If you are a breastfeeding or pumping mom who also works away from home, then you will need to collect your breast milk while you are away from your baby. One thing that can be a hassle when pumping at work is dealing with which clothes to wear. You want to pick ones that will make it easy every time you need to pump while working.
That’s why finding pumping-friendly work clothes can bring a lot of ease. You will still be dressed for work and look great, all while being able to also pump easily. As a mom who exclusively breastfed my baby while also working full time as a chemical engineer, I have been there and know which clothes work best.
In this article, I am reviewing what you should wear to pump at work, including the best shirts and dresses for pumping based on my own experience. Additionally, we will also discuss the other things you will need to carry to and from work when pumping.
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There are two main reasons it’s important to wear pumping-friendly work clothes:
- Privacy (plus staying warm) – have access to your breasts while continuing to cover the rest of your body
- Saves time – efficient because you do not need to remove your entire shirt or dress
Nursing and pumping-friendly work clothes are generally the same. There is one thing to take into consideration though.
If you are specifically looking for a work appropriate dress or shirt that allows you to nurse your baby, then it must also be comfortable for a baby to feed. Zippers or fancy buttons may hurt your baby when breastfeeding. However, if you are only pumping at work, you can wear clothes without worrying about your baby’s safety and comfort.
The clothes you can wear to pump at work differ from person to person. People wear different types of clothes in different parts of the world.
Similarly, dress code at the workplace widely varies. You should choose your clothes according to your work’s requirements and your comfort. A few examples are:
- Zip-up sweatshirt dress
- V-neck wrap dress
- Button down dress shirt
- Nursing-friendly top with pants
- Clip-down tank top (to wear underneath clothes)
- Pullover loose sweater
- Special maternity dresses designed for nursing or pumping
Let’s start off the list of the best pumping-friendly work clothes by sharing the top shirts for pumping at work.
Motherhood Maternity Nursing Tank Cami
This Motherhood Maternity tank top cami is a clip-down top that makes pumping much easier. You can wear it under the clothes of your choice, ideally under a button down shirt or a cardigan.
When you need to pump just open the buttons of the button down shirt, open the top clip, and attach your pumping parts. This maternity tank top cami is 95% Cotton, 5% Spandex, and easily washable in the washing machine. The available sizes range from extra small to 3X, and you can choose from 10 different colors.
Spicy Sandia Lightweight Sweater Cardigan
Having a cardigan was my personal choice to stay warm in my private office when I pumped at work. The Spicy Sandia lightweight sweater cardigan goes well with a nursing-friendly cami or shirt.
This is an open-front cardigan. You can remove it a bit, open the inner shirt, and pump. If you don’t wear an inner pumping-friendly shirt, find a private space, take off your shirt, and put this over your shoulders while you pump.
Spicy Sandia cardigans are crafted in 100% super-soft viscose, which is great for summer and winter. These cardigans are available in 17 different solid colors, so you can match them with your dress or pants. Moreover, these are available in sizes extra small to extra large.
MEROKEETY Waffle Knit Open Cardigan
The MEROKEETY Waffle Knit Open Cardigan is somewhat similar to the Spicy Sandia cardigan, except it is not suitable for summer. This cardigan is 50% Viscose, 50% Nylon and Polyester, so it will be warm and ideal for winter. You need to wear a pumping-friendly shirt along with this cardigan to pump easily.
Otherwise, find a private space, take off your shirt, and put this over your shoulders while you pump. This cardigan is available in 17 different solid colors, and the sizes range from small to XX-large. It has two side-front pockets, long sleeves, and slits on the sides.
Smallshow Women’s Nursing Top
The Smallshow women’s nursing top maternity poncho is a loose pull-on closure shirt. It is very comfortable and easy to use, especially if you have no private space at your workplace.
Wear a maternity tank top under this maternity poncho. When you need to pump, open the inner maternity tank top, put the pump’s breast shield under the smallshow nursing top, and pump without showing any of your skin.
This nursing top is a one-size nursing poncho available in 7 gorgeous designs. The fabric is very soft and breathable, so it’s great to wear in warm seasons. One negative though, this nursing top is not machine washable.
