Due to the Affordable Care Act changes to the health insurance industry, the way breast pumps are sold and purchased has changed a great deal. The pump bags that used to be included with the bags is no longer covered by insurance – so the price of the ones from the pump manufacturers has skyrocketed. Due to all of this, I did a whole bunch of research on other pump bags on the market before our Little Dude was born early this fall. In my research, I came across a wonderful work-at-home mom, Amy Schendel of Ella Alana. (https://www.etsy.com/shop/EllaAlana )
Amy had a business already designing and making diaper bags, changing pads, and more for mamas when she was approached about making a pump bag from a customer, as there were so few on the market. Her product is unique in that it can be entirely tailored to the individual customer! Amy will quote customers for extras, since each bag is custom made for you, but here are a few of the customization options:
- Messenger flap or zip top
- Seat belt-style carrying strap is standard, but softer ones can be added.
- Possible to get extra bottle pockets on the inside of the bag.
- A sleek outside bottle pocket is standard, but an expandable one is available.
- A laptop sleeve on the inside is optional – which is great for multitasking in your pumping room at work.
- An outside back pocket is also available for your tablet or iPad.
I met with Amy, and she showed me bags with these different options. She also showed me the incredible supply of fabric she has so that your bag can look just right – you can select exterior fabric and a complimentary interior fabric to get a fun look.
I chose a grey fabric for the exterior, and a bright turquoise fabric for the interior, for a bright pop of color. I have the exterior back pocket that I use for my iPad. You can get an optional cooler from Ella Alana for your milk that is flexible, so it can be shaped to accommodate most bottles and can fit right next to the pump for storage.
I have a Medela Pump In Style Advanced pump, which fits easily into the standard pocket of the Ella Alana bag – the Medelas have Velcro on the top that attaches right to the Velcro inside of the bag. However, some other pump brands would need the pump hole area to be made taller, so that’s something to communicate during the purchase project. It’s another added bonus of getting a custom bag rather than one off of the rack, that it can be made perfect just for your needs.
The bags are made of home décor fabric, so they wash really well (tumble dry low or hang dry) and are very sturdy. I can’t possibly see needing to get another bag. The quality of the workmanship is amazing – the stitching is perfect, and very strong. As you can see from the photo below, it’s incredibly roomy – I could easily use this as our primary diaper bag if I were exclusively pumping and had to take my pump with us other places than to work and home. (Amy also has bottle coolers, changing pads, and more available for purchase through her store.)
I’ve had the chance to compare this to some other pump bags, and this is easily the best pump bag I’ve encountered. It’s the most fun and functional bag available, with countless customization that will make the bag work perfectly for anyone. It’s fashionable yet totally practical. Pumping at work and elsewhere is a lot more enjoyable when your bag streamlines the process!