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A Practical Guide to Successfully Pumping at Work, from a Lactation Counselor and Mom

Updated: Nov 29, 2022

You are reading a guide about pumping at work. Which means you are still feeding your baby breast milk! Bravo!


Whether your baby drinks 1 ounce or 30 ounces of breast milk a day, this is a huge win.


Our bodies were made for breastfeeding, but that doesn't mean that it is easy.


Born Happy, Nashville, TN, Tennessee, United States, Baby Sleep Coach, Baby Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep Coach, Toddler Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep, Preschooler Sleep, Baby Sleep, breastfeeding, working mom, pumping at work, breast pump guide

As you plan to return to work...

  1. You may feel a little nervous about maintaining the milk supply you and your baby have worked so hard for. And rightfully so. Maintaining your milk supply while pumping at work is no small feat.

  2. Or maybe you are just trying to figure out the best times to pump and how to actually build pumping into your workday. This can be a challenge.

  3. And if you're a planner, you are probably trying to figure out which breast pump to choose and which supplies you need.


You are in the right place for all of these things.


I am excited to share with you my favorite practical tips for pumping at work and share a ton of helpful resources.

 

Please Note: This article contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I will receive a small commission on the sale of items linked to Amazon. However, the price is the same for you. I am not personally affiliated with any of the brands I recommend. I only promote products that I love and believe you will love. Thank you for supporting my small business.

 

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Summary


How To Prepare to Pump at Work


There are a few things you need to line up as you prepare for pumping at work.


Even if you're not a big planner, like me.


Believe me.


You don't want to be caught with your shirt off, breasts full, but without the supplies you need.


Or with a boss that didn't expect you to build pumping into your work day.


Or to spend 30 minutes wandering around trying to find a place to pump on your first day back (been there).


As you begin to think about transitioning back into the work place, you are going to have many big emotions. And things to do.


As with everything else (hello, parenting life), find 15 minutes here and there to slowly chip away at your list.


Let this list of to-do's help you get organized rather than overwhelm you.


One thing at at time.


Born Happy, Nashville, TN, Tennessee, United States, Baby Sleep Coach, Baby Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep Coach, Toddler Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep, Preschooler Sleep, Baby Sleep, breastfeeding, working mom, pumping at work, breast pump guide

One Month Before You Return To Work


T-1 month.


If you are reading this with less than a month to plan, no worries. You can totally get these things done procrastination style.


1 - Where will you pump?


Where you work, what you do for your job, and how big or small your employer or place of work is will contribute to whether this is an easy or challenging task.


Federal law requires many (but not all) employers to provide “a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk”.


Check out Know Your Pumping Rights At Work to determine what your employer is required to provide.


Born Happy, Nashville, TN, Tennessee, United States, Baby Sleep Coach, Baby Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep Coach, Toddler Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep, Preschooler Sleep, Baby Sleep, breastfeeding, working mom, pumping at work, breast pump guide, pumping room
Designated pumping space for employees at a hospital; employer provided computer to make it easy for staff to chart while pumping if needed/desired

Designated Pumping Room At Work


If you work for a large employer or in a large office, there may already be designated pumping rooms at your work.


If this is the case, call the Human Resources Department and ask...

  • where are the designated pumping rooms located

  • detailed directions on how to actually get to the room

  • how do you access the room

  • what is in the room (chair, sink, outlet, place to put a computer?)

  • is there a schedule or are you able to use the room as long as it is not in use by another nursing mother?

You may want to pop into work ahead of time to actually find the room. I'll spare you the story about how, when working as a nurse at the hospital, I had a list of many available pumping rooms, thought I was set, but spent 30 minutes frantically trying to find a room (any room!) on my first day back. Where the heck is room C1235!


Also, if you know other nursing mother's who have used these pumping rooms, consider reaching out for tips on using the designated pumping areas.


Born Happy, Nashville, TN, Tennessee, United States, Baby Sleep Coach, Baby Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep Coach, Toddler Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep, Preschooler Sleep, Baby Sleep, breastfeeding, working mom, pumping at work, breast pump guide, pumping room
Designated pumping space for employees; ante-room to a bathroom, made private with retractable curtain

No Designated Pumping Room At Work

On the other hand, many women work for employers where there is not only no designated pumping rooms, but it is challenging to even find a private space to do so.


