Nabbing a FREE breast pump with or without insurance!

Nabbing a FREE breast pump with or without insurance!

Post may contain affiliate links. So you’re pregnant and planning on breastfeeding. You’re scrolling through the baby aisle all excited like any new and expectant mom. Then you stumble onto the breast pump section and almost pass out from sticker shock. Who knew that breastfeeding could be such an expensive sport? 

That’s where I come in. I’m going to show you how you can obtain a free breast pump through insurance. Don’t have insurance? No biggie, I’ll guide you on a few other ways you can access a pump along with free lactation services. I’ve also included a complete review of my tried and true Medela Pump In Style Advanced along with a free downloadable for all of my nesties!

Before I show you how to get a free breast pump, I want to show you a quick review and tutorial of my Medela Pump In Style Advanced. I have used this bad boy with both of my babies. 

Click the image above to play the video.

Medela Pump In Style Advanced Review

Positives:
It’s not massive, like the Medela Symphony. It’s a good size with quite a bit of power behind it. It’s pretty easy to use and is compatible with a ton of different bottle brands. You can usually buy an adapter if it’s not compatible with your brand of bottle. Unlike a simple hand pump, You can pump two breasts at the same time which is a huge time saver. And if you use a handy dandy pump bra, you will be hands-free so you can use that time wisely and follow me on INSTAGRAM. 😁  

The Medela Pump In Style is completely automated saving your hands from an unnecessary workout. The efficiency and design of this pump make it ideal for pumping at work or having at home as a backup.

Cons:
It’s not as mobile friendly as a hand pump such as the MEDELA HARMONY for example. Unless you have the battery pack attachment, you always need a plugin for it to work. Because it is mechanical, you will have to be more careful with it compared to a simple hand-pump. It’s quite a bit louder compared to the symphony or the harmony pump. I swear the thing says “Robert, Robert, Robert” when I’m pumping late at night. 

Overall the Medela Pump In Style Advanced works really well at what it’s intended to do, which is suck the life… (breast milk) out of ya! 

Why Medela?

Why I chose Medela over all other brands of breast pumps:
When I first decided to breastfeed I had no clue where to start, what pump brand to go with, or how to turn one on. I ultimately decided to go with Medela after reading tons of raving reviews.

When we were in the NICU with my first they gave us two big bags of Medela pumping supplies to go with my pump. They also freely supplied Medela pumps to use during our stay. I also received more Medela supplies when I had my second at another hospital. Since most hospitals provide Medela pumps it made sense (for me) to go with Medela as well.

This isn’t to say that Medela is the ONLY brand you should consider, this is just the brand that I chose to go with and have been happy with so far.

 Accessing A Free Breast Pump Through Insurance

Since 2012, Insurance’s are now obligated by law to provide you with a breast pump along with lactation services. If you are covered by an older plan, call and see if they will work with you. Sometimes they will, especially if your child is premature or has medical issues.

All you need to do is call your insurance and ask a few questions. Luckily for you guys, I created a cute little cheat-sheet that you can download and save to your phone. I’ve included nine questions that you NEED to ask your insurance so you will know exactly what benefits are provided to you. Save the cheat-sheet to your phone (as an image). Whip it out when you’re on the phone with your insurance so you don’t forget any details. The last thing You want is to have to call them back because you forgot to ask X, Y, or Z.

Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Going Through Breast Pump Suppliers

Sometimes your insurance will tell you that you are not covered for a pump or you have to pay for a lot of it. If your plan isn’t a grandfathered-in plan or an older one, you may try contacting a supplier like Edgepark. You can sometimes get a breast pump through a pump supplier without even having to go through your insurance. You will need to have your insurance card handy when you talk to them. The suppliers will contact your insurance directly and send you a pump.

My experience has always been to call my insurance in which they gave me the phone numbers of the suppliers they worked with. I then called a supplier (in both of my cases I used Byram Healthcare) and they sent me a free breast pump exactly 30 days before my due date. It was a pretty simple and easy process. That is how I received both of my Medela Pump In Style Advanced pumps %100 Free. Can you imagine if having a baby was that simple? 

Breast Pump Suppliers
Here are a few breast pump suppliers you can try contacting if you run into any issues with your insurance. Some may work with your insurance and some may not. Click on each one of you want to learn a little more about each supplier.

See, I am so good to Y’all I even included their contact information and links to their websites! 

Edgepark Medical Supplies

About Edgepark 
Edgepark handles contacting both your health insurance provider and your doctor on your behalf. This usually means your breast pump is shipped to you with minimal or no out-of-pocket expense.

Contact Information 
To quickly find information on obtaining a breast pump through Edgepark and more, click HERE.
Their toll-free number is 1-888-394-5375. They are open M-F from 8 am to 9 pm and Sat 9 am-3 pm EST.

Byram Healthcare

About Byram 
Byram Healthcare is proud to support the breast pump benefit of the Affordable Care Act. with Byram, you are eligible to receive an insurance covered breast pump at no cost from leading manufacturers that are covered by your insurance plan. The specific electric breast pump available to you depends on your insurance coverage. Click HERE to get started with Byram Healthcare!

Contact Information 
Order by Phone: 1-877-902-9726 Their Customer Service Representatives can assist you in the ordering process.
You can also order online at www.mybyramhealthcare.com
Customer service can be reached via e-mail at customerservice@byramhealthcare.com.

Lucinacare

About Lucina 
Lucina Advanced Care specializes in connecting moms with breast pumps through insurance. They have a lot of information on different types of pumps on their website.

Contact Information 
Customer Service #1-888-809-9750 Open M-F from 9 am to 12 am EST. Sat-Sun from 10 am to 6 pm.
For more information, you can email info@Lucinacare.com 

Aeroflow Healthcare

About Aeroflow 
Aeroflow is another company that you can use to get a pump with your insurance. However, they also offer pump upgrades to women who only qualify for a manual pump with their insurance. If you have no insurance and don’t qualify for WIC, you can purchase a pump through Aeroflow at a much better rate. They are a supplier so they can attain pumps at a much lower rate than you would find at a large retailer like Target or Walmart.

Contact Information 
Customer Service # 1-888-598-0144 Open M-F from 8 am to 5 am EST.
Visit https://aeroflowbreastpumps.com/

Picking The Right Hospital

All of the hospitals I used were breastfeeding friendly. They had certified lactation consultants on staff 24/7. The consultants were ready to help me with nursing and using my pump during both of my deliveries.

Researching your hospital beforehand to make sure its breastfeeding friendly is a good idea. I believe most hospitals are BF friendly nowadays but it doesn’t hurt to check. At the bare minimum, you want a hospital that will provide you with a breast pump during your stay and a consultant to help you with your first latch.

Ask and you shall receive
Some hospitals will go beyond and give you a ton of breastfeeding supplies along with a hand pump. Although, you may have to request for extra pumping supplies to get them. 

I also highly recommend attending a breastfeeding class if your hospital provides it and utilizing a lactation consultant. Not only did utilizing these two things help my breastfeeding get off to a much better start, I also learned a lot in the process. 




What If I Don’t Have Insurance?

If you don’t currently have access to insurance or it doesn’t cover free breast pumps, don’t give up. I’m going to show you other ways to access a breast pump either free of charge or a lot cheaper. I’ll also show you where you can get free BF support!

WIC
If you qualify for WIC (Women, Infant, and Child) they may help you obtain or rent a breast pump. They are trained to help you with your breastfeeding needs and provide qualifying families with nutritional foods as well. To see if you might qualify, click HERE. To find a WIC location near you click HERE. 

Free Breast Pump Through WIC

Aeroflow
Like I mentioned earlier, Aeroflow offers pump upgrades to women who only qualify for a manual pump with their insurance. If you have no insurance and don’t qualify for WIC, you can purchase a pump through Aeroflow at a much better rate. They are a supplier so they can attain pumps at a much lower rate than you would find at a large retailer like Target or Walmart. 

