New mother and great friend Ani and I couldn’t help but take this picture of us and our pumping bras. These unusual looking bras with two big holes at the front are one of the many things people just don’t tell you about before you pop out your little hungry angel.
You see, I’m getting ready to head back to work as a new breastfeeding mother. This raises a little challenge... how to feed Siena when she’s at home and her milk lady is 12 miles away at work?
It turns out I’m not the first or the last that will be experiencing this problem and thanks to many wonderful mommies before me there are some wonderful devices to help keep baby milk drunk. It’s time to share those devices with other mommies to be, because really they not only serve a great function of helping get milk to baby but they are pretty dang funny too, and you can never have too many smiles when you’re forced to look like a cow in a milk farm.
For all of you that are breastfeeding newbies, the reason you need to pump at work is because you keep producing milk even when you’re away from baby. If you don’t empty your breasts, then we’re in for a Traffic Anchor who is leaking milk all over your morning commute. (Also if you don’t get that milk out, you’re essentially telling your body that you don’t need to keep making milk.)
There are plenty of pumps out on the market from manual ones to hospital-grade ones and lots of choices in between. I tried a single electric pump and it was a little too slow for me, so I upgraded to a mega pump. It’s theMedela Freestyle, a double electric pump that does both sides at once and seemed a little more forceful than the single pump. It is the most expensive one out there at around $370 but speed is important to me. It also costs more because it's hands-free -- you can clip it onto almost any nursing bra (and I checked, it works with my Bravado bras!) -- and it has a rechargeable battery which means you can clip it to your clothes and walk around while pumping (an essential for mommy on-the-go). (Tip: if you have a flexible spending account you may be able to use that for your pump so ask your HR person).
With my job on TV it’s critical that I can pump quickly and on-the-go. You see I may need to pump in between my traffic reports and if you’ve ever watch our morning show I’m sure you’ve heard that “Weather and Traffic is every 10 minutes” so if I have an emergency and need to pump, I’m going to need to do it quickly. I refer to my breastfeeding blogs as “Baring My Breasts” but I’d really prefer not to bare my breasts at work (sorry male viewers) so the next thing on my list of essential items for going back to work is the pumping bra.
Yes, I’d never heard of one too before popping out my little princess. It’s a bra with two holes at the front to insert your breast pump into. Without the pump it just looks like a scary mask that someone could wear to rob your house; with the pump it looks like something they’d use on a cow at a dairy farm. When I use it, I don’t have to try holding onto two bottles at once, while holding onto the pump. I can even get things done around the house. The bra holds everything up for you. (Another bra I’m trying has a flap that you open that you can insert the pump flange into.)
So there you go, the downlow on pumping at work. I can’t wait to have my baby girl watch me on TV for the first time, all the while knowing she is getting fed even though I’m not there with her. Cheers to technology!
If you have any tips for heading back to work after maternity leave, I’d love to hear from you.