As I mentioned above, federal law requires many employers to provide a designated place for you to pump.


However, not all nursing mothers are protected under the federal law. If there is no established designated place to pump, you may need to get creative.


Consider pumping at/in...

  • your desk

  • an unused office

  • a spot in the employee lounge

  • an unused walk-in closet

  • ante-room to a bathroom or locker room (can you hang a curtain?)

  • if you find a space that doesn't have a door, suggest hanging a retractable curtain so you can make the space private upon use

  • pump in your car

  • ask other nursing mothers at your work where they pump

  • make a pumping at work door sign so coworkers know not to interrupt/intrude



Work On-The-Go

If you work in health care, hospitality, drive around, travel by airplane, or even just have a long commute, you may need to get creative with where you pump.


The good news is, you have options...

  • pump in car - with a hands-free pumping bra and a battery operated pump (like Spectra S1 or Baby Buddha)

  • pump when traveling - with a hands-free pump (like Willow Gen 3) under your shirt

  • pump when working - with a hands-free pump (like Willow Gen 3) under your shirt


No matter your situation, it is worth it to figure out where you will pump now rather than on your first day back to work.


And don't be shy about reaching out to your boss or the Human Resources Department to come up with a plan.


Born Happy, Nashville, TN, Tennessee, United States, Baby Sleep Coach, Baby Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep Coach, Toddler Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep, Preschooler Sleep, Baby Sleep, breastfeeding, working mom, pumping at work, breast pump guide, pumping room
Designated pumping room for employees at a hospital

2 - Call your boss


No need to focus so much an on details at this point.


But do reach out to your boss, let him/her know...

  • you will be pumping when you return to work

  • where you plan to pump

  • how often you will be pumping at work (usually about every 3 hours, check out How To Schedule Pumping At Work)

  • if you will need provided breaks for pumping or if you plan to pump while you work (check out Productive Pumping)

  • ask how others breastfeeding moms have managed to pump at work in the past

  • thank him/her for their support (being grateful for support, even though they are often obligated to allow you to do this, goes a long way with their flexibility and attitude about your pumping)


3- Order supplies


Do you have....?

  • a breast pump (Check out How To Choose The Right Breast Pump)

  • pump accessories (breast milk collection bottle, flange, extra membranes)

  • breast milk storage bags

  • cooler bag and ice pack for storing milk

  • bag to carry your supplies to and from work/pumping areas

  • hands-free pumping bra (a must if you aren't using a hands-free pump)

  • baby bottles (if your baby has been exclusively nursing)

Now is a great time to do some research and order.


Other helpful resources


4 - Begin pumping


If you have been exclusively nursing, I'd suggest getting a little practice pumping in over the next few weeks.


Why begin pumping now?

  • get used to the pump

  • figure out the settings that work best for you

  • figure out how long it takes to drain your breasts

  • pump and store some extra milk so you have enough to leave with your babe on your first day back to work

  • introduce bottles to your babe

Consider pumping once a day for the next month if you don't already.


Timing of your pumping session is not super important during this month leading up to your return to work.


The point is mostly to get used to the pump so you aren't fumbling around with it on your first day back to work.


And to ensure the pump and all of its parts are in good working condition.


Oh yeah, and so you don't find out that your pump isn't working properly as your breasts are full in the middle of your first day back to work.



Born Happy, Nashville, TN, Tennessee, United States, Baby Sleep Coach, Baby Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep Coach, Toddler Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep, Preschooler Sleep, Baby Sleep, breastfeeding, working mom, pumping at work, breast pump guide

One Week Before You Return To Work


T-1 week. Are you getting excited? Nervous? Overwhelmed?


1 - Make a pumping schedule


Now that you are just one week out from returning to work, you can actually plan your pumping break times.


You will want to pump around the time you typically breastfeed your baby. And if that timing isn't great for your work schedule, pump as frequently as your baby eats. For example, baby eats every 3 hours, plan to pump every 3 hours.


