Tuesday, August 23, 2011

why i love pumping. yes, i said that.

It's like an unwritten rule among nursing moms that everybody hates the breastpump.  EVERY. BODY.  "The pump" is said in a hushed voice sort of like you're talking about Voldemort, or Hitler, or a dead mouse you found in your car after six weeks. 

I want to go on record as saying:

I love pumping.

It's the 'love that dare not speak its name' in the lactation world, I believe.  But, as I enter the homestretch of nursing (BabyGirl is nearly 10 months and I've always aimed to nurse for a year, so we'll see what happens after that), I'd like to speak that forbidden love into reality.  Yes, Me.dela Pu.mpIn.Styl.e, I love you.  Shall we count the ways?

  • The pump has never bitten me.  Not even once.
  • Pumping allows me to shut my office door*, ignore the phone and emails, and take 15 minutes for myself at least once a day.  Sometimes even twice.  There is nothing wrong with this.
  • It has never hurt to pump, unlike those first six weeks of nursing which hurt like motherf#ckinghell every single time she needed to eat, which felt like every 35 minutes.
  • Because of the pump, I am able to continue breastfeeding my kid while I work.  This is cool.
  • The pump does not pinch a tiny fold of skin and then twist it while nursing.  It has never done this and I am pretty confident it never will.
  • Twice I have used the battery-powered option to pump while driving (i.e. sitting) in traffic.  I find this ridiculously enjoyable.
  • After four years of infertility, I still find it amazing that my body is capable of doing anything on its own in regard to reproduction, and those tiny bottles of milk from my very own body are proof that I can, in fact, breastfeed a baby.  It makes me feel good.  Take that, endometriosis.
  • The pump does not wake up hungry at 5:00am.
  • The pump is completely happy to work around my schedule.  (My boobs, not so much.  They have a schedule all their own.)
  • Three words: pump and dump.  Excellent for those earlier days when mommy really, really needed a glass of wine.  Or possibly four.
I mean, it's not that pumping is my favorite thing in the universe, and it's certainly nowhere near as enjoyable as nursing BabyGirl (apart from the biting) (and the pinching) (which, by the way, WHAT can I do about that?) - but it hasn't been that bad.  Here's to you, old friend.

*I know that having my own office is a huge part of why pumping is not a big deal to me.  Trying to do that multiple times daily in a bathroom or some random spot in your workplace would be a pain in the ass.  I get that.  Also, I know it does hurt to pump for some people.  I'm lucky in that regard.  Therein ends my disclaimers.


  1. Granted I had a cheap hand pump (but still Medela) at first, but man did that thing hurt my nipples! Once I got an electric it was like the birds sang when I pumped, lol. I didn't love it, but then again I didn't work outside the home so to me it was less convenient than just nursing... but getting to go out was great!!!

    About the pinching, nursing necklace. MommyNecklaces.com - they are gorgeous and FINALLY kept the little one's fingers away from grabbing my boobs. The biting? Eh. I'm now dealing with that at 15 months. Kate bites when she's teething. She also bites when she's bored. I unfortunately have to nurse her while she's teething, but I try to only nurse her when she's ready to get down to business and not fool around biting me!!

  2. I liked it too. I *loved* that I was in charge of the schedule, and that I could let someone else feed the baby. I also loved nursing, but it definitely had its drawbacks. (I pumped exclusively for baby #1 and nursed exclusively for baby #2). Also thrilled that my body functioned as designed.

    Baby #2 did the pinching thing too. Sometimes I hardly noticed, and sometimes it irritated the crap out of me. Giving her something else to hold helped, or letting her hold a finger (cramped my style with the laptop, though).

    I never got up the nerve to pump and drive. I am in awe.

  3. this was a great post - i don't *love* pumping, but i don't really mind it either. the reasons you listed are great...esp. that it doesn't wake you up at 5am because it's hungry! lol! :)

  4. I love nursing best but I love the option of pumping when need be. Having a whole day out without worrying that someone will go hungry, or yes, enjoying that 3rd or 4th glass of wine (though watching my milk go down the toilet is truly sad).

  5. This is a great post. I also love my pump for all of the very same reasons you do. I have a door on my office and it has never hurt me, either. I feel grateful that my body is still producing enough so that I CAN pump 3x's/day to feed my little one. Oh boy do I feel your pain with the biting and pinching while BF'ing!!

  6. Ahhh....I had a love/hate relationship with my pump for many of the same reasons you stated...but we just weaned (boo hoo) so no more pump AND no more nursing baby girl (9 months)...she bit too much and nursing became just a very frightful time for me several times a day...and then I had to pump MORE cuz I thought I would just pump until eternity...but then came the whole "double feed" where I pumped and then fed her from the bottle...talk about a time-drain....I was losing it. So...we weaned...bummer..but all is well now.

    As for the pinching...Genevieve did that too and I found she just needed something to rub between her fingers...she is fond of blankets with the satinny edges...so I just started draping one of those over her/me when she nursed and her little fingers just went to town on that...she may just need a little lovey. G is now totally attached to her "silky blankies" as we call them. I immediately ordered several exactly the same to ensure we never get caught without one.

    Hope it all gets better.


  7. I liked pumping, but in the end it didn't work out for me, which still makes me incredibly sad. But, yes, it was great while it lasted!

  8. I have to admit, I didn't enjoy pumping, but I loved those two little breaks during the day! :) Right before I gave up breastfeeding, Davie had started scratching my boobs while she ate. Those tiny nails are sharp!

  9. Agreed...thanks for your advice on back to work pumping too! I love it because it's my reading time and I LOVE to read! Plus it's helping me lose weight quickly, gotta love those positives!