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Breast pump survival guide: How do I work this thing?!

I was a brand-new mom, about four days into the whole parenting schtick. And I was flailing. Or was it failing? No one ever told me how hard it was to get your baby to breast-feed. Maybe they did, but I just couldn't believe it would really be THIS difficult. 

My son wasn’t latching and I was (unknowingly) 24 hours away from full-fledged mastitis and being bed-ridden with a 103-degree fever. The only person not crying in the house was my husband. And that’s because he’s British so he’s naturally awesome at repressing his emotions. But I know he was crying on the inside.

Because my breasts were roughly the size of two giant (and I mean giant) boulders and I desperately needed to get some milk out of them, I reached for my breast pump, still in its packaging. For the next hour my husband, my mom, and I huddled around the breast pump instructions and desperately searched through YouTube tutorials. 

Three sleep-deprived adults, one of whom was arguably less helpful than her infant (that was me) did not make for an A+ team of efficiency. In tears, I lamented the fact I could not find a video that could quickly show me how to assemble my breast pump. So I decided to make one myself.

Some of you might be saying, “I don’t have the same breast pump as you, so this doesn't apply.” I have found that if you know how to put together one brand of breast pump, you know how to operate them all. Most electric pumps are pretty similar, with only slight variances. I hope this will save you some time, and maybe even some tears. 

Happy pumping, moms! 

Patrice Poltzer is a TODAY Show producer and mom to Jenson. You can follow her on Instagram, and she blogs about food and babies here.