Tales from the pump…swoosh, swoosh, swoosh

The following is a true story, from a real mom…contributor Lara of Michigan…

Me and my handy Medela Pump-in-Style Advanced (the ever-stylish backpack) had quite a few adventures while I was still nursing.  I work full-time out of the house, often travel for work and often have to work at receptions and dinners as part of my job.  Well, one evening, I was staffing a fancy dinner in a ballroom.  I had my pump with me, as usual.  I just had to find a good time and place to go pump.

Sadly, there wasn’t a private area where I could hook-up and pump.  So I found a bathroom somewhat removed from attendee traffic, picked a stall against a wall, hung the backpack on the back of the door and got ready to pump.  I was pumping for maybe 2 or 3 minutes and someone came in and entered the stall next to me.  They took care of their business and then started talking to me.  I could see nice leather pumps under the stall.

Nice shoes mystery woman: “I know that sound. That’s a breast pump isn’t it?

Me: (shocked and appalled) “Why yes.”

NSMW: “It’s too bad you have to pump in here.  Can I do anything for you to make you more comfortable?”

Me: “It’s not so bad in here. (at that point I was used to having to pump in bathrooms, having done it in airport bathrooms and other fun places).”

NSMW: (now out of the stall, washing her hands) “I remember how hard it is to work and breastfeed. The pump becomes like an appendage, doesn’t it?  Are you sure you don’t need anything?”

I was amazed. So, we made small talk for close to 20 minutes, to the swoosh, swoosh, swoosh of the pump.  Comparing stories of breastfeeding/pumping while working.  The time flew by, and finally the woman said, “Well, I guess you’re probably almost done. I will leave you now.  Good luck.  Hug your boy.”  And she was gone.  I hollered “thank you” as she left.  But I wish that I’d seen her face.  I only ever saw her shoes.

I went back to my event, all the while checking out every woman’s shoes.  I never did find the mystery woman.  But we did bond.  In the ladies room.  To the swoosh, swoosh, swoosh of the pump.  I will always remember her.  She made me feel less alone and a bonafide member of the “sisterhood of the pump”.

(My son is Winston.  When this took place he was about 7 months old and was about 90% fed on breastmilk, and supplemented 10% w/formula.  As he grew, and I worked, this ratio started to shift. We breastfed until he was 16 months and 2 weeks old. By that point, he was only 10% breastfed. We found that a varying combination of breastmilk, formula and then whole milk worked for us.  We always nursed morning and night, right to the end, when Winston self-weaned.  He “told” me he was done, with a gentle pat-pat on the boob and a hug for mom.  He was fine, but my sensitive son knew that momma was sad.)

Do you have a funny pumping story? A scary pumping story? An embarrassing pumping story?

Share with us in the comments!


  1. I have heard great things from Medela!

  2. Carseatmommy says:

    My funny occured just last week. My son is 3 1/2 months old and he’s exclusively breastfed. My hubby is an accountant and his company hosted a party last week to celebrate the end of Tax Season. It was our first “date night” since we had our little boy.

    I pumped on the way to the party and then about 3 hours later, I went to the car to pump. I plugged it in and called the sitter to check on our son. As I was finishing I noticed that the interior light was getting dim. Before going back inside, I tried to turn the car on. The battery was dead!

    After trying to get a jump, my husband locking the keys in the car, and then trying to break into the car—we gave up. We got a ride home. Where my baby was wide-eyed looking for his momma. So I went and nursed him and got him in bed. Then we were off again. We got back to the car and the parking lot was empty. Thankfully the car was easily jumped and we headed back home.

    Lesson: turn the car ON before pumping off the battery.

  3. That is such a sweet/funny story

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