I have not been sponsored to write this post. The ideas and thoughts here are my own, my personal experiences and opinions. I have been provided with a product sample to facilitate my review. The photos here are of my product sample and have been taken and edited by me. I am a working and pumping Mom. Please consult a certified (the certified part is important) lactation consultant with any breastfeeding needs.
I returned to work PRN almost two months after my 3rd son was born. I knew I was going to pump and prepare bottles for him, but needed to figure out how to pump at work, transport everything I need, and determine how much milk I needed to leave at home. Luckily, there are some great products out there to help me accomplish this, and my insurance covered a double electric pump.
I took advantage of the Affordable Care Act legislation that encouraged my insurance company to cover the costs of a breast pump. I selected the Ameda Purely yours, a closed system dual electric pump. I purchased a Medela Advanced pump-in-style (open system) pump with my first son; Unfortunately at nearly $300 it wasn’t a great fit for me. I was thrilled to have this expense covered for baby 3, and currently have both pumps at home. Although the Ameda came without a bag, my Medela came in a black synthetic tote. It’s the black bag that anyone who has shopped for baby items can recognize…it doesn’t match anything and my bag always looks like it needs to be washed.
The first few weeks after each of my babies’ births I was engorged (common). I used my pump to both relieve pressure and prepare freezer bags for my return to work. It can be tricky to pump the first few weeks. It take almost 6 weeks for supply to regulate, and if there is an oversupply it can be increased and aggravated by pumping. I waited for a meal my nursling slept through, or pumped one side while he nursed on the other and soon I had a little stash. As I placed a few 2-3 oz bags into the freezer my confidence grew. I knew that there would be enough milk on standby if the fresh milk I left ran out while I was gone.
When my Ameda pump arrived, I was shocked to see that it was just the pump….. 1 pump, 1 tubing set, 2 breast shields, 2 valves, 2 bottles…the end. I tried using several bags including our diaper bag, a tote, and a bag the hospital gave me to carry these items. None of them worked well and I found myself fumbling with my supplies at work. I even dropped parts on the floor trying to get everything together. I was thrilled to find an amazing fashionable-breastfeeding-Mom-discovered company that makes beautiful functional pump bags; Juno Blu.
- adjustable optional shoulder strap
- gold hardware finish
- exterior front pockets for pump and storage
- exterior side thermo-insulated pocket, keeps liquids warm/cool for up to 4hrs (time will vary depending on external temperature)
- 2 reusable ice packs for insulated pocket
- washable, blue dirty bottle bag
- interior zipper, cell phone pockets and key ring clasp
- wipe clean lining
- pump pocket size (compatible with various pump sizes): 6″ deep x 6″ wide x 6″ high
- tote dimensions: 15″ wide x 11.5″ high x 7.25″ deep (find bag here)
In addition to the well organized interior, both sides of the tote are functional. The side shown both above (closed) and below (open) comes with ice packs and is insulated to keep pumped milk cool for up to 4 hours! Obviously you wouldn’t leave this in the sun or by a heater, but adding an additional ice pack, or storing in a fridge is a great way to keep milk an an ideal temperature for longer periods until it can be placed in the refrigerator or freezer at home.
The opposite side of the tote houses the pump body. The is plenty of room in here for my Ameda and I have the plug cord tucked in as well. This makes pumping easy because I just slide it out, plug the pump in and go! The fabric inside this compartment pushes back and up to allow the pump to fit, but can also be expanded from the inside to allow the tote to be used for other purposes.
The supplies you need to pump may vary, and are determined by how much you pump in a session, and how many times you pump. I have been working half day shifts and typically pump twice. Here are the supplies I take, I use a combination of Ameda and Medela bottles (parts fit both pumps) because the Medela bottles hold 5 oz and the Ameda bottles only hold 4.
- Ameda Pump
- Plug outlet cord
- Plug with AC adapter cord for car
- 2 Medela Bottles
- 2 Ameda Bottles
- Stack of storage bags
- 2 bag adapters for pump
- 6 bottle caps (extra for instances when I drop one)
- Hands-free pumping bra
- Breast shields with properly fitting phlanges, valves and tubing.
- Quick clean wipes and hand sanitizer
The Juno Blu Breast Pump Bags come with a reusable storage bag that is great for holding clean parts. Not only does it help keep your pump parts clean, but it also provides easy access to them when you’re ready to pump. It also comes with this fantastic cotton storage bag, a removable shoulder strap, and two handles great for a shoulder carry.