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Many mothers face the same worries as they near the end of their maternity leave. Frequently asked questions include: Where will I pump at work? How long of a break will I get? What do I need to buy? 

I don’t want you to have to stress and worry. This post will help alleviate your worries and answer your questions as you prepare to head back to work. 

What You Need to Know About Pumping at Work

Know your rights breast pump

As you make preparations and plans to pump at work, notify your employer of your plans. There is a good chance they have experience with this and can help. 

Even if your employer is up to speed on your rights and their responsibilities, it’s important for you to know, too. The Break Time for Nursing Mothers Law legally requires employers to provide time (and space) for employees covered under the Federal Labor Standards Act to express milk. Mothers are legally entitled to a private space that is not a bathroom. Many places offer what is called a Tranquility Room specifically for this purpose. Just ensure there is a properly working lock on the door to provide privacy. 

Visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health website to learn more about your rights in the workplace. 

Must-Have Products

New moms tend to receive unsolicited advice quite often and just as often have products marketed to them that they don’t need. Don’t worry, this isn’t that post. I have included a concise list of essential items you do need in order to have a seamless and comfortable experience pumping at work. 

Double Electric Breast Pump

must have breast pump products

A breast pump is the single most important item to have. There are plenty of breast pump brands and types available. What to Expect gives a detailed overview of the different types of pumps and reviews them for affordability, ease of use, and portability.

Your insurance company must cover the cost of a breast pump (either to rent or to keep). Contact your insurance to learn more about the procedure for getting your pump. For many insurance companies, clients need to purchase their pump and submit the receipt for reimbursement. 

If you do not have health insurance, check Facebook Marketplace and local moms groups; you will frequently find free or inexpensive used breast pumps there.

Spectra – S2 Plus Electric Breast Milk Pump

Spectra - S2 Plus Electric Breast Milk Pump for Baby Feeding
Price: $135.00
15 new from $135.000 used

Manual Breast Pump

A quality manual hand pump is helpful to have as a backup in case you are working in another location, in a hurry, forget your pump at home, or your AC adapter quits working. It also fits nicely into a small clutch for those occasional date nights out on the town. 

Medela Manual Breast Pump | Harmony Single Hand Breast Pump with Flex Breast Shields for More Comfort and Expressing More Milk
Price: $24.94
3 new from $24.940 used

Hands-Free Pumping Bra

So you aren’t stuck holding your flanges to your chest the entire time, it’s a good idea to have a hands-free pumping bra handy. You can catch up on emails or work on a project while at the same time providing milk for your little one. Medela makes a popular bandeau bra that you can put over yourself and still be able to wear normal bras. The flanges fit snuggly inside the two holes and sit close to your chest for seamless contact. 

Medela Easy Expression Hands Free Pumping Bra, Black, Large, Comfortable and Adaptable with No-Slip Support for Easy Multitasking
Price: --
0 new0 used

If you prefer a multi-functional bra, try Pacasso’s pumping/nursing bra, which can be used for both nursing and pumping.

Hands-Free Pumping Bra and Nursing Bra, Adjustable Breastfeeding Bra, Suitable for Breast Pumps, XS-XXXL, M, Black
Price: --
0 new0 used

Mini Cooler

Purchase a mini-cooler and ice pack to store and transport your milk from work to home. 

Medela Breast Milk Cooler and Transport Set

Medela Breast Milk Cooler and Transport Set, 5 ounce Bottles with Lids, Contoured Ice Pack, Cooler Carrier Bag
Price: $22.22
You save: $7.67 (26%) (26 %)
2 new from $22.220 used

Steam bag

Have a Medela steam bag ready to sanitize your flanges and membranes. If you are uncomfortable cleaning the parts at work, or simply do not have time, don’t worry about it. Grab a gallon-size Ziploc bag and use that to bring home the used parts to clean and sanitize at home. 

Medela Quick Clean Micro-Steam Bags Economy Pack of 4 retail boxes (20 Bags Total)
Price: $27.69
6 new from $27.690 used

Cleaning Wipes

Even if you take your flanges and membranes home to wash and sanitize them, it’s still a good idea to wipe them down after cleaning. This prevents milk from transferring to other surfaces and germs from transferring to your pumping parts. Medela makes great wipes just for this purpose.  

Medela Quick Clean Breast Pump and Accessory Wipes, 24 Count Resealable Pack, Convenient and Hygienic On the Go Cleaning for Tables, Countertops, Chairs, and More
Price: $9.61
5 new from $9.630 used

Spare Pump Parts (flanges and membranes)

Keep a spare set of flanges and membranes at work so you don’t need to transport them back and forth between home and work. 

Medela Freestyle Spare Parts Kit

Medela Freestyle Spare Parts Kit, Breast Shield Connectors and Membranes, Extra Breast Pump Parts Designed Exclusively for Freestyle and Made Without BPA
Price: $28.22
You save: $2.79 (9%) (9 %)
4 new from $28.220 used

Cover Up

Bring a cover-up to make you feel more comfortable. Here is a popular nursing poncho that also serves as a nursing cover, car seat canopy, shopping cart cover, and stroller cover. You can’t beat that versatility!

Baby Nursing Cover & Nursing Poncho - Multi Use Cover for Baby Car Seat Canopy, Shopping Cart Cover, Stroller Cover, 360° Full Privacy Breastfeeding Coverage, Baby Shower Gifts for Boy&Girl
Price: $14.99
You save: $5.00 (25%) (25 %)
3 new from $14.990 used

Hand Sanitizer

As careful as you are to make sure everything is clean and sanitized, your hands should be as well. Always keep a bottle handy. 

PURELL Advanced Hand Sanitizer Variety Pack

PURELL Advanced Hand Sanitizer Variety Pack, Naturals and Refreshing Gel, 1 Fl Oz Travel Size Flip-Cap Bottle with Jelly Wrap Carrier (Pack of 8) - 3900-09-ECSC
Price: $12.99 ($1.62 / Fl Oz)
You save: $2.00 (13%) (13 %)
1 new from $12.99 ($1.62 / Fl Oz)0 used

Pictures and Videos of Baby 

Pumping in a professional and impersonal atmosphere (and the absence of your child) can make it difficult for your body to produce milk. As odd as it sounds, seeing and even hearing your baby triggers your body to produce and release milk. Have some of your favorite pictures and videos on hand to help stimulate your milk production. 

If you feel your supply dips while at work, consider adding supplements or this protein shake to your routine to help. 

Motherhood (and everything that comes with it) does not come with a manual. Hopefully, with the information in this post, you can feel more prepared and ready when the day comes when you return to work. 

Are there any products you think I missed and you think are absolutely necessary for pumping at work? Please share them with us below! 

Here are other Best Breastfeeding Necessities you will need. To know more about breastfeeding, check out our breastfeeding page!

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