A Few Tales of Awkwardness and Pumping

Country star, Carrie Underwood, knows a thing or two about pumping. In an interview last fall she simply said, “You learn that awkwardness is part of being a mom.” Nonchalantly, she shared a few stories of how she survived as a new mom, despite her touring responsibilities and the normal desire to—you know, leave the house once in a while.

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“I’ve literally turned my chair around into a corner over on like a side room [at a restaurant] and pumped there,” she shared. “I pumped at a concert once, I was attending somebody else’s concert. Awkwardness is just a part of being a mom.”

While most of us aren’t bothered by the likes of paparazzi, constant crowd recognition, or the other discomfitures of celebrity—as a pumping mama, we all know a lot about awkward moments.

Here are a few of the most awkward and dramatic pumping stories we’ve heard recently from our friends and readers.

It was Fourth of July and my four year old begged to see the parade. I usually pump around 8 AM, but the morning got away from me on this holiday and I found myself in the car with my toddler and my infant and my pump. I planned to pump in the nice bathroom at the Town Hall while my husband tended to the girls at the parade. But the building was locked and a line of port-a-potty along the street was my only option. I’ll never forget that Independence Day, leaning in the corner of a stinky outhouse pumping to the passing marching band playing “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy.”
-Erin, Akron

We had a dream trip planned for out west before I even knew I was pregnant. So we went. And my husband and I walked into the Red Woods Forrest with my three month old and my breast pump. After an hour’s hike, I gave him the baby and wandered off with my battery-powered travel pump to find a private, tranquil spot to pump. I found one. Amidst those centuries old trees. Amazing.
-Keri, New Jersey

There was a snowstorm. The day after Christmas. We were supposed to be traveling home from Connecticut to Chicago. Our flight was cancelled. We were rebooked on a flight three days from the original flight. My husband couldn’t wait the three days due to work. So we took a Greyhound bus all the way home and I pumped throughout the trip in that horrible back-of-the-bus bathroom. I haven’t traveled at Christmas since.
-Juliette, Chicago

My girlfriends planned a girls’ trip to Vegas and I couldn’t refuse as they chose the date to accommodate my pregnancy. So even though I was breastfeeding I went and took along my trusty pump. I guess the only thing weirder than pumping before hitting the strip would have been bringing my baby along for the weekend. But the time with my girlfriends really bolstered my spirit and reminded me how precious and short the time with my newborn was. I needed to go to Las Vegas to really recommit to pumping. That’s all that got me through the trip home, an eleven-hour delay, and several trips to an overused terminal bathroom to pump some more.
-Suzy, Tallahassee

*Note: This information was compiled by our resident Moms in the Know and expresses the opinions and ideas of parties independent from Byram Healthcare.

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