How much is the ability to use your hands worth? For a woman who pumps breast milk often, that question is more than a hypothetical. When I started to pump it was the thing I hated the most about breastfeeding: sitting for 10 to 15 minutes unable to do anything but hold two flanges to my breast. It made my arms ache, and I spent the hold time making a mental list of the things that I could be doing if I had use of my hands. I couldn’t imagine the women who pumped 30 minutes at a time!
Suppose a woman pumps every two hours for about 10 minutes. She could easily spend a minimum of 40 minutes a day incapacitated. That is over 4 ½ hours a week, and over 18 ½ hours a month. The things I could imagine doing with 18 hours. It was downright irritating!
I found that I gradually slid from pumping for 15 minutes, to pumping for 10. Eventually I started looking to see if there was a river or a trickle, and when it was less than impressive I’d stop pumping earlier than the 10 minutes. These are not the habits of a woman who would successfully build her supply through pumping. I knew that there had to be a way of dealing with the idiotic design flaw of a double pump which would allow me to increase the amount of time I pumped.
And there was–it’s called a handless nursing bra. I came across it while reading one of the posts on the breastfeeding forum on this site. After doing some research, I found that you could purchase a quality one for about $30. Fortunately, before shelling out the money I listed it in my ever rotating ISO and was contacted by a mama who had one. After a fair trade and a few days my new hands-free helper arrived!
Not only does it work, it’s saving me time while it is increasing the length of each pumping session. Why, I’m wearing it right now as I write this post (what an image!) which is taking well over 15 minutes. The seal is tight, and I’m not losing anything in the way of production.
So if you’re finding that dealing with multiple double-pumping sessions everyday is eating your time and making you arms hurt, this is completely worth the investment!