Pumping breast milk at work


I'm a bedside RN expecting in June and I am wondering if I should even attempt to pump breast milk at work. Has anyone ever done this successfully. I just can't imagine being able to get away every few hours with any regularity and do this.

Specializes in Pediatric/Adolescent, Med-Surg.

I've worked with a number of nurses that have pumped. Other staff was always willing to cover, and they even had access to an old office they could use to pump discreetly. Good luck


1,304 Posts

Specializes in psych. rehab nursing, float pool. Has 30 years experience.

I also have worked with nurses who pumped their milk at work. At least give it a try.

Specializes in Neuro/Med-Surg/Oncology.

I do 12 hour shifts on a busy Oncology floor. I pumped for about 10-11 months with ds. I'm about to have dd in less than a month and plan to do that again. If I pumped at least twice a shift, I was okay. Occasionally I was only able to pump once, but that was rare. I was rushing home those mornings to feed the baby as soon as my feet crossed the threshold of the door.

Take your charting with you. That way you don't use up all of your break time. That was also the only time in my career I sat down to chart before the end of a shift and that wasn't a bad thing.

Some people may give your grief, but keep in mind that the smokers always manage to get away once or twice a shift for their smoke breaks. Also, make sure you return the favor and listen for whoever covers you.

allnurses Guide

Spidey's mom, ADN, BSN, RN

11,302 Posts

I was able to pump twice a shift - with the double pump it only took about 8 minutes.

My family also brought my son into work for me and I'd breastfeed him during my lunch time.

Give it a try!



104 Posts

It can be a real challenge, but lots of moms are able to combine breastfeeding and employment. There are several books about it that might be helpful to you. Having an understanding supervisor makes things a lot easier. One thing that might help in that regard is the fact that breastfed babies are sick less often, which can mean less absenteeism. :)

Some states actually have laws that either require or encourage employers to allow employees time to pump. You can check the status of your state here: http://www.llli.org/Law/LawBills.html

Good luck and congratulations! :D

Specializes in Dialysis, Long-term care, Med-Surg.

I pumped as much as I could at one time, and would freeze the extra for future use. I had a room at work moms could use, and if you can't do it at work, pump at home and freeze it. Wish you all the best!

Specializes in critical care: trauma/oncology/burns. Has 38 years experience.

If I might add my couple of cents:D

I pumped for all three of my sons, at work. No one complained and I stored the milk in the freezer section of the 'fridge. I would just ask someone to watch my one or two patients (worked oncology critical care) for a few minutes and I went into the bathroom.

Hey, congratulations!


Justhere, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 300 Posts

Has 10 years experience.

I work 12 hour shifts and pumped until my ds was 13 months old and I weaned her. I usually pumped twice a shift with a Medela double breast pump. I could usually pump about 15 minutes. My co-workers were encouraging and would usually ask if we were real busy and knew I hadn't pumped yet "Aren't you going to pump?"

So yes it can be done. With my first DS I worked at a place where my co-workers were horrible about it but I still managed to pump for a year. It was a clinic and I worked 8 hrs, I only pumped once a day and luckly she was at a daycare right next door so I would go feed her on my lunch break.


1 Article; 34 Posts

I pumped at work with both my children. It wasn't easy, but I was dedicated to breastfeeding (it was important to me, however, I respect each individual mother's choices), so I made it work. There was no completely private place to pump, so I sat with my back to the door and kept myself covered up. Most of my coworkers were very supportive, a few were not. Many of my coworkers have decided it's not worth the hassle and switched to formula after the first 3 to 6 months. It's entirely up to you, based on your situation. Do what works best, your baby will be okay either way.


4 Articles; 846 Posts

Specializes in Med surg, Critical Care, LTC. Has 20 years experience.

My daughter is a CNA, she is currently breast feeding, she usually pumps once to twice a shift. She uses a double pump, and everyone has become so use to her pumping, they will all eat around the break room table while she is pumping. Sometimes, her BF brings the baby to nurse. He is almost 8 months old, and it has been working well for her. '


Specializes in Family Practice/Primary Care. Has 16 years experience.

One of my co-workers does that. I found out when I asked her why she put her milk in what appeared to me to be a sandwich bag, and then in the fridge.

(We all got a good laugh once she explained it to the resident 24 y/o male (me) what it was. I did however decline the offer to sample it.)

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