The (New) Working Mom's Guide to Breast Pumping Made Tolerable

31/05/2018 - 02:54 PM

During the first few weeks with my new baby, I had a hard time understanding moms who said that they actually enjoyed breastfeeding. I felt like it was all I ever did, and it took a little practice to become confident that things were going smoothly. But eventually, nursing became a relaxing, quiet time that I actually looked forward to. Plus, there's nothing more satisfying than watching your baby thrive and being able to take responsibility for his growth.

Pumping [1], however, is a whole other story. It's time-consuming, uncomfortable, and just a tad bit humiliating. But if you're planning on returning to work and want to continue breastfeeding your baby, pumping at the office is a necessary evil. Here are the tricks and tips that I've found make the process just a bit more bearable.

Source: Thinkstock [2]

Rock Out

The monotonous noise of an electric pump is enough to drive anyone nuts. Zone out by listening to your favorite Pandora station or iTunes playlist.

Source: Flickr user bburky [3]

You'll Need One of These

No, it's not going to be the prettiest bra in your lingerie drawer (far from it), but Simple Wishes' Hands-Free Bustier [4] ($39) allows you to pump from both breasts at once and leaves your hands free.

And One of These

A small, portable cooler like this BUILT NY tote [5] ($25) is an easy, discreet way to transport your milk stash back and forth to the office fridge and then home with you.


The worst thing that you can do while pumping? Sit idly by and wait for those bottles to fill up. It'll feel like it's taking forever! Use the time to catch up on work tasks, make phone calls, or peruse favorite iPad apps.

Source: Apple [6]

Stay Warm

Since you'll essentially be sitting in your office topless a few times a day (a pleasant thought), keeping a comfy cardigan on hand is a smart idea. This cashmere one's from Splendid [7] ($298), but keep in mind that no one else will be seeing you, so even an old sweatshirt will do the trick!

Know Before You Go

Before you schlep your pump into the office, be sure to do a thorough check to confirm that you have all of the necessary bits and pieces (of which there are way too many, I might add). I've learned the hard way that missing even one tiny membrane can turn your entire day into a tailspin!

Source: Amazon [8]

Like He's Right There With You

Many moms get into the groove by simply looking at a photo of their baby. It can help with letdown and serve as a reminder that even though this pumping business is a headache, it's all worth it for him (or her). Make sure you have a favorite pic of him or her with you at all times — not that you wouldn't anyway!

Source: Flickr user Lisa Rosario Photography [9]

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