Pumping 101: Part 1

Do you decided to venture into this whole pumping arena…now what? Pumping (and especially exclusively pumping) is like a whole new dimension of reality that you step into, blinking from the blinding light, and proceed to stare at in amazement while not really being sure of what to do next.

Welcome to my two part series in which I will share the top 10 nuggets of wisdom that I have gleaned from personal experience.

Just remember, we’re in this together.

10) Understand your body. Knowledge is power right? At least for me, that’s very true. The more I learned about the why and how of breastmilk production, the more I became aware of what I needed to do to help myself in the process. Wouldn’t you agree that it’s so much harder to be steadfast on a journey when you don’t know much about where you’re going or how the heck you’re gonna get there? The whole pumping gig actually became easier (at least on a mental level) when I did the right research – so I highly suggest you put those Google skills to good use early on! Here are my top favorite pumping resources in case you need a jump start:

This brings me to my next point:

9) Create a regular demand in order to establish supply. The more often your breasts are emptied on a regular basis, the more your body will be signaled to up its milk production. This can be achieved via breastfeeding, pumping or a combination of the two. Expect to create a pumping schedule that mimics a newborn baby’s eating habits. Under the guidance of the postpartum and NICU nurses, my schedule was 20 minutes every 3 hours for the first 6 weeks around the clock. Those the dark ages. After we made 6 weeks I was OK’d to go 6 hours at night without pumping. I gradually got myself on an every 4 hour schedule – at which point I was able to maintain an excellent supply and freeze extra.

Whatever you do – remember that the first 12 weeks are crucial to establishing milk supply. And consistency is key. If you go too long without pumping, not only will you experience the discomfort of clogs and engorgement, but your body will start to think it doesn’t need to be making as much milk and your supply will drop dramatically.

Wether you’re trying to establish or increase your supply –

8) Do make a middle of the night pump a habit. Quite frankly, this sucks. I know. After trying to get tiny post-NICU Zoya to take her bottle at 2am for up to an hour at a time and cleaning spit up off the nursery rug, the last thing I wanted was to hook up to the pump. But you know how I was saying that being more informed will make you more driven to actually follow through on the hard stuff? Well, apparently prolactin levels, which is the hormone responsible for stimulating milk production, are highest between 2 a.m and 6 a.m. (Cregan, Mitoulas, Hartmann, Mitoulas & Hartmann, 2002). Prolactin gets released when the breasts are stimulated (through pumping, hurrah!); so knowing that, I felt that there’s really no more opportune time to get a session in.

My only suggestion would be to make that middle of the night sesh something to look forward to. Enjoy the alone time (honestly)! Watch a good Netflix show or listen to a podcast. I became obsessed with playing Candy Crush during my nightly pumping time. It’s so dorky – but it worked!

Once your supply is fully established and you’re comfortable with the amount you’re making you can experiment with dropping that middle of the night pump.

7) Hydrate and eat right like you’re getting paid. I’m not even kidding. The American Pregnancy Association (2017) recommends increasing your calorie count by about 500 for a total of 3,000 per day. Think about it – not only are you fueling your body to recuperate postpartum, have the energy to take care of a newborn and support your daily life functions, but you are also secreting a decent portion of your calories into your breastmilk. I have the tendency to skip meals when busy and definitely noticed a dip in ounces as a result on those days.

I also want to make a point about lactogenic foods – again, good idea to do some digging here. There are foods (here’s lookin’ at ya, oatmeal and coconut) that are correlated with increased milk production while some have the opposite effect. I was enjoying a cup of mint tea on a nightly basis while wondering why I wasn’t producing as much – thankfully I shared with a friend and she set me straight!

Water is also important. Although it won’t actually increase your supply, drinking plenty of water is very important (Mohrbacher, 2010). Lactating ladies need almost a liter more per day than the regular folk, meaning 3.3 liters of H2O on average (Institute of Medicine, 2004). Just like with calories, you’re secreting a decent portion of your fluid intake into your breastmilk and need to replace accordingly. While I was pumping ’round the clock, I felt constant Sahara Desert-like thirst. My solution was to fill a cute 16 oz water bottle and keep it by my pump with a goal to finish it fully during each session. Adequate hydration is key to our bodies functioning at their highest levels, so I guarantee that making this a priority (as well as nutritious, boobie-friendly meals) will give your tired body the respite it needs.

