All public spaces should be more accommodating to moms who need to pump
Ask any breastfeeding mom and most will tell you the truth about pumping: it sucks. Literally, figuratively — there’s nothing convenient about it. Especially in public spaces.
One mom decided to share her recent experience attempting to pump while on a flight, and hoo boy, it’s as frustrating as it is relatable.
Ana, the mom behind popular Instagram account “Power to Prevail,” is always forthcoming and candid about her motherhood experiences. Recently, she was traveling aboard a United Airlines plane and was beginning to get engorged so she took her pump supplies into the bathroom of the aircraft (traveling as a new mom is so glamorous).
Unfortunately, there were no outlets in the plane’s bathroom — even though she says they always used to have them.
“Moms fly on your planes,” she writes. “For those of us that are traveling and breastfeeding we need to pump. Especially on longer flights. Imagine my disappointment/horror when I discovered there were no outlets in the bathrooms as I had seen for years.”
She says the flight attendants tried to assist her by finding an appropriate plug for her on the aircraft, but no outlets would accommodate the pump plug. So what’s a milky mama to do? “Luckily for me, they had cups and I know how to milk goats.”
Ana hand-expressed her breastmilk in the bathroom instead. Which is something not all breastfeeding moms know how to do, and it’s even more time-consuming than pumping. In her post, she thanks the flight attendants for trying to help her. Except for one, who told her she “should” carry a different plug or have a travel pump instead.
“Don’t come at me with what I ‘should’ have done/brought,” she writes. “User experiences are critical to understanding if companies are delivering the experience they promise to deliver.” For what it’s worth, I breastfed for a little over a year and it would not have occurred to me to spend money on a travel pump. Whether you’re flying on an airplane or just going for a Target run — boobs full of milk operate on their own time schedule.
Also, having to pump in a public space is annoying enough — being in a public space that doesn’t accommodate pumping moms is frustrating AF. There are also many nursing moms who have to exclusively pump, and they shouldn’t be forced into additional expenses or hand expressing while out.
“I can’t imagine how many moms have just endured engorgement because they were too nervous to ask for help or shamed for not having a portable pump,” Ana writes. “I got mine through my insurance but not everyone has that luxury. This ish is expensive.”
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