TIME was the biggest complaint mommas had about pumping in a recent survey I ran titled “Why Pumping Sucks.” It’s true… especially for exclusively pumping mommas, pumping can take A LOT of time out of your day. Even though you are literally MAKING MILK (which is hella productive if you ask me) it can seem like wasted or lost time. Have you felt that way?
So I asked: What’s your favorite way to multitask when you pump?
You gave me SO MANY GREAT ANSWERS!
Below you’ll find multitasking ideas for EVERY pumping momma, no matter whether you have a wearable, hands-free pump or have to remain hands-on the entire time!
Think multitasking is overrated? Scroll alllll the way down to see a message just for you. (And a good reminder for everyone!)
When you’re plugged in:
Some pumps need to remain plugged in, or are large and cumbersome to move around while pumping. Don’t despair! There are still tons of ways to double-dip during pumping time. Since I worked from home during the majority of my maternity leave, I was often working on my computer while pumping. That’s an easy one! Let’s see what else you came up with for pumping while being plugged in:
- EAT! Eating and drinking were popular answers for each of these categories. It may be the only time you get to actually sit down, so take advantage of that and nourish your body! Your milk supply will thank you!
- Catch up on paperwork! Sort mail, clip coupons, pay bills, write cards or letters, meal-plan, create to-do lists… those things can pile up for new moms!
- Take some time for YOU! Meditate or pray, journal, knit/craft, draw/paint… whatever feeds your soul
- Do your hair or makeup if you’re feeling up to a pump sesh glow-up
- Sit on the floor and play with your baby! What a great time for tummy time!
- RELAX! Watch Tv, listen to podcasts, read a book, or scroll instagram, (I hear @pump_momma_pump has a great page!)
- In desperate need of a recharge? Set a timer and sleep sitting up at the table, leaning forward and resting your head on your folded arms. It works!
If your pump is smaller and can be carried around or worn on a clip or lanyard, your pump life just gained A LOT of freedom! Many of these might seem impossible at first, but for many mommas, things get easier with practice. For example, I learned that squatting straight down instead of bending over helped me not spill any milk as I picked up my baby or do simple household chores. I also got really good at sitting on the floor and feeding my baby while pumping. Burping baby while pumping also got easier with practice!
Mommas wearing portable pumps also found that they were able to:
- All the kitchen chores! Dishes, unloading the dishwasher, cooking…
- Laundry. Have slightly older kids? Fold laundry as a family, it’s a great learning opportunity and toddlers love to be helpful (even if you might have to refold it later!)
- Change diapers and care for baby if you have become a multitasking master
- Catch up on self-care. Hair, make-up, nails… it can all be done while pumping!
- Go for a walk with your stroller, a light scarf should help you feel a bit more comfortable. Try it and see how you feel!
- Speaking of covers… there’s no need to hide at events! Throw on a nursing cover or light scarf and enjoy the party. People may be more accepting than you assume, it feels good to be a part of the action!
Wearable pumps (which I like to call “coconut style” where the motor is located on top of each collection cup) can provide the greatest freedom and multitasking abilities. Some brands are quieter than others, so if your pump motor is a noisy one, all of these might not work for you. I had a very quiet one and enjoyed going to the movies, eating in restaurants, and shopping while pumping… it’s like I had a secret! I felt invincible! (Though I did look a little bit… enhanced… in the chest area, hehe… hello dolly parton!)
- Work without leaving to pump (This can work well for nurses with 12-hour shifts who pump while charting)
- Feed, change, and care for baby, Playing with older children
- Get out and about! Go to restaurants, concerts, go shopping, etc
- Household chores and tasks
- Go on a walk
- Virtually anything and everything!
But what if I have to stay hands-on the entire time?
You’re not alone in that. Some mothers need to massage and compress their breasts in order to fully empty. (This could be a flange or pump issue- I recommend setting up a consultation or flange sizing appointment!) Other mothers might be using a hand pump which requires you to manually pump the handle the entire time. (I love them, but I wouldn’t want to use one full-time!) So how can those mommas multitask without being hands-free?
- Listen to music, an audiobook, or a podcast
- Watch tv or a movie, or youtube/tiktok if that’s more your thing
- Talk on the phone using bluetooth/airpods
- Pray, meditate, or rest your eyes and breathe
- Talk to your parter or kids. use that time to connect!
- Watch nature out the window, or watch your children playing
Why is everyone always trying to make moms multitask?
It really seems that way, doesn’t it?
You don’t have to multitask if you don’t want to- RESTING is essential at times, too! 😊 Your worth is not measured in ounces OR productivity.
Be sure to follow Pump Momma Pump on Instagram for education, motivation, and support! (And more great tips like these!)