6) Learn to pump on the go.

Exclusively pumping does become a lifestyle of sorts but it doesn’t have to control your whole life.

Put together a really comprehensive pump bag. Mine had:

  1. My on the go pump
  2. A car charger and wall charger
  3. Spare bottles and bags
  4. Wet to dry bag for storing dirty parts
  5. A cute cover
  6. A hands free bra
  7. A cooler for milk (if I knew I wasn’t going to a place with a fridge)
  8. A makeup bag with nipple cream and some feel good extras like a lip balm, dry shampoo and a nice book.
  • Once you have all you need, feel free to roam the world as you wish – just take the time to step away and pump. Own it just like you do your middle of the night pump. Make it something to look forward to as best you can.
  • I love all things efficiency-driven, and this led me to figuring out how to pump and drive simultaneously. I would hook up, put my seat belt on, arrange my cover up nicely, and then drive to my destination. Upon arrival, I would break everything down and store my milk before getting out of the car. Getting the Moxxly Flow Kit (which I describe in great detail in my earlier post, Pump It Up) was life changing because of how much easier the on-the-go process became. I’ve gone through the drive through while pumping numerous times. It’s the best feeling ever to arrive at my destination knowing I had a full four hours of free time before my next pump. I realize everyone’s comfort level with this trick may be different and I definitely don’t recommend doing anything that doesn’t make you feel safe.
  • I’ve pumped while Vlad drove countless times, as well as in department stores, my church bathroom, my in-law’s spare bedroom, at a cemetery during a funeral…as mommas, we all do what we gotta do and I counted this as part of it. It’s not the most glamorous or the most enjoyable part of motherhood – but figuring out how to be mobile while maintaining the schedule is life changing!!! I highly recommend not confining yourself to your house for months at a time.
  • …the final 5 nuggets are to come in the next post. Stay tuned and hang in there!
  • References:
    1. American Pregnancy Association (2017). https://americanpregnancy.org/breastfeeding/diet-considerations-while-breastfeeding/
    1. Cregan M, Mitoulas L, Hartmann P; Mitoulas; Hartmann (2002). “Milk prolactin, feed volume and duration between feeds in women breastfeeding their full-term infants over a 24 h period”. Exp Physiol. 87 (2): 207–14.
    1. Mohrbacher N. Breastfeeding Answers Made Simple, Texas: Hale Publishing, 2010; p 400, 415.
    1. Panel on Dietary Reference Intakes for Electrolytes and Water, Standing Committee on the Scientific Evaluation of Dietary Reference Intakes: Dietary Reference Intakes for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate. Institute of Medicine, Washington, DC, National Academy Press, 2004:p 73-74, 153-154, 161

    The Sweet Six

    “Oh my goooosh, can we see your little human? Both our kids are already big humans.”

    Two ladies my mom’s age were slowly approaching me as I navigated Zoya’s stroller through TJ Maxx the other day.

    The normal oohs, ahhhs and compliments followed suit.

    “She is just so sweet! Aren’t you, honey? Aren’t you?”

    And then,

    “Enjoy her. Even through the tears. We remember – it’s the middle of the night and they’re crying and you’re crying too. But then it’s over real fast. So try to enjoy it too.”

    Wow. That got real so fast.

    I couldn’t help but marvel at how poignant and raw those words were. The fact that I was hearing them from two seriously seasoned mothers somehow made them even more sharp.

    Zoya is now 6 months. Looking back, I am struck by how much truth is in those womens’ words.

    There were definitely tears on my end, especially in the beginning. I had such a tough time adjusting to the lack of sleep aspect of motherhood. Nights that Vlad was gone due to work call were especially rough.

