Concession stand at a Houston softball field, computer closet, my car on I-35, dressing room at an awards show, dive bar office, are just a few of the places I’ve pumped in the 9 month’s since I had my baby. Being a freelance fashion stylist, my job takes me to different locations every week. I never know where I’m going to pump until I get to work. It’s stressful and on occasion, has caused me some major anxiety. Which is funny because you need to be relaxed to pump efficiently but really, is that even possible? I finally feel like I’ve got a handle on the whole pumping on the go thing but to be honest, it’s a pain in the ass. No other way around it. It involves a lot of pre-thought, lots of packing, and quite frankly, some balls like when you have to stand your ground that yes, you are pumping three times today and the life will go on, and when you inevitably flash someone. To make things a little easier as you embark on returning to work, here is a list of items I packed each day. Would love to read your tips in the comments below. On a side note, it’s totally acceptable to name your pump — you’ll be spending a lot of quality time together.

Stack of paper towels. I used these to place my parts on as I was assembling and for various spills.

Ziploc bags. I put all of my pump parts in ziploc bags and keep in the cooler between pump sessions. I kept extra bags folded up in my breast pump backpack.

Nursing scarf. I used this to cover up in the car or on set. I keep in my nursing backpack.

Nursing bra. I started with this Medela one but found it lost it’s stretch. I prefer this Simple Wishes hands-free bra which is thicker and tighter.

Lunch Cooler. I use this Coleman Lunch Cooler and am able to fit 6 bottles, two Medela ice packs and my pump parts on top.

Two ice packs. I prefer these Medela ice packs. I bought this Medela cooler set at first but found carrying one larger cooler was easier.

Breast Pump Backpack. I use this Medela backpack but it was passed down from a friend. It’s look like now you have to purchase the whole set to get it. Women love the Sarah Wells bags, here, here and here. This Juno Blu is another favorite.

Car Adapter. I kept this in car for emergencies.

Manual pump. I keep this in my car and bring with me to festivals, conferences, etc. Always good for a quick pump if I don’t have time for the whole thing.

For mama’s who go to an office every day. Three words, buy two pumps. Keep one at home and one in the office. I am not on set every day so I have one but for moms who go to an office every day, it’s worth the investment. Keep a set of spare pumps, milk storage bags, bottles, pumping bra, and a nursing scarf at the office to minimize your load. May also consider investing in a mini fridge.

Did we miss something? Share your tips in the comments and we’ll update the post.

Featured Image by Tiffany Tagle Photography