The following post was written while I was still working my corporate job.
During my last week of maternity leave I dove into pumping. As much as I dislike constantly having little plastic pieces and bottles to wash and sterilize, it is a necessary duty for me to pump in order to keep producing nectar for my Z Nugget. In order to start a regular pumping routine, I had to schedule my sessions according to Z’s normal feedings until I could establish a consistent schedule. It was good that I started the week before because working in a corporate setting, although they are supportive of the need to pump, meant I couldn’t pump every hour or two like Z likes to do with her feedings.
In addition to pumping and still having a week before returning to my job, I attempted to utilize my time (without children and work) wisely. I decided to begin working on getting my foot into the childbirth community before heading back to the corporate world. This meant being on the road and meeting with people. This also meant pumping on the go. Sounds weird and possibly scary, right? Yes and no, for me at least. Yes because this meant figuring out where, when, and how to discretely do it while away from my space of comfort; no because it was my second time doing it, so I already had an idea of how to successfully pump while on the road.
The following are a list of my necessities to make my pumping-on-the-go successful:
I use the Medela Pump In Style Advance – Backpack. This is the same breastpump I used with Little Nugget. It had been stored away for about two years. I like how convenient the backpack accessory is; it keeps all of the parts together and has additional pockets for other things such as extra nursing pads, car adapter, storage bags, or my phone. Also, it allows for easy travel with a pump. The backpack keeps it discrete and the pieces cleaner than carrying in a plastic bag.
2. Breastpump car adapter
I bought this when I was pumping for Little Nugget. I’m happy I kept it because it has come in handy. It has allowed me to pump on the freeway (while someone else drives) and in numerous parking lots (while parked in the most inconspicuous spot possible*).
3. Gallon ZipLoc bags
I like to carry a couple of these with me to store used pump pieces until I can get home to clean/sterilize them.
4. PackIt storage bag
I don’t have the original cooler bag that the pump came with, which is perfectly fine because I like my PackIt bag better. PackIt bags are convenient because the bag itself freezes overnight and remains cool pretty much all day. This is convenient to store my freshly expressed milk in until I get home to store it in my fridge or transfer it to storage bags for freezing.
5. Sports bottle with water
I use a sports water bottle to rinse the pump pieces after using them. Personally, I don’t like to store them (while in transit) without rinsing them. I prefer to clean dried water spots off of the pieces than dried milk spots.
A simple water bottle will do, too. However, I specifically like to use a sports bottle (any really, I just linked the ones we have) because the cap on these bottles allow me to direct the water to better rinse the pump pieces, which means less water is used.
Have any of my fellow mamas ever pumped on the go? If you have, what are some of your necessities?
Cheers to making it work!
* I have been fortunate—most of the time—to find a parking spot away from the traffic, but there were other times where a “private” area was not available. In my experience, I didn’t have people being nosey and looking inside my car to see what I was doing. I minded my own business and they minded theirs.