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*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. The job of a registered nurse is not unlike motherhood: it’s emotionally and physically demanding, and requires long hours, dedication and compassion. Being a mother and nurse at the same time? Well, it’s not for the faint of heart -- between the needs of your family and the needs of your job, you’re basically taking care of people 24-7! And if you’re a nursing nurse, you’ve got to fit some breastfeeding and pumping in there too. For registered nurse and brand new mom of two Amy Kiefer, breastfeeding -- and pumping -- has been a learning curve as she preps to return to her job at the University of Wisconsin’s Carbone Cancer Center. In between chemotherapy patients, she’ll need to find a few quiet moments to pump breast milk for her 3-month-old baby boy. And when she’s at home, she’ll need to nurse and pump some more, both to regulate her supply and to help prep little Trey for the long days of work ahead. We know there’s so many women out there like Amy, 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, Amy 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! Amy is wearing the Teat & Cosset Mila Nursing Pajamas (above). What’s a regular day like for you at work? I work in the chemotherapy part of the clinic, which is very busy. It is common for us to treat 90 patients in a day. These patients either need chemotherapy or supportive care (fluids, blood products, etc.). Many of the patients are battling cancer, but we also see people with a few other illnesses/diseases. I love my job because our patients are SO sweet and inspiring. It is amazing to see people that are battling for their health and maybe even their life, be positive and happy. It inspires me every day to be thankful and to go after my dreams. How is your job different than that of a traditional pumping mom at a 9-5? Nursing can be a very hard job to pump at. Our clinic is very busy. For me to take two extra breaks during the shift essentially can leave my coworkers shorthanded for that time. As a nurse, I’m responsible for a set of patients. This means, that a coworker has to agree to take over the responsibility of these patients while I’m gone. I work in an area where people are at risk of reacting to their treatment drugs. This means that as the nurse I am responsible for immediately giving the patient emergency medications, closely monitoring the patient’s signs and symptoms and implementing other fast interventions to help them. Depending on the situation, these events can take more than an hour to resolve. If this happens at a time when I’m planning to pump, I would just have to wait. It is not uncommon to have a shift where a few events like this happen and that makes it extremely hard to get off the floor to pump. How will you make breastfeeding/pumping "work" while working? I do my best to plan my shift out. This way, I’m leaving to pump when all my patients are on “cruise control” and hopefully will not need much when I’m gone. For me, pumping and breastfeeding takes a whole lot of positivity and perseverance. I know that I’m going to make it work and I’ll adjust in whatever way it takes. Were you this determined to breastfeed before you had your first baby? I really wanted to breastfeed our first baby, Maxwell, because I heard all about the benefits and the bond that I would feel. I wanted to provide our baby with the best nourishment I could and I wanted to feel the bond that everyone kept talking about. To be honest, I thought it would be much more natural and easy. I was in for quite the surprise when I found it to very much be the opposite. Maxwell had tongue tie and coupled with my inverted nipple anatomy, my nipples were wrecked only a few days in. It was an extremely painful experience, and something that I had no idea would happen. I had never even heard of tongue tie. Thank goodness for the lactation consultant that spotted it and got us on the road to recovery. I made an appointment with an ear, nose and throat specialist and Max had his tongue clipped. It was eight weeks into breastfeeding before I was completely pain free. After all that, things got much better. Max and I breastfed for 14 months before weaning. There was a lot of the special bonding along the way. Amy is wearing the Teat & Cosset Gemma Maternity & Nursing Sweatshirt (above). What about for this second baby Trey? This time has been much easier. I experienced only the “normal” nipple soreness in the beginning. Trey and I have had pretty smooth sailing and we were breastfeeding pain free in just a week’s time. This has made all the difference in the experience. The challenge of this round of breastfeeding is my oversupply and lopsided supply. I had these issues last time, but this go around they are amplified. Often times other mamas will message me and say, “I would KILL for your supply” or “I would give a limb for your supply.” While I understand that it might look like a great problem to have, it warrants a lot of frustration and extra time too. Often times, and especially in the beginning, my breast would be too full for Trey to take OR he would start feeding and it would come out so fast that he would start choking. I worked with the lactation team for six weeks to try to slow the supply down and even it out. I’m happy to report that things are better, but both issues still persist. The silver lining is that I’m able to donate my breast milk to other babies in need. What is your plan for returning to work in terms of pumping/breastfeeding? I’m thankful that this is my second time around because my pumping/breastfeeding routine will be much easier to navigate. Although we’re exclusively breastfeeding, Trey does take bottles of expressed breast milk. My husband and I introduced bottles at about one month of age with both of our babies. This way, I’m able to have a little more freedom. We also know that this is a very necessary skill for him to learn for once I return to work. Here is my plan and tips:
  • I feed the baby before leaving for work. If my shift starts later or my boobs are still pretty full I will also pump before leaving.
  • I pack all my pumping parts the night before to make mornings less busy.
  • I leave an extra set of ALL supplies at work. I learned to do that after forgetting my nipple shields and ending up in a puddle of tears because of it.
  • I refrigerate my pumping parts between pumps, so that I can just use one set at work.
  • We send frozen expressed milk to daycare. They are willing to store a couple weeks’ worth. They let us know when they need more.
  • I will pump twice a shift to keep me supply up.
  • Before I go to bed each night, I transfer the milk into bags and put them in the deep freezer.
Since your work wardrobe is usually scrubs, why is it so important to find stylish nursing clothes when you're off the clock? Trey still breastfeeds every couple of hours, so it’s a total bonus for my clothes to be nursing friendly. I’m the queen of athleisure when not at work, so throwing on my Teat & Cosset nursing sweatshirt is a really great option for me. But it’s always very special and exciting to throw on normal and stylish clothes. My favorite clothing item to wear is a dress. Dresses and curled hair make me feel beautiful and put together, so you can often find me in those for a date night. And yes, we still date even with these little people in our lives! 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? You HAVE to be ready to advocate for yourself. At a busy non-traditional job like nursing, there are shifts where there is never a “good” time to go. I have to tell myself, “Amy, this is your baby’s food. You need to go and pump.” Understand that although it might not be ideal for your coworkers, it is your right and another one of your “jobs” to get it done. I also researched the laws in my state. This way, I could advocate for myself and make sure my employer was being fair. I would highly suggest equipping yourself with that knowledge and using it if you are being treated unjustly. I know some people hate pumping, but I really think of it as a nice break in the day. Because it is necessary, I might as well enjoy it! I often text my husband something sweet, have a snack, listen to an audiobook and scroll through pictures of the boys. This makes the time go by fast. Lastly, I would suggest having a pep talk ready to go. I’m huge on positivity and training yourself to be mentally resilient. There is no doubt there will be bumps along the road. Whether it be a rude comment from a coworker or a forgotten pump part. When the going gets tough, have a go to mantra ready to go. Example: “Amy, you are doing great! Look at you! You’ve already been breastfeeding for three months. Giving Trey a terrific start and you are rocking this!” Photography by Jenna Leroy for Well Rounded.

