How do you pump while working?

Need advice for breastfeeding as a working mom. I delivered my baby on January 15, a month early. I have been off on maternity leave since but return to work in less than a week. I have been breastfeeding, but I return to work this week. I was originally thinking of possibly weaning to formula, but I have two other kids which I breastfed for one year & I love the bond so much, I don’t really want to switch her. But I am an RN, and sometimes I am the only nurse on the unit at my job. I am not 100% sure that I will be able to keep up with the demand for pumping, but I may give it a try. Any advice for breastfeeding/pumping for working mothers, any special pumps or supplies I should buy? Or is it best to switch to formula?


I started pumping right after birth to have milk stocked up for when I returned. But like yourself, my unit was soooo busy and short staffed with COVID going on and I didn’t have time to pump except maybe once a day. But I had so much saved and then supplemented with formula and nursed every night and all day everyday that I was off. It is painful when you’re soo full but I wanted to nurse her and make sure my patients were taken care of too. Breast pads were my best friend for the first few months and now she is 14 months and I nurse at night still, no leaking thankfully and not so full since she’s weaned a lot since discovering all the foods lol

1 Like

I am an an acute care RN on a very heavy unit, and it was a bit of a struggle in the very beginning, sometime I would go 8 hours without pumping but it really tried not to often. If my shift would start at 7 am I would pump at around 9:30 and 2:30 if I worked 8 hours. Often in the beginning I could only pump once due to demand and on those days I would pump around 11:30-12 at the latest. Working twelve I would pump at 9:30 2:30 and 6:30. Sometimes it got too busy around 6:30 and I waited until I got home to feed my son but you know nursing and on a late night I was home at 9:30 with a 7:30 end time. I worked hard at it, got into a routine and we are required by law to get that time so if you are having issues talk with your boss and see how they can accommodate you. I would keep my zone phone on me, let someone know I was leaving the floor in case of something critical, but Like I said I kept my zone phone.

Your employer is required by law to make it a feasible option for you. Know your rights.


Also an RN on a busy unit… I always pumped right before I left my house, I would pump again during my lunch break and I would make time/ arrangements to pump once more before my shift ended. They also have different pumps that are cordless and quite that you can put inside your bra, I know a few nurses who used them.

By law your job has to give you 2, 15 min pump breaks during an 8 hour shift

Legally they have to provide you with the means to pump while at work.

Wearable breast pump

1 Like

Whille i was in the icu recently the nurse was using a wearable breast pump may be an idea

I would make a schedule and present it to your employer legally they have to give you a place to pump and time to pump


Willow is cord less or freemie which has a portable unit that is charged so you can hook it to your pants.
I use the freemie and it helps me chase after 2 little one’s while my baby is sleeping

This was 300 dollars. And I believe the willow is 500.

They sell a portable breast pump, evie? I think it is

I struggled with supply when I returned to work. Pump as often as you can. A hospital grade pump made a huge difference for me. Drink plenty water and eat well. Nurse the baby more when you are together. Most of all, dont beat yourself up. :muscle:

1 Like

Before i started going back to work i froze at least a couple of days milk supply. I would pump at work twice or thrice as needed and would put them in the office fridge. I brought ice packs with me to keep the milk good since i have 2 hrs commute. I would then freeze the pumped milk right when I get home. That will be the milk she can drink while am at work. Also when i get home i would breastfed her and when putting her t8 sleep. This is to make sure that I keep producing milk coz the more you pump or feed the more milk youll produce. I also drank those teas while eating those cookies which are both made to increase milk supply. Its right that by law they need to give you pumping break and a place to do it. Am a big advocate for breastfeeding. I am confident that you can figure it out have the will. :slight_smile: Keep it up. Your baby will benefit the most.

Pump whenever you can, maybe set up a schedule with work. I know this field can be a little unpredictable but they’re legally obligated to oblige you pumping. If you can’t keep up with it possibly supplement with some formula but continue to bf when you’re with baby.

I’m pretty sure legally they have to allow you time to pump. I’m a nurse and was able to 3x a shift. (Once was during my lunch)


I work in the lab at a hospital, yes they have to give you time and a space to pump. However if it’s more than you’re allotted breaks they can make you extend your day (for my employer at least) I would schedule everything around pumping, always packed easy to eat meals, lots of water.

Pump at work! It is difficult but do it if you can. The managers at my work were very willing to accommodate.

My doctor made it a provision on my medical paper to state I needed pumping breaks. At least two. Your job has to accommodate you. By law. Don’t feel guilty for having to go off and pump. The one thing I got when I pumped was a good small cooler that could keep my milk cold. I didn’t feel comfortable leaving it in the employee fridge. It was always in my locker and kept cold by the cooler

1 Like