the breast pump: something that sucks shouldn’t suck so much.

disclaimer: this post is about my current nemesis, the breast pump. and breastfeeding. and boobs. specifically, my boobs. so, if you’re anything like me and immediately picture the things you read, you may want to sit this one out. because, let’s keep it really real, we aren’t discussing GGW boobs here. these are deep-in-the-mom-game boobs. also, if any of the following words make you uncomfortable: nipples, sore nipples, painful nipples, inflamed and/or infected nipples, cracked nipple skin, just skip ahead to the end.

 breastfeeding-boobs-on-fire

pumping sucks. i know, not new news, but c’mon. i think it’s high time this outdated medievil contraption received a significant update. my son is ten months old and i’m still breastfeeding. we’re trying to make it a year (with a small freezer stock, if possible) and for the last few months we’ve done mostly bottles during the day. which means LOTS of pumping. so much pumping. too much pumping. i hate pumping.

i don’t know if my boobs are just “let down-challenged” or maybe it’s just a small boobs thing, but i have to pump a looong time to get any real results. we’re talking hours. and honestly, if it means i can keep giving JuJu breastmilk for his first year, i’m happy willing to do it. but it shouldn’t suck as much as it does. breastfeeding? it’s beautiful. i was lucky, i guess. Judah was a good latcher and there’s been pain, infection and more recently the occasional tooth scrape, but nothing i couldn’t handle. i actually enjoy nursing him. but, ya know, you can’t do it forever. and we wanted my husband and other “framily” to be able to feed him. so, bottles. so, pumping. 

i’ve had many, many rants about Larry (my breastpump) and it’s ridiculously counterintuitive design. i’d love to oversee a redesign/upgrade but let’s face it, that’s not my story. the only thing my friends can do is make movies and i whole-heartedly believe in staying in one’s lane. i want this bad boy by baby #2, which means i don’t have the time to foster the types of relationships i’d need, let alone develop an entirely new skill set.

'Superbaby...More powerful than an electric breast pump!'so, to those much smarter than me, on a mission to improve the breast pump, some requests/ideas:

1. portable (and maybe wireless). no chords attaching me to a wall. no tubes forcing me to sit hunched over a stationary machine, further solidifying my Quasimodo shoulders. something either attached to my body via belt or fannypack style sounds great. something i can wear under clothes would be ideal. but at the very least, please make something that allows me to move around. battery-operated, rechargeable even, lightweight and portable.

2. hands-free. meaning, something that does the massaging, squeezing, holding, etc. for me. so i can type, cook, participate in life. ya know, truly hands free. those bras that hold the pump on are great. but part of pumping, at least for me, is a significant amount of “working” the milk out. (i’m sorry, readers. I warned you.) not to mention, as you retain milk it gets heavier and moves around. my idea? redesigning the pump flange to be adjustable to fit around the entire boob, no matter how big or small. maybe it looks like a bra. with multiple settings so you can have it do the work for you. a setting for the “milking” motion and a setting for general massage to loosen any blockages. something that can be attached and tightened if necessary…like a bra, with magical massage cups. i’m really feeling my inner innovator right now.

3. less parts and better milk retention system. why are there so many parts? it’s dumb and i have enough to keep track of. that bra with the new and improved boob flange could have a bag attached to it. or the milk could go down a teeny tube that’s attached to my belt contraption and milk is stored there. in something with a lid and no spillage possibility. whoever came up with the saying “it’s no use crying over spilled milk” would be inconsoulable after dropping a five ounce bottle of breastmilk following an hour long pump session.

Breast-Pump

4. be as good at sucking as my kid. okay, that may never be possible. but can we get something that actually mimics what my son is able to do with his itty bitty mouth, please? he’s been here for 10 months, the pump has been around for like 800 years. be better already. let’s consider we’re using the fancy bra design i mentioned earlier (“the milk machine” or “the easy squeeze”???). within that massaging cup/flange is a smaller piece that is just for nipple suction. also adjustable, so those new post-pregnancy sand dollar nipples feel the love too, creating the most efficient suction.

5. there’s no real name for this so i’ll just explain. basically, combine all features listed above (and everything i’m too clueless to know) and create a pump that allows me to sleep while using. the current pump design is next to impossible to sleep while wearing. i’ve managed to doze here and there if i prop my head perfectly on the edge of a table. but that’s no way to SLEEP! especially in the dangerously sleep-deprived state most mothers are in. to use those pumping hours for real rest would be a game changer. just sayin’…

so there you have it. ideas about something i know nothing about. maybe if pumping wasn’t such a shit-stain existence, women would breastfeed more and for longer. they could worry less about returning to work. the pain and inconvenience wouldn’t scare so many women away. maybe even creating room for more enjoyment and freedom in motherhood and day to day life. pumping should make breastfeeding easier, not harder. simple as that.

i was a formula-fed baby. a lot of us were. i have friends who’ve fed formula since day one, for various reasons, and they have beautiful, thriving, connected children. if i had more issues with breastfeeding i would have absolutely given Judah formula. so this is in no way an anti-formula/holier-than-thou-nursing-mom rant. so don’t even try it.

happy world breastfeeding week!

Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twittershare on TumblrShare on FacebookGoogle+Email to someone

5 comments on the breast pump: something that sucks shouldn’t suck so much.

  1. Rae Mosher
    August 18, 2015 at 10:57 am (2 years ago)

    YES!!!! Thank you for putting this proposal out there. Breadtfeeding is hard as heck, but the freaking breast pump makes it so much worse. I will totally invest in and wear the fanny-pack-whole-boob-massaging Easy Squeeze!

    Reply
  2. Joel
    August 15, 2015 at 10:13 am (2 years ago)

    800 years? come on. you reaching

    Reply
  3. Sharon aka Mom
    August 6, 2015 at 5:28 pm (2 years ago)

    Good job. I wish we had some inventors/engineers in this family. This needs to be made!

    Reply
  4. Liz
    August 6, 2015 at 3:57 pm (2 years ago)

    this is good. real good. like as much as I want a bomb ass stock pile of milk, I avoid the pump because it requires more than opening my shirt and unsnapping my bra. there are at least 6 more steps before the milk starts flowing with the pump. I have the best pump on the market and I avoid it. I really hope some engineering mama is reading this (because it would only be right for a mama to create this new product) and is taking notes. Mama Engineer we need you!

    Reply
  5. Tyty
    August 6, 2015 at 3:37 pm (2 years ago)

    Good job Tiff I only lasted 3 months I would sit and pump for 3 hrs to only get 3 ounces

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *