thursday, august 20

fair warning…this post will not include any cute pictures of adali and dad i promise you don't want to read this one.  come back tomorrow, dad, and i promise to post a cute picture just for you.


now that i have warned those that might be expecting something else when they read this and they have hopefully went elsewhere on the interweb, i want to preface this post by saying that anything to follow is simply meant as a good-humored discussion about how our society looks at things…in this case, pumping in public.    

as long as i could provide "the goods" for adali i sat and thought about this very topic.  since you don't get to gaze lovingly into your babies eyes while you pump, you have a lot of time to think as you sit there (or stand if you are talented) every 3 hours being milked.  and instead of thinking about how to cure world hunger i pondered if it was as widely accepted to pump in public as it has become to breastfeed in public. 

as all of you know, i was unsuccessful in my many attempts to breastfeed adali…therefore, i solely pumped.   and, adali being my only child, i do not know what it is like to breastfeed in public, but i can say that i probably would not have had any issues with doing it if i absolutely had to (as discreetly as possible of course).  it just seems like the natural thing to do.  what i can say with certainty is that i was never fond of the ole' pump.  i would have much rather been lugging my hungry baby on my shoulder than the milking machine.  for those of you that have ever pumped, didn't you feel like betsy the cow at the state fair?  the cups, the sound…it's just all so unnatural.  oh yeah and a quick note to the pump manufacturers…can you please make the little cups anything but see through?  not even your husband enjoys seeing what's going on under there.  and why can't they make a way for them to be silent?  they can make jet engines silent for crying out loud?  oh yeah and since i'm asking…can we make them a teensy bit smaller.  i know you've come a long way with them (god help me if i ever had to hand pump), but they seem a little large still.

ok, so i hated pumping but since the milk gods were so kind to me, i did what i needed to for adali as long as my body would allow…so please no negative comments about how ungrateful i am because i tried, i really did…remember, good-humored post.  

in saying that, i never pumped in public.  maybe if i would have been offered free meals by restaurants like they did for pumping mothers at the hospital i would have been more inclined but i never felt comfortable enough to hook myself up to the milker outside the privacy of my own home.  in fact, i was fearful of it.  always planning trips or errands around pumping.  i wondered where i would clean all of the parts (because there's like a trillion)…what people would think when they walked into a bathroom and heard swish, swish, swish coming from a stall.  and god forbid there isn't a restroom nearby and you have to whip the whole contraption out for everyone witness.  i can just see the look on the 25 year old single bachelor's face as he witnesses betsy gettin hooked up.  scarred for life and never having kids of his own.  

so,since my curiosity on this matter has never disappeared, i am asking all of you your thoughts on this.  first, are you more brave than i am and have you ever pumped in public? if so was it a positive or negative experience for you?  what was the reaction (if any) from others in public?  do you think it is as widely accepted as breastfeeding.

if nobody comments i will be forced to start a poll and i hate polls because there is always some goof who votes over and over again skewing the results so please just comment already.  oh yeah and if you were from a generation that had to hand pump please comment and tell me how horrible it was compared to the pumps on the market now so i feel grateful.  

update – so i have had a change of heart and added the dreaded poll on the left side of the page.  it allows those that prefer to remain anonymous about such a personal thing a way to get involved.  but big props to sara for commenting with great humor about what can be considered a no-no topic of discussion.      

much love,

mama a


8 Comments ( Reply )

  1. Sara T says:

    TOO FUNNY!!! I liked to “retire to the palor” when it was time to pump – and the palor was my bed room most times – or the corner of the living room and on occasion if guaranteed no one was coming over – at the computer desk while surfing the net. I did pump at work (and the nice people i work with would moo at me on occasion) – but in my office, that had a door – but also a window that 2 times i forgot to close the blinds on – still wondering what kind of show i gave to the group that smokes outside my window on an hourly basis! :-)
    I don’t know what you consider public – besides work and home I also pumped at families homes, and in the car while being a passenger (maunual pump).
    I agree with the whole – make the parts something other then see through – Jason would always get this weird look on his face when he looked at me full frontal while I was pumping – it was not a look of attraction either! :- ) Plus it gives your older children witnessing too many extra questions to ask about what it is you are doing. (Abby use to pick up my pump and pretend she was doing it too!)
    I guess i never had a strong desire to nurse in public – unless you count “nursing stations” at malls, etc – where you could go in a closed room away from the public eye – (ie. perverts stare) so i never even thought about pumping in public – i would bring my manual pump if i wasn’t going to be somewhere with eletric and cover myself up good and proper in the back of the van with tinted windows and take care of business.
    And FYI – maunal pumps makes your wrist hurt – at least mine did – but there were certain times that i found it easier then lugging my portable milker out of the closet…..

