My Maximum Boob Capacity

Jennifer Johnson

Posted By: Jennifer Johnson

I didn't grow up around breastfeeding moms. In fact, I grew up making formula bottles for my little sisters.

Have you ever felt like your boobs may just explode? They're so full and hard a rock that with the slightest touch, or wrong move and you're in pain? Well, that's a feeling I've become all too familiar with this week. That's what happens when I don't have a chance to pump at work.

I knew this day would come, but I'm surprised it didn't come sooner. But I'm even more surprised that my boobs didn't combust after 10 hours of breaking news, covering a triple homicide.

At one point I drove back to the station, just to get my breast pump, and headed back out to my story. I saw an opportunity for some down time, and went back to the truck to pump while my photographer filmed a story inside the State Capitol.

I went to the truck and hooked up my pump. Now this is no easy process. This entailed strapping on my hands-free pumping bra, hooking up the flanges, plugging in the cords, attaching the bottles and getting the car adapter plugged in. But when I went to flip the switch, nothing happened.

I looked down and the light to the plug thingy wasn't lit up. I unplugged it, plugged it back in. Nothing! Turned the switch off and on, prayed, screamed, nothing!

I looked up, and there was my photographer walking down the hill, coming towards the truck. I had a cover on, but this wouldn't stop it from being an awkward situation. As quickly as I could I unhooked the pumps and bottles, threw them in my diaper bag. Detached my pumping bra, threw off the nursing cover, and put my clothes back on.

By this time I was fuming. Grateful too, that I hadn't exposed myself to my colleague, but steamed that I was completely engorged with no place to pump.

People keep telling me I need to learn how to hand express, but this just didn't seem like the appropriate time or place to give it a whirl.

I could hardly think over the next few hours as my breasts seemed to get more and more full. I had never been more happy to have remembered my breast pads because they were soaked, but saving me from giant wet stains on my blouse.

I wrote and edited my story in record time as we packed up and drove back to the station. I decided I'd pump on the way home, but the adapter not working wasn't the car's problem, like I had thought, it was the adapter's problem.

I flew as fast as I could through rush hour traffic and was overjoyed when I finally made it home and was able to relieve the pressure. My daughter was napping, and it was a good thing because she probably would have drowned in the milk waterfall that came out.

My husband asked if it was a relief like going to the bathroom.

"Kinda," I told him. "But SO much better."

"Like the epidural?" he asked.

Yes, that was closer.

I pumped 12 ounces in 15 minutes and hope to never have to experience that again. But then, today there was more breaking news and I didn't get a chance to pump for six hours, and I pumped 11 ounces at once.

This was a learning experience. I've realized the importance of knowing how to hand express, I need to invest in a new car adapter, and I know my breasts can store up to 12 ounces at once.

1:13pm on Tuesday November 23


10:34pm on Monday November 29

Oh dear, glad you made it! This was my first day back to work... Not easy but you are doing great!!

Jennifer, I so thank God for your comment...thank you!

Wendy K
8:25pm on Sunday November 28

Have you considered a small manual pump? Mine has saved me in many similar circumstances!

1:18pm on Thursday November 25

Yikes! It gets easier as she goes longer without feeding (ie night time). I pumped for 6 months with my DD to make it to summer (I'm a Teacher). I'm pumping for my son who is 6months old now. Sometimes I just pump one side at a time rather than deal with putting the whole set up on. This is easier if you know you won't have a lot of time or might get interrupted. It's easier to cover up too. This way you can at least pump some to relieve pressure. I also I'm lucky enough to have fridge. I read that you don't have to clean the parts after every session as long as you keep it in the fridge. You are allowed to keep breastmilk out for 4hrs, so I figured a few hours in the fridge is okay to wait for the next pumping session. I put the pump parts in a ziplock in the fridge and wash when I get home. It saves time during the day! Some women said they kept it in the cooler and it is/was fine.

I have a battery pack for my pump. I don't know what kind of pump you have, but this is helpful. I have pumped in a moving car before (not while I was driving). Maybe you could pump in the car on the way to your story. Tell your driver to keep his eyes on the road...just in case.

You are doing a great job for Lil J. Hang in there and keep it up.

10:56am on Tuesday November 30

You've done such an awesome job of being a working, breastfeeding Mom!!! Glad you didn't end up with mastitis though! I know with your job that it's hard to avoid those urgent situations but you don't want it to happen too often. Besides the obvious torture, it will eventually decrease your milk supply. Once your breasts are at maximum storage, a chemical is released that sends a signal to your brain that there is "no baby to feed" and that would be very sad. Little J loves her Mama's milk and wears it proudly :0)

| | Share
Sign up for the Bravado newsletter


Kara: Breastfeeding Twins
Follow Kara: Breastfeeding Twins
Read More
Jessica: Momma Gone City
Follow Jessica: Momma Gone City
Read More
Emily: DesignHER Momma
Follow Emily: DesignHER Momma
Read More
Kate: The Shopping Mama - View from a multi-tasking mama
Follow Kate: The Shopping Mama - View from a multi-tasking mama
Read More
Kathryn: Candid Insights From the Corner Office
Follow Kathryn: Candid Insights From the Corner Office
Read More

Our Resource Library

Find all you need at your finger tips.
Go to Resource Library

Be the first to know! Sign up to receive special offers, exclusive insider access to new products and content that supports you through pregnancy and nursing.

*First Name:
*Email Address:
*Baby's Due/Birth Date:
*Yes, I'd like to receive your e-newsletter with offers, special
promotions, contests and insider access to new products and
breastfeeding tips.
Items marked with * are required.