Pumping at the Office: 5 Helpful Tips

Heading back to work while you are still breastfeeding can pose a challenge for many. You have to get into a routine and make sure you are pumping regularly throughout the day. You need to pump often to keep your supply up and no one wants to become engorged at work. This is such an uncomfortable feeling and having that occur while at work can add unnecessary stress. Stress can affect your supply as well and make pumping at the office a difficult task. It is best to take it one day at a time. Some things I learned included the importance of relaxing and planning my office outfits accordingly. Here is a list of 5 tips for successfully pumping at the office. 

1.  Drink a lot of water.

You want to stay well hydrated when trying to express breast milk. Dehydration can cause a drop in your supply.

A corporate woman holding a glass of water

2.  Always have snacks on hand.

In addition to your regular meals, you should keep snacks at your desk and/or workplace. It is very easy to get caught up in your work routine and forget to eat. You may not always have a moment to step outside to grab lunch so it is important to leave snacks in your drawer or keep them with your pump supplies.

3.  Set reminders.

When you have meetings all day or you get caught up on a project, it is easy to forget to pump, unless you feel engorged, of course. I found it important to set a schedule and stick to the same pumping times every day. I scheduled them in my office calendar to block out that time so others would see I am busy. The calendar pop-ups also serve as a reminder so I do not take too long between each session.

4.  Relax.

Depending on where you are pumping at work, it may be harder to do this for some. I am fortunate that my company renovated the offices and included a wellness room on each floor. I am able to pump in a private room, with a sink and a fridge, and a door that could be locked from the inside. The last thing you want is to be worried about someone walking in on you while you are pumping at work.

5.  Wear comfortable clothes.

Pumping at work means having to pull your top off or unbutton your blouse. When you only have a set amount of time to express your breast milk at work, the last thing you need is a complicated dress or top that takes additional time to open. I found that wrap dresses make it easy to pump without feeling exposed at work. The cut and style of this dress make it simpler for the suction to reach your breast. No one wants to be sitting in a room at work with their dress pulled up above their waist!

Pumping at the office can be stressful but it doesn’t have to be. Set your schedule and don’t be hard on yourself. You made it this far and in the end, do what works best for you and your baby.