    (sorry for the long comment….)

  2. this makes me laugh b/c i am the most unsuccessful breastfeeder/pumper EVER. i’ll tell you the story sometime, just not on your blog comments :)

    i pumped a total of about 5 ounces after having three babies. that’s 5 ounces combined. and trust me, it was not for lack of trying with that horrible contraption and it’s see-through parts (i never thought of it until now, but really, it’s disturbing to watch that).

  3. Elizabeth LeBlanc says:

    We have watched and enjoyed Baby Adali grow since forever now… Mia has loved watching her grow (our six-year old). I have to comment on this one… I feel exactly the same way… pumping is for the birds, but worth it.

    I had to travel to Miami / NYC for work when Mia was baby… I worked for apparel manufacturer, my account was men’s pants… so when I would “pump / dump” to keep up supply while I was gone… this was my M.O. : I would hide in sample closet and stack my lap with pants to cover the “milk”, machine and the “clear” covers so to speak…. Hoping the pants would mask the machine noise. (The secretary stood guard to make sure no one entered!!!)

    Now that I sit hear six years later I can laugh, but can Medela come up with a quieter machine or what? I tried not to look down when it was happening and would run to bathroom to wash all off and start a little while later….

    P.S. Mia has thick and long brown hair, Kia just took her pictures yesterday!!! But… once upon a time, her sweet head looked like Adali’s at that age… and now look! Who would have thought! Adali is gorgeous, inside and out!
    All the Best,
    Elizabeth LeBlanc

  4. Tina says:

    I wish I could give a good opinion on this. I pumped and pumped since Hunter was in a different hospital with no results, my milk didnt come in. I do know that I wish I could have experienced all of the comfortable to the non comfortable moments.

  5. Mandy says:

    Ha! Too funny! I think I still have nightmares about the sucking/swishing noises! Luckily, I did not have to pump all that often due to my son quickly catching on to nursing from the start. However, there were a few moments when I did pump somewhat in public…once before a Kenny Chesney concert in the parking lot (thank God for tinted windows and intoxicated concert go-ers, and once at the high school during one of my cheerleading practices (when I was still coaching)! The high school was probably the most uncomfortable one due to teenage girls coming in and hearing the sucking/swishing noises from the other side of the stall! I did not do much nursing in public either aside from the car, etc. Unfortunately, I think a large part of society still looks down upon the whole process. I say, if you’re doing the breastfeeding process regardless of your method…more power to you! Kudos to the moms that make this work for them!

  6. sweeney says:

    gotta say i did the whole pump and nurse thing (more so with conner than with addi)…and i have NO problems waht-so-ever nursing in purblic! pumping though, yeah, that would be a little awkward. you’re right; the sound, the machine, the tools (bottles, plastic pieces, etc) finding somewhere to store it after you’ve pumped, etc. very awkward in public.

    my dad was always so embaressed when i would whip out the boob (okay, that sounds bad but i whipped it out tastefully) in public. i would usually go to the bathroom but if one wasn’t available i would use the good ole fashion “hooter hider”. nursing was definitely easier, and there was a bond.

    but i gotta say though, whether it’s a machine or a baby that’s “hooked” up to you i still felt like betsy the cow. but their my babies and i’d do it a hundread times over!

    pumping public…i say leave it to the bathroom…nursing in public i say if you gotta do it, do it!


  7. Erin Geary says:

    Okay, I’m laughing out loud at this post! Although I am trying to wean, I am still nursing my 11 month old, Auden. Usually I don’t have to use the pump, but three weeks ago on a girl’s trip to Chicago I was forced to…in front of my two SINGLE girlfriends! I had my hooter hider, but sheesh – that SOUND!! They were cracking up, and I felt exactly like a cow. Moo. I hate that thing! Jamie, maybe you should patent some dark colored cups? Or as my dad calls them, “boobie trumpets?” Nice one, Dad.

    Thanks for making me laugh, I needed it this week!

  8. Rebecca Bruggers says:

    This is funny. I pumped at work for a very long time, I guess until the twins were almost a year old(until my fellow coworkers- nurses- were like- how long are you going to do that???) I pumped in the locker room in front of all the nurses- they’d seen it before I guess! It was awkward at first for me, but they were like , “good for you!” until; the babies were after 9 months old, at which point they all seemed to switch to the, “how long are you going to do that?” comment.
    That was as public as I got. But there were a lot of women that would come and go from that locker room!

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