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While breastfeeding might seem like a simple task, there are so many pieces to the puzzle aside from your breasts and baby. From securing a good latch, boosting your milk supply and navigating pumping at work or feeding throughout the night, there's a lot that mama has to go through—and a number of products she needs.

No matter how long your nursing journey may be, it can be hard to figure out what items you really need to add to your cart. So we asked our team at Motherly to share items they simply couldn't live without while breastfeeding. You know, those ones that are a total game-changer.

Here are the best 13 products that they recommend—and you can get them all from Walmart.com:

1. Medela Nursing Sleep Bra

"This fuss-free nursing bra was perfect for all the times that I was too tired to fumble with a clasp. It's also so comfy that, I have to admit, I still keep it in rotation despite the fact that my nursing days are behind me (shh!)." —Mary S.

Price: $15.99

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2. Dr. Brown's Baby First Year Transition Bottles

"My daughter easily transitioned back and forth between breastfeeding and these bottles." —Elizabeth

Price: $24.98

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3. Multi-Use Nursing Cover

"When I was breastfeeding, it was important to me to feel like a part of things, to be around people, entertain guests, etc. Especially since so much of being a new mom can feel isolating. So having the ability to cover up but still breastfeed out in the open, instead of disappearing into a room somewhere for long stretches alone to feed, made me feel better."—Renata

Price: $11.99

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4. Lansinoh TheraPearl Breast Therapy Pack

"I suffered from extreme engorgement during the first weeks after delivery with both of my children. I wouldn't have survived had it not been for these packs that provided cold therapy for engorgement and hot therapy for clogged milk ducts." —Deena

