Pumpin’ Aint Easy
I’m a pumper. I breastfeed too, but usually I pump. It’s partly because I’m a bit of a control freak, partly because breastfeeding takes a lot of time and makes me very sleepy. Since I work at home, that’s a timekiller, and time management is the only thing that makes working at home possible. So, I pump.
There’s a few things I’ve learned about pumping that I feel the need to share with you folks, in case you wanted to take it up as a sport.
It always needs to happen at the most inconvenient times.
You’re at a friends house, showing off the baby. Having a great time, telling stories, laughing, interacting with adults – then it happens. Your boobs begin to ache, you run out of milk for sweet baboo, or if you’re clever, your alarm goes off. At first, it’s every three hours. Every three hours is a LOT. Even though newborns need something every few minutes, you can still hold a bottle and converse with friends, you can change a diaper and be back in a jiffy. Pumping requires that you stay in one place for at least 20 minutes. Preferably, someplace private, unless you want to scar your friends by showing them how you hook up to a mid-19th century torture device and watch your nipples expand 10 times their original size in a disturbly wet, red and bumpy column of flesh, slapping against the side of your flanges. Unless they’re into that. They might be.
There are friends or family visiting, and you’ve got to excuse yourself to pump. You pump, you come back into the living room, and everyone is just about ready to leave. It’s happened to me a few times. Some people say “oh hey, where were you?” Your reply: “I was expressing milk from my titties.” Now that’s how you silence a room.
It kinda hurts.
Everything about having a baby is at least uncomfortable to completely excruciating. Though, once the discomforts of pregnancy are over, you’re excited to get your body back – and then, your boobs get the raw end of the deal. Don’t get me wrong – pumping is better than letting them swell up and explode (which I’m convinced is what happens – I’m like a ticking time bomb.) Even so, hooking up and pumping makes everything sore. Your back, from sitting up and awkwardly juggling both heavy breasts and pumping equipment. Your nipples, from their torturous sucking. It’s not like fun nipple play in bed, it’s so much more constant and unsexy. Your butt, from sitting in one place for so long. My advice? Find yourself the most comfortable chair in the house, and make it your Pump Station Alpha.
Pumping is difficult. It’s time-consuming, antisocial and painful – but it’s also necessary if that’s the way you’ve chosen to feed your kid. So, when you hook up to the pump, find something fun to do. Play a game on your phone. Catch up on some old tv shows. Just enjoy silence for 20 minutes. Personally, I like to write blog posts. That’s right, I’ve produced 12 ounces since starting this post. Does that creep you out? It should.
Pumpin’ ain’t easy. We do it, because we love. Also, it’s rather satisfying to look at these full bottles of milk that your body has just created – and it burns calories. So, sit back, hook up your flanges, sip some mother’s milk tea (gag) and get busy pumpin’.