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I remember the day when I would leave the house with nothing but a purse in hand. Now I’m lucky to if leave with four bags (five if I actually remember to pack a lunch) and a child in a bucket. Getting out of the house in the morning seems combine a lot of foresight, planning, coordination, and a little bit of luck.
We picked a daycare close to my work (and waaaay far from J’s), so I always take O in. Always. (I always pick him up too, but that’s a story for a different day.)
In the morning, I need to remember to take his diaper bag with two changes of clothes and his bottles (sometimes food, diapers, wipes, if he needs them), my purse, my breast pump, and my computer. I usually don’t forget stuff. Usually. I’m always super afraid I’ll forget the bottles, but I never do.
What I tend to forget most? Essential breast pump parts.
The first thing I ever forgot was one of the little yellow pieces that screw into my breast pump shield. I never knew what that piece did, and when I realized I forgot it, I thought I might be OK. Wrong. That little yellow piece provides for some of the suction. Otherwise you just blow air via a breast shield onto your boob for 20 minutes.
The next thing I forgot was one of the “membranes,” or little white doo-hickey, that attaches to the little yellow piece that attaches to the breast shield. I thought I could get away without having that, too, but once again, it’s an important part of the whole suction thing. So yeah, I kinda need it.
After that, I forgot an actual breast shield (I guess I was working my way up to forgetting bigger things). I knew I was screwed then. No getting around that. For a millisecond, I contemplated asking the other pumping mommy if she’d let me borrow hers if I promised I’d clean it real good. Then I thought of how really weird that would be, and instead spent close to 30 minutes alternating the one breast shield back and forth.
I’ve also forgotten one of the pieces of tubing. Again, I had to alternate back and forth, taking considerably longer to pump than usual.
The kicker was when I forgot a lid to one of my breast milk container bottles. My heart raced as I rummaged through my pump kit looking for a lid—SURELY I couldn’t have forgotten a lid. My heart sunk as I realized I might have to *gasp* dump some of my breast milk. I’m pretty sure I shed a tear.
Then I spotted it. Not quite a lid, but a piece of a lid. Some of my breast milk container bottles came with these two-part lids, and I had the flat piece of one of those lids. It fit over the top of the bottle. “Sweet!” I thought, “I can surely MacGyver something up with this!” I darted out of the supply closet/pumping room and searched the supply drawers outside the pumping room. I needed tape. Lots of it. I found some pretty quickly, went back in the room, and taped up that bottle of milk damn good. Not a drop of breast milk was wasted.
I’ve luckily never forgotten the plug, or actual pump. So, I’ve always been able to pump, just not always very efficiently. So have any other pumping mommies forgotten pump pieces? Or am I the only forgetful one out there?
Side note: See the bag in the picture? It’s called The Nurse Purse, and we think it’s a pretty cool breast pump bag that doesn’t look like a breast pump bag.
Trying to balance breastfeeding and pumping at work?
Check out more pumping tips and experiences from our contributors:
- Pumping at Work: Tips on Supply
- Pumping Breast Milk and the Very Public Dairies
- The Final Countdown (to Being Done Pumping Breast Milk)
- How Pumping at Work Is Like a Part-Time Job
- A Working Mom’s Breastfeeding Story
- Breastfeeding and Working
- My Boobs Are None of Your Business
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