working and pumping

How $1 Changed My Pumping Experience: Working And Pumping

Meet Erin: a licensed real estate agent in Louisiana and a passionate real estate enthusiast on a journey to help others explore the world of real estate through how it connects the world and profoundly shapes communities. I am an advocate for Alternative and Affordable Housing. I believe in Less House and More Life! I am a mother of 3 children and enjoy writing for my Blog

I became a new mom on August 19, 2005, 10 days before Hurricane Katrina hit East Louisiana and caused tremendous turmoil. Hurricane Rita hit West Louisiana a few weeks later.

Needless to say, it was a very rough maternity leave for a first-time mom in her early 20s.

I hadn’t thought a lot about breastfeeding during pregnancy. I just knew I was going to do it. There was a learning curve for me as I went into it nearly blind. I breastfed for about 5 weeks.


Honestly, it was not breastfeeding that was difficult, but the multitude of stressors happening in the world during the time period, not to mention being sleep deprived. I also only had a certain amount of paid vacation for maternity leave, so money was on my mind. 

Motherhood and breastfeeding were going well until the reality of how to pump at work hit, and I knew my employer would not be open to me having to pump every few hours.

I was young and too naive to know to fight the employer on it.

As I was trying to figure out the mechanics of working and pumping without leaving my desk, I stumbled on an article with my answer! The article was similar to this video (below) on how to pump hands-free 4 hair ties (or ponytail holders). 2 hair ties are connected together to hold up each pump. The pump suction keeps the pump in place. An absolutely genius $1 idea that fits right into my very limited budget.

I was excited to try it, so I began looking to purchase a breast pump.

Shortly after discovering the much-needed solution, I got food poisoning. That took me out and dried me up like a desert. I literally thought I was dying! I could not get the milk production back, so my breastfeeding journey ended abruptly.

Four years later, I had another child and was given another opportunity to breastfeed and try out the solution I had discovered four years prior.


By this time, I was at a very different employer, one that had 2 other moms breastfeeding and pumping at work, so the environment was much more supportive for me to continue breastfeeding after returning to work.

Breastfeeding went well during maternity leave, and it came very naturally. I loved watching my daughter’s face as she looked so peaceful after being fed.

Rooting is the absolute cutest thing ever! Skin-on-skin contact with your baby is the best feeling. 

It was time to go back to work, and I could put my hands-free pump solution to the test. It was the best thing ever, honestly. It worked like a charm. It was such an easy solution to implement. I had no idea at the time there were wearable breast pumps

I was easily able to pump at my desk and continue to work. I purchased a cover to provide extra privacy. This hands-free hack worked so well I could pump while driving. I only knocked the pumps off a few times when turning the steering wheel. HAHA!

Breastfeeding became a part of our normal routine, and I didn’t let it interrupt my daily activities. I would nurse while walking around, doing laundry, or sitting at a restaurant. It didn’t matter. Not worrying about running out of formula or having to clean bottles was a gift. Not to mention the money you save.

I even figured out how to grocery shop while feeding on the go. Holding a nursing baby in one hand and pushing a shopping cart with the other was a bit of a challenge, but I made it work. I also developed some nice arm muscles from holding that little one.

I breastfed for 11 months and 2 weeks. I tried super hard to get to the 12-month mark, and in the end, I was just super anxious to be able to stop. It was also summertime in Louisiana, and my daughter was a chunky monkey. I couldn’t walk around nursing as much anymore.

For my 3rd child, I could not breastfeed because of some medicine I was on. I was devastated. I felt like a failure as a mother as I cried when the lactation specialist told me the news.

Knowing I would not have the same experience with my son as with my girls was heartbreaking. I was worried I would not have the same close relationship or bond with him.


In the end, God knew what he was doing as my son had some medical issues and had to stay in the hospital, so having him bottle fed was a blessing which allowed his Dad and I to take turns at the hospital.

I will say I had forgotten about milk letdown after pregnancy. I had always breastfed, so it didn’t occur to me that the milk would still come. I was quickly reminded when waking up with the most painful, lumpy breasts. Holy Moly, those things were full! I got through it with ice packs and all the tricks from the internet in a few days. 

My son is now 9 years old, and I love him to pieces. We have just as strong a bond despite not breastfeeding him.

Some days I miss breastfeeding. It is such a special moment you get with your child. I would not trade any of those slightly embarrassing wet shirt moments in public for anything in the world. Life is good, and I am blessed!

Erin, Adelyn, Aubrie, Jonathan
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