The Best Products for Breastfeeding Parents Who Pump

From bras, pumps, bags, and more, these products are useful and convenient

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Pumping your breast milk takes a lot of time and energy, but luckily, there are many helpful accessories that allow you to pump breast milk more comfortably and efficiently. Products like wearable pumps and portable coolers help make pumping fit more seamlessly into everyday life. Whether you plan to freeze your breast milk or feed your baby freshly expressed milk, the best pumping products make the experience easier for you.

Reviewed & Approved

The Spectra S2 Plus Electric Breast Milk Pump features a closed system to keep tubes dry while still offering a lightweight, portable design. For a pumping bra, we recommend Simple Wishes Hands Free Breast Pumping Bra.

Look for products that will help you get things done more efficiently, such as sanitizing bags. Moreover, products that are comfortable to use and portable can make pumping on-the-go that much easier. We carefully considered design, value, efficiency, portability, comfort, and size when reviewing products.

Here are the best products for breastfeeding parents who pump.

Best Pump: Spectra S2 Plus Electric Breast Milk Pump for Baby Feeding

Breast Pump

SpeCtra

The Spectra Baby USA S2 electric breast pump ranks high on our list because this pump features hospital-grade performance while still offering a lightweight, portable design. The pump is a closed system that keeps the tubing dry, so you don't have to worry about cleaning the narrow tubes or exposing your breast milk and baby to bacteria, mold, and viruses.

Unlike some other electric pumps, you can customize the Spectra pump to your needs by adjusting the suction level and cycle speeds. It extracts milk quietly and quickly and has everything a breastfeeding parent could want in an electric pump, including a night light and timer.

Most health insurance providers cover breast pumps, so check in with yours before purchasing one.

Best Bra: Simple Wishes Hands Free Breast Pumping Bra

4.5
Simple Wishes Hands Free Breast Pumping Bra

Courtesy of Simple Wishes

Add convenience to your pumping sessions with this fan-favorite hands-free pumping bra from Simple Wishes. Compatible with all major electric breast pump brands, this bra holds the bottles firmly and securely while you're pumping, keeping your hands free for other tasks.

Available in two sizes, X-Small-Large and Large-Plus, the Simple Wishes pumping bra can be adjusted in the back by up to 10 inches, allowing you to customize the size as your postpartum body changes. The versatile, convertible design allows you to wear it as a strapless band, tank, racer-back, or halter style. Made of a soft, comfortable blend of cotton and spandex, this bra provides full coverage.

Best for Building a Stash: Haakaa Manual Breast Pump

Haakaa Manual Breast Pump

Courtesy of Amazon

Building up a stash of breast milk is made easier with this ingenious, portable Haakaa manual breast pump. The magic behind this award-winning, best-selling pump is the suction. While you are nursing your baby, you simply suction the Haakaa to your other breast. When your let-down reflex occurs, the Haakaa will grab the foremilk that the non-feeding breast releases.

While most agree that you can't use this as a pump to remove a full feeding of milk for your baby, it can catch about 2 to 3 ounces which can go in the freezer to save for later. Besides being handy, it is easy to clean, sterilize, and transport. Many parents agree this is a must.

Best Manual Pump: Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump

Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump

Courtesy of Amazon

A manual breast pump can come in handy for pumping on the go or for people who might not need to pump much but want something just in case. What is great about this type of pump is you don't need a power source, so you can pump in a bathroom, car, at a wedding, or anywhere else without fear of not having an outlet or battery power.

You have to use your hand to do the actual pumping, which might be tiresome for some, but you have control over how much and how fast you pump. Some actually prefer that control over an electric pump. While a manual pump isn't necessary, it is nice to have.

Best Cooler Bag: Sarah Wells Cold Gold Breastmilk Cooler Bag With Ice Pack

Sarah Wells Cold Gold Breastmilk Cooler Bag with Ice Pack

Courtesy of Amazon

Whether you are exclusively pumping or working outside of your home, this cooler bag allows you to transport and store your hard-earned breast milk safely. Sarah Wells bags are known for their gorgeous patterns, and this bag certainly doesn't disappoint, with seven cheery and fun designs to choose from. It's also extremely functional, featuring top-of-the-line insulation and a high-quality ice pack that keeps breast milk cool for up to eight hours (depending on external temperatures).

Made of easy-to-clean, durable nylon, this bag also comes with convenient extras, such as a mesh pocket in the inner flap opening and a buckle clip handle that allows you to attach the cooler to another bag or a stroller. A real plus is it is extra tall, so you can fit larger size breast milk containers if necessary.

