Breastfeeding is probably the most contentious and invasive topic any new mom has to face. (Um, why am I talking to my next-door neighbor about my let down?) So while we are not—we repeat, not—here to judge you for any decision you make, we are able to offer some helpful tips if you decide to go the pumping route. Here, six tricks for making you feel less like a cow and more like a sane, empowered mama.
Get a hands-free bra. Whether you’re working at your computer or perusing cute pics of your kiddo on your phone, you definitely don’t want to be holding bottles up to your boobs. A hands-free bra may look like a medieval torture device, but it’s a lifesaver in terms of giving you options while you pump away.
Have an extra set of pump parts. Because there will be days when you just for the life of you cannot find the little white flappy thingy.
And don’t obsess over sterilizing them. Most experts, including the pros at What to Expect, agree that unless your baby has health issues or was born premature, there’s no need to sterilize bottles and pump parts. A simple top-rack dishwasher cycle should do it.
Leave your pump at work. You’ve already campaigned for a quiet and private pumping room. Now leave your pump there and don’t waste any more energy schlepping it back and forth. (We promise the custodian won’t try to steal it.)
Organize your freezer stash. Bravo on building up that ample supply! Keep it organized and easy to thaw by freezing bags flat, then storing them upright from oldest to newest. We’re partial to the soda-can-box system.
And most importantly…only do what works for you. Maybe you want to pump once a day and supplement with formula. Maybe you need to blast Rihanna while you’re doing it. Figure out what makes sense for you and your family. The rest, as they say, is noise.