Check out How To Schedule Pumping At Work for more details.


2 - Pack your pump bag


You will need a bag to carry your breast pump, pump accessories, cooler bag, and expressed breast milk to and from work each day. And to and from the place where you pump at work.


Check out the Back To Work Pumping Checklist for a detailed list of the breast pumping supplies you will need.


3 - Evaluate your breast milk supply


How much extra pumped breast milk do you currently have?


Do you have enough expressed breast milk to leave with your baby for your first day back to work?


If not, don't sweat it. Just come up with a plan.


For example:

  • Challenge: You have some expressed breast milk but not enough to feed your baby for a full work day.

  • Solution #1: Do some extra pumping over the next week to see if you can squeak out extra ounces of expressed breast milk

  • Solution #2: Consider sending your baby with formula to supplement your breast milk supply for one day. If you pump at work on your first day back, you should then have enough expressed breast milk to feed your baby the next day.


Born Happy, Nashville, TN, Tennessee, United States, Baby Sleep Coach, Baby Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep Coach, Toddler Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep, Preschooler Sleep, Baby Sleep, breastfeeding, working mom, pumping at work, breast pump guide

First Week Back To Work


It's game time, baby!


However, be ready to go with the flow. Best laid plans. You know how they go.


1 - Tweak your pumping-at-work schedule


You made a pumping-at-work schedule. You planned to pump when your baby typically eats. But now that you are back to work, you have probably found that your schedule will not work exactly the way you thought it would.


Probably because you will have a regularly scheduled meeting smack dab in the middle of your pumping time. Or, if you are in healthcare, there will be no one to cover your patients until later. Or, your pumping time turns out to be your most productive time of the day and you need to save your pumping time for when you are brain dead an hour later.


No sweat, you will likely need to readjust your pumping schedule every so often to fit into your work day.



2 - What can you accomplish while pumping?


One of my favorite things to do as a mom? Kill two birds with one stone.


Make your breast pumping time productive! You will feel like a badass.


Check out Productive Pumping for tips!


3 - Get into a good pump cleaning routine


The not-great-part of transitioning from nursing to feed your baby to pumping breast milk and feeding with bottles?


Having to clean pump parts and bottles every day.


Check out How To Clean Pump Parts At Work for tips including CDC cleaning/sanitizing recommendations.


Born Happy, Nashville, TN, Tennessee, United States, Baby Sleep Coach, Baby Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep Coach, Toddler Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep, Preschooler Sleep, Baby Sleep, breastfeeding, working mom, pumping at work, breast pump guide

Tips For Making The Return To Work


Returning to work after having a baby is hard.


By itself, just that is super hard.


Getting to work on time, getting back in the swing of things at work, having quality time with your babe during the limited hours before and after work, feeding yourself and your family. It's a lot. Some might say, impossible.


Add on postpartum hormones (or, for 10-20% of women, postpartum depression), and it is even harder.


Dump on top of that a baby who wakes to eat overnight. And a chronically exhausted mama due to interrupted sleep.


Throw pumping (so you can feed your baby) into the mix.


And you have an overwhelmed mama.


An overwhelmed mama who does not have enough hours in the day to accomplish what she needs to get done.


Who is chronically exhausted.


Who has a human relying on her for nutrition.


It is a lot.


So, what helps?

  • planning ahead

  • make pumping at work a priority, otherwise it will be the first thing that drops during a busy day

  • find "easy" times to pump, sounds like a joke, but its possible (Productive Pumping)

  • connect with other breastfeeding working moms, connection and support is everything!

  • snuggle with your baby before and after work, and nurse during those times if you are blessed enough to be able to do so

Born Happy, Nashville, TN, Tennessee, United States, Baby Sleep Coach, Baby Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep Coach, Toddler Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep, Preschooler Sleep, Baby Sleep, breastfeeding, working mom, pumping at work, breast pump guide

Have A Breast Milk Storage Plan


For tips on the best place to store your milk while at work and the best containers for storage, check out How To Store Milk At Work.


Your at home breast milk storage plan will depend on your milk supply, and if you have extra stored milk or if you produce just enough to feed your baby the next day.