MEROKEETY Loose Pullover Sweater
The MEROKEETY loose pullover sweater is another great choice to wear when you pump at work. You can wear a maternity bra and/or any maternity shirt under this sweater. Its loose fit will allow you to put the shields underneath the sweater, so you can pump easily without showing your skin.
If you have a noise-free breast pump, you can keep pumping while you work. No need for a private space or removing your top.
The sweater is full acrylic, making it a great choice for winter. It is available in sizes small to X-large and 23 solid colors. That’s a great variety and the fabric is machine washable.
IWOLLENCE Waffle Knit Loose Fitting Tunic Blouse w/ Tie Knot
The IWOLLENCE women’s waffle knit tunic is good to wear to pump milk at work because it has a button closure. Wear a maternity top or bra under it. When you need to pump, open the top buttons and your maternity innerwear and pump.
This tunic is a crochet fabric that is good to wear in winter. It is available in sizes X-small to XX-large and 28 designs & colors. It has a modern look too.
Button Down Blouse w/ Open Top
Getting a button-down open top is a good choice in summer, just wear a maternity bra under it. If you want, keep a nursing cover with you for more privacy when you pump.
Smallshow Long Sleeve Nursing Tops
Smallshow nursing tops are different from all the pumping-friendly work clothes mentioned above because they have a flexible opening in the chest area. You don’t need to button down or open any clips or zips.
Just open your shirt at the chest and pump. You will need a nursing cover if you want privacy while your pump parts are attached to you.
The fabric is cotton, so it’s great to wear in summer. Pair with any sweater listed above to wear in winter. The sizes available are small to XX-large. There are many different dark & solid colors to choose from.
Joymom Womens V-Neck Short Sleeve Nursing Tops
Joymom nursing tops are similar to the Smallshow nursing tops regarding the ease of pumping. However, they look very different. Joymom tops have short sleeves, an A-line, and a long hem.
The fabric is 50% cotton and 45% polyester. You can wear it in both seasons depending on your area’s intensity of heat or cold. The sizes available are small to XX-large with 8 different designs and colors.
If you like to wear dresses to work, then this section is for you! Let’s review the top pumping-friendly dresses you can wear to work.
Kindred Bravely Eleanora Ultra Soft Nursing Dress
This Kindred Bravely nursing dress has a discreet panel that makes it super easy to nurse or pump. For maximum privacy, keep a nursing cover with you.
The soft fabric is 95% viscose, making it super comfy. I love the simple design too, giving this dress an elegant look.
CzzzyL Short Sleeve Nursing Dress
The Czzzyl nursing dress is similar to the Kindred Bravely nursing dress because they both have a discreet panel in the chest area. However, it looks a little different as it has a round hem.
Some styles of this Czzzyl nursing dress have an elastic waist to provide another element of design. These nursing dresses are available in 17 different designs and in sizes small to XX-large.
The Isabel Maternity dress from Target is a good choice as it has buttons on the chest and a nursing panel inside. When you need to pump, open the button, remove the nursing penal, and complete your pumping session. This nursing dress is available in 2 colors – gray and black. And its available in sizes XS to XX-large.
The following list are the other supplies you will need when pumping at work.
- Electric breast pump or wearable breast pump
- Pump parts
- Bottle cooler
- Bag for pump and pump parts
- Nursing cover
- Water bottle
It’s so hard to find time and privacy to pump at work multiple times during the day. Pumping-friendly work clothes will make the job easier for you.
There are actually many shirts and dresses available that are designed for this task. Usually, these clothes have pull-over openings or button-down/zip-down necks.
Before I sign off, I have a few more resources I recommend for help while pumping at work. If you’d like sample pumping at work schedules, logs to track your output, plus much more check out this Working Mom Pumping Planner. Or, another great option you might find useful is this printable pumping privacy door sign.
If you are stressed over how pumping at work will go and how to do it – you can take a class! Check out the Ultimate Back To Work Pumping class from Milkology. And finally, this article does a great job explaining how to combine breastfeeding and pumping.
Good luck as you navigate working and pumping while away from your baby. You got this, I know it!