Hello mamas and mamas to be! Today I’d love to share with you a simple DIY that has made pumping breastmilk at work a breeze…
If you’ve pumped at work before, you already know some of the challenges that follow. And if you’re a breastfeeding mama preparing to go back, you’re probably wondering how in the heck you balance your professional responsibilities with what basically becomes an additional part-time job–pumping is time consuming!
I usually pump three times a day, all of which happen at work. My longest window of privacy is about 50 minutes, and my shortest is 22 minutes (that’s my lunch break!) There is absolutely NO flexibility in my schedule. I have to pump during my scheduled break times or I don’t pump at all.
Because my 50 minute pumping window is also my plan/prep hour, and my lunch break is so short, I cannot waste a smidgen of time preparing to pump. For me, that means I need to be wearing my hands free pumping bra all day, rather than having to take one bra off and put a new one on.
I tried this hands free pumping bra, and then this one, but knew immediately there was NO way I could wear them all day. They were like bear traps on my chest! In addition, the breast shields just never lined up correctly and pumping was becoming painful, especially if I let go of the bottles, which obviously defeats the purpose of the hands free design.
I ended up making my own and now pump at work happily, hands free, and without wasting any time wrestling myself into a bra that has four rows of hooks and front zipper!
All you need are two Fruit of the Loom cotton sports bras such as these–if you buy two three packs, you’ll end up with three hands free pumping bras. For this design, you will need valves that have detachable breast shields. Here’s how to do it…
Pair up your bras by color. Put one on and mark where you want your breast shields to poke out. Take the bra off and make a little snip on the marks. Wear one bra as usual and wear the snipped one down around your waist. If you’re wearing a tighter blouse, a camisole helps smooth everything out.
When you’re ready to pump, swap your bras, pop the shields through the snips you made, and attach the valves and bottles. You can then pull the other bra up so it rests under the valves and put the shoulder straps on if you need extra support. Those bottles do start to get heavy as they fill up!
These bras have been through the wash several times and I’ve had no issues with fraying around the snips.
If you’re at work, type/conference call/organize your desk. If your at home, kick back and take a moment for yourself!
Pump on, mama! You’re doing great. Mega props for even attempting this demanding task day in and day out!
Do you have any “mom hacks” that you’d like to share?