Click the image above to play the video.

eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook Market
So this may be an obvious one but I decided to slap it on the list anyway. When I was pregnant with my first I completely snubbed my nose at the thought of buying used breastfeeding supplies. Learn from my expensive mistake; don’t!

You can find amazing deals on used pumps and supplies online. There are moms who get the entire shebang – a pump, a bag, a million breast pump parts and then go back to work and quit nursing. They might use their pump a handful of times and then want to get rid of it all.

Breastfeeding crap can take up a lot of space take it from me. Right now I have pump supplies claiming 3 rooms of my house! This is one reason people are so eager to get rid of it all.

Worried about the sanitation factor? I used to think it was gross buying used parts but that’s kind of silly when you think about it. Breastfeeding supplies can be easily sanitized by boiling or microwaving in Medela steam bags. There will be no germs once you boil all of the parts!

Grant it, there are some pumps that are only one-time-use like Medela. If the pump has an open system your milk could get contaminated. Pumps like Ameda and Hygeia or any manual pumps should be ok to buy used.

Even if you have to purchase a new pump, you can get great deals on used pump supplies/accessories online. That alone will save you some serious $$$. 

Breastfeeding Support

Breastfeeding Hotline
This US based helpline provides information, education, and support for women who want to breastfeed. Callers have access to the most current breastfeeding information and support from a helpline volunteer who is an accredited La Leche League Leader. Callers receive contact information for local LLL Leaders and Groups. This hotline has live operators during regular business hours and callers can choose to leave a voicemail at any time. La Leche League Breastfeeding Helpline-US: 1-877-452-5324

Facebook groups
There is a page on Facebook simply called Breastfeeding and they have a group you can join for support and advice. You can get on FB and type in breastfeeding in the group search and a million groups on the subject will pop up. Joining a breastfeeding Facebook group is a great place to get advice and share your breastfeeding journey with other moms. If you want professional advice, however, make sure you talk to a certified lactation consultant

What To Do With Your Pump When You’re Done

Smashing Your Breast Pump

Photography by Mia Gorrell “Mom Space”

By the time you are finally finished being a slave to your breast pump, you might be tempted to take out your aggression on it like these ladies did.

Poor pump, it didn’t stand a chance against these thugs! 😛

Smashing Your Breast Pump

Photography by Mia Gorrell “Mom Space”

In all seriousness, there are a few ways you can dispose of your free breast pump after you are through with your breastfeeding journey. Some pumps offer a recycling program like the Hygiea and the Medela.

You are not recommended to donate or sell used open system breast pumps because of the milk contamination risk. However, some mothers have no issues with this. It’s best to try and recycle the pump if possible or discard. I would, however, recommend on selling or donating the parts/attachments since they can be thoroughly sterilized.

*If your pump is older the motor will probably wear out soon. It could cause pumping issues for the next mother if you were to donate it.

Thankfully, there is a lot more breastfeeding support available and many avenues to obtain a free breast pump if you just spend some time searching. No mother should be without a pump or lactation help when she desires to nurse her baby.

If you found this post useful, don’t be stingy like my two-year-old with his peanut butter balls. Share the word! Us Mamas need all the help we can get!




Medela Harmony Pump
If you liked my post, here is an image you can pin or share!
Best Nursing Pads
If you are looking for some quality nursing pads, click the image above to check out my review!

Abram’s Labor & Delivery Story

Abram’s Labor & Delivery Story

Post may contain affiliate links. My name is Ashley Wilson and I am a proud cloth diapering mom of two amazing boys. Last week I delivered my second son Abram, who was exactly 10 pounds. My labor lasted over 29 hours and DID NOT go as planned. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done physically in my life! Let me tell you how it all went down…. starting with the end of my pregnancy.

Before we get into all of that, I would like to show you a quick video about the supplies I wished I had brought to the hospital during my labor and delivery. I also made a video on all the natural focussed supplies I would be bringing a month before I delivered. If you would like to see that video first click here > HOSPITAL BAG ESSENTIALS!

Click the image above to play the video.




My Hopes

I was pregnant with my second boy and hoping to avoid an induction. My first son Asher was induced in my late 37th week of pregnancy due to low amniotic fluid. He also refused to move during an ultrasound at a routine check-up. They had me omitted and induced right away. After I had Asher I started this blog MYGREENNEST and started learning more about living a more natural lifestyle. This time around I wanted to do things differently with Abrams birth. I had really hoped to go into labor naturally and have that “MY WATER BROKE!” experience that I didn’t have with Asher. I also wanted to try using only newborn cloth diapers and postpartum cloth pads from the get-go at the hospital. 

When my Dr would check me, my cervix was softening around 20%, so she believed I would also go into labor a little early. I was around 36 weeks and she would say, “Oh maybe a week to a week in a half.” Then that week would pass and she would say, “You have about a week.” One week later I’m 40 weeks and she was now saying it would be this coming weekend, maybe even the next day which was Friday! We went ahead and scheduled an induction for my 41 weeks just in case I didn’t go into labor but my doc was certain I would go before then. I also had had an ultrasound a couple weeks prior and they even told me Abram was measuring around 7.9 pounds, give or take. My belly was defiantly bigger this time around and I was getting a ton of stretchmarks! Thank You motherhood for the non-refundable gifts. 

Labor and Delivery

Since this wasn’t my first rodeo and my pregnancy was more healthy this time around, I was sure I would go into labor a little early. Especially since things seemed to be progressing. My mucus plug was thinning and my cervix was softening. However, I was carrying really big and completely miserable in those last few weeks. I had such a lack of energy that getting a shower and dressing my toddler for Mothers Day Out would cause me extreme fatigue. I couldn’t drive because it would trigger a ton of Braxton Hicks contractions so my father-in-law kindly began taking me to my appointments. I would literally have to nap two hours to recover after any trip I made. I spent the last 3 to 4 weeks in so much pain and laying in my bed feeling like a beached whale. It was as if I was disabled and dying. I know I drove my friends and family crazy because I would complain 24/7. I was not only miserable but I was also getting bored out of my mind!  I would scroll FB over and over and get myself into pointless debates. Sometimes I would send my friend’s ridiculous pictures and funny comics of my condition just to pass the time.

Labor and Delivery

Every hour I was pregnant felt like a day and every day felt like a week. You can imagine my excitement when the Dr guessed baby would come early, followed by the heart-shattering disappointment when he didn’t.

Getting Desperate

The last few weeks of my pregnancy were so brutal that I came to a point where I was almost willing to try anything short of sin in order to naturally induce labor. I got so desperate I even started walking! That may not seem like much but I was bigger than a baseball field by this point. It was a miracle that my husband could fit my tennis shoes on my fat swollen feet. I also had excruciating pelvic pain with each and every step. We would walk my neighborhood in the evening. On our walks, we would see the same neighbors out every night. One neighbor would always drive by at the same time of our walk and act shocked that I hadn’t gone into labor yet. Seriously, it didn’t matter if we went 10 or 20 minutes early or late. She would literally drive by us every time we went out. It was almost like we were in the movie, Groundhog Day. (If you have never seen it go rent it now!)

Walking would set off a lot of Braxton hicks but never turn into anything more than a labor tease. I had heard that foot rubs could set off labor so you can guess what I asked for every night. 😛 My Dr would strip my membranes at each appointment (near the end) and my mucus plug was even coming out but no actual labor contractions. I would even get excited about mucus in my cloth pads . . . Yeah, I was grasping at straws.

