Some women find that a hands-free bra or kit is very helpful when pumping while on duty. These bras or kits allow you to hold the flanges of your breast pump in place so that you can continue to work while expressing milk. While they are most suitable for personnel that have a desk type job, where being hands-free allows one to keep typing; many women working in all types of workplaces, also find a hands-free bra or kit to be useful. A hands-free bra or kit allows you to massage your breasts with both hands, which helps to increase milk production. There is another option as well, the Freemie. Developed by a physician of premature twins who needed to return to work and be able to pump discreetly and hands-free, the Freemie collection cups work with any pump on the market (or you can buy their compatible pump).
There are many companies (Simplicity Hands-Free Pumping Kit or Simple Wishes Hands-Free Bra) that sell hands-free bras or straps, as well as kits to convert an existing bra. But you can just as easily, and much more cheaply, make your own hands-free bra or kit! Due to the increase in requests for information on how to make a hands-free bra or hands-free pumping device, I’ve provided the directions and photos for both from my book below:
Hands Free Bra
You can make your own ‘hands-free’ bra by taking a sports bra and cutting a cross (+) over the nipple area (you can reinforce it by stitching around it using a sewing machine) and then slide the flanges into the slit in the bra. The snugness of the bra will hold your flanges in place.
Hands Free Kit
Another option is to make a ‘hands-free device’ for pumping while at work. These directions will work for either single or double pumping:
1. Take 2-3 hair bands (elastics) and chain them together to form a figure eight.
3. Then take the other end and loop it around your bra strap or to the hook on your bra strap.
4. The bottom portion of the flange slips inside the open flap of your nursing bra and the suction of the pump keeps the flanges in place.
And that’s all there is to it. A free (or nearly so) hands-free bra or kit that you can make from supplies you probably already have lying around the house. I hope you find this information useful and feel free to pass it along to your co-workers or friends.