Traveling While Pumping, What Moms need to Know!

So you are going to travel with or without baby, but you are still pumping. If you are traveling without your baby, first, let me say WAY TO GO! As a new mom, who recently traveled by myself without baby, I know how tough it can be! You have to deal with the unnecessary guilt of leaving your baby, whether it is with your oh so loving husband, or a wonderful friend or family member. If you are traveling WITH your baby, YOU CAN DO IT! It can be tough and sometimes you may miss out on some things, but it is worth it! I have traveled several times with my daughter since she was born, so I would not say I am an expert but I have some great tips for you!

It is important to know that there is a slight difference when traveling in a car and on a plane. It is a little easier to travel in a car while pumping, if you are a passenger. If you are driving alone it can be a little more difficult. I haven’t traveled on a train but if you have let me know if there is anything moms should know!

Traveling by car while pumping

When you are traveling by car while pumping there are somethings that you will need:
  • a reliable breast pump, I currently use the Medela Pump in Style.
  • milk storage, I use bags and bottles
  • a car adapter plug for your pump
  • pumping or nursing bra
  • cooler and ice packs
  • nursing cover, this is optional I do not use one but others may want to use one

It is very important that you stick to the same feeding schedule your baby is on when you travel. This will help maintain you supply, my baby feeds every four hours during the day, so I pumped every four hours. If you are driving alone, it may be a good idea to map out places to stop before hitting the road. Unfortunately, there is a strong chance that you will have to pump sitting in your car, in a parking lot. Unless you are comfortable pumping in a public restroom. When I traveled with my family, we would stop at a rest stop and I would feed the baby, and then I would pump while my husband was driving. Then I stored the milk in the cooler until we got to our destination.

There is no law that states that hotels HAVE to provide breastfeeding mothers with a refrigerator or a freezer. However, most hotels are super accommodating and if there is not a fridge in the room, they will offer one with no extra cost. It is important to ask before making reservations.

Traveling by plane while pumping

When you travel by plane while pumping, you pretty much need the same things you need while driving.

  • A reliable breast pump
  • Travel breast pump bag, I got the cutest one from Amazon (I’ll link it below and write a post about it!)
  • Pumping or nursing bra
  • Ice packs
  • Nursing cover

When I recently flew down to Orlando, I made sure that I researched the rules and regulations of traveling with a pump and breast milk. What I discovered is that every airline allows breastfeeding mothers to bring their pump on as a carry on. However, it’s not an addition to the carry on you’re allowed, it is your personal or carry on item. Your pump bag will have to go through security, and if you have milk, they have the right to test it. Moms are allowed to have as much milk in their bag, it does not have to follow the 3 oz rule. Just let the TSA worker know you have a pump and milk.

Once you make it to the gate, depending on your pumping schedule, it is possible you may have to pump. There are a number of airports that have mother pods, they look like pop up nursing rooms. Those rooms are awesome and allow mothers to get comfortable and relax while feeding or pumping. However, some don’t and you will have to either pump at the gate, or in the bathroom. At the RDU airport, I had to stand in the bathroom and pump at the sink. Which didn’t bother me to much, but it was not relaxing to have to listen to other people use the bathroom for fifteen minutes.

Depending on the airline and flight you are on, there may be a plug by your seat. So if you have a long flight, you might have to pump while in the air. You can usually just pump in your seat, but again just let your flight attendant know and they can help you. The pumping bag I bought on Amazon (linked below) has a cooler on the bottom, so it was easy to store the milk until I got to where I was going.

Recap and additional tips:

  • When driving map out your route and plan stops to pump
  • Ask the hotel or place you are staying to provide you with a refrigerator for milk storage
  • When flying, be prepared for TSA to text your milk
  • Bring a couple bottle, and a lot of bags. Pump into a bottle and then transfer for a bag for easier storage
  • STAY HYDRATED! Drink lots of water, especially if you are traveling somewhere warmer than you’re used too
  • EAT! It is important that you remember to eat, I took protein bars with me to eat after I pumped

                         The Pump Bag I Use While Traveling

HAPPY TRAVELING MOMMA! I hope you find these tips helpful for your next trip! I would love to hear where you guys are going. If you have any other tips for traveling moms, let us know in the comments!