The White Flag
When my due date came and went I had given up all hope of going into labor naturally. Yes, I still hoped it would happen but I wasn’t expecting it anymore. We made the joke that baby will come the night before my induction but even that didn’t happen. Thursday morning finally came and I was 41 weeks exactly. It was FINALLY time to go in and be induced! I was feeling a little nervous but extremely excited. My mother had come to be with us and help out with the new baby. We had to be checked-in at the hospital by 7:30 am that Thursday morning. I heard it wasn’t good to eat before labor so I made sure I didn’t eat anything after 6:30 pm the night before. I only drank chocolate milk for breakfast so I would feel a little more full.

Labory & Delivery - MOM

The Dreaded Needle

As much as I love trying to live a natural and organic lifestyle, I gotta admit I’m a huge wimp when it comes to pain and ESPECIALLY needles! Once I was checked into my room a nurse named Tara came in to put my IV in. I tried to pretend I was fine but inside I was having a panic attack. Tara immediately called me out and I admitted I was just a teensy bit afraid. I guess my sweaty palms and the look of horror on my face gave it away. My mother began telling Tara all kinds of stories about how I used to hate shots and getting my finger pricked as a child and would flip out. I didn’t really mind, I was too busy trying not to pass out at the sight of a disgusting needle sticking into my vein. 

Labor and Delivery

Try not to vomit ^

They immediately started me on Pitocin which is a synthetic form of oxytocin. It’s what brings on your contractions for labor. Since my cervix was already a bit softened they didn’t have to use any drugs like Cervidil on me. This saved me from coming in the night before, saving a lot of time. We were all pretty positive the baby would be here by that evening because I was already 41 weeks and it was my second baby. I figured I’d only need a small amount of Pitocin to kick things off and my body would take over from there.

Wait, Contractions Actually Hurt?
Shortly after I was injected with Pitocin I began to get contractions only this time they felt different than the Pitocin-induced contractions I had with Asher. Last time they felt like normal Braxton contractions. This is where your stomach tightens up and you are a little uncomfortable but nothing crazy. With my first son, they didn’t start getting really uncomfortable until a few hours later and it was all centered more in my stomach area. This time they immediately felt uncomfortable and slightly painful. They felt like sharp menstrual cramps and were centered more in my pelvic region. Confused I asked the Tara if these contractions were supposed to hurt. She kind of laughed and said that labor contractions normally hurt but that’s a good thing. She said it means your body is doing what it’s supposed to do.

My Legendary Foot

Shortly after that disgusting IV was placed into my wrist, my family started showing up with gifts and flowers. they chimed in with my mom telling the nurse embarrassing stories about me. Isn’t family wonderful? My sister-in-law (Megan) decided to tell my nurse about my foot. I’m a petite person with a small frame but I’ve always had big ankles and bigger legs for my body. During pregnancy, I start to swell in my legs and feet. By labor, my legs and toes are virtually unrecognizable. Like I’m serious, my ankles get so big it looks like they are trying to devour my feet. My toes start looking more like Vienna sausages and I basically cannot wear any shoes. Megan has this picture of my swollen foot from my first pregnancy which you can see here. The foot on the right was taken a while after my pregnancy. The funny thing is, I didn’t look half that obese from my hips and up. It was all in my legs and feet. 

Labor and Delivery

This image has become a running joke in my family. Every time one of Megan’s pregnant friends complain about their feet swelling, she whips out this pic of my obese foot. Her friends get a good laugh and realize they don’t have it so bad after all. My feet were beginning to swell while I was laying in my hospital bed but the worse was yet to come. I was still having semi-painful contractions but my family with all of their shenanigans were a nice distraction from it all. I was actually having a good time with them and considered that to be one of the highlights of my stay at the hospital.

Ice Ice Baby
It didn’t take long for my hunger pains to start setting in. I was so used to stuffing my face anytime I had the slightest tinge of hunger to now listening to my stomach hiss and growl at people. The nurse allowed me to chew on ice which surprisingly took my mind off of my hunger pains for a small period. You’d be amazed at what begins to taste good when you’re starving. I was really starting to feel uncomfortable as I could barely move with all the crap they had hooked up to me. My cramping contractions were painful and now my stomach was screaming at me. My IV was making me want to vomit every time I looked at it and anytime I used my IV hand it caused more pain. My dad also showed up and joined my mom and husband for the “show.” They kept talking about what they were gonna eat for lunch which was the part where I’d threaten to kick them out of my room.

The Panic Attack
It was now a little before noon and my Dr came in and I was excited to see her and introduce her to my mom. She walked in and said she was here to break my water which immediately threw me into a state of terror. Last time I was being induced the most excruciating and painful part (other than the IV) was when they broke my water. It was horribly painful and they had issues trying to break it. They kept jabbing me with this giant scary crochet hook looking tool. It was very horrible and I never forgot the pain. As my Dr was getting ready my palms began sweating profusely and I became extremely tense. My Dr attempted to break my water before telling me if I couldn’t relax she wouldn’t be able to do it. Then she suggested doing it later that night after I had my epidural. She also told me to get up and move around as much as possible to help move labor along. Before I could think or ask any questions she was outta there! I think mom was embarrassed that I panicked so much but I couldn’t help it. I felt like crying I was so afraid and I couldn’t stop shaking. It all happened so fast and it was the most painful part of my last labor. Unfortunately, I had no idea that it was about to get a lot worse this time around…




Popsicles Are Life

After that incident, it seemed like time began to drag. I was becoming more and more in pain. One nurse offered me a popsicle and it was probably the best friggin popsicle I ever had in my life. It was orange flavored and almost made me feel like I was eating a meal. Each cold and juicy bite took my mind off the pain except when I’d catch a glimpse of my IV. The nurses kept checking me and I was just barely beginning to dilate. I decided to get up and move around like my Dr suggested. I had the nurses bring in a giant pregnancy ball which was surprisingly comfortable. The nurse told me not to bounce around on it but when she wasn’t looking that’s what I would start to do. Mom was cracking up at me as I slipped in a few bounces when the nurse would turn the corner. I couldn’t help it, the movement eased my contractions. The nurse came in later and showed me how to use the ball to open my pelvic area. For the next few hours, I bounced and rocked on it, stood up, walked in place, and sat up. I did everything I could to get things moving. I then noticed watery stuff coming out of me like I was peeing myself. The nurse told me that most likely it was urine but I had my doubts. Later as I was standing there a lot of it gushed down my leg and on the floor. The nurse realized it was indeed my mucus plug. I asked when I could get the epidural and she said when my contractions go from bearable to “oh my gosh!” I was secretly terrified of getting an epidural but more afraid of the pain of childbirth.

It Gets Real

The day had dragged on and on and my husband wanted to run to the bookstore that was close by. I was fine with that since nothing was going on at the moment. Sure enough, once he left my contractions started getting real. Mom and dad were busy in a conversation and I was trying to go to the bathroom while pretending I was fine. It started hurting so bad I couldn’t even fake being ok. I was gripping the rails trying to wait for it to pass so I could go pee. Mom had to help me to the restroom and I barely made it. I was starting to contract on top of another and the pain was only getting more intense. It was so unrelenting I started screaming for an epidural from the bathroom. Then when I was ready to get back to my bed, mom and dad jumped to help me. I could tell they were concerned as they had never seen me in this type of pain before. I barely made it to my bed the pain was so bad. These contractions were an entirely different ballpark than the ones I had with Asher. They felt like knives stabbing me inside my ovaries. The nurse came in and called for my epidural. She calmly stepped me through the epidural and showed me how to breathe between contractions. The breathing actually helped get me through those nightmarish contractions! 

Relief Finally Comes!
Thankfully, my husband had returned from the bookstore right before I got my epidural and he was holding my shoulders as I was receiving it. I was still a bit scared as I knew a giant needle was about to enter my back but the anesthesiologist was really nice and it went very smooth. It didn’t hurt or feel near as weird as it did the first time. I sort-of knew my anesthesiologist as my sister-in-law had actually worked cleaning houses as a part-time job for him in the past. His name was Bill and he was all about taking care of business and wasn’t as big on small talk. That may have been because it was an extremely busy day. Apparently, everyone decided to have babies on the same day as me.

