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    I Pumped Milk…Now What? How to Transport and Store Breast Milk

    I Pumped Milk…Now What?  How to Transport and Store Breast Milk

    Congratulations!  You worked your butt (breasts?) off to pump that milk at work, while traveling, wherever you are - but you aren't ready to give it to baby yet, so now what? How do you store pumped milk and what's the best way to get it back to baby? Here is our compilation of the best tips on transporting and storing pumped breast milk.

    Storing Breast Milk

    Most major maternal/child health associations, as well as lactation organizations, have breast milk storage guidelines.  These recommendations can vary a bit across sources.  However, the general sentiment seems to be that expressed (pumped) milk should be chilled soon after pumping, if possible. The experts generally concluded that it is safe to keep milk at room temperature for up to 4 hours, in the fridge for 3-8 days, and in a standard freezer for 6 months. 

    Here's our roundup of the best and most helpful resources out there for new moms:

    Breastmilk Storage & Handling from kellymom.com (they also have a handy "Quick Reference Card" you can download and keep in your breast pump bag and/or on the fridge: download this here)

    Pumping and Milk Storage from the Office on Women's Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

    What are the LLLI guidelines for storing my pumped milk? by La Leche League International

    How Do I Transport Breast Milk Back to Home or Baby?

    Of course, we're partial to using a Sarah Wells® breast pump bag for transporting your breast pump equipment, accessories and expressed milk!  Our bags can fit a number of external coolers in either side compartment or in the main purse compartment.  We know a lot of mamas prefer to use an external cooler to keep their milk safe/clean/private while in a communal work fridge during the day (keep in mind that cooler out of the fridge, with an ice pack, is only safe storage for a few hours; refer back to the guidelines above).  If you need short-term storage for commuting back home, our testing shows that your bottles of pumped milk (tightly sealed/closed!), with ice packs, will stay cool in either side compartment of the Sarah Wells® bag, for up to four hours.  This is plenty of time for most moms to get their milk home and to baby, the fridge or freezer.  However you decide to transport your milk - external cooler, or in a pump bag - don't forget about it when you arrive home and get swept up in the chaotic life of a new mom!  (Trust us, we've found milk we left in a cooler by accident days later - and we were crying over spoiled (not spilt!) milk!)

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Meet Kate! 10 Questions for a Fashionable Mom

    Meet Kate! 10 Questions for a Fashionable Mom



    Q. What is your name, age and profession (if applicable/as comfortable)?

    A. Kate S, 30-something, director at a health policy non-profit. 

    Q. Is fashion important to you? If so, why? If not, why not?
    A. It's important to me to look nice and pulled together, but I wouldn't say I'm obsessed with being on-trend. I like to invest in classic, well-made pieces (pants, dresses, blazers) that last for years and then mix in more trendy & seasonal items. 

    Q. Describe your fashion style, likes/dislikes prior to becoming pregnant.

    A. Preppy/classic!

    Q. What was your maternity style like?

    A. Sun dresses, sun dresses, sun dresses! Fortunately I started showing around spring/summer so I lived in dresses. It was incredibly easy and comfortable. Before that I was able to use a BellaBand with pants I already owned, highly recommend investing in one or more so you don't have to spend so much on maternity clothes during those early months.

    I never wore maxi dresses before I was pregnant...but found those easy & comfy. I was able to wear non-maternity dresses for awhile and then my favorite stores for those later months of pregnancy for maternity dresses were H&M (cheap, casual but can dress up with belts, jewelry) and Rosie Pope (nicer, pricier dresses but so flattering and perfect for showers, work, etc.) Also key to my maternity style were Spanx or Assets at Target for maternity leggings & tights. For my prenatal yoga class, workouts and lounging around outfits I relied on GapMaternity for yoga pants, tanks & t-shirts.

    I also highly recommend checking out "Bump It Up" (http://www.bumpitupstyle.com/) for tips on styling a bump! :)

    Q. Since becoming a mother, how would you describe your style? Has it changed since becoming a mother?
    A. When nursing/pumping at work I did purchase few nursing tops and tanks and they were a great investments. Pea in the Pod has cute tops and I loved the Bravado nursing tanks for layering. I also used my BellaBand again both for layering with regular tops for nursing/pumping so I didn't have to expose too much skin and for that initial period when your pre-baby pants don't quite fit yet!

    Overall I don't think my style has changed really....I still wear a lot of the same clothes and shop the same stores....I probably just spend a lot less time in-person shopping and a lot less money on clothes for myself now! I do tend to have seasonal go-to items that make it easy to get dressed quickly before work -- for fall/winter skinny pants, boots & blazers, for spring/summer dresses, cardigans & sandals/flats.

    Q. My favorite clothing brand or brands are:
    A. Banana Republic & J Crew are my go-to stores. Citizens of Humanity Jeans. The East Coast-based store South Moon Under has amazing accessories and cute, unique & fun clothes to mix in with your staples. I adore Tory Burch flip flops, sandals, flats & purses and Clarks has the best comfortable yet stylish boots.

