Before returning to work I put a lot of thought into what I needed to continue on this breastfeeding journey. Pumping isn’t as pleasant as nursing, obviously, since you’re hooked up to what I like to call a Medieval torture device rather than your baby. But, it is a necessary activity to maintain supply (and avoid painful engorgement).
Breast Milk Pumping Bag Essentials when Returning to Work
- Breast pump and accessories. My workplace provides a hospital-grade pump, the Medela Symphony, so all I need are the attachments, breast shield flanges, and bottles. If this was not the case, I would have my Medela Pump In Style breast pump in the bag as well.
- Hands-free pumping bra. That’s the black cotton thing pictured above. It zips down the front and has holes so you can put the shields through it and attach to the rest of the pumping gear.
- Breast milk storage bottles. I take some home and bring some in the next day, but I also have a few extra on hand.
- Cooler. Someplace to store the pumped milk bottles and for safe transport home.
- Nipple butter. Because pumping isn’t gentle.
- Drink and snacks. Because you gotta stay hydrated and fed, right?
- Bottle brush and dish soap. You’ll need to clean your supplies.
- Entertainment. I have my phone and my kindle. It helps not to focus on what I’m doing.
- Connection to Baby. I can check in on Baby H on the cam app on my phone and that helps with pumping. some people suggest bringing a photo, or you can even record the sound of your baby crying, if that helps. I just find it distracting.