The Essentials: Exclusive Breast Pumping

I’ll spare you the photos of my underthings.

Since Lauren was my first baby, I thoroughly researched every decision from the stroller to the nail scissors. By the end of my pregnancy, I was so burned out that breastfeeding and pumping fell to the wayside, and I thought I would figure it out when the baby was here. As it turned out, Lauren struggled with breastfeeding and poor weight gain from the beginning. When she was admitted to the hospital at two months for a heart issue, I decided to switch to exclusive breast pumping. Prior to this, I didn’t know that exclusive pumping was an option. A lactation consultant and a doctor had inadvertently discouraged exclusive pumping, saying that I would I would lose my milk supply, or that I wouldn’t be able to increase my milk supply as my Lauren’s needs increased. I’ve been exclusively pumping for several weeks now, and these are some items that have helped along the way.

  • Double electric breast pump – I use the Medela Pump in Style Advanced, and I’ve also used the Medela and Ameda hospital-grade pumps. All of them worked well for me. I received a free pump through my insurance provider.
  • Extra breast pump flanges – I ordered an extra set so I don’t have to wash my flanges every time I pump. I like the flat back on this one-piece flange so I can rest it on the edge of the sink.
  • Bottle brush – A bottle brush is helpful for thoroughly cleaning my flanges. This brush from Dr. Brown’s comes with a handy suction cup stand.
  • Pumping braThis bra truly does fit any size, since it’s adjustable around the back or in the front (between the breasts). I love that my hands are free to eat, type or tend to the baby while I pump.
  • Nursing camiThis nursing cami from Motherhood Maternity is my favorite. It has molded cups and convertible straps, and it’s also cheaper than the Bravado! Designs cami (especially during a buy three, get one free sale). Note that this is definitely an undershirt. My only complaint is that the fabric doesn’t breathe, so I’ll be shopping for a cotton option for summer.
  • Nipple cream – I use Motherlove nipple cream to lubricate my flanges. It also feels great on my hands when they dry out from washing bottles all day!
  • Lactation smoothie – I nearly doubled my milk supply (from 20 ounces to 36 ounces per day) with the help of this Mom’s Original smoothie. I blend the strawberry banana flavor with 4 ounces of water, 4 ounces of strawberry banana juice and 5 small frozen strawberries.
  • Sterilizer bags – I sterilize my flanges and filters daily per the manufacturer’s recommendation. These microwaveable bags are much easier than boiling my equipment.
  • Milk storage pouches – I use these pouches by Kiinde. I opted for twist top instead of zip top because they seemed more user friendly for the accident-prone. True to form, I’ve already dropped a full pouch and it was fine. I reuse the cardboard box packaging to store full pouches in my freezer.

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1 Comment

  1. Wow! So much is involved in breast pumping that I never realized! You are such a fantastic Mommy!!! ❤️

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