Gymnurstics. My friend taught me this term. It refers to nursing a wiggling baby or a toddler, or nursing both of these at once. Or, in my most recent struggle, nursing a wriggling baby and trying to simultaneously pump my opposite breast.

There have been a lot of gymnurstics at my house lately, but I think they’ve all been productive sessions where I learned something new.

First, I learned a tandem nursing trick: stack my boys like Lego bricks. This concept made my 5-year-old son laugh hysterically. “They’re not Legos, Mommy! They’re my brothers!” I was trying to tandem nurse the younger boys because it was too hard to listen to one of them cry waiting his turn to nurse.

I never once considered stacking up the kids, but had been trying a sort of couch-sitting gymnurstics approach that was uncomfortable.

This time, instead, I lay on my side with the toddler nursing from my bottom breast. I set the baby on top of him, perpendicular, and he nursed from the top breast. I was propped up on about six bed pillows. Soon enough, they both fell asleep and I was able to slide the baby into his Rock N Play and celebrate a tandem nap!

Next, I’ve been trying to figure out the logistics of pumping while nursing. My baby is hitting a growth spurt or developmental spurt or something and he isn’t giving me enough of a break to pump a bottle. So. Gymnurstics.

Here is what I’ve done to express milk this week:

I sit on the floor, cross-legged, by the pump.

I get the pump all ready to go. I unhook my nursing tank. Then, I turn on the pump, then I put baby to breast. He’s sort of balanced on my lap and I’m hunched with terrible posture so I can nurse him without using hands.

Then I stick the flange on the non-nursing breast and use my toe to press the buttons or adjust the pump speed. I use my hands to keep the baby away from the tubing, help the baby stop popping off my nipple, etc.

I’m aware that a hands-free nursing bra would help this endeavor a LOT, so that’s my next item to buy.

It’s been annoying, and a lot of work, but I’ve gotten a few bottles ready to go from these gymnurstics sessions. My little guy is starting daycare part-time next week, so once I’m separated from him I’ll just be able to pump like a regular person. Who would have thought “regular pumping” would seem like the easier option from anything else?

Have you been experiencing gymnurstics lately? Leave us a comment to share your experience. 

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