Educational Resources 

Pumping while away

The number of times and the amount of pumping will depend on the number of hours away and the age of the baby. If the mother is pumping to provide her milk for all feedings, then she will need to express milk at the times that baby would usually be fed. If this is not possible, the mother should express milk at times when her breasts feel full. This maintains milk production and prevents plugged ducts or breast infections. On an eight hour shift, it is best to express milk more than once.

It is important to find a place to express milk that is private and comfortable. An office storeroom or ladies’ lounge with a door that closes and a comfortable chair are suitable locations.

Wearing two piece outfits or those suitable for nursing the baby is helpful. Some mothers find that their milk will leak when they are away from their baby. If this is a problem, gentle pressure, nursing pads and patterned clothing can help. Some women keep an extra blouse or jacket at work for this reason.

Many women recommend starting to collect breast milk about two weeks before returning to work. This gives a woman a chance to see which method of milk expression works best for her. The amount of milk collected may seem small at first but will soon increase, depending upon the frequency of expression and the time of day milk is expressed. Some women express more milk early in the day and less milk toward the end of the day.


This educational material is provided courtesy of Ameda Egnell.  Permission to use and/or reproduce this copyrighted material has been granted by the distributor, Hollister Incorporated.