pumping bra


If you pump on a regular basis, you know how challenging, time-consuming, tiring, and overwhelming it can be. Therefore, you’re probably looking for all the tips and tricks on how to make pumping easier.

You might also be interested in this post on how to stay positive when breastfeeding doesn’t go as planned.

Even though I wasn’t planning on pumping, due to circumstances out of my control, I’ve become an (hopefully temporarily) exclusive pumper. These are some of the tips and tricks I’ve found to make pumping more manageable.

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Tips & Tricks for Easier Pumping:

Use the correct flange sizes: Not only can incorrect flange sizes be painful, they can also negatively impact your milk output. Ensuring you have the proper size flanges will make pumping more comfortable and efficient. Flanges that fit properly should pull your nipple in without rubbing on the sides and without pulling in your areola. The areola is the dark area around your nipple.

Lactation consultant: You might think lactation consultants are only for breastfeeding moms, but they can help with pumping too. They help by ensuring your flanges are the right size and offering pumping tips. Also, if you still want to breastfeed, they can obviously help with that.

Use a mini fridge: Instead of running to the kitchen multiple times a night (for milk or formula if you’re supplementing), put a mini fridge in your bedroom. This also helped me stay half asleep during feedings and get back to sleep sooner!

Refrigerate pump parts: I’ve heard that in between pump sessions you can refrigerate your pump parts instead of washing them every time. This assumes that since milk is good in the fridge for awhile, it’s safe on pump parts in the fridge as well. Simply throw the pieces in a big ziploc bag between sessions and wash them once daily.

Buy a Haaka: If you’re nursing, use a Haaka while you nurse on the other side. This will allow you to save the milk that leaks during a letdown, and reduce the amount of time you need to pump. This is if you pump after nursing.

Use lanolin cream and/or organic nipple butter: Use these before and after pumping (and after nursing if you’re nursing)! Putting one of these on before pumping will help your nipple slide easily in the flange. Plus, it helps to reduce any discomfort you might feel. Using a cream or nipple butter after pumping helps soothe sore nipples. I especially found relief from this nipple butter, and with organic, natural ingredients I felt comfortable using it.

Put together a pumping caddy: Having a bin of essentials with you every time you pump makes the process easier. It is also less frustrating because you don’t need to keep jumping up for things you forgot. I recommend (audio) books, extra nursing pads, snacks, water, a Haaka, a phone charger, lanolin cream and/or organic nipple butter.

Take sunflower lecithin: If you’ve been getting clogged ducts (and your doctor approves it), try taking sunflower lecithin capsules. They’re meant to help your fatty milk flow easier, therefore reducing clogged ducts.

Use collection cups: Instead of a traditional pump (that are honestly distracting and unattractive), try collection cups that fit inside your bra. These are more discreet and better for not only on the go, but also walking around the house (does anyone else seem to bump traditional pumps on everything?).

Get a hands free pumping bra: If you want to be able to do anything while you pump, you need a hands free pumping bra! Most pumps say they’re hands free, but only if you have a hands free pumping bra to hold it. Without one, you’ll need to hold each flange on your breast, which leaves no hands for anything else. Plus, what mother has time to sit and do nothing but pump? I bought this one and really like it.

Leave milk out: Instead of refrigerating then reheating milk for every feed, leave it out at room temperature (for up to 4 hours) so it’s ready to go when baby’s ready for it! Also, I heard cooling breast milk removes some of the good qualities in it. So, it actually seems more beneficial for your baby to leave it out if you’ll use it soon.

I hope these tips and tricks help make pumping easier and more manageable for you. Let me know in the comments what helps you!

You got this, mama!!

You might also be interested in this post on finding an ideal breast pump.

How to Make Pumping Easier