It’s just not. This is not a pithy, clever subject – just a statement of fact (from my experience).
This is why I’ve always been put off by the ad for the hands-free pumping bra that inexplicably implies the product has fashion value. Or that one would be pumping in front of colleagues at work (see federal law requiring private pumping rooms; see what women do to carve out privacy for their pumping needs).
When I first used the pumping contraptions it seemed like a victorian era device designed to manage women’s “hysteria” – as the vibrator was invented to do. I got over the bizarreness quickly but was reminded again when a close friend came to visit and thought it was the craziest thing she’d ever seen and wanted to ask every mother she knew if they’d heard of such a thing. I tried to explain that in fact I was certain they not only had heard of it, they had probably all used it too.
Such is the strangeness of breastfeeding and pumping — so common yet so hidden. Among the most natural things, yet until recently blocked by Instagram.
Enter Kourtney Kardashian. She posted this gem of her pumping pre-partying in Vegas. At first I thought this was the height of ridiculousness – like, she actually bought into the crazy ads for the hands-free pumping bra.
Now having thought more about it, I say: kudos to her. She does make it rock – in the victorian-sex-toy-cum-cure-for-female-hysterics type way – and hey, why not embrace it. Further, I appreciate the fact that pumping here is clearly all about enabling her to party in Vegas in a safe way that does not affect her breastmilk. Health conscious and logistically sound — nothing to incite frowns.
I still maintain that pumping is not a sexy enterprise. And that the Kardashians are generally, pretty ridiculous. But, when I can get past the sheer inconvenience of the whole thing (pumping, that is), I do feel great about it now. I feel proud about every ounce I produce. And each morning, before heading to work, I tell my son that I will be home later (I will always come back to him), that I will miss him when I’m gone, and that I will make milk for him while away. And that I can do this amazing thing for my kid – make enough milk to enable him to grow to three times his birth weight in one year – is the best.