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Breastfeeding, pumping, and photography



It’s World Breastfeeding Week! And I’m finally squeezing in a few minutes to share a blog post including some actual words, not just quickly sharing a wedding recap!  My kids are watching a movie.  And I’m writing this once, with minimal proofreading – so you’ll have to excuse any poor grammar or typos please!
I have gotten SO many questions over the years about breastfeeding while photographing weddings, pumping on the go and how to make it all happen!

I’m here to share a little bit about what I know, and what has worked for me.
image: Brianna Wilbur Photography

So first, I just want to say that my breastfeeding experiences have looked different with all three of my kids.  We started supplementing Jase with formula almost right away, he used a nipple shield to latch until he was four months old and continued to nurse until 9 months.  Teagan never had formula, and nursed until she was 16 months old.  Hunter has caused me WAY more pain than either of them, and we’re still going strong at 9 months.  Who knows how the next few months will play out!
If you’re a new mom, unsure of breastfeeding, baby can’t get the hang of it and you’re pumping, maybe feeling like it isn’t for you, or possibly feeling bad about introducing formula – everyone’s story is different – and you are doing a GREAT JOB however you’re feeding that babe.  Lactation consultants and mama friends are great resources for support and questions. It takes a village.  (I’m here too!)

I’ve always fed on demand, so leaving for 10-14 hours on a wedding day hasn’t come easily.  Especially in those early weeks when mom, dad, and baby are just trying to get a handle on life.

My wedding day routine is always to feed baby right before getting in the car to go, and arrive to the venue early enough to pump right before going inside.  Most of my weddings are a 1-2 hour drive, so that’s what works.  On days without travel,  I won’t pump right before going inside.
I’m lucky to have the sweetest couples who have always been super supportive of my taking a break during dinner to pump.  Everyone is eating and there isn’t much to photography at that point anyway so it works out super well.  My second shooter is at the reception just to be sure nothing would get missed.
I prefer pumping in my car so I keep my pump set up on the dashboard all day, and it saves me time by having the tubes and plugs and bottles all ready to go whenever the time comes.  If there is travel time between the getting ready location, ceremony location, and/or reception location, I can pump while driving, and that’s truly so convenient.
Finally at the end of the day, I’ll pump right when I get back in the car, and be ready to nurse again by the time I make it home!

Here’s my must have items for pumping on the go!
Medela In Style: I’ve had this pump since Jase was born and it is a CHAMP. Still works as good as it did one day. Ours was 100% covered by insurance, so make sure to check your policy if you need a pump.

Power Cord for car

Dairy Fairy Pumping Bra: If you’re going to pump on the go, a pumping bra is a MUST. This one holds the pump in place so I can be completely hands free (driving!).

Cooler: I will keep my cooler filled with ice packs in my car ALL day and it’s still cold when I finally make it home!

Ameda Breastmilk Bags: These are my favorite bags because they have a little corner that tears off for easy pouring when you’re ready to use the milk.

Other things: snacks to munch on while pumping, drinks (gotta stay hydrated for that babe!), and a towel or burp cloth for drips.  It happens.  ALSO always wear breast pads during wedding days – leaks happen, but I’ve always kept that to myself with washable pads.
If you have any specific questions, feel free to send me a message!

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