Pumping breast milk at work: 10 things to remember

Returning to the workplace while continuing to breastfeed can be a challenge. First and foremost, it means women will have to pump breast milk to store and then use with a bottle. It also means you have to be a little organized and plan ahead. Here are the top 10 things you will need for pumping breast milk when you go back to work.
  1. 1.
    Breast pump and parts: To maintain a milk supply for any length of time (the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends one to two years of breast milk), you will need a quality breast pump. The Affordable Care Act requires that all women have access to pumps through their insurance plans.
  2. 2.
    Storage bags: You will need the ones specially made for breast milk, and not zip-close bags as they are too porous and can leak bacteria into the milk.
  3. 3.
    Pumping bra: You can purchase one or make one out of a sports bra.
  4. 4.
    Nursing covers: These will help in case you wish to cover up your breasts while you pump. You can purchase or make these on your own.
  5. 5.
    Extension cord: It’s good to have these on hand in the event that there are not convenient outlets where you will be pumping.
  6. 6.
    Water bottle: It is important that you drink enough fluids to maintain your supply.
  7. 7.
    Snacks: You need 500 more calories per day than the average women while lactating, so bring healthy snacks to eat during the day.
  8. 8.
    Cooler bag (with freezer gel pack): This is needed to store and transport your milk home from work, and in case you do not have access to a refrigerator.
  9. 9.
    Washbasin: You may need this in case there is no proper place to wash your pump parts.
  10. 10.
    Dish soap/steam bag: If you do not have access to dish soap, you will need this to wash your parts in, or you can purchase steam bags to clean them in the microwave.