Pumping Fails

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Anyone who’s pumped can probably relate to this particular post.

Today’s Saturday. I don’t have to pump because I’m off work and baby girl will be home with me all day. I definitely do not plan on going anywhere because it is seriously cold outside and there is ice on the roads. But here I am, listening to that annoying repetitive sound that I hear in my sleep now from my Ameda pump.

My breasts are so used to being pumped out at 6 am after baby girl eats at 5:30 that they’re rather full and uncomfortable here at 9 am without that extra pumping.

Plus, I need the extra milk because I can’t keep up with her.

So, I dutifully set up the pump, sat down, got all comfy with a mug of eggnog (non-alcoholic, it is only 9 am after all!), put a jacket behind my back to keep my exposed skin warm since my 4 year old swiped my blanket, put the flanges to my boobs and turned the dial.


I forgot to plug it in. So, I got back up, plugged the offending beast in, and turned the dial. There was sound, but no suction. Checked to see if the tubing was inserted completely-- it was-- checked to see if my valves were still in place. They were. Finally realized that one of my diaphragms was twisted and not getting the right suction when I realized one diaphragm was moving and the other one wasn’t.

We’ve all had those moments where we have pumping fails. I’ve had several:

  • Forgetting the pump bag at home (did this yesterday and boy was it “fun”)
  • Forgetting to put the diaphragms in and wondering why the caps won’t snap onto the flanges
  • Turning the wrong dial
  • Dropping the flanges and spilling milk everywhere (lost count how many times that happened)
  • Knocking over the bottle of just-pumped milk (I usually cry)
  • Bringing everything but the AC adapter
  • Forgetting caps for the bottles
  • Forgetting the bag with the freezer packs (Wonder if my coworkers realized what that bottle of milk was for in our fridge?)
  • Dropping the just-cleaned parts on the floor

I've been hard pressed to keep my sanity through it all. Nevertheless, the baby has been fed and my hair is still pretty thick, so I guess the best thing to do is laugh off some of the mishaps, remember not to cry over spilled milk (or only cry a little), and roll with the punches because getting too upset or stressed will drop your milk supply, and we wouldn't want that! There's also the whole ‘Murphy’s law’ idea that what can go wrong will go wrong, so the best thing to do is accept the inevitable and learn to laugh at yourself and calamity (without letting too much crazy shine through  ;) ). I know it's easier said than done, but our hair is already falling out enough from postpartum hormones, so it really isn't a good idea to pull your hair out over what really is a little thing in the grand scheme of things (even if it seems catastrophic at the time).



Written By: Jerrica Cheramie 



  • Muchas gracias. ?Como puedo iniciar sesion?

  • I never really pumped much bc my son would refuse bottles. I’m a stay at home mom so I just nursed on demand, but I later learned that i have high lipase which is why he would refuse the bottles. So even though I don’t share the same experience pumping for my little, I’m now more than 3 yrs in breastfeeding and can barely hand express a half ounce (if I’m lucky) trying to save for a piece of jewelry.

    Vanessa Gonzales
  • Many times I have done one (or more) of these ‘fails’ during my pumping sessions. Especially when it wasn’t a planned one, the out of the norm pump on the weekend while not at work sessions.

  • After pumping every 2 hours the first 6 months of my first son’s life, I have been through all of these!! It was so hard but so worth it!

    Jennifer Bowley Kelly
  • I work on labor and deliver, the beauty is they let me use the hospital pump! If I ever forget my own supplies there are always some there. It’s the best!


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