Do you feel like you spend too much time pumping and dealing with your breast pump parts? Or perhaps you feel guilty for taking too long away from your desk?
If this sounds like you, these breast pumping hacks may help you to finish pumping quicker and focus on what matters most.
1. Assemble your breast pump parts the night before or in the morning before you go to work.
Attach the tubing and store your pump in a dedicated compartment of your breast pump bag, so you won't worry about it getting tangled with your other personal items. When it's time to pump, screw the bottles on, connect the tubing to the shield, and go! That's five minutes in the bank. Woot!
2. Find a quality nursing bra for a hands-free pump session.
Rather than hold your bottles throughout your pumping session, invest in a good-quality pumping bra to free up your hands. You can massage your breast to encourage milk flow or work at the same time.
3. Save time with a wet/dry bag for breast pump parts.
Once you've finished pumping, place your breast pump parts in a wet/dry bag to store in a refrigerator or cooler. No need to wipe, no need to wash. If you pump three times at work, this trick will save you at least 5 minutes per session for a total of 15 minutes back throughout your day.
Confession: I used to wash, rinse and wipe dry my pump parts when pumping for Baby #1. This process took me so long to complete after each session (the washing itself takes at least 5 minutes!). So, when I pumped for Baby #2, I used a wet/dry bag between pump sessions and only washed once at night. Such a huge time saver!
When I pumped for Baby #2, I used a wet/dry bag between pump sessions and only washed once at night. Such a huge time saver!
4. Bring twice the number of bottles as pumping sessions.
Every time you pump, pull out two new bottles and once you're done, simply put the caps on and store. Combine your milk just once a day, either at night or in the morning, when you prepare bottles for your baby's feedings. This pumping mom hack will save so much time, especially when you are in a hurry and don't want to miss a single drop of milk.
5. Ditch the bottles by using a direct-pump breast milk collection system.
If you loathe washing so many bottles, consider using the Kiinde Twist™ system, which allows you to "pump, store, organize, warm, and feed using the same pouch." The system comes with several adapters matching all major breast pump brands. No more washing bottles!
6. Optimize your pumping schedule.
If you only get limited time to pump at your workplace, I've got big news for you. You don't need to strictly follow your baby's feeding times for your pumping schedule. The most important thing is the frequency, or how often you empty your breast throughout the day. If you have a shortage of time at work, consider pumping only twice during the day with two more pumps during your commute (using a hands-free pumping setup), and perhaps one more time after your baby goes to bed.
7. Pump while you work!
Not everyone can afford several proper pumping breaks away from their desk. What about pumping while working?
If you use a concealable hands-free pumping system, such as Freemie, combined with a quiet breast pump, you can do most of your work while breast pumping.
8. Set a reminder to pump on your calendar, every single work day.
Although remembering to pump may seem obvious, you'll thank yourself for proactively scheduling pump time when your work starts to pile up, making it easier to forget.
9. Encourage quicker letdown to speed up your pump session.
Is your letdown taking too long? Consider looking at a photo of your baby or listen to her voice while pumping. Or watch a funny video and let yourself relax for a while. Try several tips for quicker letdown until you find what works best for you.
10. Make sure you never forget your breastmilk in the office fridge by using a cooler at your desk.
Rather than store your breast milk and pump parts in a shared fridge and take the risk of forgetting it after a busy day, consider using a long-lasting cooler bag at your desk. Store your breast milk directly in the cooler bag and keep it with your breast pump bag, where you are less likely to forget about it.
With these breast pumping hacks for working moms, you can streamline your pumping routine to make the process easier at work. And remember, being a breast pumping, working mom is such a tough job, so give yourself a pat on the back.
You are doing a great job, mama!
BY: RINA PUSPITASARI
Rina is a mom of two who once struggled to breastfeed her babies. Since then, her low milk supply issue has inspired her to help other moms preparing for breastfeeding and pumping breast milk. Check out her writing at her blog, Living with Low Milk Supply, and grab your FREE pumping guide there too!
Rina contributes to the Sarah Wells blog all the way from Singapore! She’s a huge part of taking our “mama love” mission worldwide. If you’re located in Singapore and are interested in a Sarah Wells bag, check out MamaWarehouse.com as your local retailer!