Price: $10.25

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5. Medela Quick Clean Breast Pump Wipes

"Being a working and pumping mama, these quick clean wipes made pumping at the office so much easier, and quicker. I could give everything a quick wipe down between pumping sessions. And did not need a set of spare parts for the office." —Ashley

Price: $19.99

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6. Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter

"This nipple butter is everything, you don't need to wash it off before baby feeds/you pump. I even put some on my lips at the hospital and it saved me from chapped lips and nips." —Conz

Price: $12.95

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7. Medela Double Electric Pump

"I had latch issues and terrible postpartum anxiety, and was always worried my son wasn't getting enough milk. So I relied heavily on my breast pump so that I could feed him bottles and know exactly how much he was drinking. This Medela pump and I were best friends for almost an entire year" —Karell

Price: $199.99 Receive a $50 gift card with purchase at walmart.com

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8. Lansinoh Disposable Stay Dry Nursing Pads

"I overproduced in the first couple weeks (and my milk would come in pretty much every time my baby LOOKED at my boobs), so Lansinoh disposable nursing pads saved me from many awkward leak situations!" —Justine

Price: $9.79

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9. Haakaa Silicone Manual Breast Pump

"This has been a huge help in saving the extra milk from the letdown during breastfeeding and preventing leaks on my clothes!" —Rachel

Price: $12.99

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10. Medela Harmony Breast Pump

"Because I didn't plan to breastfeed I didn't buy a pump before birth. When I decided to try, I needed a pump so my husband ran out and bought this. It was easy to use, easy to wash and more convenient than our borrowed electric pump." —Heather

Price: $26.99

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11. Milkies Fenugreek

"I struggled with supply for my first and adding this to my regimen really helped with increasing milk." —Mary N.

Price: $14.95

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12. Lansinoh Breast Milk Storage Bags

"I exclusively pumped for a year with my first and these are hands down the best storage bags. All others always managed to crack eventually. These can hold a great amount and I haven't had a leak! And I have used over 300-400 of these!" —Carla

Price: $13.19

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13. Kiinde Twist Breastfeeding Starter Kit

"The Kiinde system made pumping and storing breastmilk so easy. It was awesome to be able pump directly into the storage bags, and then use the same bags in the bottle to feed my baby." —Diana

Price: $21.99

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

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Orange Is the New Black star Danielle Brooks is pregnant and frustrated. The actress took to Instagram this week to lament the lack of plus-sized options for pregnant people.

"It's so hard to find some clothes to wear today....Although I get to pregnant I still can't find no clothes. It's so hard to find some clothes when you're pregnant," she sings in a lighthearted yet serious video.

"It's so hard to find cute plus size maternity fashion while pregnant, but ima push through," she captioned the clip.

Brooks has been talking a lot this week about the issues people who wear plus size clothing face not just when trying to find clothes but in simply moving through a world that does not support them.

"I feel like the world has built these invisible bullets to bully us in telling us who we're supposed to be and what we're supposed to look like. And I've always had this desire to prove people wrong—to say that this body that I'm in is enough," she told SHAPE (she's on the new cover).

"Now that I'm about to be a mother, it means even more—to make sure that this human being I'm going to bring into the world knows that they are enough," she said.

Danielle Brooks is the body-positive hero we need right now. Now can someone make her some cute maternity clothes, please?

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In prior decades, body image issues usually didn't hit the scene until kids reached adolescence. But thanks to social media, and our culture's relentless pursuit of thinness, we now have to find creative ways to teach young children how to develop healthy body images.

Before I dive into some practical tips to help kids improve body image, I want to first diminish any shame that you might be feeling if you have body issues of your own. It's so important to remember that you downloaded every internal message from somewhere else. Of course, it's critical to work on your own issues, but it's also important to know it is not your fault that you developed them in the first place!

So, whether you are struggling with your own body image, or you love your body, here are some tools to help your child feel better about the precious body he or she lives in:

1. Break the spell

How do you know if your child has a bad body image? Perhaps they've begun making negative comments about their size or shape. Maybe they are comparing their body to others. Maybe they are avoiding foods or activities they once enjoyed because they feel uncomfortable about their body.

Often the most common response a parent has is to reassure their child that they are “fine," or “beautiful" or “perfect." And while there is certainly nothing wrong with some reassurance, it simply may not be enough to overpower the cultural messages kids are surrounded by. Reassure them that they are perfect just the way they are.

