Bag of parts, breastmilk pump for Medela Freestyle

Pumping without access to a sink

For pumping on the run situations, I stocked up on redundant pumping parts. It’s an expensive strategy and makes a for a serious load of dishes at the end of the day. Unless you have a dishwasher (I don’t). However, like so many things in the genre of pumping, it may not be ideal, but it works. Once I got into the grove of using fresh sets of parts for every pumping session, I was hooked. Pumping without a sink is fantastic. Packing four sets of pump parts for the day reduces a considerable amount of stress. It simplifies pumping puzzles such as, I didn’t have time to wash my pump parts after the last session, should I try to do it in this gnarly train station bathroom? No! I’ll use another set of parts.

Pump Parts for Traveling Mom, Working Mom, Pumping on the Go

For international flights, I bring four sets of pump parts on the plane. Though planes do have sinks, they are wedged into rooms that I can barely turn around in. I’m a little uneasy about the mysterious timeline of airplane water recirculation. I frequently find the restrooms to be unavailable precisely when I need them. The sink faucets typically have an auto-off function which drives me bananas when batch washing parts. There is rarely a place to host a pile of pump parts before or after the act of washing. And no, I will not put them on the toilet, nor do I want to put them on the baby changing table. Even if I can manage to balance the spinning plates of a full pump assembly cleaning in this shoebox my fellow passengers tend to be unforgiving about bathroom squatters. Unnecessary time pressure is something I try to avoid. And to be totally honest, I am too lazy. I prefer to build a stand-alone pumping ecosystem in my seat, use clean stuff, and wash everything later.

Packing extra pump parts while traveling.

A large paper bakery bag lives in the corner of our kitchen now. When dishes are dry and being put away all of the pump parts get thrown into that bag. Before I head out on a trip, I grab the bag and parse out sets of parts into separate ziplock bags. At the start of each pumping session, I grab one ziplock bag of parts, use them, and then return them to that bag, next time I reach for a new one. By the day’s end I’ve generated a sack full of milk crusted parts that I wash when I get to my destination.

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