Pumping During A Wedding Season

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Anyone who knows me (Amanda), knows I am a big breastfeeding advocate. I breastfed my first son (Eli) until he was 3.5 years old. I was a stay at home mama with him until I started dabbling in photography when he was 16 months old. Even then, I only photographed a few families here and there so there was never a need to pump. EVEN if I needed to pump, the stinker wouldn’t take a bottle!

So when I found out I was expecting my second baby in August of 2017, in the prime of building our wedding photography business, I was a little (ALOT) worried about what my life would look like as a working mama. I reached out to several of my working mama friends (shoutout to Melanie and Amber) for advice on the best pump and pumping accessories. But how in the world was I going to navigate pumping every 2-3 hours during a wedding?! LUCKILY…Natalie is amazing and we shoot every wedding together, so there would never be a lapse in coverage on a bride’s day!

I’m a big researcher. So naturally I took to google for advice on “How to be a wedding photographer and pump” and wouldn’t you know it…barely anything came up. I pieced together some advice I got in a photography group with my good friends’ advice and made it work. But I vowed to create a blog post for other mamas out there who have NO clue how to navigate this. So here we are!

I shot my first wedding after Hudson at 6 weeks postpartum. It was an 8 hour wedding AND a double wedding weekend (meaning we had 2 in one weekend). That also propelled us into “Wedding season” here in Texas so we had at least one wedding every weekend after that throughout the season. WHEW.

I showed up to that wedding with EVERYTHING under the sun. I carried in about 4 different bags and looked like I was moving into the venue. I ended up dwindling down my "pumping bag” to these essentials!

  • I loved this Medal Pump in Style Advanced with the trusty bottle cooler bag. It was quick and efficient, and QUIET. Which is super important since there isn’t always a private place to pump.

  • This nursing bra was my favorite! Although I will admit…it would have been nice to have one I could wear all day that converts to a pumping bra so I didn’t have to basically undress every time I pumped. This was just given to me and I didn’t want to buy another! :P

  • Nipple butter! One of the best pieces of advice I got -funny enough it was from a bridesmaid who saw me pumping at a wedding- was to put nipple butter on the pump flanges before I pump! I feel like this made the pump more efficient and also hurt a lot less!

  • Nursing Cover is definitely a must! Hear me out…I am ALL about breastfeeding in public. But in my opinion, a bride’s special day is NOT the place to take your stand on #freethenipple. There isn’t always a private place to pump, so having a good, flexible nursing cover is important!

  • Nursing pads for me specifically are a must! Some women never leak…I unfortunately am not one of those lucky women! I love the reusable ones because they’re much more comfortable AND end up being more affordable than buying the disposables over and over.

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WHEN TO PUMP:

  • If the wedding was local, I would feed Hudson right before I left. If it wasn’t local, I’d leave a little early and pump in the car while I was driving. Make sure you allot enough time to hook up and unhook the pump!

  • About 45 minutes before the ceremony, I’d pump again. We build all our brides’ timelines so I knew I had about 30 minutes where I could sneak away. Natalie stayed with the bride to make sure key moments weren’t missed, or shot what the timeline had for that time slot. I had plenty of time to pump and get ready for the ceremony.

  • About 20 minutes after the partying starts at the reception (and all the key moments are complete), I’d pump for a 3rd time. Again, Natalie was still working the reception.

  • Then, I’d pump again when I got home from the wedding!

WHAT TO WEAR:
This was one of the most difficult parts for me. Before I had Hudson, I wore rompers or dresses to weddings. Obviously not an ideal option to nurse in, so I invested in a few great pieces from Latched Mama, a maternity and nursing friendly clothing company that has AMAZING quality stuff! THIS was my absolute favorite! It’s a Romper but looks like a dress, has pockets, AND is easy to nurse/pump in! I also had this top that I wore with black leggings and boots

There were times I pumped in the car in August…in Texas. There were times I pumped in the bridal suite, in someone’s bedroom, in a closet, etc. But I think my favorite/most strange place I pumped at a wedding was behind a curtain…in the reception room…during a reception! Ha! This was one of the times I was super thankful for my quiet Medela pump haha!

