A manual pump like the Medela Harmony can be a lifesaver, and a fantastic accessory to have on hand. Hand pumps are usually small, inexpensive, and portable, which makes them useful for travel as well as emergency scenarios from power outages to electric pump malfunctions! Some electric pumps have the ability to be converted to manual mode and used by hand, using a Breast Pump Switch Kit. Check your pump’s user manual to see if your pump can do this, then print out the instructions so that you have them handy if needed.
Learning and practicing effective hand expression techniques can also bring a lot of peace of mind for periods of time when you may be unable to access your pump. [Learn about hand expression here.]
Learn about options for using alternative sources to power your pump. Does your pump manufacturer make a vehicle adapter that lets you use your pump with your vehicle’s power? Can your pump run on batteries when not plugged in? If neither of these options is available to you with your pump, consider a vehicle power inverter that converts your vehicle’s power source into an outlet to plug in and power your breast pump and other devices.
Need to boil water for sterilizing bottles and pump parts? An outdoor grill or portable camping grill can help you!
For more on dealing with power outages and your stored milk, see our article: Power Outages and Frozen Breast Milk