Pumping, Dumping, Freezing Breast Milk, & Bottle Feeding

Disclosure: The Workout Mama is a Joovy Moms ambassador and as such is provided with product for reviews. All opinions are 100% honest and my own.

Over the last 2 months I have been going to weekly doctor appointments to see my vein specialist for endovenous laser treatment and sclerotherapy. For this reason I have been pumping, dumping, freezing my breast milk, and bottle feeding my baby for 24 hours at a time.

When I became pregnant with Maisie I wore my compression socks everyday but by the end of my pregnancy my legs were bruised, discolored, and painful. We now had a healthy baby but my legs were a mess and I needed more treatments.

I went in for an ultrasound several weeks after Maisie was born to get the treatment approved by insurance and the morning pumping sessions began. Maisie hadn’t been waking up for an early morning feeding for several weeks when I started pumping. Every morning for the past 3 months I have set my alarm to ring at 5am.

Pumping is a commitment. Props to all you moms who do it full time.

Each morning I pump 8 ounces of milk, I use the Medela Pump In Style Advanced breast pump, and proceed to carefully pour it into ice cube trays for freezing. The No Spill Ice Cube Trays I purchased have a silicone covering that acts as a protective barrier to prevent spills and freezer burn. Love these trays!

Breast Milk Ice Cube Tray

Freezing Breast Milk Ice Cube Tray

If you decide to use this method each breast milk cube = 0.5 ounces.

Once the milk is frozen I have been placing the breast milk cubes into glass storage wear in my freezer. I bought a set of various sized Pyrex Storage Containers.

Freezing Breast Milk

On days that I have been getting treatment I fill up mason jars with the appropriate amount of ice cubes for Maisie. Because I had been only nursing Maisie up until this point I didn’t have a great idea on how many ounces she was actually consuming.

Based off the recommendation of her pediatrician I offered 2.5 ounces of breast milk per pound of body weight each day. For example, Maisie weighs 12 pounds, I gave her about 30 ounces of breast milk in a 24-hour period. She is eating 6 times a day so I put 5 ounces of milk in each bottle. Some feedings she would drink less but for the most part 5 ounces each feeding worked out perfectly.

Freezing Breast Milk Mason Jars

When it is time to feed Maisie I remove a mason jar for the fridge and set it out on the counter 30 minutes before her feeding. After letting it sit for 15 minutes I make a hot bath for the mason jar by placing it inside a Pyrex Prepware 1-Quart Measuring Cup.

While the cubes are melting and heating up I occasionally swirl the milk around inside the mason jar. It is important to swirl and not shake the breast milk. Shaking causes the nutritional content of the milk to break down faster.

Heating Frozen Breast Milk

Once the milk is ready I pour it into my favorite bottles EVER. When Caden was an infant we bottle fed him occasionally but he hated it. Thankfully I was able to work my personal training clients and group fitness schedule around his feedings so he rarely needed a bottle. I was a little worried and apprehensive at how Maisie would be especially knowing that a bottle would be her only to way to nourished for multiple 24 hour periods.

Shortly before my first treatment we tested out the Joovy Boob Baby Bottle and all my worries soon faded. She devoured the bottle without any discomfort or hesitation. This bottle is amazing! No leaks, easy to clean, and they come in a variety of materials ranging from high quality and medical grade polypropylene to glass.

Joovy Boob Baby Bottle

Joovy Boob Baby Bottle Glass

If you are on the fence about purchasing glass bottles I highly recommend these! We haven’t had any break and the protective silicone sleeve works great in case the bottle gets knocked around. The glass bottle when clean looks brand new even after multiple uses, no streaks or discoloration.

Like I mentioned earlier these bottles come in a variety of material and we also own the durable polypropylene plastic boobs. Each bottle is individually shrink-wrapped to deliver the highest level of cleanliness and is free from BPA, phthalate, and lead. Joovy has put together a Boob PP Baby Bottle Set that would be perfect for the mom who plans to bottle feed their little one, it has everything you need from 5 and 8 ounce bottles, brushes to clean, lids, pump adaptor so you can pump directly into the bottle, and extra nipples.

Joovy Boob PP Baby Bottle Set

Each of 5 ounce bottle comes with a stage 1 nipple. Maisie is 5 months and I still prefer this slow flow nipple to the medium flow nipple (sold separately). I felt that the stage 2 nipple, which is recommended for 3M+, was a little fast for her and still is. There is also a CleanFlow Vent Ring that is placed on the bottle before the nipple and collar are tightened. This is what ensures there is no leaks and also that the baby does not inhale additional air.

Cleaning these bottles is very easy. I rinse them out with a quick hot soapy scrub and place them into a Quick Clean Micro-Steam Bag. Super fast and kills 99.9% of germs and bacteria.

Quick Clean Micro Steam Bag

Heating up frozen breast milk, bottle feeding a baby, pumping, dumping, and cleaning the bottles takes me about 45-60 minutes total. It is time consuming but worth it. Since starting treatment on my legs they are already feeling so much better.

