How to pump milk in the back of an ambulance

How to pump milk in the back of your ambulance when you have no electricity:

Step #1: Secure sheets in any way possible so as to cover all windows. This may include tying, wedging, and taping the sheets in place. Be sure to lock the doors before hanging your drapery.

Step #2: Avoiding the flies that are buzzing around (thanks to the windows that have been open all day since your air conditioning is broken), sit on the jump seat and lean forward.

Step #3: Envisioning flowing fountains, crying babies, and bottles of milk, try to get your milk to “let down” by doing short sqeeze-release motions.

Step #4: Be careful not to spill any milk as you hand express and swat at flies, grab a sheet as it falls down, and answer your radio all at the same time.

Step #5: Tilt your head backwards for a minute to relieve the cramp that has built up since you’ve been staring straight down for 7 minutes.

Step #6: Switch sides and start again.

Step #7: Carefully put away milk (20 minutes later) as your ambulance starts to move and shake out your hands that are now completely cramped up from the repetitive milking motion. Be glad you finished in time for the call.

Step #8: Make sure you are fully covered, then quickly take down the sheets, fold them back up, unlock the doors, put the pump away, plug back in the cardiac monitor that you had unplugged in an attempt to find an electricity source for your electric pump that you didn’t get to use, and wipe away your sweat from the heat and tears from the back spasms (you have been leaning over for quite some time now). Do this all within one minute’s time so you can climb between the seats to jump up front and tell your driver how to get where you’re going.

Step #9: Smile and laugh as you realize how ridiculous but important of a task you just completed.

Step #10: Wait 2.5 hours and start again.

6 thoughts on “How to pump milk in the back of an ambulance

  1. lol, I love you guys. I think moms in general go to ridiculous lengths sometimes to do what's best for their babies…but hey, if we didn't, then we wouldn't be moms, right? I'm glad you enjoyed “a day in the life of Rachel.” Last week, I spilled a few ounces on the ambulance floor during all of that! Grrrrr…

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  2. Wait till you try to pull a downtown shift and run six hours straight with no breaks(which happened on Tuesday, btw, they ran back to back for HOURS). Nursing infants is incompatible with paramedicine, but I give you all the kudos in the world for trying! (I made it a week with pumping after I went back to work, and then gave up. I found pumping to be impossible when working downtown)

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  3. I carry a plastic ziploc baggie in my pocket while working downtown. I express by hand as quick as possible into a sink, the bag, anywhere! on the way to the next call. It's not ideal. It doesn't really save any milk for my kid. But hopefully it preserves the making part of it enough so I can nurse extra and pump the next few days to keep the supply going!

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