Once I got the drug it was like a massive rush of relief waved over my weary body and took all my troubles away. For the first time in ages, I could completely relax with no pain. I was literally on cloud 9. I thought to myself “why would anyone want to do this naturally?” Giant kudos for all if you tough moms out there though! My nurse (Tara) told me I did really well and that was one of the easiest epidurals she’d ever seen. I was so proud of myself because most of the time she was making fun of me for being a wimp. It was all in fun, she was really cool to hang out with actually and had the same weird sense of humor as me. I believe a lot more of my family came in with gifts right after I received my epidural which was perfect timing. My in-laws brought my toddler, Asher, whom I was excited to see. I had been wanting to see him all day. However, he was too enthralled with the hospital room and all the excitement going on to notice his poor mama!

Labor and Delivery

For the moment, life was gooood!

Time Slows Down

I started to dilate and the nurse said once I reached a 5 it would speed up from there and I’d reach a 10 soon. I was dilating kind of show but they said that was normal when you’re under 5. Everyone was estimating I’d have Abram that evening like 8 to 11 pm ish. Once I reached a 5 I was excited because they were right, I started dilating faster from there. I was so hungry and getting tired of laying In my bed. My cramping and soreness would start to creep back so I would hit that beautiful epidural button to take it all away. More than anything I was getting extremely thirsty. The nurses kept getting onto me for drinking my watered-down ice. I was able to order multiple popsicles which were a temporary distraction from the hunger and thirst. I kept asking the nurses to let me bounce on the pregnancy ball cause I could still feel and move my legs some. They weren’t having any of that nonsense!  Everyone kept wondering if my Dr was ever going to come back and break my water so things could speed-up.

At one point my contractions were happening so fast and on top of one another, it started to mess with the babies heartbeat. They had to put me on oxygen and turn off the Pitocin. Other than that everything was really good with the baby. He had a strong heartbeat my entire labor and after the oxygen incident, he returned to normal. They started up my Pitocin again after a small break.

Super Cool Nurse
I can’t remember when exactly but I met the coolest nurse. Her name was Alexandra and she was in training to be a nurse. She was really tall like over 6 feet and from Serbia. What was fascinating to me was I’ve only met one other person from Serbia and she is now one of my clients. Both Alexandra and my client are really sweet people too. I guess Serbia is doing something right. As my mother and I got to talking with Alexandra, we found out she was a good Christian woman. She even had a degree in ministry, although I forget exactly what it was. She also played basketball in the other countries that she lived. She was a remarkable woman and I was glad I was going to be her first labor and delivery that she witnessed. She said she would be praying for me and Abram which was very sweet. I truly felt like God put her in our path for a reason.

Things Go South

It was starting to become night and my nurse was telling us I would deliver close to 11 ish maybe around midnight. I was getting so excited and ready to eat again. All I could think about was a Big Mac from McDonald’s. As fate would have it, 11 and 12 came and went and I still wasn’t dilated enough. I actually got all the way to a 9 and wouldn’t go any further. That’s when the nurses realized the babies head was in an awkward position which was preventing him from coming down. They immediately started putting me in different positions to try to get him in a better position for birth. I did exactly what they said but nothing was changing. The night started to drag on and my parents along with my husband stuck around once everyone else went home. I also had a Dr show up that was temporarily filling in for my Dr and she broke my water to get things going. Since I was on the epidural I barely felt it this time around YESSS!

It was now past 2 AM and a nurse came in to check me. She quickly realized the top of my cervix had swollen up so bad the baby couldn’t get through. That’s when we all started to get worried. The nurses moved me from position to position and the swelling wouldn’t go down. The nurses started mentioning that I may have to have a c-section but I said I would do anything to prevent that. My Dr kept coming in my room and saying if things didn’t improve, they may have to take the baby. Again, I said I’d do anything in my power to prevent that. I really wanted to deliver vaginally if I could help it. The nurses and Dr were willing to do everything they could to deliver me vaginally as long was the baby was doing well. 

The Power Of Prayer
That’s when I took to Facebook and privately reached out to every good Christian friend or acquaintance I knew. I was practically begging my friends to pray that I could have the baby naturally and without further intervention. Mom and Dad were still with me and I could tell everyone was getting more concerned. I was so exhausted by this point. One of the nurses came in and thought of a pose to get baby off my cervix called the downward dog. I literally had to get on my hands and knees and stick my butt in the air. I did exactly that and somehow fell asleep in that position for 20 minutes. They came back and checked me and my swelling had gone down! That was the turning point. My nurse got excited and said we can do this vaginally and called my Dr to update her. I’m pretty sure if prayer had not happened and I didn’t have the supportive nursing staff that I did, I would have been wheeled in for a c-section already. The only thing they needed now was for baby to continue dropping and for my swelling to continue to go down. We continued the awkward yoga-ish poses throughout the entire night.

Stuck at 9

For whatever reason, once I dilated to a nine I couldn’t get passed that stupid number. I just needed a 10 and for my baby to drop a little further and I could push! It was now morning and no matter how many poses I did, Abram wouldn’t drop. They needed him to be at a station positive 2 instead of a negative 1 or 0 which he was currently at. I still had a slightly swollen cervix but if he would drop I could begin pushing. I could not believe I was now 41 weeks and one day past due and that it was so stinking difficult! This labor made Asher’s delivery seem like a breeze. I was getting so tired of laying in bed and couldn’t wait to get that bloody IV out of my hand! Every time I had to change positions it would bother me. It was such a long night and I couldn’t believe my parents stayed up with me the entire time.

My Dr came in and said my labor was unusually long and I would need to make a decision soon. I said as long as my baby was healthy I wanted to continue trying for vaginal. My Dr was ok with that. It was now the next Friday morning and I remember having these intense feelings of needing to push. It was like I needed to go number 2. (TMI, sorry) I asked the nurses if it would be ok to try and push to see if my baby would drop. I suggested taking a break after that then trying for labor. They ran it by my doc and decided to give it a try since the poses were no longer working. 

It’s Baby Time!

The nurses quickly set me up to push and I kicked everyone out except my husband. I know it is kind of weird that I didn’t want my mother in the room but I am a very private person when it comes to giving birth. I also didn’t think I was going to give birth right away, I just thought I was going to work towards pushing Abram into position. I was pretty exposed, to say the least. Alexandra (the Serbian nurse) was standing there watching the whole thing and I was comforted in the fact that she was a woman of God. I told the nurses my epidural was starting to wear off but it wasn’t too bad just yet. They said I was perfect because they didn’t want me to be too numb. They asked me to do my first push and within two pushes Abram dropped right into place! The nurse said, “I can see his head!” She thought he was bald at first because his hair was so short and blond. I asked my hubby if he wanted to see and he politely declined. (I didn’t blame him)

They quickly called my Dr and told her I was ready to deliver. Everyone seemed excited I was going to do this without a c-section. We were all in shock that Abram dropped so fast. I was feeling a bit sore but I was still ok. My Dr came in and I started pushing. With every single push, it hurt worse and worse as my epidural wore off. I was actually begging to push my epidural button but they wouldn’t let me. There was NO MERCY! I could feel my Dr pulling my downstairs area and it wasn’t fun. I actually didn’t push as hard as I could because it hurt so bad. My husband was being so supportive and cheering me on. Blood was going everywhere and my hubby got hit with it at one point! Giving birth is like something straight out of a horror movie. My Dr grabbed some scissors and cut me so the baby could come out easier. (I didn’t find that out til later.)

