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The first time I ever heard about breast pumps was when one of my best college friends pumped in the way back of a car while a bunch of us were driving around on vacation in New Orleans. (She had left her baby for the weekend and needed to pump to keep producing milk while she was away.)

I didn’t really know what she was doing exactly in the back of that car but it was apparently very important because the term “liquid gold” kept being thrown around.

Once I had a baby, I learned all about the pumping thing. That basically you hook up a machine to your boobs and then it hopefully sucks the milk out like some sort of human cow while making a bizarre noise that sounds like a secret message from the dairy gods.

Meanwhile, the husbands have to act like it is completely normal to see their lovely wives attached to one of these medieval contraptions.

One of the worst things is pumping while at work. Because you invariably forget and all of a sudden you are in some meeting while your breasts, which have grown to the size of honeydew melons, are leaking faster than the BP Gulf oil spill. You have to immediately excuse yourself and seek refuge.

And unless you work for some fancy company with a deluxe breast pumping suite (I did not),  you have to barricade yourself in cold, public bathroom so you can pump and bring yourself some relief. Then you shove the milk in a community fridge and hope Eddie from Ad Sales doesn’t mistake it for his vanilla creamer.

I’m on my 5th kid and I’ve barely pumped this go around. But my sister Quinn who works 3 days a week as a lawyer must pump regularly. Which is fine because she has an office with a lock.

Except the lock broke.

So when it was time to pump, she shut the door and left this note for anyone who might come by wanting to see her….

Breast Pumping Note on Office Door

Surely, that girl deserves a new lock because it’s only a matter of time before some harried paralegal comes barreling in with a frantic deadline and has to witness what only a husband should have to see. They will be sorry indeed.

18 Responses to the sexy side of breast pumps (spoiler alert: there is no sexy side)

  • Jennifer says:

    LOL. I was a preschool teacher and used to pump in the classroom bathroom during naptime. Which of course had no lock. No one ever walked in but once one of the kids saw me carrying my stuff and asked me what it was. Thankfully many preschool ages kids are familiar with “mommy, milk and boobs”.

  • Marley C. says:

    I will never forget the shape of nipples in a breast pump. But on the plus side, I learned that milk doesn’t come from a big hole in the middle but from several small holes. DID not know that before. Of course I was in my late 20’s before I realized you have a completely separate hole for peeing so I’m not that smart when it comes to anatomy.

  • Brenda Harshman says:

    When I was pumping 27 years ago I only had a hand pump which looked like an air horn at a football game!! This blog never ceases to make me laugh!! I love knowing that women young or old share the same history raising children ;o)

  • Heather Ricco says:

    Hahaha. I was pumping in the supply closet at our work. And even though we had a sign on the door, some poor repair man walked in and saw me pumping away. I don’t know who was more embarrased, me or him.=P

  • Joanna says:

    With my first I was single and living with my mom which at the time had a lot of visitors staying for Christmas as well. One morning while pumping in my room my 7 year old nephew just came and sat down, like it was nothing at all. When I called for my sister to get him she told me it was “okay because he needs to learn about this stuff.”
    Pretty sure he will never be a boob man…

  • Princess Judy says:

    We used to live in an apartment that had big low windows and one day I was standing in the bedroom one with it open when a man walked by on the sidewalk and asked why I threw my breast pump out the window. I looked and sure enough… someone had tossed a breast pump out there. Um… that’s kind of weird…. random breast pump tossings in the middle of an apartment complex.

  • Mary Clare says:

    ::Raising a bottle of breast milk:: Here’s to hard-working pumping moms everywhere!!!

    I work with a bunch of nutty ecologists (myself included in that group), many who are/have been breastfeeding moms. No matter what we get the pumping done. I myself have pumped in the middle of a field survey. I found a private spot on the river bank. Popped open my wetsuit and pumped right there. I’ve pumped hundreds of times in the car on my way to and from places. I’m sure passing people wondered what the heck I was doing in a gas station parking lot with a towel draped across my front. My favorite pumping story is a colleague who was travelling to an out of state meeting with a car-full of male coworkers. She pumped in the car with her coworkers to save some time on the trip.

  • Bee says:

    The morning we came home from the hospital with my first daughter my mother-in-law, father-in-law, and my husband’s grandparents walked into our house without knocking and came right into the living room while I was pumping…um… indiscreetly, shall we say… I thought my husband and I were the only ones home. I jumped up and ran to the bathroom, and was later accused of being a poor hostess. Now, I can laugh. Then – I was horrified!

  • Jen M. says:

    The only room with a lock on it at my work place is my boss’s office. He was generous enough to let me pump in there after I came back from maternity leave. I have no doubt he regretted it after I spilled an entire bottle of milk all over his desk and important files. Absolutely mortifying.

  • colt13 says:

    As a guy, I don’t have any really good stories. Although, when I was a teenager, I walked in on a woman pumping in a unisex bathroom. She was much more mature about it than I was.

  • Nina says:

    I am a teacher. I had to pump in my 4th grade classroom after the kids had gone to lunch. One of the kids forgot their lunch card one day and ran back into the classroom to get it after I’d already started. Thankfully, I had locked the door!

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kelcey kintner