Breast Pumping Basics at Work

Are you headed back to your office after a summer with baby? There's so much to think about as you reengage with your colleagues and office following maternity leave. Don't let nursing and breast pumping intimidate you. 

Here are a some things to consider as you start to pump breast milk at work. Let this 'to do' item come off your list so you can use your time enjoying your little one instead of stressing about milk!

We've put together a quick primer on best practices when heading back to work while nursing. 

Where to pump

Plan to pump your breast milk where you'll be most comfortable in a private and as relaxing as possible environment. You could choose:

  • your office
  • conference room
  • colleague's office (choose a mom who's been through it for optimal simpatico)
  • ladies room if it has a comfortable sitting area

If you don't have an office with a door that closes and/or locks, speak with your manager or HR resource to find an appropriate and comfortable place to pump your breast milk.

How long to pump

As with your normal breast feeding routine, you'll want to try to pump for about 20 to 30 minutes every 2-3 hours to maintain your milk supply. This means that for a standard 8 hour work day you'll want to aim for 3 pumping sessions. 

Many suggest pumping approximately 2-5 minutes longer than the last drops to tell your body that you're out of milk so your production is maintained.

When to pump

Consider pumping your breast milk first thing in the morning when you arrive at work. This way you've had a bit of time in your commute and will likely be ready to pump. Pumping first thing can also force you to relax when you arrive a work and set your day on a great path!

How to cool and store your breast milk at work

Try to cool your pumped breast milk as quickly as you can after pumping.

Consider buying a small refrigerator for your office or bring in a good cooler and ice packs daily to transport your breast milk to and from work for final storage at home for baby.

Browse your local Goodwill or Salvation army or one of the many used furniture apps now available to find a inexpensive used refrigerator. 

How to manage co-workers and breast feeding

It will likely be no surprise that you may be nursing following your maternity leave. This alone sets you up for reasonable behavior by colleagues. It will, however, help to be clear with colleagues when you may be in the middle of breast milk pumping to avoid any interruptions or embarrassment (for them, not you!).

Plan to pick up an inexpensive and/or irreverent Please Do Not Disturb Sign. I like the look of this Please Do Not Disturb Sign.

What to pack in your breast pumping kit for your office

Store a couple of tops, a bra, nursing pads, all natural wipes and a couple of hand towels in your office for leaks and to stay comfortable.

Here are some awesome tips from mom's who have done it on how to successfully pump breast milk at work from 


breast pumping basics at work 


Today is a gift. Let's put a bow on it!
Find creative and sustainable ways to make family life a delight! Sharing modern etiquette that kids will enjoy.
💕 jennifer

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