Then the moment came where I needed to push just a little harder and he would be out. I was trying not to scream too much but those last few pushes were intense! Then I gave one final push and the Dr twisted him out. The nurses quickly wiped him off a little bit before laying him on my chest. Everyone kind of looked at my boy in shock because he was so big. I also remember thinking that went fast. It was exactly 12:54 PM on Friday when Abram was born. I only pushed for 30 minutes which was exactly the same amount it took for Asher. Asher was born at 1:33 PM so both of my babies were born close to the same time.

Labor And Delivery

When they laid Abram on my chest we immediately noticed he wasn’t breathing or moving. I remember Matthew and I looking at one another with concern. The nurses quickly grabbed Abram back up and started working on him. The nurses didn’t act concerned at all so that calmed me down a bit. My Dr immediately started sewing me up which I thought would hurt a lot worse than it did. It was uncomfortable but not terrible. The nurses shouted out, “Abrams 8 pounds, no wait 9!” We were all amazed and then they dropped the bomb… “He’s 10 pounds exactly!” We couldn’t believe our ears, did I just deliver a 10-pound baby? They finally got Abram to cry but it was kind of wimpy honestly. He barely let out anything. They sat him back on my chest and I remember his head was very coned shaped from being stuck in my pelvic area so long. He looked up at my husband and I and it was so sweet. We were also amazed at how much he looked like Asher when he was a newborn.

Labor & Delivery

I was still in a daze and in pain so it was a little harder for me to have that same instant bond that I had with Asher. With Asher, I had no pain during delivery so I could focus completely on snuggling with him. With Abram, I was so incredibly exhausted after 29 hours of labor and in a lot of pain. I later asked Alexandria about her experience since I was her first labor and delivery. She said she was a bit freaked out at first but once Abram was born she wanted to cry. I thought that was really sweet.

The Aftermath

As we were admiring our new son I asked for my family to come in and quickly check him out before we did our hour of skin-to-skin time. The nurse hesitated but I explained that my father had driven a long way and needed to get home. Dad came in and held my hand for a second and was ready to hit the road. I said, “don’t you want to wait one more hour and then you can hold him?” He replied that he was too tired and needed to get back and feed the cows. (He’s a rancher) My father and I were never that close growing up. I was amazed at how gentle he treated me during my labor and that he stayed up an entire day and night to make sure I was fine. It meant a lot to me. a few more family members came in and I was ready to eat! I quickly ordered the most fattening thing I could think of which was McDonald’s.

It Happened Again …
So we noticed right away that Abram was having issues breathing. The nurse was monitoring him closely and pretty concerned about it. My first son had Respiratory Distress Syndrome (aka, wimpy white boy syndrome) and had to be whisked off to the NICU the night of his birth. It was purely awful as the NICU was in an entirely different hospital.

Asher and Abram NICU

The very first night we had to call the nurses because Abram was not breathing well. They took him and evaluated him again and confirmed that he also had Respiratory Distress Syndrome. They then took Abram off to the NICU which was down the hall. We were so bummed out and I honestly felt a little cheated. I didn’t get to go into labor naturally and I thought that Abram should have been old enough to not have any breathing issues. I was so upset that we would have to do the NICU again. God spoke to me and reminded me to be grateful. I knew in my heart things could have easily been a lot worse. It was hard but we decided to stay positive. This NICU experience was a little better since we could see Abram whenever we liked and it wasn’t far from our room.

Choosing Cloth

The next day I was having a nurse help me with a postpartum belt. Right about that time, the same funny nurse (Tara) that I had on Thursday walked in on me to say hi and see the baby. Of course, she walks in and I’m in mesh panties with a giant rainbow cloth pad sticking through it! She laughed and we got to talking about all things green and crunchy along with my blog.

Every nurse that checked me she’d ask about my cloth pads or cloth diapers that I had brought for Abram to wear. Everyone seemed genuinely interested and it was kind of fun getting to spread the word about more sustainable options. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do much cloth diapering like I had planned because Abram had to go to the NICU. He was also too big for some of my NEWBORN CLOTH DIAPERS. I couldn’t even fit the Little Joey’s around his waste!

My family couldn’t believe how big Abram was. My mother came up after labor and told me that she now understood why I had been complaining and hurting so much during pregnancy. She had no idea my baby was that big. She thought I was just being whiny. Honestly, she was probably right. I was being whiny too but dang, Abrams pregnancy was hard!

I had a fun time visiting with my family and even my worship pastor came up to see our son. We took him to the NICU to see him. Our church sent us flowers and many prayers. We had so many friends praying for Abram and us on Facebook. I felt truly blessed.

Going Home!

The night before we went home we decided not to have company since we were so exhausted. Actually, my husband was the one barely hanging on to consciousness. I almost thought he was more tired than I was! I was somehow handling everything well and felt about 80% better after dumping the 10-pounder. I didn’t have as much pain as I did with Asher and was up walking around. I contribute walking to the NICU and back to helping me get better more quickly. I did have a lot of pelvic pain right after birth but it subsided the more I rested and walked.

During my stay, I was beginning to worry I would be released before Abram would. He was still having trouble breathing and he sounded like he was constantly stopped up. I dreaded having to drive back and forth to the hospital like I had to do with Asher. It made healing up so much harder. I get super swollen during labor and right after as you could see from my obese foot picture. Being on my feet too much makes it a lot worse. The nurses said we could stay a little longer but not as a patient if Abram wasn’t released at the same time. I really really really didn’t want to go home without my baby this time. Again, I reached out on Facebook asking for prayer.

Always Be Thankful…
We found out Abram was improving and the pediatric Dr came in and was thinking he would be released early. Then As I was being discharged that Sunday afternoon I was told Abram would get to go home with us! No one would have to stay any longer and we could all leave by noon. I was so happy and thankful to God and all my friends/family/nurses who prayed for us.

When I went to go get my son I saw a 23-week old baby in the room next to him. I had met the mother the day Abram went into the NICU and she was very nice. I said a prayer for that baby and mom as I knew they had a long journey ahead. She had given birth the same day as I did. I had been complaining about giving birth to a 10 pounder then she told me her baby only weighed a little over a pound. This is one reason why we always need to remain thankful because there is always someone who has it harder.

Labor and Delivery

On April 2nd, 2017 we got to take our sweet baby boy Abram Lee Wilson home with us. I couldn’t get enough of cuddling with him once I got home, it was almost intoxicating. I was full of nothing but gratitude, relief, love, and pure exhaustion! My mother stayed with us the following two weeks to help with my oldest. She cooked, cleaned, played with Asher, and drove me to all my appointments. Huge shout-out to that woman! ❤️

I truly felt the Lords presence during my labor and delivery journey so strong. It was almost a magical experience. It was also the hardest and most painful thing I’d ever been through physically. Abram Lee, you were worth all of it!




Medela Harmony Pump

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Best Nursing Pads

Are you about to have a baby? Learn my secrets to dealing with the poo in this quirky post!

Why You Need Nursing Tops!

Why You Need Nursing Tops!

Post may contain affiliate links. Are you pregnant or planning on breastfeeding? Have you ever noticed just how hard it is to find cute maternity tops? It’s even 10 times harder to find quality nursing tops because most stores simply don’t sell them! I finally found an online store (PinkBlush Maternity) that has some of the cutest and most fashion forward maternity / nursing tops around. Their clothes are all made here in the USA and they offer a nice selection of plus size which is an added bonus. I have partnered with PINKBLUSH to show you a couple nursing tops that they sent me. Now I can go out and easily nurse my son in style! 🙂

Why You Need Nursing Tops

When I nursed my first son I had a very difficult time. I breastfed for over a year but because I didn’t invest in any nursing tops and only maternity clothes, nursing was complicated to do when I would go out in public. I would try to lift both shirts up in the front without exposing my back. Normally I had a tank top under my main shirt and I was always dealing with a nursing cover along with a fussy baby. I think this is one of the biggest reasons I hated breastfeeding so much. It was such a hassle to do in public but now that I have discovered nursing tops, it has been a game changer! Nursing tops make access for my baby so much easier and less of a struggle. I find it is much more discrete than trying to lift my shirt up from the bottom. I am more of a private breastfeeder so I don’t like to feel exposed in any way when in public. If I could have done it all over again, I would have stocked up on Pink Blush nursing/maternity shirts from day one!

