Stay Sane While Pumping! My 5 Tricks to Avoid a Meltdown

When I pump—especially when I power pump—it sometimes gets boring.

Breast pumping is a mechanical repetition of hand movements, and even with an electric pump, I still have to sit somewhat stiffly to avoid my breast from slupping off the pump (the plus that comes with having been blessed with big breasts, hahah).

I try to focus on my children, fantasize about the day we’ll share this bond again, watching their photos and remembering the time spent together, but you know what—it doesn’t always work. Being an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person), thinking too much of my children ends up getting my levels of nostalgy too high to bear with and that pain triggers a bad kind of anxiety attack (that usually transforms into a meltdown).

Distractions – I need distractions.

Many moms do.

Highly sensitive moms double do.

In this post, you will read about the methods I use to trick my brain into staying calm and enjoy the pumping session despite the low brain stimulation.

I hope you find them helpful!

Baby milk bottles

1. Read a Book or a Blog

Prep your favorite book on the table in front of you. That could be a novel, an enegineering manual or anything else that keeps your brain active and entertained.

Or have your laptop ready to read through awesome blogs—even breastfeeding-related blog posts.

These will activate your brain while keeping you distracted enough from the mechanical side of pumping that you will end up finishing your pumping session before you even realize you’re still pumping.

Personally, I love reading breastfeeding-related books and blogs. If you do, too, I suggest you give The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding a try: it’s a La Leche League bestseller and one of the most heartwarming breastfeeding books I’ve ever read in my life.

2. Watch a Movie or a YouTube Video

Image showing myself pumping while watching a YouTube video
Me, pumping while watching a mom’s YouTube video on breast pumping 😉

Get a DVD ready in the reader and start it as soon as your concentration to pump starts to fade.

If you can’t find anything to entertain you with as you pump, you can still use YouTube to watch funny or entertaining videos that will distract you and get your pumping session done.

For inspiration, below is a list of YouTube channels and movies I watch while pumping:



3. Play a Game

If you like playing online games, the options are endless: as you pump, you could play Angry Birds on your smartphone, try your fortune at bingo or a “scratch & win” game (hint: do it responsibly!), or even go for a card-based solitary on your computer.

But you could even play a game offline, using a Nintendo Wii, your paper cards or even just crosswords from your favorite magazine.

4.  Draw or Doodle

If you use a hand pump, use your free hand to draw (preferably use your non-dominant hand to use the pump).

With an electric pump it gets even better.

Double electric? It’s paradise!

Drawing—or doodling—can be extremely relaxing and will help you finish your pumping session without anxiety and mental distress. It definitely helps me stay sane while pumping!

5. Listen to Happy Music

Depending on your taste, that could be Classical music or the 80s rock ‘n roll.

For me it’s Katy Perry, Stan Bush and the Backstreet Boys among the ones I love.

Get your audio player ready and start that beautiful sound as soon as you feel boredom hit!

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What are your tricks to stay sane while pumping? I’d love to know if you have any (you might just save me). Email me at

Featured image photo by Jengod (CC BY-SA 3.0)