    It was snowing, dark and cold. Zoya would sometimes take as long as 45 minutes to finish her 3 oz bottle. The fight to eat would then be often followed by an episode of major spit up. I would get her back to sleep and, teary-eyed, clean the rug or change out the sheets on our bed. Knowing I still had a 20 minute pump session ahead of me before I could go back to sleep. Wondering if such giant amounts of spit up meant something was wrong with Zoya. (Note: She simply grew out of it.)

    In the thick of it, time seemed to be at a standstill.

    Reality was, it passed by so fast.

    I sleepwalked through the first three months of Zoya’s life. Then, one day, I woke up.

    The tired blur of feeds, diaper changes, endless swaddling, re-swaddling, and guessing what was wrong that is the newborn stage really is just a blip in time.

    It wasn’t all tears, though. I think three months in was when I really started to get the hang of it all and settle back into enjoyment. (Just in time to go back to work. Can we all agree that the U.S. needs to get with the times and create laws allowing longer maternity leave?)

    I love coming into Zoya’s room in the morning – she always greets me with the biggest smile. She is also developing a serious affinity for music and it’s been so fun cultivating that in little ways. And there is so much more.

    It’s hard to believe she is six months. Half a year shouldn’t be allowed to pass by this quickly.

    As Vlad said recently, there is no growth without struggle.

    Motherhood has been undoubtedly the largest and hardest undertaking of my whole life. And it has produced so much growth. I have had to lean on the Lord in ways I never knew before, learn to be a team with Vlad on a whole new level, and adjust to this baby centered pace of life.

    From her birth, I have been confidently believing that God intentionally gave us Zoya, specifically, as a daughter and us to her as parents. It’s a giant privilege to be entrusted to show her the world and also to learn from her.

    Six months.

    What a sweet beginning.

    For Vlad.

    My husband. When I think of Vlad, I think, “am I ever lucky.” Blessed really, by the grace of God, to have him in my life. I definitely don’t deserve him.

    Vlad is like wearing a warm coat on a snowy day. Or a cup of the most delicious tea in a cozy, stay here forever, plush chair.

    A loyal and faithful friend to all. He has a gift in making people feel welcome and secure. He’s always the one joking around with the checkout workers at the grocery store. All of the senior citizens that attend our gym know him. Not too long ago, at friend at church reached out to me, saying,

    “Your husband just amazes me. I have watched on two separate occasions as strangers have walked into the service late. Your husband would get up from his seat, introduce himself, and find them a place.”

    Yep, that’s Vlad.

    As years go by, I see his desire to serve God in the every day more and more. He isn’t proud about it. He just simply follows the Lord and if he feels you are in the right place for it, he will tell you about his walk.

    You aren’t going to see a lot of attention grabbing activity from him. In fact, in a large crowd, he would rather stay silent and let someone else enjoy the spotlight. But get him one on one and prepare for some excellent and thought provoking conversation.

    I love this about him and so much more. I love all our silly inside jokes. I love seeing him in the role of “dad” and how tender he is with Zoya. I love finding new mind blowing documentaries to watch together in the cold winter nights and adventuring through the city during the summer days.

    Today Vlad is 31. He hates making a big deal out of his birthday so there’s no giant party. But he is a big deal to me, the aforementioned reasons being part of why.

    Cue the fireworks and the parade, complete with endless gummy candy being tossed to the crowd.

    Happy birthday, Babe.


    Continue reading “For Vlad.”

    April 25, 2018

    Today, April 25, marks exactly one year since I found out I was pregnant with Zoya. I’m pretty sure it will forever be seared into my memory.

    Vlad and I had decided that we would let the cards fall where they may when we decided we were ok with getting pregnant. I purposefully had pretty low expectations for myself in regards to timeline. The heartbreak of infertility and pregnancy loss are all too common and I wanted to protect myself from the pain at all costs. I wasn’t trying to be negative, but I did want to be real.

    We had planned a fun trip to California for Vlad’s birthday, April 28th. (That’s coming up, so feel free to love on him extra this Sunday!) Our flight to San Francisco was the evening or April 25th.

