Many of the pumps today come in stylish bags, even backpacks, which make carting your breast pump around a little easier and less obvious. Some of the better models even include a removable cooler carrier that allows you to store the milk for up to 12 hours. If you need to pump at work or are a frequent traveler, this will be a definite plus!
Obviously, the fewer the amount of parts, the less there is to clean. If you're shopping for a manual machine, look for those that are less complex and don't include as many pieces. Replacement parts are generally available for most machines. Both electric and manual pumps come with collection containers and lids which can be thrown in the dishwasher. Machines should come apart easily for overall cleaning and sterilization. There are also microwavable steam sterilizer bags that make cleaning your breast pump after each use quick and easy. Be sure to sterilize all the appropriate pieces prior to their first use.
Some women might experience discomfort while breastfeeding. Here are a few products that can help ease the pain, along with several other breast pump accessories.
- Breast Shells/Shields
Worn under your bra to help prevent the nipples from rubbing against clothing as well as soothe sore nipples and help with engorgement. Vented Shells will allow air to circulate over the nipple to help keep them dry and reduce irritation.
- Breast Pads
Available both washable and disposable, breast pads are placed inside the bra, over the nipple to help prevent leaks and draw the moisture away from the skin. Some styles offer varying absorbency levels as well.
- Soothing Ointments
Look for all natural ointments such as lanolin, which is safe for baby and will soothe any discomfort. Some breast pads come with ointment already on the pad. These non-toxic ointments don't need to be wiped off before nursing.
- Nursing Bras
Like regular bras, nursing bras can be found in different support levels and sizes, and are always adjustable. They allow you to feed your baby or pump without having to remove your bra. The adjustable cup size will allow for your breast size to fluctuate and keep you comfortable.
- Nursing Stool
Elevating your feet and lap while nursing, not only relieves stress on your back and legs; but creates better support for both you and baby.
- Nursing Pillow
This U-Shaped pillow is a must have. It will provide the much needed support for both you and baby, relieving the stress on your tired arms and neck.
- Storage Containers
Also called Collection Containers, breast milk can be pumped directly into the container to be stored for later use. Some even have nipples that screw onto the container to be used for feeding as well.
- Breast Milk Bags
Collect, store and freeze directly in these convenient breast milk bags. The plastic bags are pre-sterilized and easy to use. Be sure to mark each bag with the date that the milk was collected.
- Cleaning Steam-Bags and Wipes
For your health it's best to clean your breast pump parts after each use. Some brands offer microwaveable steam sterilizer bags or wipes for quick on-the-go cleaning.