18 Exclusively Pumping Must Haves for New Pumping Moms!

Last Updated: March 3, 2024

 Welcome to the ultimate guide for exclusively pumping moms! Whether you’re just starting your pumping journey or you’re a seasoned pro, this comprehensive list of must-have items will ensure you’re equipped with everything you need to make your pumping experience as smooth and successful as possible.

Let me start by saying, pumping exclusively is hard work!

It’s a full-time job! (I wish I were joking!)

As a first-time mother, I found it challenging since I was the only one in my family who had exclusively pumped before. Although some people suggested I give my daughter formula, I wanted to try breastfeeding first and explore all options beforehand.

Since I didn’t know anyone who had exclusively pumped before, I had to learn everything on my own or through research. However, Pinterest was a great resource that helped me a lot. I found that preparing yourself with the essentials before your baby arrives can make exclusively pumping easier. That’s how I managed to pump exclusively for 14 months.

I have compiled a list of 18 Exclusive Pumping Must Haves below that can help new moms or those new to exclusive pumping achieve their breastfeeding goals.

18 Exclusively Pumping Must Haves

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Table of Contents

18 Exclusively Pumping Must Haves!

1. Powerful Electric Double Breast Pump

 

If you plan on exclusively pumping milk for 6 months, 1 year, or more, it’s essential to invest in a powerful electric double-breast pump. As someone who has used several pumps, I can attest that suction is crucial to maintaining a good milk supply.

It’s also important to opt for a double pump instead of a single one, as it saves time by allowing you to pump both breasts simultaneously. Some of my favorite and popular double electric pumps on the market include the Spectra S1 or S2 and the Medela Pump in Style. And if you didn’t know, you can get a free electric breast pump through your health insurance.

A double-electric pump does not necessarily mean a hospital-grade pump. A hospital-grade pump is a pump you can request in the hospital or rent for use at home, which is intended for multiple users and is much bigger in size.

2. Right-Sized Flange

Choosing the right-sized flanges (also known as breast shields) is crucial for breast pumping because proper flange fit can directly impact milk supply.

When the breast is adequately stimulated and milk is efficiently removed during pumping, it signals the body to increase milk production, helping establish and maintain a healthy milk supply. Therefore, using the right sized flange will improve adequate milk removal and increase supply.

The standard-size flanges are between 24 and 27 millimeters. However, the flange size ranges from 21 mm to 26 mm. So whether you have small or large nipples, the perfect size breast shield is out there. 

3. Nipple Cream

This is another must-have for exclusive pumpers.

You will learn this soon after the first pump! Your nipples will crack, and it will hurt!

(sorry, it’s true!)

The nipple cream/butter helps moisturize your nipples when pumping with cracked nipples.

(Click here to view the vegan nipple butter option)

Yes, it will still hurt at first, but not as much as if you didn’t moisturize your nipples after and before every pump!

(They will heal soon! Stay strong.)

4. Water Bottle

Water is essential for all breastfeeding mothers, including those who exclusively pump breast milk. Breast milk consists of approximately 88% water.

Therefore, it is crucial to maintain proper hydration to ensure an adequate milk supply. If a mother is dehydrated, her body may struggle to produce enough milk, decreasing milk volume. By staying hydrated, exclusive pumping mothers can ensure they have enough milk to meet their baby’s needs.

Keeping a reusable water bottle nearby during pumping sessions will help ensure you drink enough water frequently.

5. Breastmilk Storage Bags

Breast milk storage bags are essential for exclusively pumping moms. They are leak-proof and take up less space than bottles in the fridge or freezer. They have designated labeling areas to keep track of the milk supply.

Most breast milk storage bags have designated labeling areas, making it easy for mothers to keep track of their milk supply and ensure that they are using the oldest milk first to prevent waste. Labeling should include the date and time the milk was expressed, as daytime milk has more protein and nighttime milk has melatonin to help the baby fall asleep.

This way, mothers can ensure they are giving their babies fresh and nutritious milk. Breast milk storage bags are designed for single-use, which helps minimize waste and reduce contamination risks.

6. Nursing Pads

Nursing pads, also known as breast pads, are a great solution when your breasts are full and start to leak. This is a common occurrence for pumping moms. Stacking up on breast pads to keep your clothes dry and comfortable throughout the day is a good idea.

Breast pads are also helpful when your nipples are cracked and sore. You’ll want to apply some nipple cream and then use the pads to cover them. There are two types of nursing pads, resuable or disposable pads.Pick whichever you prefer. 

7. Hand-Free Bra

Since exclusively pumping means you’ll be pumping frequently, consider investing in a hands-free pumping bra. Holding up the bottles during a 30-45 minute pumping session, like I did, can cause back and arm pain, so a comfortable and secure pumping bra with adjustable straps can be a game-changer.

With a hands-free bra, you can easily multi-task while pumping and have a more comfortable experience.

8. Feeding Bottles

Feeding bottles are must-have items for pumping mamas to feed our babies. I like Dr. Brown’s bottles, but you can choose any brand that suits you.

It is advisable to have a few bottles to avoid washing them after every feed, especially during the newborn phase when babies need to be fed around 8 times a day or even more. I prefer to wash all eight bottles and pump parts at the end of the day rather than washing the same 3 or 4 bottles multiple times daily.

However, you can choose to do whatever works best for you. Additionally, please select bottles that attach well to your pump; this way, you dirty fewer bottles, and you can store freshly pumped milk at room temperature for an upcoming feed.

9. Bottle Warmer

I love this bottle warmer!

I used this bottle warmer for all of my refrigerated or thawed breastmilk because it was quick, easy, and wouldn’t overheat (once I got the timing right).

