Pumping in the Office: What You'll Need

Ideally, before you out on maternity leave, scope out the space your office has allocated for pumping mothers, and look for the things on this list.

  • A private enclosed space with a locking door (any windows should have shades or opaque glass).
  • A built-in sign that can be adjusted to read that the room is either in use or available. (Trust me: this will be taken much more seriously than will a taped-up handmade sign.)
  • A conveniently placed electrical outlet.
  • A comfortable chair.
  • Easy access to a sink, microwave, and refrigerator. (Ideally, these things will be in the room! If not, see if your employer will buy a mini fridge and compact microwave that you can use for sterilizing parts.)
  • A scheduling system--if the room will be used by other. (Shared Outlook or Google calendars can be great for this.)
  • Decent Wi-Fi reception and a phone line.
  • A company-provided hospital-grade pump. (Though you should expect to bring your own pump parts, note that some companies will purchase the pump parts for new moms, so be sure to ask.)
  • A mirror, so you can check your appearance (no visible spills!) before leaving.

If there's something on this list that isn't there, ask for it. Your company has no way to know what you need unless you tell them. Some of these are "luxuries," but all of them will make your day-to-day life easier, which will make your work life more productive. 

Some other nice-to-haves in that space:

  • A basket or box of disposable nursing pads.
  • A wet-wipes dispenser, or paper towels and cleaning solution for any spills.
  • Cubbies or drawers where women can leave their pumps and other equipment.
  • A water cooler or water pitcher.
  • Healthy snacks (for low-blood sugar pumping sessions).