The CDC advises that if you don’t plan to use freshly expressed milk within 4 days, freeze it right away.


Check out Storage and Preparation of Breastmilk from the CDC for more details.



Back To Work Pumping Checklist


Nothing like a good check list to keep us organized.


This Back To Work Pumping Checklist will help you prep both before and after you have returned to work (hello, mom brain, overwhelmed, sleep deprived moments).


Click for an easy-to-read view, save to Pinterest, or download to refer back to.


Born Happy, Nashville, TN, Tennessee, United States, Baby Sleep Coach, Baby Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep Coach, Toddler Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep, Preschooler Sleep, Baby Sleep, breastfeeding, working mom, pumping at work, breast pump guide, back to work pumping checklist, pumping at work checklist

How To Choose The Right Breast Pump For Work


You and your breast pump are going to be spending a lot of time together.


So many options, how does one choose?


The best thing to keep in mind is how you will be using your breast pump.


Since you will be pumping at work multiple times a day, you will want to prioritize portability, noise level, and efficiency.


Check out my tips on how to choose the right breast pump for work.


Born Happy, Nashville, TN, Tennessee, United States, Baby Sleep Coach, Baby Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep Coach, Toddler Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep, Preschooler Sleep, Baby Sleep, breastfeeding, working mom, pumping at work, breast pump guide

Breast Pump Portability


Small and light is obviously best.


But how small and light do you need to go? Consider...

  • will you be pumping at your work desk?

  • will you be carrying your breast pump to and from your pumping location every day? or to and from work?

  • do you travel for work? will you be carrying your breast pump on planes, trains, and automobiles?

If portability is important to you (I am looking at you, breastfeeding mamas you travel for work!), consider...

  • Willow Gen 3 - cordless, tubeless, totally hands-free breast pump, breast-shaped, fits under a shirt, amazing for mamas who travel or those who need to be on their feet and situations where a structured break is a challenge (hello, nurses!)

  • Baby Buddha - cordless, recharges with USB cable, very compact and lightweight, about the size of a thick cell phone, can be worn with a lanyard around your neck, small enough to throw in any work/travel bag

  • Spectra 1 - cordless with a rechargeable battery, significantly bigger than the Willow Gen 3 and Baby Buddha, but still relatively portable if you are only transporting it around the office rather than on an airplane



Breast Pump Noise Level


Noise level matters. Especially once you are listening to your breast pump for upwards of an hour and a half each day.


And it will matter even more if you will be pumping while taking work phone calls or in not totally private settings (a shared office, planes/trains, etc).


But maybe not as important as if you were pumping next to a sleeping baby.


Perspective, right?


If quiet breast pumps are important to you, consider...

  • Spectra S1 - very quiet

  • Willow Gen 3 - quiet enough

  • AVOID - Baby Buddha and Medela Pump In Style if you want to avoid loud motors


Breast Pump Power Modes


Most breast pumps have a letdown mode and an expression mode with many settings.

  • Adjustable suction and pump speed - will allow you to fine-tune your pumping experience to the right settings for your breast

  • Dual-Phase Expression - Dual-phase expression seeks to mirror what occurs during a breastfeeding session. Most pumps automatically switch from stimulation/letdown mode to expression mode


Hands-Free Breast Pump


Yes. Hands-free breast pump is a must.


But perhaps not in the way you are thinking.


You can turn any electric pump into a hands-free option with a hands-free nursing bra.


However, if you fall into any of the below categories, a truly hands-free breast pump could be the one thing that allows regular pumping to be possible.

  • work in situations where a structured break is a challenge (hello nurses, doctors, healthcare workers)

  • frequently travel by plane for work

  • commute to and from work via train

  • work on your feet

Let me put it this way, if I was still working as an ER nurse, I would most definitely be considering the Willow Gen 3 breast pump.


If you are looking for a hands-free pump option, consider…

  • Willow Gen 3 – cordless, tubeless, totally hands-free/wearable, breast-shaped, battery-operated pumps, worn under your bra, spill proof, collects right into the disposable collection bag inside the pump, light, efficient, pretty quiet

  • Freemie Next Generation Cups – these are breast shaped collections cups that are compatible with the Baby Buddha pump (and others) via tubing. If you used the Baby Buddha pump with the Freemie, you can hang the cell phone sized pump around your neck on a lanyard and have mobility. Not as discrete as the Willow Gen 3 since it connects via tubing.