 

Moms have bad days too

I….had a bad day.

You woke up to eat at two a. m. and then again at five a.m. By seven thirty you were up for the day. I was already exhausted. We had to be out of the house by nine thirty for Stroller Strides, our mommy and me workout group. We were running late, and when I got half way to class, I realized I didn’t have my stroller. A pretty important tool needed for STROLLER strides. By the time we got to class we only had fifteen minutes left of the class. By eleven a.m we headed home.

You cried the ENTIRE way home. Like scream crying. I could feel the twinge of a headache coming on. When we got home I feed you. More like I wrestled a greasy pig and tried to force a bottle into your crying mouth. You finally succumbed and drank your bottle. But it wasn’t enough. You wanted more. So I warmed you up another bottle. You screamed the whole four minutes it took.

My head hurt, it felt like someone was wringing my brain out like a wet washcloth. Your bottle was finally ready, and you drank another two ounces. I wondered where you put all this milk, in such a little body. I started to burp you. You DID NOT like that. And you let me know. The big gas bubble in your belly finally made its way out of your belly.

You fell asleep.

Just as I felt myself relax, I remembered I had to drop stuff off at work.

I rushed to get ready, hoping to not wake you up.

As I was brushing my teeth, it happened.

You. Woke. Up.

I tired to soothe you back to sleep. But no success.

I gave you your WubbaNub hoping that would satiate you. NOPE.

You cried for twenty minutes while I finished getting ready.

The tiny monster inside my head began construction on my brain, jackhammering ferociously.

We got in the car, I had hoped this would lull you to sleep.

It did.

Finally some peace and quiet.

As we got closer to my work I realized I forgot all the stuff I was suppose to drop off.

How could I forget AGAIN?

I turned around and headed back home.

I cried the entire way home. I felt dumb.

After driving back home, grabbing my things. Back to my work. Which took over three hours. We headed home for the day.

Traffic was terrible. You cried the whole time. My headache grew.

When we got home you fought sleep. Hard. I sat on the couch with you in my lap. And we both cried. Again.

I doubted that I could do this. I doubted my ability to stay patient. I thought I was such a bad mom because I couldn’t soothe you.

I called your father, and yelled at him. For nothing in particular. I just needed to yell.

I told him “sometimes being a mom just sucks”

He rushed home to help me. He put you to sleep and I instantly fell asleep on the couch.

When I awoke, my headache subsided, you were sleeping peacefully in your crib.

I stood and watched you breath. You looked like a little angel.

I had a bad day.

But at least I got to spend it with you.

Our Weekend in Savannah, GA

If you are considering taking a trip to Savannah, Georgia, I highly recommend going during the “off” season! February was the perfect time to take a quick weekend trip to the “Hostess City of the South.” The forecast called for rain, but thankfully it ended up being sixty and sunny. And because it was not a high travel time, it was not crowded at all! There were still groups of travelers, especially bridal parties, but they were few and far between. Seriously though, if you can visit Savannah during the off season. DO IT, you won’t regret it!

Since we just went for a short weekend, we got an Air BnB just outside of Savannah in a town called Richmond Hill. It ended up being a pretty basic hotel room, BUT it allowed dogs which was perfect because we brought our dog, Foster with us. Also, I should mention that Savannah is REALLY dog friendly, Every restaurant we ate at brought a dog bowl of water out for him, which was so accommodating! SO many people asked to pet Foster, and Foster loved meeting and playing with all of the other dogs. If you have a dog Savannah is the perfect place to bring them along.

