Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Breastfeeding: My Must-Haves for Home and Work

When I decided to breastfeed, I, of course, headed right to Pinterest to see everything I'd need and found some great ideas.  I started with just a pump and milk storage bags, because, honestly, I wasn't sure breastfeeding was going to be for me, but as soon as Elijah arrived, I knew it was something I wanted to commit to fully.  Now, that doesn't mean I don't supplement with formula when needed, because I do.

I'm not a fan of the whole mommy war that sometimes takes over when chatting about how you feed your little let's keep it light and I'll just share what I use for breastfeeding/pumping and what's helped me along the way.

I have two separate stashes of stuff.  One that has everything I need for home and another just for work.  I keep everything for work in a bag and make sure it's always stocked so I never run into an issue when I'm working.

For home:

Here's a run down of all the things that stay stocked at home to keep me on track:

Hand-Held Breast Pump:

I use the Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump from Target. I originally planned to get the Madela one, but this one seemed basically the same and was $10 less so I decided to give it a shot.  I love it so much I never use my electric pump at home or when I'm out and about anymore.  I take this one with me a ton and use it whenever I need to pump during the nights and early mornings on weekends.

Milk Storage Bags:

I was gifted a bunch of Philips Avent Breast Milk Storage Bags and I'm still using them.  I think they work great! 6oz is plenty for me as I generally only pump 2-4oz at each pumping session. I go through 3 bags a day at work and generally do I additional bag at home. The rest of the time I just nurse Eli.

Permanent Marker:

I already had permanent markers at home, but I'd suggest snagging at least from home and one to keep in your work bag.  I used them to write all the info on my milk storage bags. Keeping track of dates, amount of milk, etc will keep your organized and ensure you don't use expired milk if you happen to collect a big stockpile.

Nursing Butter:
I was gifted a ton of Palmer's Cocoa Butter Nursing Butter and I absolutely love it.  If you're feeling sore, this definitely takes the edge off....especially when you have a little one that's cluster feeding.  I always have this on at home, one in his diaper bag and one in my work bag. Better safe than sore, am I right?!

Nursing Bras:

I've tired several nursing bras and my absolute favorite is actually from WalMart of all places. I'm generally Team Target, but my mom mailed me a bra she got for me from WalMart and it's my favorite.  It's thicker, doesn't look frumpy and it's super all around winner in my book.

Nursing Cover:

I actually have 2 nursing that's thick and one that's a lot thinner, but still not see through.  I much prefer the thinner one, because in this summer heat I don't want my baby boy to get even hotter than he already may be when we're out and about.

For work:

Private space to pump:

At my job there are two nursing mother rooms, one upstairs and one downstairs, which is great.  The only downfall is that there's no schedule in place so it's really the luck of the draw as to whether either of the rooms will be open at the times you need them.  Thankfully there are lots of unused offices, so if all else fails, I just make myself at home in one of those and it works out just fine.

Electric breast pump:

I use the Medela Pump In Style, which I was able to get FREE from my did not include the tote so I just used a tote bag I already had at home that was large enough to carry everything I needed to lug to work for pumping.

Tote Bag:

I use a luggage tote bag I got a few years back from Cato. It's perfect, because it has a large middle compartment along with a bunch of pockets where I store milk bags, and everything else I need along with gum and, of course, my cell phone so I can catch up on youtube videos while I pump.

Gallon Ziploc bags:

I put my tubing, bottles and everything into a gallon Ziploc bag to keep it clean and store it in the fridge throughout the day at work so I don't have to wash the supplies between every use.  Doing this saves time, which makes a big difference in making my work day less stressful. I'm ALL about a good time saver!

Cooler bag and an ice pack:

This will help keep your milk cool on the drive home from work, which is so so important. You don't want to give your little one spoiled milk!  I used the Skip Hop GRAB & GO Double Bottle Bag, but mine is in a fun print....they have lots of cute print options! It's meant to hold bottles and comes with a small ice pack.  I switched out the small pack for a little bit of a bigger one and just toss my bags of milk inside.  I keep it in the fridge at work and then get it out before I leave for the day. 

I also use a few of the things I use at home when I'm at work, but I do have duplicates of those items so I can keep my tote bag fully stocked and have less risk of forgetting the essentials at home.  The items that are used both at home and work include permanent markers, nursing bras, milk storage bags and nursing butter.  I've got links to all of those in the section above too.  

What are some of your breastfeeding must-haves?  Anything I left out that you use or couldn't live without?  Let's chat in the comments!!

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