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.

This post contains affiliate links to my favorite items, which means I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase through these links, at no extra cost to you. Learn more here.

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

As a mom, feeding your newborn is an essential, intimate & exhausting experience. It is undoubtedly rewarding, but at times the process can feel like a bit of an uphill battle. After having my first child, I found that there were a lot of opinions surrounding how you should feed newborns. For me, feeding my baby ended up becoming a negative experience in a lot of ways. The people that I spoke to all had their own opinions about what I should be doing, and why their way was best. In the end, I had to focus on what worked for me & my family, and that was pumping. For this blog post, I wanted to share some insights into pumping and the different things to consider when choosing a breast pump.

This post contains affiliate links to my favorite items, which means I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase through these links, at no extra cost to you. Learn more here.

Benefits of Using a Breast Pump

Not every mom is able to breastfeed, and not every mom has the time to breastfeed. Having a breast pump allows you to easily express your milk and store it for later feedings. There were many reasons that I chose to pump, but one of them was that my husband was able give our son bottles at night so that I could get more than two hours of sleep at a time. This also meant that other caretakers could feed my baby if I had to go somewhere without him. Pumping also allowed me to continue giving our son breast milk even after I returned to work. I could pump at work and then bring the milk home for later feedings. This actually made the transition to being a working mom easier on me in many ways. 

Electric vs Manual Breast Pumps

One thing to consider when choosing a breast pump is whether you would like an electric or manual pump. When it comes to choosing between them, there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ answer. An electric breast pump offers greater speed and convenience. However, manual pumps are more reliable in terms of performance, and they are often more budget friendly. There is no perfect option out there. I personally chose an electric breast pump because I enjoyed the flexibility that it gave me to do other things while I was pumping- I am a mom that just can’t sit still for 20 minutes! Ultimately, it’s a matter of personal preference. The key is to investigate what will best suit you, and make a decision based on that.

Find a Breast Pump with Adjustable Settings

When it comes to finding an ideal breast pump, adjustable settings can make all the difference. It is essential to find a breast pump that allows for varied suction strengths so that you can adjust and experiment until you figure out exactly what works best for your body when pumping. Not only does adjustable suction help maximize efficiency and express milk faster, but it also reduces the chances of you feeling discomfort during pumping sessions.

Bellababy’s Electric Breast Pump

Personally, I loved Bellababy’s Electric Breast Pump. I was able to charge it in advance and then move around and take care of tasks while I was pumping. As I discussed above, it is important to find a pump that has adjustable settings. This pump has multiple suctions levels and modes that made it easy to find the one that worked for me. This was really important, especially being a first-time mom and having never pumped before! Finally, I found this breast pump VERY durable. It must have dropped more than 50 times (that is me being conservative with the number of times it fell). Accidents happen when you are a new mom, and it was nice to have a reliable pump that I knew could survive those accidents.

You might also be interested in this breast pump comparison post, where Sarah shares her experience with the Zomee & Lansinoh.

There is No Wrong Choice

Ultimately, it is important to remember that there is no wrong choice when deciding how to feed your baby. Each feeding option has its own pros and cons. For us, we decided that pumping was the best way for us. Picking out a breast pump may seem daunting, but with some research, you can make the best decision. I hope these tips have been helpful in guiding you towards finding the ideal breast pump for yourself. Just remember, everybody’s experiences are different when it comes to pumping, breastfeeding, or using formula, so try not to compare your experience to anybody else’s- just focus on what works best for you!