Do you think such a thing as a “Dream” breast pump exists? Using your pump sometimes feels like a chore, but considering you’re bringing the pump with you to work, to parties, to family functions, and to playdates – it deserves more consideration than simply what your friend is lending to you or what your insurance company covers for you.
What do you look for in a pump that would make you use it more often? What do you love about your pump? What would you like to change to make your life easier? In today’s final segment of our 4-part series on pumps, we talk about the “Dream” Breast Pump.
- Fashionable, multi-purpose bag – Yes, this sounds like an oxymoron but your bag will accompany you when you’re dressed for the gym, the boardroom, or the airport. You definitely don’t want an ugly bag.
- Silencer – Dishwashers in the kitchen have extra insulation to help minimize noise but the traditional breast pump is loud and has a distinct noise. A muffling material added to the lining of the bag or pump might be very helpful to help a mom discreetly pump when she’s away from home. Many clock radios now have nature settings which allow you to wake up to soothing sounds of birds chirping or water flowing. Perhaps a company could incorporate that technology into a pump so when a mom is pumping, she can choose the comforting sounds coming from the pump.
- Variable speeds – Every pumping mom is different, and every pumping session is different. Being able to customize the settings on a pump is very helpful.
- Fast – We want to efficiently express milk so we can save time for cuddling with our babies. Waiting for your milk to let down when you’re worried about missing the 10am conference call at 10am. If a pump could be quick and efficient to let us get the job done in less than 5-10 minutes, I’d be thrilled and I’m sure my employer would be too.
- Lightweight – When preparing for the day’s activities loading the car can be exhausting. If you have a purse, work bag, diaper bag for the baby’s daycare, backpack for the toddler’s pre-school, adding another 10-12 pounds for your pump and cooler can really push your limits. A lighter pump would cut down on your baggage and ease your back a bit.
- Built-in cooler capabilities – No one wants to share their milk storage space with creepy Kevin from the office. Pumping milk and keeping it in a concise cooler in your bag keeps you from placing your baby’s meal in a community fridge shared by half your co-workers. I personally have heard one my co-workers shout from the kitchen, “Anyone know what’s in this Medela cooler in the fridge? Can I put it in my coffee?” Thankfully I was close enough to stop him, and then resigned myself to always pack a separate cooler bag with ice packs to keep my milk near me at all times. (No, I didn’t make that up – wish I did, though).
- Built-in attachments for traveling – I have a car adapter and a battery pack for my pump but they’re all in separate little bags that don’t easily fit into the pump bag. Having everything nicely included (like my regular canister vacuum from Sears does) would really be nice. Even a place to put a toy for distracting an older baby would be helpful when pumping.
I realize today’s pumping moms have an easier time feeding their babies than pumping moms from 15, 10, or even five years ago. The list could continue and I’m sure more moms have more items on their own “Wish Lists”. What’s on yours?