I’ll be honest before baby number 3 I HATED expressing. Looking back, I realise it was mostly due to my lack in knowledge. It was only after being introduced to Michelle Pitt and the team from Breastpumps + Beyond that I now kind of feel like an expert. Mamas express for different reasons but we can all do with a little assistance. Setting up a pumping station is one of those ways.
With Eliana and Lia I use to unpack and assemble my breastpump each time I needed to use it. This was very ineffective and on more than a few occasions I would be interrupted by a waking baby just as I finished getting everything unpacked, assembled and ready to use. This would lead to frustration and frustration would lead to me not wanting to go through all the effort of pumping… So, whether it’s a corner in your room, a caddy you easily carry anywhere or even just a table in the lounge, having all your pumping essentials ready to be used and together, in one spot will make expressing much easier.
Instead of a nursery, we set up a baby nook in our room for Ava. Wiser (this 3rd time), I knew I’d be breastfeeding and pumping A LOT for the 1t few months so I included a breastfeeding corner while planning the layout. I wanted to spend this time comfortably and relaxed and even adding a few things I love, cramming in a some “me-time” too.
Essentials to include:
A breast pump of course. Double pumping is the way to go. If you’re serious about effective expressing, don’t even waste time on a single pump. (Find my review on the Symphony Double Electric by clicking here. Still the BEST pump I’ve ever used).
Extra Pump parts. This is for those mamas that like to be prepared for anything. Having extra tubing and all the parts that wear and tear over time at hand means you’ll never be caught off guard in case anything breaks. Easily replace the necessary parts the moment it’s needed and carry on pumping.
Hand sanitiser. Always be sure to wash your hand before expressing.
Expression bustiers. Hands-free pumping! I think this is a must! It makes a massive difference… Now I can eat breakfast, have my tea, relax with a book, catch up with friends (or Instagram), all while pumping.
Water. Pumping, like breastfeeding, makes you thirsty and remember, you need to stay hydrated to keep up your milk supply. Make a habit of drinking at least one glass of water while expressing.
Snacks. Moms are busy and skip meals regularly. Have a snack at hand to keep you going. The Olli Just-for-Mom Biscuits are great for lactation and super yummy too.
Wipes or face clothes. Pumping can get messy with milk spillage here and there. Having wet wipes handy helps with cleanup. If you’re a “greeny” like me, face cloths work just as well.
Breast pads. Whether I’m feeding Ava or pumping, I always leak. That’s why breast pads are another must. I use the Medela Washable Bra Pads. They stay soft and absorbent wash after wash. Made from a special anti-microbial material reduces the risk of odours and bacterial growth too.
Sterilised Bottles or milk storage bags. I usually get between a 150 to 250 ml of milk per pumping session and prefer expressing into bottles. Thereafter I dividing the milk into appropriate feeding amounts according to Ava’s needs, pour them into clearly marked and dated milk storage bags. Then I just pop them into the freezer on top of one another – less space needed.
Great extras to consider:
If you’re like me and always forgetting to take your vitamines and supplements… have them at your pumping station too.
Have a book to read or indulge in your favourite magazine. This isn’t a bad time to maybe even binge on a good series either…
Nipple cream, if you use any. I still stick to only applying a little breast milk afterwards and waiting for it to dry. No sore or cracked nipples.
I keep my Milk screen tests here too (more on these next month).
My “ Breastfeeding Pumping Station” has been key to building our milk stash and establishing a good daily pumping routine. All while ensuring a steady milk supply and a few nights off when I just really need a break.
Do you have a Breastfeeding Pumping Station? What are your pumping essentials? Be sure to leave a comment sharing your tips below.
Also read why we think Medela is the best here.
PHOTO CREDIT | Anje-Ilana Nel from Madison & West