    Q. Name up to three celebrities/notable moms whose style you admire.
    A. I just went to my Pinterest style boards to keep myself honest and these are 3 celebs whose outfits I've pinned -

    • Reese Witherspoon - maternity and mom style
    • Kristen Cavallari - she was pregnant when I was so I was often checking out what she was wearing! I actually bought a maxi dress I saw her wearing in a magazine -- it turned out to be from Kmart! Who would have guessed!?!
    • Alyson Hannigan - off-screen and her maternity/mom style on How I Met Your Mother


    Q. Is your child/children’s fashion important to you?

    A. Yes! It's funny when I found out I was having a boy some moms said don't worry there are some cute boy clothes out there as sort of a consolation for not being able to but adorable baby girl clothes. I actually think there are a TON of cute boy clothes!! Carter's is the most practical for under a year everyday clothes since they go through them so quickly. I also really love Janie & Jack, Baby Gap and Ralph Lauren Baby - great high-quality preppy fashion and they all have great sales!

    Q. Sarah doesn’t think having a baby means the end of her time as a stylish, modern woman. Do you think moms can be fashionable and practical at the same time? What are your best tips?
    A. Of course. Love Pinterest for style ideas - coming up with new outfits based on items you already own. Figure out easy & quick outfits by season, and when you find a pair of flattering pants or a style/cut of a dress you you love, invest in a few colors. Splurge a little on accessories (shoes, bags, jewelry) you love and that you can wear over & over again with multiple outfits.
     

    Meet Martha! 10 Questions for a Fashionable Mom

    Meet Martha! 10 Questions for a Fashionable Mom


    Q. What is your name, age and profession?

    a. Martha, 32, patient advocacy

    Q. Is fashion important to you? If so, why? If not, why not?
    A. Very much so – enjoy fashion & shopping; love having fun with trends; want to look professional and stylish at work and at play!

    Q. Describe your fashion style, likes/dislikes prior to becoming pregnant.
    Love classic lines, bright colors, preppy & classy styles appealing. Love high heels, boots, purses – all accessories!

    Q. What was your maternity style like?
    Very similar to prior to the pregnancy - stuck with dresses – both fitted and loose, paired with tights or leggings and tried to stay trendy by shopping at Nordstrom, Gap, and maternity boutiques.

    Q. Since becoming a mother, how would you describe your style? Has it changed?
    A. My clothing style has not changed much, but I have gotten into flats! Tory Burch, AGL are current faves – stylish, but practical for picking up my daughter, running after her, loading the car, etc.

    Q. My favorite clothing brand or brands are:
    A. Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Halogen at Nordstrom, Hudson, Citizens for Humanity

    Q. Name up to three celebrities/notable moms whose style you admire.
    A. Jennifer Garner, Kourtney Kardashian, Sandra Bullock

    Q. Is your child/children’s fashion important to you?
    A. Yes, very! Tendency to dress my daughter in styles similar to mine – stripes, polka dots, bright colors, dresses & leggings.  Favorites are Hanna Andersson, Benetton, Ralph Lauren, Mini Boden

    Q. Sarah doesn’t think having a baby means the end of a woman’s time as a stylish, modern woman. Do you think moms can be fashionable and practical at the same time? What are your best tips?
    A. YES! Moms you can do it! Take good care of yourselves! :-) Definitely need to make time to keep up with grooming & your health! For fashion, pair favorite styles with comfier shoes, roomier sweaters and coats so you can chase and interact with your little one. My daughter (now 3 years old) loves to look at my clothes and shoes – I love that she is into my wardrobe – she even compliments me when she particularly likes my outfits!

    Lemonade Stands and the Kit Kat Club (AKA How I Became an Entrepreneur)

    Lemonade Stands and the Kit Kat Club (AKA How I Became an Entrepreneur)

    I thought it would be fun to share with you how I got to this place...starting my own small business.  For the last 15 years, I've worked in and led national nonprofit organizations.  And I had a really cool idea about a better breast pump bag.  But let's back up a little bit.  

    I think I started my training to become a small business owner as a kid. I definitely didn't know what "entrepreneur" meant back then, and it wasn't in the popular lingo as it is today, but when I think about it, I was becoming an entrepreneur from the start.  I was creative and curious as a kid.  But the thing that stands out in my mind as the first signs of where I was going in life was my ability to convince people to follow me and my ideas.  My poor younger sisters (I have two).  They were my subjects and guinea pigs for a lot of years. 

    There was the Kit Kat Club.  I charged my sisters dues. To hang out with me.  Yes, I actually convinced them to do it. All with the intention of saving up money to buy a cat.  But it was more complicated than just that.  My mom insisted we could not have a cat.  I protested (enter my other love, advocacy); literally, I made protest signs "We demand a cat!" and hung them all over the house.  I have a vague memory of a "march on the living room" too.  When my mom was out of town, I convinced my dad to get the cat.  I was selling people on my ideas, right and left.  Loved that cat.There were the lemonade stands.  Had one every chance I got.  Thanks to my neighbor Nicole for being my sales partner.