What Our Editors Say

"This bag was the perfect shape for toting bottles or bags of milk from pumping at work, and the included ice pack stays colder longer than most other similar options. I've also used this to keep breast milk cold while traveling, and it's had a second life as a lunch bag once my pumping-at-work days were behind me."Ashleigh Morley, Editorial Director of Verywell Health Commerce

Best Wet/Dry Bag: Sarah Wells Pumparoo Wet/Dry Bag for Breast Pump Parts

Sarah Wells Pumparoo Wet/Dry Bag for Breast Pump Parts

Courtesy of Amazon

Another adorable bag from Sarah Wells, this one is designed to transport all your pump parts discreetly and cleanly. The waterproof main compartment can hold all your clean or dirty (wet) pump parts, with plenty of room for four 8-ounce bottles. You can use the detachable staging mat as a clean space on your desk, counter, or anywhere else to set up your pump parts. When you're not using it for pump parts, this versatile bag also works as a wet/dry bag for diapers, swimsuits, snacks, or dirty clothes.

What Our Editors Say

"Stashing my pump parts in the refrigerator between sessions helped me save precious minutes when I was pumping multiple times a day at work. This bag offers a greener option than your standard Ziploc (plus, it's cuter!). The staging mat helps create a sterile space for bottles and other parts. And best of all, the whole bag is easy to wipe clean for use day after day." —Ashleigh Morley, Editorial Director of Verywell Health Commerce

Best Pump Bag: Dr. Brown's Breast Pump Carryall Tote

Dr. Brown's Breast Pump Carryall Tote

Courtesy of Amazon

If you feel overwhelmed by the number of pump parts and accessories in your life, you'll be relieved to know that there's a bag to help you stay organized and in control. You can fit everything you need to pump and more in this classic shoulder tote from Dr. Brown's. It will hold most electric breast pumps, including Spectra and Medela, with plenty of space for all your pump accessories and bottle cooler. There are also pockets for diapers, wipes, snacks, and even your laptop or tablet, as well as a zippered pocket for your keys, wallet, and phone.

Made of polyester material, it's easy to clean and looks like a regular tote bag, so you can discreetly carry your pump. While Dr. Brown's tote doesn't have all the bells and whistles of much more expensive bags, it's extremely functional, durable, roomy, and affordable.

Best Cleaning Wipes: Medela Quick Clean Breast Pump and Accessory Wipes

Medela Quick Clean Breast Pump and Accessory Wipes

Courtesy of Amazon

For those times when you're pumping while traveling, at work, or anywhere you can't wash your pump parts, these Medela wipes are a convenient, effective solution. You can use them to clean breast pumps, parts, and accessories. They're alcohol-free, bleach-free, and unscented, so you don't have to worry about irritating chemicals or smells.

All it takes is one of these efficient, hygienic wipes to clean your breast shields, valves, and membranes. You can also use them to clean changing tables in public bathrooms, high chairs at restaurants, tables, countertops, and toys. Stash Medela wipes in your pump bag for those times when you don't have access to soap and water.

Best Sanitizing Bags: Medela Quick Clean Micro-Steam Bags

Medela Quick Clean Micro-Steam Bags

Courtesy of Amazon

Safe and convenient, these Medela Quick Clean Microwave Steam Bags allow you to disinfect pumping supplies, eliminating 99.9 percent of the most harmful bacteria and germs. Just rinse your bottles and breast pump pieces, put them in the bag, add water, microwave for three minutes, and your parts are completely sanitized. Easy to stash in a diaper or pump bag, these compact bags are perfect for use at work, home, or on the go. You can also use them to sterilize your baby's pacifiers, bottles, teethers, and small toys. Each one can be used up to 20 times, so a box will last a long time.

Final Verdict

Depending on your needs, any of these products are fantastic for breast pumping parents. The Spectra S2 Plus Electric Breast Milk Pump and the Haakaa Manual Breast Pump rank highest on our list for their effectiveness and ease of use.

What to Look for in Products for Pumping Parents

Comfort

Some people don't mind pumping, while others find it uncomfortable. If you do, there are some products that may help. For example, pumps with adjustable suction and speed let you find the setting that feels best for you, and a hands-free bra can provide support even when you're not pumping.

Discretion

Even if you have a designated pumping room at your workplace, it can be stressful to wonder whether someone might accidentally walk in or knock while you are trying to relax and promote milk flow. Plus, being in a designated lactation room can take you away from work meetings or important family and social events that you don't want to miss. Or you may find yourself someplace where you don't have a private space to pump.

If you would prefer not to draw attention to the fact that you are pumping, look for accessories like wearable bra pumps that allow you to continue being with whoever you need to be with, even while expressing your milk. You might also appreciate pump and cooler bags that don't scream "Breastfeeding!" but rather look like a stylish lunch bag or tote.

