Before reading this, you might wanna read my post about How I Established My Breast Milk Supply.
Okay, now for the fun part! A list! Sharing my breast pumping essentials with you guys!
My sister gave me her old Spectra 9+ Electric Double Breast Pump and it’s the first pump I ever tried. It has a “massage” option that, well, massages your nipple to help establish a letdown — OH YEAH, BY THE WAY, I HAVE A TON OF NEW MOMMY TERMS NOW!! A letdown is when your breasts start releasing milk. This pump is awesome but the suction got a little weak so I replaced the tube and backflow protectors. It didn’t improve at all and I was about to give up and buy a new one but it’s quite pricey so I researched some more. I found out that I only had to change the valves inside the bottle. It only costs P450 and you’re supposed to replace them every 3-4 months. I’m very happy with this pump especially because it’s a double, so I finish pumping both breasts quicker than if I had a single pump. Click here to learn more about the Spectra 9 Plus Electric Pump.
I received this breast pump as a gift from Philips Avent and I only use it when I’m at home because it has to be plugged in. It doesn’t have a timer and a screen like my Spectra does but it’s got a unique design that lets the user sit straight up or even slightly reclined while pumping. A lot of moms get backaches due to hunching over while pumping/breastfeeding so this is definitely a great feature. It also has the massage feature similar to the Spectra. The flange has a nice cushion for your breast. Click here to learn more about the Philips Avent Natural Breast Pump.
Hands-Free Pumping Bra
I swear, this hands-free thingamajig changed the pumping game for me. I used to feel helpless while holding my bottles against my breasts and not being able to do anything else for at least 15 minutes. With this hands-free pumping bra, I’m able to do a lot more stuff. I’m even able to walk around if I have a pocket to put my Spectra in. I bought mine from Shopee and to tell you the truth I found a lot of cheaper ones there as well. I bought a black knock-off just to see if there was a difference. The black one’s zipper kept hitting my chest and it caused a rash. The zipper also broke within a few days of using it. Hahaha serves me right. The original one is still in great condition and I swear by it. Click here to buy Simple Wishes Hands-Free Pumping Bra.
Milk Bags or Cups
I’ve donated I think over 500 bags of my own milk especially back when Pancho could only take a little of my milk at a time. Now he is drinking a lot more but I still have some to spare (which I still donate whenever I build up enough of a stash). My favorite milk bag brands are the following:
- Philips Avent – I got a lot of these from my baby shower and they are definitely the sturdiest
- Sunmum – Recommended by my nurse because it’s cheap. I bought some in bulk through Shopee — grabe, online shopping is a mom’s best friend
- Honeysuckle – When I did my initial donation to the Human Milk Bank via St Luke’s BGC, they thanked me by giving me milk bags equivalent to the number of bags I donated. This was the brand they gave me and I really liked the quality. The brand also sent me a pack as a gift when I gave birth! Thanks, Honeysuckle! Click here to check them out on Instagram.
To store milk for my own baby, I don’t want to waste plastic so I got these milk storage bottles from Philips Avent (pictured above). I also use these to store Pancho’s clean pacifiers and to mix his powdered probiotics in milk before giving it to him. Another way I use it is for storing wet cotton balls for cleaning his butt-butt 😋 Click here to learn more about Philips Avent Storage Cups.
Expressed milk needs to be stored in the freezer or refrigerator. For quick thawing, I place the milk in this device for 3 minutes and it’s the perfect temperature for drinking! I only wish it had an automatic stop because I’ve thawed milk once or twice before and forgot to time it for 3 minutes so it became super hot. Make sure to always pour some drops on the inside of your wrist. Luckily, Pancho will drink my milk regardless if it’s nice and warm or straight from the fridge haha! But I still try to warm his milk when I can because I feel like there’s extra love in it when I do hehe. Click here to learn more about the Philips Avent Bottle Warmer.
Gotta admit it’s nice to be a mom these days because of all the high-tech pretty gadgets!! I got a Haenim Smart Sterilizer as a gift from the company and it’s been such a lifesaver. It’s the #1 UV Sterilizer in Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia and it was only made available here in the Philippines last year. You can wash your bottles, pumps, pacifiers, etc. and this device will dry and sterilize it for you in just 30 minutes. There’s also a UV-Only option if you want to sterilize your phone or other things that you and your baby usually touch. Need more high-tech realness? It’s the first and only smart sterilizer in the Philippines. Yep, you can control it using your smartphone! I also sterilize my makeup brushes and toothbrush in my Haenim Smart Sterilizer. Click here to check out Haenim on Facebook.
I guess it’s both a blessing and a curse to be a mom in the digital age. It’s a blessing because you can learn so much from other moms through online forums and there are so many different gadgets to make things easier for us. Both my mom and mother-in-law are in awe of my electric pump because they were only able to use the manual pump during their time! Sobrang nakaka-ngalay daw!! Of course the downside is that there can be a little too much information and there’s always a product that claims to be better for your child than what you are currently using. I believe there is no one way to raise a child and it’s a different experience for each of us. Sharing your experience is great, but imposing on others — that they should do exactly what you did — is a big no-no! Feel free to leave a comment about your own pumping essentials and tips below! We can all learn from each other :)