Maybe I’m lazy. But to be frank, I’m sick of taking my bra off, putting a new bra on, pumping, then taking that bra off, and putting my other bra back on. Women have come to accept this as standard practice. But if you step back for a moment and reflect on this request, it’s significant. Each pumping session means two bras come off and two bras go on. If you pump five times a day that is twenty separate costume changes. Thats a lot of bra swapping, and its a lot to deal with on-the-go.
When sitting next to someone you don’t know, say on the plane, and his or her elbow is touching your elbow, it is not so easy to finagle out of a regular bra and into a pumping bra. Everything else about pumping can be more discrete than the act of bra removal. Can I pump here? Is almost synonymous with the implied question: Can I take my bra off here? When California law changed to mandate airports build pumping rooms it was so obvious as to why, we have to undress and re-dress to do it.
The entire year that I pumped for my older daughter I did not know the category of “all-in-one” pumping bra existed. I did a lot of bra changing. When I had my second daughter I found out, but I still can’t remember how. Like so many things from early motherhood, the slosh of sleeplessness kept most memories from rooting. The good news is, finding these secrets is becoming easier. It seems that the generational tide has started to shift and increasingly the unmet needs of motherhood are being addressed with attention and technology. Now for example there is a comprehensive wire cutter post about pumping bras. If I had read this when making my first baby registry it would have saved me from purchasing nine other bras. Literally. Why so many? Because so few are adjustable and my postpartum weight took a full year to lose.
Once I figured out the magic of an all-in-one, it was all I ever used while traveling. This simple innovation completely removed the bra changing step and opened up a whole new host of possibilities of where I felt comfortable pumping. I never bothered to carve out thirty minutes for isolated pumping rooms because I felt capable of pumping in waiting rooms, in airplane seats, and in the back seat of speeding taxis. Things were different once I stopped having to worry about bra removal.