Expressing milk whilst at work?

Has anyone done this? How did it work out? Was there a private area you could go? Did it cause any friction for you?

Thanks for any info that might help :)


  • I think that technically work have to provide you with spsce and time to express in private. I realise that's not as easy in reality. I swapped p to formula in the first month back at work, due to bottle issues, but I did on occasion express at work. Not that it helps uou as I work in a boarding school and used a friends flat! Is there anywhere obvious uou couod use do you think?

  • Legally, i think they are meant to provide you with somewhere to go to do so, but the practicalities will depend on your workplace. If you're planning on doing so, i'd recommend hiring or investing in a decent electric double pump to make the process as quick as possible, but if you did, you'd need a private room with an electric supply. You'd need a fridge to store it in and a insulated bag to bring it home. I expressed, almost exclusively for months, but i can't imagine being able to have done so at work. People do though, so i suppose you won't know how it would work out until you tried. You'll have to discuss it with them on your return to work meeting.

  • You might be best off asking on an American forum. I say this because a lot of mums (moms?!) there have to go back to work very quickly so could advise on expressing when baby is still only a few weeks old, as some of the practicalities may be different to a 6-month-old or older baby. For example at two weeks old a baby may still need feeding every couple of hours so you'd have to express that often or risk supply problems, your milk supply won't have settled etc. I was considering returning to work at 9 months and could have got away with only expressing once or twice while there for a day but I think while your baby is tiny you'd definitely have to do it much more regularly if you wanted to keep supply up.

    In the UK legally you do have the right to a private room and time to express, but as others have said it may work out differently in practice. The Breastfeeding Network have a factsheet on expressing at work.

  • Thank you ladies :)

    The HSE say there's no legal requirement to provide somewhere to express. However they do have to provide somewhere I can rest and on the rare rough days at work I've gone to the back of the building where there's a kitchen/seating area used by only about 4 people (for the microwave). I can rest there but I'd prefer not to express there because anyone can wander in and cook their food at any time....

    There are some unused offices elsewhere. I'm going to have a recce and see what I can find. I know my boss isn't going to like the idea, but part of me likes the idea of challenging him and maybe helping out others who come after me (yes, I'm an idealist lol).

    I confess I'm a bit green when it comes to breastfeeding. Harry only fed about 4 times every 24 hours as a newborn but they were very long feeds. I'm probably underestimating how many feeds I will miss between, say, 8am and 6pm. I'll be going back twice a week when baby is 2 or 3 weeks old, I could go home at lunchtime for a feed though, or baby come to me (there's a bar on our complex we could eat/feed in). Unfortunately 2-3 wks leaves little time to get breastfeeding properly established.

    We've bought a double electric pump and I'm open to exclusively expressing if that's our way forward and if it's possible.

    I'll scout the US forums for practical issues/tips.

    I guess it's going to be something we just do our best at and see how well it goes. I'm really committed to bf-ing (though it may not seem that way from my early return) and hope to continue for much longer than I did with Harry, even if it's eventually 1 or 2 feeds a day or all expressed milk. My return is phased at 2 then 3 then 4 days and I won't be on 5 days until baby is 7 months so really hoping to manage as much of that time with breast milk as possible.

  • At that age S was feeding every 2 to 3 hours. I had to wake her to feed to get my supply established. I think you should aim to be expressing from both breasts at least every 4 hours and through the night (unless baby will still breast feed, so you could feed directly then but both of mine refused to bf once given a bottle that early). It's commendable that you are going to try your best to give baby breast milk, despite your early return, but you can only do your best, so don't beat yourself up about it if it doesn't work out. You will have to express frequently through the day for the first few weeks to establish supply and reduce engorgement. Are you planning to leave baby some formula in case there's not enough milk expressed as you won't gave had time to build up a back up bank? New born feeds can be quite erratic, as well as the amount they take. X

  • You'll also need to make sure that you find time to eat properly and foods such as oats to boost supply. Don't miss your lunch because you've been expressing. X

  • I agree with LWO, it's great you're so committed but from friends experiences (which I admit is limited) they reckoned they were BFing 8-10 times a day at a few weeks old. Which means you'll probably be up a few times a night. I remember you saying H slept through from early on, but not all babies do and I think I'm right in saying (I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong) that BFing babies needs more regular feeds than FF babies. I really hope it works for you but please don't beat yourself up if it doesn't. You're taking on a massive challenge anyway going back at 2 weeks, so this will be an added pressure, that may just prove to be too much.

  • I expressed at work & it's time consuming but worth it imo. I went back to work 2 days a week when my daughter was 7 months old. I expressed 3 times a day initially & my work were great in letting me go when I needed to until I fell into a routine doing it around my breaks. I work in a school & I had use of the medical room which was rarely used with a sign on the door that said do not enter. There was a chair in there & a freezer & I would take a freezer bag to take my milk home in. I used the tommee tippee manual pump in the early days of pumping (I expressed a bit from 5 weeks as I was a bridesmaid at a wedding & went to an all day hen do) & I found pumping when I fed overnight or 1st thing in the morning helped me as I could pump at the same time as feeding as my baby would stimulate my let down. Once back at work I started expressing with a medula pump. This helped me get a stash for when i needed it. In the early days I was actually able to pump quite a lot as I had a bit of an oversupply so you may be ok. I'd recommend getting a good set of breast pads or even look into getting some lily padz which were the only thing that worked to stop my leaking! I was able to express for nearly 5 months (some days less than others) & it worked for me. I hope it works for you x

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