"Pump And Dump" Advice I'm So Glad I Ignored

I suffer from chronic, near-daily migraines. Without the help of strong medications I'd be lying in bed with the blinds drawn and a cold compress on my head, useless to my children and society. I’ve had migraines for over a decade, including while breastfeeding my children. So, taking headache drugs required that I do more than the average amount of pump and dump, which probably explains why I became more laissez faire about wasting milk in other instances. Looking back, though, there were a lot of pieces of pump and dump advice I'm so glad I ignored anyway.

I have seen so many headache specialists I've lost count. I've sought out every medical (and holistic) treatment available (really, everything) with no relief. My doctors gave me pump and dump advice that I lived by when I was breastfeeding. The medications that I take to treat my migraines are considered "C" class in terms of safety for pregnancy and breastfeeding, which means that there is not enough research to determine if these drugs are safe. The reason? Doctors and scientists cannot perform drug tests on pregnant women. Aye, there's the rub.

Now, this is an extremely personal decision for each mother (in concert with her doctor) to make. And after many lengthy conversations with multiple professionals, nights spent crying while Googling, we decided it was better for me and my babies if I continued to breastfeed and dump after taking my medications. Plus, every once in a while, it would not be the end of the world if my baby nursed after I took one of these medications, too. Yes, I know. And both of my babies (now 2 and 5) are doing just fine.

"You Need To Pump And Dump After Taking Any Kind Of Medication"

I got a lot of judgement for taking my medications when I was nursing. Some people would see me taking a pill and immediately ask me if my baby wouldn't be eating for the next five hours or so until it was fully out of my system. I wondered when everyone I knew had gone to medical school without my knowing it. (My doctor had told me that for the particular medicine I was on, I had to wait an hour and then I could pump and dump. So that wasn't so bad, and I almost always had pumped milk on hand for my peckish little ones.)

Ugh, and the worst was when people chided me for not dumping after I took my almost-as-often doses of other drugs such as Tylenol, Advil, or Naproxen, when I was trying to go a little lighter on the headache meds.

"You Should Pump And Dump After Drinking"

My French pediatrician, while a hard-ass when it came to things like co-sleeping and discipline, was really fun when it came to drinking. He pretty much told me to go drink a glass or two of red wine a night after having my newborn. And I did, without any guilt at all. Some people warned that the wine would make my babies sleepy, but I guess my children had very strong tolerances because nothing, literally nothing, helped these children fall asleep more easily. Wine, or no wine.

So no, I did not dump after drinking wine.

"Well Then You Must At Least Dump After Drinking Hard Liquor"

Ummmm, no?

OK, here was my rule: when my babies were still nursing throughout the night, like every 45 minutes, and I'd had one of those giant martinis the size of my head, then absolutely. Definitely doing the pump and dump. But more often than not, I go for what my husband and I have lovingly named the "mini-tini" which is a martini that's about half the size of a regular martini (typically made at home, especially in those early postpartum times when you're not going out as much). When my babies were no longer nursing in the middle of the night, I wouldn't dump my milk after a measly little mini-tini earlier in the night. My bottom line was this: if I didn't feel tipsy, then I didn't dump. None of my children started their mornings dancing on tables or with slurred speech after nursing my martini-milk-boobs.

(Note: none of this is backed by science.)

"It's Probably A Good Idea To Pump And Dump After Having That Rum Cake"

Excuse me, don't give me side-eye for eating rum cake and not breaking out the Medela, OK? I know that "rum" is a key part of this cake, but honestly, I think it has cooked off by now.

Also, it is cake. I am not dumping out cake. My baby needs it as much as I do.

"Pump And Dump After Eating Spicy Food"

Are you effing kidding me? My entire family was raised on spicy food. My late grandfather had this rite of passage with each of his grandchildren, where he would take us into his vast vegetable garden and ask us to take a bite of a pepper. Of course, we were too young to know that it was a searing-hot jalapeno pepper, and it usually was the part of the pepper that was the spiciest. This would be our entry into the world of all things spicy, and from that day on, we would truly be part of his genetic code. I can't really eat a meal without it having chili flakes dumped all over it. So yeah, the baby would have had to get with the program early on or I would have been a very cranky mama.

"Pump And Dump After Eating Sushi"

When it comes to sushi, I usually like to eat myself into a food coma of rice and high-mercury fish. So no, I did not pump and dump after having a sushi dinner because I was too full and therefore too lazy. Sorry, kids. So far, my children have not grown any extra appendages!

"You Might Want To Pump And Dump That Espresso"

Hello, have you met a mom with a baby? We basically survive on guzzling the dark, rich, caffeinated goodness of the cocoa bean. It is the fuel that pushes our strollers onwards, motivates us to sometimes leave the house, and encourages us to socialize with other moms when there is otherwise not really a good reason that we can think of if the weather is anything but perfect and sunny. Coffee is the great equalizer. Why would anyone want to spoil it by suggesting we throw out our liquid gold because we had one too many lattes?

I experimented with no caffeine after my morning coffee for a few weeks and it had zero impact on my son's sleep. It did, however, make me sluggish as hell. I then tried dumping the milk after my afternoon latte to see if that made a difference on the "third nap," but no. I just think it is part of a grand scheme to make new moms miserable by depriving them of even more things.