Milk Sharing: What Mamas Need to Know

Milk Sharing - SmartMom

Photo by Eden Lang

Last week, as I was picking up my donor milk from my friend Jenny, she wondered out loud what people must think we’re doing. We frequently meet at the back of parking lots, babies in tow, where she hands me a bag full of frozen breast milk in storage bags and I discreetly transfer it to my cooler to take home.

“Do you think they think this is some kind of weird drug deal?” she asked, grinning. I had to laugh, because I’d had the same thought on the way there. Wouldn’t you love to see the face of the cop who investigated us and found out what was actually in my bag? Fortunately, accepting another mother’s breast milk is perfectly legal, and it’s becoming a lot more common than you might think.

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Breast Pumping at Work

I didn’t set out to become an exclusive pumper. I knew I would have to pump once I rejoined the workforce following my maternity leave, of course, but that seemed ages away. I had visions of my baby and I blissfully breastfeeding together, and fantasies of a freezer packed to the brim with bags of extra milk. Everything was going to be perfect.

The reality check came shortly after my son was born.

After a week of frustration and midnight crying marathons, it became clear that life had other plans. He wouldn’t latch and my supply was dismal. A breast reduction in 2005 had left so much scar tissue that my body simply couldn’t produce enough milk, but I was determined to give him everything I could, and my relationship with my pump began far sooner than I had originally planned.  Breast pumping at work was my only option.  Continue reading

Baby’s First Christmas on a Budget

smartmom baby's first christmas on a budget

Photo by Amanda Watters

I haven’t gotten this excited about the holidays in quite some time. Honestly, Christmas stopped being a big deal for me several years ago. I still look forward to it, of course, because it means seeing my extended family and participating in all kinds of fun traditions. But for some time, it just hasn’t had the same appeal it did when I was younger. But this year is my baby’s first Christmas, and I couldn’t be more excited! Continue reading