    Leading up to that day, I had been feeling utterly exhausted. I was also constantly starving. While working, I would finish my lunch within a few hours of arriving and actually resorted to buying sandwiches from Dunkin’ Donuts to make it through the rest of the day (yes, they were delicious and greasy). I shared what had been going on with a coworker.

    “Oh my gosh. You’re totally pregnant. You need to take a test!” She laughed, pointing my way towards our point of care room, where we had multiple boxes stocked for patients. I refused, waving it off as a waste of time.

    Several days later, we were packing. The perpetual exhaustion I felt had been joined by breast tenderness. On top of that, my period was mysteriously missing. I was thinking out loud to Vlad about all that had been going on.

    “I had better not get my period on vacation!” I lamented. We decided that I would take a pregnancy test just to be super extra 100% certain nothing else was going on. I was in no big hurry.

    The day of our flight, I went to my nail appointment and picked up a pee stick at the local Dollar Tree. Cause I wasn’t about to pay more than a dollar to find out I wasn’t pregnant. Obviously.

    At home, I continued last minute packing. The test lay on my bed in it’s plastic bag, waiting for it’s time.

    At last, when Vlad’s brother arrived at our house to give us a ride to the airport and with less than an hour before we had to leave the house, I locked myself in our upstairs bathroom. After a deep breath, the testing commenced. I had stolen a styrofoam cup from the water cooler at the nail salon so I wouldn’t actually have to pee on a stick (knowing me, I would for sure miss).

    With my enough pee in the cup, I gingerly dipped the test and waited as the moisture seeped into the result window. I was really only half watching as a pink line appeared. It wasn’t faint either. If it was a paint color, I would call it “desert mauve”. The line appeared so fast that the control didn’t even have time to develop.

    I was the definition of the word shook. Admittedly, the words “oh crap, what did we do?!?” popped into my head as well as the realization that this was forever.

    I had been thinking of how I would tell Vlad I was pregnant when it would actually happen…there were vague ideas of doing some sort of cute prank and taping his reaction. Now that I was definitely pregnant, I was in such shock that the mental capacity required to come up with anything that adorable was long gone.

    I slowly walked into the office, where Vlad was nonchalantly making his headphones into a neat little roll for the trip. I’m pretty sure my jaw was dragging on the floor somewhere behind me.

    He looked up at him. I looked back wide-eyed.

    What happened next was a lot of frenzied whisper screaming so we wouldn’t clue in Vlad’s brother, chilling downstairs. We tried our best to play it cool as he dropped us off for our flight.

    If it’s possible to be ecstatic, terrified, confused and amazed all at once I was all of those. Plus slap happy. My body was actually creating a very tiny human. I felt different…yet I didn’t feel any different. I wondered if I looked different to anyone or if it was obvious to any of the thousands of people at the airport that I was with child. It was the most surreal experience.

    Morning one of being pregnant. Note the giant breakfast.

    Vlad and I had the most amazing trip, pondering the future and savoring every present moment. When I was ready to tell people at work, I found the nurse who had called me out initially and we jumped up and down in the medication room.

    This is my story. I love it because it is perfectly representative of me – kinda quirky and silly, but also constantly aware of the emotional depth some moments hold.

    Every mama has their own story, and they are also perfectly imperfect. Some stories are still being written, and that’s ok too. Truthfully, there are so many beautiful ways to arrive at parenthood.

    I’m thankful to be able to share mine with you today.

    I just wanna be OK

    Can we all just acknowledge for a second that the motherhood struggle is real? And that although the hardships are now being more publicly spoken about, many times the sharing is done via perfectly curated Instagram images that still set the bar so high.

    Basically, society dictates that you can be a hot mess, but in a very coordinated, photogenic way,

    Instagram worthy serenity

    Let’s face it though, sometimes we’re just a mess. No hot prefix. And the daily grind of being a mom doesn’t always inspire beautiful sentiment and song a la Disney princess.

