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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

There's nothing sexy about these breasts

Using a breast pump is a truly bovine-esque experience. And there is nothing flattering about your breasts as they are systematically suctioned into cylinder-shaped plastic suckers. Nothing is less sexy.

Amy Lynwander had a humorous (although horrifying at the time) essay about her experience "expressing" herself at work in the August 14 edition of the Boston Globe.

Anyone who has expressed breast milk has dreaded someone walking in on them while in the act. Since I've been at-home with Toddler in Chief from day-one, I have not dealt with the trials, frustrations, and face-reddening situations that may arise from this potentially-humiliating experience at work.

My closest experiences happened during the extended hospital stays while TIC was recovering from his surgeries. Since I was pumping around the clock and the "pump rooms" were often full, I would often get the job done at TIC's bedside. Friends and family would occasionally witness the pumping action. I'm sure no one cared except me, but it's not how you want anyone to see you. And you definitely don't want that image of yourself seared into anyone's memory.

5 comments:

  1. Well, i pumped for a couple of months. I had no idea my boobs could be distorted so!

    it was often too much work for me to be shy about the whole experience. i did it my living room. and yup people came by to see the baby and such... and well... i didn't feel like bothering to hide or go into another room and so.... out came the breasts and on went the suction cups.

    in fact, i kinda liked showing the process to people. i had never seen it before, myself. and it's just one of those experiences not too many people see. and there's nothing to be ashamed about it.

    granted... the whole industrialness, machine-ness, unnaturalness, noisiness was a bit of a turn off. and it did make me feel kind of like a cow. it got to the point where, in the whirring of the pump, i could hear certain words like "adam's family" or something.

    and, i thought it was really bad for my posture and back. to sit there with my arms holding up these cups for 10-15 minutes. i really got into watching daytime tv during these times.

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  2. Oh man... I could have written that article--it would have just had to mention that I was a consultant in one of my clients unisex handicap bathroom stalls that didn't quite lock right. [groaning]

    You can't imagine how many times I was asked what that whirring sound is... or the washing out the cups. Contorted face of horror doesn't begin to describe it.

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  3. I've been very fortunate in that I was able to stay at home after my DD was born so I've never had to pump out in public.

    I have so much admiration for the moms who pump at work (or wherever) so they can continue to give their child breastmilk. I know it's not easy and requires a lot of dedication and determination. Kudos to all those mamas!!

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  4. The worst for me was the "pump and dump" associated with traveling. Although I didn't have to travel that much for work without my family during my first year as a new mom, I can tell you that neither O'Hara nor the DFW offer nursing moms a private space to pump... and just for the record, airport restrooms don't count!

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  5. I always wondered why they call it the "Pump in Style". I pumped for a couple of years. But I was never, ever for five minutes stylish while doing so.

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