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

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katia_beauchamp

We knew we were in for an honest heart-to-heart when Katia Beauchamp announced she had to pump during our interview. She’s the co-founder of the brillz beauty business Birchbox, which delights its subscribers every month with a delivery of trial-size beauty products tailored to their needs. It’s a win for brands (that exposure!) and you, since you’ll discover your new fav product without having to buy a full-size bottle.

The West Texas native (clear eyes, full hearts, y’all!) has been doing quite a lot of discovery herself recently: She gave birth to twin boys, Alec and Guy 8 months ago.

Katia’s finding her way in the working mom world, but she has a bone to pick with some other moms, “Everybody tries to make pregnancy and motherhood seem so easy. But it’s hard. And just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it isn’t awesome and amazing. I wish more women would be honest about that.”

Read on for straight talk including, yes, beauty must-haves, as well as life-saving baby products, and much more.

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Truth About Multiples

Having twins is such a blessing, but it’s so important to find other moms with them – otherwise you feel like an alien! Nursing two is a whole different ballgame. Same goes for sleep training. I found my people through the Manhattan Twins Club. It’s such an active community: you put questions up there and people respond with great advice.

Life Savers

I’m obsessed with Wubanubs [the pacifier with a small “lovey” attached]. Initially I didn’t realize how helpful it is to have those stuffed animals on them – it helps them grab it themselves and find it in the middle of the night. I call it their wub instead of their paci.

I’m still using the Zipadee-Zip, a Shark Tank product that’s similar to a swaddle but still safe for babies to wear once they can roll over.

Obsessed

As a brand, I have been really impressed with Babybjörn. We use the bouncer, travel crib, and high chair, and I’m blown away by the design. I am so brand loyal because they are so thoughtful about how they make their products. My boys sit in that bouncer forever. The high chair is so sleek and easy to use but doesn’t take up space. And the playard is totally lightweight and easy to transport and they LOVE it.

How She Does It

I have an amazingly helpful husband who was born to be a father. We divide our responsibilities, besides nursing of course. We have an incredible nanny who quickly became part of our family. She started as our baby nurse, and I begged her to become our nanny. She loves the boys so much and cares for them so thoughtfully. It allows me to go to work and disconnect from home with complete peace of mind.

Great Nanny Tip

Our nanny stays over 2 nights a week – it allows us to have a date night, and we can each have a work commitment. It’s also 2 mornings that I don’t have to get up, so I get a really solid night’s sleep. Game changer.

Beauty 180

I have never been obsessive about ingredients, but I started paying a lot more attention when I got pregnant and changed everything. There aren’t a lot of truly organic, natural make-up brands out there, but W3ll People is such a fun brand. They are beautiful and such great products. For skincare I am so passionate about Tata Harper – I could see a difference in a week. I am so fastidious about skincare and am a diehard believer in her products.

Top 3 Beauty Products

1. Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask (You can sleep in it.)
2. W3ll People Multi-Use Color Stick (I love this.)
3. Oribe Apres Beach Spray (I just cut my hair off, and it’s been amazing for styling it.)

Baby Beauty

I’m so minimalistic about what I put on the boys. Sometimes I just use warm water so their natural oils can do their thing. Honest’s products are really nice, and I use Aquaphor as a diaper cream.

Morning Routine

I wake up, nurse the babies, and play with them for 30 minutes – they are so happy in the morning! It’s our special time. Then I take a shower when the nanny arrives. I run around in various states of being dressed and play with them again and again. Then I say bye 10 times before I finally leave. It’s so hard!

Just STOP

Pregnancy and motherhood is a whole shift in your life, and whatever you were doing before kids is still important to you, and balancing that is really challenging. I wish more women would be open to a conversation that we are going through this together as mothers.

Unwind

I have not been great at doing things for myself since the boys were born. I haven’t exercised much, and I did before them – I don’t have the energy or even want to right now. Cooking brings me joy, and I don’t have time to really cook, but I love preparing a meal from Plated while having a glass of wine. That works for now!

Brilliant Post-Baby Fashion Tip

We’re going to the Grand Caymans with the babies soon, and I needed a bathing suit that covers the dark line below my belly button that hasn’t faded yet. I found high-waisted on-trend bathing suits at Urban Outfitters that cover the line and are so cute!

Perfect Moments

Every morning, the 4 of us snuggle, laugh, and sing in our bed after I have fed the babies. It’s dark in our room and totally blissful!

3 Hours Alone, No Work, No Family

How many things can I do in 3 hours? I’d definitely go to a Soul Cycle class, then go on a meandering walk, stumble into a cafe for lunch with a friend, followed up by an afternoon cocktail. That sounds so delightful!

Secret Talent

I make amazing homemade salsa. I’m from Texas, and my mom’s Mexican, so I have that in my blood! The key is to roast the jalapeno on an open flame on the stove and everything else has to be super fresh fresh. People come over, eat it, and think you are a goddess.

