I love this article on PhD in Parenting- "Hands Free Pumping"- lots of great ideas for hands free pumping and descriptions of various products that are offered commercially to help free up mom's hands while pumping their breastmilk.
Hands-free pumping options for breastfeeding moms
Hair Elastic TechniqueCertainly the cheapest, but not the sturdiest method of hands-free pumping is the hair elastic technique. All you need is four hair elastics and a nursing bra you are ready to go. There are detailed instructions for using the hair elastic hands-free pumping technique on the kellymom website.
This is the method that I used pumping with my second child. With my first baby, I don’t think I would have found the hair elastic technique to be sturdy enough. Instead I used the now discontinued Medela hands-free breastpumping kit, which also used elastics, but was sturdier. However, it only worked with Medela nursing bras, which were not my favourites. Once I felt more confident and comfortable with my pump, I was able to use the hair elastic technique and found it to be both convenient and easy. I had to hold on to the flanges at the beginning of a pumping session, but once the suction kicked in, I didn’t need to hold them anymore. It certainly is the cheapest method, doesn’t require you to wear a specific nursing bra (pretty much any brand will do), and doesn’t require a lot of set-up time.
While it is intended for use with a nursing bra that has hooks that you can hook the elastic into, I was also able to use it with some nursing bras with snaps or with a non-nursing tank top with shelf bra by looping the hair elastic around the part of the bra where the strap meets the cup.
DIY Hands-Free Pumping BraIf you are a DIY type, you may be interested in instructions on how to turn a regular bra into a hands-free pumping bra. This approach is probably quite economical if you know what you are doing, but I don’t like the idea of either having to change bras each time I want to pump or wearing two bras (the hands-free pumping one and a nursing bra).
Another really easy option, used by Marcy from Life is Good, Bonnie from Life As I Know It and Katy from Along Came a Hippo is to cut holes into an old sports bra.
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