How a Freelance Stylist Pumps at Work

Not all breastfeeding mom journeys look the same.

How a Freelance Stylist Pumps at Work

*We’ve partnered with Teat & Cosset to make the back to work transition a little bit easier for breastfeeding moms. Shop now for 20% off + Free Shipping using code WELLROUNDED. Freelance work has a lot of perks for a new mom, but pumping breast milk is not necessarily one of them. At least that’s what wardrobe stylist, fashion blogger and new mom Liz Teich has found. In between styling glam photoshoots for big brands whose advertisements you’d probably recognize all over town, Liz often pumps in a dirty bathroom, a dressing room or makeshift changing space. But it’s worth it, she says, to keep providing breast milk for her 6-month-old son Asher. We know there’s so many women out there like Liz, with non-traditional jobs that require some creative thinking when it comes to breastfeeding or pumping. So we’re partnering with Teat & Cosset, one of the most beautiful nursing-friendly fashion brands out there, to celebrate those moms…and all the others out there that are committed to pumping when they return to work. Below, Liz shares some of her pumping and working strategies, while showing off her Teat & Cosset style. Are you a pumping mom? Show us where you pump on Instagram for a chance to win an item from Teat & Cosset! Use the hashtag #thisiswhereipump and tag @wellroundedny! What was your perception of breastfeeding before you had a baby? Right before I had my baby, the show Girls premiered their final episode where the final scene was the main character struggling with breastfeeding. She couldn't get her baby to latch and it terrified me. But I wanted to do it anyway, if I could. I was fed exclusively formula as a baby and I always thought it was the main reason I had recurring ear infections and got sick all of the time. My husband was breastfed and never got sick. Who knows? It was also a great way to bond with my baby and was important to me for that reason just as much. Tell me about the first few weeks feeding your baby. My doula was a certified lactation consultant, so she helped Asher latch as soon as he was born. I was in disbelief that it could “click” like that, so I asked every nurse if I was doing it correctly. I got amazing tips that helped it go even smoother. Still, it was pretty uncomfortable in the beginning. I had a heavy let-down and an oversupply. It was rough for me, but my guy is such an eater that I couldn’t help but want to keep going with it. My sister, who's a mom of three, summed it up perfectly: breastfeeding is the most unnatural natural thing you can do. After the first month or two, breastfeeding became more second nature. It definitely got easier in some ways...but more difficult in others. At about 3 months, I had a bit of a panic that I couldn't keep up my supply with him enough to go back to work. My freezer stash was pretty minimal despite all the pumping I was doing. How did you prep for work? By the time I eventually went back to work at 3.5 months postpartum, I was only pumping a half a bottle at a time, and I depleted my stash within a couple of weeks! The more I talked to working moms, the more I realized that nearly every one of them had this same issue. My sister encouraged me to introduce a bottle early on, once breastfeeding was established, but well before I went back to work. And at around 3 months, she told me to try formula to see if he'll take it -- just in case. Now I pump 2-4 times while I'm at work, depending on the job. I produce enough for about 1 bottle, and supplement with formula for 1 bottle, which is usually enough for when I’m working. I breastfeed when I’m at home. What’s your breastfeeding goal? The fact that I exclusively breastfed for 3 months was a big feat for me. Even at 6 months, which was my goal when I started, he's mainly been breastfed. If I make it to a year, that would be amazing. If I don't (he just got his first tooth—ouch!), then that's fine too. He's been growing so well, and that's all I can ask for. And as they say, fed is best. How do you make breastfeeding/pumping "work" while working? As if pumping isn't challenging enough, it's definitely more of a challenge being a freelancer and advocating to find the time and space to pump while working. I've been fortunate to work with people that understand and will allow me to take the time to do it, but I usually only get about 15 minutes at most (including setting up and cleaning parts) and unlike those that work in an office that are lucky to have a designated space to pump, I often have to scramble to find the space. Tell me about some of the weirdest, most uncomfortable places you've pumped. One amazing studio that I work in often has a lot of moms working there, so they designate an office/closet space as their pumping room. Once I interrupted a meeting accidentally to pump, and the group offered to move their meeting so I could pump there. How amazing to have working women supporting other working women! There are times when I haven't been as lucky. I've pumped everywhere from disgusting bathrooms to my car to dressing rooms to the back of a RV to a pop-up changing tent while having a conversation with colleagues. I once had a producer and client walk into the room where I was pumping -- knowing I was pumping in there. The worst was when I was prepping a job and I could only carry around my hand pump, which takes a lot longer, so I sat on the toilet in a department store bathroom for 20 minutes pumping. The store security got notice on their walkie to check on the woman who was in the bathroom for a long time! How does the right outfit for pumping, feeding and working make all the difference? For nursing, I need access to the goods quickly and easily because my guy does not have the patience to wait when he's hungry. For pumping, I need easy access as well since there’s a lack of time and, sometimes, privacy. As a stylist, do you feel pressure to look a certain way, even while you’re nursing? I definitely feel pressure to dress like "myself" and not like a nursing mama for my job. I'm my biggest calling card. Even if I'm wearing a nursing top, I still want the people I work with to notice how stylish it is. I've had people ask me about my Teat & Cosset button down, not knowing it was an easy access nursing top! What's your best tip for finding breastfeeding fashion that works for you? Don’t change your style just because you're pregnant or nursing. Make sure you still feel like "YOU." My Teat & Cosset pieces are things I would wear even after nursing because they're so beautifully made and so “me.” What's the best pumping advice you could give to a breastfeeding mom planning to go back to work, especially if she has a non-traditional desk job? Advocate for yourself. I was surprised how apprehensive I was to approach colleagues, especially males, to let them know I have to pump. I once had a young male coworker show me to their office's designating pumping room, when I was about to sneak off and pump in the bathroom. I'm so glad I spoke up. And of course, do whatever works best for you. If it means alot to you to exclusively give your baby breastmilk, then try those marathon pumping sessions and supplements. If you're okay with formula, then don't feel guilty about supplementing. If pumping is too stressful or daunting (I promise it gets easier!!) then maybe it's not for you. Every mom and baby is different, but the most important thing is to not be hard on yourself. Ultimately a happy mama makes a good mama. Photography by Stylish Hip Kids Photography. Shop Teat & Cosset Now for 20% off and Free Shipping using code: WELLROUNDED.

