Why World Breast Pumping Day Matters

Why World Breast Pumping Day Matters

Today is World Breast Pumping Day. Bet you didn’t even know that was a thing. I’m in the business of breast pumps and I still had no idea until a few days ago, thanks to the heads-up from a supportive friend. But I was so happy to find it exists, even if just barely–it took digging through google to even find good articles about it. Here’s why it matters:

They say it takes a village–and oh does it ever!–but the old village has changed. Gone are the days that people just popped over. Where neighbors dropped in with casserole dishes and spare hands to hold the baby. In fact, this past Halloween I went out trick or treating with my niece, and it felt strange to walk up and knock on doors, as if we were intruding on privacy–despite the fact that I grew up running through the neighborhood, going from house to house and just walking in as if I lived there too. Now, our village has become digitized. We text before coming over, we schedule play dates and coffees. The issue with the digitization, is that often the less beautiful aspects of motherhood are hidden, and moms are left fighting the good fight in isolation, daring only to share the most precious moments on social media.

Pumping is a very different experience than nursing. Nursing is sweet, pumping is mechanical. And any mom who has ever pumped, can relate. Pumping requires a lot of planning, logistics, and supplies. Pumping at work requires even more planning, logistics, and supplies (unless you’re a member at Work & Mother, and then we take care of all the hard stuff for you–shameless plug :). Therefore, those who put the blood, sweat, and tears in the pump, deserve a day (or year!) to be celebrated.

(Unfortunately, I feel the need to take a moment here to clarify that just because we celebrate those who pump, does not mean we don’t value, celebrate, or support those who choose not to. It’s just that today is the holiday for those who do. Let us all also loosen up and just be happy to support one another.)

World Breast Pumping Day gives us the chance to celebrate different feeding choices women make. It’s an opportunity for moms of all walks of life, parenting styles, and communities to stand together and support each other.

It also gives us the opportunity to normalize different feeding choices. The more we talk about pumping, combo feeding, supplemental nursing systems, and the zillion other ways we feed our babies, the more we normalize the true challenges and joys of motherhood–and the more society will adapt to helping provide the resources we need to support our growing families.