Portability

Gone are the days of hauling around a big, heavy machine in order to pump. Though you might keep a pump with all the bells and whistles at home or at work, portable pumping accessories can help you reach your breastfeeding goals more conveniently. Look for simple handheld pumps or wearable accessories that help you collect excess breast milk. Products that help keep milk chilled if you can't reach the freezer immediately are also essential.

Efficiency

The whole process of pumping, feeding your baby, storing milk, and disinfecting pump parts is a lot of work. Look for products that will help you get things done more efficiently, such as sanitizing bags that can be tossed into the microwave or disinfecting wipes for those times that you are not able to go through the full cleaning process.

Your lifestyle will dictate what you need. For example, if you plan to pump mostly in the comfort of your home, you won't need as many extras as you might if you're frequently on the go or working outside of your home.

"If you are going to be pumping very regularly (i.e., exclusively, or when you return to work or school), having an extra pump and pump parts can make life a lot easier," says lactation consultant and LLL leader Amanda DeWeese, MPH, CPH, IBCLC. If you work outside the home, keeping one pump at home and one at work can "help reduce the chances of accidentally leaving something at the other location." And that reduces stress, a huge plus for busy, tired parents.

If you commute or travel frequently, DeWeese recommends a car power adapter for your electric pump since it can make pumping accessible even in the car. Also, consider investing in extra ice packs, bottles, lids, milk bags, and a cooler to make sure you always have the supplies you need to collect, transport, and store your precious milk.

Budget

While many health insurance plans will cover the cost of one pump, they usually don't cover the cost of multiples or all the extra parts and accessories that are often necessary for pumping. So it's important to keep your budget in mind when selecting different products. Having a good electric pump is essential, but accessories that fit and keep the process as comfortable as possible are important too.

DeWeese says there are ways to make this process a little more budget-friendly. "Keep in mind that when choosing flanges, you can mix and match most brands," she says, "[but] sometimes you'll need an adapter." It may be worth spending less on extra bottles or storage and splurging on accessories that will make pumping more effective and sustainable for you, whether that's a hands-free bra or a time-saver like microwaveable sanitizing bags. "Steam bags can make sterilizing parts super quick and easy," says DeWeese, "since all you need is access to a microwave."

"Many parents find that having a comfy bra makes pumping more enjoyable," says DeWeese. If this is something that helps the process go more smoothly for you, then it's worth purchasing. On the flip side, if you don't need your hands free while pumping, then a specialty pumping bra may not be worth the investment.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long after pumping does breast milk last?

    Breast milk left at room temperature should be used within four hours of expressing it. If you put the milk straight into the refrigerator, you can feed it to your baby for up to four days. You can use frozen milk for up to 12 months, but it is better to use it within six months if you can.

  • How often should you pump breast milk?

    Pump your breast milk as often as your baby needs to eat. This will likely be between every two and a half to three hours at the start. As your baby grows, they will lengthen the time between feeds, and you can start to go longer between pumping sessions as well. If you are pumping only during the hours that you are away from your baby, pump when they take a feed.

  • When should you start pumping breast milk?

    It is a good idea to start pumping a few weeks before you return to work or other obligations that will separate you from your baby. Then you can get the hang of the pump without the pressure of needing to express enough milk to replace a feeding. Babies may also need some time to adjust to drinking from a bottle.

  • How long should I pump?

    Pump for at least 10 minutes per session, keeping an eye on how much milk you produce. The goal is to pump an equal amount of milk to what your baby is drinking at each feeding. This can be difficult because babies are usually more efficient at removing milk than pumps are. If you find you are producing less than you would like, pump longer each time, even if the milk stops flowing.

  • Does pumped breast milk have antibodies?

    Pumped breast milk contains antibodies that can protect your baby from infections. Antibodies pass from the breastfeeding parent to the baby, whether the baby drinks directly from the breast or takes a bottle of expressed breast milk. This means that breast milk can help protect your baby from infections that you have had or that you have been vaccinated against in the past. If you get an infection or vaccine while breastfeeding, you may also pass those antibodies to your baby.

Why Trust Verywell Family

Christine Luff is a freelance writer who covers fitness, health, parenting, and other topics. She's also mom to a 13-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son.

Additional reporting by Ashley Ziegler.

Ashley Ziegler is a staff and freelance writer who covers lifestyle, home, parenting, and commerce for a variety of platforms. She's a mom to 1-year-old and 4-year-old daughters and an aunt to three nieces and two nephews ranging from 5 to 11 years old. In addition to regularly scouring the internet to find the best things for herself, Ashley spends multiple hours a week researching, comparing, and writing about products specifically for kids and families.

4 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Proper storage and preparation of breast milk.

  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pumping breast milk.

  3. American Academy of Pediatrics. Expressing breast milk on the job.

  4. American Academy of Pediatrics. Breastfeeding benefits your baby's immune system.