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You know what..
Being a working mom is already hard.
Now add breastfeeding to it, that’s super challenging.
That’s why we all love using hacks that make pumping easier and save a lot of time!
So, in this post, I’ve gathered more than 30 pumping hacks especially for you.
Here they are:
- Put your breast flange already assembled so that when it’s time to pump, you just need to take it out and screw the bottle in and start pumping. No more fiddling with small valves and membranes.
- Place your used breast flanges in a ziplock bag and store it in a fridge or cooler bag in between pumping session. No need to rinse or wash, and yes, it’s completely safe to do that. You can wash them later after your reach home. If you are in search of best cooler bags for breast milk, check out my recommendation here.
- Or, if you prefer to use a dry and clean breast flanges, use Medela wipe to quickly wipe your breast flange in between use.
- Use a hands-free pumping bra to maximize your pumping productivity. Rather than spending time holding the bottles, use your hand to apply gentle breast massage to encourage better milk flow.
- Don’t have a pumping bra? Just use your regular nursing bra to hold the breast flanges and clamp the flap over. Or else, cut a hole in your old sport bra to make a DIY pumping bra.
- Consider bringing baby clothes/blanket. These things that smell like your baby may encourage you to get a faster let-down.
- Bring a baby washcloth in your pump bag. It is a great alternative of breast pad (if you forgot to bring) or can be used as a wipe in case of any spill.
- Place a warm pad onto your breast before pumping to encourage let-down and better milk flow. Even better, use LaVie warming massager to encourage faster let-down and more milk flow.
- Have a few practical methods to encourage let-down that you can switch between each other. Admit it. Sometimes, due to stress, something that’s usually working become useless at all. If watching your baby’s video makes you feel even more frustrated, quickly switch to visualizing streams / waterfall. Or, browse through your Pinterest feed to enjoy those pretty images.
- Having trouble achieving let-down with your pump’s let-down mode? Consider a few combination to stimulate let-down. Why not run your pump in massage mode for your right boob, do a manual nipple stimulation at your left, and watch your baby video’s at the same time? You can check my let-down tricks here.
- No time to pump at work? Consider pumping while driving. Use a hands-free pumping system (don’t forget your car adaptor) and have everything set up before you drive. Check the complete guide here.
- Want to have a concealable pumping system? Consider using Freemie collection cups! The milk collection cup is shaped just like a breast, and can be properly held by your regular bra. Perfect when you need to pump in a busy call center and cannot have a pumping break. Note: Make sure to use a perfectly-fit funnel and place the Freemie cup properly to ensure thorough milk removal.
- Don’t want to wash too many bottles? Consider using Kindee breastfeeding kit / Avent VIA system. These kits allow you to pump, store, and feed from the same container.
- Want to pump directly into regular milk bags? Position your breast flange such that the lower part is inside your milk bag and place a scotch tape to secure the bag to the breast flange (see pic here). Note: don’t fill the bag too full, or you’re risking to spill your precious milk.
- Too many moms using the nursing room? Consider sharing the nursing room between 2 moms (if space permits). Pumping while chatting can be a nice stress reliever. Who knows you even get more milk by doing this. Note: use a nursing cover if you feel awkward exposing your boobs to other moms.
- If you pump in an unlock office, consider using a door hanging sign like this, so that your colleagues does not suddenly come into your office for a discussion. Note: hang your door sign high enough so that your male colleagues can see it right at their eye level.
- If you pump in a public toilet, place a sticky note over the automatic flush sensor, to prevent it flushing automatically every few minutes.
- Though you are so tempted to just cuddle and nurse your baby right away after work, don’t forget to put your pumped milk straight to the chiller first. You don’t want to risk spoiling your milk because it stands too long on the kitchen counter.
- Rather than combining your milk into bottles / milk bags at every pumping session, consider do it once a day. This way, you can fill the bottle based on your baby’s single serving, and have all dirty bottles washed at the same time. I save a lot of time doing this!
- If you use milk bags to store your frozen milk, lay them flat to freeze and stack them together (vertically) in a shoe box or other container. You’ll save so much space in your freezer.
- If you use bottles to store your frozen milk, freeze them upright, and once frozen, combine three bottles in one ziplock bag (newest date goes in first) and lay them flat. Once you have multiple ziplock bags, you can stack them vertically. Save so much space as opposed to store your bottles all upright and unable to stack.
- If you are constantly replenishing your freezer stash, every weekend, rearrange your stash so that the ones with the oldest date are in front and get consumed first. You can check my guide on how to rotate your freezer stash here.
- Freeze your EBM stash in smaller quantities (3-4 oz). This way, once you defrost any, it will get consumed in a single feeding and won’t be wasted.
- When thawing your milk bag, put it inside another ziplock bag just in case it leaks. This way, you won’t waste your precious milk. You can learn more tips on thawing and warming frozen breast milk in this mini guide.
- Consider having a spare set of breast flanges in your office, just in case you forgot to bring one with you.
- If you can afford, consider having two breast pumps. One is placed in your work place, while another at home. That way, you don’t need to always lug your pump around with you. PS: Choose one that’s heavy duty and another one that’s portable (of course, as long as you respond well to both types of pump).
- If you share a fridge in the office with fellow nursing moms, stick a bright neon-color sticky notes to your milk bottles. This way, you wont mistakenly bring other mom’s milk bottle.
- If you share a fridge with other colleagues, place your pumped milk in an opaque container / bag. Great to avoid unnecessary questions about what is that.
- Do you find yourself forget to bring your pumped milk home? Place your car key (or you train/bus card if you commute by public transport) with your pumped milk. This way, you can’t go home before taking your pumped milk with you.
- Consider to use a long-lasting cooler bag (like this) to store your pumped milk / pump parts so that you don’t need to share the fridge with others and less change to forgot about your milk.
- Set a reminder to pump in your phone. This way, you’re less likely to forget your pumping session even in your busy schedule.
- If you have excess lipase problem and need to scald your expressed milk, pour your milk into a stainless steel bottle and heat it up with a bottle warmer (only takes 2-3 mins!) Read more details here.
- Pumping in the middle of the night? Consider using a super-silent breast pump with a night light (such as Spectra S1 or Super Genie) so that you can pump inside your bedroom without waking up your baby.
So that’s it!
I hope these hacks are useful for you and make your pumping routine much easier.
Remember, being a working mom is tough, and being a breastfeeding working mom is even tougher.
Give yourself a pat on your back and say, “Great job, Mama!”
I’ve created a mini infographic to list out the top 10 popular pumping hacks. Here you go, feel free to share and pin it. Enjoy!