Last week I wrote about my concerns of how breastfeeding might cramp my holiday style. In my post, I mentioned that in order to sate my rabid shopping deal desires, I would be willing to use a PumpEase hands-free pumping support to literally pump while shopping.
Guess who reads my blog?
Yup, PumpEase read my post. Amy emailed me to ask if I was really planning to pump while shopping for Black Friday. I'll admit, I WAS half-serious when I wrote the post. But I wasn't sure how to make it work, and I was also concerned that I might somehow wreck my PumpEase. She assured me that if I did indeed wear my PumpEase for an entire morning of shopping, it wouldn't wear out, and kindly offered to send me one to use for my experiment. I've had my eye on the Tuxedo print for a while now, so I decided to go for it. Since my new PumpEase wouldn't be able to get to me in time for Black Friday, I went ahead and wore my Forget-Me-Not print PumpEase to go shopping.
Here I am getting ready Thanksgiving night. You can see my very pretty PumpEase already on.
I ran into a couple roadblocks right away. I wanted to use my Playtex Embrace pump, since it's smaller and more portable, and also more discreet under a sweatshirt. But it doesn't have a battery pack. Luckily, my Medela Pump In Style does have a battery pack. It's super awkward, though. The flanges stick out really far from my body, but horns were no problem for the PumpEase to hold in place. (My hands are there for discretion purposes only):
The other downside is that using the Medela meant carrying around the big shoulder bag, since the pump doesn't come out of it. It was nice to have all my bottles and such in one place, but a little awkward walking around. Go ahead, laugh. I'm sure you don't even notice the shoulder bag, because of the GINORMOUS horns under my sweatshirt. I had to borrow my husband's XXL pullover since my pump set up wouldn't fit under any of my own clothes. Here I am arriving at Walmart:
Actually pumping in the store wasn't bad at all. Since there were lots of other shoppers, you couldn't really notice the noise from the pump. My PumpEase was comfortable and held the entire pump assembly in place the entire time I was walking around. That's pretty impressive when you consider that I'm a 38E AND had bottles of breastmilk hanging off my chest. I was particularly surprised that nothing got knocked out of place while I was digging in the DVD bins, since I kept bumping my whole setup into the display. Whoops.
As you can see in this next photo, I was able to still pump a good amount of milk while walking around and shopping. Those are standard 8oz bottles – I pumped about 5oz from one side and 2.5oz from the other, which is fairly typical for me. I did have to duck into a fitting room to take off my pumping setup when I was done. I probably could have tried to finangle the full milk bottles out under my sweatshirt, but I didn't want any milk from the flanges to spill onto my PumpEase, so I erred on the side of caution and got undressed for that.
All in all, I was wearing my PumpEase for about 4 hours. It was completely unharmed during this experiment – it retained it's original shape and elasticity no problem. If only I could say the same for my checking account 😉