Today I wanted to talk about breastfeeding. Whoa. And I'm going to share a product that has made the process a heck of a lot easier on me, enabling me a little bit of independence while maintaining my feeding routine. Let me start by saying that with all three of my boys, I have been fortunate enough to be able to breastfeed each of them. That said, breastfeeding didn't always come easy. For starters with my first son, Rhett, my nipples cracked and bled, and I almost quit within a week. But my mom swooped in and encouraged me to stick with it. She told me that if I could give breastfeeding a bit more time that eventually it would become some of the sweetest moments I shared with my baby, as she reflected on those times with my sister and I. So, I took her advice, and persevered through the pain of breastfeeding - nipple bleeds and all. Soon enough, I found that was right. Eventually breastfeeding time with Rhett became some of my most cherished memories.
I nursed Rhett (my first), until he was about fifteen months, which was also about three months into my second pregnancy. So, yes, I was breastfeeding my first son while pregnant with my second son. Then, after my second son was born, I immediately picked breastfeeding up again. And it was a breeze! Vance, my second son, latched like a champ and because there had been only a few months of lag time between nursing my first and nursing my second, there was almost zero pain involved. Breastfeeding was finally easy.
That is, until I encountered postpartum depression and my hormones went crazy around six month postpartum. At this time, I was also retaining about fifteen pounds of baby weight while nursing (which I learned was very common) and it started driving me bonkers. With all of this to consider, I sadly stopped breastfeeding my second babe at ten months. Yes, I was proud of my ability to go ten months!!, but I also share this story to show that breastfeeding - while beautiful - does have its hardships.
History of Pumping
One aspect of breastfeeding that has always been a challenge for me is pumping. After I had my first son, I returned to Georgetown Business School, which was a full-time business school program. This meant that Rhett would be with a nanny twenty hours a week. Because I wanted to maintain our breastfeeding routine (and my supply), that meant I would have to pump at school. Because insurance covered a simple Medela Pump, I ended up going with that. This was my first mistake (more on this later). Why was pumping difficult? It took me a pretty long time to pump out ample milk (for a student with not a lot of time). Also, insurance didn't cover the electric version of the pump, which meant that I had to be in close proximity to an outlet when pumping. Needless to say, this pumping experience somewhat scarred me and deterred me from wanting to pump with subsequent children. When I had my second son, I pretty much avoided pumping altogether. I didn't set out to find a new pump, and revolved my days around feeding my baby, and was never away from him for more than three hours at a time.
Third Baby, Pump Required
Yes, I managed to avoid pumping with my second son, and it worked for me. But, by the time I had my third son, Beauden, I realized there were going to be times when I needed or wanted to get away from my baby for more than three hours at a time. For as much as I want to be with him (and each of my sons), after experiencing intense postpartum depression after my last pregnancy, I knew that time away from my baby was important for both my independence and mental state. As such, I started researching breast pumps. After all, it had been some time (almost four years) since I had set out to find and purchase a breast pump.
What to Look for in a Breast Pump
I didn't know much about breast pumps, but I knew that I wanted certain things out of a pump that I lacked before. For starters, I wanted a pump that was more efficient than one of the leading breast pump brands. In my case, this was the Medela. I also knew I wanted the pump to operate without the need of an outlet; one that could be charged and then used freely. And lastly, I hoped that I could find a pump that would cut down on pumping time, while increasing milk output... because with three kids, who has time to sit and pump for an hour only to yield an ounce or two of milk?
After doing some research and given the space that I work in, (given the opportunity to review the very best, latest and greatest mommy products), I was introduced to Motif Medical, a company who recently launched the Luna Pump. What I found when Motif set out to manufacture the Luna Pump answered one of my biggest problems with pumping. That was, Motif had the goal of developing a pump that performed better than two of the leading breast pump brands. Bingo.
After reading more, I found that...
The Luna Pump Difference
Since using the Luna Pump, my view of pumping has changed altogether. Instead of feeling like pumping was a chore and something that literally and figuratively pained me to do in order to gain time away from my baby; now, I feel relaxed and comfortable with the idea and actual exercise of pumping.
The Luna Pump is quiet; it doesn't have that annoyingly loud pumping sound. The Luna Pump also includes a nightlight mode that would allow a mama to pump comfortably in the dark. The Luna Pump is pain free due to the strength of suction and design. And of course, it comes outlet free (also with a car charger) and yields more milk in less time.
This is BIG NEWS y'all. This not only means that I am happy to pump, but it also means that I have unlocked a bit of freedom for myself. And if you've been following along with my platform, you know how big I am when it comes to mothers taking time for self care. A big part of practicing self care as a mom is being able to take time away from your baby AND being able to do so comfortably and willingly. Investing in a breast pump that allows you to do both is worth gold. Liquid gold.