I made it 16 months nursing Hudson, pumping all the way! I know it seems insanely overwhelming, but you’ve got this mama! Reach out if you have any questions or need any other help!

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Gingersnap Takes Brenham | Brenham Texas Downtown | Ballad of the Birddog Shop

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BRENHAM TEXAS DOWNTOWN | BRENHAM TEXAS COFFEE | DOWNTOWN BRENHAM SHOPPING

Last weekend, we had a wedding in Brenham, Texas! It was absolutely GOrGEOUS and you can see that blogpost here!
Naturally we explored a bit, and longboarded a bit, and photographed our adventures, so we figured we’d blog about it!

We left at about 6pm of Friday, and totally made a trip out of the 4.5 hour road trip. We stopped at White Rhino in waxahachie for some delicious coffee, it was SO good! We made it to our air bnb by about one am (because we literally stopped random places like every hour or so ha!).

We woke up the next morning and set out to downtown Brenham. On our way out, we saw this GORGEOUS field of wildflowers and had to stop! We headed to downtown and found the cutest shop! The Ballad of the Birddog is part store, part coffee…just like 410 collective! We met the owner and just fell in love with her shop! If yall are ever in Brenham, you have to go!!

Then we headed to the wedding, which was absolutely PERFECT!
Literally the whole weekend was so perfect!

Amanda Life Update | Hudson is 5 months Old, and Eli started Pre-School!

5 M O N T H S !!!! That’s almost half a year! HOW. Time is going by so quickly. I think second babies have a way of speeding up time! Lots has happened in the last month, and this is the best way to catch everyone up, so here we are! It always makes my heart so happy when our sweet clients ask about my babies, it reminds me to connect on a personal level and invite you all in to my life a little more!

Hudson sleeps all night most of the time (not last night…ha!)
He laughs and giggles, but he reserves the biggest belly laughs for Eli and the dogs!
He doesn’t have any teeth yet, but chewing on everything in sight.
He started reaching for our food and mimicking when we chew…it’s pretty hilarious!
He loves to be sitting up (with help) or standing (also with help).
He is still spitting up like crazy, but isn’t in any reflux pain so it’s just a laundry problem. Ha!

We transitioned him to his crib several weeks ago since he outgrew the bassinet, and he actually sleeps really well in it! Such a night and day difference of how Eli slept when he was little. Hudson naps 2-3 times a day on a pretty consistent schedule (YAY for some structure! I was going crazy ha!). Typically for Hudson’s morning nap, Eli will have “quiet time” -aka he goes in his room and plays games on his tablet for an hour. While I work, then during Hudson’s other naps Eli and I get one on one time together.

Another HUGE thing that happened over the last month, is that Eli started Preschool! Why is this such a big deal you ask?

WELL…
1. I have struggled with specific anxiety/phobia for the last 22 years of my life that make it really difficult for me to be okay with Eli being around any other kids. (more on that story another time)
2. He has never ever been away from me with someone other than family! Not even a babysitter!

He goes twice a week for just a few hours a day, and my goodness we LOVE it. He loves it so much and is so excited for school days, and I love it because his school hours match Hudson’s nap time, so I have time to work with NO mom guilt…HECK YES.

Typically this time of year is when I lose my marbles a little bit and get really overwhelmed trying to keep up with work/family/social life/etc. This year I THINK I have a good system in place to have that not happen! I’ll say it for the 2928409148093849 millionth time…Having a business partner in the wedding photography world is THE single greatest thing that has ever happened to me (other than like…my kids birth and stuff) We have such a great system in place and Natalie is constantly asking if I’m okay or need help with my side of the work! Seriously she is amazing.

Anyways…here are some super cute (I may be a bit biased) photos of my boys!

I got the CUTEST alpaca lovey for Hudson from Slumberkins! It was definitely supposed to be a Christmas gift buuuut I was too excited ha! It came with the sweetest book and card about being strong. I’m obsessed!

Llama Teether: Posh Little Pig
Moccasins: Freshly Picked