Hands-free Breast Pumping




If you've got a baby, and work outside of the home, or otherwise need to be away from your kid from time to time, you're probably already acquainted with breast pumps. While being able to produce tasty, nutritious baby food with one appliance, and body parts you already had on hand is a good thing, it's not always convenient. Being able to easily eat, type, or read while pumping makes the task a lot more pleasant, and making a hands-free setup is simple. There are bands and bustiers you can buy for this purpose, but they need to be used over nursing bras, which I prefer not to wear, and putting them on is an extra step.

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Step 1:

Buy or find a full-coverage bra with formed cups. Basically, what you want is something with firm, foam cups with a layer of fabric over those. A lot of 't-shirt bras' would work, and a lace overlay would be good, too. It's just important that there be two layers, and the bottom one needs some structure. Find some scissors, too.

Step 2:

Slit the fabric overlay along the bottom, so you can pull it up and over the cups.

Step 3:

Put the bra on, and mark the spots where your nipples fall, either with a pencil, or just by pinching the fabric. Remove it, and cut a vertical slit either through this mark, or just a bit to the side of it, towards the outside of the cup. Just cut enough so you can fit your pump's flanges through the slit.

Step 4:

Make sure your pump flanges fit, put the bra on, and you're good to go. You can adjust yourself to make sure everything's lined up right. I usually put the bra on, and then fit the flanges into it.

Step 5:

When you're done, remove the flanges, pull the top layer of cloth down, and make sure your nipples aren't directly behind the slit. Go back to work, go to the grocery store, or do whatever else you were going to do. You don't need to change the bra, since it should look like a normal one under clothes.

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    15 Discussions

    I wish I'd read this Instructable on time. Like all Spandex, the commercial band I had lost its elasticity over time. Plus, as you pointed out, there's more fashionable and pretty options available with a DIY hands-free bra.


    7 years ago on Step 4

    When i give birth to a baby, i wil try this method. Good ideas.

    A great way to introduce a DIY pumping bra of your own. I've got mine but I've purchased it online, if I only knew regarding on this idea I haven't buy one. In the other hand come to think of it, what I'm using could be good for a long span of time.

    I do like the overall concept of it. If ever my electric pumping bra is spoiled I could use a spare a DIY hands-free breast pump. :)

    Hands Free Pumping Bra


    10 years ago on Step 5

    Thank you Thank you Thank you. my wife gave birth to twins on Tuesday and pumping is making her crazy already. I just forwarded her the link to this.

    2 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Step 5

    Wow, congratulations! Are the babies premature, or having a hard time latching? It seems really early to be pumping. Make sure your wife gets lots of support -- there are groups for pumping mothers online, and sites like kellymom.com are extremely helpful with nursing. It's probably not going to be easy early on, especially with twins, but it's one of the best things you can do for your babies, and someone who's dedicated enough to pump for newborns deserves so much credit.


    Reply 10 years ago on Step 5

    I agree with Amiga500. Since we are built for breastfeeding twins, I'm hoping your wife gets to move on to that soon so she doesn't have to pump so much. No matter what your situation, having a board-certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) on your health care team is priceless!


    10 years ago on Step 5

    Excellent, I've got to go back to work after 6 weeks, and this will do nicely.


    Reply 10 years ago on Step 5

    That wold be step 4. If you'd like to see a breast pump in action, YouTube has videos of that.


    10 years ago on Step 5

    very good idea..this would have been handy back when I was breastfeeding! maybe a little velcro closure on the bottom to keep the cloth down would be helpful also


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Sounds so much better than trying to do the "one hand-forearm" hold. Thanks for the Instructable. 5 months and still pumping!!!!

    Karroo Oakey

    10 years ago on Introduction

    Very clever, my wife wanted something like this, but I was just too dumb to figure something like this out at the time.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    This is a great idea! If my sister's still pumping I'll have to mention this to her! :)