We really only spent one day in Savannah, but we got to see some beautiful houses, and landmarks, we also ate some DELICIOUS food! Let me back up and start from the beginning. When we first got into Savannah, around noon, the first thing I wanted to see was the River Street Markets. My FAVORITE thing about River Street was the cobble stone streets. By the way, flat mules, probably not the proper foot wear for walking blocks at a time! Moving on. We did not really go into any shops, I just wanted to see the sights and take in the beauty and history of Savannah. We stopped at the “Waving Girl” statue to take a picture and read up on some history of the Savannah River.

By this time, Ellie was getting a little hungry, so we stopped for lunch. We decided to eat at Tubby’s Seafood River Street, because they had an outside, pet friendly, patio that overlooked the river. The food was PHENOMENAL, we order Fried Green Tomatoes for an appetizer, Cory ordered a cheeseburger, and I order a Fried Mahi Sandwich with a side of coleslaw. First, I should say that this was not your typical coleslaw, it was homemade. It was light and you could taste the mustard seed, which I loved. Side note: if you order Sweet Tea, they bring you refills for free, Cory drank like eight glasses and took one for the road. If the river view wasn’t entertaining enough, there was a trumpet street performer who would play songs while people walked by, he was HILARIOUS. When the river cruise passed, he started playing “My Heart will Go On” from Titanic, and the whole patio erupted in laughter.

After lunch, since we were feeling pretty full and Elliott was ready for a nap, we decided to drive around a little and look at all of the old houses. I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED. I love old houses, I like to imagine all of the different families that lived in each house. Each house had a beautifully colored front door, a double patio, and natural gas lanterns by the front door. There was the cutest coffee shop we found on our drive, we didn’t go in but we did snap a picture because it was just too cute.

Once we got to Forsyth Park we stopped and took a family stroll. There were not a lot of people, but almost EVERYONE had dog. Foster was in heaven, he met a puppy Australian Shepherd named Blue and two older Corgis who seemed to own the park. After taking a few pictures at the beautiful fountain in the middle of the park, and accidentally photo bombing some wedding pictures, we took a walk up Bull St. in search of some macarons. Thirty minutes ,and two blisters, later we finally arrived at Marche de Macarons! CAN I SAY, YUMMY! I am a macaron fanatic, and I am really picky about them. Marche de Macaron meet all of my expectations, Cory and I got a dozen to share. They did not last more than 24 hours.

We headed back to the motel to take a quick nap before dinner. We drove back into Savannah for dinner at Moon River Brewing Company, again we had to eat somewhere that was pet friendly. Moon River had a big patio, with heaters for the “colder” months. They even had one of those pictures you put your face in, of Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard from their roles in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, one of my favorite movies! For dinner we split a plate of nachos and three tacodillas. YOU HAVE TO TRY THESE TACODILLAS! They are made with smoked brisket, which I’ve never had and thought I wouldn’t like, I was WRONG. It was so melt in your mouth good! I wish I could have eaten a hundred of them! We sat next to a couple who were celebrating their wedding anniversary, they got married at Moon River just a year earlier. They informed us that Moon River is rumored to be one of the MOST haunted places in Savannah. So if you are into ghosts, this would be a pretty cool place to visit. We will absolutely go back and get more when we visit again.

Sunday morning we hit the road for home, but not before stopping at Peach World, because when in Georgia you have to get peaches. Unfortunately, peaches are not in season until April so instead we got some Peach Moonshine Jelly and Pecan Praline Honey Butter. Both are perfect of toast for a small snack, or for breakfast. There are only two Peach World shops in Savannah but I recommend going and getting some peach goodies!

I hope that you decide to visit Savannah soon, and stop at some of the places we tried. I promise you will not be disappointed. And if you do visit Savannah let me know what you thought and some of your favorite places. I know there are SO many good places we missed, so we will be returning to Savannah in the future!

