A Perfectly Packed Pumping Bag

Like so many hard working mamas out there, I also have a full-time job outside of my home. And since I decided to breastfeed my baby even after going back to work, that means I'm also a proud, pumping mama. 

I'm a teacher, which mean that, like so many of you, I don't get long, luxurious breaks to pump. I've learned to be super organized to make the best use of the time that I have. Today I decided to share with you exactly how I pack my pumping bag with my breast pump and all my accessories. 

How to pack a perfectly packed pumping bag for moms who pump at work by LaurasPlans.com
Posts in my Perfectly Packed series include affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

THE BAG


I have been looking for a cute pumping bag for a LONG time without success. There are a lot of cute ones out there- and they all cost so much money! The bags in my price range were incredibly ugly. So I started looking for a bag that wasn't actually a pumping bag, but that I could use as a pumping bag. It took me a long time, but I finally found it!
How to buy a cute pumping bag for moms who pump at work by LaurasPlans.com
I found my bag at Kohl's. Alas- this particular bag is no longer available. But there are tons of other great options out there. I'm currently LOVING this one!

When you're looking for a great pumping bag, flip it over and take a look at the bottom. You want an extra-wide base so your pump and an insulated cooler can both sit flat on the bottom.

SUPPLIES


Here's a picture of everything that I keep in my bag:
Pumping essentials for pumping breastmilk at work: What to include in your pump bag



I've basically narrowed it down to 11 things that I need to bring with me each day. Here they are:

How to pack a perfectly packed pumping bag for moms who pump at work by LaurasPlans.com

1. Breast pump: connected and ready to go- When I pack my bag, I attach everything I'll need, including all of the pump pieces and the bottles I'll pump into. This saves time when I get to work and helps me make sure that I'm not forgetting anything essential.

2. Extra bottles: I pump three times a day, and I bring three extra bottles with me each day. (A total of five, including the ones attached to the pump.) 

3. A water bottle: Stay hydrated, baby! 

4. Extra pump pieces: It's hard to see, but I keep an extra set of pump pieces in my bag at all times. Once I had one of the little pieces tear halfway though the day, and I couldn't finish pumping. Turns out that every piece- no matter how small- is actually really important, so now I keep extras on hand just in case!

5. Bottle lids: One for every bottle, plus an extra one just in case.

6. Cleaning wipes: More on how I use these below. 

7. Wet/dry bag: I don't wash my pump parts during the day. I just don't have time to/don't want to. What I do is wipe everything off with cleaning wipes, toss the parts in the wet part of the wet/dry bag, and throw it all in the refrigerator to keep everything nice and sanitary until I'm ready to use it again. I use the same parts all day, then I wash and sanitize them when I get home. I use the dry part of the wet/dry bag to store extra bottles and lids.
Pumping essentials for pumping breastmilk at work: What to include in your pump bag

8. Hands-free pumping bra: This is a game. changer. Without one of these, you won't be able to do anything while you pump. This is the one I've used for 2 years now, and it's still going strong. Tip: If you're trying to decide between sizes, go with the smaller one because it's stretchy.

9. Snacks: I don't know about you, but I'm hungry all the time these days!

10. Insulated bag/cooler with ice packsI have two: One for me at work, and the other to send the milk to daycare the next day. It's just the right size for 6 Ameda or Medela bottles.

11. Nursing cover: I don't usually use this, but it's handy if you're worried about pumping somewhere you might get walked in on- eek!

I'm lucky enough to get to pump at my desk where I can keep working on my computer while I pump, but you might want to include a book or your phone so you have something to do.

Update: 


After my second baby, I had to pump in a room that was super far away from a refrigerator. So I brought in this mini-fridge. And when I say mini, I do mean mini. This little guy is designed to hold 6 cans of Coke. Which means it also held about that many bottles of milk. ;) Perfect!


PACK IT UP:


How to pack a perfectly packed pumping bag for moms who pump at work by LaurasPlans.com
1. Put extra pump pieces/lids in the zippered pocket.
How to pack a perfectly packed pumping bag for moms who pump at work by LaurasPlans.com
2. Put pump, cooler and water bottle on the bottom of the bag.
How to pack a perfectly packed pumping bag for moms who pump at work by LaurasPlans.com
3. Fill the handy-dandy pockets with snacks, wipes and hands-free pumping bra.
Pumping essentials for pumping breastmilk at work: What to include in your pump bag

4. Add nursing cover and wet/dry bag.
How to pack a perfectly packed pumping bag for moms who pump at work by LaurasPlans.com
DONE! But wait- what if you want an adorable printable checklist to glance at before you leave the house- just to make sure you've got everything?
Pumping essentials for pumping breastmilk at work: What to include in your pump bag and a free printable checklist

PRINTABLE CHECKLIST


Be sure to download your handy-dandy checklist here.
So what do you think? Any other working/pumping mamas out there? Did I forget anything? What do you do to make pumping at work easier? Let me know in the comments. :)

Also, before you go, don't forget to check out my other posts in the Perfectly Packed series and read my list of essential breastfeeding supplies.

Love it? Pin it!
How to pack your pumping bag: A great article for new moms going back to work who want to keep breastfeeding. Includes a printable checklist of things to include in your pumping bag.


12 comments:

  1. Laura, this is AWESOME! I too am a pumping and working mother and I've been really struggling keeping all my pumping parts organized. Admittedly, they are not. Some days I have forgotten a part (OW!) and been stuck without pumping for a whole day...can someone say painful? I don't have a lot of these things with me, but they seem absolutely essential. I think investing in a pumping bra would be perfect for me...I'm tired of holding the darn thing. Thanks for sharing this with Welcome Home Wednesday! I'm always looking for working/pumping articles to read so if you have anything else on this topic please direct me to is :)

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    Replies
    1. I'm so glad this was helpful to you! Pumping is not my favorite thing in the world. . . but it's so much better when you're organized with cute supplies and a pretty bag! (Or so I tell myself.) I'm always happy to meet another pumping/working mom- You're doing something amazing for your little one, and I think it's so important to support each other. Thanks for your comment!

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  2. Wow, these are such great tips! And that bag is gorgeous! Pumping with style :) Thanks for linking up at the Manic Mondays blog hop!

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  3. You're so brilliantly organized! And you took fantastic photos for illustrating it all too...

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  4. Anonymous1/08/2016

    Thank you for helping us stay organized! I would suggest a picture of baby too! Most people have pictures in their phones nowadays,but just in case, and for convenience. I found that focusing on my precious little one helps with the let down, especially if I'm having a busy day at work.

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    Replies
    1. Great idea! It can definetely be hard to transition from the stress of work. Pictures or videos of your little one can help. :)

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  5. Tiffanykintigh6/24/2016

    Thank you for this. I use the medela backpack but having items that you mention in it make it easier. Pumping while I work in a busy hotel is hard to do. Sometimes I feel real discouraged that I'm only ale to pump once in an 8 hour period. When i can pump twice I'm celebrating

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad I could help a little bit. Hang in there- I know it can be tough! I've had some really busy days, too, and I would always try to remind myself that every little bit counts. Even when you can only pump once- you're still doing so much to help your baby!

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  6. Anonymous10/07/2017

    Hi, I also pack breast pads for leaking and nipple cream.thanks for the great article!

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    Replies
    1. Yes- those are definitely important! Glad I could help. :)

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