Moms have probably heard the term “pump and dump” before reading this article. It is commonly used among nursing mothers. They simply pump out their breast milk and then throw it away or dump it down the drain rather than saving it for the baby. There are a whole list of reasons why a mother might use the pump and dump method and this article will discuss them all. We will also squash some of the popular myths about when it is necessary to do a pump and dump and learn some interesting new facts about this phrase that has become so popular.
Why should I pump and dump? When should I pump and dump? How can I avoid pumping and dumping? All of these questions will be answered. You will learn what the term pump and dump actually means and so much more. We will also share other moms pump and dump stories. It isn’t always the mom who decides to throw out the pumped breast milk! Keep reading until the end to read the most inspirational story about a mother who is diagnosed with breast cancer and is still determined to nurse her baby. Pumping and dumping makes it all possible.
15 It’s Illegal To Pump And Dump
Yes, you read that right. Pumping and dumping is illegal, but not the kind of pump and dump that you are thinking about. The actual term pump and dump, according to dictionary.com, has nothing to do with breast feeding. It is an illegal act that involves an investor or a group of investors who buy stock, create a misleading buzz to pump up the price and then they dump their shares as soon as the price rises.
An example of a pump and dump scheme is a “wrong number” scam. A voicemail is left on an answering machine that gives information about a hot stock tip. The message is constructed to make the victim believe it was left on accident. Can you believe this actually works?
Back to what we’re really here for, breastfeeding information. It is not illegal to pump and dump your breast milk. While there is no concrete evidence that shows when the term took a turn into the mommy world, there are some who feel we need to get rid of the term pump and dump for breastfeeding mothers. Jen, who is a wife, mom, blogger and has three children under the age of four, states in her blog “I would love to see this awful term go once and for all!”
14 You Do NOT Have To Pump And Dump After Drinking Alcohol
That’s right, breastfeeding mothers can drink alcohol and there is no need to pump and dump afterwards. According to Ask Dr. Sears, the milk-alcohol level will be based on your blood-alcohol level. If you want to have a drink immediately after breastfeeding your baby it is okay. For a new stressed out mama it can actually be really helpful! Your body will process the alcohol and it will be out of your system before the next feeding.
If you plan to go all out, The Hangover style, and have a night of binge drinking, that is when a pump and dump may be required. If you’re out most of the evening you may have to pump and dump to give your breasts some relief. However, drunk breast pumping does not sound flattering or fun! Be prepared to be judged by any bystanders that just don’t get it. We moms have to take care of ourselves and sometimes that includes a wild night out! An important note to remember, pumping does not take the alcohol out of your breast milk any faster. Once the alcohol is out of your system it is out of your breast milk.
13 Milkscreen Strips Tell You When To Dump It
Being overly cautious is not a bad thing especially when it comes to caring for our little ones. Let’s say you decided to have a glass of wine right after nursing. Your husband can see how exhausted you have been so he pours the glass with a heavy hand and brings it to you. A standard glass of wine is 4-5 ounces. Your husband thought he was helping you out by filling your wine glass almost to the top. By the time you can see the bottom of your glass you can sense your face getting flushed and you find yourself feeling a little tipsy.
Uh oh, before you know it, the baby is up and it’s time for another feeding. You know you’re not drunk but you also know you’re not 100 percent sober. What can you do?
You can find Milkscreen test strips at your local Walmart, target, CVS or online at Amazon.com. Milkscreen measures the amount of alcohol in the breast milk to make sure it’s safe for the baby. It also helps take the pressure off of us moms. We can relax and remove the guesswork. If a pump and dump is necessary then you can count on Milkscreen to let you know.
12 It Shows Responsibility
Without a doubt, dumping out the breast milk that you have worked so hard for shows responsibility. It proves that you care about your baby and what they ingest. When you know, or even think, that you have put something in your body that will harm the baby then pumping and dumping is the safe and responsible choice.
As parents, we will make many mistakes. We might not always have the right answers or do the right thing and that is okay. Educating ourselves and making cautious decisions with our children’s health in mind is what makes a good parent.
My youngest is two years old and hasn’t been breastfed in over a year. Recently, I was cleaning out the freezer and found some old breast milk tucked away in the back. I had to throw it out because it was over a year old. It was the responsible thing to do. I had no use for it but it still hurt, like I wanted to cry, when I saw my hard work go to waste.
11 Medications May Require A Pump And Dump
Although many medications are safe while breastfeeding, there are still some out there that can be potentially harmful. Make sure you tell your doctor that you are a breastfeeding mother when any medications are prescribed. If the doctor has prescribed a drug that is not safe for your breastfeeding baby, ask if there is an alternative drug.
