Funny story. The other week I was walking into work with my purse, my breast pump bag, and my laptop bag. Two men were talking in the hall outside my suite, and one male jokingly asked, “Do you have lunch for all of us in that big bag of yours?” Of course he was referring to my breast pump bag, and I desperately wanted to make it awkward and reply, “Yea, lunch for my kids.” 🤣
Coincidentally around that same time I came across this meme:
It’s so true! I can only imagine the literal weight I’ll have off my shoulders once I’m no longer breastfeeding. But for now, I’m still hoping I can make it to a year. I’ve already made it seven months (Hallelujah)!
With that being said, I’ve been wanting to put together a list of what’s in my breast pump bag for a while. Before returning from maternity leave, I researched many packing checklists for inspiration. Below is what I’ve found to work for me, and I hope it can inspire someone who’s assembling their own list of what to pack.
- The Breast Pump & Bag: I have the Medela® Pump In Style® (PIS) Advanced On-the-go Tote. The tote discreetly houses the pump, and it came with all the necessary accessories including those listed in #2.
- Breastmilk Cooler Set: My breast pump came with (4) bottles & lids, a cooler bag, and a contoured ice pack. (Amazon – $25)
- Hands-Free Breast Pump Bra: A must-have for any breastfeeding mom. I personally use this one.
- Freemie: Sometimes I pump with the traditional “horns”, but other times I use the Freemie cups. I wrote a review on Freemie last month.
- Baby Wash Cloth: These are perfect for wiping down your pump parts and any spilled milk when disassembling your get up.
- Ziploc® Bag: If you have access to a fridge, you can store your used breast pump parts in a resealable bag (I use the gallon-size Ziplock storage bags) in the fridge in between uses so you don’t have to wash them each time.
- Breast Milk Storage Bags: I use Tommee Tippee® Pump and Go Milk Storage Bags when I know I need to freeze some milk or if I pump more milk than my four Medela bottles can hold. I even have an adapter where I can pump directly into the bags, so no need to dirty a bottle. I can fit two of these bags inside the full cooler pack (see #2).
- Nursing Pads: I rarely have to use these anymore, but during the early days of breastfeeding, or now when I go too long in between pumps, it’s nice to have them close by so I don’t have an embarrassing moment at work.
- Nipple Cream: Again, I really don’t have to use this anymore, but I did in the early days.
- Wipes. I find these breast pump and accessory wipes handy when I forget to pack a Ziploc® bag (see #6).
- Sharpie: To write the date, time, and amount of milk expressed into the breastmilk storage bags (see #7).
There you have it! This is everything I typically pack in my breast pump bag for work. Unfortunately more often than not I usually forget one thing or another (I actually forgot to gather #7 and #11 for the picture above haha). When this happens, I just have to improvise, but hey, I’m a mom now. Improvising is what we do best.