Breast Pump Efficiency


How fast can a breast pump empty your breast? That is what we are talking about when we talk efficiency.


Every breastfeeding mama will vary with how much breast milk they produce, how strong their let down is, how quickly their breasts empty.


However, some breast pumps are stronger and more consistent, resulting in faster expression of breast milk.


Breast pumps that rate most efficient are…

  • Spectra S1 – suction power up to 270 mmHg, 12 suction levels, can produce more expressed milk in less time than most competitors

  • Medela Pump In Style Max Flow – a traditional pump that is almost as efficient as the Spectra S1

Although not top of their class in efficiency, the following breast pumps are still very efficient…

  • Baby Buddha – strong suction at a max of 320 mmHg, 14 suction levels, resulting in efficient breast milk emptying for many women

  • Willow Gen 3 – many women report a matched expressed milk output to the Spectra S1


Born Happy, Nashville, TN, Tennessee, United States, Baby Sleep Coach, Baby Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep Coach, Toddler Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep, Preschooler Sleep, Baby Sleep, breastfeeding, working mom, pumping at work, breast pump guide, breast pump

Best Portable Breast Pumps


So many breast pumps to choose from, how does one choose?


Since you will be pumping at work daily, you will want to prioritize portability, noise level, and efficiency.


Below are some of my favorite breast pumps.


Check out why...



Overview

  • Efficient and quiet

  • Easy to use

  • Rechargeable battery (built-in)

  • Suction Levels: 12

  • Bulky (comparatively)

  • Heavy (comparatively)

  • Weight 3 lbs

The Spectra S1 is one of the most sought-after daily-use breast pumps. And I totally understand why.


It is comfortable, efficient, and easy to use.


It has a built-in rechargeable battery, which is gold! No need to be close to an electric outlet.


It has lots of suction power (270 mmHg) and 12 suction levels, which makes it a super efficient pump. It pumps more expressed milk in less time than most competitors.


Another gold star in my book, the Spectra S1 is extremely quiet. So quiet, you can pump at your desk with coworkers close by or while taking a call, and no one will know you are pumping.


It has some helpful extras like a nightlight, built-in timer, space to place bottle, and memory that saves the prior setting.


it is a bit bulkier and heavier than some of the smaller breast pump options. If you are pumping at home or while sitting at work, this probably won't bother you. However, if you travel for work, or need a more portable option (wearable while you walk around), then this might not be the best fit.




Overview

  • Compact and lightweight

  • Weight: 0.4 lbs

  • Rechargeable battery by USB port (built-in)

  • Easy to use

  • Suction Levels: 14

  • Aggressive letdown suction

  • Loud

The Baby Buddha Breast Pump is well-liked for its small size (less than 0.5lbs) and ability to wear as a necklace. Use with a hands-free pumping bra, hang your pump around your neck with a lanyard, and you can be completely mobile while pumping.


It has an impressively strong suction (320 mmHg) and 14 suction levels, leading to efficient emptying for many women.


It's rechargeable battery lasts for up to an hour of pumping and can be charged with a USB port in about 3 to 4 hours.


One potential drawback to the Buddha is that some users feel the suction is too powerful, particularly in the letdown phase. Some complain it is actually painful. This experience isn't true for everyone, but it is something to consider if you have sensitive breasts or nipples.


Unfortunately, the Buddha is loud and makes a rhythmic buzzing sound you can hear over the phone.


Despite these minor hiccups, for its weight, size, and power, the Baby Buddha Breast Pump is definitely a great option if you are looking for a very small pump that is easy to throw in a work or travel bag. If you plan to pump while on the phone, the noise may bother you.



Overview

  • Cordless and tubeless (hands-free)

  • Breast shaped, fits under loose shirt

  • Pump in any position (standing, sitting, lying down)

  • Lightweight (0.78 lbs)

  • Expensive

  • How-to-use learning curve

Attention health care workers! Breastfeeding mamas who often travel by plane! Mamas with long commutes by train! This may be the pump for you!


