Using a breastpump can seem like a bit of a minefield, especially when you are considering going back to work and have several other things on your mind as well. Expressing breastmilk for your baby during the day is a sizeable commitment and will require lots of forward planning and a fair bit of kit. Once organized however, expressing can easily slot into your day and need not be too much of a mission. The tips below are the 6 most important issues to consider:

1. Invest in as good a breastpump as you can afford.
The best and quickest pumps are double pumps with variations of speed and suction (sometimes called 2-phase expression). Also make sure that the pump is fairly quiet if you will be using it in the workplace.

2. Make sure that you have a suitable place to store your milk at work.
Often there will be a fridge at work (make sure that the milk is stored at the back and not in the door), but if not, invest in an ice pack which will keep your milk cool for up to 8 hours.

3. Invest in a hands-free expressing bra.
This will free you up for tasks such as talking on the phone, writing emails, eating your lunch, etc. They also seem to have a positive effect on your milk yield.

4. You will need a suitable carry-bag with a mini-ice pack inside for transporting your milk safely and hygienically.
Make sure you are very organized and chill the ice packs overnight before work so they are ready to go in the morning.

5. Remember that breast pumps are different to your baby and your breasts may take a while to get used to them.
It is better to begin expressing one or two weeks before you go back to work so that you are already familiar with the drill by the time you get to the office.

6. Take regular breaks to express at set times
Remember to eat a healthy and balanced diet and drink plenty of water.