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How will I be able to pump breast milk at work?

Pumping breast milk at work doesn’t need to be a daunting experience, with the task becoming commonplace.

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HERE AT TOMMEE TIPPEE, WE UNDERSTAND THAT THE IDEA OF JUGGLING YOUR JOB AS WELL AS PUMPING BREAST MILK AT WORK (NOT TO MENTION HAVING TO SAY THE WORD BREAST TO YOUR BOSS!) IS SOMETHING THAT FEELS DAUNTING TO MOST NEW MOMS. BUT WITH MANY MOMS CHOOSING TO CONTINUE THEIR BREASTFEEDING JOURNEY AS THEY RETURN TO WORK, IT IS BOTH COMMONPLACE AND VERY MANAGEABLE WITH THE RIGHT PREPARATION AND SUPPORT.

Pump and Go

YES, I DID JUST SAY BREAST

Have a conversation with your line manager before you return to work to let them know that you intend to pump during the working day. For many moms, you will be following in the footsteps of others before you and so it will just be a case of agreeing how it will work for you and your specific role. For some, this may be the first time this has been requested and so you will be paving the way. Your employer should do everything in their power to help. After all, moms who give their babies breast milk take less time off work than moms of formula-fed babies. Be ready to offer ideas on how to make it work and explain what you will need.

ARE YOU SITTING COMFORTABLY?

You will need somewhere clean, warm and private to pump with a comfortable chair. A bathroom is not a suitable place. Some workplaces may have a dedicated pumping or wellness room, but if this is not the case you may need to be creative e.g. an empty meeting room or office where you can put a sign on the door. It should have an electrical outlet for your breast pump if needed and a clean surface for you to lay out your equipment. You will also need washing facilities nearby for both your hands and to clean your pump.

Pouches in fridge

KEEP COOL

The ideal space would have a refrigerator to store your pumped breast milk until you go home. If this is not possible, then you can either store it in a shared refrigerator elsewhere in the building or, if you prefer, in a cooler with ice packs.

DON’T CRY OVER SPILT MILK

Pumping straight into pre-sterilised pouches means there is no need to decant and less risk of spilling your liquid gold. These are super handy for passing over to your caregiver too.

YOUR PERSONAL PUMPING TIMETABLE

Have a think about when will is best for breast milk pumping at work. You’ll need to pump as often as your baby feeds — ideally that’s 2-3 times in the working day. With each session probably taking around 30 minutes, including prep, you might like to think about ways to fit these in. Some moms use authorized breaks, others come in early and stay a little late. Some even take work with them…the ultimate in multi-tasking!

Keep an extra bra, blouse and breast pads in your office for leaks.

CONNECT WITH OTHERS

Chances are you won’t be the only nursing mom in your workplace! Seek out others and share experiences, tips, even pumping sessions if you’d like the company.

It may feel strange to begin with but you’ll soon get into the swing of things and will be a pumping-pro in no time. Here are some top tips from moms who have already got their ‘pumping-at-work pro’ badges!

No matter how busy your day gets, don't let yourself become engorged. This puts you at high risk for mastitis.

"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."

"Protect pumping time by blocking it off on your schedule."

"Accidents will happen. Laugh them off."

"Keep photos of your baby in your pumping bag to help stimulate milk production. Or watch a video of your baby on your phone."

More Thoughts from Moms on breast pumping 

Take a deep breath, and trust yourself
I felt I was going back to what makes me who I am.
Read Amy's story