pumping on the go!

For something so natural, nursing is damn complicated: the latch, the letdown, the clogged ducts, the pumping. And as soon as you’ve got it all down, boom, maternity leave is over, and you find yourself staring at the business trip (or, hey, vacation!) on your calendar. Herewith, Cricket’s guide to pumping on the go.

Tip 1: Milk It

Medela’s Double Electric pump has a rechargeable battery that lasts about 6-8 pumping sessions, so in a pinch, you can get the job done in a car (pumping while driving or in the back of a taxi takes multitasking to the next level), in a bathroom stall, even in public with a cover. If you travel abroad do not forget a converter, or you’ll be in big trouble (literally).

Tip 2: Call Ahead

Headed to your company’s HQ? Call HR about securing time in the lactation room, otherwise, request a room with a door, a seat and a surface.  And don’t be embarrassed: your company (even a small company) is obligated to find a spot for you.

Tip 3: Get Down To It

Travel with as many sets of parts as the number of times you’re going to pump before returning home. Keep one plastic zip baggie for the clean parts and another for the dirty ones. Pack extra breastmilk bags – they take up no room.

Tip 4: Look Ma, No Hands!

The hands-free pumping bra is a game changer. Do yourself a favor and invest in two.

Tip 5: Squeaky Clean

You’ll get some interesting looks if you wash breast pump parts in the office kitchen sink. Try these special sanitizing wipes instead.

Tip 6: Bag, You’re It

And speaking of looks, that Medela bag is not a looker – throw everything in a tote. If anything can make pumping glam, it’s an expensive Mansur Gavriel tote.

Tip 7: Unspoiled Milk

Two necessities: first, the cooler and ice pack that come with the Medela pump, so you can store what you pump on a flight. Second, a flat freezer bag (which some grocery stores pack your frozen purchases in), which you can pack with ice packs so it doesn’t spoil on the way home. If your destination is a hotel, the best case scenario is that the staff obliges your request to deep-freeze the milk in their freezer.

Tip 8: More, More, More

A change of pace – or time change – can affect your supply, but there’s a few things you can do. First, make sure you’re eating enough and drinking plenty of water. Try sipping nursing tea and start popping Fenugreek pills, an herbal remedy thought to increase milk supply. (FYI, some people swear by them, others only enjoy the side effects of smelling like BO and maple syrup.)

Pumping On The Go Checklist

• A Double Electric pump, charger
• A converter (if headed overseas)
• Nursing cover
• 2-3 large zip baggies for pump parts per day
• A small cloth or paper towels for dribbles
• 2 breastmilk storage bags for every session + some spares
• Hands-free pumping bra
• Sanitizing wipes
• Cooler, ice pack and freezer bag

Georgina Bloomberg

For a lot of new moms, getting out the door in clean clothes is a lofty goal. Georgina Bloomberg’s current mission? To make the 2016 Olympics USA Equestrian Team.

The daughter of former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg is currently ranked 5th in the country and has been riding since she was 4 and competing since age 6 (determination clearly runs in the family).

But horses aren’t the only thing taking up Georgina’s time – she’s a single mom to 1.5-year-old Jasper, whom she had with ex-boyfriend Ramiro Quintana, a fellow equestrian she parted ways with when Jasper was a few months old.

She and Jasper spend half the year in Wellington, Florida, and the rest of year between Manhattan and her farm in North Salem, New York, where they’re joined by (get ready for this): 5 dogs, 1 rescue pig (Wilbur, from a pound in New Jersey), 8 show horses, 3 retired horses, and 2 rescue mini horses.

And those aren’t the only animals that benefit from her care – she’s an Equine Welfare Ambassador for the ASPCA, a founding member of Friends of Finn (dedicated to fighting puppy mills), and even publicly criticized her father’s administration for not making animal welfare a higher priority.

We caught up with the passionate, not-afraid-to-speak-her-mind Georgina to talk relationships (so hard!), guilty pleasures (so good!), her stint as a YA author, and the trap she fell into with baby gear (DON’T do this). Meet the one and only Georgina Bloomberg.

