Guys. I’ve become somewhat of a professional when it comes to multitasking. I’m going to attribute this to my exclusive pumping because when you are hooked up to a contraption that’s tugging on your nipples for 30 minutes at least 5 times a day, you figure out ways to not have your life be put on hold while doing it. Especially when you have a job, a husband, a baby, dinner to make, a house to clean, etc. etc. etc.
I was asked on Instagram if I would share some tips on how to pump and multitask so it doesn’t feel like time wasted. While I haven’t mastered this, I’ve definitely figured out ways to make it work. So whether you’re an exclusive pumper or pump as well as breast feed, I hope this post proves that you can get things done while feeling like a cow.
Pump and drive. This may sound a big dangerous, and truthfully I have no clue if it’s legal, but I do it ALL the time. I’m a visiting nurse, which means I’m driving to a patient’s house 90% of my work day. I am NOT about to pull over on the side of the road for 30 minutes to pump. That’s 30 minutes of additional time I’m paying my babysitter for. I have a car adaptor for my Medela Pump in Style and I wear my handsfree bra to hold the pump in place. I cover up with my Dria Cover, which basically looks like a stylish poncho. There’s no rainbow explosion that screams “I’M WEARING A NURSING COVER!!!!!” Therefore, if I pull up next to a truck or have to go through a drive-thru because I want my chai latte from Starbucks, no one knows that I’m secretly milking myself like a cow underneath it. Pumping and driving cuts down on a lot of time, so do yourself a favor and DO IT. (If there’s any interest, I can do another post on how I do this safely.)
Pump and play. As an exclusive pumper, I’ve chosen to make it a point to NOT pump while feeding my son. This is just personal preference, but I want our feeding times to be a bonding moment and being hooked up to a pump while feeding him as he sits in a bouncy chair is not my idea of bonding. So I make it a point to pump while playing with him. I usually do this immediately after a feeding because this is when he’s the most alert/happy. I’ll put out his play mat and some toys, and we play together while I pump.
Pump and primp. If you’ve ever bought a handsfree pumping bra, you’ve seen the corny pictures of the mom putting on her makeup and doing her hair, right? Well they aren’t corny. That’s me. Every. Day. I hook up to the pump and spend the 20-30 minutes doing my makeup and fixing my hair. It’s a beautiful thing, really. Now, if you’re one of those perfect women who don’t need makeup like, ever, and your hair just naturally dries beautifully, then I hate you this option may not be needed. But I sadly have dark circles down to my knees and hair that can look like an afro in the front, so I need my primp time! 😉
Pump and eat. I usually pump while eating breakfast, lunch, or dinner. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen me do this…especially at lunchtime. I figure if I’m sitting there for 20 minutes eating my lunch, I might as well get a pump in too.
Things I won’t do while pumping: Clean. I don’t want chemicals, anything even plant-derived, that can clean dirt going into the milk my baby is drinking. Cook. I don’t want to risk burning the tubing or getting anything in the milk.
One important tip I try to remember is to ALWAYS wear my nursing cover if I’m pumping and doing one of the things listed above. There are small holes in the connectors of the pump that are necessary for suction (why, I don’t know, but that’s what I’m told!) that have direct access to milk. So, if I’m doing my makeup, it’s easy for powder to possible find it’s way in the hole. Same with food. Anything to protect that milk for my little one.
I hope that’s helpful in making pumping a little more convenient for you. If you have any tips for me on how to multitask while pumping, drop me a comment! I’m always looking for way to make it a little easier.