Before talking about the best breast pump for wedding photographers, let me tell something about being a new mother: It is the hardest and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. I spent 9 months planning for my sweet baby, feeling his kicks, and then learning that 40 weeks is actually more than 9 months… and then learning that babies can be LATE. My little guy was 8 days late. I loved it when people asked me when I was due… and I would painfully scream, “SEVEN DAYS AGO! I WAS DUE SEVEN DAYS AGO”.
Ok. Back to breast pumps.
I’m a fast person. I move fast. I task fast. I have a hard time resting. I just like getting stuff done.
Juggling being a mother and a business owner was a big concern.
Another big concern was how to do this nursing thing.
Nursing was something I really wanted to do. Breastfeeding and pumping while being a wedding photographer scared me. Clearly, it’d be impossible to bring a baby with me to weddings. Can you imagine me breastfeeding him as I tuck him under a nursing cover? No. Hell freakin’ no.
Then I thought, I can’t be the only working mother who has done this. Plenty of mothers who have active jobs have learned how to pump. So I asked literally everyone I knew – nurses, doctors, teachers, other wedding vendors etc. about how they pump on the job.
Breastfeeding and pumping on a Wedding Day
Here’s what I did not want: I did not want to have to take several 20 minute breaks while I sat in my car.
As a wedding photographer, I’ve got the pressure of capturing all those important moments on a wedding day, and stressing out about how to feed a new baby wasn’t something I wanted to stress out over.
Pumping for wedding photographers on a wedding day can be tough. I’ve been on the go under a tight timeline from 8-12 hours at a time without breaks, and that is not easy to do as a nursing mother!
But if you’re reading this article then chances are good that like me your job requires long periods away from home with active moving around or frequent travel. That being said, I have found some great tips for nursing mothers in my line of work which include the best breast pumps out there and other things to bring when you are breastfeeding and pumping on-the-go mom!
The Elvie Pump is the world’s first silent wearable pump. Small and lightweight, the Elvie can be worn inside a standard nursing bra to make it truly hands-free with revolutionary technology that eliminates noise so you can get things done in peace – anytime, anywhere. Connecting your free Elvie app will let you monitor milk volume in real-time as well as track pumping history for each breast while controlling the pump remotely from afar if needed too!
Claim to fame:
- The Elvie has an innovative design. It’s easy to use and it can express up to 4-5 oz of milk per session thanks to the silicone pouch that creates a natural suction, without any need for a special bra or tubes!
- No more struggling to hold your breast pump in place while you’re trying to feed the little one. The Elvie Pump is inside a bra that fits snugly against your standard nursing bra, and can be tucked discreetly under clothing!
- The Elvie’s silicone is BPA-free, can be put in the dishwasher for easy cleaning, and is very durable. Add to that its convenient design which allows mothers to safely feed their children without any worry or hassle!
Reasons why I love the Elvie:
1) Never spills or leaks
2) Can pop them in within a minute, and continue photographing the wedding day, no need for a second shooter to cover me
3) Nearly silent. No one notices.
The Willow hands-free breast pump lets mothers go about their day without needing to stop and find a place for pumping. The patented no-spill technology enables them to fully multitask throughout the day, which means more comfort and control with 20% greater milk output as experienced by their users.
Claim to Fame
- The bra-mounted pump is like a second skin that follows you wherever your day takes you. The silicone paddles attach to the inside of an undergarment. This allows for effortless pumping and without any need for clumsy tubes or dangling bottles anymore.
- You can say goodbye to messy spills! Say hello to easier pumping with the Willow’s spill-proof system. It catches every last drop of breastmilk in a lightweight bag or reusable container inside the pump handle assembly just for this purpose (container accessory sold separately).
- Life as a working mom is hard but the Willow claims you can, “Lie down, bend over and play with your baby” when using their product. This makes your life as a working mom is much easier.
The Elvie vs. The Willow
- The Elvie pumps and holds 5 ounces of milk on each side whereas the Willow can only pump and hold 4 ounces.
- Moms may have issues with the Elvie’s blinking lights compared to the Willow that has none of these.
- There is 2 hours charing time for The Elvie’s battery pack. Pumping can last up to 2.5 hours. Meanwhile, the Willow’s battery lasts up to 5 pumping sessions and also takes 2 hours to fully charge
- With the Willow, you can pump breast milk while lying down. Don’t do this with the Elvie or suffer the consequences of leaks!
The Medela Freestyle is the perfect pump for breastfeeding mothers. The lightweight motor makes it easy to take outside of the home without any hassle, and that 5 pounds will barely be noticeable in your tote bag or backpack! It can also do double pumping at once (or one side at a time) if you need help with milk production.
Reasons why this doesn’t work for me
The Medela Freestyle pump is composed of a battery operated motor with a display monitor connected to tubes. These tubes feed milk into 5-ounce bottles. The way this breast pump is unable to sit on a nursing bra means I’d have to tell the bride beforehand that I may need 2-3 20-minute breaks to be able to pump milk in a corner or maybe in my car.
Weddings are full-blown events. Special moments can be very spontaneous, and as a wedding photographer, I need to be there- from the ceremony to the reception or I may miss one perfect photo!
It’s sad to say that the Medela Freestyle may not work with my line of work but it may be the perfect pump for you so you should still check it out!
Things I Bring With Me As A Breastfeeding Wedding Photographer
I’m a breastfeeding wedding photographer, and I know how hard it can be to juggle bottles, dresses, and babies. When you’re out there taking photos of the bride getting her hair done or capturing images of flower girls running around without any shoes on in the grass, what do you always have with you? Here are some of the things I pack along with my breast pump so I stay ready and on the go!
Nursing and breastfeeding dehydrates me. I like this bottle because it’s stainless steel (no plastics!) and double wall insulated. This means that things stay hot when I want them to be hot, and things stay cold when I want them to be cold.
Cooler bag with an ice pack
Big fan of this little nondescript lunch bag to keep the pumped milk cold. Also Yeti makes the best things ever.
This way, I don’t have to transfer a day’s worth of milk into baggies. I can just cap them, throw them in the cooler bag, and be good to go and get back to shooting.
When I get home, I can transfer them into these bags. I like them because they can store 6oz (sometimes more), and they free well .
Important because I don’t always have time to fully wash and dry during a wedding day.
What other breast pumps do you recommend as a breast feeding mom? Let us know!
You may also want to check out this awesome list of shoes that are perfect for on-the-go wedding photographers like us!