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July 19, 2018
We all know that pumping can come with challenges. – Not only is there the physical struggle of keeping up a milk supply, it often means separation from baby because of work or school, and then there’s simply the factor of time. For me, pumping at work means time away from my coworkers, meeting goals, and assisting patients. It can be hard to continue when you’re feeling lonely, stressed, and like you’re wasting time.
Not to fear, mama! Pumping can be a valuable time to multitask. Here are ten creative ways you can spend those precious hours of the day by not only providing precious breastmilk for that baby, but maybe supporting yourself too:
Any social media really. I really enjoy Instagram because I can share as much or as little as I want, with whatever kind of image or video I want. Social media can make the idea of sitting in a room with flanges attached to your breasts less lonely, as it allows you a connection to the rest of the world and a way to share your own little corner of it.
It doesn’t even have to be printed out. Everything really is digital anymore! I have several of these started on my phone: one album alone is the day of my daughter’s birth, another of Kara and my husband, and yet another of our beautiful dog! This also allows for not sharing some awkward breastfeeding photos I might not want a coworker to see.
To an old friend, a new friend, a grandparent… anyone! I have a friend that reaches out to a contact on his phone every day on his way home from work. I feel as though I never put for enough effort keeping in touch with old friends beyond like a few posts on their Facebook page. Set aside time is a rare commodity in my busy life.
Babies are expensive, mama! But finding the right coupon that’s hasn’t yet expired, has started, and works in the right store isn’t always easy! Some places have stackable coupons, some won’t allow clearance items and coupons to mix, and many stores now have rewards programs to keep track of that can help save some bucks too. Pump and pull up your email for some savings.
I went to school to write and have worked on several books – that is, until I got out of college and started working full-time. Writing poetry suddenly became secondary to dishes, giving the baby a bath, and a precious thing called sleep. Pumping has forced me to slow down, and slowing down lets my mind go to a creative place. I write a lot less poetry now, but often share stories of my baby, my marriage, and my fight against anxiety and depression.
To Disney, the beach, a road trip to Texas—who cares! I’m currently working on a magical trip to Orlando in November. The baby will be eight months old, my husband has already declared he’s driving this time, and Disney World looks pretty baby friendly! Plan where you want to go, how you want to get there, and your best breastfeeding-friendly outfits.
Furthering your career doesn’t have to stop with being a mom, right? Or maybe you’ve always been interested in Anthropology and never put any time in it before. Pumping allows for some quality sit-time with you, your pump, and a textbook.
I don’t know what I would do without my mommy group on Facebook! A group of women sharing everything from cute pictures of their kids outside to advice about sleep training, a mommy group can be a great place for ranting about your in-laws to seeking some suggestions about the best brand bottle to use. It’s another source of support to help in the quiet moments of pumping.
If you’re feeling high stress and a tad hormonal like I often do right now, this one might be for you. It’s incredibly easy to focus on how your spouse does every little thing wrong and forget when they’ve most recently stayed up with the fussy baby or stayed over late at work to help make ends meet. A gratitude journal can allow for some positive aspects of your life to find their way on to paper and into your day to day.
Know that meditation isn’t something you can simply close your eyes and do. It’s a learned skill, and there are many books, podcasts, and apps that can help you with guided meditation. Mediation is shown to help in aiding struggles with stress, anxiety, and depression according to the Huffington Post. At only four months postpartum, I’ve found meditation to be key in working through my daughter’s birth and the struggles of mommyhood. It’s easy to see pumping and breastfeeding as very physical, but just as you need water to stay hydrated and lactate, you need to take care of your mommy mind.
Is there anything you would add to this list that’s something creative you do while pumping? If you’re reading this now, know that what you’re doing is worth it and you’re awesome.
Information provided in blogs should not be used as a substitute for medical care or consultation.
I am 24 years old, married to my high-school sweetheart, and have a daughter named Kara who was born in March 2018! I went to Mars Hill University for my undergraduate degree in English and creative writing, and my daughter is my inspiration for everything I do. I want to help parents everywhere to be successful in their journeys, and to love what they do.
Learn more about Megan!