The Willow Gen 3 is a cordless, tubeless, totally hands-free pump. It is breast-shaped, so you put it under your bra, pull down your shirt, and can walk around/sit at your desk/walk through an airport without anyone knowing you are pumping.


Mind blown.


The breast pump comes with two (one for each boob, duh) wearable pumps that include collection receptacles that hold 4 ounces of milk each.


The pump stops once the bag is full.


One draw back, if you express more than 4 ounces of milk per breast per pumping session, you will need to stop mid pump to change your collection bag.


Back to the good news. This pump doesn't spill when you bend over or lay down. So, theoretically, you could take a nap during work. I give it a gold star just for the opportunity!


The Willow has a rechargeable battery that lasts 4 to 5 pumping sessions. It links to an app giving up-to-date, accurate information like amount of breast milk collected and pump time.


Many users report matched expressed milk output to the Spectra S1.


Even though the Willow includes two pumps, it only comes with one charger. So, if you want to charge both pumps simultaneously, you will need to purchase an accessory charger. It takes about 2 hours to fully charge from empty, so an extra charger would be money well spent IMO.


One more thing to consider. The Willow has a shorter lifespan that other pumps. Willow markets its pumps to function for 273 hours, which is 819 twenty-minute pumping sessions. If you use the Willow three times a day, it will last you 273 days.


The Willow is much more expensive than almost all other breast pumps. However. if you are someone who has a job where it is almost impossible to schedule breaks or to actually be relieved to take them (hello, health care workers) or you travel by plane often, it is totally worthwhile in my opinion.




Overview

  • Easy to use

  • Efficient

  • Bulky (comparatively)

  • Loud

  • Must be plugged in to either wall or (not-built-in) battery pack

  • No time/suction info

The Medela Pump in Style is an oldie but goodie.


The new Medela Pump In Style Max Flow version is an updated version that has a closed system, a big improvement from a hygiene perspective. With Max Flow, there is no longer condensation build-up in tubing and/or backflow of breast milk traveling to the motor.


This breast pump is efficient and easy to use.


The Medela is louder than similar pumps so not great if you are trying to be discrete about your pumping at your work desk or while on the phone. Also, loud pumps are hard to listen to day after day, month after month of pumping multiple times a day at work. (Can you tell I have some post-traumatic stress from pump sounds?)


If you care about collecting details like how long you pump or the exact suction level you use, this may not be the pump for you. Medela does not have an interface that provides those details.


While there is nothing inherently wrong with the Medela Breast Pump and many women swear by them, for a quieter pump with a built-in rechargeable battery, I just may choose the Spectra instead.


Born Happy, Nashville, TN, Tennessee, United States, Baby Sleep Coach, Baby Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep Coach, Toddler Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep, Preschooler Sleep, Baby Sleep, breastfeeding, working mom, pumping at work, breast pump guide

The Best Breast Pump Accessories


Hands-Free Pumping Bra


You can turn any pump into a hands-free pump with a hands-free pumping bra.


This is my absolute favorite breast pump accessory.


If you don't have a hands-free pump, and you only buy one accessory, let it be this.


It allows your hands to be free during your pumping session, which means you can be productive while pumping. Which is literally everything.


My personal favorites are the Bravado! and the PumpEase hands free pumping bras.



Nursing Bra


Wearing a nursing bra allows for easy access when pumping at work.


By wearing a nursing bra, you can easily access your breasts without having to take your shirt off, take your bra off, and feel super naked.




Breast Milk Storage Bags


Most breast milk storage bags cannot be reused. Bags are made out of plastic and are sterilized for single use.


There are, however, special reusable breast milk storage bags made out of silicone.


