Plenty of women have recommended I get some sort of hands-free pumping bra since I started pumping breastmilk for my triplets 18 weeks (!) ago while they were in the NICU.

I poo-pooed the advice at first, though, because I didn’t have much to do while I was pumping. Pumping was quiet time I savored – time to focus on my babies (either by staring into their isolettes or simply imagining them while I sat at home), time to pray, time to just be quiet and feel like I was doing something to help them, like I was being their mother.

Then they came home.

That time became quiet time to relax – the only time to myself – and sit with Netflix while I cruised through seasons of TV shows.

And then they reached their due date. Just as my triplet-mommy friend Pam said, all hell broke loose. Suddenly, pumping became a race. I need to pump, but they need me. The people we have here to help need me. Time has shrunk, and I find myself racing to pump, racing to eat, racing to pee – all within the span of about 60-90 minutes, sometimes less. I’ve had to choose between pumping and eating. And peeing? Forget about it. Let’s just say I’m lucky to have had my bladder of steel returned to its pre-pregnancy condition.

Then one day, Wendy Armbruster Bell sent me a message on Twitter, offering to send me a hands-free bra to try in exchange for an honest review. I checked out the PumpEase site and some other reviews before agreeing, but the bra seemed to make everyone happy. Convinced it wouldn’t waste my time or hers, I agreed.

Lord have mercy, I think it’s the smartest blog decision I’ve ever made.

I normally don’t have much trouble finding time to pump. Our families are around enough that I can step aside for 30 minutes to take care of that business. It’s finding time to do everything else that’s the problem. Like eating. Like I said, I’ve had days during which I chose eating over pumping. To produce milk like a cow, one must eat like a cow.

No more choosing, ladies and gents. I take a few minutes to prep whatever snack or meal I’m having and carry that into the room with my pump, strap on my PumpEase bra, get the pump parts in place, start Netflix and sit back, eat and watch TV (currently season 5 of 24). Or blog. Or answer e-mails. I could probably read a book, but I’m not sure if my attention span has returned to a normal state.

I use a hospital-grade pump, so I’m always plugged in and thus not able to move far, but I have unhooked the pump hoses and wandered into the nursery to soothe babies with the flanges and bottles still in place. No big deal. I’m sure it’d be easy to move about the house if my pump used batteries. I can only imagine the possibilities of being hands free AND wireless. Freedom!

Hands free AND appropriate for all ages. WIN.

The material for the regular PumpEase bra reminds me of a nice bathing suit. It’s smooth and stretchy, and it maintains its tightness. It’s stupid comfortable, and I’ve never felt my bottles of precious milk were at risk of falling away.

I do produce a lot of milk, though – I use 8 oz. bottles and need to switch from full to empty bottles during a pumping session at least once a day. Those bottles get HEAVY. For my safety (gravity does enough without letting heavy bottles pull anything else down) and for my milk’s safety, I remain seated with the bottles resting on my legs once I reach the 4 oz. mark in one bottle.

Not a problem in my eyes, though. It allows me guilt-free resting time.

Good news, dear readers. I have a PumpEase bra to give away to one lucky duck. All you have to do is leave a comment here telling me what you’d do with your hands-free time while pumping. Eat? Crochet? Play poker? Work on a baby book? Or, if you’re like me yesterday – NAP!

The winner will be chosen at random, and you have until 8 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, April 5 to enter.

Disclaimer: While PumpEase sponsored this review, the opinions I’ve expressed here are solely my own and represent my honest viewpoint.


128 Responses to My hands! They’re free!

  1. D says:

    Since I’m preparing for my second kiddo and my little girl will only be 20 months old when the 2nd one arrives, I could use my hands to read to my daughter if necessary. But honestly I’m hoping to just eat while I can :)

  2. Katy says:

    I would love a nice hands free bra because right now I’m using the hair band truck from kellymom and it’s ok, but I must have some sort of deficiency or something since every time I drip milk everywhere! It’d be nice to pump and not be a mess afterwards!

  3. laura says:

    Wow, oh the possibilities! I would probably help take care of my twins while feeding my new baby girl.. or, I could fix dinner, or lunch! :) or nap, that sounds amazing!

