Rose's Pumping Essentials
Hi, my name is Rose. I’m the cofounder of MiliMili and I have exclusively pumped with both of my sons (currently clocking at over 1200 hrs of straight up pumping).
Both of my babies were born premature and they never latched. I pumped exclusively with my first until he was 8 months, then combo-fed with freezer stash. With my second, I've been over-producing, so I've needed to pump frequently to stave off mastitis. I'm still pumping at 9 months, but starting to transition to combo-feeding. With all of my real-life experience and the research that I've done, I would say that I'm an expert in exclusive pumping—so here are some pump reviews, tips, and some of my favorite pumping supplies.
I currently have three pumps — the Spectra S1 (gifted), Ameda Mya Joy (received through health insurance), Willow GO (purchased on sale for myself).
Let’s start with the Spectra S1. This was gifted to me in my first pregnancy and I've kept it and used it for both babies. For me, this pump is nearly perfect. It has three main parts to clean between sessions and two backflow protectors that you’ll need to clean less frequently. The simplicity of the design makes it so easy to clean parts in between pumping sessions. The pump has a strong—but not unpleasant suction—that is very productive. I get the most yield from this pump. The portable battery is essential so that you’re not stuck in one by-an-outlet location while you’re pumping. The size of the pump isn’t the easiest for pumping outside of the home, however. The only things that would make this pump any better would be if it were smaller and if you could independently control the strength of each side—but if you’re in the market, it looks like both of these upgrades were factored into their newest SG Portable model. (I swear, there are new advancements in baby-gear the minute you give birth).
This go-around, I received the Ameda Mya Joy through my health insurance. This is a great little pump. If you have the choice between this one and the portable medela, I strongly recommend this one. Medela has GREAT pump accessories, but I personally never liked the suction of Medela pumps. The Ameda Mya Joy's parts are slightly harder to clean than the Spectra, but it has a very comfortable suction, great interface and options, and it’s so easy to carry around with you. Before I got my Willow Go, I used this one to pump out at restaurants and on planes, etc.
Finally, I purchased the Willow GO because, having had to go back to work at 4 mo postpartum, it was getting harder and harder to fit pumping into my workday, and I suffered an injury to one of my nipples that made it impossible to pump at the strengths that I was used to. Because I’m an over-producer, I couldn’t stop pumping without a long weaning process without risking mastitis. It’s amazing to have an in-bra pump. I can pump in the car on my way to kid drop-off, during meetings, etc. With my other pumps—I’ve pumped literally everywhere, but this makes it so much easier and more discreet. Drawbacks, it has a lot of parts to clean that have to be dry for it to function correctly (and there’s nothing worse than starting to pump and having to stop to re-adjust parts that aren’t suctioning well). This probably isn’t a big deal for anyone who is supplementing with pumping, but if you’re an exclusive pumper, you’ll definitely need to get multiple pump part sets. Also, the way that you empty out the collection cup can lead to spills when you’re tired and not concentrating, so if you’re concerned about saving every drop, pay attention here.
All-in-all, when you're deciding on a pump, think about how you’ll be using your pump most (at-home, on-the-go, exclusively or not), and you’ll be able to narrow down what will work best for you. And DM-me! I’m always happy to answer questions about my pumping journey!
If you're exclusively pumping, make your goal 120 minutes per day. At first, before your milk has regulated, that can look like eight 15-minute sessions. Then, after around 4 months, you can transition to four 30-minute sessions.
If you are having issues with engorgement and need to prevent mastitis, Legendary Milk Sunflower Lecithin can help loosen fatty clogs. And if you feel a clog coming on, use a Haakaa Manual Breast Pump. Fill with warm (verging on hot) water, a tbsp of epsom salts, and attach to your nipple (over a sink for spillage). Let the breast soak for around 15 minutes and you should feel relief and see some milk leave the breast into the mix.
Key Essentials for Pumping?
A great water bottle to constantly hydrate and good snacks at the ready.
A good hands-free pumping bra. My favorites are the Cake Maternity Lotus Bra and Kindred Bravely Sublime Hands-Free Pumping Sports Bra.
The MiliMili Sleep Romper is the absolute best for comfort and ease of access.
On the go, I use breast pump wipes for a quick parts-clean.
And a good support system :) One benefit to pumping is that other people can help you.