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Tips for Pumping Breast Milk At Work


Working moms with babies often have a new companion—the pump. In our survey, we asked veteran moms for their top tips. From "drink lots of water" to "stick with it," here's some in-the-trenches advice:

What you need:

  • "Don't cheap out on a breast pump. Buy the best you can afford."
  • "Keep a pump at home and another one at work. This will eliminate schlepping and stop panic when you forget it due to mommy brain."
  • "At work, double up on the pump parts that need to be washed. That way, when you're in a rush, you'll have backups for your next session."
  • "Buy a hands-free pumping bustier. It may seem silly until you realize you can pump and balance your checkbook at the same time. Genius."
  • "Keep an extra bra, blouse, and breast pads in your office for leaks."
  • "Be patient and committed. You'll be fine."


Helpful hints:

  • "Ask ahead of time for an arrangement if your comapny doesn't have a lactation room and you don't have an office."
  • "Be committed. Aggressively protect pumping time by blocking it off on your schedule."
  • "A discreet note helps keep people from barging into your office."
  • "Accidents will happen. Laugh them off."
  • "Pump as soon as you get to work. In the morning you'll have more milk and you'll be less likely to put it off once you're involved in a project."
  • "No matter how busy your day gets, don't let yourself become engorged. This puts you at high risk for mastitis."
  • "Keep photos of your baby in your pumping bag to help stimulate milk production. Or watch a video of your baby on your phone."
  • "Relax. Stressing out makes it all the more difficult."
  • "Consider learning how to hand express milk. In a dire emergency, you can do this in a restroom to relieve pressure until you can pump."