Going back to work is one of the most stressful times for new mothers. No matter what feeding method you choose for your little one, you will need to be extremely prepared at work and at home. This post covers a ton of breastfeeding essentials for going back to work!
As I always state, this post does contain affiliate links. Please see the DISCLAIMERS page for more information on that subject. But just know, I wouldn’t recommend anything unless I personally felt it was necessary and have experience with the product!
Also, before going out and buying anything, please ask yourself if you really need the product! As much as I love to recommend things, I also like to remind you that YOU are enough. You don’t always need to buy things to be successful! Okay, let’s begin!
- Breast Pump
Please look into obtaining a breast pump through health insurance (if you’re in the U.S.) before spending your money on one! So you’re obviously going to need a breast pump when you go back to work. Make sure to get a durable one! The cheaper pumps aren’t going to be as efficient so spring for a double electric if possible, but especially if you’re pumping a lot!
- Popular Corded Options:
- Popular hands free options
- Milk Storage Cooler Bag
If you don’t have fridge access (or even if you do), it helps to have a cooler bag to hold your pumped milk.
- Reusable Nursing Pads
Depending on who you are, you may have some breast leaks. I’m not saying it’s necessary to hide them but if it’s something that feels unprofessional to you, get some reusable breast pads! Just make sure they’re reusable #gogreen! These are also cute!
- Medela Quick Clean Wipes
Depending on your dishwashing situation, these wipes can come in handy. If you don’t have access to running water or soap, these wipes are good for temporary cleaning of the parts.
- Car Adapter
I will always say KNOW YOUR RIGHTS when it comes to the location of where you pump or breastfeed. While some women advocate for their law appointed room with a closed door, others choose to avoid conflict and pump where they are comfortable and less stressed. I’ve talked to several women who have pumped in their car, either during their lunch break or on the commute (distraction-free, of course). If you have a tough pumping situation at work, try out pumping in the car to see if that helps!
- Hands Free Nursing Tank Top
Key word: HANDS. FREE. If you have to pump on your lunch break or while at your desk and getting work done, then this option will be perfect! You can also be a little more covered up at your stomach with the tank top option versus the hands free bra.
- Water bottle
Pumping is the best time to take a water break… especially while at work. When you’re busy and focusing on so many things, you might forget to nourish and hydrate yourself. By drinking water each time you pump, you create a positive habit and you get your necessary amount of water per day.
- Extra pump parts
Just in case you don’t have time to wash or wipe your parts, having a back up makes it a little bit easier to continue pumping throughout the day. It’s also helpful just in case you leave something at home. I don’t know about y’all but having back up parts gave me some piece of mind.
- Nursing Cover
Depending on where you have to pump and your feelings towards modesty, a pump is a great essential for back to work. Some moms say that it gave them a little bit more confidence in those initial days of returning to work.
- Breast Pump Bag (here is a full post on some stylish but functional breast pump bags)
So I guess you don’t really NEED a breast pump bag BUT it can help you stay organized a little bit. If you don’t want to throw out too many extra dollars for a bag, register for one or simply go without. Just make sure you pump bag has zippers and tons of storage space. If you do want to get a pump bag, check out this blog post that features the CUTEST and more importantly, highly functional breast pump bags.
I polled a few people on my Instagram page (which you should totally follow) for some personal tips and tricks! Here are a few honorable mentions of back to work pumping essentials.
- This breastfeeding book that focuses on pumping at work! (Pump. Work. Repeat by Jessica Shortall).
- Sign for the door
- Wet bag(s)
- Cell phone and charger (so you can watch TV or doing some Instagramming as a nice little distraction)
- Pictures or videos of baby
And there you have it… my opinion on the breastfeeding essentials for returning to work
As always, I encourage you to comment below and let me know what helped YOU when going back to work! Because shared experiences can help others so much, I’d love for you to comment with your opinion on the essentials! 🙂