I only have a few more weeks of sclerotherapy left and then I will be able to put my pump away for awhile. I really love this bottle and it is great to know that we can leave Maisie for a few hours with family if we need or want to in the future. As far as transitioning from breast to bottle and bottle back to breast I could not be happier with my experience. Thank you Joovy for making a great product!


Joovy is an american based company that is a family-run business that considers their employees, customers and factory partners as members of the family. Their goal is to design and manufacture family gear products that are extremely useful, practical, good-looking and FUN. You will not be disappointed if you decide to purchase this stroller or any other product from Joovy.


Joovy Website, Amazon, Joovy Facebook, Joovy Twitter, Joovy Instagram

I would love to know what has worked for you! Any neat tricks or tips you have when it comes to pumping, freezing breast milk, or cleaning bottles?


Maisie’s Birth Story

I am so incredibly excited to share our sweet Maisie girl’s birth story today on the blog. Having our little girl here has filled our hearts with more love and given us a joy that we didn’t know was possible. It feels like my heart has expanded to double it’s normal size.

I will try and do a follow up post soon with the differences between Caden and Maisie’s birth and post delivery because there are several that even surprised me. Time is already moving so quickly and I am happy to have been able to write down her birth story before I forgot the little details. Honestly, it is crazy what you can forget in even a week, but her story is here and it is typed up – which is what matters. Enjoy…

On the afternoon of Tuesday May 27th, I had my 39 week appointment with my OB, Dr. Brass, at 5:45pm. Before I continue telling this story, if you are local and looking for someone to deliver your baby or are wanting to get pregnant I highly recommend her. She is just awesome and I am so thankful she was able to deliver Caden and Maisie.

Caden came with me to the appointment and we listened to little sisters heart and measured mommy’s tummy. I had a vaginal check to see how far dilated I was and was a little disappointed that I was only 1cm dilated. I had fully expected to have had the baby by 39 weeks, so to hear that there had been little change in my cervix wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear.

While I was having my cervix checked Dr. Brass started explaining how she was going to try to encourage my body to keep the contractions I was feeling coming in more frequent and consistent intervals by doing a membrane strip (also known as a sweep).  After she had finished checking me I asked if I needed to get in any particular position for her to be able perform the sweep and was told it was already done. I had hardly felt anything.

I left the office with some light spotting and was told that if my body was ready to go into labor the membrane sweep would help to get everything started. I was excited but also cautiously optimistic because I knew I could still be days or even a week away from having this baby.

Josh was on shift at the fire station and I had told Caden we would visit Daddy at work before we headed home. I was super eager to tell Josh what had happened during my appointment which made him even more excited that this baby might be coming very soon. Caden and I stayed at the station for about 40 minutes and left to come home.

While I was driving home I started to feeling a little achy and was very happy when I pulled into the driveway. I got Caden out of the car, carefully carried him upstairs, which at this point proved to be challenging because my back was hurting, and got him ready for bed.

By 7:30pm I was struggling to eat my dinner and had lost most of my appetite because my stomach wasn’t feeling that great. For the next hour I sat on our exercise ball, walked around the house, used a heating pad on my back, and visited the bathroom several times. I debated if I needed to call Josh at work and tell him that I thought my labor might have started but I kept putting it off thinking it could be a false alarm. I can’t tell you how many times during this pregnancy I thought I was or could be starting labor and I didn’t want him to come home from work until I knew it was the real thing. I decided to call him anyway just to let him know what was happening. During that phone call we decided to wait a hour and then I’d call him with an update.

By 9:30pm the contractions were coming in 5 minute intervals. I then called my Dad and told him that I thought I might be in labor and would call him in 30 minutes on whether he needed to come pick up Caden.  I made the call to Josh – come home. While I waited I took a hot shower and was elated when I heard the garage door open because I knew at this point I was in labor and needed my husband.

When Josh came home he helped me get situated upstairs with the exercise ball and heating pad in our bathroom while he packed up the car and called my Dad asking him to come get Caden. I decided to take another shower and was lunging and squatting as the water poured down my back. I was sad when all the hot water was gone because it felt so amazing. I wrangled myself out of the bathroom and got dressed and was able to make it back downstairs. My Dad came shortly after and Caden was packed up into the car to spend the night with Grandpa and Grandma and we were off to the hospital.

The drive to the hospital was awful! I was so glad we didn’t wait much longer to leave the house. With each contraction I felt every tiny bump and dip in the road. Sitting was the last thing I wanted to be doing. Poor Josh had to listen to me scream and cry in pain during that car ride. I was praying that I would be far enough along that I would be admitted and not have to endure another ride in the car back home.

We checked in a little before 11pm and were quickly taken back to a triage room to be seen. I got into my hospital gown and was hooked up to the monitors. With every contraction I had to stand up and lean over the bed with my chest and head resting on a pillow while Josh pressed on my lower back. Although I could tell my contractions were getting closer, I was shocked to hear the nurse say they were 3 minutes apart.