    When I was pregnant I had a notion that after giving birth, love for my baby would give me superhuman energy. I thought I would be able to jump out of bed in the middle of the night to tend to Zoya’s every need with an angelic smile and the energy 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep gives. It was bewildering and guilt inducing when, in fact, I felt the opposite. “They’re only this little once, enjoy this sweet season” – was what I heard from every outlet. Except the tiny baby season is also so, so tough. There are long nights that turn into early mornings and constant guesswork relating to a new baby’s needs. I wanted to cherish all the moments, but constant exhaustion was like a foggy veil that I couldn’t shake some days.

    I was also frustrated at myself over struggling to figure out the balance of caring for a baby and exclusively pumping while simultaneously…uhh…doing everything else. There were days that getting dressed in anything but clean pajamas was unfathomable. Housework was like a mountaintop that I didn’t even want to begin to scale. Going back to work added a whole new layer to the mix. Girlfriends who had been through the season of fresh motherhood told me, “Don’t worry, you’re not supposed to get anything done right now.” Yet, as someone who has thrived on the satisfaction of accomplishment, accepting the growing mountain of laundry in the hamper as the new normal seemed like a big fail.

    It took me a while to figure out that feeling this way was OK. It was normal and didn’t make me an inferior mother. Neither did the fact that I’m not a machine that can simultaneously fold laundry, work out, and make a gourmet meal while raising a baby.

    I’ve learned to seriously prioritize all the things and be fine if some tasks don’t get accomplished. I figured out my sanity is more important than a clean house, a home cooked meal or even (gasp!) a baby participating in ten different activities a day. If I need a shower and I want to snuggle Zoya during nap time, and that means I have to order Instacart groceries, so be it. (Note: I’m very particular while grocery shopping, so giving the reins to someone else has required some serious humility and personal growth.)

    When there’s multiple balls in the air, it’s ok to let some drop so you can catch the others.

    This has become my daily reminder.

    So if you’re just as overwhelmed and underenthused as a new mama or in any life stage, allow the reminder to also become yours.

    You’re doing your very best, giving as much as you can give, within your present circumstance. You’re enough. You’re nowhere close to perfect, but it’s ok cause you’re nowhere closer to failure either.

    Reality: Utter chaos
    Trying to get some rest any way I can
    These pants and sweater have become my uniform

    Changing Waters

    Change. 
    There are people in the world that thrive in its presence. They relish the idea of new seasons and changing tides. I am not one of them. I love the feeling of the fuzzy familiar. Perhaps the only exception to that would be work, where I enjoy seeing a variety of patient cases…as long as I am with the same wonderful coworkers and consistent environment. Sameness makes it very easy for me to feed my inner, sometimes unhealthy, need to plan everything and control the world around me. With change comes unpredictability. That is where I falter.
    Lately, there has been so much change in my life it feels like an altogether different reality. I ended maternity leave and began a brand new job, transitioning to nursing in the outpatient arena. OK, I totally initiated that change but still, it was difficult and I spent many days missing the position I left. There is so much to learn and with working in a new hospital system a whole culture to get accustomed to, which has had its difficult moments. Our church has been going through some turbulent times and the process has been akin to a painful pruning. 
    Obviously, the birth of Zoya has been the biggest and most radical adjustment of them all. The large scale change of her appearance in this world has been punctuated by so many small ones that I can hardly keep up. Right after her birth, I recall missing being pregnant and feeling her little kicks. After Vlad went back to work and the new baby high wore off, I struggled with the loss of my daily routine and instead having to put a tiny human first.  Most recently, she stopped sleeping in the bassinet next to our bed and transitioned to her “big girl crib” in her room. The first night was the hardest. I had grown so used to her sleeping within arm’s reach of me. The wall separating our two rooms made her seem so far away. My sleep was restless all night even though I knew she was perfectly safe in her beautiful nursery.
    Going through these transitions felt bumpy in the moment. Now that I’m a bit farther down the road with each of them, I can really see the positives in each. My new job has catapulted me into a whole new arena of the nursing scope of practice and has tons of promise for the future, along with a more “mommy friendly” schedule. Both Vlad and I have agreed that as rough a go as our church has had, it now feels more authentic and is utilizing people’s gifts that were otherwise on the back burner. And although there were times where both Zoya and I were crying together from frustration at one another, I wouldn’t trade her flipping our life upside down. As tough as it was to “let go” and have her sleep on her own, I am now so glad to have our room back! 
    In ruminating on all these changes, I have been reminded that God does not desire us to be stagnant. Accepting the Gospel as truth and committing to a relationship with Christ is akin to an entire reconstruction of one’s heart. We are catapulted into a life of constant transformation as we figure out what it means to live for Him. 