The New Year is in full swing. Way back in my younger days, I would have made, and broke my New Year Resolution by now. But this year I have decided to take a different approach to my “resolutions” and that is how I came up with my “Goals for 2019.” Something just really feels different about this year, and I have so much motivation to do things I have always wanted to do. So here they are, my goals for 2019.

My first goal, and the goal that almost all of my other goals relate to, is to FIND MY HAPPINESS. 2017 and 2018 were good years, I graduated college, we moved to Raleigh, I started my career, got married, got pregnant, bought a house, had a baby and here were are. SO MUCH happened to us in the last two years, and now it seems that life has slowed down a little. Now don’t get me wrong each of these things make me happy, and I know that I am extremely blessed, but somewhere along the way I lost my happiness. Between work, and big life changes, stress seemed to take over my everyday. Recently, thanks to the birth of my daughter and the start of my blog, my fire has been reignited! So in 2019 I will continue to surround myself with people, things, and experiences that continue to light passion. For way too long I allowed other people to create my happiness, well NO MORE. I DETERMINE my own happiness, so look out world, I am coming for you.


So in 2019 I will continue to surround myself with people, things, and experiences that continue to light passion.

In order to find my happiness, I want to surround myself with wonderful people, and thankfully I am already surrounded by some pretty AMAZING people. But I want to meet MORE people. So in 2019, my goal is to meet at least one new person a week, even if it is just through social media. Sometimes I can be really outgoing, and I will talk to just about anyone. I want to be that person more often! I really like that person, she is always happy and smiling. SO if you have not talked directly to me yet, please leave a comment, start a conversation with me, I would love to meet you!

Another goal I have for 2019 is to travel more, even if it is just around the East Coast. Now that we live in Raleigh we are within an eight hour radius of SO MANY places! We are grabbing this goal by the horns. We have already traveled to the mountains in Boone, NC earlier this month, and this weekend (February 1st) we are driving down to Savannah, GA for a short weekend. Even though she is only three months old, I want my daughter to experience all the beauty of the world, and we will start with the United States. We have two other trips planned for this year, Orlando and The Outer Banks, both place I have been before but Elliott has not. I REALLY want to go to Nashville, Gatlinburg, D.C, and Hilton Head this year as well, so we will see!

New Orleans 2018

My last goal for 2019, is to continue growing my blog. I know a lot of people start blogs, and it only lasts a couple months and they forget about it. But I really want to make it to my “first birthday”. I started this blog as a hobby, and a way to offer my advice and insight about all things motherhood, and life. I plan to keep blogging a hobby, for now. I have had so much fun writing blog posts, posting on Instagram and connecting with other bloggers. Bloggers are probably some of the nicest people! I hope to maybe one day meet some of the bloggers I follow! As I grow and reach new stages in motherhood, I know I will have so many fun stories.

SO there they are, my goals, I know they are pretty big goals but like they always say “Go big or go home!” I hope you follow me on my journey to find and maintain my happiness . Leave me a comment and tell me your goals for 2019!

Here’s to you 2019, you mysterious minx!

My Top 5 Must Have Baby Registry Items

Picture this: You have just found out that you are having a baby. You are standing at the store with one of those registry guns. You look upon the aisles and aisles of baby items. You feel like an alien looking around, in a foreign land, with foreign objects. That is exactly how I felt while standing in Buy Buy Baby, preparing to start my registry. So, for the mothers to be out there, I am here to lend some advice. Below are my top five “must have” baby registry items. These are the things that my husband and I use EVERY SINGLE DAY, and probably wouldn’t survive without. The link to find each item is under each picture for your convenience!

1. Project Nursery Dreamweaver Smart Nightlight

This is the PERFECT three in one device! It is a nightlight, sound machine, and Bluetooth speaker. We have been using the Dreamweaver from the day that we brought Elliott home. The nightlight is just bright enough that I can see Elliott in her side crib at night, and the ocean sounds are the perfect sound to sooth her to sleep. The Bluetooth is simple to connect to all devices, including Elliott’s record player. I could rave about how much I love this machine ALL DAY LONG! I highly recommend.