When there is not another option it might be possible to nurse before taking the medication and then waiting until it is out of your system before the next feeding. This will require you and your baby to be on a tight and strict feeding schedule!
Some doctors can be overly cautious when it comes to medication and breastfeeding. That’s not always a bad thing. They want to make sure our little ones stay safe. If you feel your doctor is being too careful consider getting a second opinion from another doctor or a lactation consultant.
10 Pump In An Unsanitary Area - Dump it!
It is important that you know your rights as a mother. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) protects women who need to pump while working. The law requires companies to provide a clean, private room for nursing mothers that is not a restroom. I know a lot of moms have resorted to pumping in a restroom at some point but we shouldn’t have to! We don’t want our food inside of a bathroom so our babies should not have to settle for that either.
31-year-old mother, Bobbi Bockoras, has filed a law suit against her employer for providing an unsanitary room to pump. Allegedly, she had to pump in a room that was surrounded by dead bugs, had filthy unfinished floors and doors without locks. To make matters worse, Bockoras said she was harassed by coworkers who compared her to milking a cow and pounded on the opposite side of the door yelling as she was trying to pump. Women should not have to put up with harassment or unsanitary conditions while they are trying to do what is best for their baby.
9 X-Ray, CT Scan or MRI Do NOT Require A Pump And Dump
For a long time the standard advice has been to avoid any type of X-ray or scan while pregnant. Most women assume if you can’t do it while you’re pregnant then it must be off limits while the baby is nursing. This is false. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), diagnostic X-rays, CT scans and MRI’s are all safe for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. The amount of radiation that reaches the baby is extremely low and unlikely to be harmful. However, when we are still nursing it is always a good idea to weigh the risks and benefits of the procedure recommend for you.
There are some kinds of X-rays, such as those used to treat a disease, which may expose your baby to high doses of radiation. This is not safe for your little one. In this case your doctor may recommend pumping and dumping until the radiation is out of your system.
8 Airport Security Will Make Mom Dump It
Working mom, Jessica Coakley Martinez, has gone viral with her pump and dump story. She started her story by explain the hardships a working mother faces while trying to provide her little one with breast milk. This supermom pumped 500 ounces of milk while she was on a business trip out of the country. Any moms out there who have ever pumped can applaud Martinez because we know it wasn’t easy!
The Heathrow airport security staff made her dump ALL the milk she had pumped. Some of it was even frozen solid. Two weeks’ worth of food for her baby was thrown into the trash like a common shampoo bottle. Martinez begged, pleaded and even cried to find a solution that would allow her to get the milk home for her baby. The staff would not budge and they were less than sympathetic. The airport policy is to not allow breast milk on the plane unless the infant is with the mother. This policy is unfairly bias against working moms. Hopefully, with the attention and support Martinez received, the Heathrow airport will reconsider some of their policies.
7 The Pump And Dump Show
The term “Pump and Dump” has been used so widely among moms that it has earned the rights to its own show. The Pump and Dump Show! It was founded by two moms, Shayna Ferm and MC Doula (aka Tracey Tee). They host a hilarious evening filled with inappropriate live music, games, audience interaction and even invite local guest comics to co-host. It all started in a bar four years ago and now they tour the country, create videos and write for blogs.
There is something great about being in a group of moms and dads and laughing hysterically at some of the crazy stuff our kids do. We are never alone in the struggles of parenting. Knowing there are so many people dealing with the same daily struggles that go on in our house can be therapeutic and relaxing. The Pump and Dump Show takes all the stress and chaos we go through and they turn it into comedic gold.
6 It Can Increase Milk Supply
According to Ask Dr. Sears, if you are away from your baby for seven to eight hours at a time it is better to pump and dump than not pump at all. You may need to pump and dump if you are in a place that doesn’t have proper storage to keep the pumped milk fresh. Adding a pumping session between feedings or while you are away from the baby can increase milk supply. Of course, if you are able to save the pumped milk DO IT! But, if you are not able to save the pumped milk, pumping and dumping can still help increase your supply.
Nursing a baby is like a supply and demand process. For every time the baby nurses your body knows to produce more milk. Each time you skip a nursing session your body will prepare to produce less milk. Just remember, the more you breastfeed your baby and/or pump the more milk you will have.
5 It Can Reduce Swelling And Pain In The Breasts
I have personally experienced how much a pump can help reduce pain in the breasts. The first time my baby slept through the night I unfortunately did not. It wasn’t because I was worried or anything like that. It was because I was in so much pain. My breasts were literally exploding in my sleep! For months I was used to nursing every two to three hours on the dot. Day or night, it didn’t matter. I never went more than three hours without nursing.
