When I decided to begin pumping milk for my son, as opposed to breast feeding, I quickly realized a breast pumping bra was a necessity.
For those who don’t know, to use a breast pump, you must hold a type of suction cup to your breasts. Attached to the cups are bottle to catch the milk. The entire device has a tubing that leads from the bottles to the pump.
Pumping breast milk can take anywhere from a few minutes to forty-five minutes or so, differing from woman to woman.
The bottles get surprisingly heavy, especially since the cups must be held firmly and straight against your breasts. This may not sound hard, but it is. Keep in mind, you have a newborn who isn’t sleeping, in turn, you are not sleeping. Your body is recovering from the effort and the trauma of childbirth and possibly surgery.
More than once I fell asleep while pumping and woke up only because my lap was wet from spilt milk. What a waste of milk, time and effort.
I finally broke down and bought a breast pumping bra. After it arrived, I realized I could have made one myself. If you do choose to do this project, do it before your baby comes, so you can take your time and have it all ready to go when needed.
Supplies needed are: Sewing thread to match the bra you use, a needle with a good size eye, maybe even a small tapestry needle, since it will have to get through thick cotton and spandex, a thimble, if you need it, sharp scissors and a sports bra.
You should get a bra that fits well, but not too snuggly. When your milk comes in your breasts will get much bigger than they already are.
Your best bet for suction cups are the kind that separate, so you don’t have to shove the entire cup through the bra. You will need to make holes in the bra where your nipples sit. The holes should be roughly the size of a fifty cent piece. You can even use one as a template for tracing. Pinch the fabric in the center of the circle and snip it. This will give you a place to put your scissors and cut of the circle.
Use your needle and thread to sew the rim of the hole you created. This will prevent the fabric from fraying. Lock each stitch as you sew. Keep the stitches tight and as close together as possible. This will take time and make the project take longer, but it will ensure each stitch is secure.
Work your way around the circle and repeat for the other side. Insert the tube of your cups and attack the bottle, and pump away.
Note: I would recommend hand washing your bra and allow it to line dry to ensure longevity.