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 I got via my insurance in the bag as well.
- Hands-free pumping bra. I used the Medela Easy Expression Hands-Free Bustier. 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.