bamboo fabrics also have natural anti-bacterial and moisture-wicking properties. This cami also has a cute lacy edge on the outer layer for a dash of femininity.
If you are looking for a great deal, Gilligan & O’Malley Nursing Tanks are only $17.
Or, if you want to treat yourself, the Yummie Tummie Long Length Nursing Shapewear Tank ($82) will shape as well as cover your belly.
Bottles and Bags: Compatibility with your pump is the key here. Since I have a Medela pump, I go with Medela bottles and breast milk storage bags. All of Medela’s products that come into contact with breastmilk are and always have been BPA-free and Phthalate-free, so no worries there. To be extra safe, I like to use their glass bottles at home, which are also compatible with most of their pumps (though it is not intended for use with the Freestyle). For you, dear readers, I dropped one of the bottles on my hard wood floors and it survived perfectly intact.
Books and Websites: Although it is a general resource, we like the friendly straight talk of Mama Knows Breast: A Beginner’s Guide to Breastfeeding ($15 – see our full review here).
Pumping moms experiencing supply problems will find tips in The Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide to Making More Milk ($13).
You’ll also find expert answers, mama gurus, and forums on these websites:
- KellyMom – Pumping and Bottle Feeding
- Dr. Sears – Breastfeeding and Working
- Mama Knows Breast
- Medela Breastfeeding U.S.
What are your must-have recommendations and tips for pumping moms?