    And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. – 2 Corinthians 3:18


    Through all of this, God himself is constant. There are SO many great verses in Scripture that showcase his nature, one of my favorites being Psalm 90:2

    Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

    Whether we are a boat that is peacefully gliding in glistening waters or if we are getting tossed around by life’s storms, God is like a lighthouse. Firmly fixed in place, showing us the path as we try and make our way towards Him. Maybe this is a cheesy analogy, but meditating on it when life seems to be moving a bit too fast gives me peace. 

    Change is hard no matter what. Viewing it from a spiritual lens brings a bit of relief by reminding me that change has a purpose. Better yet, God is the same forever – no amount of earthly turnover can shake Him or His word. I can rest in the knowledge that He is the one thing that is certain.

    Pump It Up

    Of all the plethora of information I got from others during my pregnancy, the most prevalent words were, “breastfeeding is the hardest thing you will ever do.” I believed everyone, but I also had a secret fantasy that it would come miraculously easy for me. I enjoyed fantasizing about the amazing bond it would create between my baby girl and I as I snuggled her to my breast, complete with perfect skin and flowing hair. Things did not turn out exactly as planned.

    With her being 8 weeks early and me ending up with a c-section, the odds of my milk coming in well were not great. Because Zoya was so tiny, the work of getting milk from the breast would actually take more calories from her than she would gain. When she was stabilized, I could only put her to breast for about ten minutes so as not to exhaust her.

    A week after Zoya came home, her pediatrician gave the green light for us to try to extend our nursing sessions. However, by that time, all the bottle feeding we did in the NICU had taken hold. She realized it was much easier to extract milk from the bottle than from my breast. Every trial at a nursing session was anxiety ridden as I tried to get her to latch while she was wailing and falling off repeatedly. The girl was hungry! When we did manage a good latch, I spent a lot of time wondering if she was actually drawing out milk or just sucking for comfort. During a time when weight gain was crucial, the idea that she may not be getting any food was terrible. Needless to say, I realized I could not breast feed exactly as I had pictured.

    But I could pump. I started pumping a few hours after delivery. Every 3 hours, round the clock, I hooked up the machine and watched as my body created food for my child. I brought a cooler of milk with me every night when Vlad and I went to visit Zoya in the NICU until the nurses finally told us to stop because they were running out of fridge space. Then we bought a deep freezer and I began building a stash for later.

    Before this journey, I only knew of two ways of feeding a baby – breastfeeding and formula feeding. My situation opened my eyes up to the entirety new world of exclusively pumping. After a few weeks of struggle and anxiety over trying to get Zoya to latch and eat well at home, I made the decision to exclusively pump. I loved the idea that I could still give her my milk in a way that was acceptable to her while being certain of exactly how much she was eating.

    Exclusively pumping is a full time job. I have so much respect for all the mommas out there who choose to do this. Establishing supply in the first 12 weeks is crucial so you have to commit to regular pumping sessions and work them in amidst taking care of an infant. Vlad was extremely helpful in feeding Zoya simultaneously as I pumped when he was home. However, when he went to work I was on my own. Every time I fed her and got her to sleep I wished I could take a nap too…but most of the time I couldn’t because I needed to pump, to wash pump parts or a dozen other pumping related tasks. Thank God for whoever invented hands free pumping bras, because if it wasn’t for those, I would be lost forever!

    Now, I’m over 16 weeks into it and I have settled into a routine. I tote around a giant bag with my on-the-go pump and express wherever I need to – the store, work, most often in my car. I’m always trolling the internet for pumping hacks and gadgets. It’s become a way of life.