Nursing Tops

I really like this shirt because it fits me so well and makes nursing very easy. The material is soft, stretchy, and lightweight. It’s cool enough for the summer and looks great with pants or leggings. This shirt doubles as a maternity shirt but doesn’t look “overly maternity” like a lot of shirts do.

Nursing Tops
Nursing Tops

I was really excited about receiving this maternity/nursing shirt because I liked the design in the front and it looked like a good top for the Summer. I love the gray color as it can go great with colorful leggings, solid color tights, or skinny jeans. The material is very soft and a bit stretchy and it fit me really well in the top.

Why PinkBlush Maternity?

Before I knew much about PinkBlush I went on Amazon and ordered a nursing top and matching nursing robe. They were both cheap and while they did make breastfeeding easier they exposed my tummy. They have two slits on each side that don’t cover as well as I would have liked. What I love about PinkBlush is that their clothes are quality, made in the US, and fashion forward. You’re not having to sacrifice style in order to be a nursing mom. Their tops don’t expose my sides and the best part is, is that all of their nursing clothes double as maternity clothes! This will allow you to wear the clothes much longer and get more bang for your buck!

If you are interested in trying out PinkBlush Maternity Clothes, you can click on any of my affiliate images. I do make a small commission if you purchase any of the products and it is at no extra cost to you! 🙂

Nursing Tops

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Hospital Bag Checklist

If you want to see a complete checklist on what to pack in your hospital bag, click the image above!

(Highly Absorbent) WM Nursing Pads Review!

(Highly Absorbent) WM Nursing Pads Review!

This post is sponsored and contains affiliate links. The opinions are completely my own and I wouldn’t promote a product I didn’t believe in.  If you are a new mom and have a milk supply that could float the ark, you may need a little extra padding to get you through the night. A very nice woman who runs a small business reached out to me a month or so ago to do a review on her reusable nursing pads and wet bag. It was actually perfect timing because I was about to give birth to my second son and would be able to give a thorough review. Her brand is called WM NURSING PADS and she will be running a special for my Nesties (you awesome readers) starting this May. It will run from the 1st to the 15th of 2017 where you can grab 3 pairs of these super soakers for $9.50! You will also get a little adorable wet bag to put them in. 🙂 Without further ado, let’s get into the nitty gritty … aka my review! 

Click the image above to play the video.

If you are interested in trying out the WM Nursing Pads, you can click on any of my affiliate image above. I do make a small commission if you purchase any of my affiliate products and it is at no extra cost to you! 🙂

W M Nursing Pads Review 

 

So I am not going to lie, my first thought when I opened up the package was that the WM nursing pads were too big and thick. They are larger than my other nursing pads that I own. I figured they would be mainly for women who had bigger breasts or a lot of milk supply. With my first son, I struggled to keep my breastmilk supply up and didn’t go through as many nursing pads. After I had Abram, it was like the rivers started flowing freely! I found myself grabbing for these bad boys almost every night. Last night I even soaked through my Bamboobies overnight pads and had a large wet spot on my sheets. The joys of breastfeeding…

The WM Nursing Pads are made up of four layers of organic bamboo/cotton and can be used on both sides. One side has more of an athletic breathing material and is the side I prefer to wear them on. I was concerned that these pads would leak through since they didn’t have a waterproof backing like my Bamboobie pads had. I was surprised to find that they kept my breastmilk contained without getting on my bra since they were so thick. I do like the fact that they are completely breathable and organic. However, I did not see that they were certified organic so I would like to see that to be 100% sure. The shape of the nursing pads come in a tear-drop which I found to be fairly unique. They are shaped this way to completely cover your breast so you don’t have leaks. These nursing pads all come in the color white which I prefer. I like my nursing pads to be light or nude in color so they don’t show through my bra or shirt. I also like that you not only get 3 pairs of reusable nursing pads but you also get a little chevron wet bag to tote them in. The bag is very cute, waterproof, and can be used to store cloth pads or other things in as well when you are done with breastfeeding. I plan to use it for cloth pads myself as it is the perfect size to fit into a purse.

My Final Thoughts

If I had to find something that could be improved I would like to see these pads made locally rather than in China. I realize that would drive up the costs but I prefer to support local businesses. However, I do like that it’s a small business and the product is eco-friendly in nature and organic. It would be nice to have more options of prints to choose from when it came to the wet bag as well.

I think the WM Nursing Pads are great for overnight use or if you are a super soaker. You can wear them in the day but they will be a little bit bulkier compared to thinner nursing pads. Overall, I found the product to work very well for me and I may have to nab up a few more of them.

 




WM Nursing Pads

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Boudreaux Butt Paste

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Hospital Bag Checklist For Natural Moms!

Hospital Bag Checklist For Natural Moms!

Post may contain affiliate links. Are you about to have a new baby and a little lost on what to pack for the hospital? Maybe you’ve already been through it before but want to take a more natural approach this time around. I had a baby a couple years ago and did everything the “standard way.” This time around I wanted to try a more natural approach so I created a complete hospital bag checklist for crunchy moms like me! I have already been testing out natural mom and baby products so I had a pretty good idea of what to include this time around. My checklist covers necessities and luxury items for mom, natural postpartum care products, along with extra tips. I also will be doing newborn cloth diapers & cloth postpartum pads from day one and will touch a bit on how I plan on doing that at the hospital. I will list out several ideas and naturally focused options to help get you started on your hospital journey with your new baby!

Click the image above to play the video.

Bamboobies Nipple Cream Giveaway Graphic

OPEN GIVEAWAY! To enter just click the image and it will take you to the giveaway!

Mommy Items & More!

  • Birth Plan: If you have specific instructions on how you want to deliver and what medications you are willing to take, you will want to include this in your hospital bag for sure. Just keep an open mind that things may end up different than you planned.
  • ID & Insurance card: This is a MUST-HAVE Item that should be at the top of your list to bring!
  • Medication: If you are on certain meds that you must take daily, be sure to pack those in your bag as well.
  • Cash: It’s always good to have extra cash on hand but especially important if you are stuck in the hospital at 2 a.m. and all of the restaurants are closed. This will allow your partner to grab some snacks from the vending machines.
  • Snacks: You may not be recommended to eat or snack while you are about to deliver but it may be a good idea to pack up a few treats for after or for your hubby or other children if you have them.
  • Camera & Phone: You will probably want to grab a decent camera and your phone to keep your loved ones updated.
  • Chargers: No matter what electronics you decide to bring you will want to grab your chargers.
  • Makeup: It’s nice to bring a small bag of makeup to freshen up for pictures or just to feel a little more like yourself after delivery if you choose.
  • Toiletry Bag: You will want to pack a small bag that includes your bathroom essentials like your toothbrush, deodorant, face wash, exedra. Some moms like to pack their own towels as well because the hospital towels can be small and thin.
  • Books, Magazines, Music: Some women like to pack magazines or things to keep them entertained. Some deliveries take a while to get started, especially if you are being induced. My phone kept me entertained along with talking to loved ones.
  • Essential Oils & Diffuser: Essential oils bring a calmness to the room and can be great air purifiers. This may be something to consider bringing along with Lavender, Frankincense, Tea Tree oil, or any of your favorites!
  • Your Pillow & Old Pillow Case: I love my pillow because it makes me feel a little more at home and is more comfortable than the ones that the hospital provides. Make sure to bring an old pillow case that you don’t mind getting dirty. Try to mark if it is plain white so it doesn’t get mixed up with the hospital pillows.
  • Comfy Socks & House Shoes: You will want to grab a pair of comfy socks to wear around and a pair of slippers. Remember, after giving birth everything is about comfort! Your feet will be swollen most likely so you don’t want anything tight.
  • Flip Flops: I didn’t include this in my hospital bag but some moms like to pack a cheap pair of flip flops so they can step in and out of the shower without touching the floor with their feet.
  • Stretchy Pants: If you want to cover your legs grab a pair of sweatpants or stretchy pants. Most women will still look pregnant for a few days after delivery so you don’t want to pack your pre-pregnancy pants.




