Being a working mom? Tough. Being a pumping mom? Also tough. But combining the two? Those are the superwomen in my eyes. Pumping was hard enough for me to handle when I stayed home with my baby, so I give major props to the mothers who make it happen while they're working hard at their career. But it's not just pumping while working that makes things difficult — it's keeping your breast milk cold, safe, and ready to go to your baby. For many moms, getting their stuff ready for work means grabbing a cooler for breast milk, too.
I can't imagine how hard it is to pack up everything you need for a day of work when you're a pumping mom. If you're the parent dropping your baby off at childcare, you have their diaper bag, their change of clothes, and their bottles in one hand. Then you have your work bag, your purse, your lunch, your breast pump bag, and now your cooler? If you haven't picked out a mom-car yet, it might be time. Although some offices have a fridge available for employees to use, including moms who pump, it's not always feasible. Whether you're traveling, working in a nontraditional office, or need something a little closer to you, these seven coolers can keep your breast milk cold and your mind at ease. It's not easy pumping on the go, but having the right products can help.
1. For The Mom That Works From Her Car
There are several different careers out there that require a working moms to drive around in their car and they need a cooler that can remain cold, especially during the summer when ice doesn't seem to stick around for long. The Wagan Personal Fridge ($37) has a 7 liter capacity, great reviews, and can cool down to 35 degrees F. It plugs right into your car's adapter or cigarette lighter and was designed to fit comfortably in the passenger seat of your car. Other bonus? It can maintain its temperature for up to two hours, which means if you have to stop by the grocery store on your way home, your milk will remain cold.
2. For The Mom Who Doesn't Pump Much
If you need a cooler to hold just a couple of bags of breast milk and you want one that's easy to carry and small, the FlexiFreeze Pocketbook Cooler ($20) might be your best bet. It's filled with 16 cubes of water, so all you have to do is pop it in your freezer before you use it and make sure the water is all frozen. You can sandwich your bags of breast milk in between the layers of ice cubes and have a discreet way to keep your milk cold.
3. For The Mom That Uses Medela
Not all breastfeeding accessories are the same, so moms who use all Medela products will love the Medela Breast Milk Cooler Set ($23). It fits the Medela bottles perfectly (it comes with four) and can also be dropped into any Medela breast pump bag. The cooler also comes with an ice pack to keep your milk cold and is perfect for transporting the milk from work to home or even to daycare the next day.
4. For The Mom That Only Wants To Carry One Bag
I know, it's hard enough making sure you have the baby's bags packed for daycare, along with your purse, your lunch, your work bag, and your breast pump bag. Now you have to carry a cooler, too? Not if you have a Sarah Wells "Lizzy" Breast Pump bag ($100). The stylish bag not only fits any portable pump, but it also has thermally-lined pockets on both sides to store pumped milk in, as long as you keep an ice pack. The milk can stay cold for up to six hours in the pockets and you don't have to carry another bag.
5. For The Mom That Works Long Hours
If you have long days where you can't meet the six to eight hour rule for getting milk in the freezer, you'll want to invest in an iceless cooler. The Igloo Iceless Thermoelectric Cooler ($64 - $180) is pricey, but it can be plugged into both your car and an outlet right there at your desk. You'll be able to keep all of your pumped breast milk cold and know that it's going to stay cold on the way home, even if you have a long commute.
6. For The Mom Who Wants To Pack A Cold Lunch, Too
Packing your lunch and trying to keep breast milk cold? The PackIt Personal Cooler ($16) may look like your average lunch bag, but it can keep its contents cold for up to ten hours. Gel is sewn into the lining of the bag, so all you have to do is freeze it the night before and it's ready to use. There's no need to keep ice packs nearby or keep it in the fridge — it can keep all of your breast milk (and ham sandwich) cold for 10 hours.
7. For The Mom Who Travels
Traveling for work is difficult for any mother, but being a pumping mom makes it even more challenging. You need a cooler that you can carry on and off of a plane, as well as one that does its job at keeping your breast milk cold. The Prostar Deals Cooler Bag ($54) comes with multiple pockets, foam insulation, and can keep its contents cold for 12 hours. Because it's a soft cooler bag, you don't have to worry about it being a hassle to travel with, and certain sizes can even fit snugly on your luggage handles, making maneuvering through the airport a breeze.