Aeroflow Breastpumps: Breast Pumps and More Through Insurance
One of the tricky parts in obtaining a breast pump is answering the question: does my insurance cover this? This is where Aeroflow Breastpumps comes in. Aeroflow specializes in helping moms get their breast pump AND pregnancy and postpartum support garments (like maternity support bands, compression socks and postpartum recovery garments) through insurance. Not only that, they take care of the entire process, including filing the insurance claim and getting the necessary documents from your doctor. Aeroflow Breastpumps also has a great selection of supplies and accessories for new and expecting mamas. From essentials like milk storage bags and nursing pads, to cleaning supplies and hands-free pumping bras, you can get it all when you place an order for your pump! If you have an HSA or FSA, use those dollars to cover your pumping supplies.
To try it out, fill out the quick and easy Qualify Through Insurance form to get started.
To qualify through insurance with Aeroflow Breastpumps, click below:
Happy Pumping, Ladies!
This message has been sponsored by Aeroflow Breastpumps.
Since becoming a mom, I've gone through ups and downs with my ability to take care of myself. But now that I have my third baby, I've realized that taking care of myself is imperative. And one way that I like to treat myself is by taking good care of my skin. However, I don't like to use just any products. I am actually quite picky. First and foremost, I prefer products that are tested and safe for both pregnancy and breastfeeding. Anything that isn't, I try and steer clear of. Second, I like products that are effective. Truth be told, it has been hard to find products that are both safe for breastfeeding, but are also effective.
That is, until I came across Amar Botanica.
You know what kinds of companies are my favorite? Ones that are started by completely normal women, who are trying to solve a need that ALL of us women share. This is how Amar Botanica was started. It was developed for two mothers. One, a Mount Sinai New York Board Certified Dermatologist, Dr. Mikhail, and her mommy bestie, AnaLiza Alba's, a beauty industry veteran, knowledgable in organic and cruelty-free products, when they realized the stretch marks were a huge concern amongst women during pregnancy. Not only that, women also wanted to take care of their skin, preventing things like acne while also maintaining a youthful glow. But as I mentioned and as we all know, it is difficult to find products that are both safe for use in pregnancy and while breastfeeding, and are also effective.
With their knowledge and desire to fill this void, they created Amar Botanica, and us mamas are LOVING it.
What is Amar Botanica?
Amar Botanica is a skincare company that produces a stretch mark cream and daily + nightly acne treatments that are safe for pregnant and breastfeeding mother. The products are 100% pure, organic, vegan-based formula backed by science with proven and all-natural ingredients.
Amar Botanica: Anti-Stretch Mark Cream
The stretch mark cream is amazing. Lucky for me, I didn't get any new stretch marks while pregnant, however, I DID get some while yo-yo dieting throughout high school. Bummer. I figured there wasn't much that I could do to fade the scars they left behind, but boy was I wrong.
Amar Botanica's Anti-Stretch Mark Cream can be used DURING pregnancy as a preventative measure against stretch marks, but it can also be used after stretch marks appear (as in my case) to help them fade over time. Not only that, you can also feel GOOD while using the cream, knowing that it is completely safe to use while pregnant and breastfeeding. In addition to using the product to help fade stretch marks, I also use it to help keep my skin moist and hydrated, especially during the winter months. It has been a lifesaver, and is now a staple beauty product in my regimen.
Amar Botanica: Ant-Acne AHA Cream Kits
As if I didn't think I would love anything more than the Anti-Stretch Mark Cream, Amar Botanica proved me wrong with the creation of their Anti-Acne AHA Cream Kits. This includes two products (one for daytime use and the other for nighttime use) that help to brighten skin and reduce redness, inflammation and discoloration. Think a healthier version of Retin-A that is completely safe and effective during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Similar to Retin-A this product has a variety of uses including the treatment of acne, rosacea and hyper-pigmentation (me!). Don't be fooled with the word "acne", either, because these two products have a plethora of uses beyond acne (if so desired). Also, don't be fooled into thinking that these products are ONLY for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers. Wrong. They are effective (and free of nasty chemicals) for anyone who so desires to use them, and once again, they are just as effective (if not more) as leading skincare brands.
Simply apply a pea-sized amount both morning and night, and you'll be hooked. Since using these two products, my skin has become more supple and radiant; my hyper-pigmentation has faded; my skin is softer and more even-toned; and my skin has a more youthful appearance to it.
I am thrilled to be sharing Amar Botanica with y'all! Us mamas deserve the best AND the safest for ourselves, and for our littles ones.
Take care! xoxo
This message has been sponsored by Amar Botanica.