One night I slept for (almost) five hours! I rolled around trying to get comfortable but the pain in my breasts was getting worse and worse. When I finally gave up on sleeping I rolled out of bed and grabbed the breast pump. I noticed my shirt had a giant milk stain on it. I pumped just enough out of each breast to get some relief. I was so anxious to get another hour of sleep before the baby woke up that I didn’t bother to walk down stairs and put the milk in the fridge. I felt so much regret in the morning when I had to dump it.
According to Baby Center, excessive pumping can result in the overproduction of milk and will leave you engorged and in pain. Keep the pumping to a minimum unless you are replacing a feeding with a pumping session or if you are trying to build up your milk supply.
4 Marijuana Use May Require A 90-Day Pump And Dump
Weather you smoke marijuana or consume marijuana edibles the chemicals will be passed to your baby through breast milk. According to Baby Center, we know this because traces of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC are found in the urine of nursing babies whose mothers use marijuana. Researchers believe that babies who are exposed to THC chemicals will become tired, sedated and unable to suck. Babies are much more susceptible than adults.
According to The Street-Law Handbook, marijuana stays in your system longer than any other drug. For a consistent user it can take up to 90 days to leave your system. Most other drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, mushrooms, etc. will be out of your system in less than a week. So what does this mean for breastfeeding mothers?
Of course we strongly encourage against any drug use, especially for a new mother. If drug use does happen you have two options in order to protect your baby. The first option would be to stop breastfeeding all together. If drug use has been an issue in the past and continues to be an issue after the baby comes this may be the best option for you. Concentrate on getting the help you need to safely take care of your baby. The second option is to pump and dump your milk until the drugs are out of your system. For a frequent marijuana user that could mean 90 days’ worth of pumping and dumping. That is a lot of work literally getting dumped down the drain.
3 It Comes With Guilt
Breast milk is often referred to as liquid gold or white gold. The idea of pumping and dumping can bring a nursing mother to tears. It’s safe to say that a breastfeeding mother did not invent the phrase “don’t cry over spilled milk.” When we spend time and energy pumping and see it go to waste the tears start rolling and with good reason!
Dumping your breast milk can leave you feeling guilty. It is or was a perfectly healthy meal for your baby and now for whatever reason you have to throw it out. Every time you dump it that is one less meal your baby will receive.
There is no need to feel guilty if you dump on occasion, but we can’t help the way we feel. To be the best parent we can be we have to also take care of ourselves and sometimes that means going out and taking some time away from the baby. If the guilt of dumping is keeping you from enjoying some adult time then read the next section to learn how you can have fun without pumping and dumping.
2 Time The Pump And Avoid The Dump
We’ve discussed some of the misconceptions of when it is necessary to pump and dump. Timing is key. If you put yourself and your baby on a schedule then you can still indulge without using the pump and dump method. As discussed, the time it takes for the invading substances to leave the breast milk will vary depending on what the substance is and how much you ingest.
Let’s use alcohol as an example. It is the most common reason for nursing moms to use the pump and dump method. If you consume one alcoholic drink you should wait two hours before nursing. According to Baby Center, your milk-alcohol and blood-alcohol level will be at the highest 30 to 90 minutes after consumption. Two hours is a standard and safe waiting time. The more drinks you have the longer it will take to get out of your system.
For instance, it would take six hours to process three drinks for a 175-lb woman of average height. A 120-lb woman would need seven and a half hours to process the same amount of alcohol. It’s a lot more difficult for a breastfeeding mother to have multiple drinks. You will almost certainly need to pump and dump to reduce engorgement if you do not nurse for six hours. Having one drink is much easier to do while trying to avoid the pump and dump.
1 Exclusively Pumping And Dumping Is A Real Thing
La Leche League International shared an inspirational story that shows just how much a determined mother can overcome. This mom of thee was diagnosed with breast cancer while she was four months pregnant with her third child. She received 12 weeks of chemotherapy during pregnancy, took time off to deliver the baby and then resumed chemotherapy after the baby was born. She breasted her first two children and was determined to do the same for her third.
This strong, courageous and absolutely amazing mother spent eight weeks receiving chemo and pumping and dumping her breastmilk in order to keep producing milk. All while caring for a 5-year old, 2-year old and an infant. After finishing chemo she is ready to get her baby back into nursing.
It sounds crazy when you hear about a mother who exclusively pumps and dumps all her milk, right? Let this story help you understand that everyone has different circumstances. I can’t imagine what she is going through. We should not judge others for their choices especially when it is impossible to know the whole story of why a mother decides to pump and dump. It is up to you to educate yourself and weigh the pros and cons of your own situation.