Thursday, February 22, 2018

Back to Work & Pumping at Work

Back to Work & Pumping at Work
This was the exact outfit I wore when I headed back to work last week. Even though I gave birth to Avie on a Thursday I asked to start back to work on a Monday so I got an extra couple days.

Going back to work from such a long absence it so odd. It's nice to see people, but it's hard to pick up the pieces from your substitute. At least when a sub starts, they have your lesson plan. As a speech pathologist I wrote reports about a month in advance and gave my sub a week of lesson plans. I can't plan farther in advance because activities depend on the progress the students make each session. But coming back I went in blind. I had no lesson plans or clue how my students had progressed while I was gone. It makes for a busy few weeks, but I am slowly getting back into the swing of things.
black jeans, black and white striped cardigan, black OTK boots, black quilted tote, black beanie with fur pom  pom
Cardigan-c/o Zaful | Hat-c/o Zaful | Tee-(exactanother good option) | Jeans (similarsimilar, splurge) | Boots (savesplurge) | Bag (savesplurge) | Necklace (savesplurge


black jeans, black and white striped cardigan, black OTK boots, black quilted tote, black beanie with fur pom  pom

Our school has quite a variety of temperatures depending on where you are. I am often cold so I love my sweaters. Our winters here are typically bitterly cold so my sweater collection is completely justified. And I wear them from late November through March because of our cold temps (and an April snow shower isn't surprising so sweater season lasts a while here!). But this year I've been all about cardigans to help me stay warm. After giving birth to Aveline, I've found cardigans to be a bit more forgiving both as I was losing my pregnancy weight (still am with those last few stubborn pounds). They help hide the extra weight and because they open in the front, sizing is more forgiving as well. But now I like them because they are so much easier for nursing and pumping. I can wear a nursing tank underneath and still be pretty covered. This striped cardigan I just got from Zaful and was perfect for home or work. You can never go wrong with stripes! I wore all black otherwise (mourning the end of my maternity leave I suppose) and added this cute pom pom beanie (under $7!). I actually bought black fur pom pom beanies for both of my girls for Valentine's Day so we all match. They look way cuter than I do though! 

black jeans, black and white striped cardigan, black OTK boots, black quilted tote, black beanie with fur pom  pom
Cardigan-c/o Zaful | Hat-c/o Zaful | Tee-(exactanother good option) | Jeans (similarsimilar, splurge) | Boots (savesplurge) | Bag (savesplurge) | Necklace (savesplurge

black jeans, black and white striped cardigan, black OTK boots, black quilted tote, black beanie with fur pom  pom

black jeans, black and white striped cardigan, black OTK boots, black quilted tote, black beanie with fur pom  pom

black jeans, black and white striped cardigan, black OTK boots, black quilted tote, black beanie with fur pom  pom

I was fortunate to be able to pump enough for my first daughter Claire. With Aveline I decided I wanted to do a combination of nursing and pumping and my husband was supportive (I have to give him props because he's pretty much supportive of anything I want). That means the awkward pump-at-work. Thankfully this year I am in my own office and can cover the window and lock the door. But it means hauling my pump to work each day in addition to all the other things I need to carry. When I went back to work after having Claire, I was quite the bag lady! When Motif approached me and asked me to try their Duo Double Electric Breast Pump I was intrigued. I had tried a different brand with my first daughter and had purchased the same one again for Avline out of habit. But after reading about the Duo online, some of the features made it sound very portable and user friendly for someone who was planning on pumping at work. 

Back to Work & Pumping at Work

I've been using the Duo for a few weeks now and wanted to share my overall thoughts on it, both the positives and negatives. 

Pros:
  • Very lightweight and portable. 
    • This pump is a great size to slip into a tote bag or even diaper bag. It doesn't take up much room at all! Compared to the one I had, this is so much more portable. I don't need a separate bag and can just slip it into my work bag or my tote (like in the photos above) so I don't feel as if I am carrying my entire life's belongings on my back! Even when I am pumping it's so much more portable if I need to move around the room and change a diaper or something. I don't need to grab a whole bag or only go within 5 feet of the outlet. I can grab the Duo (with its rechargeable battery) and move around a bit. 
  • Rechargeable battery.
    • I love the rechargeable battery so you don't need to be near an outlet or worry about if you have enough AA batteries! You can see how the battery life is right on the screen and charge it if needed. This is especially helpful in my office so I don't need to get down on the ground to reach the outlet under my desk. And you can get quite a few sessions before recharging. I was impressed! I think I was able to pump 5 times before recharging. 
  • Comes with several flange sizes.
    • The Duo comes with 3 different sizes of flanges. Not everyone is the same size so this is really nice. With other pumps, you get one standard size set and have to purchase another set if you aren't 'standard size.' Having options already in the box when you open it up is much easier. 
  • Quiet pump.
    • I typically pump in Avie's room when I am at home. Sometimes she is sleeping, but with this pump I don't have to worry about that. It is so quiet, even on the highest setting! It's also nice if you need to pump in a place that isn't really private. This is more discrete. 
  • Programmable 
    • There are three settings on the Duo. There is a massage, expression, and memory mode. I start with the massage mode and with let down, go to the expression mode. You can save the amount of time on each mode with the memory mode making pumping sessions mindless. I really appreciate this feature! 
  • Automatic off
    • I will be the first to admit, there are times I have pumped far longer than I meant to because I was reading a book, answering emails, or working on a blog post. This has an automatic off after 30 minutes. No need to set a timer, the Duo already has one built in! 
  • Used singly or doubly. 
    • You can use the single or double pumping option. 
Cons:
  • No storage for pumped milk. 
    • Once the milk is pumped, you need to use it or put it in a cooler, refrigerator, or freezer. If you are on the go, having a cooler with an ice pack or two is something you need to remember. 
  • Suction?
    • I wonder if the suction is as strong as other pumps I have tried. I'll try my best to explain. Pumps have a suction and then release which repeats again and again to draw out the milk. I am used to a strong, but short time length of suction before release. The Duo's suction is longer in time length, but does not feel as strong so I think it gets the same amount of milk out, but I am not sure.When I use it, I typically pump about the same amount as what I typically pump. I do use the highest setting on it and it isn't uncomfortable at all. It might be something I just need to get used to. This would be a better pump to use if you have any pain (blisters, etc.) or get mastitis and need to pump because I find it to be more gentle. 
Back to Work & Pumping at Work

