Skip Nav
Tweens and Teens
What Happened When I Didn't Hold My Son to the Same Standards as My Daughters
30 Insanely Creative Kid-Friendly No-Carve Pumpkins
Star Wars
The 12 Coolest Star Wars Toys For Your Little Jedi — Right in Time For the Holidays

Why Didn't Anybody Tell Me? Pumping Prison

Why Didn't Anybody Tell Me? Pumping Prison

Mothers who have pumped know the dreads of sitting up alone in the middle of the night to unload their liquid gold when they'd rather be in bed. While pumping is a learn as you go process, the restrictions and the time commitment it required surprised me.

I felt like a cow hooked up to my milk extracting machine and imagined cutting one of my old bras up to hold the contraptions so I could at least check e–mail or surf the net.

To see how to lighten the pumping load,


Near the end of my nursing days, I ran across the Easy Expression Pumping Bra that is made just for this purpose. It costs $34 and had I known about it sooner, I would have been willing to pay even more for the freedom it allows. It gives the pumping mama the ability to go about her business using both hands. She can read a book or flip through a magazine. I am certainly going to buy one of these when I have another baby.

macgirl macgirl 9 years
"I don't understand why you would be doing this instead of nursing as you are already up anyway" Not everyone can nurse. I just had my second son and had the exact same problems I did with my first. It was truly devastating, as I knew what went wrong and was VERY prepared to deal with it and concur the issue. It is just so frustrating and I've really beat myself up over not being able to do it. I really wanted to be able to be "normal" and not have to mess with the pumping again. I've finally come around to the place where I'm doing the best I can for my little guy and he is MUCH happier being bottle fed my breast milk. Ultimately when baby is happy, mom is happy. I will have to look into either a bra or something as having to time it to when I can be without my two hands is making pumping difficult.
ginns ginns 9 years
I like the pumpinpal ( because you don't have to change out of your bra or anything. There is also a way to rig up a nursing bra with rubber bands:
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
Schnappycat -- Congratulations... so exciting! Enjoy every second :)
schnappycat schnappycat 9 years
Thanks, everyone! He's a feisty handful and I'm still a bit overwhelmed and trying to maintain my sanity. But all went exceedingly well/easy during labor and delivery and he's healthy, so that's all the matters.
KeishaLee KeishaLee 9 years
I exclusively pumped from 3 months to 13 months. I used a TV tray at home and at work to set everything on then I would hold both bottles with one arm.....kinda pressed against me. It gave me a free hand to read while at work and surf the net at home. It was a pain to set up and then take apart/clean the pump every few hrs...but well worth it so that my baby had the best source of nutrition. I now miss the mandatory "down time" it gave me ; )
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
Schnappycat - Congratulations!! How exciting! I don't know about the rest of you, but pumping hurt me far more than nursing ever did. If you're pumping because you're too sore to nurse, you might want to consider trying to swap that around if possible. Anyway, congratulations to you and good luck!!
rgrl rgrl 9 years
I had to pump at all hours of the day in between breastfeeding to try and increase my milk supply. Every few hours I would be in the pumping prison for 15 min. I actually did find an old sports bra with hooks in the back and I cut out two holes in the front. It worked really well, and that way I would read a magazine. :D
Moms Moms 9 years
Greggie Greggie 9 years
bbaysugar, even going into my third, if I'd been in a situation where I had to be away a few days, I would do what you did and pump rather than give formula. I have nothing against formula, it's just that when a child is exclusively breastfed, suddenly introducing formula can cause them serious stomach upset.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
"How lucky that you all had adequate millk supply. I did not and was pumping during the day when I was away from my baby." Even with an adequate milk supply, women who are away from the baby during the day often pump regularly. Otherwise there's little chance of maintaining an adequate supply.
babysugar babysugar 9 years
Yes - I am lucky that I was able to produce milk. No doubt about it. But I still didn't enjoy the pumping part. And the reason I had to pump in the middle of the night vs. nursing was because I had to store up breastmilk for a vacation I was taking. I needed enough for 3 days. In retrospect, I should have just given her formula for the weekend but I was a breastmilk nazi at the time! There's definitely a learning curve with the first child.
meumitsuki meumitsuki 9 years
Schnappycat - Get some lansinoh cream if you don't already. Its in a purple container. Its all natural and you don't have to wipe it off when nursing. Put that on and you won't feel a thing. It WILL stain your clothes, so use nursing pads to prevent this.
JennyJen2 JennyJen2 9 years
I will definitely look into this when we have our next child. I never really had a problem with the pump sliding off, but I would like to have some extra support to fhold them in place. I pumped at work two times a day for 6 months and never missed a beat - checking emails, talking on the phone and getting work done. I guess I should consider myself lucky!
schnappycat schnappycat 9 years
I gave birth last Saturday (!) and am just realizing the pains of pumping. My nipples/boobs are still too sore to nurse regularly (and the baby isn't terribly cooperative yet), so I have been pumping fairly regularly just to get in/keep up the supply and provide some bottled breastmilk while my husband supplements with formula. I'm hoping to build up to more and more nursing, but for now I'm just too overwhelmed and need to get some sleep and exist relatively pain free. Last night I pumped every two hours, which is a huge annoyance. And I was just telling my husband that I wish I could at least have my hands free to read or change the TV channel. If I continue to do this, I might have to look into it.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
I couldn't do the bras, it was too difficult to change out of my regular one for the 15-minute break. Although I was able to prop on my knees pretty easily without any pulling, so that was lucky.
redsugar redsugar 9 years
How lucky that you all had adequate millk supply. I did not and was pumping during the day when I was away from my baby. I can totally relate to being a cow and those bras really help heaps. I would close my office door, hook up and pump away.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
Luckily, I never had to get up during the night to nurse except the first night when my son had to stay in the hospital. They were nursing too much at night to allow for a pumping session anyway. But I can totally relate to the "feeling like a cow" being hooked up to it 2-4 times a day at work for a year. Aaaah, good times...
gossipqueen7 gossipqueen7 9 years
i pump now and i've never pumped in the middle of the night. i just nurse. plus pumping only takes, at the most, ten minutes for me.
meumitsuki meumitsuki 9 years
I just hope it hold the pump to the breast tight enough, otherwise, stretched and distorted skin. An easy way to get out of getting up in the middle of the night to pump (I don't understand why you would be doing this instead of nursing as you are already up anyway) is to pick one time a day and pump every day at the time no matter what. After about 2 weeks, I was able to get 10-12 ounces in that sitting and that is the equivalent of 3-4 bottles for a young 3-4 month babe.
CJaneTyp CJaneTyp 9 years
Lord the perils of womanhood.
wonderwoman80 wonderwoman80 9 years
Wow this seems great! Naturally I just stopped pumping, but maybe next time.
Halloween Costume Hacks For Breastfeeding Moms
New Bra For Nursing and Pumping
Mom Breastfeeding at Wedding Feels Empowered
Mom Not Allowed to Pump During Jury Duty
From Our Partners
Latest Moms
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds