Breastfeeding Tips for Busy Working Moms: Balancing Breast Pumping and Work

Breastfeeding Tips for Busy Working Moms: Balancing Breast Pumping and Work

Returning to work after maternity leave is difficult for any new mom, but for breastfeeding moms, it presents additional challenges: how to continue providing breast milk for your baby while balancing job responsibilities.

As someone who has already experienced such a journey, we know how hard it is! But, hey, cheer up! There is always some solution available! With some planning and the right tools, you can have a successful breastfeeding journey despite a busy work schedule. What to Prepare? With 7 Tips!

A.Talk to your company's HR about providing a lactation room

Many companies are required by law to provide a designated private space for breastfeeding moms to pump. Ask if there is an existing lactation room and if not, talk to HR about setting one up. A proper lactation room with seating, a lock, sink, fridge, and electrical outlets makes pumping at work far more comfortable. Without a dedicated space, pumping at work can feel stressful and expose nursing moms to discomfort and awkward encounters.

Don't forget to communicate with your boss and colleagues. Let them know your pumping schedule in advance and set expectations about your availability during those times.

Breastfeeding Tips for Busy Working Moms: Balancing Breast Pumping and Work

B. Invest in a high-quality breast pump

A good breast pump is key. Look for a pump that is portable, has a long battery life, and has double pumping capabilities to save time. Popular options like the Momcozy wearable Breast Pump are trusted by working moms. An ineffective or unreliable pump will only add frustration and make balancing breastfeeding and work seem impossible.

Remember: Look for a pump that is hands-free and double electric. When you are not starting pumping milk, you may not feel how important it is to have your hands free. However, once you start the milk pumping, you will know immediately how important it is! A hands-free pumping bra will hold the flanges in place so you can work on your laptop, read, or do other tasks with both hands during pumping sessions. A double electric pump allows you to pump from both breasts at once, cutting pumping time in half. Some popular hands-free, double electric models for working moms include the Momcozy wearable breast pump. A nursing cover like Momcozy's allows you to pump discreetly while typing emails or messages.

In the meantime, you may also consider purchasing a car adapter to enable pumping on the go. A long commute to work or business trips is more feasible when you can pump in transit or without an electrical outlet close by. Extra batteries and a car adapter provide flexibility and portability. Some breast pumps even offer rechargeable battery packs as an accessory.

Consider using a manual pump as a backup. Manual breast pumps provide a simple, inexpensive option for those times when an electric pump is unavailable. They offer portability with no need for batteries or outlets. As a backup, a manual pump can provide peace of mind in the event your electric breast pump needs repair or replacement. Look for high-quality, durable models that work for your unique needs.

With the right pump for your unique needs, pumping at work while breastfeeding can feel more sustainable and empowering. Investing in a high-quality, reliable, and efficient pump will provide the necessary tools for maintaining your milk supply even with limited time for pumping during the workday. Find a pump that gives you the flexibility, portability, and power to thrive in both your professional and mothering roles.

Breastfeeding Tips for Busy Moms

C. Create a designated pumping space

If a lactation room is not available, find an empty office and use a privacy screen. Make the space comfortable with a hands-free pumping bra, nursing pads, lanolin, photos of your baby, and perhaps a blanket. Having a comfortable space to pump will help you relax and aid with milk let-down. Add a small fan, an essential oil diffuser, and a cushioned chair if possible. Keep the space clean and stock it with cleaning wipes, a mini-fridge, and a sink if available.

D. Set a consistent schedule

For milk supply and to avoid discomfort, aim for pumping every 2-3 hours. Find times that match your natural feeding schedule as much as possible and block them off on your work calendar. Even taking two 20-minute breaks can help provide enough milk for your baby's needs. An unpredictable pumping schedule can lead to engorgement, discomfort, and a drop in milk supply. If needed, consider using a high-quality breast pump during commute time as well. Use a pumping log to track your pumping sessions and milk storage. Free apps like ‎Baby Tracker - Newborn Log on the AppStore can help.

E. Join a Support Group

Connecting with other working moms who are breastfeeding can provide valuable advice, encouragement, and support.

  • Look for Get Help - La Leche League International
  • Join online forums or social media groups on Facebook, Tiktok or Instagram for working moms
  • Share your experiences on social media or with your friend and learn from others in similar situations

F. Build a Freezer Stash

Before returning to work, start building a freezer stash of breast milk. This will help ensure that you have enough milk available for your baby even if your supply fluctuates during the initial transition period.

  • Start pumping 2-3 weeks before returning to work
  • Pump in the morning, after nursing, when your supply is usually highest
  • Store milk in breast milk storage bags and label them with the date and amount
  • Rotate your stock to ensure your baby gets the oldest milk first

G. Prepare the Night Before

Save time and reduce stress by preparing everything you'll need for pumping at work the night before.

  • Pack your breast pump and accessories
  • Bring extra bottles, storage bags, or pumping accessories
  • Prepare snacks, water, and any other essentials you may need
Breastfeeding Tips for Working Moms

5 More Tips Get yourself ready both mentally and physically

Getting yourself ready both mentally and physically for returning to work while breastfeeding requires preparation and planning.

