Heading back to work after having a baby is no easy feat no matter what the circumstances. Just like breastfeeding, it’s a very personal choice whether you want to pump at work or not.
If you’ve chosen to pump, we give you serious props! (Feel free to insert all the high-five emojis here.) Be prepared for some additional logistical planning, starting with what to wear. Fortunately, there are plenty of affordable options for clothes that make getting ready to pump as easy as possible.
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Here are some of our favorites:
Has there ever been a less sexy thing than a hands-free pumping bra? Probably not. Regardless, it’s definitely an item you’ll want to invest in pre-pumping. And while you won’t technically wear it unless you’re pumping in private, it’s on our list because it makes pumping so, so much easier.
Nursing Bras and Tank Tops
Whatever you wear, we recommend starting with a layer that makes it easy to attach your pump. While you may want to get back into regular bras when you return to work, this means layering with a nursing tank and/or bra – it’s function over fashion to be sure, but necessary. Check out these options:
- H&M’s nursing bras ($29.99 for two)
- Old Navy’s first layer nursing tank ($17.99)
- BRLIDO Nursing Tanks with Built-In Bra ($29.99)
You can never go wrong with a button-down shirt when pumping. Plus, you can easily dress it up or down. Because your body shape has most likely changed after baby, your pre-baby button-downs may no longer fit quite right. If that’s the case, don’t spend too much on back-to-work clothing since you’ll be using them for a limited time. Check out Banana Republic Factory or J Crew Factory online for great classic options that won’t break to the bank.
Wrap dresses are perfect for pumping since they’re easy to take off in one fell swoop. Keep a hanger in your office or by your desk so you can hang up the dress while you pump. Check out some cute options available through ModCloth and H&M.
And Remember: Layers!
Layering is key when pumping. Wear a scoop neck T-shirt with a cute necklace and blazer or a nursing tank, flowy top, and cardigan, and you’re good to go. We recommend using nursing pads, as well as keeping a scarf handy in case you run into any unforeseen leakage issues (which happens to even the most prepared pumper).
Whatever you wear to work, don’t be too hard on yourself if pumping is a challenge. It is hard! Take a moment to look at cute baby pics and videos and, remember – you’re doing great, Mama!
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.
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