2. Graco Duet Sway Swing/Rocker

We bought this swing/ rocker at Babies R Us during their big closing sale. It has been one of the best baby purchases we made. Elliott loved sitting in the swing and staring at the Christmas tree until she falls asleep. The swing has many settings to help comfort baby. The seat comes off VERY easily and Elliott can sit on the kitchen island while I do the dishes, make bottles, or prepare dinner. She LOVES it, and because it is a 2-in-1, the living room has remained uncluttered (for now).

3. Graco Pack and Play

So far, because Elliott is only two months old, the only features we have used of this pack and play, are the changing table and bassinet. My husband and I LOVE how convenient the changing table is because we do not have to risk an accident on the couch or rug when changing Elliott’s diaper. The bassinet is perfect for laying Elliott in when she is sleeping, and I can get in a quick shower! We plan to utilize the higher mattress setting when we travel and need somewhere for Elliott to sleep.

4. Even-Flo Modular Travel System

Can you tell how much I love multi use devices? I mean I’ll take whatever makes mom life just a little bit easier. You can use this stroller system six different ways. As a carriage, toddler seat or with the infant car seat. I love how the infant seat fits right into the base, so getting in and out of the car is quick. The base is light and snaps close easily. I leave the carriage/ toddler seat in the garage and use it when I want to take Elliott for a walk around the neighborhood. There is also a cup holder attachment for but parent and child. AND I love the classic Sandstone color, but that is just preference.

5. Boppy Pillow

My final must have is a Boppy pillow. Are you surprised to know that there are multiple uses for a Boppy? I use it when feeding Elliott, it wraps comfortable around my waist and I can lay Elliott on it while feeding. It helps save my from aching. I lay it on the couch next to me while I pump. Elliott can also lay with her belly across the top for tummy time. It also makes a great seat under different fabrics for photo shoots 😉 I have the adorable mermaid slip cover you see in the picture as well. Someone asked me if I really needed a specific pillow for the baby and my answer was YES! It is a MUST!

The main things I looked for when registering for items, especially the big items, were convenience and multi use capabilities. Babies transition a lot during their first year of life, so why not have items that grow with your child? I hope that you have found this list helpful, especially if you are just as lost as I was! Happy registering momma!

Essential Oils: What is all the hype about?

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, my experience and advice should not replace that of an actual medical professional.

Essential Oils, they seem to be the thing just about everybody is talking about these days. Every person alive has probably heard someone talk about essential oils. Just about every store I have been in sells at least three different types now. You’ve probably seen them and said one of two things in your head: 1. “How do you even use those things?” or 2. “Aren’t those the things those hippie dippie people use instead of medicine?” Well I am here to share with you how I use essential oils in my daily life.

Now, I am going to be 100% honest with you, I was a HUGE skeptic about essential oils. I mean I did not understand how they worked and I just wrote them off the second I heard about them. I was introduced to them a few years ago, when my mother started using them, but I just rolled my eyes every time she brought them up. Christmas one year, my mother-in-law got me this Family Physician Kit, an essential oil collection from a company called doTerra. I put the box in my bathroom closet and forgot about it for a few months. Then one day, while I was cleaning out my bathroom closet, I saw the box of oils and decided to take a look at the guide to learn the uses of each oil. Inside the box there was an oil called Frankincense, you know one of the gifts the wise men brought little baby Jesus on his birthday. One of the uses was to mix it with you facial moisturizer for more radiant skin. I decided to give it a try and ever since I have been hooked on essential oils! So let me tell you some of my favorite oils, and how I integrate them into my life.