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On Marriage

Marriage is not super important to me – most end in divorce. I love the idea of being with someone forever, but I don’t think it happens very often. Marriage was coined at a time when people died when they were 30. That stability would be nice, and I am definitely open-minded about it, but I don’t need it in that way some women do.

Being A Single Mom

Jasper’s father will always be in his life and be a friend figure to him, but he is not involved in the day-to-day. It’s hard, but it’s much easier to do it by yourself than with the wrong person.

Her Crew

I don’t know any other single moms, but I have a lot of mom friends, and I have a single dad that I’m really close to. He was planning on having kids with his partner, who changed his mind, so he went ahead with the surrogate on his own. It’s nice to have that support system – his son and Jasper are just a few months apart and love to play together!

Pregnancy Don’t

I rode in a horse show at 5 months pregnant, which is typically a big no-no. I was feeling so strong and healthy, and I chose only the safest horses to ride. I felt confident in that decision at that time. That said, now knowing my son, I wouldn’t do it again. It’s an unnecessary risk that isn’t worth it.

Eating Her Words

I always said I would stop riding when I got pregnant. I also said I would never pull out my phone in the middle of a restaurant and hand it to my child, and I have definitely done that too! Becoming a mother has made me a lot less judgmental.

Back In The Saddle

I had a C-section, so I couldn’t ride for at least 2 months after having Jasper. I put on 30 pounds while pregnant and left the hospital 15 pounds lighter. I worked out throughout my pregnancy: I was jogging until I hit 6 months, then used the elliptical. I made myself do it even if it was for just 20 minutes.

On The Road Again

We travel a lot for my riding competitions, so he never has a consistent routine. To make up for it, I try and have some constants – reading the same story before bed, bringing the Munchkin sound machine/projector and stuffed animal everywhere we go.

Wise Words From Michael Bloomberg

My dad taught me to not care about the little things and to do what you know is right no matter what – both in life and in regard to your child. If you think you can do something, even if people tell you you can’t, go for it.

Going For The Gold

In that spirit, my goal is to make the 2016 Olympics equestrian team. It’s very difficult to make it: You can be #1 today and nothing tomorrow. You and the horse must be healthy at the same time, which happens like 10% of the time – right now my best horse is injured. I am aiming for it and it’s my goal, but it doesn’t define me or crush my career if it doesn’t happen.

YA Author

While I was taking time off from riding after having back surgery, I was approached to do a series of YA novels and was initially not interested – I’m not a writer and don’t enjoy it at all – until they told me it was about the horse show world. I live in that world and it’s a topic I love and care about, so that was really compelling. They paired me with a YA writer and we each accepted what the other was good at and worked well together. It was actually a really fun experience.

On Her Nightstand

I’m reading Wildlife Wars about animal and environmentalist rights activist Richard Leakey, who risked his life to take on elephant poachers in sub-Sahara Africa. Angelina Jolie is directing a movie based on it.

Guilty Pleasures

Celebrity gossip and really bad reality shows like Four Weddings, all The Housewives, 16 & Pregnant. I don’t watch anything that’s not reality. Did I just admit that?!

Ch Ch Ch Changes

Becoming a mom has made me more emotional. I am way more sensitive to the news. I used to not have a lot of sympathy for people – I saved it all for animals. Now I see everyone as someone else’s child: If someone has done something terrible in the news, I think, that’s someone’s son, and it affects me a lot more than it ever used to.

Learn From Her Mistakes

I totally fell into the “cool trap” and bought the sleekest baby gear and coolest baby ensembles, only to quickly realize once he was born that it was all useless! It’s not about the way stuff looks, it’s about how it works, and sadly the things babies love are not exactly easy on the eyes!

Name That Baby

I’d always really liked the name Jasper, and he was due on Christmas Day – I found out Jasper was one of the three wise men, so it just fit!

Photo Courtesy of Isabel J Kurek Photography