I’ll be making 6 months of breastfeeding and pumping on the 21st of this month. It’s definitely something I’m proud of and an experience I’ve cherished. Breastfeeding and pumping can be challenging. It is definitely a sacrifice with a rewarding outcome. I would’ve loved to exclusively breastfed my baby for at least the first year.
However, I had to go back to work when Giselle was 7 weeks. Going back to work and pumping is so much harder then just breastfeeding. It is definitely a lot more challenging than it looks like. These are a couple of my breastfeeding and pumping favorites that have made my breastfeeding journey as a working mama a lot easier.
I went back to work and didn’t think much about how pumping would be like. I had pumped in the comfort of my own home and didn’t realize how different it would be to pump at the workplace. I carried my regular purse and then a Victoria’s Secret bag with my pump and all the parts in zip lock bags. I also carried a cooler with me to keep my milk in. Carrying my breast pump around with all its parts became a part of my every day life. I hated it. I didn’t feel organized and it didn’t look pretty either. Here I am trying my best to look put together after having my baby while carrying this obvious, not stylish bag. My coworker showed me her Sarah Wells bag and convinced me immediately. I needed this “all-in-one” bag!
My Claire Bag
I received my bag, “Claire“, in black along with a matching black and white pumparoo. It is a game changer! It is the perfect breast pump bag for the working mama-on-the go. I can carry my Claire by the comfort handles, by the cross-body strap, and when traveling I can carry it over my suitcase with the built-in luggage sleeve. My Claire has room for a breast pump, pumping accessories, keys, laptop, phone, and so much more. It has nylon inside so it is easy to clean. It has thermally-lined pockets on both sides. I use one side for my pump and the other side as a cooler to keep my pumped milk cold when I’m on the go. It keeps the milk cold for up to 6 hours with ice packs. The Claire also has a padded laptop sleeve. It has 12 pockets! The luggage sleeve converts into a zippered pocket when not in use. I fit everything into this bag. It is such a beautiful, functional, discreet, & stylish bag. I get so many compliments on it and when I tell people it is a pumping bag they are so impressed. See everything I can fit into my Claire bag here.
I have the black and white Pumparoo and recently received the new floral Pumparoo. It is a wet & dry bag with a staging mat to keep all your pumping parts safe and clean between each pumping session. I place all my flanges, bottles, & bags for on the go. I place the Pumparoo inside my Claire or use it alone with my manual pump and my Cold Gold cooler. It brings a wrist strap that goes all the way around when folded into quarters. I use the front pocket for all of the dry parts and the large pocket for all the wet parts. I use the mat on my desk to place all the parts to dry before my next pumping session. I can also use this for messy clothes, swim suits, and diapers in the future.
I recently receive the matching floral Cold Gold and I am so in love with it! Cold Gold is a cooler bag for us mamas to protect our liquid gold while on the go. It fits up to 4, 8-oz bottles. I’ve managed to fit a lot with breast pump bags and bottles. It has a detachable and adjustable carry strap which is very easy to detach, by the way. When carrying so much that accessability is so important! Inside the Cold Gold there is a mesh pocket for extra storage bags, an extra ice pack, or any other items you could need. I carry the Cold Gold by itself of neatly inside one of the compartments of my Claire bag. Just as the bags, it is stylish and functional. It is easy to clean. It brings a Sarah Wells ice pack that keeps your breastmilk cold for up to 8 hours, depending on the temperatures where you are. Sarah Wells has outdone herself with all of her products. She has listened to all our needs as pumping mommies, figured out how to meet those needs in her products, and has continued to make them into a reality.
The best part of breastfeeding is that you don’t need anything. No bottles to prepare, nothing to clean, etc. The one thing I did use a lot when I was exclusive breastfeeding Giselle was the boppy pillow. It makes things a lot more comfortable for the both of us. I no longer use the boppy pillow for breastfeeding. I use it for Giselle’s tummy time and to support her while sitting. I love products like these that grow with your baby.
Supplements to Increase Milk Supply
With pumping comes challenges regarding milk supply. It’s so easy for my milk supply to decrease. I see my supply drop whenever I’m going through a lot of stress and whenever I am sick. I also see it drop significantly days before the first day of my cycle. Even Tylenol tends to decrease my supply! I’ve tried several things to increase my milk supply whenever I saw a drop and the two below are the ones that have made it work for me.
Booby boons are delicious lactation cookies! I would have never guessed they were lactation cookies. What I love about these cookies on top of their great flavor is that you see an increase in milk supply within hours. I would take them 2-3 hours prior to pumping and would see an increase. They are affordable and you can grab them at everyone’s second home, Target! You can also order them online. I really like the cocoa Quinoa flavor and am dying to try the chocolate chip ones. Booby Boons are wheat free, soy free, preservative free, and non gmo.
Dairy Diva capsules are made with a herbal formula for mommies that are looking to increase their milk supply. I would take 2 capsules three times a day. I usually saw a boost in my supply the next day. All ingredients are USDA Certified Organic. A lot of supplements tend to have side effects but with Dairy Diva, I didn’t experience any and that gave me a lot of peace of mind. I highly recommend Dairy Diva and any Euphoric Herbals products. All of their products are natural solutions and inexpensive. They offer teas and other products for pregnancy, breastfeeding, and postpartum. Every Euphoric Herbals item is handcrafted by founder Cindy Collins and her team. They create, package, label, and ship every product with lots of love and gratitude. They include a note in their packaging showing how grateful they are for their customers with a motivational quote I really enjoyed when opening.
I don’t really care to cover myself when breastfeeding. My daughter seems to get bothered with things over her head while she is trying to feed. I try not to worry about who is staring and what their thoughts are. I’ve learned that, that is for them to deal with while I just worry about feeding my baby. I try to be modest though. I usually just cover myself with my own shirt and leave Giselle’s head uncovered. I received a Cover Me Poncho which makes things a lot easier. Cover Me Ponchos are lightweight and breathable. It has a looser fit that allows more room for my princess and I. I love that you can use it for multiple things.
I use it as a car seat cover when it’s cold and to cover the car seat when we leave it in the car so it doesn’t get too hot. I’ve also used my poncho as a swaddle. I’ve worn it as a top when it was a little chilly, as I walk around Disney World. It’s a lot easier to wear it when you’ll be using it constantly versus putting it on and taking it off. I look forward to using it in the shopping cart as a cover to protect Giselle from germs. I plan on using during my next pregnancy as a maternity top as well. I always saw these nursing aprons and they are a hassle because they required a lot of adjusting all the time and are also very thick. This is nothing like those aprons. It is “The New Nursing Cover.” It is functional and easy to use and I carry it with me in my diaper bag everywhere I go.
Everyone’s journey is different. I’ve met moms with all sorts of different preferences. The one thing that we all have in common is that we want what is best for our babies and also what makes our every day a little easier on us mommies. These have been my go to products when it comes to pumping and breastfeeding. I have my ups and downs just like everyone. There are days when I pump 10 oz in just one session and then there are days when I’m lucky if I can get 3 oz. I’ve learned to cherish it all. Six months are almost gone just like that and before I know it I’ll be attempting to wean my baby. Not anytime soon, but eventually as my baby’s needs & wants change. My mommies were you able to breastfeed? If so, for how long and how did you overcome the challenges it brings, especially my working mommies?
“I breastfeed. Not because I think I am better. Not because I think less of formula feeding moms. Not because I want attention. Not because I want to show my breasts to others. I breastfeed. Because I couldn’t imagine it any other way. Because my child wants to be nourished from me. Because this is what nature intended. Because this was the right choice for my family.”
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