"Women don't have to hide in a bathroom," says Nicole Phelps.
Breastfeeding mamas know that when you've gotta pump, you've gotta pump. And with technology now making pumps less intrusive, we can pretty much do it any time, anywhere.
Just ask Nicole Phelps, who slipped a wireless pump (looks to be a Willow, a high-end wearable pump) into her evening gown at a gala for her husband, Olympian Michael Phelps' foundation.
She shared the moment as an Instagram Story and was flooded with comments, although it should be noted that it's not like Phelps busted out the Willow right there at the table. She moved to a spot where she was more comfortable pumping, but didn't leave the event entirely.
"I stepped away from our foundation gala to take a moment and pump - hands free 🙌🏼 - thankful I could sit with my back to the room we were in and get it done," she wrote in a Instagram post clarifying what happened in her Story.
Despite moving away from the crowd, Phelps caught flack for pumping in public and she doesn't think that's right.
"I want it to be known women don't have to hide in a bathroom to take a moment to provide our babies with food. We should be able to, without judgment nurse/pump (easier with a wireless pump) anywhere we're comfortable," she writes, adding that it can be difficult for moms to let down if they have to pump in a less-than-relaxing scenario (like an isolated bathroom stall).
For Phelps, not pumping the night of the gala wasn't an option, but she didn't want to miss an important moment at the event either.
"This was the longest stretch of time I was without Beckett since he was born. I knew he needed milk OFTEN and thankfully I had a milk runner to get him more," she wrote on Instagram, noting that she doesn't see how pumping for baby Beckett is much different than the times she was breastfeeding now 2-year-old Boomer in the stands while watching her husband compete at the 2016 Olympics.
Whether a mama is nursing in the stands at a sporting event, pumping at a fancy gala, or using formula to feed her baby, we should be supported in providing our children with the nutrition they need.
The Willow and other high-tech breast pumps are making pumping easier for moms, but as with any new technology, the price point is still pretty high. Hopefully, with time, less intrusive pump designs will become more accessible to more moms, so more moms will be able to do what Phelps did. And there's nothing wrong with she did. Pump on mama.