    That’s why I was so excited to learn about the Moxxly Flow Kit and even more thrilled when they sent me one to try and tell you guys about.

    The Kit is comprised of bottles and tubing and is designed to hook into your existing pump motor. This includes the Medela Pump In Style Advanced (my on-the-go pump), Medela Symphony, Hygiea Enjoye, Freemie Freedom and, most recently, the Spectra S1/S2/S9 (cue the fireworks as the S2 is my at home workhorse pump). It is designed to give pumping moms a hands free and discreet experience.

    After receiving my kit in the mail, I eagerly opened it, sanitized all my parts and have been trying it out for the past two weeks. Here’s what I’m absolutely loving:

    • You can wear a regular bra! Yes that’s right ladies. When I read about this tidbit I just about screamed from joy. You can ditch that frumpy nursing bra and enjoy looking fine again as long as the bra you choose has some give in the band and is sans underwire (as recommended on the Moxxly site). All you do is slip the flange and attached bottle under the band of your bra, align with your nipple and pump away. The band of your bra holds everything in place. As soon as I got my Flow Kit, I went shopping for some cute lacy numbers and it bumped my confidence level way up.
    • Pumping can be done in public…privately. Because of the way the Flow Kit is worn (once again, under a regular bra) a flowy tunic or t-shirt can easily be worn over the whole contraption. The tubing will run out of the bottom of your shirt and to the pump. I can easily walk around with my Medela PISA in a tote bag, running via battery pack, and pump. No one will note two tiny tubes..and they are totally concealable between the tote and my body. This means I don’t have to hide in a bathroom or a mother’s lounge if I’m pumping on the go. Confession: on Friday while driving home from work and pumping simultaneously I went through a Starbucks drive through and no one batted an eye.
      Set up in a snap. It is so easy to put the parts together and start using. The valve snaps onto the 5oz collection bottles and the flange screws in on top. The tubing is also easy to figure out even if you are too impatient/excited to start using and don’t read directions fully (aka me). I pump and drive to and from work to save time. With my conventional hands-free pump bra system, I would have to take down my nursing bra, put on my pumping bra, then hook everything up and begin. With the Flow Kit, I am hooked up and ready to go in a minute (yes, I timed it) and I didn’t flash the mailman in the process.
      Feed & Pump. Prior to this, feeding Zoya and pumping simultaneously was a non starter. Not only would she wail like a siren as I fumbled with the hookup, the bottles and flanges would constantly get in the way. She would end up pulling and unhooking the tubing several times throughout the feed. Because the Flow Kit is tucked away inside of my shirt, I can relax knowing that our time saving pump & feed sesh isn’t going to turn into a messy meltdown.
    • Feeling the love. I am huge on customer service anywhere I go. A restaurant can have the most amazing food but if the waiter was mediocre I likely will not be back. Moxxly is like the opposite of the mediocre waiter. They employ women who are passionate about supporting moms wherever they are in their pumping journey. Communication was super easy and I was assured that they are here for me if I needed to troubleshoot my Flow Kit or had any additional questions. I felt genuine warmth and care for me not only as a consumer of their product but also as a mother. And hey, we all need a little support.

    A few notes…

      Like everything in life, there is definitely a learning curve. It takes practice to align the flanges correctly and comfortably. Once you figure it out though, the rest is smooth sailing.
      I’m happy to report that my supply did not fluctuate with the new flanges. This is great and the beauty of Moxxly Flow – functionality of the kit while still being able to harness the power of a great pump.

    The Moxxly Flow Kit is available here for $79.99. It is a worthwhile investment for any mom on the go and definitely anyone who is exclusively pumping.

    My current goal is to get Z to 6 months and I am more than halfway there!

    Thanks for letting me share my experience with you guys. Please do contact me with any questions on the Moxxly Flow or pumping in general – I have done my homework and can now employ a consultancy fee (I kid, I kid.)

    Until later,

    Your favorite Mother Pumper