Tips for Pumping at Work

Pumping at work can sound like a nightmare.  Depending on where you live, the laws may vary as to how a pumping mom can expect to be accommodated.  In our state of New York, the law states that employers have to allow moms time to pump whenever they need to (they can require that you make up that time you take to pump). We are both extremely lucky and fortunate to work for employers that were supportive and accommodating to let us pump whenever we need to and never ask twice.

There are a few awkward things that you may run into when you pump at work. FYM Emily is  not a shy person, and tends to be an over sharer in general.  Many times co-workers will come to her cube to talk as she’s getting up to pump and she has no problem telling them exactly where she’s going.  It has certainly caused some strange looks but, hey – a mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do!  Anytime there is a conversation about breast milk with a coworker, they may get a little uncomfortable.  It’s all about just being sure you don’t cross a line.

With that being said here are some of our tips  for ensuring that pumping at work is smooth and easy for you, thus be able to adequately feed your little one. 🙂

Make the Time
We all know that it can get busy at work, but be sure to  listen to your body and never skip a session. Habit is key here and you have to stick to a firm and solid routine. Emily has gotten up and left the tail end of meetings because she needed to pump!  If you can, block the time on your calendar every day to ensure you don’t miss a session. Emily does this so she is not scheduled in back to back meetings. If your employer doesn’t already have a dedicated nearby space for you, be sure you account for that time, too.

Pumping Breastmilk

Get Comfortable
 Ensuring you get the most from a pumping session is about relaxing and being comfortable, which we know can be hard to do at work. Perhaps you want to bring a comfy pillow with you or if you can turn the lights down or off.  You should also bring in a photo or video of your baby so you feel more like a mom and less like a dairy cow!

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Bring Snacks & Water
Staying hydrating throughout the day is key to producing milk.  Throw some snacks in your pumping bag and grab your water with you when you go to pump. If it’s the only chance you’re going to get to eat, go for it!

Have the Right Tools
 We both invested in a Sarah Wells pump bag to transport all of our pumping essentials. Emily used the Kiinde cooler bag to transport milk and Sherrie uses a lunch box that has built in freezer packs. We both highly suggest a hands free pumping bra, you can make your own or purchase one (we both love this one). It doesn’t hurt to pack an extra shirt (trust us), nursing pads, and a sharpie for labeling.  You just never know and we’d rather you be prepared than find you are in need of anything!

 Pumping Bag- Sarah Wells Bag for Pumping at work

We both know how stressful this can be. You got this mama – keep going! Do you have any tips for pumping at work that we missed? Let us know!

Sherrie & Emily

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  1. These are some AWESOME tips!!! Continuing breastfeeding while working is sooo tough, and my hat goes off to all the mamas who do it – so incredible! I hate that many employers are not very breastfeeding friendly though, and I do hope to see that change in the future. Thanks for sharing <3

  2. One of the companies I used to work for in Florida had special rooms that were specifically for nursing mamas. It was amazing to see these rooms on every floor. They were very peaceful and they had comfortable chairs and the doors locked! I enjoyed your post. -Breyona Sharpnack

  3. That system is awesome! Only used it a few times because I have always got to take my son to work but it worked great! These are some great tips for pumping at work:

  4. Working in a Children’s hospital made it easy to pump at work. We lucked out having dedicated pumping rooms. The issue was only getting one that wasn’t being used a set time worked best.

  5. Ugh, I hated pumping at work! It was so hard to carve out the time especially in a male-dominated environment. Great tips. If I forgot my water, I was done for!

  6. Ooh yes! Have the right tools!! Just last week I ended up with milk all down my shirt and no extra. Oops! This wasn’t a day that I was pumping, but I wish I had been prepared.

    Great tips!!