The Ultimate Breast Pumping Supplies Checklist
Breast Pumping Supplies
Did you know that most insurance companies will pay for a breast pump? Even if you plan on exclusively breastfeeding, plan on getting a breast pump. A friend of mine planned on breastfeeding but had a challenging first couple of weeks that ultimately meant breastfeeding was too painful and preventing her from knowing how much food her baby was getting. Fortunately, she had an electric breast pump and was able to continue to give her baby breast milk via a bottle while her breasts healed. If you end up overproducing milk, you may need to have a pump handy to relieve some of the pressure of full breasts when your baby isn’t hungry.
- Comfortably, and quickly, pump milk
- Easily store pumped pump
- Feed baby pumped milk
- Clean bottles and pump parts
Keep reading to learn what supplies you’ll want to add to your baby registry.
Still not sure how you want to feed your baby? I’ve compiled “The Quick and Honest Pro & Con” guide to Breastfeeding, Breast Pumping and Formula Feeding to help you decide what is the right fit you and your baby.
Electronic Breast Pump
I ordered my pump through Pumping Essentials, and it was not only super easy, but I got my pump very quickly and with a BUNCH of bonus pumping accessories (see image). Everything went through my insurance, and I didn’t have to hand over a penny. You can buy pumps from regular baby retailers, and request reimbursement from your insurance company. However, there is the risk your insurance might not reimburse the full amount. I recommend you research what your individual insurance company will pay for, and make sure your physician writes a prescription specifically for an “electronic breast pump.” If you feel like checking out Pumping Essentials, I’d be grateful if you used my unique referral code OH-48113 in the “Friend – Referral Code” field.
Manual Breast Pump
Electronic Pumps are going to be easier, and faster. However, they’re not the easiest to lug around. For a more portable solution, try a manual breast pump. Medela makes the Amazon best-selling manual pump. I’ve personally opted for this silicone suction pump. It’s an all-in-one piece, so easier to clean, and doesn’t require any ‘pumping’ – so saves your wrist.
Milk Storage System
After you’ve pumped milk, you’ll need a way to store it. There are some genius options out there! Pumping Essentials sent me a TON of the Kiinde Milk Storage Bags, as well as the adapters. The adapter kit includes a part that attaches straight to my breast pump, so I can pump directly into the storage bags for minimal mess and clean up. You can use the bags directly with the Kiinde bottle, so you don’t have to transfer milk from bags to a bottle. I also have Lansinoh storage bags which have the benefit of lying flat – a storage must if you have limited freezer space.
There are SO many bottle brands out there, producing bottles in every size, shape, and color. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that each parent and baby is unique with what bottle and nipple work for them. A friend of mine said she and her husband felt like they tried every bottle on the market for one of their sons, and ended up finding that a sippy cup was the only thing he’d take! I’ve registered for Philips Avent Natural Starter Kit, and we’ll see how baby likes those!
Despite the suction that a pump provides, they might not always stay put. To ensure uninterrupted hands-free pumping time you might want to consider a pumping bra that will keep the flanges flush to flesh. Although I haven’t registered for/purchased this item, if I find myself pumping more than expected once the baby is here, this is getting added to my shopping list.
Disposable Breast Pads
For quick and easy cleanup from leaks, disposable nursing pads are a must. Just tuck these in your bra and avoid any embarrassing leaks!
Reusable Breast Pads
There some reusable nursing pad options available. A friend of mine swore by LilyPadz after having her kids and bought me a pair. These silicone pads ‘stick’ to your breast and prevent leakages. They are also cool and comfortable on sore nipples. Another alternative is bamboo pads. These all natural pads can be thrown in the washing machine and used repeatedly.
Regardless of how, or what, you feed your baby, burp cloths are a must! Babies spit up and drool, and accidents happen. Make sure to stock up on multiple burp cloths, so you always have one handy, especially as multiple will end up in the laundry pile. I ended up sewing some super cute burp cloths using this tutorial. You buy flannel fabric in whatever print takes your fancy, and sew it to a cloth diaper.
With bottle feeding, comes bottle cleaning. Make your life a little bit easier with a bottle brush.
People rave about the Boon Grass Drying Rack, and the accessories you can purchase with it. Bottles have various parts which can be hard to get dry in a traditional rack.
Sterilizers are not an essential item, but a useful tool for helping you sterilize bottle parts. It’s that or chucking everything in a pan of boiling water for 5 minutes. I’m going to opt for the later.
Pumping, and storing, means your milk will be cold. Your baby might be picky with the temperature of their milk, or they might not. Breastfed babies may get used to drinking warmer milk. Ultimately, there’s no harm in feeding your baby cold milk. If you wish to warm milk up, you can purchase a bottle warmer for easy warming, or just warm the milk in hot water.
It’s a good idea to have SOME formula on hand before your baby arrives. You never know whether you might struggle with milk supply, or when an emergency situation might arise, and you need to fall back on formula. The good news is the big formula companies will send you FREE samples. Some doctors’ offices and hospitals also offer formula samples.
Breast pumping can be time-consuming and exhausting. Make sure to ask for help with feedings while you pump. Need to return to work? Make sure to talk with your HR contact about breaks and a place for you to privately pump milk
Breastfeeding & Formula Feeding
Plan on breastfeeding as well as pumping? Check out my Breastfeeding Supplies post! Want to transition to formula? There’s a post for that too! Check out my Formula Feeding Supplies post!