What to Do if You Forgot Your Breast Pump or Parts and Need to Pump

Q: Help! I forgot my breast pump and/or pump parts at home! What do I do?

It’s a pumping mom’s nightmare. You’ve left your pump or bottles at home and can’t get out of work to run back. Or you headed to a “short” offsite meeting with a colleague that went overtime and left your pump back at your desk. Now you’re bursting at the seams and worried about what your baby will be eating tomorrow.

Don’t panic! If you forgot your pump or pump flanges, you have options.

  • Hand express into a bowl using this method. (This link is likely not safe for work, unless you work in lactation!)
  • Check at the Walgreens or Target store closest to your workplace for a manual pump. These are usually on the bottom shelf of the baby section at Walgreens, and in the baby section at Target. Call ahead if you’re short on time.
    Walgreens doesn’t generally carry pump parts, but it never hurts to check. You can even order a hand pump or pump flanges from Amazon Prime Now if you have an Amazon Prime membership.
  • If you’ve only forgotten the bottles that attach to your flanges, you can use tape to attach any type of clean bottle or cup to the bottom of the flanges. It shouldn’t affect the suction. Take a lesson from MacGyver and use a water bottle from the nearest vending machine to hold the pumped milk until you get home.

Back to Work Breastfeeding GuideGoing back to work and breastfeeding? This question is part of Breastfeed Chicago’s Ultimate Back-to-Work Breastfeeding Guide. Read the full guide to help the transition go smoothly!

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