Published on 21st February 2020

Choosing to breastfeed and express

My son is allergic to dairy so I really wanted to be able to breastfeed him for as long as he needed it, and as long as I could. Expressing meant that I was able to do that and still leave him and have some independence. I’m also a single parent, so it made it possible for him to be with his dad and spend time with other family members.

Feeling more cow than carefree

When I first started expressing I had two electric pumps, but I had to plug them in. So I would have to sit on a chair or sit on my bed, and I would just be tied down for so long. 

If you look at our phones and all the technology we have, you just think why are people still tied down with all these wires! It’s crazy.

Cutting the cord

Elvie Pump basically eliminated pumping time and incorporated it into my day, which made such a difference. I could do it while I was cooking, watching TV or walking the dog. Because it was easier and quicker – I could have the pump in for 10 minutes and be completely empty – I found myself doing it more.

I even managed to go out with my friends! Before I would have been like ‘oh I’m going to get really full, I’m going to have to express, how am I going to do that’. But I could go out, have a great night and have my pump in, and no one would know. 

Things like that helped me to get my independence back and get back to doing some of the things I did before I was a mom, which was really important for my mental health.

Making it work at work

Because I’d already been able to get some of my independence back and I knew I’d be able to pump on the go, I felt more confident about going back to work.

I’ve pumped on the train on the way to an audition. I’ve pumped in the back of a cab without the driver knowing. I’ve been on 12-hour shoots and expressing in my breaks. At one point, I was fully dancing and expressing at the same time!

I could still do everything everyone else was doing, so I felt like an equal. I didn’t feel ashamed. Empowering is the best way to describe it.

Starting the revolution

My sister has just gone back to work after maternity leave and she’s using an Elvie Pump. She works in an office so she can pump at the desk during her lunch break and it’s working so well for her. 

Breastfeeding and pumping isn’t always seen positively, so I think it’s important to talk about it. There should be more support, information, help and encouragement for women.