Lessons from the pump


One of the things they don’t tell you you will be doing a great deal of as a new mum is expressing your breast milk. Yeah, sitting down with a breast pump and emptying your breast milk into a bottle. 

There is something undeniably primitive and animalistic about the whole exercise. 

Granted, technology has evolved the breast pump into a dandy, ergonomic and sleek device, but its primal function is not subject to this technological evolution.

New mums have been expressing breast milk as long as babies have been born. No, that’s not quite accurate. I’d say it caught on from the 1940s, when feminism was in its second wave and women began building something of themselves outside the home. Pursuing careers, rediscovering themselves.

But you know what, my own mother isn’t privy to the mechanisms or science behind expressing. Which means that I don’t know what I’m talking about. 

You know what, ignore this. Ignore that I associated a breast pump to feminism.

Anyway, as modern working mums, we express breast milk so that our little buttons can continue to enjoy our breastmilk and reap all its nutritious goodness when we’re get back to economic grind.  You can also express so that someone else can feed your baby while you put your feet up and catch up with yourself at your local over unhealthy platter of nyama and a sweaty glass of white wine.

It’s all good, this dandy breast pump. I know of some moms who name their breast pumps but our relationship has not matured to that level of intimacy. (Although, if I would, I would name mine Paul. Don’t ask.)

I am using a manual Lansinoh breast pump.

I usually express my milk three times a day. I express in the middle of the night, at around 4AM, in the dark, the light from my device illuminating my face. Then again at mid-morning, from around 10AM, unshowered, sleep stinging at the back of my eyes.

And lastly at 11PM, knackered and looking for every excuse to jump into bed. Expressing at that hour is the little bow I tie on the day that was. It’s like a gift to myself. I want to say that I wrap up the day but that is a low-hanging fruit. 

I won’t tell you how much milk I express in a day because I like to play my cards close to my vest.

It takes me 40 minutes per session, give or take. The quantity of milk I express dwindles as the day wears on. Science and stuff. So I don’t need to tell you that I get the most milk within the shortest period at 4AM and the least amount at 11PM. 

And in case you’re wondering, yes, I sometimes liken myself to a dairy cow. Like the ones my Ol’Man keeps on his farm in Kaplong. “Hey there. My name is Bett, I’m a new mum, and I share a kindred spirit with a lactating cow.”

Most of the milk I express goes into milk bags that go in the deep freezer. Baby Njeeh will drink it in the later months to come. Now he drinks a fresh 200ml from the bottle every day and still breastfeeds. He’s only two and a half months old but the young boy is chugging milk as if it’s a cold Tusker Malt on a hot day.

Anyway, there are life lessons I have mastered while sitting down with my breast pump for all those hours over the past months. I have mastered consistency, something most about anyone struggles with. In whichever fashion, in whichever unpleasant task we must undertake.

Njeeh was born on a Friday, by Sunday I was expressing my first 10ml. I am proud to tell you that I have never skipped a day to express since. 

I have mastered the fine art of having fun while working. Expressing is a hell load of hard work to the body and to the mind. I counter this by using expressing time to engage in solo pursuits that colour me outside my lines: I will read a book I enjoy from my Kindle, usually for the mid-morning and late night pump. I am currently rereading ‘Gone Girl’ by Gillian Flynn. I read it every so often because the writing is top drawer shit. It’s always a go-to when I am in between reads. Plus I love Nick as a character. 

Mid-mornings sessions are the best time to catch Netflix. You know those useless Netflix-produced low-budget shows that you catch for the sake of catching? They are good for keeping my focus away from the bottle.    

On other mornings I listen to podcasts from Castbox. Although they can get pretty wearisome, pretty quick, they hold plenty of wisdom. Kwanza that chick for Unf*ck your brain, Kara Loewentheil. She has some mind-twisting truth bombs that will blow the blinds right out of our eyes. “Hello, my chickens. How are you?”

Late night sessions are perfect for winding down with 90s R&B.

Most importantly, pumping has had me mastered what it means to embrace abundance.

Allow me to explain the abundance theory through my breast pump: with our first baby, a daughter, I was burdened with this nagging fear that the milk would run dry at some point. I remember  In the process I inadvertently regulated her intake and maybe – just maybe – limited her growth, her sleep.

Muna was not necessarily a crier. She must have constantly been bawling her lungs out because she was still hungry. The poor thing. 

Well, I have matured now. I’m a big girl. I know better as a mommy. 

