Nope, I’m never breastfeeding again! It’s just not for me. At least that’s what I told myself after struggling for weeks with my baby girl back in 2015. But here I am in a new decade with my baby boy and we are 3 months strong with breastfeeding. If you would’ve told me that I’d be breastfeeding again this time around, I definitely wouldn’t have believed you.
Breastfeeding is such an amazing thing, but it can also be a rough journey that I wish more moms would discuss. Nobody really talks about all of the struggles you can have with breastfeeding and that it might not be as easy as you originally thought it would be. Guess what, though? We gon’ talk about it!
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Medela. The opinions and text are all mine.
BlogHer Parenting Digital Medela Spotlight
Last month, I was able to attend BlogHer Parenting virtually and I really enjoyed myself. The Medela spotlight panel is one that I really enjoyed and learned a lot from. The board-certified lactation consultant was very knowledgeable and helped me learn so much about the Medela Freestyle Flex pump before I even got my hands on one. I’ll be sharing more about my experience with the pump later.
The women on the work-life balance Medela panel were also very helpful since one day in the near future I’ll be returning back to work in the office. Getting back to work can be so overwhelming, but the panel let us know that we aren’t alone in our feelings. It’s ok to talk about it. Remind yourself it’s normal and temporary! Get rid of that mom-guilt you’re feeling. Whew! So much good advice.
The ladies kept the discussion honest and relatable. I loved the fact that they all agreed that what works for you works for you. The beauty of parenting is there’s no right way to do it, and we just figure it out as we go! Click HERE for resources for breastfeeding and working moms, it’s called “new Moms’ Healthy Returns”
My Breastfeeding Journey
Can I let you know something about breastfeeding? Breastfeeding is hard. It’s such hard work! When I found out I was pregnant for the first time, I thought breastfeeding was going to be a breeze. I took a breastfeeding class, I read breastfeeding material, I was going to have a lactation consultant. I was ready! Boy, was I wrong. And you know what? It’s okay that breastfeeding is nothing like I imagined. It’s okay if it didn’t work out the first time around. I wish I would’ve told myself this early on, and I wouldn’t have made myself feel like such a failure after three of the longest weeks of my life. Breastfeeding isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay! I salute all the moms who are able to breastfeed their babies for any length of time. I also salute the moms who do what’s best for them.
My first time breastfeeding was horrible. It didn’t come naturally at all. My child and I had to learn to breastfeed together, and we just could not get the hang of it. It was difficult for me to get my baby to latch at first, my nipples bled and cracked, my milk supply was low, my baby lost so much weight that I cried A LOT, and I even got mastitis which was the last straw for me. You name it, it happened to me.
I tried pumping during that time as well, which was okay, but I hated being tied to an outlet every 2 hours. Breast pumping also didn’t feel the best because my breasts were already screaming in pain! It was just too much, and I got a breast infection in the process, which I didn’t even know could happen at the time. I promised myself that if I had another child, I wasn’t even going to stress myself out with breastfeeding again. Give me a bottle of formula stat! I was over it.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. We all have this image in our head of how this mom life is gonna be, but we really have no idea! I had my baby boy with no epidural which definitely wasn’t a part of the image in my head! He was in my arms in less than 2 hours of me walking into the hospital, and he latched on like a champ. This time around, I felt more confident about breastfeeding, but you know what? It was still a struggle.
Breastfeeding and Pumping
My milk didn’t come in until about a week or so later. My son lost a lot of weight just like my daughter, and I cried and stressed myself out yet again even though I promised myself I wouldn’t. The only difference this time is that I kept at it, but it was still rough. I also supplemented with formula because I worried myself about his weight gain. I breastfed him as much as possible and pumped when I wasn’t feeding to up my milk supply. There was no cracking, bleeding, or breast infection this time though, so it was easier for me to keep pushing.
At first, I had the idea to exclusively pump, but to pump only was just A LOT! I didn’t like being tied to an outlet all the time. Having my baby breastfeed was more convenient, especially at night. However, I did enjoy letting my husband or daughters bottle feed him after pumping so they could get that bonding time as well. A combination of breastfeeding and pumping is what worked for me. I also needed to get used to pumping and storing breastmilk for my return to work.
Medela Freestyle Flex Breast Pump Review
The Freestyle Flex breast pump is the newest breast pump from Medela. It’s super light, compact, and portable. You can purchase it at major retailers including Amazon, Target, Buy Buy Baby, and Walmart. Now let me tell you why life is easier with the Freestyle Flex breast pump!
Small Breast Pump
First of all, the Freestyle Flex breast pump is tiny! It only weighs a pound. I love the fact that it’s so small yet powerful. I can fit it in my pocket, purse, or wear it around my wrist. That is mind-blowing to me! I’ve never seen a breast pump like it and I’m loving it. Not only is it small, but it’s super quiet. Most breast pumps are just as loud as they are big, but not this one. The quietness of it makes it perfect for night time pumping sessions.
Best Breast Pump for Working Moms
The Freestyle Flex breast pump is made just for a mom like me who is always on the go or works outside the home. If you have to go to work, take your daughter to dance class, and hit the gym, this breast pump is perfect for you. You can pump whenever and wherever you’d like with no hassle. Not only is it easy to take along with you, but there’s also no plugging it up to an outlet!
It’s cordless and the battery lasts for up to two hours, which is great for a workday. There’s no need to buy a rechargeable battery. The only time it needs to be plugged up is when it needs to be charged. Charging is simple with a USB charger that you can plug into the wall or connect to your computer at work. This makes the working mom life so much easier! It’s good for stay at home moms too because you can get so much more done around the house because you can pump while doing it!
Comfortable Breast Pump Flanges
I’ve used a couple of different breast pumps with Medela Pump In Style being my first, and I’d have to say that the Freestyle Flex breast pump has been the comfiest. It’s soft, massages the breast, and just feels better overall. Instead of the traditional breast pump flanges, it comes with the PersonalFit Flex breast shields. These breast shields offer four-way fit and adapt to mom’s natural shape.
Pump More Milk
According to Medela, mothers get 11% more milk per minute on average because of the design of the PersonalFit Flex breast shields, and this breast pump promotes better emptying of the breast. It features Medela’s patented, research-based 2-Phase Expression™ technology to mimic baby’s natural sucking rhythms. For a mom like myself who has struggled with milk supply, this is great news!
Easy to Use
The pump is extremely easy to put together and use. It has a touch screen that doesn’t have too many buttons, and you can easily toggle between different pumping phases. Not only is it easy to use, but it’s also easy to clean. You just lift the window and remove the flanges to wash and replace.
Breastfeeding Routine Tracker
I love the fact that I can easily track my breast pumping sessions via Bluetooth with the MyMedela app. Sometimes I would forget to manually use a breastfeeding tracking app, but the MyMedela app makes life easier! The Bluetooth capability allows the pumping info to get sent directly to the app when you start pumping. All you have to do is enter how much milk is pumped.
The app is completely free and designed to help you achieve your goals. You can track baby’s key activities, log nursing and pumping details, get access to breastfeeding tips, and even connect with a lactation consultant. The app is available on Android and iOS devices.
For even more breastfeeding tips and support, visit Medela’s The Moms’ Room.
My experience with the Freestyle Flex breast pump has been good so far! I’m excited to keep using it and thankful that Medela sent it to me to try out. I hope this review has been helpful for you, and you look into trying the Freestyle Flex breast pump for yourself. Go ahead and add it to your baby registry!