Pumping Bag Essentials for the Working Mom

Posted February 9, 2015 by Julie in Parenting, Tips and Resources, TopPosts, Working Mom / 20 Comments

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).

Pumping Bag Essentials for the Working Mom

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.


Pumping Bag Checklist


Breast Pump Through Insurance Landing Page




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JuliepicI'm Julie, a new mom who works full time and blogs, all while wishing I had more time to read fun books. I write about being a first time working mom in order to help myself and other working moms in our journeys to find balance between family, responsibilities, and hobbies so we can thrive both at home and at work.
I can be found blogging at Fab Working Mom Life and Chapter Break, and hanging out on social media: Twitter ~ Pinterest ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

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20 responses to “Pumping Bag Essentials for the Working Mom

  1. This is a great list! Makes me feel old. I don’t think there were kindles when I was nursing and definitely not cam apps. I did have picture in my little guy and that got me through it. I have gotten rid of most baby things (my youngest is 3), but my breast pump I keep. I am not in sure why…I guess I have some special connection with it.

    • A photo is a great thing to have too, electronics aren’t that important 🙂 The pump is such an important seeming device. I don’t think I’d be able to get rid of it either. Maybe to share with a family member.

  2. It’s been a while since I was involved in the business of breastfeeding, but this looks to be a pretty comprehensive list. That’s impressive that your workplace provides a hospital-grade pump. Is this pretty standard these days, or do you just work at an amazing place?


    • I think I just have an amazing client because I don’t think it is standard. At least my own consulting firm doesn’t do this (or even have a nurse or anything like that in the building). So I’m thankful that I work out of the client’s office right now.

  3. Entertainment is so important. When I was working the pump room was a small, cold, and way too bright space. It was essential that I had something to read or watch. No way I would have made it through sessions without it. Great list.

    • Ooh a cold room isn’t fun. Yes, something to read or watch to distract yourself from the discomforts is key – glad you had something to help with that as well 🙂

  4. I have pumped at work three times with three sweet babies. It is never easy. I think this post is great! Yay for working mom awareness!

    • Thank you 🙂 Nope, not easy at all, but worth it anyway. Good for you keeping it up for each of your kids. That’s a lot of pumping lady 🙂

  5. Great tips for the nursing working mom! I always needed a few wet and a few dry paper towels to keep everything clean during pumping. Snacks and drinks were essential to me too! Thanks for sharing with Small Victories Sunday Linkup and hope you join us again this weekend! Pinning to our linkup board.

  6. I can’t believe I never knew about nipple butter! I tried pumping for a short time but couldn’t handle it. This probably would have helped! I also have to say I am very impressed with your workplace providing you with not only a designated pumping area but also a machine. That’s fantastic! Thanks for linking up at Mum-bo Monday

  7. It’s so nice that your company provides a pump! I’ve never heard of that happening! I never had much luck with pumping, but thankfully I was (and am) a stay at home mom so it wasn’t really all that necessary. I remember feeling sorry for the dairy cows during that time of my life! I definitely agree with the snacks and entertainment being absolute necessities!

    Thank you for sharing with us at #MommyMeetupMondays!

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