I eyed it cautiously from afar, not yet daring to take a closer look. My baby girl felt warm and heavy in my arms; would I really need this cold plastic pump to turn our shaky start at breastfeeding into what I could allow myself to define as a 'success'?
I was tired; so very, very tired. I was recovering from a traumatic birth and I was well and truly out of my depth. My nipples were cracked, my breasts were engorged and I was quite simply, terrified of my breast pump.
And it seems that I'm not the only one who viewed pumping with a mixture of distrust and disappointment. Time and time again, I hear of moms who approach pumping as some kind of secret art form. Time and time again, I hear of moms feeling disappointed that they have to pump...that there is something cold and foreign in the spot so perfectly designed for warm and familiar baby squidge.
This concept of Pumping Disappointment seems to be some sort of a phenomenon, and all of those many months ago, it made imperfect sense to me. But with a little time and with nothing short of a mountain of learning curves, I've come to realise that this particular phenomenon needs to be firmly kicked out of our collective mommy consciousness.
Because pumping counts too.
So when I came across a report* analysing the world breast pump market, I opened the link with a new mixture of emotions: Curiosity and Hope.
Thankfully, it seems that my hope was well-placed, because the number of moms choosing to pump is rising. By 2018, the market is set to reach a value of $1.03 billion, and while this data focuses on the financial market of pumping, its overall message is much more powerful. Its overall message jumps right out of my computer screen, waving and smiling, because the data tells us that for moms, pumping is a worthwhile investment.
I say again, pumping counts.
This data is testament not only to the fact that moms are choosing to breastfeed, but also that there is a growing supply of resources available to support moms in making this choice. Whether that support comes in the form of legislation, practical guidance or a supportive community; every last piece of it is invaluable.