The abundance mindset has me absorbing such reassuring positive truths as, ‘There is enough milk now and there will be enough for tomorrow.’

‘The milk will never run out.’

‘I know I won’t get much into the bottle at dusk but it will be spilling over at dawn. Don’t sweat it, eat a banana, a bowlful of ndengu then get some rest.’

‘Let Njeeh have that 200ml, hell give him more if he wants, he has the appetite for it, anyway – the more he has, the more you will make.’

‘I can picture the deep freezer stashed to the brim with milk bags.’

‘Speaking of which, the purpose of ndengus was never to accompany them with chapo. They’re to make milk – they’re not a boring cereal, they are an underrated power house. I love ndengus!’

‘When you get tired, don’t quit on yourself, rest.’

‘You got this, Woman!’

Now, if only I can export this wisdom to other areas of my life that badly need it. 

Early days: a Diary
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Florence Bett-Kinyatti


Columnist Saturday Nation Writer Craft It Author of best-selling ‘SHOULD I?’ and ‘HOW MUCH?’ ~ Guiding word: Overdrive Subscribe to our Newsletter👇🏾 eepurl.com/igmN8P
  • Dear God, 
It’s me again.

I don’t pray as often as I need to, You know that. I don’t kneel by my bed in child-like humility, as Muna does. I don’t whisper a prayer in the morning. Or at noon. Perhaps just in the evening. 

This going-to-church habit is a constant false start. So is reading the Word. 

I’m often guilty but I also know: You and I have a language only we can understand. 

I speak to You through this gift You bestowed upon my Kale shoulders, this gift to write in colour. It’s a gift that sometimes feels like a curse, a burden I have no choice but to pursue. 

Yet other times – most times, actually – it’s the very breath of my essence. Everyday I sit to write, when the words flow from my head and heart through my fingers to the page, I feel You next to me. 

You are here, Lord. Hovering. Lingering. Swooshing about in Your regal robes, like a character from Bridgerton.

Sometimes You get so close I can feel You breathing on my neck and I’m like, ‘Err, God, do You mind, personal space?’

And You chuckle uncomfortably. ‘He-he, of course. Of course.’

I’m here to tell You, Thanks!

I hosted my first in-person event last March, Lord, thank You to all the lovely ladies who granted me their time and full attention. 

I’ve carried them in my heart since and every day, my prayer is that You bring them closer to the life of abundance they each seek. To their own version of wealth. 

I always call them by their name: Becky. Purity. Lindsay. Wangui. Naomi. Shiqow. Mercy. Liz. Winnie. Polly. Nduta. Lynet. 

And Mike. 

Dear Lord, I’m prepping for my next in-person event in June, Inshallah. 

Walk with me as I get there. 

Love always,

  • Highlights from our first-ever in person event hosted by Craft It and @financialfitbit 
Thanks to all the lovely ladies — and gent, hehe — who honoured us with the privilege of their time and attention. And colourful energy. It’s been weeks since and it’s only now that I’m coming down from the high. 

Thank YOU!

🎥 @mikemuthaka 

#craftit #author #MakeYourMoneyMatter #personalfinance #money
  • I am a woman.

I’m strong. I’m brilliant. I’m like a comet shooting across the sky, I’m so bright you have to put on shades to see me.

I’m almost 40, I’m almost fully realising myself as a woman and the power of womanhood I possess.

I’m so powerful that if KPLC connected me to the national grid, I’d power up this country and we’d never have another blackout.

Ho! Ho! Ho!


To recognize and celebrate International Women’s Day today, I’d like to recognize and celebrate eight women.

I have eight things to give away to each of these women:
a) Two tickets to my upcoming event on March 18 with @financialfitbit Theme is ‘Make your money matter’
b) Three autographed copies of my book ‘Should I?’
c) Three autographed copies of my other book ‘How Much?’

To participate:
1. Like this post
2. Tag women who deserve a win of either event ticket or book (tag as many women as you like)
3. Tell us what you’d like her to win and why she deserves the win
4. Make sure your tagged women follow @_craftit and @financialfitbit 

Here are the rules for the giveaway:
— One woman, one win
— Winners will be contacted via DM
— Giveaway closes at the end of this week, Inshallah, on Sunday 12 March
— Only open to people living in Kenya

All the best!

(Swipe right to see the women I’m celebrating.)

#craftit #internationalwomensday
  • My 2022 word of the year was Wholesome. 