  4. Oh dear Lord. What I wouldn’t do! But probably blog, sleep, eat…

  5. Amy says:

    With free hands I can play with, read to, or entertain my older set of twins (two and a half), while pumping for my new set of twins (14 days old!). I could also download pictures, update feeding/diaper charts, make my grocery list…the possibilities are endless. There were three things that I said that I wanted for this younger set and they are 1. a twin nursing pillow (which I found at Kid to Kid consignment shop for 11.99!!) 2. a wrap that holds two babies (just bought baby K’tan, have yet to try it because babies came home from NICU yesterday) and 3. a HANDS FREE PUMPING BRA! Glad to read that it should definitely be ordered this week – if I don’t score one from you 😉

  6. Karen says:

    If I had a hands free pumping bra I would use it to read your blog, and write in mine! :)

  7. Molly in MN says:

    as a pg mom to my third baby – the list of things I would do would be pages and pages…lol That said, I know it would come in handy to eat my lunch while pumping at work when I return.

  8. Kayla Aimee says:

    I have no idea. The possibilities are too wonderful to imagine. That’s like saying “where would you go if you had a flying unicorn?” Maybe I would fix lunch. Can you eat while you pump? I don’t mean are you able, I mean can you stomach it? I need to eat more as well but I can’t stand the feeling of pumping and eating at the same time.

  9. Jen H. says:

    With my current pump I could eat or surf the web while pumping although very clumsily. With a hands free pump I could multitask even more…pump, watch tv, eat, and stalk on Facebook…bliss!

  10. Kristin says:

    I would catch up on little stuff, like clipping coupons :) And I pump on my drive home from work by using the hair-elastic-hooked-on-the-nursing-bra trick, so this would make things a lot less complicated!

  11. Carly L says:

    I totally could use a hands free bra! I could read while pumping or take a few minutes to myself at work to surf the internet :)

  12. Mandy says:

    I’d work through all the posts in my google reader!

  13. Rachel says:

    my comment is just props to you for continuing to pump. i have experienced just as you describe: my twins hit their due date and suddenly pumping is a race. the only time i could really do it at my leisure was teh middle of the night. and now that we are without help (aka grandmas), we have officially decided that pumping has worn out its welcome. the boys will be 3 months on Sunday and we are working on putting them on formula. i have over 13000 mLs of frozen breastmilk to help us make the switch. when calculated, that’s just about a week and a half of feeds for them. crazy.
    anyway, it’s not been an easy decision to make a switch (and formula DEFINITELY does not get as easily digested!) but it’s time – for my sanity, sleep and so I can spend that time with the boys.
    so kudos to you for continuing the good fight with three!

  14. Rachel says:

    btw- sorry to the pumpease people, who seem to have a great product, but thanks to the internet, i took one woman’s suggestion and cut holes in a sports bra for pumping. cheaper and easy. and i too walk around with the bottles sometimes. when i’m sitting, i watch tv or compute :)

  15. Rani says:

    I’d use my free hands to get all those darn pigs on Angry Birds.

  16. carrie says:

    dude, don’t pick me for the pump b/c I am childless, but I had to say how slamming your bod is! You look fantastic girl!

  17. Jamie says:

    I (stupidly) bought a bunch of books to read before my daughter was born. Little did I know…. So, I’d use a hands free to catch up on some trashy romance novels.

  18. Julie says:

    I would love to be able to eat breakfast which I currently can never seem to find the time to do.

  19. Amanda says:

    I’m not going to lie, I’d work on beating angry birds on my phone and eat :)

  20. Amanda says:

    Oh the options! At work I might actually do some work. It’s too hard to do when you don’t have free hands. At home, I would probably eat. With two under three, there is a lot of feeding everyone else going on!

  21. In the early days, eat for sure. Or sleep slumped over the dresser and let the pump do the work. Or play tinywings.

  22. Sara says:

    Read, read, read!

  23. As I am sure you can relate- I’m a mom expecting two twin girls and I imagine having a hands free pumping bra would allow me to take care of a few necessary chores and spend some time on neglected personal hobbies (like crafting and reading) while supporting my desire to breast feed two babies. I get the idea that being a mom of multiples means getting really good at multitasking…even my bra needs to have more than one function. Who would have ever thought !

  24. ladybug11780 says:

    Read at work, blog, surf the ‘net, talk on the phone.

  25. Mandy says:

    Holy moly, I would really love one of these.

    I pump at work, during my 12 hour shift. Since I get two pumping breaks, I DONT get a dinner break. So I scarf down my food, drink a ton of water, and still have to try to get all my milk out, taken care of, cleaned up and myself put back together in under 20 minutes.

    And that’s all if I’m LUCKY enough to get a pumping break. Too busy? Too bad. :/

  26. Lindsey says:

    I’m expecting my second little one. So with a hands free bra I would totally be able to catch up on baby books or thank you cards!

  27. Tami says:

    If I could hands free when I start pumping, I would catch up on reading blogs. I feel like I never get to enjoy the ones I love anymore — like yours!

  28. Mcc says:

    I would type with two hands!! Lol

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