1.Lavender- All Things Calming

Lavender is probably the most popular essential oil, everyone and their grandmother has heard about it. There are a lot of different uses for Lavender can be used aromatically, topically and internally. I use it each different way. When I have had a particularly rough day, I diffuse a few drops in my doTerra diffuser to help soothe my anxious feelings. I also diffuse a few drops in Elliott’s (my 2 month old daughter) room to help calm her so she can fall asleep at night. In a babies room, you use less drops then you would for yourself. So for myself I would use 4-5 drops in the diffuser, where as in the babies room I only use 2-3 drops. When I am under the weather, with my normal yearly cold, I put a few drops of lavender in my tea, and it helps soothe my sore throat. I really elevates your typical cup of tea! In the summer time, it is always inevitable that I get eaten alive by mosquitoes. I put a few drops on a cotton ball and dap it on each bite., not only does it sooth the itchiness, but it also acts as a bug repellent.

2. Breathe Respiratory Blend

I LOVE this blend! It smells great and it really helps me when I have a chest cold with congestion. Currently this is the blend I am using in my diffuser as I am suffering from a chest cold. Breathe can be used aromatically and topically. I have blood pressure issues and I am not allowed to take cold medicine with any sort of decongestant, so I will dilute a few drops of Breathe in about a teaspoon of my favorite carrier oil, Coconut Oil, and rub on my feet at night to support my respiratory system. During the day, I add a couple drops in my diffuser ( you can also add to any humidifier) to promote clearer breathing.

3. Frankincense

This is the best gift I could have given my face! While there are other functions for Frankincense, such as easing tension and immune system support, I mainly use this oil for my face. I struggle with adult acne and eczema on my face. I also have very sensitive skin and have struggled to find an over the counter solution. So when I discovered Frankincense, I was ecstatic! There are two main ways I use this oil. When the skin on my face is not particularly broke out, usually in the summer time, I just mix a few drops with my facial moisturizer for a radiant glow. In the winter time, when my face usually breaks out and is pretty dry, I put a few drops on a cotton ball and apply it directly to the problem areas. It took me a while to get used to the smell, but now it doesn’t even bother me! I highly recommend you try it!

4. Deep Blue- Muscle and Joint Support

I suffer from lower back pain and sciatic nerve pain. These were especially aggravated during my third trimester of pregnancy, and thankfully I had a great tool to help reduce the discomfort that was associated. Deep Blue is a wonderful blend and it also smells fantastic! You can only use this blend topically, and there are only a few ways to use it. After a long day at work, I am a teacher so I spend most on my day on my feet, my husband will mix Deep Blue with the doTerra Coconut Oil for a deep tissue massage. It is truly heavenly! You can also apply the oil by itself directly to any sore joints or muscles to ease discomfort. I am in deep love with my Deep Blue blend!

5. Melaleuca (Tea Tree)

Melaleuca is great for your skin. It can be used aromatically, topically and internally as well. My favorite way to use Melaleuca is to put a few drops in my shampoo and conditioner to maintain a healthy scalp. Not only does it smell great, it tingles your scalp (in a good way), and makes you feel super refreshed for the rest of the day. Using a cotton ball, you could also apply a few drops to any skin blemishes, or apply to your toenails after swimming to keep them from turning yellow.

6. Wild Orange

Wild Orange is my current obsession, I got it in the Aromatouch kit I got as a gift, along with my diffuser. This oil is truly versatile, not only can you use this oil in your diffuser, or topically, you can use it in your cooking and baking! Who knew? Actually, a lot of the oils can replace the extracts you use but I will save that for another blog post! The main way I use Wild Orange is in my diffuser, in the morning while I get ready for a busy day at school. This oil really energizes you and sets you up for a positive day!

