What Do You Need to Pump Breast Milk at Work?

Are you a first-time breast pump user and a working mother? Whether you’re a new mom or just new to pumping, take a look at the top time-, money-, and energy-saving accessories you need to pump during the workday.

The Right Pump

Before you invest in accessories, make sure you have the right pump for your needs. Unlike pumping at home, workday pumping may come with time, space, or energy (electricity) restrictions. The best pump for the working mom will have:

  • A double pumping option. A double pump gives you the option for extra output and may save you time.
  • An electric pump. A manual model isn’t fast enough to pump during a workday break. But an electric version can get the job done quickly.
  • A medical-grade pump. A medical-grade model can help you to pump effectively and efficiently. If you’re in a time crunch, the added price you’ll pay for this type of option is well worth it.
  • A low-noise feature. Electric pumps are fast but noisy. A low- or reduced-noise model allows you to pump in a typically quiet workspace.
  • A hands-free option. A hands-free model allows you to check emails, answer texts, or finish extra work while you pump.

After you invest in the right on-the-job pump, the next step is to choose accessories

The Right Cooler

If your employer doesn’t have an on-site daycare, you’ll need to find a safe place to store your milk until you get home. This means you’ll need a cooler. While you could pack your picnic cooler, a specialized breast milk bag is a better choice.

A breast milk cooler should:

  • Cool effectively. According to the U.S. Office on Women’s Health, breast milk can stay at room temperature (below 77 degrees Fahrenheit) for up to four hours. After that, you need to cool it to 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
  • Have a compact fit. Unless you have a large space, a breast milk cooler should have a compact design that easily fits into your desk or office area.
  • Store bottles easily. How much will you pump at work? After you have an output idea, make sure the cooler will accommodate expressed bottles or bags easily.

Along with an insulated cooler or cooler bag, you may also need inserts to keep the milk at a safe temperature. These may come with the cooler (depending on the model), or you may need to purchase them separately.

The Right Bottles or Bags

While the pump and cooler are key to your ability to express milk at work, you also need something to store the breast milk home in. To store your pumped milk, you’ll need something like:

  • Breast milk bags. If you plan to freeze your milk, this option is an easy alternative to bottles. Not only are bags ideal for freezing milk, but they’re also easy to carry into the workplace. You can fold the bags and conveniently stash them in your purse or with the pump.
  • Plastic bottles. According to the U.S. Office on Women’s Health, pumping mothers should choose BPA-free plastic bottles. These bottles provide a safe storage option and aren’t easily breakable.
  • Glass bottles. If you don’t have breakage or damage concerns, glass bottles also provide an easy and eco-friendly way to store your pumped milk.

Even though you won’t need nipple attachment for the bottles while you’re at work (unless your baby is in an on-site or nearby daycare), you will need tight-fitting lids.

Do you need a breast pump or breast pump accessories before you go back to work? We carry smaller travel size pumps, which will make it easier to carry your equipment to and from work. Contact Corner Home Medical for more information on your options.