Padma Lakshmi: Pumping Feels ‘Very Bovine’

06/28/2010 at 02:00 PM ET
Albert Michael/Startraks

For Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi, returning to work just six weeks after the birth of daughter Krishna Thea, 4 months, has been a lesson in multitasking.

“I’m nursing right now while eating a sandwich, having my hair and make up done and talking to you,” she tells PopEater.

To bolster the breastfeeding relationship, Lakshmi goes on to reveal that she’s currently taking fenugreek supplements and that she avoids pumping whenever possible.

“I don’t like to pump, I’d rather just nurse,” she explains. “Sometimes I have to, but I’m not into the pumping. It feels very bovine.”

Lakshmi’s enthusiasm for motherhood is a different story, however. “It’s such a primal feeling,” she notes. “It’s so deep and intense.”

“Everything is better with her around,” she adds. “Anything from the beginning of the day till the end.”

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kendrajoi on

I can totally relate! I pumped for six months after going back to work. I was never so glad about anything as to give my pump back to the place I rented it from. I didn’t like it, but I can say my son only had breastmilk until 9 months!

CB on

Can’t be too hard to breast feed while someone else is doing your hair and make up….wish everyone had that luxury.

Feminist mom on

Padma, Congratulations again on your beautiful daughter. I, like many mothers, can absolutley relate to your feelings about pumping. Unfortunately due to latch problems and a host of other lactation issues, I ended up pumping exclusively for 12 months. Working full time, taking care of my son, and exclusively pumping proved to be one of the most difficult challenges I have ever experienced. The day that I put my Medela away, I rejoiced. I am thankful,however, that we have the technology, even if it does make us feel like bovines! Best of luck to you with your new baby.

Janna on

CB….. Did she say it was hard? No. This woman has done nothing but gush about motherhood, but I guess we shouldn’t permit her to do that because she’s wealthy.

You are clearly one of those people who can’t appreciate what YOU have because you’re so consumed with what someone else has.

J on

Janna you clearly seem to have some issues with being a hypocrite.

Jacqui on

Take it easy there, Janna. If you think CB should be more forgiving and gracious, try leading by example.

I definitely relate to a distaste for pumping. If I had to do it all over again, I would look into renting a hospital grade pump for a few months. I seem to remember it taking half the time and was really a snap. That Madela we had at home, even the top of the line version, was ridiculous and yes, humiliating.

hayley on

hmm i really dislike this whole ‘you have money there for you can’t complain rubbish’ its a celebrity site they likely-hood is they have more money than you so why come on here if you resent it…………

i kinda feel motherhood is tough for every one , its makes no allowances if you have money or not, and even if your punping with a dimond/gold breast pump with some one pulling at your hair and slicking on your lipstick you still feel lke a cow lol lol. she is sharing her feelings, i can’t understand lack of empathy shown not just to her but other mums that dare to speak of the not so pretty sides of being a mum, we all go through it or something like it….we should stick togther :)

Feminist mom on

Haley– your comment about pumping while dripping in diamonds or with a pump made out of diamonds made me laugh out loud hysterically!

Amyk on

thanks for sharing your story with us!!! Goooooooooooo breastfeeding!!! I like to drink fenugreek tea on occasion when i am working alot

Jen on

Well to each their own, but I didn’t feel like a cow, while pumping, and I pumped while at work from the time my daughter was 3 months until she was 14 months.

I didn’t mind it, took 5-10 minutes several times a day, no big deal for me. I work in an office of women that were/are very supportive and I responded very easily to the pump, so I am sure that that is part of it.

Amanda on

I can totally relate. My first daughter never took to breastfeeding so I ended up pumping exclusively for 12.5 long months. I had a love/hate relationship with my pump, loved that it still gave me the opportunity to provide my daughter with breastmilk but hated feeling tied to it and yes there were several instances where dh and I would be relaxing in the evening and I had to pump and I would say ‘moo’ while half laughing ;) My mother-in-law often refers to me as the cow, though I don’t appreciate that. (I’m sure she means well, I am half her size but I’ve been breastfeeding or pumping pretty much for the past 6 years). I definitely agree with Hayley, I think no matter what your circumstances or how ‘pampered’ you are, pumping is pumping. I have been fortunate to have not needed to pump much with my second and third children.

jessicad on

I can relate! My daughter had trouble latching on properly at first so I used all kinds of syringes and tubes filled with pumped breast milk, I felt so silly and like a cow with those things attached and sucking me dry. Definitely worth it in the end though, she finally learned how to latch on and suck properly so I didn’t have to pump much at all after that.

Padma is so gorgeous, bet her daughter is too:)

Feminist mom on

@Amanda,
You are so very fortunate that you were able to overcome your lactation problems and breastfeed your other children. You are an inspiration to me should I have more children. I tried to breastfeed my second baby (reading all the information, working with several lactation consultants etc), and I still could not master it the second-time around. Once again, I pumped exclusively (8-10 times/day) but only made it to 8 months the second time around due to changes in my work demands and also having a toddler to care for. Whether you exclusively pump, breastfeed, formula feed, work outside the home or stay home— raising children is difficult and yet simultaneously one of the most rewarding experiences in life. I so appreciate the many perspectives expressed on this board.

Congratulations again Padma- I love watching you on Top Chef. I believe the show would not be the same without you!

Lee on

@CB, you said something that was right and of course you were attacked by the disturbing people around here. That’s how I know when I’m right when J hates my comments so take it as a compliment :)

1baby on

I have an adopted daughter and the bond was so instant upon her birth that I developed the ability to breast feed with no hormones and I have never had any biological children and have had a hysterectomy 5 years ago when I was 27. The nurses in the NICU were amazed and helped me to encourage my body to continue producing. My daughter is 2 now and I breast fed her for the 1st 8 months. I am so grateful I was able to do it and if I am ever blessed enough to adopt again I will do everything I can to breast feed again.

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