Using your Breast Pump at Work
Pumping at work isn’t glamorous, but it’s essential for breastfeeding moms who need to spend time away from their babies. I pump daily at the office and over time I’ve streamlined my routine. See my favorite tips here and let me know your strategies for pumping at work in the comments below. Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are 100% my own.
7 Key Tips for Pumping at Work
1. Don’t wash pump parts between sessions. It isn’t necessary if you can keep the parts in a cool and clean place between pumping sessions. If you prefer, a quick rinse is fine, but a thorough cleaning is unnecessary because breast milk is sterile. Just a thorough wash at the end of each day is enough and this way you can save time in your work day. If you’re really concerned, these Medela wipes (available for great low prices on Amazon) might do the trick.
2. Use a hands-free bra. This is essential for me because I pump both sides using a double electric pump. The hands-free bra lets me do work, have lunch, or play with my phone while pumping.
3. Develop a routine. Following the same routine each day will help you express milk quickly – much like your breasts respond to your baby, if you develop a pumping routine you can stimulate the milk ejection reflex quickly to express milk. For example, at the start of each session I drink a glass of lemon water and watch a video of my son.
4. Pump directly into milk storage bags. I started doing this for three reasons. First, I spilled milk out of the pump bottles a few times, out of clumsiness or while trying to pour milk from one bottle to the other. Second, my milk collection bottles leaked occasionally and I did not like coming home to find spilled milk in my cooler bag. Third, it was easier to transport and store milk in bags vs. the milk collection bottles.
5. Follow a pumping schedule. While away from your baby, it is best to pump as often as he or she would nurse so you can maintain your supply and express sufficient milk. I have also found that it helps to pump at approximately the same time each day. My first pumping session of the day is at 11am and my body has adjusted so I can express milk and empty my breasts quite quickly at that time.
6. Keep your pump in good condition. Membranes, valves, etc., occasionally need to be replaced. If you notice your milk production dropping off, check your pump parts in case suction has been weakened. Replacement parts are available on Amazon!
7. Try breast compressions. I do this in every pumping session. I apply pressure to my breast while expressing to stimulate the milk flow. Especially towards the end of each sessions this helps me be sure I’ve drained my breasts. It can also speed pumping up a bit.
I hope these tips help and good luck pumping! Let me know any comments or questions – I’m here to answer!
You might also be interested in pump bag essentials or breast reviews: