A special thanks to Dr. Lauren Orr for collaborating with me on this article and for sharing your genius, practical tips with our readers.
Now–let’s make it easy for you!
Buy a bag big enough for your pump, your pump parts (flanges), and a cooler to hold at least 3 bottles in a cold pack. Really–can a lady have too many ginormous bags? No. The answer is no.
You’ll need n+1 number of bottles for the times you pump per day, assuming you pump <6 oz at a time, and are cleaning the remaining bottle for the next use. Always plan for an extra session in case you get stranded somewhere.
Medela Quickclean wipes are a God-send. Especially if you don't have access to soap or, like many working moms–you're just in a hurry.
A hands-free bustier is nice so you can do other things while pumping (like reading this blog)!
If you are frequently places with no electricity (here's to you, outdoorsy mamas!) get a battery pack. Surprisingly, my pump took *12* AAs. A pack is only good for about 7 thirty minutes sessions.
If you're pumping in a car, a power converter is another good option. (And a good time to use those Medela Quickclean wipes!)
A lightweight blanket comes in handy when the temperature drops–or if you are in the car again and would like a little privacy from that overly-curious trucker.
Let your pump run for at least 2 minutes after you’re done to get the condensation out of the tubing. (I ended up with mold in mine because nobody every told me this).
Throw your flanges into the fridge every other use so as to avoid frequent washing. Just rinse them with water and then place them in Tupperware or a plastic bag. Done!
Buy an extra set of flanges. If you have 2 pairs of flanges and are doing the fridge trick, you only have to wash pump parts a couple times a day (depending on how often you pump).
DO massage your breasts. Mastitis secondary to a plugged milk duct is not something you want. Trust me.
If your flow stops and you still feel like your girls have more to give, stop and take a hot shower, with lots of massage. Hook back up. It will usually help.
A dab of olive oil in each flange reduces friction and increases comfort. Also, it’s natural and completely safe for your little one!
Try to sterilize your pump parts once a day (top rack of dishwasher is fine!)
Keep it up, mama! You are doing great!