This is the first post in a 3-month collaboration with Sarah Wells Bags. Look for more posts like this in the coming months!
If I’m just being honest, I was scared to death about pumping. I’m not even going to lie, it was something I was anxious and nervous about since I became pregnant with Mckenna. I knew that I was going to have to go back to work after maternity leave and if all went well with breastfeeding (which I’m so thankful that it did) I would have to figure out the whole pumping at work thing. I’m a bit of a people-pleaser, so I was worried that co-workers would be annoyed that I would have to step away to go pump or that it would get so busy at work that I simply wouldn’t be able to. I was also scared that I wouldn’t have what I needed everyday or that I would forget important items needed for all of my pumping sessions or that I would simply have to lug around a 50lb bag of pumping supplies because I was to scared to be without something. (All you over-packers gotta understand that dilemma!)
I’m so thankful to say, that it’s been a very pleasant transition. Well, as pleasant as pumping 4 times per day can be. And I’m actually feeling pretty confident about it now.
One key to my success, in my opinion, is a well packed pump bag. Without these things I’m about to share with you, I don’t think it would’ve been such a seamless transition.
1. Sarah Wells Abby Bag: As soon as I got that ugly black pump bag in my hands I KNEW I had to get something more attractive to carry. I mean, if I’m going to carry this bag with me to work every single day, I didn’t want to to scream I’M PUMPING. You know what I mean? This bag is everything. The two side pockets are insulated and there’s two pockets on the inside as well. I’m a float nurse in the clinic, so I have to carry everything with me wherever I go. I keep my Medela Pump in Style in one pocket and then in the deeper side pocket I keep my cooler with the Medela bottles and ice pack. I love that there are little picture pockets in the flaps on the side pockets. It’s so great to see both of my girls when I’m pumping. I’ve gotten SO many compliments on this bag and everyone is always shocked when I tell them it’s a bag specifically designed for breast pumps!
If you have your eye on a Sarah Wells pump bag, don’t buy one without using my 15% off discount code! 😉 They’re worth every penny, but why not save a couple, right? Use SUNNYSPRINKLE15 at SarahWellsBags.com.
2. Medela Cooler & Ice Pack: I usually pump 20oz on average when I’m at work, so I keep 4 Medela bottles in this cooler with the ice pack to fill-up and store throughout the day. Being the cooler is insulated, there’s an ice pack, and the pocket of my Sarah Wells bag is insulated, the milk is still very chilled when I get home. I actually bought a second one so I had one for work and one to take breastmilk to daycare.
3. Water Bottle: I know I’m not the only nursing/pumping mom that feels constantly thirsty! I fill up my water bottle 4-5 times at work and sometimes that still doesn’t feel like enough!
4. Honest Company Hand Sanitizer: Sure, I work in a clinic and have constant access to Purell everywhere I go, but I love the smell of my Honest Company spray hand sanitizer and love to carry this with me. That way if I forget to sanitize my hands before I pump, I can just give my hands a quick spray.
5. Sarah Wells Pumparoo Bag: Along with my Sarah Wells bag, I love my Pumparoo bag, too. It has one main pocket that you can use to store wet pump parts and also has a exterior pocket for dry parts. I keep my breast pads in the exterior pocket and then put my pump parts in the main pocket inside of a gallon sized ziploc baggie. I also keep 2 ice packs in the Pumparoo bag to keep my parts cold so I don’t have to wash them after every pumping session.
You can also use my 15% off code for the Pumparoo bags as well! (SUNNYSPRINKLE15)
6. Medela Pump Part Wipes: These wipes are awesome to have on hand to give my pump parts a quick cleaning in between pumps.
7. Milk It Door Sign: This door sign is a must, working in the clinic. I usually find a vacant exam room to pump in and exam rooms don’t typically have locks. So I just hang this sign on the door and I haven’t been walked in on yet!
8. Freemie Collection Cups: These are LIFE if you’re a pumping mama who likes to or needs to multi-task while you’re pumping. I use these for my commute into work and then I use them throughout the day when I’m at work so I can continue working and calling patients while I’m on my pump “break.” This makes me feel a little less guilty with having to leave to pump, too. They fit right inside my nursing bra and are compatible with my Medela pump. They’re just amazing. My pumping journey, thus far, wouldn’t be the same without them.
9. Milkful and Oat Mama Bars: I’m thankful to not have issues with supply, but if I notice that my supply is dipping a little and I’m an ounce or two off from what I’m normally getting, I like to have one of these handy to munch on. I always notice a difference with both of them!
10. Lasinoh Breast Pads: These ones are my personal favorite. I feel like they’re the most absorbent and the most discrete. I usually don’t go through more than one set of breast pads in a day, but it’s nice to have an extra set on hand just in case.
11. Medela Pump-in-Style Advanced breast pump: This is the pump I got for free through my insurance. I’ve heard great things about other pumps, but this pump has never done me wrong!
And that concludes my breast pump bag necessities. I literally keep all of these items in my bag every single day and I’d be lost without them. Sure, it makes for a lot to take with me to work everyday, but it’s made this pumping journey of mine so much easier.
It’s such a relief that something I was so nervous about has turned out to be not that bad at all!
What do you keep in your breast pump bag that you can’t live without?