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).
Dear @United and ALL airlines. Moms fly on your planes. For those of us that are traveling and breastfeeding we need to pump. Especially on longer flights. Imagine my disappointment/horror when in discovered there were no outlets in the bathrooms as I had seen for years. The flight attendants found every single outlet on the plane but NONE would accept my plug. It was too big. Luckily for me they had cups and I know how to milk goats. Turns out it’s all the same logistics but I was stuck in the bathroom as I hand expressed milk. Again, the flight attendants were all aware and were incredibly kind and accommodating and apologized profusely but ultimately nothing could be done. Except one who told me I should carry a different plug or have gotten a travel pump. Don’t come at me with what I “should” have done/brought/etc. User experiences are critical to understanding if companies are delivering the experience they promise to deliver. So, #United if you truly care about every ounce of my travel experience, you’ll consult moms before you make any changes to your aircraft. 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. I got mine through my insurance but not everyone has that luxury. This ish is expensive. #flyingfail #stopcensoringmotherhood #breastfeedingfail #momlife #fml #dowhatyougottado #breastfeedingproblems #breastfeedwithoutfear
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.
Every day life doesn’t have to be glamorous to be impactful. In fact, it’s the small ways we show ourselves self love on a daily basis that makes the biggest impact. Smile and enjoy the moments because nothing lasts forever. Just as we celebrate our babies and their growth and development so should we celebrate ours. 💙 Can you believe JJ will be 5 months old next week?!? 😭😭😭 Also, I went shopping for nursing tank tops and couldn’t find a single one under $30! So, I just don’t bother wearing a shirt when I’m home. Lol. If anyone is legit selling their old tanks I will buy them from you. I wear a small. I’d rather give you my money than go broke trying to not die of Texas heat. #bemorethanabody #momlife #mombod #stretchmarks #scars #looseskin
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.
Be still my heart. 💜 I worried so much about my babies when I found out I was pregnant with JJ. Would they bond? Would they feel like a family? Would they feel alienated? So many questions and as time goes on the answers become clearer and clearer and my heart just sighs with relief and swells with joy. Sometimes you just have to trust that love is immeasurable and limitless and it will grow beyond our own comprehension. #siblings #bigsister #springhassprung
“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.”