breastfeeding + pumping essentials
I still can’t believe Shiloh will be 10 MONTHS OLD this week! When I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to at least give breastfeeding a try. I knew that it doesn’t work for everyone, so I went into it with an open mind. My goal was to try and breastfeed for a whole year if I could, and then after I saw how much work it was…I changed my goal to 6 months, to be honest! Here we are at 10 months still going strong with breastfeeding. I absolutely love it and feel so blessed that it has worked well for us, but it’s also a lot of work. It’s something I take a day at a time and don’t put pressure on myself to keep doing, if me or Shiloh feel ready to stop. I’d like to make it to a year but we’ll see!
I get SO many questions about what pump I use, how to travel with breastmilk, etc…so I thought it might be helpful for you guys if I shared a few of my essentials for breastfeeding, pumping, and pumping while traveling! you can find all of these products at Walmart which is definitely my go-to store when it comes to all baby needs. They have everything you need in one place – whether its toys, feeding essentials, diapers, etc! Since August is breastfeeding awareness month, Walmart is supporting this national event with deals on breast feeding items (i.e. covers, nipple creams, etc.) as well as feeding items (i.e.. breast pumps, bottles, etc)!
Click on any image in the collage to shop my nursing essentials!
Nursing Pillow | Spectra Breast Pump | Mother’s Milk Tea | Bottle Drying Rack | Car Seat Cover | Dr. Brown’s Bottles | Pumping Bra | Sterilizer Bags | Breast Pump and Accessories Wipes | Haakaa Manual Pump | Storage Cooler Bags | Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump
I get SO many questions about what breast pump I use. I have the Willow pumps and really like how convenient those are…but my favorite pump for everyday needs has hands down been the Spectra Breast Pump. It’s effective, easy to use, and also easy to carry around the house. I wear this pumping bra so I can basically be hands free while I either write blog posts or move around the house. The battery in it stays charged for several pumps too so you don’t always have to be plugged into the wall. This is the pump I bring with me too when we travel!
Speaking of travel – traveling with a pump and breastmilk and bottles can be tricky. The beauty of nursing is that you shouldn’t really need a bunch of stuff…other than the baby and your boob lol. But if you’re traveling without a baby, you’ll need your breast pump which also requires cleaning products, a way to transport the milk, etc. So, here are my essentials for pumping while traveling:
- Sterilizer Bags – if you have access to a microwave, these steam sterilizer bags are super convenient for sterilizing bottles or pump parts! These microwave steam sterilizer bags make cleaning your bottles, nipples and breast pump parts easy and convenient, even when on the go. The bag kills 99.9 percent of bacteria within 90 seconds.
- Breast Pump and Accessories Wipes – these wipes are a quick and convenient way to clean breast pump components anywhere, anytime. They are especially handy when you don’t have access to soap or water. You can also use them on changing tables, high chair, etc!
- Freezable cooler bag – a girlfriend of mine told me about this freezable cooler when Shiloh was 6 weeks old and its been one of our BEST purchases for traveling with breastmilk. The night before our flight, I put this cooler in the freezer so it will freeze…and then the next day, I put my breastmilk in there with a few ice packs and the milk will stay cold for HOURS and hours. I typically try not to pack frozen breastmilk because you could risk it thawing out. But if you pack non-frozen breastmilk, it will stay cold in this cooler almost all day in my experience. [You CAN pack frozen breastmilk in here, but in my experience, it will probably only stay frozen for about 4-6hrs. So, just depends on the duration of your travel]. You can carry it onto the plane because TSA has to let breastmilk through…or you can also pack it in your checked bag (but, that can be risky bc what if they lose your luggage…which has happened to me, and then we had to dump the breastmilk. SO my advice would be to carry it on).
A few other nursing essentials I have loved:
- Dr. Brown’s bottles have been our favorite since the beginning! Shiloh never had any issue taking a bottle, or any issue with reflux.
- This manual breastpump is convenient if you are out and about / on the go and need to express milk either for comfort, or to help with keeping your supply up. For example, if you are at a wedding and then have a long reception to go to…you could pack this hand pump in your purse and go pump in the bathroom in between wedding and reception! Might sound weird haha but it’s better than being uncomfortable! It’s a good “on the go” option and really easy to use.
- SO many women swear by this haakaa silicone breast pump! When you are nursing your baby on one side and your milk “lets down” (and leaks) on the other side…the purpose of this pump is to catch your let down on that other side. My sister has stored up tons of breastmilk already solely using this silicone breast pump and her baby is only 3 weeks old.
Again, I really do feel so blessed that I’ve been able to breastfeed Shiloh for these past 10 months. It has been more beautiful but also more trying than I ever expected. Every woman’s breastfeeding journey is so different and I’m a big believer in “fed is best” – whether that is nursing, formula, pumping, or a combination of all of these things! No matter what, know that you are doing an amazing job and you are the best momma for your baby! Thanks for reading!
This post was created in collaboration with Walmart. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own!