Don’t we all know that the best baby products are mom-created?
Can’t be any other way! Only we know what it really is to be a mother, a woman, a wife and a professional – all at the same time.
With that in mind, Breastfeeding Quest is off to test yet another mom-created product. Let me introduce you to…
...“Maddy” Breast Pump Bag from Sarah Wells.
The idea behind creation of this bag was exactly that – help mothers combine their daily activities and conveniently pack them all into one bag. I know this is what I needed when I was returning to work from my maternity leave and was determined to pump.
On my way to work I always had my hands full (to say the least): pump bag, laptop, meeting notes and my personal purse. No room for a coffee mug!
In addition, if I wanted to keep my pumping business private, the look of a typical pump bag wasn’t helpful at all.
Tired of similar challenges working mom Sarah Wells came up with an idea of a bag with the functionality of a pump bag, and the style and look of a personal bag. This is how Maddy the bag was born.
Now let’s test how well it serves its purpose.
The bag is very light. There is no heavy frame or base. So no extra weight added to what you have in the bag. At the same time, the bag stays perfectly in shape even when empty.
I’ve always had three sets of bags: something black, something brown and something multi-colored for summer. I feel uneasy wearing a brown bag with a black outfit and vice versa. Maddy conveniently combines black and brown for me. Two-color design works nicely with anything I wear.
Exterior of the bag is durable man-made material (resembles leather in looks). It is water-resistant, which works nicely for milk spills or nasty weather. Water and milk just roll off the surface of the bag. It also makes it easy to clean. I wipe mine with a damp cloth and it is ready to go.
4 metal legs at the bottom of the bag are a great bonus. This is something I always look for in a bag, since most of the time it ends up sitting on the floor. Even my most durable leather bags rub off at the bottom, especially on the corners.
All outside zippers seem very durable, have double sliders and designed to stand heavy usage.
Do you like your bag handles to be adjustable? I like wearing my bag in different ways. That’s why handle length is something I always look at. It has to fit over my winter coat, but not be too long and drag on the ground if I carry it in my hand.
Well, Maddy’s handles are not adjustable. But somehow they managed to design them just the right length. I tried wearing it in different ways: over my winter coat, on a lighter jacket, just holding the handles in my hand. It always felt comfortable.
Bag lining is made of durable man-made material. It resembles the one used to make the exterior of a pump bag. It is easy to clean. It doesn’t tear easily. But it is not water-resistant. So don’t rely on it to hold your milk bottles and prevent leaking into other compartments.
There are three compartments: one main and two side compartments.
Side compartments may serve to carry your pumping gear, but may as well flatten and increase the space of the main compartment. Even with the side compartments loaded there is still enough room in the main compartment for everything I want to carry.
When there is nothing in the side compartments I flatten them and get a full-size main compartment. I think it is a very clever idea!
The bag can be used after you stop pumping or at times when
you simply don’t need to take the pump with you. And it is always the
same-looking bag: same size and shape no matter what is inside.
If you wonder whether you’ll have enough room in the bag for everything else besides the pump, here is what I put in mine. I don’t need to carry all of this with me on a daily basis, but wanted to test and see if it would fit. And it did.
Here is my bag packed:
And here it is packed and closed:
Now look at what was inside the bag:
Also, the main compartment opening is 14in long. I thought you'd be interested to know, in case you are thinking of carrying your laptop on no-pump days.
For times when you do use it as a pump bag, one side compartment rooms the pump, the other is for all the accessories, like bottles, tubing, charger and wipes.
Side pockets are designed to fit pretty much every personal
use manual and electric pump.
I am using my Medela Pump-In-Style Advanced Metro Bag pump for demonstration. This is the type where the motor is in its separate case. It is a fairly big motor compared to others. But it fits in the side compartment even WITH the case on:
And here is the other side compartment with everything else:
I was able to use the pump right from my bag without having to take it out. This is a great feature, especially if discreet pumping is your thing. Check this out:
There are two pockets inside the bag. One is a zippered pocket.
The other one is a padded pocket that keeps your electronic devices secure from whatever you have in your main compartment. You can use it for an e-reader or a tablet.
My iPad mini fits easily into it even with its
child-proof heavy-duty case on. But even the largest iPad out there will fit in
Here is the padded pocket:
And this is the pocket with a zipper:
√ Return policy:
Sarah Wells' company offers 30-day return policy for bags returned in new condition.
I like my bags with lots of pockets. It keeps me organized and I can easily find what I need.
When I have my pumping gear in the bag, there are only two inside pockets left. At times I think I could use another little (maybe even an outside) pocket or two to quickly toss something in without opening the bag.
Maddy does seem a little pricey when I think "pump bag". But not so much when I think designer personal bag, as well as a fashionable and functional pump bag - all at once!
It is not an average bag that you buy for one season and then get rid of. It is a bag with name, character and functionality. I feel comfortable using it as a pump bag and a personal use designer bag that I can definitely wear for going out as well as for a business meeting.
Something to consider: Since most pump purchases are now
covered by insurances, maybe using this money for a nice treat for yourself isn't such a bad idea? Or maybe even a baby-shower gift for a close friend!?
I haven’t used my Maddy for long enough to talk about its “life span”. But it does look like a very functional and durable bag. If you use Maddy too, please share your experience and pictures here. Can't wait to read your stories!