My preemie, Theo, never latched, so I exclusively pumped for over sixteen months, ending only because my supply stopped. During that time I logged many hours (many of them in the middle of the night) with my Kindle, devouring books and binge-watching TV shows. I’m a librarian by trade and it is my job to offer recommendations on a daily basis, so I’ve curated a list of my favorite things to watch or read while pumping, nursing, and feeding your baby.
The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
Inspired by the real-life love story of Prince William and Princess Kate, Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan have created a fabulous royal love story of an American named Bex and Nick, the heir to the British throne, who fall in love while studying at Oxford.
The Passenger by Lisa Lutz
This thriller is very much in the same vein as Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train. It features an unreliable and questionably moral narrator with a dead husband and a new identity. If you want something lighter, check out Lisa Lutz’s The Spellman Files, the first book in a hilarious mystery series about a family of private detectives.
Someone Else’s Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson
This is not your typical love story. William and Shandi’s lives are forever entwined after they are hostages in a gas station robbery. The lush Georgia setting, family mystery, and precocious three year-old round out this unforgettable story.
These two books of essays and stories about motherhood, careers in comedy, and life lessons pair perfectly together. And they’re both brilliant on audio if you’d rather have your hands free while you pump or feed. These ladies are funny, but they’re also very insightful and the essays are easy to dip in and out of.
American Housewife by Helen Ellis
I am positively evangelical for this collection of short stories. Each one is fierce and funny, whether it is neighbors fighting over wainscoting, a writer suffering from writer’s block, or about cats. If you like snarky humor, this is for you.
TV and Movies
The entire series of Gilmore Girls is streaming on Netflix. Whether or not you’re new to the mother-daughter dramedy, it’s worth a watch, especially for the banter between Lorelei and Rory and the sexual tension between Luke and Lorelei. And as a bonus, Netflix is bringing back the series for a short run in November.
For something a little darker, try Orange is the New Black, a women’s prison drama on Netflix. It’s based on a memoir of the same name, but after the first season the show deviated from the book. It has a smart, sassy cast and manages to bring heavy issues to light in a very graceful way.
Also on Netflix is my personal favorite, Jane the Virgin. This might be the smartest show on television right now. In addition to its juicy telenovela format and storylines, Jane the Virgin also has the most honest depiction of new motherhood on TV I’ve ever seen (and I watch a lot of TV).
Speaking of smart shows about motherhood, Hulu rebooted The Mindy Project last season after Fox canceled it. Mindy Kaling stars in this romantic comedy set in an OBGYN’s office. This last season alone has her juggling being a single parent, dating, and starting her own fertility clinic. The writing is sharp and there is a great ensemble cast. And if you’re pumping, these 22-minute episodes are perfect to watch in the middle of the night.
Another fun comedy via Netflix is The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt starring Ellie Kempler as a former member of a cult now living in New York. The series is created and produced by Tina Fey and she has several cameos as does John Hamm. Fair warning: the first season is better than the second.
If movies are more your speed, Netflix has added a few new originals this month including Tallulah staring Allison Janney and Ellen Paige in a complicated drama about family and a bad decision. One of my old favorite’s Sliding Doors, starring Gwenyth Paltrow, is back up on Netflix. Feel like crying? Try The Best of Me, a film version of the Nicholas Sparks of the same name.
Did I miss something? Add your suggestions in the comments!