Best containers for storing expressed breast milk

  • Disposable Milk Storage Bags

    • made out of plastic

    • sterilized for single use

    • all plastic breast milk storage bags leak sometimes

    • Lansinoh are strong bags with a double sealed and are my favorite

    • If you are freezing expressed breast milk, you will want a disposable milk storage bag

  • Reusable Milk Storage Bags

    • made of silicone

    • reusable and eco-friendly

    • useful if you use your expressed breast milk within a few days or use your frozen milk frequently

    • not practical for storing milk in the freezer for extended periods of time

    • Junobie Reusable Storage Bags get great reviews and are a great eco-friendly option

  • Storage Bottles

    • Reusable plastic storage bottles

    • avoid storing breast milk in plastics containing BPA (recycle symbol #7)

    • useful if you use your expressed breast milk within a few days or use your frozen milk frequently

    • not practical for storing milk in the freezer for extended periods of time as they take up a lot of space

Pumping At Work Tip: I like buying reusable storage bags in bulk, at least a months worth at a time. That way you don't find yourself having to stay on top of your breast milk storage bag supply regularly.



Born Happy, Nashville, TN, Tennessee, United States, Baby Sleep Coach, Baby Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep Coach, Toddler Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep, Preschooler Sleep, Baby Sleep, breastfeeding, working mom, pumping at work, breast pump guide

Breast Milk Pumping Bag


You are going to be toting your breast milk, breast pump, and all of your breast milk accessories/parts to and from work every day.


It will be worthwhile to have a pumping-at-work bag dedicated to your breast pump, pump accessories/parts, cooler and ice pack.


Check out Tips For Pumping At Work: Get Organized for helpful tips on getting into a good routine so you don't forget your supplies at home.


Consider leaving your actual breast pump at work, and just bringing the parts home to give a good wash. Less to carry back and forth if you don't need the pump at home.


Your pumping-at-work bag should be big enough to hold

  • breast pump

  • breast pump accessories/parts (i.e. flange, collection bottle, charger, etc)

  • a small cooler and ice pack

  • extra pumping supplies (i.e. extra milk storage bags)

  • pump accessory cleaning supplies (i.e. small dish soap, hand sanitizer)



Cooler/Ice Pack


You will need a small cooler bag and a good ice pack (that will stay frozen all day) to hold your expressed milk during the day and on your commute home.


Your pumping at work cooler does not need to be fancy, but well insulated is better.


The Medela Breast Milk Cooler is not fancy by any means, but it keeps milk cold for 8+ hours and the ice pack that comes with it is big and stays frozen all day.


Cooler bag can totally be repurposed later as a

  • lunch box

  • to take snacks/meals for your babe when you go out to eat

  • a small cooler used when you travel

  • etc.

Pumping At Work Tip: If you are pumping at work with no access to a refrigerator or travel around in your car/keep your milk in your car, consider investing in a quality cooler bag/lunch box and ice pack to keep your milk cold throughout the day.




Pump Parts Cleaning Brush


You are not only going to be cleaning your pump parts daily, but also lots of bottles.


A bottle brush really is needed for cleaning your bottles and pump parts.


The Munchkin Bristle Bottle Brush is well loved. If you want a brush to keep in your pumping at work bag, the Boon Bottle Brush is great.


Pumping At Work Tip:


My pump part cleaning routine was...

  • rinse with hot water and a little soap after pumping

  • reuse parts for all pumping sessions during the day

  • throw in the dishwasher when I got home (dishwasher would sanitize with steam)

  • have an extra set so I didn't have to worry about running the dishwasher daily and so I could immediately put my supplies for the next day in my bag and not forget them the next day

Check out How To Clean Your Pump At Work for more tips.


Car Outlet Adaptor


If you haven't figured it out by now, I really love being productive while I do mom things, like pumping breast milk at work.


If you spend time driving around town between clients, or have more than a 15 minute commute to/from work, consider pumping while you drive.


Not to only i s pumping while driving super productive, it will cut down on the amount of times you need to actually step away from your work during the day. Or provide you with an extra pumping session to give you a little extra stimulation and milk.


Many pumps now come with built in rechargeable batteries, but if you have a Medela pump or a pump without a rechargeable battery, grab a car outlet adaptor so you can pump in the car.



Born Happy, Nashville, TN, Tennessee, United States, Baby Sleep Coach, Baby Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep Coach, Toddler Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep, Preschooler Sleep, Baby Sleep, breastfeeding, working mom, pumping at work, breast pump guide

Know Your Pumping