Meet Sierra Smith, Sarah Wells Bags Claire Ambassador
I am so excited to introduce to you Sierra. Sierra became a Brand Ambassador for Sarah Wells Bags in October of this year. She was sent my newest bag, Claire.
I did a Question & Answer session with all of our Claire Brand Ambassadors. They have amazing stories and give you an exclusive insight into my new Claire bag.
Sierra, please tell us about yourself & your pumping journey.
I’m a mom of two beautiful breastfed babies, Hayden and Carson. Hayden, my oldest, was born in March of 2008. I only pumped a handful of times with her, as I was a stay at home mom and really didn’t have a need for pumping.
When my second child, Carson, was born in March of 2016, I was (and am still currently) working full-time. I knew I would be pumping when I returned to work, but what I didn’t realize was how challenging it would be.
When Carson was 5 ½ weeks old we took him to a local children’s hospital because he was spitting up blood. I was just finishing up maternity leave and learning to use my pump, as well as my Sarah Wells Annie Bag. Life was pretty chaotic.
After a terrifying day of IV’s, not being able to nurse him, and having our tiny son put under general anesthesia so they could put a camera down his throat and take a biopsy, we found out that he had thrush in his esophagus. We didn’t even know you could get thrush there, but thankfully it was easily treatable.
I had been having trouble battling nipple thrush myself, and sought the assistance of a lactation consultant for sizing pump flanges that were too small. (I didn’t realize that nearly half of all women are not the size of the standard flange that is included with most breast pumps.)
After finding the correct size, thanks to the help of some pumping specific Facebook groups and an amazing IBCLC, we thought we were in the clear. Unfortunately, our lactation consultant noticed that Carson was possibly tongue and lip tied, so we were referred to an ENT for a confirmed diagnosis.
Thus, began our journey of further research, monthly craniosacral therapy treatments and more. This also affected my milk supply. There were days I sat crying over my pump, ready to quit. My husband, family, and close friends were incredibly helpful and supportive. Ironically, myself, my sister, my sister-in-law, and dear friend all had babies just a few months apart and were able to donate breast milk to Carson and I. A fellow pumping coworker donated milk as well.
We were very blessed to have these women and resources, which helped us push past our original goal of exclusive breastmilk for 6 months. After the initial setbacks, I’m happy to report that we have well surpassed our goal. Carson just turned 19 months this October and we are still nursing and pumping daily. A large part of that is due to perseverance and a supportive village cheering us on. I also credit my Sarah Wells Bag to keeping me organized, through all of the ups and downs, and everything in between.
Did I mention I’m also a childbirth educator? My bag has traveled with me on trips to trainings, events, and conferences all over the Pacific Northwest!
What do you think sets Sarah Wells Bags brand apart from the other bags on the market?
Sarah Wells Bags was created by a pumping mom, specifically for pumping moms. Sarah is a woman who understands the ins and outs of pumping. After joining this club and meeting so many women and hearing their stories, I’ve noticed there’s something extra special about this labor of love and the women who do it. I believe that Sarah understands that, whether you pump 1 month or 1 year. Sarah Wells Bags are stylish and well made, built to support you. The brand really caters to us, listens to feedback and embraces the beauty in it all.
Are you a Claire Black or Claire Brown girl?
I am totally a classy, but sassy black with the cayenne red Claire girl. ;)
What was your first impression of Claire?
I was very impressed! It’s a little more casual than the Annie I previously had, but I love the overall look and improvements to the design.
What are your favorite features of Claire?
The additional pockets, laptop sleeve, and ability to snap things out of the way when needed are all great features and honestly make this bag more useful. In the Claire bag I truly see a more versatile and longer lasting bag. Claire with all of her pockets, key fob, etc. are great for keeping me organized on the go.
What do you have in your 12 pockets?
Oh gosh, I probably have more than I need!
For my breast pump I have a Spectra S2.
On the inside, I have a Simple Wishes Hands Free Pumping Bra (a necessity if you’re a commuter, in my opinion), a Pumparoo bag with bottles and flanges, Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter (also doubles as a lip balm!), a box of Up & Up Breastmilk Storage Bags, and a Boppy nursing cover. (Though I’ve only used that when hand expressing in the car while on a date with my husband. Ha!)
In the inside zipper pockets I have a “mommy survival kit” that includes a pair of disposable nursing pads (not that I really need them anymore, but you never know), sanitary napkins, more Kleenex, and a travel size Native Deodorant. I also have a mini notebook and pen.
In the side pockets are 2 additional Spectra bottle caps for storing milk and breastfeeding support cards.
For more information about the newest Sarah Wells Breast Pump Bag, Claire,
or to purchase Claire please click here.