I’ve been sharing my journey of exclusively pumping for twins over the past few weeks. So far, I’ve talked about the difficulties of exclusively pumping, tips to be successful at it, and today I am sharing the things you need to be successful at exclusively pumping. Exclusively pumping was one of the hardest things that I’ve done, and having the right supplies was essential. I don’t think I would have been nearly as successful as I was without many of these products.
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Things You Need to Be Succesful at Exclusively Pumping
1. Breast Pump
If you are exclusively pumping, you definitely need a double electric breast pump. If you can swing the cost (or get your insurance to pay!) for a hospital grade pump, definitely go for it. While my girls were in the NICU, I was able to use the hospital grade Medela Symphony Breast Pump. It was amazing, but the price tag is insane. Once we were home and I no longer had access to the hospital grade pump, I used the Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump. It worked really well for me and I would definitely recommend it. Other double electric pumps that have great reviews are the Medela Sonata Smart Breast Pump (has smart features and touchscreen display), and the Spectra Baby USA – S1 Hospital Grade Double/Single Electric Breast Pump (supposed to be great for boosting milk supply.)
Whether you are a working mom pumping at work, or a mom who is pumping because of latch issues, you will benefit from a hands-free pumping bra. You can work on your computer or phone, give your baby a bottle, or read a book/watch t.v. while you’re pumping. It’s AMAZING. I used the Simple Wishes Hands-Free Breastpump Bra. It isn’t actually a bra, but a support system that holds the pump in place while pumping. You can only wear it while pumping, not as an actual bra. I loved it because it is adjustable, so regardless of how engorged you are or aren’t, it will fit you. It holds the pump parts in place so well.
You will need Breast Milk Storage Bags to freeze extra breast milk in. When you need to use frozen breast milk, simply take it out of the freezer and let it thaw out. Check out this post: Pumping, Storing, and Using Breast Milk for more tips on how to properly store and use pumped breast milk.
It goes without saying that you’ll need bottles to feed your baby. I’d suggest only buying a few to start out with because sometimes babies don’t like certain types of bottles. I used the Avent bottles with Theo, and they worked great. Josie and Margo both had reflux and so we switched to Dr. Brown’s. They are amazing bottles if your baby has issues with reflux. If not, I would avoid them because there are a few extra parts to clean. It is 100% worth it if your baby has reflux though.
I didn’t use a bottle warmer with Theo. Even when he took a bottle of pumped breastmilk, I gave it to him straight from the fridge. I pride myself on being fairly minimalist when it comes to buying things for my babies; I don’t like extra things cluttering up my house unless they are absolutely necessary. However, my girls were born prematurely and the bottles they were given in NICU were warmed up. I just didn’t feel right giving these little 4-pounds babies cold milk and so I bought a bottle warmer. I’ve also seen moms who use a rice cooker or just put the bottles into a bowl of warm water. I’m not going to say a bottle warmer is an essential, but it depends on the situation.
I used the Medela 5 Ounce and the Medelae 8oz bottles. I started with the smaller ones and ended up ordering the larger ones because I would pump so much at one time that I had to switch out the bottles. I would store the milk in these bottles in the fridge and put any extra in the freezer bags.
These bags aren’t a true essential, as you can successfully pump without them. So if you’re on a budget, this is one you can skip. However, they definitely made my life easier. I would pop my pump parts in these bags at the end of the day and put them in the microwave. They completely sterilize them for you. It definitely saved me some time and made me feel confident that my pump parts were getting thoroughly cleaned. You can also sterilize your pump parts in the dishwasher, but my dishwasher was usually packed full of bottles.
8. Nipple Cream
With both Theo and the twins, I personally only had to use nipple cream for the first few weeks. I used the Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Cream and it worked really well.
9. Breast Pads
I used disposable pads . I tried using reusable breast pads to cut down on cost and waste, but they just did not work for me because I leaked so much. I also felt like they looked lumpy under my bra. I leaked for a good 6-months before I was able to stop using breast pads.
You will definitely need an extra set of pump parts. I talked in this post about the importance of having flanges that fit you correctly. It’s just as important to have two sets! Just imagine how bad it would be if you lost one.
I am a big fan of the Boon Grass Drying Rack. It’s easy to clean, holds a lot, and also looks nice. Win, win.
Pumping isn’t the most enjoyable experience, and it is definitely a lot of work. If you have the correct supplies, it will at least make it a bit easier. Is there anything you used to exclusively pumped that I missed? Let me know in the comments!