Now there are hundreds of different kinds of oils, and a handful of different brands of oil. My favorite brand to use, if you couldn’t guess, doTerra. They are pure oils with nothing added to them! I know that I am giving my skin the best with doTerra. Now I am not here to sell you any oils, but if you happen to be interested in learning more about doTerra and all of the great products they offer, check out my friend Mandi Dragons website “A Drop of Dragon” . She talks all thing doTerra, and has some awesome insights about how to use all the different oils. Also, make sure to check out the amazing giveaway she is having, I mean who doesn’t love free stuff?

https://adropofdragon.com/

If you haven’t given essential oils a try, I hope that I have convinced you to reconsider, and if you do use essential oils I hope that I have given you a few new ideas on how to use them. If you have any questions drop a comment, or let me know how YOU use your favorite essential oils!

Why I Decided to Exclusively Pump

Alternative Options to Breastfeeding

When I found out that I was going to be a mother, I was faced with a thousand and one decisions. Each decision harder than the next. The biggest choice a mother has to make is whether to breastfeed or formula feed. Each choice is 100% valid, and we as a society need to stop shaming mothers who formula feed! Instead, let’s lift each other up, support each mother’s feeding decisions and move on with our lives. Mothering is hard enough, without feeling guilty for each decision you make.


“Each choice is 100% valid, and we as a society need to stop shaming mothers who formula feed! “

There were so many benefits of breast milk, that deciding to breast feed was the easiest choice I made. Even though the decision was easy, actually breastfeeding was not. My mother did not breastfeed, and I did not grow up around babies that were breastfeed, so I was under a very naive belief that it was going to come naturally. I mean isn’t that what society tells a mother, breastfeeding is easy and if it isn’t, you aren’t trying hard enough. First of all, let’s just crush that misconception right here and now, breastfeeding IS HARD. No matter what some mothers do, it just doesn’t happen, and they end up deciding to formula feed. A lot of mothers feel unnecessarily guilty when they decide to quit breast feeding. I am here to tell any mother out there, you are doing great and you are making the right thing for YOUR child!

In my last few months of pregnancy I attended birthing classes, and a Breastfeeding 101 class at the hospital I was delivering at. At that 101 class, the Doula was very adamant that we all try to nurse as soon as our babies were born. So when my daughter, Elliott, was born that is exactly what I did. I was very excited to start nursing and create that bond with Elliott. However, my enthusiasm was met with disappointment. Elliott was unable to latch properly and I had to use a nipple shield in order to help draw out my nipple. For the next two days in the hospital, even with the assistance of the nipple shield, my little one still had trouble latching. The hospital lactation consultant (LC) taught me how to hand express so that I could give my daughter that coveted “liquid gold” or colostrum.


“First of all let’s just crush that misconception right here and now, breastfeeding IS HARD. No matter what some mothers do, it just doesn’t happen, and they end up deciding to formula feed. “

By the time we left the hospital, my daughter had lost more than 10% of her birth weight. We left the hospital on a Friday and had to return to the pediatrician the next day. On our way to the doctor, I realized that my breasts were engorged, which is extremely painful if you have never experienced the feeling. Again, the lactation consultant at the office showed my different ways to position my baby to assist her in latching. She also instructed me to pump when we got home, even though they do not recommend pumping that soon after giving birth. Most LC tell moms to wait until nursing is established before pumping, as to not create nipple confusion in their babies.

This was the first time that I realized how much easier pumping was for me and my daughter. My first pump I got about 4 oz of milk, but my daughter was only drinking 2 oz a feeding. I was shocked that my body was producing so much extra milk. Even though pumping was easier, I stayed determined to nurse. A week went by and latching was still an issue, I was becoming engorged but this time I had developed chapped nipples. I called the pediatrician in a panic because I feared my baby was not getting any milk. The on call nurse reassured me that because she was still going to the bathroom that she was okay, and to continue to work on latching. I went into the doctors the next day to have a weight check, and Elliott was still not gaining weight. Again, I was encouraged to keep on trying to nurse. That night, while trying to feed Elliott, I looked down and she had blood coming out of the corners of her mouth. When I pulled her off the nipple, there was blood pooled in the nipple shield. At that moment I decided to pump and feed her.

