hands holding a breast pump

10 Must-Read Pump at Work Tips

Pump at work tips for new moms after mat leave.

Are you in desperate need of some great pump at work tips?

Going back to work after having your sweet baby is emotional enough. Add milk-pumping struggles to the mix and it can make you crazy.

Lucky for you, many women have conquered pumping at work.

And this post is packed with first-hand advice from experienced moms.

But, if you’re still feeling worried after all the mom-to-mom advice, don’t freak out.

Instead, check out:

The Milkology Back to Work Pumping course. 

It’s full of pump at work tips that will help you transition back to the workforce.

*This article may contain affiliate links. That means when you buy something using our link, we get a commission at no extra cost to you. Read more in our terms of service.

Pumping for Work Course

Milkology Ultimate Back to Work Pumping Class is an amazing online course created by a certified lactation educator.

It takes you step-by-step through everything you need to know about pumping at work, like:

  • How to choose the right pump

  • Seeing if you can get the cost of your pump covered

  • Storing milk properly

  • Building a freezer stash

  • Your legal rights when pumping at work

  • How to talk to your employer about pumping at work

  • What to do if you’re not producing enough milk

  • Getting your baby to take a bottle

And you can get it all for only $19 (so affordable!).

How to Make Pumping at Work Easier

1. Get Spare Parts

Cassie at Cass Clay Cooking says:

“With a young baby I pumped as frequently as we feed which was every 2-3 hours.

Getting a spare set of parts and wipes for busy times worked great for always having clean parts available.

Also wearing oversized shirts made it easier to be discreet.”

Breast pump parts sitting on a table

2. Store Pump Parts in the Fridge

Kate over at High Chair Chronicles says:

“Pump parts don’t have to be washed after every pumping session!

Store used pump parts in a zip lock bag in a cooler with ice packs or in the refrigerator.

Freshly pumped breast milk lasts for up to 4 days in the fridge, which means that you can use the same pump parts for 1-2 days and still have fresh breast milk that will last 2-3 days in the refrigerator.

This time-saving tip is the only reason I was able to stick it out with pumping for 18 months.”

You might also be interested in reading about The Breast Pump that Changed My Life: A Haakaa Review

3. Get a Pumping Sign

Stormy from Pregnant Mama Baby Life says:

“Get yourself a good ‘pumping in progress’ sign for your pumping space.

Most states require work environments to have a clean and comfortable space to pump in private. But you’ll still want to be left undisturbed.”

*Check out Stormy’s free printable pumping signs here.  

4. Eat Enough Calories

Tiffany from Saving Talents says:

“Did you know that you need more calories producing breast milk than you did being pregnant?

The average pregnant mother only needs an extra 300 calories in the second trimester and 400-500 calories in the third trimester.

However, when you are breastfeeding, you need at least an extra 500 calories per day. (There are about 20-25 calories in each oz of breastmilk.)


So many mothers try to go on a diet to lose the extra baby weight, but what it really does is take away the calories needed to make healthy breast milk for your baby.

You may also want to take a multivitamin, or continue taking your prenatal vitamin, so your breastmilk is full of nutrients.”

Diana  from Eating Richly says :

“I found it really helped to eat specific nutrition dense snacks that I also ate while breastfeeding.

Not only was I getting the additional calories and protein that I needed, but it helped my mind and body know it was let down time.

Lactation cookies are my favorite pumping snack, and made pumping feel like a treat instead of a chore.”

Woman using a double electric breast pump

5. Get the Right Flange Size

Kealy from Little Bear Care says:

“Make sure the pump flange size is right!

Most pump brands will have a guide to help you determine which flange size is the right one for you.

Basically, you don’t want too much breast tissue going into the flange but you also don’t want your nipple rubbing against the side of the flange.


Most breast pumps come with 2 options for flanges but they don’t fit all moms!

You can order the correct size flanges if yours don’t fit.

Getting the right size prevents pain and breast/nipple damage. And a breast pump works MUCH better with the right size flange (can decrease the time of a pumping session – for working moms!) 

I’m a Nurse and Certified Lactation Counselor, here is a blog I wrote about pumping if you want to use any of the info!”

6. Find Ways to Help Let Down

Carissa from Creative Green Living says:

“Watch a video of your baby on your phone when you start to help facilitate let down.”

Cindy from Living for the Sunshine says: 

“Bring a piece of your baby’s clothing (e.g. a hat) to smell when you start pumping.

Baby’s scent can make it easier to start producing milk!”

7. Set an Alarm

Amy from The Postpartum Party says :

“Make sure you don’t forget that pumped liquid gold at work!

Set an alarm on your phone to grab your pumped milk or put your keys with your chilled stash so you remember to bring it home.”

Woman sitting scrolling on her cell phone

8. Practice and Create a Schedule

Charissa from The Wild Wild West says :

“ Practice pumping before you go back to work.

Some women don’t respond well to a pump at first, so give yourself time to adjust.

Try to get yourself on a pumping/feeding schedule *before* you go back to work, especially if you’re used to feeding on demand and your baby’s schedule is sporadic.

At work, you likely won’t be able to drop everything and pump at all times.

Having your body prepared for scheduled times will save you a lot of discomfort (and leaks).”

9. Set Calendar Notices

Camille from Friday We’re in Love says:

“Set calendar notices and block off time to pump.

It’s so easy to get distracted, have coworkers take over the time, or let meetings run long and start missing pumping sessions.

Make sure you block off the times you need and stick to it the same way you would an important client meeting!”

10. Be Honest at Work

Lindsey from These Hungry Kids says:

“Be very honest with your coworkers and employer about what your needs are.

It is your right to pump and feed your baby!

Make a schedule for yourself and let your coworkers know what you need from them.

Take the pumping breaks you need and don’t feel one ounce of guilt or shame for it!”

Put These Pumping Tips to the Test

Breastfeeding and pumping can be really hard, but luckily there are lots of moms who have gone before you, and they have great advice!

So choose one or two of the tips above to put into action, and if you want a more comprehensive guide, check out this Milkology Course

Text: 10 Essential Tips for Pumping at Work. Picture of an electric breast pump being held.

Pump at work tips for new moms after mat leave.

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