Another even easier way to warm up your breastmilk is placing the sealed breastmilk storage bag in a cup of hot water from the sink! 

(I tried this very late in the game, I don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner!)

Exclusive Pumping Infographic

10. Bottle Brush

Bottle brushes are essential tools for parents and caregivers who regularly use bottles for feeding infants. Proper cleaning of bottles is crucial to maintain hygiene and prevent the growth of bacteria that could potentially harm the baby.

Using a bottle brush ensures thorough cleaning of all parts of the bottle, helping to keep feeding equipment safe and sanitary for the baby’s use. Be sure to get a brush that includes a nipple brush to clean the nipple for the baby bottles.

11. Replacement Parts

breast pumping station

There are three good reasons to have extra sets of pump parts for your breast pump:

1. In case breast pump parts fall and break like it happened to me once,  I opened the refrigerator door, and the breast shield broke, making it impossible to attach it to the pump. I didnt have extra parts and I was stressing! I had to use a manual pump until my new parts came in. Not fun!

2. In case one pair is dirty – sometimes you don’t have time or can’t wash them right away, so it’s helpful to have extra parts.

3. Maintenance – Pump parts, particularly valves, membranes, and tubing, are subject to wear and tear over time. Having extra parts on hand ensures that worn-out or damaged parts can be replaced promptly, maintaining the efficiency and effectiveness of the pump.

Extra parts can save you from inconvenience and stress and ensure you always have a working pump.

12. Pumping Station

Make your life easy and set up a pumping station!

A pumping station will have everything you’ll need during your pumping session all in one place! Add whatever you may need! Make this station comfortable for yourself, so you want to pump.

In this post, I share how I create my breast pumping station and what I included

13. Prenatal Vitamins

Best Prenatal Vitamins For Pregnancy

Pumping moms should take prenatal vitamins because they are essential for maintaining maternal health and supporting milk production.

Prenatal vitamins contain vital vitamins and minerals such as folic acid, iron, calcium, and vitamin D, which help replenish nutrient stores that are depleted during pregnancy and childbirth. These nutrients are important for providing pumping moms with the energy and stamina they need to keep up with the demands of breastfeeding and pumping.

Additionally, specific vitamins and minerals found in prenatal supplements, such as omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12, contribute significantly to the overall health and development of the baby, particularly if the mother’s diet lacks these nutrients.

14. Wearable Breast Pump 

Willow Go Wearable Breast Pump

A wearable breast pump is an excellent option for busy mothers who need to pump on the go. These hands-free pumps are lightweight, discreet, and perfect for travel. They eliminate the need to rush home to pump or sit beside an outlet. My personal favorite is the Willow pump.

15. Pump Bag

Breast Pump Bag Tote

A pump bag is another essential for breast pumping moms as it provides a dedicated space to organize and transport all necessary pumping equipment.

With a pump bag, mothers can conveniently carry their breast pump, pump parts, bottles, and accessories wherever they go, whether to work, travel, or appointments. A well-designed pump bag typically includes compartments and pockets to keep everything organized and easily accessible, saving time and reducing stress during pumping sessions.

Additionally, a pump bag offers discretion and privacy, allowing mothers to pump comfortably and confidently in various settings.

16. Entertainment (book, movie, series)

Pumping happens so often! After the very first pumping session, you’ll dread all the many sessions to come!

Because of this, I had to find motivation besides my most prominent reason, which was to breastfeed my daughter. I found motivation in watching a movie or series right up to the point where I stopped pumping!

Yes, even if it was just getting really good! Why?! This way, I look forward to my next pumping session to continue watching the show or movie. Try it and let me know in the comments below if it works for you!

17. Exclusive Pumping Schedule

Establishing an exclusive pumping schedule is crucial when starting your pumping journey, as it helps regulate milk production and maintain a consistent supply.

A structured pumping routine ensures the breasts are adequately emptied regularly, promoting efficient milk production and preventing issues such as engorgement or clogged ducts.

Additionally, following a schedule can help new pumpers manage their time effectively and integrate pumping sessions into their daily routine, ensuring they can meet their baby’s feeding needs while balancing other responsibilities.

18. Support System

It is crucial to create a support system during your pumping journey. Having fellow pumping moms, friends, and family members to rely on can make a world of difference.

Exclusive pumping requires a lot of effort, and caring for a newborn can be overwhelming. Therefore, it is not reasonable to expect that you will be able to do it all on your own.

In fact, it would be helpful if your partner could assist you with feeding while you focus on pumping. Remember, it is okay to ask for support when you need it.

Optional

  • Lactation Massager: Massaging your breasts before and during pumping can help stimulate milk flow and prevent clogged ducts. Like the LaVie Lactation Massager, a lactation massager can be a lifesaver.
  • Deep Freezer: If you are over producing breast milk properly storing your liquid gold (breast milk) is crucial. Invest in a deep freezer to store your milk stash efficiently.
  • Manual Breast Pump: A manual pump is a handy tool when you need to pump on the go or have a clogged duct. Many moms say a manual pump can better empty them out. 
  • Nursing Cover: If you prefer privacy while pumping, a pumping cover can offer you peace of mind at home, at work, or on the go.
  • Battery Pack: Don’t let a lack of power outlets limit your pumping sessions. Invest in a battery pack for your portable pump for pumping freedom anytime, anywhere.

Last Thoughts

With these must-have items by your side, you’ll be ready to tackle your exclusively pumping journey with confidence and ease.

Happy pumping, mama!

Exclusive Pumping Infographic
Exclusively Pumping Must Haves!

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