The next day I posted in a mommy Facebook group, asking for advice on what to do. Oddly enough, my old sorority advisor, told me that she had the same issues and she EP or Exclusively Pumped. I quickly jumped on the internet to research everything I could about exclusive pumping. There was very little information on the internet, most things I found were other blog posts, or mom chat groups. Most of the things I learned about Exclusive Pumping came from an Instagram account – pump_momma_pump , you have to check them out if you do or are considering EP. After all my research, I made the decision that I was going to exclusively pump, and feeding my baby has never been the same.

So how does exclusive pumping work for me? Well, I bottle feed Elliott from reserved milk I previously pumped. Then once she is done feeding, I pump until I am completely empty. It is very important that I pump each time she feeds, in order to help up build my supply. I put the pumped milk into bottles and store the extra in the fridge. Once I have a large reserve, I freeze the extra. Within a week, my supply has been established, I have six 4 oz bottles in the fridge at all times, and I am building my frozen reserve milk. The great thing about exclusive pumping is that for nightly feeding, my husband is able to feed Elliott while I pump. That way, we’re only up for about half an hour, as opposed to an hour to an hour and a half. It truly makes parenting a 50/50 effort, and we are able to get more sleep than before. I should preface this by saying that out baby girl is a pretty good sleeper during the night, so I would not say that EP made her a better sleeper, but just helped to expedite the midnight feedings. Like most moms, I often worry that my little one is not getting enough milk, but with EP, I am able to measure out each bottle with the proper amount, and I can visually see that Elliott is getting enough milk. Exclusive pumping is what has worked for my family and I am so grateful of the support I have gotten not only from my husband, but our daughter’s pediatrician as well. At first, I thought that the pediatrician would not support my decision, but instead, she told me that she exclusively pumped for her son, and that she will EP for her little one on the way!

So, if you are a mother who is trying to make breastfeeding work, and it is just not happening, consider exclusively pumping. It is a great option if you still want to give your baby the benefits of breast milk! Just make sure you invest in a good breast pump because it is going to be your new best friend for the next several months. Happy Pumping Momma! 🙂

Keep an out for a blog post where I discuss some tips and tricks for Exclusive Pumping mommas, and how exclusive pumping works once I go back to work!

And so it begins….

Dorothea Dix Park- Raleigh, NC


“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” 
― George Bernard Shaw

GoodReads.com

Hello Friends! Well I finally did it, I started my own blog. After months of talking about wanting to start one, and my husband nagging me enough, I have taken the leap into the exciting world of lifestyle blogging. So thank you for that honey, this one is for you! So what will I be blogging about? Well just about a little bit of everything, except fashion, because I am NOT the person who should tell anyone else how to dress. Maybe through the process of building my blog, a fellow blogger could teach me how to dress better! ‘hint hint’ Anyway, the main focus of my blog will be new mom life, dog mom life, love and marriage, and food and travel. I will give my readers an insight into my life and all of the amazing, crazy journeys life takes me on. There will not be many things that are off limits, I will be sharing everything in life, the good, the bad and the ugly.

I hope that my followers will find that my blog is a place they can go for a funny story, a helpful tip, or a relate-able anecdote. I will share tricks and tips that work for me and hopefully will work for you! I will show you products that I love and live by, especially ones that make mom life just a little easier.

I am passionate about shedding light on the not so pretty parts of motherhood and marriage, because I think that we can all agree that marriage and parenthood are the hardest things a person can do. Do not get me wrong I LOVE being a mother and I LOVE being married to my best friend, but it is not always easy. It takes WORK, but that’s what makes it so rewarding, and at the end of the day there is NOTHING better than seeing your loving husband play with your baby girl.

Please bear with me as I continue to learn the ropes of blogging and how to navigate the blog-isvere. By the New Year, 2019, I hope to have more content posted. Make sure to click to follow button at the bottom of my page, and check out my instagram / give me a follow. Thank you for visiting my site, I hope to see you all again!