Overall, the pros far outweigh the cons for me. This is a great unit and I was very impressed with it! I am debating bringing it when we head to Arizona next month just because of the portability and rechargeable battery! You can find out more information on it on the Motif website here.

linking up with Thursday Fashion Files Spotlight WeeklyHigh Latitude StyleThursday ModaA Labor of LifeFashion Frenzy, Rachel the Hat,  Friday's Fab FavoritesFun Fashion FridayFabulous Friday, Posh Classy MomOn the Edge of the Week, Fancy FridayGinger's Linkup, Mix it Mondays, Oh to be a MuseHow I FallShoe and TellStart the Week StylishHello MondayOn Mondays We Link Up

I received the Duo free in exchange for a post, but all opinions are my own. 


14 comments:

  1. You look lovely as ever my friend! It's awesome that you are able to pump in a private office, makes it so much easier.
    xo,
    Kellyann

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  2. I love your outfit - I did the cosy cardi over breastfeeding singlets or tops a lot in the early days - it was pretty much all I wore in winter when my kids were babies, haha!

    It sounds like a great pump too! I was lucky to not have to pump at work, I know how much more complicated it makes life with all the things you have to carry and there's so much cleaning you have to do with pumping! It's good this pump has some nice features to help make things easy.

    Hope you are having a lovely week so far! We are getting a lot of rain at the moment which is a welcome change after the heatwaves, haha!

    Away From The Blue Blog

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  3. Love your chic cardigan! I remember those days of pumping with my boys. Good luck on getting back to work and so glad you found a pump that works for you.

    https://www.kathrineeldridge.com

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  4. Your cardigan is so cute. Sounds like good pump. Have you looked in to the Kiinde products. They made bags that go on to your pump. Then have a bottle to go over the bags.

    Here the website if you want to check it out. https://kiinde.com

    http://www.amysfashionblog.com/blog-home/

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  5. I hope your transition back to work is smooth and successful! I am just loving your striped cardigan! What a cute piece and perfect to transition from Winter to Spring!
    Gina || On the Daily Express

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  6. I am glad to hear you're getting back in the swing of things- it's definitely hard to come back after a vacation, much less maternity leave! You're a champ. I love this striped sweater- I'm always bundled up at the office, too, because I swear they keep it so cold in my building!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

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  7. That sweater looks really cute. I take a sweater with me everywhere sometimes a.c. is just too chilly.
    http://tresfly.blogspot.com/

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  8. From what I understand, breastfeeding is basically a full time job in itself, so kudos to you for going back to work and pumping! I can't imagine how annoying it was before battery operated pumps were the norm! Love your striped cardigan too, it looks perfect for just cuddling up in, but you can still wear it to work, so win-win.
    http://www.iamchiconthecheap.com/

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  9. Oh the days of pumping and working, I remember them well. I am sure transitioning back to work will be seamless. I love this look, that card is such a great agent piece!

    xx, Elise
    www.sparkleandslippers.blogspot.com

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  10. First of all I have that sweater! I love it and wear it all the time! Pumping is such a huge job in and of itself. I applaud you for working and pumping at the same time!

    http://www.mylittlenest.org

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  11. It's the taking it back and forth that I wouldn't have thought about....it's nice there are some great advancements!!
    XOXO
    Jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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  12. I love that sweater and it looks perfect for when you're cold and need something to keep warm! I am so glad that you found a great pumping system!

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  13. I pumped at work with both of my kids and it was a lot of extra work and time! It was worth it to me, though. We had a room I had to go into downstairs and I had to schedule time slots for it with other ladies. I just love this striped cardi on you, it looks nice and warm!! I hope the transition back to work gets easier. I remember that weird phase after just going back, too. It's amazing how quickly it all goes back to normal, though... like you were never gone!

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

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  14. I have never pumped (well maybe a total of 3 times) so I can imagine it can be quite a chore. I was lucky to be home with Vivian when she was a baby so I fully breastfed her. But I am glad you found the right pump for you because it is something you have to do daily and several times a day so it is necessary.

    This black+white outfit is so chic. Love that you ladies own matching beanies. Hope time back at work is settling nicely!

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