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My Road to Recovery and Breast Pumps

February 7, 2012

The recent controversy around mothers nursing in public has stirred in me the trauma and stress of this chapter in my own life when my girls were still babies. It wasn’t the nursing that traumatized me, but it was the breast pump that forever scarred my life.

Like many items on the long list of things “I didn’t expect” after we had babies, the breast pump stands out as an absolute low point in that season of my life. It was clearly MY issue. To my wife, the breast pump wasn’t really any different than a box of baby wipes. It was just part of the deal.

It’s not that I didn’t accept the usefulness and practicality of the device, but I think it was maybe too much reality. Nothing takes the romance out of a date night like plugging the breast pump into the car lighter, attaching it and running it for a full cycle on the drive home. Not only is it impossible to carry on a conversation with it running, but you can’t even listen to music because the motor on an electric breast pump sounds like a leaf blower cleaning out the front seat of the car. Maybe more impactful was the reality that my wife and our relationship had been reduced to ending our evenings together to drone of a two-note breast pump playing in the background. But this season of my life – much like the Mesozoic period and the ice age – eventually ended.

I can’t say I know what happens to a nursing mother’s breast when she feeds her baby, but I in no way believe it is anything like what a breast pump does to those same boobs. When a baby nurses, there is, at least, some hidden mystery to the whole process. But for some reason, the makers of breast pumps find it necessary to make these devices out of clear plastic so that everyone within a 10-yard radius can see exactly how these things are engineered to work. Nightmare. It’s like a grenade– if you are beyond the reach of the blast, then you’re good. But if you aren’t, then Godspeed.

So, to all of the mothers that are tired of people telling them they can’t nurse in public. Go to one of these places, plug in your double-sided, clear-plastic, breast pump in the same outlet as the guy’s laptop sitting next to you, then run the pump for a full cycle. I have to believe all of the folks voicing complaints will be more than happy to have you nursing wherever you would like after getting a full serving of the alternative.

© Johnny Hea – 2012 All Rights Reserved

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4 Comments
  1. If memory serves, I think there’s a love/hate relationship with the breast pump. I couldn’t get rid of mine fast enough, and that was way back before anything like a car plug adapter existed — I cannot even imagine…

  2. hysterical! Have you seen the bra pump? the mother wears it, double sided as she goes about her daily activities. lol, look at the lady’s expression as she is pumping in this pic. http://www.walmart.com/ip/Simple-Wishes-Hands-Free-Breast-Pump-Bra-L-XL-XXL/19529229?ci_sku=19529229&ci_src=14110944&sourceid=1500000000000003260330
    I nursed, yes, i pumped, yes, but i can only imagine that my husband was thinking exactly what you wrote.

  3. That’s funny! The bra pump is WAY too much. It’s all too much. It is one of those experiences that makes each guy more than happy to go get his wings clipped when it comes time. I can’t imagine doing all of that a third time. I am just a low-capacity dad.

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