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How to Make a Hands-Free Pumping Bra

By Dawn Morton ; Updated April 18, 2017
Give an old bra new life.

One of the most popular accessories women buy when using a breast pump is the hands-free bra. It allows a woman to pump breast milk without having her hands tied up. These hands-free bras can get costly. If you don't have the extra cash to spend on a new one, you can make your own at home on the cheap.

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Purchase a bra, or use one you already have at home. You can use a “sports” bra or one with hook-and-eye enclosures. The bra should fit snugly and, ideally, should not have any padding in the cups.

Put the bra on and adjust the straps for a snug fit.

Mark an “X” where each of your nipples are and take off the bra.

Make a small cut in the shape of each “X” that you have drawn.

Slide the small end of one of your breast shield through the hole you’ve just cut. This is the horn-shaped piece of your pump that sits against your breast when pumping. It is also called a flange. If it won’t fit, make the cut gradually larger until you can fit the piece through the hole. It should slide through, but not easily.

Test your new pumping bra for fit while pumping. The bra should hold the breast shields firmly against your breasts as you pump, not allowing any air through and not breaking suction.

Things You Will Need

  • Bra
  • Breast shield or flange


If you have a bra that is a bit too small to wear all day, but big enough to put on for a few minutes, it will probably make a good hands-free pumping bra.


Some pump parts may be different than described above and will not work with the above instructions, but a hands-free pumping bra may still be available for purchase online or in some stores.

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About the Author

Dawn Morton began writing professionally for eHow, LIVESTRONG.COM and Answerbag in 2011, covering teen health, general nursing, pregnancy, labor and delivery and breastfeeding. She graduated from the Mary Grimes School of Nursing with an associate degree in nursing and became a Registered Nurse in 2007. Dawn works primarily with troubled teens in the jail setting.

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