Black & White Striped Shirt

Charcoal Cashmere Turtleneck

Gemma Maternity Sweatshirt

Teat & Cosset Giorgia Pullover

We're so glad to live in a time when modern baby gear exists. Sure, no one is going to argue that having a baby is easy—but it can be easier with support from some gadgets designed to help your baby and put your mind at ease.

As you build your baby registry, look for products that go the extra mile to make your life a whole lot easier. For example, what's better than a bassinet? A bassinet that can rock by itself. And what's better than a traditional baby monitor? One that allows you to actually take a peek at your baby. Believe us when we say these upgrades can make all the difference.

Here are 10 baby gadgets that will make your life so much easier… relatively speaking, of course!

A bassinet to promote safe + sound sleep

HALO Innovations Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Essenta Series Nautical Net

The safest place for your newborn to sleep is in your room, but not in your bed. Thanks to the swivel function of the Halo Bassinest, you can easily tend to your baby during the night—which means more sleep for you, too. Trust us when we say that is the best gift you can give a new parent.


A smart swing for your baby

4moms mamaRoo 4 Bluetooth Enabled High-Tech Baby Swing - Classic

Believe it or not, many babies are born with strong opinions about how they want to be rocked, swung or shushed to calm down. With the mamaRoo's various motions and reclining positions, you'll be able to find a setting your baby loves when you need to free up your hands for a bit.


A complete travel system for car + sidewalk

Chicco Bravo Travel System - Indigo

No matter where the day takes you—or what mode of transportation you need to get there—getting a complete travel system for your baby will equip you for anything.


A swaddle you don’t have to wrestle

Love To Dream Swaddle UP Original

What do babies and Harry Houdini have in common? A knack for breaking out of tight constraints—which can be a headache when swaddling is the best way to help promote good sleep. Thanks to a breakout-proof swaddle that allows your baby to sleep with their hands up, you don't have to work up a sweat just to get your baby comfortably swaddled.


A nursery wherever you need it

Baby Trend Lil Snooze Deluxe II Nursery Center

During the early days of parenting (when you are feeding and changing your baby around the clock), having convenient access to everything you need with a go-anywhere nursery station can save you serious time and energy.


A little help for stuffy noses

Fridababy NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator

Up until the point years down the road when your child is able to blow their own nose, the sniffles can be a real struggle—but not with a nasal aspirator that makes it easy for you to get that snot out of their nose.


A way to keep an eye on your baby

VTech 5" Digital Video Baby Monitor - VM5251

Trust us when we say you'll sleep better when you know your baby is also sleeping soundly. That's why we're so thankful for modern-day video monitors, which allow you to check in on your sleeping baby without running the risk of waking them up when you sneak in for a peek.


A bassinet for hands-free rocking

Simmons Kids Silent Auto Gliding Elite Bassinet - Odyssey

Babies are soothed by rocking motions. But what does that mean for you if you can't rock them throughout the night? With an auto-gliding bassinet, they can comfortably drift off to sleep... and continue snoozing.


An easy way to contain diaper smells

Diaper Genie Expressions Pail

Sometimes it's the little conveniences that make a big difference in the quality of your day-to-day life. That's why a great diaper pail should not be undervalued: By containing the smell, you will save yourself dozens upon dozens of trips to the garbage can.


A white noise machine that pulls double duty

Hatch Rest Sound Machine, Night Light & Time-to-Rise

A phone-controlled sound machine may be something you never considered until now, but it will be a major lifesaver for years to come, especially as it can also function as a time-to-rise clock that promotes good sleep habits for your child.


And as for securing all these awesome products? Well, a Target baby registry is the way to do it. By creating your baby registry with Target, you will also enjoy their Year of Benefits registry program, which includes perks like a welcome kit with more than $100 in savings and samples, two 15% off coupons to complete your registry, and a full year of returns. The benefits are better than ever right now: Target just launched the Year of Exclusive Deals perk as one of its registry benefits, and this includes a year's worth of discounts on baby essentials (think diapers and formula) and comes complementary when you sign up for Target Circle.

Because while parenting may not be "easy," deciding to register with Target definitely is an easy decision. Start your Target baby registry now and enjoy shopping with a Year of Benefits featuring a Year of Exclusive Deals available via Target Circle, two 15% off coupons, a year of hassle-free returns, a free welcome kit and more!

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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