6 Tips and Tricks to Make Pumping at Work Easier

Let’s face it—pumping at work can be downright difficult. In between lugging your pump back and forth to work and getting semi-topless in a room next door to your boss, it’s no wonder that for many moms, the end of the maternity leave means the end of nursing. If you find yourself having a tough time, here are some tips and tricks that can help keep you a pump-at-work mama:  

1.  Purchase a comfortable hands-free pumping bra

A hands free pumping bra allows you to continue typing and talking on the phone (or maybe even just let you zone out and check your Instagram for a few minutes) while you pump. You may not even realize how much of a game changer this bra is until you use it for a while and then forget it one day. A favorite of ours is the Simple Wishes Hands-free Breastpump Bra.  

2. Use your Outlook Calendar to schedule your pumping sessions

Be sure to block out time for pumping on your Outlook or other work-related calendar. It’s a helpful reminder to you to maintain your pumping schedule, and if you share your calendar with your co-workers, it can help them respect your time as well. Have fun coming up with entertaining names for your appointments (if the appointment names are set to private) like “Caution: Mom at Work” or “Pump Up the Jam.”

3. Try breast compressions

Running short on time to get finished pumping before your next meeting or just need a little help getting things going? Doing breast compressions while you pump can help stimulate additional let-downs and also help to thoroughly drain all of the milk from your ducts.     

Check out this video for more information on how to do this simple and free trick.

4. Up your shield game

The Pumpin’ Pals Super Shields can help you sit more comfortably at your desk chair when pumping by slightly angling the flange down so you don’t have to. The kit comes with 3 different flange sizes so you don’t have to worry about sizing prior to purchasing. The flanges also work with a variety of pumps including Medela, Ameda and Lansinoh.

5. Repurpose your burp cloths

Breast milk can stain so be sure to throw some inexpensive burp cloths into your pumping bag. Throw one across your lap to catch any drips when you remove the flanges. You can also use it to clean yourself up a bit before dressing. In a tight spot, they can also be used as a quick cover for your equipment or bottles when heading to a communal sink or refrigerator. Gerber Cloth Diapers are an easy and inexpensive option.  

6. Drink more water

There’s nothing more frustrating than setting up your pump at work and not being able to produce as much milk as you like. So while you may want to reach for another cup of coffee, reaching for a glass of water instead will help keep your milk supply up. Treat yourself to a nice water bottle like this one from Tervis – it will keep your water cold sans condensation and it’s leak-proof so you can throw it in your bag and take it with you wherever you go.   

Bonus tip: If a little flavor in your water would make it easier for you to get some more H20 in your diet, try UpSpring’s Milkflow with Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle. In addition to giving your water a tasty berry flavor, it also has two herbal supplements that may help stimulate milk production.

Pumping at work can be challenging but also an incredibly rewarding experience. What other quick tips do you have to make pumping at work easier? 

If you’re looking for more tips on pumping at work, check out Returning to Work and Pumping.

Photo Credit: Cate Thorin

This post is meant for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace medical advice from your physician, doctor or health care professional. Please read our terms of use for more information.

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Cate Thorin

Cate lives in Maryland with her husband, 6 month-old son, and 2 dogs. She's technically a lawyer by day, but that's really just to pass the time until day care lets out. When she's not staying on top of the newest and best parenting trends, she loves relaxing with her family - preferably with a nice cocktail and a body of water. You can find her on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

Comments (3)

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    Katie

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    Instead of spending money on a pumping bra (most of which seemed to have middling reviews, especially from women who described themselves as larger-breasted, which I am), I used the tutorial from Kelly Mom to fashion a solution out of hair ties. (http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/pumping/hands-free-pumping/) I already had the materials and, because it doesn’t get dirty the way a full bra would, I can leave a pair at the office and have a pair at home (I’m an EPer) so I’m never without my set up.

    Reply

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      Cate Thorin

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      Thanks for sharing Katie! I hadn’t seen this tutorial before so appreciate you passing that along!

      Reply

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    Beth taylor

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    Great advice!! Thanks alot!

    Reply

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