Tips for Using a Breast Pump On the Go

December 6, 2013

Feeding at the breast isn’t always possible for nursing moms. Whether you pump exclusively, pump at work, or need to be separated from your baby for any number of reasons, pumping your milk away from home can be frustrating – but it doesn’t have to be. You absolutely can get the hang of it, and pumping can be a very rewarding experience.

If you are planning on pumping at work, set yourself up for success by talking to your employer ahead of time to ensure that you’ll have the space and resources you need to provide your baby with your perfect breast milk.

Here are some pumping tips you may find helpful:

  • Find a comfortable and private place to pump. Before beginning to pump, gently massage your breasts, and if possible, apply warm compresses. Lean forward at the waist and let your breasts dangle, shaking them for a minute or two. These techniques may quicken your letdown reflex and help to shorten your pumping time.
  • Stimulate your senses. Look at pictures of your little one, consider carrying a piece of your baby’s clothing or a blanket to catch a whiff of that sweet baby smell, or listen to a recording of their cooing or hunger cries. Doing so may help encourage let-down, no matter your pumping environment.
  • For moms with a Pump In Style Advanced, a battery pack helps you power your breast pump from anywhere. Power options also include a vehicle lighter adapter so you can always have a charged pump.

What are your pumping tips for when you’re away from home?

13 thoughts on “Tips for Using a Breast Pump On the Go

  1. Amanda maness says:

    What bottle is being used it that picture and where can I get one. Struggling to get my baby to go back and forth between bottle and breastfeeding.

    • Hi Amanda, that’s our Calma feeding system, which was designed based on research on babies’ eating habits and can help support a smooth transition from bottle to breast and back again. You can learn more here: Feel free to reach out if you have additional questions. Thanks – Kathy

    • I have a few of them and love ’em!! A bit expensive, but worth it if you want the best bottle-breast feeding experience… IMO

      • Hi Traci,

        We’re happy to hear that you’re having a good experience with Calma. Thanks for sharing + happy breastfeeding!


  2. I have went from exclusively breast feeding to exclusively pumping. As my LO has an upper lip tie and it hurts for him to nurse, however I don’t want to put him through the pain of having it clipped. I’m getting enough milk and it seems to be going well however by nipples are constantly tender and at the end of each pumping sesion I hand express the remaining milk out, but on one of my breasts on the inside right behind the nipple there is a knot and its varry sore I can’t express any milk by hand from that breast and if anything puts pressure on it can b excruciating. Any advice please oh there is no fever, redness, or heat coming from the area either. The breast is being fully emptied as well.

    • Hi Courtney,

      You can learn more about pain while breastfeeding or pumping, what it might mean, and how to get relief in our blog post here: It sounds like you could possibly be suffering from a plugged duct – we encourage you to reach out to your health care provider or a Lactation Consultant. Here is more information on plugged ducts and mastitis:

      Also, it’s important to make sure that your breast shields are properly sized. You can learn more about finding your best fit and pumping comfortably here:

      Hope this helps! Keep up the great work.

      – Kathy

  3. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth! Sometimes I am wound up from work when it’s time to pump. A few of these slow and controlled breathing exercises really help relax me and stimulate my let down reflex!

  4. Pingback: Preparing to Breastfeed When Pregnant | Pregnancy Awareness

  5. We are going to Universal Studios in FL in Oct. What are some tips for easier pumping/breastfeeding while there? I have the Medela in style pump. Do you recommend a different one for on the go?

    • Hi Jessica,

      Sounds like a fun trip! We have tips for breastfeeding and pumping while flying and/or traveling here: Your Pump In Style is great for on-the-go pumping, but if you need to pack more lightly, you may wish to consider our Swing breast pump (a single-electric option) or Harmony (a manual breast pump). Some moms prefer to travel with just their manual breast pump because this type of pump is the most compact and lightweight. You can learn more about Harmony and find tips for building an on-the-go pumping kit here:

      Hope this helps! Let us know if you have any other questions – here’s to a fun and relaxing trip for you and your family!

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