Going for gold – pumping breastmilk at the Olympics: #KBBFSH Day 5

Two exciting things happened last year.

Number one – I got to volunteer at the Olympic Games.olympic volunteering

Number two – I got asked if I’d like to test out various electric breastpumps for the Practical Parenting and Pregnancy Awards.

Would I? Yes please!

It was perfect timing, since this was the first time I’d really be leaving Bubby D for any protracted period, and she was still very much a milk monster. Plus 12 hour shifts (yes, they did work me hard – but the awesome experience I had was worth every minute!) without relieving myself of some milk would have led to a very uncomfortable me on the way home.

there's a pump hiding in there somewhere...
there’s a pump hiding in there somewhere…

So, that was my method of expressing sorted. Now I just needed to figure out where…

The Olympic Park was very, very busy. So was the volunteers area. And, I was informed that I was the only volunteer who seemed to have a need for expressing.

Luckily it did finally emerge that there was a quiet room which I could book. Although the name ‘quiet room’ probably wasn’t the most accurate description – it was a construction cabin right in the middle of the volunteers break area. Plus, it doubled as a prayer room. And, for nine out of my ten shifts, I couldn’t figure out how to lock the door…

As it turns out, praying volunteers both male and female aren’t all that bothered by ladies pumping milk in the corner – something which I found both refreshing and surprising. In fact, some of them even came up to me, asked all about it (after checking if they could first) and then watched in wonder as the milk emerged. That was certainly NOT something I was anticipating experiencing at the Olympics!

As you can see, the whole pumping experience was just a little bit on the strange side – on top of the unusual feeling of being without Bubby D snuggled up to me. So I did find that I needed a bit of help from time to time to get the letdown reflex going – and here is how I did it:

1. Relax and breathe. Shut my eyes, count slowly to ten and just concentrate on breathing in and out slowly.

2. Look at pictures of Bubby D on my phone and imagine her feeding snuggled up close to me.

3. Distraction – occasionally through talking to other users of the room, more often through reading on my Kindle. I found that ignoring the fact that I was pumping and concentrating on something else entirely really helped me to pump a lot more milk!


If you’d live to read some other breast milk pumping posts then take a look these:

Faded Seaside Mama – who talks of her experiences of pumping in hospital after giving birth

The Mummy in Me writes about exclusive pumping in the early days

My Thoughts On Things talks of her experience of power pumping and combination feeding

The Secret Life of Kate who shares tips and information about returning to work and pumping

and Simply Hayley who shares how she dealt with oversupply by pumping

And talking of pumps, one of the pumps that I tested and really liked was the ARDO Calypso – and there’s one of them on offer as part of the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt grand prize! To be in with a chance of winning it and a whole host of other breastfeeding goodies, just fill out the rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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