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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.

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Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Tenth & Pine: Gender-neutral and butter-soft basics for littles + bigs

In 2016, after a stage four endometriosis diagnosis and a 10 year battle with infertility, Tenth & Pine founder Kerynn got her miracle baby, Ezra Jade. As a SAHM with a Masters in Business, she wanted to create a brand that focused on premium quality, function, comfort, and simplicity.

She sought out premium, all natural fabrics and factories that shared her core values, practicing environmentally friendly manufacturing methods with fair and safe working conditions for employees. As a result, her made in the USA, gender-neutral designs check all the boxes. The sustainable, organic basics are perfect for everyday wear, family photos and any adventure in between.

Lucy Lue Organics: Sustainably and ethically-produced modern baby clothes

This family-owned and operated business was started by a mama who wanted out of corporate America after the birth of her son. Thoughtfully designed to mix-and-match, Lucy Lue's sustainably and ethically produced collection of modern organic baby clothes only uses fabrics that are "environmentally friendly from seed to seam." Their gorgeous, earthy tones and comfy, minimalist styles make the perfect addition to first wardrobes from birth through the first years.

Sontakey: Simple bracelets that speak your mind

Sontakey has been such a hit in the Motherly Shop that we knew it was time to expand the line. And since these beautiful mantra bands look so stunning stacked, more options = more fun.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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Motherly editors’ 7 favorite hacks for organizing their diaper bags

Make frantically fishing around for a diaper a thing of the past!

As any parent knows, the term "diaper bag" only scratches the surface. In reality, this catchall holds so much more: a change of clothes, bottles, snacks, wipes and probably about a dozen more essential items.

Which makes finding the exact item you need, when you need it (read: A diaper when you're in public with a blowout on your hands) kind of tricky.

That's why organization is the name of the game when it comes to outings with your littles. We pooled the Motherly team of editors to learn some favorite hacks for organizing diaper bags. Here are our top tips.

1. Divide and conquer with small bags

Here's a tip we heard more than a few times: Use smaller storage bags to organize your stuff. Not only is this helpful for keeping related items together, but it can also help keep things from floating around in the expanse of the larger diaper bag. These bags don't have to be anything particularly fancy: an unused toiletry bag, pencil case or even plastic baggies will work.

2. Have an emergency changing kit

When you're dealing with a diaper blowout situation, it's not the time to go searching for a pack of wipes. Instead, assemble an emergency changing kit ahead of time by bundling a change of baby clothes, a fresh diaper, plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer in a bag you can quickly grab. We're partial to pop-top wipes that don't dry out or get dirty inside the diaper bag.

3. Simplify bottle prep

Organization isn't just being able to find what you need, but also having what you need. For formula-feeding on the go, keep an extra bottle with the formula you need measured out along with water to mix it up. You never know when your outing will take longer than expected—especially with a baby in the mix!

4. Get resealable snacks

When getting out with toddlers and older kids, snacks are the key to success. Still, it isn't fun to constantly dig crumbs out of the bottom of your diaper bag. Our editors love pouches with resealable caps and snacks that come in their own sealable containers. Travel-sized snacks like freeze-dried fruit crisps or meal-ready pouches can get an unfair reputation for being more expensive, but that isn't the case with the budget-friendly Comforts line.

5. Keep a carabiner on your keychain

You'll think a lot about what your child needs for an outing, but you can't forget this must-have: your keys. Add a carabiner to your keychain so you can hook them onto a loop inside your diaper bag. Trust us when we say it's a much better option than dumping out the bag's contents on your front step to find your house key!

6. Bundle your essentials

If your diaper bag doubles as your purse (and we bet it does) you're going to want easy access to your essentials, too. Dedicate a smaller storage bag of your diaper bag to items like your phone, wallet and lip balm. Then, when you're ready to transfer your items to a real purse, you don't have to look for them individually.

7. Keep wipes in an outer compartment

Baby wipes aren't just for diaper changes: They're also great for cleaning up messy faces, wiping off smudges, touching up your makeup and more. Since you'll be reaching for them time and time again, keep a container of sensitive baby wipes in an easily accessible outer compartment of your bag.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on www.comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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Chrissy Teigen/Instagram

When Chrissy Teigen announced her third pregnancy earlier this year we were so happy for her and now our hearts are with her as she is going through a pain that is unimaginable for many, but one that so many other mothers know.

Halfway through a high-risk pregnancy complicated by placenta issues, Teigen announced late Wednesday that she has suffered a pregnancy loss.

Our deepest condolences go out to Chrissy and her husband, John Legend (who has been by her side in the hospital for several days now).

In a social media post, Teigen explained she named this baby Jack.

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"We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we've never felt before. We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn't enough," she wrote.

She continued: "We never decide on our babies' names until the last possible moment after they're born, just before we leave the hospital. But we, for some reason, had started to call this little guy in my belly Jack. So he will always be Jack to us. Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever."

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