Thursday, December 9, 2010

Making milk and making sweaters- PumpEase Review

This is a product review of PumpEase Organic Hands-free Pumping Support but really it's more like a tale of extreme multitasking.  Extreme for me anyway.  I'm sure quite a few could burst my bubble but this was down right dangerous as far as I'm concerned.

My life, like most moms I know, is full and busy.  Full-time mommying in and of itself is never ending and time consuming and then I have a tendency to heap other things on top of that such as working, homeschooling, writing, performing, being a doula and teaching music along with all the other daily things that go with life in general such as laundry, dishes, cooking, and cleaning.  (Who am I kidding?  I don't really clean.)  Sometimes it seems like there aren't enough hours in the day.  Yeah, I feel like that pretty much every day.

And still, I try to fit my hobbies in,  In fact, I need to fit my hobbies in for my emotional health and sanity.  To keep me balanced to some extent I knit, sew, paint, and read.  And buy yarn.  Buying yarn is it's own hobby, trust me.  I'm well on my way to becoming a fiber enthusiast.  I'm already a yarn whore.  Just ask The Piano Man.  Yarn lusting, I mean shopping, is usually something I do while multitasking and with the computer it just so happens that it works perfectly do look at some knitter's porn while I'm breastfeeding or NAKing (Nursing At Keyboard).  I have been breastfeeding and pumping for my at least one of my 5 babies for the last 12 years off and on- mostly on.  Though I'm a pro at multitasking while breastfeeding I find multitasking while pumping much, much more difficult. A baby doesn't usually spill milk from the boob but it's all to easy to lose some of that precious liquid if I'm trying to balance the pumping bottles and horns while doing something else.  And I've done it.

Anyone that says not to cry over spilled milk has never lost 3 ounces of hard earned pumped breastmilk.

Since I really can't pull off much else while pumping I find myself closing my eyes and end up incredibly tired by the end of the pumping session.  Sometimes I risk it and try to be on the computer at the same time but it's incredibly stressful.  I've heard of the rubber band trick but it really didn't work for me (I was nervous) and needed something more secure for me to be comfortable.

Then Wendy from PumpEase sent me one of her PumpEase Organics to try.  It came during a crazy week and so it sat unopened for 6 days.  For six days I didn't touch it.  This was stupid.  I was super busy, still pumping and I didn't have time to open the one thing that would have made it easier?  Don't ask me what I was thinking, I really do not know.  That first night I pulled it out, tried it on and sat down to give a whirl.  My first thought?  WHERE HAS THIS THING BEEN FOR THE LAST 12 YEARS?  My next thought?  I'm going to get so much more done!

To test out the multitasking opportunities I got out my computer.  Yeah, that worked and it was easy.  The only thing I had to be careful of was to not forget I was pumping and pull the computer too close and hit the bottles.  PumpEase Organic and the computer?  Check.

Next I went for still sitting and relaxing so I pulled out my knitting.  I have on occasion managed to knit something simple with a baby at the breast but it's risky as baby may grab the project and rip stitches out (ACK!) and my hands get tired and sore.  But I've never really managed pumping and knitting.  The PumpEase changed the entire game though, it was brilliant!  I sat and pumped and knit.  It was so wonderful, I was so excited, I was making milk and making a sweater at the same time.  PumpEase Organic and knitting?  Check.

Oh, but wait, it gets better.

Since I had a guest post submission to read I grabbed a pillow, set my laptop up on the pillow on my lap and started reading while knitting while pumping.  It totally worked.  I finished reading the entire submission, made significant progress on the sweater and pumped 2 more ounces at the same time. PumpEase Organic and the computer and knitting?  Check.

It would have been more but Smunchie woke up and wanted to nurse.  So I decided to keep pumping one side, put Smunchie on the other side in the football hold with a pillow supporting her head, headed to my favorite yarn porn site, picked up my knitting and hammered out a few more rows. PumpEase Organic and the computer and knitting and nursing?  Check.

Then my mom called.

PumpEase Organic.
Computer/yarn porn.
5 ounces.


It was awesome.  I was the multitasking queen.

Once I pulled out the camera Smunchie insisted on multitasking too, eat and try to get the camera.

Over the next 2 weeks I tried different activities while pumping and found that the PumpEase made me feel secure enough to do quite a few chores and work projects while pumping my milk.  Folding laundry, eating, writing, reading with kids, homeschooling, reading, sewing (I had to be careful not to hit the bottles on the table), practicing music, playing piano (the sound of the pump threw me off a few times, I kept wanting to play in rhythm with the pump), more knitting and yes, yarn shopping. 

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly because I swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

What I liked:
The hook and eye closures made me feel secure and comfortable that it would stay and hold well.  The fit was snug and I could have gotten away with a medium but there was plenty of stretch and it didn't feel too tight just snug which really made me feel even more secure.  The fabric was very soft and I liked that it could be secure without being uncomfortable.  The limitations I faced with it had nothing to do with the hands-free support and everything to do with my pump namely the plug and that I couldn't bend over without messing the pump up.  This may sound silly but I also loved that it was packaged up pretty.  It was like I got a present, a nice box, pink tissue paper, pamphlets, a fridge magnet with milk storage information and a door hanger to warn possible intruders that I was up to mommy business.  The door hanger does not work on kids, FYI, apparently they don't care if they see you pumping.

I would have loved this with every one of my babies.  Having worked as a nanny, music performer, theater performer, music teacher, worship pastor, doula, midwife assistant and gallery curator I could have put this too good use many times over.

What I didn't like:
I promise to share the good, the bad and the ugly in all of my reviews so my readers can trust me and my writing.  So, um, the bad and the ugly... well, the PumpEase Organic is boring.  You won't be making a fashion statement in it, that's for sure.  But this didn't bother me I much prefer organic over jazzy underwear anyway.  My exciting underwear is just plain teal and I have 3 bras, all solid colors: white, black, and tan.  So if organic would matter to you more than having a print or color then the choice should be obvious. The openings to place the pump horns was a little awkward for me to manage first but that just took a little practice.  That's all I got for bad and ugly.

I loved this product and wish I could go back in time and take this with me for all my pumping days over the last 12 years.  Pumping moms, whether you work out of your home, work at home or are a stay at home mom a PumpEase Hands-free pumping support will great asset to you.  I'm thrilled with mine and look forward to putting it to good use for a while yet.

Sorry my pics are so terrible, even the PumpEase couldn't save me from terrible night time indoor lighting and the hazards of one handed self portraits.


  1. I have an Easy Expression pump bra by Medela that I bought with my first daughter, who is now 3. It made life so much easier. Luckily, I discovered it after my daughter was a few weeks old! It made going back to work so much easier too! I was able to sit at my desk in my office and pump away while I worked on the computer. I still use it now with my second daughter who is now 6 months old. I'm in school and have a 45 minute commute to the university so I pump while I drive! It saves so much time.

  2. Thanks for the fantastic review Jessica! I really appreciate your honesty (and your humour)! You ARE the multitasking queen!

    And for those moms that don't like "boring", remember that our original PumpEase come in 7 FABULOUS prints that are ANYTHING but boring. ;-)



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