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Whether you'll be pumping a couple of times a week or exclusively pumping (kudos to you mama!), it's fair to say that you'll need a couple of things to make your journey easier, more practical, and of course more enjoyable because let’s face it, pumping ain’t easy. Between the setup, irritated nipples, and the constant cleanup, it’s easy (and perfectly normal) to feel overwhelmed.
But fear not, creating a pumping station could make all of this easier! It’s a simple way to set yourself up for pumping success.
Here is our list of the top 13 breast pumping essentials you need to create the ultimate pumping station!
1. Lactation Massager
Massaging your breasts while you pump, encourages your body to produce more oxytocin which helps with letdown. Breast massaging with the addition of heat helps loosen up milk ducts thus increasing your pumping output by up to 48%! Breast massaging with heat also reduces your risk of developing clogged ducts which can lead to mastitis, and also helps you empty your breasts more efficiently.
Although there are many benefits to massaging your breasts, doing so by hand the old fashioned way can be tedious and not to mention painful. We at LaVie have developed this Warming Lactation Massager— the first milk expression tool that combines continuous warmth and vibration to improve milk flow, relieve painful engorgement, and cut down on the amount of time you spend pumping!
If you’re dealing with clogged ducts, then our Lactation Massager would be perfect for you.
Need a more budget friendly option? Check out our Lactation Massage Roller.
2. Hands-Free Pump Strap
Hands free pumping? Yes please! Not only does our Lactation-Specialist recommended Pump Strap free up your hands while you pump so you can catch up on your Instagram feed and Amazon shopping, it helps cut down on the amount of time you spend pumping! What really makes our Pump Strap unique is its ability to be adjusted to provide your breasts with more compression, which helps keep your milk flowing and also helps you empty your breasts more effectively in less time. It's the perfect addition to our warming lactation massagers!
3. Duct Flow Tincture
Because pumping can be not as effective as nursing, you are more prone to experiencing clogged milk ducts and mastitis (ouch!), which can really put a damper on your pumping journey by affecting your milk and even its supply!
That’s why every pumping mama needs our Duct Flow Tincture. Our plant-based tincture is a supplement which helps to invigorate lymphatic function in the breasts, and is a perfect companion to the Lactation Massager. Made with organic and wild harvest herbs, our Duct Flow Tincture soothes the discomfort associated with clogged ducts and mastitis.
Just think of it as an insurance policy— you hope you won’t have to use it but in the event that you do, you’ll be glad to have it available.
4. Electric breast pump
No pumping cart is complete without the star of the show: the breast pump.
Not totally into what your insurance company offers? No worries, you’ll be happy to know that there are many options available on the market.
If you're building a cart worthy of being #pumpingcartgoals, we'll assume you'll be expressing milk regularly. In this case, a double electric breast pump with a portable battery would be a great option. Did you know? Double pumping cuts the amount of time you spend pumping by 50%, helps deliver 18% more milk on average, and makes for fattier more calorie-dense milk!
Another great option would be this compact battery powered breast pump so you can pump anywhere anytime. It’s perfect, especially if you plan on pumping at work.
If you'll be using a single pump or pumping often while on the go, don't forget to grab your free Milk Collector so that none of your liquid gold goes to waste! Simply pump on one breast and suction your milk collector onto the other breast, and watch your milk flow.
5. Breast milk storage bags
You're breast milk has to go somewhere once you express it. This breast milk storage system from Kiinde is truly fit for the pumping mom. It allows you to collect, store, prepare and feed using a single pouch. And get this, the twist pouches and direct-pump adapters allow you to pump directly into the bag! This removes that extra messy and often nerve-wrecking (especially during those midnight pumping sessions) step of transferring your liquid gold from a bottle to a bag.
6. Milk Storage Bag Adapters
Milk storage bag adapters are game-changing breast pumping essentials! If you don't purchase a milk storage system such as the one from Kiinde which already comes with its own direct-pump adapters, you can (and should) still purchase them separately. They help simplify your pumping session and eliminate the need for mom-fatigue-induced messy milk transfers and bottle washing. These are especially useful if you'll be returning back to work soon and are in need of building a massive milk stash quickly for your baby.
7. Coconut Oil
If you want to avoid having sore nipples after each pumping session, lube up your breast pump flanges and areolas with come organic cold-pressed coconut oil to reduce friction. You may also want to consider adding coconut oil to your daily diet. According to a study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, women who added coconut oil to their diets produced milk richer in antimicrobial fats, which help support baby's immune system.
8. Fitted Flanges
Not all nipples are created equal! In many cases, the default flanges that came with your pump might not be the right size or shape for you. This could lead to sore nipples, decreased output, and increased chances of getting clogs. The first step is to ensure you have the right size flanges. You can use this handy ruler to measure your sizing. You can then search for compatible flanges in your size for your pump.
9. Extra Duckbill Adapters
Duckbills (or you may use Membrane adapters) are super important for getting good suction strength from your breast pump. Worn out duckbills will cause a drop in the suction strength, resulting in lower milk output and increased risk of developing clogged ducts. Having extra pairs of these on hand is key! Add these duckbills to your cart now so you don’t have any downtime, since waiting a few days for the delivery man could make for painfully engorged boobs.
10. Gel pads
If you skipped a pumping session, you will notice your breasts feeling hard and tender to touch. For quick relief and help maximize your pumping session, try these 3-in-1 Breast Therapy Gel Packs. This product is conveniently designed for use with a breast pump, and can be cold or warmed depending on the type of relief you need.
11. Extra absorbent burp cloths
No matter how careful you are, pumping can get messy. This is especially true for moms who deal with breast milk overproduction. To avoid inadvertently spraying yourself or even leaking into your clothes and furniture, be sure to stack your pumping cart with extra absorbent burp cloths to wipe up the mess. You can also use them as you burp your baby!
12. Reusable water bottle
Breastfeeding and pumping often leave mamas feeling parched! Research shows that breast milk production consumes 25% of the body's energy and that it also depletes hydration. It's no wonder you're feeling thirstier than usual! Having a reusable water bottle (or 2) handy is a great way to maintain proper hydration and to keep your body in optimal health. Experts recommend drinking about ½ to ¾ of an ounce of water (or other fluids) per pound of your non-nursing weight. A 1-gallon water bottle such as this one is perfect because it means that you won't have to keep pausing your pumping sessions for refills.
13. Trolley cart
Last but certainly not least, you'll need a cart for all of your breast pumping essentials! This practical and ultra trendy multi-tiered utility cart is well-loved by pumping moms, and is perfect because it allows you to organize your supplies by order of necessity. Its wheels also make it super easy for you to relocate throughout the house as needed.
Need some help organizing your pumping cart? You can follow these simple cart storage guidelines:
* Top tier (supplies you absolutely cannot pump without and need to have handy): breast pump, water bottle, milk bottles, lactation massagers
* Middle tier (supplies you may need almost every time you pump): milk storage bags, coconut oil, milk collector, absorbent cloths
* Bottom tier (supplies you do not need every time you pump): extra pumping accessories
You can also check out this LaVie-loving mama’s pumping cart for some inspiration and #pumpingcartgoals!