2. Unkind mind, kind mind and quiet mind

This little menu of options encourages kids to identify and differentiate between three different thinking states within themselves. I refer to them as “mind moods." Try teaching your child about these three states of mind and brainstorming examples of each. For example, unkind mind = “I hate my thighs." Kind mind = “I love singing." Quiet mind = Peacefully resting or playing.

This will raise their awareness of their thoughts and help them to choose their mind moods more consciously. As they learn to turn up the volume of their kind minds and spend more time in their quiet minds, they begin to feel more present and peaceful.

Once you have helped your child identify their unkind mind as a distinct voice, they can then try on some different responses and see which ones help bring them some relief. Try asking them to write or say all the messages their unkind mind is saying and practicing using strong, soft, silly or silent responses. Kids can learn that their unkind mind is not all of who they are, and that it doesn't have to run the show.

3. Get to the root

This concept helps kids discover what triggers their body dissatisfaction. You can help your child by asking questions or taking guesses about what might have started their bad body image. For example, I helped one 7-year old get to the root of her body obsession by noticing it started when there was a death in her family. Right around that time, her best friend started talking about dieting, so she latched onto food obsession as a distracting coping tool.

Once we uncovered this, she was able to learn about healthy grieving and truly healthy eating (as opposed to what the diet culture deems as healthy—which can actually be unhealthy).

4. Mind movies vs. really real

Try asking your child to show you some things around them that are real (i.e. things they can see, touch or hear). Then ask them if they can show you one single thought in their minds. You can playfully challenge them to take a thought out of their head and show it to you or fold it up and put it in their pocket. This tool teaches kids how to be more present.

Of course, they might use their imagination to do this, but with some finesse, you can teach your child to distinguish between the mind movies that cause them stress and the really real things around them. This is an immensely helpful tool that will not only help them with body image (since body image is one long mind movie) but will also improve the quality of their lives in general.

5. Dog talk and cat chat

Many kids cannot relate to the concept of being kind to themselves but ask a child how they feel about their favorite pet, and a doorway to their compassion, kindness and unconditional acceptance opens. For non-pet lovers, you can ask your child to imagine how they would speak to a baby or their best friend.

Dog talk and cat chat can help teach youngsters how to take the loving words and tones they use toward a beloved pet, and direct these sentiments toward themselves and their bodies.

6. Do an internal upgrade

In addition to helping your child combat the messages they receive out in the world, you can also work on the messages they get in your home. Again, if you struggle with body image, it is not your fault, but you can work on healing—and not only will you feel more peace, but your child will benefit as well.

To the best of your ability, refrain from talking about foods as “good" or “bad." Refrain from making negative comments about your (or anyone else's) weight or looks. Refrain from praising someone (or yourself) for weight loss.

Practice welcoming your child's tears and anger without trying to change their feelings before they are ready. Practice eating all food groups in moderation. Foster a positive, grateful attitude about your body.

May you and your child feel comfortable in your bodies, eat all foods in moderation, move and rest in ways that feel good, and find abundant sweetness and fulfillment in life.

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Learn + Play

After a long day of doing seemingly everything, when our partners get home it kind of becomes a habit to ask, "How was your day?" In between prepping dinner, handing off the kids, finishing your own work, we don't exactly get much value from this question. Sure, it may open up the opportunity to complain about that awful thing that happened or excitedly share that presentation you killed at work—but it usually stops there.

I could do a better job of really talking in my relationship. After 12 years and two kids, sometimes all we can come up with post bedtime routine is, "You good? I'm good. Fire up the Netflix."

Here are 21 questions to dig deeper into your marriage after a long day—see where they take you!

  1. Did you listen to anything interesting today?
  2. If you could do any part of today over again, what would it be?
  3. How much coffee did you drink today?
  4. Will you remember any specific part of today a year from now? Five years?
  5. Did you take any photos today? What did you photograph?
  6. What app did you open most today?
  7. How can I make your day easier in five minutes?
  8. If we were leaving for vacation tonight, where do you wish we would be heading?
  9. If you won $500 and had to spend it on yourself today, what would you buy?
  10. If your day was turned into a movie, who would you cast?
  11. What did you say today that you could have never expected to come out of your mouth?
  12. What did you do to take care of yourself today?
  13. When did you feel appreciated today?
  14. If you could guarantee one thing for tomorrow what would it be?
  15. If we traded places tomorrow what advice would you give me for the day?
  16. What made you laugh today?
  17. Imagine committing the next year to learning one thing in your spare time. What would it be?
  18. Did you give anyone side-eye today? Why?
  19. What do you wish you did more of today?
  20. What do you wish you did less of today?
  21. Are you even listening to me right now?

