Clearly the worst part about pumping is washing the parts and keeping everything clean and safe. Here are the top tips from Portland moms who have become pros at pumping and storing their milk:
- Quick Clean Wipes – these come in a package like baby wipes but are specially formulated to remove breastmilk and do the job quickly when you don’t have access to a sink.
- Micro Steam bags – inexpensive, thin and easy to transport, these bags clean your parts in the microwave and then can store the parts until you are ready to use them. Great for worksites that are germy (think teachers and nurses) and for transporting parts back and forth when there is a microwave present.
Refrigerating parts – when moms don’t have time or access to wash everything, they put their pump parts in big Ziploc bags and just chill them to the next feed. This works for a few feedings but eventually the milk starts to dry and makes the parts a bit sticky. (Just don't store the milk in the flanges upright, as if they tip, they are likely to spill!)
I do not mean for this to be an ad for Medela--although they make wonderful products--but this one is not something ANYONE ELSE makes currently. Quick Clean Breastmilk Removal Soap goes to the heart of the hassle--SCRUBBING! This soap literally dissolves breastmilk, even when you have forgotten to wash on Friday and it is Sunday night! Instructions are to use 3 pumps of soap, soak in hot soapy water, then rinse. Done!
Many moms use bags to store and transport milk that has been frozen and thawed. The best practice you can do to help prevent any contamination is to wash your hands before you prepare this milk, and prepare it at home rather than in a childcare facility or at work. Most childcare providers need the bottles prepared before you leave your child. How much to include in the bottle? Read the blog Don't Waste the Breastmilk! to get a better picture on how to prepare bottles for daycare.
Biggest hint the moms shared? GET HELP! Ask your partner to wash the pump parts, prep your milk for childcare, and feed you something when you take time t pump at home. Partners are the biggest reason we can keep going on--right behind baby anyway.