Wholesome meant engaging in moderation and in pursuits that didn’t leave me feeling yucky.

An example: there’re weekend nights I’d go out then have too much to drink. On the drive home, I’d tell GB to stop the car every half mile so I could throw up on the side of the road. Then I’d take three working days recovering. 


No more of that nonsense.

Now I have only two doubles of Singleton whiskey and chase it with water. I eat less food and I eat better. I take my supplements. I treat myself to an early bedtime and arise with my body clock, no alarm.

I spend a lot more time hanging with my kids, Muna and Njeeh. 

I buy fewer things. 

I play the piano. 

I created a disciplined routine for my work and take Thursdays off. 

You catch my drift…

Wholesome has become my lifestyle. 

(By the way, I was asked, ‘Where does this word-of-the-year come from, Bett?’ I don’t know about other people but for me, the words present themselves when I’m journaling. My spirit tells me what it needs; I must be still enough to listen and brave enough to obey.)

My word for 2023 is Overdrive.

My two books have unlocked new opportunities for me as a writer and creative. As an urban brand. I’d honestly not foreseen them. 

I know that if I adjust my sails to where the wind is blowing, these opportunities will translate to wealth.

Last Friday, I listed all the work I’m already doing and all the new opportunities – potential and realised – knocking at my door.

I asked myself, ‘What am I taking up here and what am I dropping?’

The response, ‘None – we go into overdrive and smartly pursue them all.’

#craftit #urbanguide
  • Years ago, my best friend said to me, ‘Bett, we’re almost 40 – forget makeup, let’s take care of our skin instead.’

I had to laugh because this was coming from Terry. Terry my Kisii pal, this fine gyal with skin the colour of honey, the only practising SDA in my circle. 

Terry had spent her 20s and early 30s sleek with Arimis. That’s right, the milking jelly with a lactating cow on its logo. 

Arimis addressed all her skin pickles back then. It was her problem fixer. Her Olivia Pope. It’s the one thing that always said, It’s handled.

Now here she was preaching to us about a consistent skincare regimen in the AM and PM.


It wasn’t until Terry shared her selfies on our girls WhatsApp group that I stopped laughing. It wasn’t until we stood next her – and took these selfies – that I reeally stopped laughing: Terry’s skin was youthful and toned, plump. Hydrated. Moistured but not shiny. 

It looked like it had been kissed by the Greek goddess of radiance. 

So we gathered around her feet and said, ‘Forgive us, master. We are ready now. Teach us everything you know.’

She did. 

Terry and I now spend plenty of time before work and before bed squeezing out little portions of expensive skincare products from expensive tubes, we layer them on our face in a calculated measure.

This serum here is for the circles under my eyes and the fine lines around my mouth.

Turns out I’ve been giving away too much of my face: I’ve been looking too hard, laughing too easily.

I’ll have to spend the next year into my 40s with my eyes half shut and laughing little. I'll have a resting bitch face.

Don’t blame me, blame the retinol.

And age.

#craftit #urbanguide #urbangirl
  • I’m Bett. I’m the author of your favourite books about money. I’m hosting an in-person event in March, Inshallah: This is my personal invite to you.

#craftit #moneymaker #moneyinkenya
  • I am hosting my first money event this March, Inhsallah. It’s the first of quarterly events I have planned for the year. 

(Give me a moment here so I pull myself together long enough to write this. I’m smiling very hard right now, ha-ha, I look like a donkey.)


The event will be in-person. On a Saturday morning, a loose three hours which, I am certain, you’d have burned on some other pursuit you couldn’t account for later. (I’d probably be oiling the hinges of a squeaky door or decluttering my sock drawer.)

My guest host for this edition is Lynet Kyalo. 

Lynet is a personal finance coach under her brand @financialfitbit She also hosts @getyourbagrightpodcast 

Buy your tickets from our Market.

Early bird tickets are discounted until the end of this month.

Limited slots available. 

#craftit #millenialmoney #moneyevent #moneymaker
  • Sometimes I sit down and read my own book. 

Odd, huh?

Reading my own stories is like an out-of-body experience. Or getting introduced to myself again. An outward journey inward.

It’s fascinating.

I also read because I need to improve my writing for my next project.

We call them the Elements of Craft: things like sentence structure and punctuation, word placement, story length etc, they all inform your reading experience.

This is what makes the book easy to read, and has you turning the pages.

Cop your autographed copy and #betteryourmoney 

#craftit #howmuch #millenialmoney #moneymaker

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