Tips for Pumping at Work

Headed back to work soon? That's awesome! Pumping at work is one of the best things you can do for your baby. Here are some tips for pumping at work to make things easier for you.

Plan your outfits

If you're breastfeeding, you already understand the importance of selecting an outfit based on how easy you can get to your breasts. Something with a high neckline and zipper up the back just isn't practical for daily wear while breastfeeding. The same thing goes for pumping at work: You're going to want to select an outfit with easy access to your breasts, and something that doesn't require you to fully undress to pump. This can be more challenging if your office has a formal dress code. Consider wearing a button-down shirt with a nursing bra or tank underneath. Or, wear something loose that you can lift up. Consider bringing a spare change of clothes just in case you spill, too!

Pack your bag

Get your breast pump bag ready to go ahead of time. Your breast pump essentials include more than just your breast pump; make sure you have these accessories:
  • Breastshields
  • Tubing
  • Valves
  • Bottles
  • Your pump's power adaptor
And, we recommend including these as well:
  • Extra bottles or breastmilk storage bags
  • Ice pack
  • Extra valves
  • Water bottle and snacks
  • Photo of baby
  • Extra shirt for you

If this seems like a lot of stuff, you're right! But you wouldn't want to be stuck without any of it. If you're going to be pumping in the same place every day, or if you have a desk at work, consider storing some of these items at work with you. Keep an ice pack in the freezer at work just in case. Some mums even have two pumps, keeping one at work to reduce how much they have to carry home.


Try to take a day or two for a trial run before you return to work. Pump around your work schedule, and have baby spend time with their caregiver just like when you're at work. Call your workplace and make sure they are ready for your return with a place for you to pump. You could even practice packing your pumping bag in the morning and taking your usual work commute. Practicing allows you time to work out any kinks in your routine beforehand, eliminating stress. Don't wait until the day you return to work to start pumping! Take time to get used to pumping, too. If you know your return date ahead of time, we recommend starting to pump at least once a day 2-3 weeks ahead of time, or as soon as you can. This will help you get used to using your pump, and allow time to fix any issues like using the wrong breastshield size.

How can I help my partner pump?

Interested in how to help the pumping mama in your life? Read a dad's story about supporting his partner to pump! Check out Spectra Mums group on Facebook to connect with other working pumping mamas!

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