World Breast Pumping Day Date in the current year: January 27, 2024

World Breast Pumping Day World Breast Pumping Day is observed annually on January 27. It was created to normalize breast pumping and show that there is no right or wrong way to feed your baby as long as your child gets all the essential nutrients and is healthy.

A breast pump is a mechanical device used by lactating women to extract milk from their breasts. The first breast pump, patented in 1854, was hand-operated. It was cumbersome to use and failed to remove all milk from the breasts. The first mechanical breast pump was produced by engineer and chess master Edward Lasker in the early 1920s. Modern breast pump design was developed in the 1950s thanks to Einar Egnell’s groundbreaking research on various methods of milk extraction from the female breast.

Although baby formula has become more widely available in the past decades, a lot of women choose to breastfeed. Some of them end up having to use a breast pump for one reason or another. Breast pumps can be used to stimulate lactation when a woman has a hard time producing enough milk to feed the baby, or, on the contrary, to get rid of excess milk when a woman produces too much of it. 

Breast pumps can also be used to address challenging that breastfeeding women may encounter such as difficulties latching or sore nipples. Sometimes breast pumps are used by women who want to donate their breast milk to a milk bank that provides milk to babies who can’t receive their mother’s milk.

Finally, breast pumps are extensively used by mothers who return to work after maternity leave but want to continue feeding their babies breast milk. They pump at work, and this milk is later bottle-fed to the baby by the caregiver. This practice is especially widespread in the United States, where maternity leave is notoriously short.

Regardless of the reason a woman chooses to pump, she shouldn’t feel less of a mother for it. Pumping helps to solve a number of problems associated with lactation and breastfeeding, as well as makes things so much easier for working moms or for moms who want to get a good night’s sleep (and no, wanting to have a good night’s sleep and asking your partner to take care of night feeds doesn’t make you a bad mom).

World Breast Pumping Day was launched in 2017 by Wendy Ambruster, the creator of a hands-free pumping bra and founder of Snugabell Mom & Baby Gear. She wanted to create a safe digital space where pumping parents could share their experiences without being judged for it and feel like they belong. 

How can you observe World Breast Pumping Day? If you pump, consider sharing your story online with the hashtags #WorldBreastPumpingDay and #WeCanPump to show other pumping parents that they are not alone and that their experiences and accomplishments are just as valid as those of parents who breastfeed or formula-feed.

Other ways to celebrate include learning more about the benefits of pumping and breast milk and reaching out to the pumping moms you know with words of encouragement. In fact, you should reach out to all the new moms you know regardless of whether they breastfeed, pump to bottle-feed their babies later, or formula-feed because every option is valid and every mother deserves our support and respect.

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