The nurse did a vaginal check in between my contractions and told me I was 3 cm dilated! I was so ecstatic! The nurse went to call Dr. Brass but she said that I might be sent home to continue my labor unless my water broke. The thought of going home was disappointing but soon a new contraction hit which didn’t give me a lot of time to dwell on it.

Josh was pressing on my back as I stood in front of him leaning on the bed. With each contraction Josh would remind me to relax my shoulders, back, belly, and cervix. It sounds so funny but it really did help me to remember to breathe and let go of the tension I was holding in my muscles.

With another contraction coming on Josh went into his role as my own personal relaxation coach and when he reminded me to  relax my cervix my water literally broke and gushed out all over the floor surrounding his feet. We both burst out laughing! It was so funny and the laughter did us both a world of good. As my water continued to gush out onto the floor Josh went to find the nurse. I was so happy because this meant we were staying and having this baby girl soon!

Pretty quickly after that I was soon walking with Josh from the triage room to the room where we would deliver our baby in. We also made a phone call to my mom telling her she should make her way to the hospital now. Once we arrived in the room the only thing I wanted was a birthing ball. I had another vaginal check and was dilated to 5cm. Compared to my labor with Caden this was progressing much, much faster.

My plan was to remain on my feet, sitting on the ball, or on all fours until I could deliver. I knew gravity was my friend and the more upright I could stay the better. As soon as the ball was brought in I planted myself near the edge of the bed and hunkered down leaning my upper body on a pillow and the mattress.

The contractions were coming very quickly and I would catch my breath only to feel the pressure and back breaking pain building up again. My Mom thankfully arrived at 1:30am to offer additional support and encouragement and soon after I remember the nurse saying that if I felt the urge to start to push or more pressure in my pelvic floor to let her know. I didn’t realize until that point that I actually was feeling more pressure and starting to feel the urge to push.

With the added pressure and more intense contractions it was time for another vaginal check. I hate these things. Not because they hurt but because the last place I want to be when I am in labor is on my back. I painfully climbed up into bed and assumed the position.

I was so happy and relieved when the nurse said I was dilated to 8cm. Hallelujah, praise Jesus! Since I was already on the bed I maneuvered myself onto all fours to ride out the remaining contractions before it was time to push. My upper body was flung over the birthing ball, Josh was behind me digging his elbows into my sacrum (I know this sounds painfully but the counter pressure was one of the only things making the contractions bearable), my mom was in front of me holding my hands and letting me know I was doing a great job and reminding me to breathe, and the nurse was on my right side monitoring the baby.

My OB was called during this time and once I knew she was on her way I started to give into the pain. Screams, tears, and whimpering about wanting to push and would someone please let me squat were the only things coming out of my mouth. Dr. Brass arrived quickly after this and when she walked into the room told me that I needed to calm down and try not to scream. The squat bar was setup quickly and the end of the bed was lowered.

My lower body was shaking so bad as I made my way into a squat. The pain and pressure were very intense during the contractions but at this point I knew we were going to be meeting our baby soon so it was easier to try and ride out the contractions than to fight them. At 2:30am I began pushing. As Dr. Brass applied back pressure against the baby’s head, Josh suited and gloved up to prepare to catch, and my Mom was by side as I started to do the most intense workout of my life. In six short minutes, at 2:36am, Maisie Elizabeth Buschel entered the world by being scooped up into her fathers arms and we were filled with an overwhelming amount of joy, thankfulness, and love.

Maisie and I cuddled while I delivered the placenta and was stitched up. I had very mild tearing this time and Dr. Brass said that Maisie looked much bigger than Caden. With my baby in my arms I was a happy mama. I don’t think I can ever fully explain the mix of emotions I have felt when my babies have been laid on my chest after their births. It is a mix of awe, amazement, relief, joy, and unconditional love. Babies truly are a miracle and I feel so blessed to have been able to experience this amazing process twice.

The time came for me to let the nurse borrow Maisie so she could be checked out. Imagine my surprise to hear that she was 8 lbs 9 oz., that was a much bigger baby to birth (Caden only weighed 6 lbs. 6oz.). Dr. Brass said that she could understand why I was screaming more this time, Maisie was 2 pounds larger.

I am so grateful that I again was able to have the birthing experience that I wanted. I was able to labor at home for several hours, arrived at the hospital just before my water broke, labored and delivered unmedicated, and had a great support system around me.

Maisie's Birth Story

 Maisie’s Birthday May 28, 2014 at 2:36am | Birth Weight 8 pounds 9 oz. | Length 21 in

Thank you again for all your sweet comments on the blog, Facebook, and Instagram. We have been enjoying the new routine of being a family of four and I am looking forward to sharing more photo’s and thoughts as the weeks progress.

xoxo, Tamara

PS…If you are new to the blog you can read about Caden’s birth HERE.