Thursday, March 20, 2014

Tips & Tricks #53 - Pumping? Keep a back-up!

* This post contains affiliate links.

If you are a breastfeeding mother who ever has to pump at work - and you're human - you've encountered this scenario before:

You forgot part of your pump supplies at home.

Whether it's the flanges, the bottles, the caps, the charger, or the actual pump - at some point along the line you have probably or will probably forget something.

The unfortunate thing that happens next though, is that either you can't pump until you've either had someone bring you your spare parts or you purchase new - and both of those solutions are not the best to be had or even possible in many cases.  Beyond that, you then have to either just deal with the pain and discomfort or try to hand express into a sink or toilet in the bathroom - which is very obviously not the ideal situation.

There is a really simple, easy way to get around this problem though - even if it does require just a teensy bit of planning!

Enter the manual pump.

You can purchase a manual pump for typically around or under $30 each - and if you find a sale it may be even less expensive.  I've never been able to use a manual pump long-term because of the carpal tunnel issues I have, but for one day of pumping due to a forgotten part - I can make it work.

I always have a spare pump/kit in my car, no matter where I go, whether it's a work day or not - but this has proved to save me from not being able to pump more times than I can even recall.  Here's the list of what I keep in my spare pump kit:

- Manual pump
- Extra flange
- Two bottles
- Two caps
- Extra breastmilk storage bags

When you purchase a manual pump, you'll want to make sure that it's the same brand as your electric pump - so that you can interchange the parts as needed.  For example, there have been a number of days where I've forgotten to pack my flanges for the electric pump - but since I keep an extra flange in my manual kit I can just pop that one onto my electric and I'm ready to go.

To store all of these parts, I keep a very small rectangular, velcro-affixed bag underneath the back of the driver's seat of my car.  Whenever I use a piece, the bag comes in with me and sits on the counter next to our back door so that I take it and the newly cleaned part back out to the car on my next trip outside of the house.

Thankfully, this method has saved me numerous upset phone calls to DH about how I need him to wake the kids and run parts over to me on the weekends or frantic, hurried trips to the drugstore over my lunch break when I'm already in pain from missing my morning pump.

Do you keep a spare pump or parts in your car or where you work?

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