Plenty of women have recommended I get some sort of hands-free pumping bra since I started pumping breastmilk for my triplets 18 weeks (!) ago while they were in the NICU.
I poo-pooed the advice at first, though, because I didn’t have much to do while I was pumping. Pumping was quiet time I savored – time to focus on my babies (either by staring into their isolettes or simply imagining them while I sat at home), time to pray, time to just be quiet and feel like I was doing something to help them, like I was being their mother.
Then they came home.
That time became quiet time to relax – the only time to myself – and sit with Netflix while I cruised through seasons of TV shows.
And then they reached their due date. Just as my triplet-mommy friend Pam said, all hell broke loose. Suddenly, pumping became a race. I need to pump, but they need me. The people we have here to help need me. Time has shrunk, and I find myself racing to pump, racing to eat, racing to pee – all within the span of about 60-90 minutes, sometimes less. I’ve had to choose between pumping and eating. And peeing? Forget about it. Let’s just say I’m lucky to have had my bladder of steel returned to its pre-pregnancy condition.
Then one day, Wendy Armbruster Bell sent me a message on Twitter, offering to send me a hands-free bra to try in exchange for an honest review. I checked out the PumpEase site and some other reviews before agreeing, but the bra seemed to make everyone happy. Convinced it wouldn’t waste my time or hers, I agreed.
Lord have mercy, I think it’s the smartest blog decision I’ve ever made.
I normally don’t have much trouble finding time to pump. Our families are around enough that I can step aside for 30 minutes to take care of that business. It’s finding time to do everything else that’s the problem. Like eating. Like I said, I’ve had days during which I chose eating over pumping. To produce milk like a cow, one must eat like a cow.
No more choosing, ladies and gents. I take a few minutes to prep whatever snack or meal I’m having and carry that into the room with my pump, strap on my PumpEase bra, get the pump parts in place, start Netflix and sit back, eat and watch TV (currently season 5 of 24). Or blog. Or answer e-mails. I could probably read a book, but I’m not sure if my attention span has returned to a normal state.
I use a hospital-grade pump, so I’m always plugged in and thus not able to move far, but I have unhooked the pump hoses and wandered into the nursery to soothe babies with the flanges and bottles still in place. No big deal. I’m sure it’d be easy to move about the house if my pump used batteries. I can only imagine the possibilities of being hands free AND wireless. Freedom!
Hands free AND appropriate for all ages. WIN.
The material for the regular PumpEase bra reminds me of a nice bathing suit. It’s smooth and stretchy, and it maintains its tightness. It’s stupid comfortable, and I’ve never felt my bottles of precious milk were at risk of falling away.
I do produce a lot of milk, though – I use 8 oz. bottles and need to switch from full to empty bottles during a pumping session at least once a day. Those bottles get HEAVY. For my safety (gravity does enough without letting heavy bottles pull anything else down) and for my milk’s safety, I remain seated with the bottles resting on my legs once I reach the 4 oz. mark in one bottle.
Not a problem in my eyes, though. It allows me guilt-free resting time.
Good news, dear readers. I have a PumpEase bra to give away to one lucky duck. All you have to do is leave a comment here telling me what you’d do with your hands-free time while pumping. Eat? Crochet? Play poker? Work on a baby book? Or, if you’re like me yesterday – NAP!
The winner will be chosen at random, and you have until 8 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, April 5 to enter.
Disclaimer: While PumpEase sponsored this review, the opinions I’ve expressed here are solely my own and represent my honest viewpoint.