As a quantitatively minded, type-A personality, I like being able to track my pumping times, durations, and volume. I find that using an app (particularly when changing time zones) helps me to make sure that I keep to my schedule. Our family’s app of choice for all things baby related is Baby Connect. I’ve also had other pumping moms recommend the Milk Maid app. It allows you to track pumping sessions as well as your inventory of milk (fresh and frozen in multiple locations).
Finding a location that’s secure and convenient for pumping can be a challenge. Moms Pump Here is a GPS-enabled app and online tool that helps nursing moms find, rate, and share nursing room locations to breastfeed and breast pump in the United States and its territories.
For pumping in public places like planes and trains, I use a standard nursing cover for privacy.
Whenever I pump, I place a plain swaddle across my lap to protect my clothes, particularly when I am packing up after pumping. I like the aiden + anais plain muslin ones because, in my experience, they don’t leave lint on dark slacks and skits.
Mesh storage bags (like the ones that come with my pump bag) are very helpful for containing clean and used parts, as well as keeping the two separate. I put my clean parts in the purple mesh bag that came with the Pumpin’ Pal flanges (see below) that I purchased and used (wiped or rinsed, but not yet washed) parts in a different mesh bag.
Pumpin’ Pal sells flanges/breastshields that allow you to sit up instead of having to “hunch” forward. They also provide a spacious mesh bag that lets pump parts air dry while staying contained (which I use to carry clean parts). These flanges don’t work for me for everyday use, but they have done wonders for me when I have had a clogged duct on a trip away from my baby. Nursing mothers understand that nothing clears a clogged duct like a hungry baby, but these are a close second in my experience.
In my pump bag I always carry a few sheets of paper towel folded flat to wipe parts or catch drips and spills as well as a stash of three to four quart-sized, zip-top plastic bags.