The Name Game

Guy is a family name on my husband’s side. I wanted a name from my side of the family – my dad is Greek and I wanted a greek name, but Alecos sounds weird with our last name, so we went with Alec. His middle name is Austin, where I was born.

#Momfail

I was in my business partner’s wedding 2 months after the boys were born. First of all, we were driving upstate and realized one ZipCar was not enough to haul all our stuff and had to get a second. We get to the rehearsal dinner (they kindly included the boys), so we put them in white linen overalls from Paris, which were SO cute, and wouldn’t ya know it – diarrhea explosion! And yes, my husband got poop on his clothes too.

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Gift Guide

Before kids, Valentine’s Day was sort of a downer: You were either single and at home watching bad TV alone (man, that sounds like heaven), or you’re out with your S.O. having a cheesy prix-fixe meal – and slightly humiliated by it (gee, thanks hunny).

But once you have littles, it becomes a favorite holiday – there’s nothing better than explaining “love” to a toddler. Plus it’s a perfect excuse to buy heart-themed prezzies.

These are the ones we want. Mwah!

Bouquet

$35

Urban Stems

Heart Sunglasses

$16

Urban Outfitters

Jonathan Adler Heart Pillow

$165

Diapers

Scattered Hearts Scarf

$148

Cricket’s Circle

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Ruby Heart Ring

$3,000

Sarah Hendler

Angel Skin Heart & Arrow Studs

$595

Finn Jewelry

Stripe & Heart Sweater

$198

Amber Hagen

Gold Heart Eternity Band

$220

Cricket’s Circle

John Derian Shooting Arrow Tray

$110

John Derian

Heart Spatulas

$11

Huset

Hearts Back-Up Charger

$30

Ban.do

Spa Collection

$72

Herbivore Botanicals

Dyptique Rosafolia Candle

$65

Cricket’s Circle

Kiss, Kiss Postcard Set

$7

Cricket’s Circle

Edie Parker Heart Clutch

$1,295

Cricket’s Circle

Heart Wall Stickers

$21

Design Public

I Heart Color Doll

$25

Sophie & Lili

Kiss Hair Clips

$12

Hello Shiso

Conversation Heart Rings

$3

Shop Sweet Lulu

Milk & Heart Cookies Kit

$23

Acme

Pink Acoustic Guitar

$44

Cricket’s Circle

Wood Stacking Hearts

$46

Romp

Love Notes Mailbox

$20

PB Kids

Hearts & Arrows Card Kit

$13

Shop Sweet Lulu

Personalized Heart Apron

$19

PB Kids

Selima Heart Sunglasses

$55

Cricket’s Circle

Heart Elbow Sweater

$68

Cricket’s Circle

Llama Llama I Love You Book

$5

Cricket’s Circle

Lips Sweatshirt

$39

Atsuyo Et Akiko

Love Burnout Tee

$44

Darling Clementine

Kiwi Crate Card Kit

$15

Kiwi Crate

Radio Flyer Spin N Saucer

$25

Cricket’s Circle

Playforever Racecar

$40

My Sweet Muffin

Maroon Bow Tie

$22

Little Skye

Oeuf VW Bug

$68

Alex & Alexa

Stella McCartney Heart Tee

$25

Alex & Alexa

Love Notes Mailbox

$20

PB Kids

Heart Scarf

$20

Cricket’s Circle

Elmo’s Valentine Book

$4

Cricket’s Circle

Heart Teether

$12

Little Sapling Toys

Sweet Hearts Grasping Toy

$15

Romp

Heartbreaker Onesie

$20

Cricket’s Circle

Heart Hat & Mittens

$25

Cricket’s Circle

Heart Tights

$5

Cricket’s Circle

I’m So Glad You’re Here Giant Book

$100

Cricket’s Circle

Heart Diaper Cover

$17

PB Kids

Love Blanket

$40

PB Kids

Heart Onesie

$23

Cricket’s Circle

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eight-traditions-header

Send “holiday” cards

Stand apart from the holiday crush and send your annual family greetings as Valentines instead.

Teach them to treat themselves

Every year go to the store with your little and buy a box of chocolates to share. Lesson being love yourself, treat yourself, share the love.

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Send them love notes

Tape paper hearts to their doors while they sleep. On each one, write a word or sentence that describes why you love them.

A Love Jar

For the two weeks before Valentine’s day keep a jar front and center in your house where you can write down all the people you love with a quick “why” then mail them off to the recipients as valentines that you make together.

A romantic dinner for three or four

Make Valentine’s dinner a formal, multi-course family occasion by dressing up the menu with appetizers, sparkling lemonade, and dessert; dress up your dinner dates in their fanciest togs (or heart-print tights) usually reserved for holidays.

Heart-y breakfast

Make a stack of pink heart pancakes or waffles — just add (organic) food dye. Slice strawberries to look like hearts. And slurp down a berry smoothie.

Make love

Make your own heart tarts with the kids with Foodstirs kit.

Spread love

Make little love notes with your kids and then take them (and tacks) to the park. Pin these love notes for strangers, teaching your kids kindness (and wonder) at the same time.

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