    Then there was politics.  My mother was mayor of our town for a bit.  That was awesome; but wasn't enough for me, I had to be involved too.  Along with some other politically-interested teens, I brought the next mayoral campaign into our high school. I remember feeling simultaneously like a geek and so cool when I was called over the loudspeaker to come to the main office because there was media there to interview me.  

    I didn't work a summer fun, chill job as a lifeguard or serving up food.  As a teen I worked for the county economic development office.  I AM a geek.  Wow.

    I came to Washington, DC for college; DC, home of activists, politicians, lawyers, wonks.  Lots of self-starters. Perfect.  I fell in love with the city.  It most definitely has its annoying political downsides, but it's also a town of extremely ambitious, competitive, energetic people.  Very east coast, very me.

    Coming off my interesting experiences with local politics as a teen, I majored in Political Science.  I became interested in women's health, so I added another major in women's studies.  Continued into graduate school in public policy and women's studies.  Found my first full-time job in the nonprofit world, working on a variety of women's health issues.  Learned a lot about running a nonprofit; including fundraising, which is like the charitable equivalent of selling your product or service. Progressed from there to the top spot leading a national organization.  That experience is where I gained the most formal business training.  I helped move the group from a major financial deficit to a financial surplus. Achieving success involved creating a business plan, convening stakeholders for strategy meetings, raising lots of money (selling funders on the organization's mission), coalition-building; all of it, you name it.

    Throughout all this time, I was constantly telling my husband, mom, dad, anyone that would listen, "I have this great idea for XYZ" or "That product or service is cool but I think it should be changed like this." In 2011, I finally hit on the right idea, derived from personal experience (and frustration).  An awesome breast pump bag.  I nervously told a few folks about it.  They were excited.  REALLY excited.  Over the course of a couple of years, I ramped up.  And here I am now (I'll write another blog soon about the process of bringing the Sarah Wells "Maddy" Breast Pump Bag to market!).  

    Being a small business owner is really the most thrilling thing I've done so far professionally.  It's also the scariest.  A friend of mine sent me this great quote that really helped me understand why going out on my own was the next step, "If you don’t build your dream someone will hire you to help build theirs."  I have been incredibly lucky to be hired by people and organizations that had some amazing dreams; but now it's time to make my own happen.  Here we go!

    New Line of Breast Pump Bags from Sarah Wells Designed for Moms on the Go

    New Line of Breast Pump Bags from Sarah Wells Designed for Moms on the Go

    ALEXANDRIA, Va.--The small mom-owned business Sarah Wells LLC, today announced the launch of its stylish, functional, all-in-one breast pump bags. These bags retail for $145 with free shipping at http://www.sarahwellsbags.com.


    Breastfeeding and pumping are on the rise, with over 75% of children being breastfed in the United States (source: CDC.gov). Moms returning to work, or spending extended periods of time away from their babies, often use breast pump equipment to continue lactation. This has left many mothers looking for ways to carry breast pumps in style, discreetly, without toting around multiple bags to hold the equipment, purse items, electronics and other necessary objects.

    “As a working mom, it was hard balancing work and motherhood while sticking to my breastfeeding goals,” said Sarah Wells LLC, CEO and President Sarah Wells. “Instead of carrying three or four ugly bags to work, I wanted an all-in-one bag solution; a way to keep clean pump equipment and accessories separate from my keys and gum wrappers, while being able to hold everything I needed to carry. On top of that, I wanted to look stylish and professional.”

    The Sarah Wells breast pump bag was designed with all the functionality that a breastfeeding mom needs, allowing moms the flexibility to operate their pump equipment from within the bag. Specialized side compartments on both sides of the bag discreetly carry a breast pump and every needed accessory while preserving ample space in the main compartment for regular purse items. When not in use the side pockets can flatten, providing moms with even more space in the main compartment.

    The bags also feature a special padded pocket for a tablet or e-reader. The interior includes a large zippered pocket for keys, phone, makeup and more. The first bag in the collection is made of man-made leather on the outside and an easy-to-clean, water-resistant, colorful lining on the inside.

    “This is the bag I wish I had when I was breastfeeding my daughter,” said Wells.

    The mission of Sarah Wells LLC is to help busy mothers feel confident and fashionable by offering functional and stylish high-quality bags to carry breast pump equipment. This new product is for every mom who wants a discreet and efficient way to carry her breast pump, while looking fashionable. For more information visit www.sarahwellsbags.com or www.facebook.com/sarahwellsbags.

    For more information:
    Media/PR, please contact Sarah Wells, 703-688-3203
    Public Information: 800-833-7079
    www.facebook.com/sarahwellsbags