Now, I think ALL moms are superhuman. We ALL rock. We ALL defy exhaustion. It is truly a miracle moms all over the world don’t fall victim to micro-sleep. We are all dedicated mothers but if you look up dedication in the dictionary you might find “One who both works and pumps breast-milk for one’s offspring.”
It is insane. Anyone that has pumped understands the reality that is the amount of milk you get pumping compared to what baby gets at the breast. This means that in those short breaks mom gets at work to pump she has to really make it count. By now, breaks to pump at work and a space that is not a bathroom are protected by law in most states. The reality is that it hasn’t been an issue in many establishments in the past so not every place already has these spaces available. Not all moms, recently back from a “break” to have her baby, with hormones that will still be balancing for the next 6-12 months wants to ask (read: demand) that her right to these things be fulfilled. What I have seen from the moms that I know who are in this position is that they get 2-3 breaks around 15-30 minutes to pump for the 40-ish hours each one of them is gone from their babies. These “breaks” are not nearly enough for this dedicated mother to get enough for the times she is away from her baby.
Before I had any experience in the breastfeeding realm I had NO idea the amount of dedication anything like this would take. Honestly, I still don’t. I pump every once in a while at my leisure and donate it. Let me tell you about the first experience I had with pumping-
My sister is a vision. She is absolutely jaw-dropping. Beautiful voluminous locks of gold. Piercing yet soft green eyes. Hourglass figure.
I used to go sit in the bathroom while she would get ready for work and we would talk and joke.
So imagine this…
I walk in to her curling her voluminous blonde hair, popped hip, full face of make-up, dressed for her workday ahead. All the while wearing a hands-free double breast-pump bra. She had been pumping the whole time she got ready for work while my nephew was sleeping. This happened every single day. She would pump in the car using the bra during her 45 minute commute. She dedicated every moment that she had to pump sustenance for her first-born and she went on to do this 2 more times.
This is incredible, impressive, remarkable and so on with the adjectives. So many women do this. So many women do every single thing that they can to do this for their babies. I am privileged to know so many of them. I am privileged to know that this is possible. I am privileged to support these women. I love them and I love the example that they have set. I love when they share their victories and their woes.
No matter how you feed your baby you are amazing and you are enough. Today, let us celebrate the pumping mother. You are amazing.