Here are five tips to help you feel empowered and supported as you balance providing breastmilk for your baby with your professional responsibilities. Having the proper mindset and taking care of your physical needs will enable you to navigate this transition smoothly. With self-care, efficiency, and organization, you can feel capable of thriving in both your role as a mother and your career.

1. Stay hydrated, fed, and get enough rest

Breastfeeding requires extra calories, fluids, and rest to maintain a nourishing milk supply. Your diet and fluid intake directly impact your breastmilk supply.

Focus on nutritious foods like oats, leafy greens, nuts, and lean proteins. Stay hydrated and keep snacks like granola bars or trail mix on hand for energy boosts. Also, don't forget yourself.

Focus on self-care on evenings and weekends so you feel energized for the week of providing breast milk for your baby in addition to your work responsibilities. Exhaustion and depletion will only make the challenges of balancing work and breastfeeding seem insurmountable.

Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night and take occasional naps when possible.

2. Don't stress if your supply fluctuates

Your breastmilk production can be influenced by your mood and stress levels. Don't be alarmed if you pump less some days due to work pressures or fatigue. Leave it for a day or two and your supply should rebound once you relax. If the situation continues, consult your OB to rule out any issues.

But avoid blaming yourself - a temporary fluctuation is common and manageable. New breastfeeding moms face enough uncertainty without worrying over temporary dips in supply. Stay calm and your supply will likely regulate. Practice self-care, and deep breathing, and try to minimize stressful situations when you can.

3. Be efficient while pumping

Use the time to respond to work emails, call clients, or catch up on small tasks. A pumping bra leaves your hands free to type on a laptop or hold printed documents. Minimize wasting any time staring at the pump and maximize productivity. But when possible, also try to rest and think of your baby - it will help your milk let down.

Multi-tasking while pumping will make the time pass more quickly and allow you to accomplish more during the limited time away from your work responsibilities. However, avoid scheduling meetings or calls during your pumping sessions when possible. Your pumping routine requires your full attention at times.

4. Don't feel guilty

That's very important! Balancing breastfeeding and work is challenging and can bring up feelings of guilt over divided attention. Focus on providing your baby breastmilk and ask others for support. Your baby's nutrition and closeness matter most. Let go of perfectionism and know that both your career and mothering goals can co-exist. Focus on what works for your family's unique needs.

Ask your baby's caregiver for photos and updates during the day and spend quality time together on evenings and weekends. Cherish the moments you do have together.

5. Stay Connected with Your Baby

Maintaining a connection with your baby while you're away can help improve the breastfeeding experience.

  • Request regular updates and photos from your baby's caregiver
  • Schedule video calls during breaks if possible
  • Create a ritual for reconnecting with your baby when you return home

FAQs for milk-pumping working moms

Here are nine frequently asked questions (FAQs) about balancing breastfeeding and work for busy moms.

1. How can I maintain my milk supply when I return to work?

To maintain your milk supply, follow these tips:

  • Pump regularly, ideally every 2-3 hours
  • Establish a comfortable and relaxed pumping environment
  • Stay hydrated and eat a well-balanced diet
  • Prioritize rest and self-care
2. What should I do if I experience a drop in milk supply?

If you notice a drop in your milk supply, try these suggestions:

3. How can I manage my pumping schedule during work meetings and travel?

To manage your pumping schedule during meetings and travel:

  • Schedule pumping sessions around meetings or during breaks
  • Bring a portable, battery-operated breast pump for travel
  • Communicate with your employer or clients about your needs
Breastfeeding Tips for Busy Working Moms: Balancing Breast Pumping and Work

4. How do I clean and store my breast pump and accessories at work?

To clean and store your breast pump and accessories at work:

  • Bring a wet-dry bag for storing used pump parts
  • Use breast pump cleaning wipes for quick cleaning
  • Store pump parts in a refrigerator or cooler bag between sessions
  • Thoroughly wash and sanitize parts at home each night

5. How long can breast milk sit out at room temperature?

Up to 4 hours is safe before it must be chilled. Insulated cooler bags help keep milk cool when pumping on the go.

6. Is it safe to pump in my car?

Yes, using a car adapter or battery pack. But take care to pump safely if driving. Consider pulling over or pumping as a passenger.

7. How do I transport milk home from work?

Use an insulated bag or cooler with ice packs. Try freezing a bottle beforehand to use as an ice pack.

8. Can I feed baby milk that smells or tastes different?

Trust your senses. Sour or rancid milk should be discarded. But breast milk naturally changes flavor depending on mom's diet.

9. Do I need to clean my pump kit after every use?

Yes, wash all parts that touch milk with hot, soapy water after each use. Proper cleaning prevents mold and bacteria buildup.


For working moms committed to breastfeeding, embracing both professional and maternal responsibilities may require strength, courage, organization and occasional sacrifice. But with the right knowledge and tools, you can nourish your baby and meet the demands of your job.

Remember, you have so much to offer in both areas of your life. Stay determined, plan ahead, and rely on empathy from others. You've got this, and your baby is thriving because of your unconditional care and love.

Together, you will get into a rhythm that works for you, your baby, and your family.

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