A breast pumping station is essential for moms who breastfeeds and pumps or exclusively pumps. The journey of breastfeeding can be both rewarding and challenging, particularly for moms with limited space. Setting up a pumping station makes the process easier and demands creativity and resourcefulness.
I am a first-time mom who has exclusively pumped for 14 months and lives in a small apartment in New York City. So, figuring out my must-haves as a new mom with a newborn was crucial for preventing my apartment from being overwhelmed with baby stuff (we all know how easy it is).
I needed to create a breast pumping station that was small and portable. Let me share with you how I was able to achieve that.
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What is a breast pumping station?
A breast pumping station is a designated area where you can keep all your breast pumping essentials for easy access while breast pumping or exclusively pumping.
Do you really need pumping station at home?
Yes! Even if you don’t invest in a rolling cart or basket to store and organize your breast pumping essentials, you’ll naturally create a breast pumping station wherever you prefer to pump most often.
This may mean cluttering your nightstand, coffee table, TV stand, or any other surface you can put things on top of (haha).
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Where to store your breast pumping essentials with limited space at home?
In a diaper caddy or a storage basket like this one. This creates a simple mobile pumping station you can easily carry around your home.
You can take it from your bedroom to your living room and even to your home office if you’d like. Moreover, this storage basket is compact enough to be tucked away easily. You’ll be surprised at how much you can fit in it!
Where in your home should your pumping station be?
When setting up your pumping station, you should choose a place where you feel comfortable. This can be a private room or your living room.
The selected area should have accessible power outlets for plugging in your breast pump, a comfy chair, and enough space to put your storage basket without it getting in the way. In my case, I set up my pumping station in the living room, where I had my rocking chair.
What pumping supplies do you need in a breast pumping station?
Living in a small apartment with limited space means the items you put in your pumping station storage basket must be essential for your pumping sessions.
However, what is considered essential may vary from person to person. To help you, I have listed ten items that were indispensable in my breast pumping station and some optional ones in case they are important to you on your pumping journey.
And yes, I could fit all of them into my storage basket!
1. Double Electric Breast Pump
The first item on the list is the breast pump. However, it’s important to note that not just any pump will do. If you’re exclusively pumping, it’s best to opt for a double electric breast pump.
But if you’re breastfeeding and pumping, a single pump that pumps one breast at a time or a manual breast pump that you operate with your hands is a good option. The choice is entirely up to you.
After trying a few, I found the Spectra s2 breast pump to be my absolute favorite double electric breast pump. However, I highly recommend the Spectra S1 if your insurance covers it. It’s portable, rechargeable, and has strong suction.
Also, in the US, insurance companies offer free breast pumps, so don’t hesitate to take advantage of this opportunity. Even if your preferred pump isn’t available, getting a second pump is always useful, especially if you’re exclusively pumping.
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2. Nipple Cream
A nipple cream, also known as nipple butter, is an essential item to have when exclusively pumping. It helps to soothe cracked and irritated nipples caused by frequent pumping and being new to breastfeeding.
For the best results, it is recommended to apply nipple cream before and after each pumping session.
While exclusively pumping, my favorite nipple cream was Earth Mama Organics nipple butter, which I also used as a lip balm while pumping. Coconut oil can also be used as a nipple cream alternative.
3. Reusable Breast Pads
Breast pads, or nursing pads, serve two important purposes during breastfeeding. Firstly, they absorb any leaked breast milk.
Secondly, they protect sensitive nipples from chafing against clothing or bras – particularly during the early stages of breastfeeding when nipples are most sensitive.
I opted for reusable nursing pads because they saved me money in the long run compared to disposable options and were convenient to wash.
4. Breast Milk Storage Bags
Great for storing your freshly pumped breast milk in the fridge or for starting your freezer stash!
I started using breast milk storage bags when I was producing more than my daughter consumed during each feed.
5. Water Bottle
A water bottle is an essential item for breastfeeding moms. You’ll quickly find out how important it is to stay hydrated during this time. I’ve never experienced such intense thirst as when I was breastfeeding or pumping.
Drinking water can also help boost breast milk production. Therefore, a reusable water bottle can be a helpful reminder to drink more water throughout the day!
6. Breastfeeding Snacks
7. Hand Towel / Burp Cloths
Keeping hand towels or paper towels at your breast pumping station is a great idea. They come in handy if breast milk leaks while pumping. You can also use them to wipe down your breasts and flanges after each pumping session.
8. Extra Tubing & Pump Parts
During a not-so-fun pumping session, long story short ( joking, it’s just a short story), one of my flangs broke while setting it up, and it was my only one!
Also, If you pump exclusively, you know how crucial it is to maintain strong suction to ensure a steady milk supply. By regularly replacing pump parts with new ones, you can prevent a possible drop in milk supply.
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Pumping is so time-consuming, sometimes painful, and exhausting! Therefore, having something to look forward to when it comes to pumping helps encourage me (and hopefully you) to keep going and achieve your breast pumping goals!
- Word Puzzles/Sudoku
- Watch MasterClass
- TV Show
- Listen to a Podcast ( The Ellen Fisher Podcast & Hey Shayla are some of my favorites)
Tip: If I were reading a book, watching a movie, or a TV show, I would stop watching or reading right when my pumping session was over to excite me for the next pumping session. And when my pumping session began again, I would pick up where I left off in my book, movie, or TV show.
The things moms do!
10. Baby Things You Often Need
Include a diaper, wipes, diaper cream, an extra pacifier, or burp cloth in the pumping station for moments when you are alone with your baby.
These are items I didn’t include in my pumping station but you can add in yours if you like.
- Clean hands-free pumping bra
- Warming lactation massager
- Wet wipes
- Phone Charger
- Hair ties
- Remote control
- Ear phones
- Lip balm
Breastfeeding and pumping require a sacred space for you and your baby. Even when space is limited, you can still provide the best for your child while caring for yourself.
Dedicated lactation stations, compact storage solutions, and a comfortable space for pumping are crucial for a successful journey. It’s not just about physical space but also emotional and mental space.
So, to all the new moms or new to pumping moms navigating the delicate dance of motherhood in tight quarters, remember that your pumping station is not just a physical setup; it’s a symbol of your strength, adaptability, and love for your baby.
Embrace the challenge, savor every pumping session, and find joy in the bond you create with your little one – one pump at a time.