Baby Items

The hospital will supply you with more than enough baby gear to get you started but here are a few items you may want to bring.

  • Going Home Outfit: You will want to pack at least one going home outfit. I packed a few different sizes just in case my baby came out smaller or bigger. Also, keep in mind the weather and pack accordingly.
  • Baby Socks, Mittens, Caps: Your hospital may or may not provide you with these items but some moms like to bring mittens to keep baby from scratching their little face. My going home outfits had built-in mittens and booties so I didn’t have to worry about it. All hospitals provide baby caps I believe.
  • Baby Receiving Blankets: Some moms like to bring their own custom swaddling or receiving blankets. The hospital will provide these.
  • Car Seat & Canopy Cover: This doesn’t exactly go in your hospital bag but it is a good idea to get your car seat installed and have it safety checked by a fire station around 34 weeks or so. You can do it earlier if you like, no harm in being a little extra prepared! I advise grabbing up a car seat canopy to block out the wind or bad weather and to help keep it dark for when the baby is sleeping.
  • Newborn Cloth Diapers: If you are not planning on cloth diapering or just waiting til you get home then don’t worry about bringing these. If you are then you will want to bring a few newborn or extra small sized cloth diapers along with disposable or reusable inserts to help keep your diapers cleaner. The hospital is going to supply you with diapers during your stay regardless if you decide to cloth or not.

I received newborn cloth diapers from Thirsties Baby, Bumgenius, Charlie Banana, and GroVia to include in my video. I was not paid to review and all opinions are my own. 

Postpartum Care Products

  • Cloth Postpartum Pads: I am bringing one heavy 15 inch, seven heavy 14 inch pads and an extra large bamboo insert. I chose organic bamboo velour and minky toppers because those are some of the most gentle fabrics for your skin. You can purchase many quality postpartum pads on Etsy shops like MadeByMothers and Homestead Emporium. You can also sew your own with upcycled fabrics around your house.
  • Disposable Non-Toxic Pads: If the idea of using cloth postpartum pads is a bit overwhelming, I recommend purchasing disposable pads from a brand like Seventh Generation as they leave out the toxic chemicals and perfumes. You may still need to use the big hospital pads that they provide for the first few days of heavy bleeding and then switch out to overnight pads. Aff Link: Seventh Generation Overnight Pads 
  • Wet Bags: I have one wet bag to store my cloth postpartum pads but you can use a plastic or regular bag if you choose. I also have a wet bag that includes a dry pocket for clean items. This one is for going back and forth to the bathroom with my “hoo-ha” care products. We have one giant wet bag or diaper pail liner that I will toss all soiled diapers, clothes, and pads in until we get home to wash. You could use a good sized trash bag for this.
  • Healing & Soothing Vaginal Spray: I purchased a glass spray bottle and filled it with equal parts witch hazel and aloe vera gel. I added a few drops (around 5 of each) of healing essential oils. I believe I included Lavender, Tea Tree, & Clary Sage. I may have included 10 drops of Lavender because I love the smell. This healing spray will be used in place of the numbing spray they provide at the hospital. You can use a cheap plastic bottle if you don’t have a glass one although glass is better at storing or keeping essential oils. You will want to spray this lovely concoction directly on your cloth pad during each change to help sooth and heal your vaginal region. I found witch hazel and aloe vera gel at WalMart for a good price. You can also purchase at the drugstore.
  • Heating Pads: After delivery, you will experience postpartum contractions that can be very painful as your uterus begins to shrink back to its normal size. Some mothers like to include heating pads to help soothe the pain without taking any or a ton of medication.
  • Mom Washer: Now your hospital will normally provide you with a standard plastic peri bottle but if you want to try the one I am packing for the hospital you can check out my Aff link here: MOM WASHER
  • Granny Panties: The hospital will normally supply you with stretchy mesh panties while you are in labor and some for after delivery. Some women love them and some hate them. I found them to work great and thought they were very comfortable so I didn’t bother packing my own undies for the trip. If you are not sure if you will like the mesh panties or not, go ahead and grab some cheap granny panties from WalMart or Target. I went ahead and purchased me some for late pregnancy and post delivery because they are so comfortable. I don’t have to worry about stains as I will toss them once I am done recovering. Oh and yes, I am rocking the granny panties while I am typing this up! 😛

 

Breastfeeding & Nursing Gear

  • Nursing Cover: Like I mentioned in the video, you will get no privacy during your stay so it is really nice to have one of these. I found a coupon in a pregnancy magazine and ordered mine. You can use a big receiving or muslin blanket as well.
  • Nursing Bras: It is a good idea to pack a couple of nursing bras so you can get the support you need and breastfeed a little more easily. You can also use a couple of sports bras and just pull down when you need to feed. You can find nursing bras in most stores and online. I haven’t found one yet that I absolutely love so I don’t have a link to share with you.
  • Comfortable Robe: I highly recommend packing a comfortable robe for your trip. I have one made specifically for new breastfeeding moms in mind called the Mommy Brobe. It has a built-in nursing bra and deep pockets. Aff Link: Mommy Brobe 

Here is my complete review of the MOMMY BROBE if you want to check that out! 

If you are interested in trying out any of my recommended breastfeeding products, you can click on any of my affiliate images above. I do make a small commission if you purchase any of the products and it is at no extra cost to you! 🙂

 

  • Comfortable Nursing Gown: Yes, the hospital will provide you with a generic hospital robe but normally your butt is hanging out of the back lol. I suggest bringing your own to change into after delivery. You want to get one that will cover you well, fit loosely, and have an opening or button down for breastfeeding. I ordered this one from Amazon, Aff Link: Maternity Nursing Gown
  • Nursing Pillow: Some new mothers like to bring a nursing pillow like the Boppy to help prop the baby up while breastfeeding. I have a couple that I keep at home but I didn’t pack them in my hospital bag to save space. Aff Link: Boppy Nursing Pillow with Cover
  • Bamboobies Nipple Cream: If you plan on breastfeeding at all you will want to pick up a tub of quality nipple cream. I have tried out Lansinoh, Medela, and Bamboobies. The Bamboobies Brand and is by far the best because It rubs on so much smoother than the other brands. It’s made from completely organic ingredients and is safe for baby. It also doubles as a pumping lubricant and will heal any sore or cracked nipples. Aff Link: Bamboobies Nipple Cream
  • Reusable Nursing Pads: I highly recommend using cloth nursing pads over disposable ones because they are really soft and much cheaper in the long run. You will want to pack a couple pairs of these even if you don’t plan on breastfeeding to prevent soaking through your bra. Some women don’t leak as much as others but it’s good to stock up on a few just in case. You can use small cloth wipes if you are in a pinch. My favorite reusable nursing pads are the Bamboobies brand and you can check out my Aff link here: Bamboobies Nursing Pads
  • Non-Toxic Disposable Nursing Pads: If you are not going to try reusable brands you may check out a more eco-friendly option that Bamboobies makes. They are made with less toxic ingredients. Aff Link: Bamboobies Disposable Nursing Pads
  • Cloth Wipes: I love using cloth wipes to clean up any drips from pumping or breastfeeding. They are soft and can be used for so many other things. I packed a couple in my hospital nursing bag. My favorite deal is a 24 pack from Amazon. They are super soft and small and can be used for cloth diapering and wiping off dirty hands. Aff Link: Cloth Wipe Pack
  • Silicone Nipple Shield: Sometimes your hospital will give you one of these if you are having trouble with breastfeeding. I highly recommend grabbing one of these if you plan on breastfeeding for a while. They help protect your nipples from a bad latch when you are learning, easing any discomfort you may feel. These may not be a hospital bag necessity but a good to have item at the very least. If you have inverted or flat nipples then I recommend grabbing one or two of these for your hospital bag so that baby can get a good latch. Aff Link: Medela Nipple Shield 
  • Pump Bag: You can definitely use a regular bag for this but I prefer my PumpEase waterproof bag made for carrying my nursing supplies. When I was in the NICU I used it all of the time and after when traveling with my pump supplies. I now use it for my cloth pads. This bag is a nice size for keeping your nursing supplies together but isn’t completely necessary for packing in your hospital bag. Aff Link: PumpEase Wet Bag