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Love + Village

Alexis Ohanian has made a lot of important decisions in his life. The decision to co-found Reddit is a pretty big one. So was marrying Serena Williams. But right up there with changing internet culture and making a commitment to his partner, the venture capitalist lists taking time off after his daughter's birth as a significant, life-changing choice.

"Before Olympia was born, I had never thought much about paternity leave and, to be honest, Reddit's company policy was not my idea. Our vice president of people and culture, Katelin Holloway, brought it up to me in a meeting and it sounded O.K., so why not?" Ohanian writes in an op-ed for New York Times Parenting.

He continues: "Then came Olympia, after near-fatal complications forced my wife, Serena, to undergo an emergency C-section. Serena spent days in recovery fighting for her life against pulmonary embolisms. When we came home with our baby girl, Serena had a hole in her abdomen that needed bandage changes daily. She was on medication. She couldn't walk."

The experience changed the way Ohanian viewed paternity leave. It was no longer something that just sounded like a good thing, it was a necessary thing for his family. It was crucial that he take it and now he is advocating for more fathers to be able to. In his piece for the NYT Ohanian points out something that Motherly has previously reported on: It is hard for fathers to take paternity leave even when their government or employer offers it.

A report from Dove Men+Care and Promundo (a global organization dedicated to gender equality) found 85% of dads surveyed in the United States, the UK, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Japan and the Netherlands would do anything to be very involved in the early weeks and months after their child's birth or adoption, but less than 50% of fathers take as much time as they are entitled to.

Dads need paid leave, but even when they have it social pressures and unrealistic cultural expectations keep them from taking it and they choose not to take all the time they can. Ohanian wants lawmakers and business leaders to make sure that dads can take leave and he wants to help fathers choose to actually take it.

"I was able to take 16 weeks of paid leave from Reddit, and it was one of the most important decisions I've made," Ohanian previously wrote in an essay for Glamour.

Ohanian recognizes that he is privileged in a way most parents aren't.

"It helped that I was a founder and didn't have to worry about what people might say about my 'commitment' to the company, but it was incredible to be able to spend quality time with Olympia. And it was perhaps even more meaningful to be there for my wife and to adjust to this new life we created together—especially after all the complications she had during and after the birth," he wrote for Glamour.

In his NYT piece, Ohanian goes further: "I get that not every father has the flexibility to take leave without the fear that doing so could negatively impact his career. But my message to these guys is simple: Taking leave pays off, and it's continued to pay dividends for me two years later. It should be no surprise that I also encourage all of our employees to take their full leave at Initialized Capital, where I am managing partner; we recently had three dads on paid paternity leave at the same time."

The GOAT's husband is making the same points that we at Motherly make all the time. Research supports paid leave for all parents. It benefits the baby and the parents and that benefits society.

By first taking his leave and then speaking out about the ways in which it benefited his family, Ohanian is using his privileged position to de-stigmatize fathers taking leave, and advocate for more robust parental leave policies for all parents, and his influence doesn't end there. He's trying to show the world that parents shouldn't have to cut off the parent part of themselves in order to be successful in their careers.

He says that when his parental leave finished he transitioned from being a full-time dad to a "business dad."

"I'm fortunate to be my own boss, which comes with the freedoms of doing things like bringing my daughter into the office, or working remotely from virtually anywhere Serena competes. My partners at Initialized are used to seeing Olympia jump on camera—along with her doll Qai Qai—or hearing her babbling on a call. I tell them with pride, 'Olympia's at work today!' And I'll post some photos on Instagram or Twitter so my followers can see it too," Ohanian explains.

"The more we normalize this, on social media and in real life, the better, because I know this kind of dynamic makes a lot of men uncomfortable (and selfishly I want Olympia to hear me talking about start-ups!)," he says.

This is the future of family-friendly work culture. Take it from a guy who created an entire internet culture.

[A version of this post was originally published February 19, 2019. It has been updated.]

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