Exclusive Pumping Must Have Items


Exclusive Pumping

 I’ve been exclusively pumping for my preemie for over four months now and am still going strong.  This is my ultimate list of must haves to make it as easy and comfortable as possible!

  1. Spectra Pump– My Spectra pump has currently logged over 400 hours and has yet to let me down.  It gave me a comparable output to the Medela Symphony.
  1. Simple Wishes Hands-Free Bra– This bra has increased not only my output but my productivity.  The tight compression helps me to empty faster and more completely without the need for massaging while also letting me pump hands free.  This allows me to pump while driving, eating, blogging, or even feeding the baby.
  1. Pumpin Pals Flanges– These have changed my outlook on pumping long term.  My output increased as did my comfort level. I’m able to sit back and relax and pump on a higher suction level without discomfort.  I’ve heard they don’t work for everyone but they are fully refundable and are worth the try.
  1. Car Outlet Adaptor– Being able to pump while driving has saved me a great amount of time. I take advantage of long drives to power pump, when I know we’ll be out of the house for a while I’ll pump on my way to our destination to stretch out my time before next pump, and have even pumped in random empty parking lots when we are out for a full day. A car adaptor is essential in giving you the freedom of not being tied down to your couch.
  1. Spare parts of everything- I don’t know how many times having spare parts on hand have come in handy. For instance, I found my backflow protector stepped on and cracked today. I panicked until I realized I had an extra set. I would have been out of luck for a few days until a new one was shipped if it wasn’t for my stock of spare parts. Maymom is great for this.
  1. Lansinoh Storage Bags– I’ve used a few different brands and these have quickly become my favorite. They are sturdy, hold quite a bit, and have yet to leak on me.  They also freeze flat really well for easy storage.
  1. A lot of bottles- I pump 7 times a day which equates to 14 pumping 4oz bottles, I then have larger storage bottles to keep fresh milk and then different bottles that he eats from. I have enough to get me through one day and then run the dishwasher every night. I rarely hand wash anything as that would quickly drive me mad.  Other than his Dr. Browns, everything else is cheap Walmart brand bottles.
  1. A cooler with reusable ice packs- I use this daily for work and anytime we are leaving the house for an extended amount of time. Although this post talks about pumping at work, how I set up my cooler is explained here.
  1. A nice tote bag- I have yet to invest in a nice pumping bag, though I can’t say I haven’t thought about it.  I currently use a Vera Bradley diaper bag. It works because it has many pockets which are nice but a Nurse Purse will absolutely be on my Christmas list.
  1. Manual Pump– I can’t stress how important this is. I’ve had a few nights where the power went out and this was a life saver.  It’s also great if you have a clog to go pump in a hot shower or dangle pump. It’s also a lifesaver to keep in your diaper bag in case you end up being away from your electric pump longer than planned.
  1. Nipple Cream– It’s inevitable that your nipples end up sore occasionally and this cream has been my favorite.
  1. Coconut Oil– Coconut oil is great for lubricating the flanges to prevent rubbing and sore nipples.
  1. Quart Sized Ziplock Bags– These are the perfect size for storing pump parts in the refrigerator between pumps.
  1. Supportive Husband- Last but not least a supportive husband is essential for success at exclusive pumping. He gets up to feed the baby at night while I pump so we can both get back to bed quickly and also helps a lot in the evening. He never makes me feel bad for sticking to my pump schedule and leaving events early.  I would have never made it these last four months without him.

–I just wanted to come back and update that I have now been exclusively pumping for SIX MONTHS!  I still live by this list and my Spectra pump!



  1. I am about to purchase a hospital grade pump. Do you think the symphony is better than the spectra? I have access to both types at affordable prices. I EP and the one I have wore out! Thanks for any suggestions/help

    • workingmomsos16@gmail.com

      I honestly didn’t have a preference. I used the symphony while my son was in NICU for 6 weeks and than exclusively pumped for another 5 months successfully with the spectra.

      I will say it’s easier to find parts for the symphony and I ended up hacking my spectra with a lot of Medela parts until I was 100% happy with it.

  2. Just wanted to congratulate you on six months! I also exclusively pump my son and now that he is turning one am about to stop. But I do know how much work it is and how dedicated you have to be to do it. So way to go girl! Keep it up 🙂

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