Here is a super quick video I created showing off some tips for packing around nursing supplies for a day trip!

Checklist for Dad, & Siblings!

  • Toddler Backpack: If you have other children or a toddler like me you may want to go ahead and have a little backpack made up with extra diapers, trainers, or underwear. Pack some extra clothes, snacks, sippy cup, toys, and maybe an iPad or Kendle to help keep them occupied!
  • The Dad Bag: You may have your partner go ahead and pack a small overnight bag with an extra pair of clothes, snacks, cash, toiletries like his toothbrush and deodorant and maybe a book or iPad. He may want to bring his own pillow as well. It may be a good idea to keep the camera with him so he can take pictures if you haven’t already hired a photographer.

I hope my hospital bag checklist helped you to better understand what you will need at the hospital. I also hope I encouraged you to take a more natural route to your postpartum care. If you have any questions, feel free to leave me a comment below. I would love to hear from you!




Hospital Bag Checklist - Pinterest Image

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Here is what I WISHED I had brought with me when it was all said and done! Also I hope you check out my full labor story. 🙂 Click the image above to view!

The Medela Harmony Pump – Uses, Assembly, & More!

The Medela Harmony Pump – Uses, Assembly, & More!

Post may contain affiliate links. If you are planning on breastfeeding and pumping the Medela Harmony Pump is a MUST HAVE… if you choose to go with the Medela brand that is. When I first started pumping I only had one of those big Medela pumping machines and you can imagine how convenient that was to lug around. I finally took the plunge and ordered one of these portable pumping bad boys and haven’t looked back! In this post, I will show you EXACTLY how to use and assemble the Harmony manual pump. I will also be providing convenient tips, tricks, and an honest review. I like to break everything down step-by-step because when I first started my breastfeeding journey I had no idea what I was doing. If you are a pumping newb, I got your back girl! 

Click the image above to play the video.

If you are interested in trying out any of my recommended breastfeeding products, you can click on any of my affiliate images above. I do make a small commission if you purchase any of the products and it is at no extra cost to you! 🙂

Why You NEED This Pump

Let me start off by saying, I am in no way endorsed or sponsored by Medela. All of my opinions are my own. 

The best thing about the Medela Harmony pump is that it’s super lightweight, portable, and requires no batteries or charging. One time I had to attend my sister-in-law’s wedding shower and I was away from my baby for a little more than four hours. I didn’t expect to be gone that long and I had taken a ride from my mother-in-law. As nature would have it, my breast began to get heavy with milk and I began to panic. I did not own a manual breast pump at the time and was worried my supply was going to plummet since I was going so long between nursing. (I struggled with low milk supply if I didn’t nurse or pump around the clock it seemed like.)

I didn’t want to burden my in-laws as they were having the time of their life and it was my mother-in-law’s daughters’ wedding shower after all. I subtly made hints that I needed to get home and when I finally made it back, I got on eBay and ordered my portable pump. I made sure to always carry it with me when traveling from that day forward. The Harmony pump didn’t take up very much room and came in handy in several situations. I loved how lightweight and easy-to-use it was. I kept it in a little wet bag that was designed for pumping/nursing supplies. My bag would keep the pump from getting dirty or from any breastmilk leaking out if the bottle wasn’t screwed on tight enough.

ReasonsThis Pump Sucks, In A Good Way!

If you are going to be traveling without your baby, this pump is lightweight to pack and will relieve you, keeping you on track with your nursing schedule. No more sore and engorged boobies!

There were so many times we were in the car and we didn’t have time to stop and feed our hungry infant. I’d pull the Harmony out, pump, then I’d hand him the bottle. Don’t worry, I was in the passenger seat or back while doing this! 😛

Nursing HURTS! At least it did for me a lot of the time. Sometimes it was nice to take a break from the little nibbler and use my hand pump.

I had a fancy pumping station set-up in my room but sometimes it was just too darn cold to get out of my bed. Having a manual hand pump allowed me to easily grab and pump in the comfort of my warm cozy bed.

I never had to worry about finding a plug-in or charging this pump. There are no batteries and only a small amount of assembly required.

There are no tubes for milk and mildew to get stuck inside of unlike the other Medela breast pumps.

This pump was compatible with all types of bottles and Medela breastmilk storage bags.

For a little hand pump, it had more power than I imagined it would. It wasn’t as powerful as my Pump In Style, but it got the job done!




The Downside To The Medela Harmony Pump

As you see I love this product and found it very useful but there were a few downsides to it. First of all, it only allows you to pump one breast at a time. This obviously will take more time than when you are able to double-up on a more advanced pump. Being battery free and wireless is nice, but it will give your hand a slight workout. I used the pump when I was out and about, or every now and then at home so it wasn’t a big deal for me. If you don’t own an automatic breast pump and are only planning on using the Harmony, it will cause your hand to be sore.

Since you are pumping one breast at a time, it will cause the other breast to let-down and you will lose some of that precious breast milk. Make sure to ALWAYS wear a breast pad on the other breast while using the Harmony. Unlike an automatic pump, you won’t have the luxury of being hands-free with a manual pump. This may be something to consider if you already have little rugrats running around. Also, sometimes the handle would pop off from the rubber piece when I would pump. That was kind of annoying but other than that it did the job and was very helpful in most situations.

Click the image above to play the video.

Harmony Pump Traveling Tips

I always used a wet bag from Pump Ease to store my pumping supplies in when I would go out on day trips. It was small enough to fit nicely in my purse or I could carry it alone as it had a little handle. It was also large enough to fit my pump plus a few extras. The design is had black and white polka dots so it didn’t look like your typical baby wet bag. The bag is waterproof, keeping any milk leaks from seeping out if they are to happen. It was perfect for keeping my pumping supplies clean and toting around other little necessities. This bag can be used to store all types of stuff later on like cloth pads, cloth diapers, makeup, or beauty products.

When Asher was born he had to be rushed to the NICU for respiratory distress syndrome. When visiting him, I would take this bag with a few of my pumping supplies like bottles, breast shields, Bamboobies nipple cream, medicine, cloth wipes, breast pads, and my peri bottle. I may have also brought some pads, witch hazel Tucks, and my wallet as well but I cannot remember now. The hospital provided the Medela pumps, so I just brought my personal shields and bottles to pump in.

I hope you enjoyed my videos and tips on traveling with the Medela Harmony Pump. If you did, please consider becoming a subscriber as I will be making more video tutorials on breastfeeding and natural parenting!




Medela Harmony Pump

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Best Nursing Pads

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