A Working Mom’s Sonata Breast Pump Review

Sonata Breast Pump ReviewFor those readers who are pregnant and weighing the pros and cons of the various breast pumps out there, we hope today’s Medela Sonata breast pump review will help you decide. When Kat and I became moms, many considered the Medela Pump In Style Advanced to be the be-all and end-all of breast pumps, but that’s changed — so we were thrilled when Reader R offered to review the Sonata.

Some of the Sonata’s features are:

  • 2-Phase Expression Technology with one-touch letdown button
  • Connects with Smart Solution to the MyMedela app
  • Medela’s quietest personal-use breast pump
  • Hospital performance
  • Touch screen display and control illumination
  • Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery

The Sonata is available at Amazon, Target, and Buy Buy Baby for $359. This post contains affiliate links and CorporetteMoms may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!

We’re able to bring you today’s Sonata breast pump review thanks to Reader R, who emailed us to say:

Someone suggested on your recent survey that you have reviews for some of the new pumps on the market. I just want to offer my services in reviewing the Medela Sonata pump. I love it so far in comparison to the PISA [Pump In Style Advanced] and Symphony I used with my first baby.

We wrote back and said YES PLEASE, and so she wrote down more of her thoughts — HUGE THANKS to Reader R for this Sonata review (after the jump)…

 

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Nursing Clothes for Working Moms: Five Companies To Try

nursing clothes you can wear to work2017 Update: We still stand by this advice on the best brands of workwear for nursing clothes, but you may also want to check out our new page on the best nursing clothes for working moms

In the few years that I’ve been paying attention to nursing stuff (both personally as well as for the blog), I’ve seen the same companies over and over again. I thought it might be fun to round them up for new moms who are searching for nursing clothes and unsure if that BabySteals or Zulily deal is worth it, or trying to gauge the quality of a brand in a local maternity shop, or experimenting with what kind of nursing access works best.

Pictured at top, clockwise: one / two / three / four.

Personally, my consistent favorites were shirts that lift up, either with partial panels or entire second front layers — they kept my tummy covered while providing some coverage for my breast. The biggest hits and misses came from a second category that kind of overlaps with the first that I’ll call the “secret panel” access, like the red top below. Depending on how the cutout hits you and your bust, it could be great — or horrible. Finally, my least favorite were the types that pulled down — the pro here is that there’s very easy access, but the con is that the top of your breast is totally exposed. (For some reason, the phrase “whip it out” kept coming to mind whenever I used one of these tops!!!) There are still other tops with different sorts of nursing access, like the secret zippered panel brands like Loyal Hana offer. Most of the serious maternity shops (like the excellent Figure8 Maternity) focus on the first two types. Ladies, which kind of nursing access did you like best? What were your favorite brands for nursing-friendly workwear?   

types of nursing access for workear

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Nursing Clothes for Work

nursing-clothes-for-work2017 Update: We still stand by this advice on how to buy nursing-friendly clothes for work — links have also been updated below. You can also check out our page with all of our advice on nursing clothes for working moms.  

Which are the best nursing clothes for work? Can you look professional in comfortable, accessible, washable clothes? Reader E, who is lucky enough to have a daycare at her office, asks:

I’ve come back from maternity leave and can’t find any clothes that are both work appropriate and nursing friendly. I’m lucky enough to have a daycare at work, so I nurse her at lunch time, and pump in the afternoon, so I need versatile outfits. So far, I’ve been relying on ponte skirts (easy to wash if she spits up on it…), and a couple of motherhood nursing tops that look professional-ish, on Fridays I also wear nursing tanks from Nordstrom that have wide straps so I feel I can get away with it on casual days.

I don’t want to spend a lot of money as I still have a lot of weight to lose, and will stop nursing her in 3 months when she turns one. However, it’s getting really boring …. so I’d love to have some more tops that I could use that don’t scream “I used to wear this when pregnant,” but are still user-friendly.

Interesting question — and one that I can see a lot of women struggling with as daycares at work get more and more popular. I have a few thoughts, but am curious to see what other people say:

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Pumping When You’re Traveling for Work

pumping traveling for workI am far from an expert on traveling for work — particularly while pumping. In fact, I’ve done it exactly twice: once with Jack (for a whirlwind trip to Seattle for a speaking engagement) and once with Harry (for a whirlwind trip to Chicago for an alumni conference). And: what a PITA. Both times, the pump took up almost my entire carry-on bag, and both times I was absolutely wracked with fear, as I boarded the plane, that I had forgotten some essential pump part at home. The first time I flew I was determined to save the breast milk I pumped — liquid gold! — and I traveled with a freezer bag, ice packs, and had all of the relevant TSA and airline printouts with me in my carry-ons. The second time I decided to dump it because, eh, the kid is fine with formula. (Both times I had started the weaning process, so we had already replaced a nursing session with a bottle of formula. I’ll admit that for the second time, I dropped from three feeds a day down to two in anticipation of the travel.)

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The Best Clothes for Pumping: A Poll

clothes-for-pumping-at-work

2017 Update: We still stand by this advice on the best work clothes for pumping milk, but you may also want to check out our new page on tips for pumping at the office. This 2017 threadjack also includes a lot of great advice from working moms about which clothes they wore to pump at the office. 

Ladies, let’s take a poll today on pumping habits, and the best clothes for pumping.  How do YOU pump? Bra on, bra off? Shirt pushed up, shirt opened?

For my $.02, I have always found it easiest to pump with a nursing bra and a nursing bustier — so for me just pushing a simple shirt (t-shirt, sweater, whatever) up around my neck is easiest. However, I know a lot of readers have commented that they just wear regular bras and will get undressed all the way (even pumping in sheath dresses!), and others love wrap blouses and dresses (I’m guessing you guys are omitting the hands-free bustier?). Do you feel less naked with your shoulders covered? So let’s discuss:

best-tops-for-pumping

(Pictured: There’s a great sale on this Pleione faux wrap blouse, one of the reader favorites for pumping — some colors are up to 70% off, marked as low as $20. This black and white is higher at $40, but I love the versatile pattern — great for hiding a host of stains, leaks, and more. The blouse was $68, but is now marked to $19-$40 at Nordstrom.) Pleione Faux Wrap Blouse

(L-3)

Breastfeeding… and Type A Women

type a moms and breastfeedingHere’s what may be a weird question: as a Type A, goal-oriented, overachieving chick, what was your thought process regarding the decision to breastfeed or formula feed? What was your emotional and intellectual response to the idea of it, and how did you reason through whichever decision you made?

Among friends I’ve seen a wide variety of responses to it, all of which may have been made… stronger, shall we say, based on the Type A-ness of the mom. But I think it’s an interesting question. (I really hope we can talk about this without judgment — for my $.02, there is no “right” answer for whether/how long to breastfeed or formula feed your child.) I’ve seen some moms grit their teeth and approach it with a grim determination. I’ve seen some who really loved the closeness with the baby — and some who were turned off by the feeling of being the Milk Lady. I’ve seen some high-achieving women say, “I’ll give it a go during maternity leave, but my career is too busy to be bothered with pumping and timing all of that.” I saw one interesting Facebook post from a very high achieving mom who noted that she felt she had to stop nursing each of her kids at 15 weeks in order to reclaim some ownership of herself and her body. I noticed commenters were talking about “nursing goals” last Tuesday, which is new to me but makes sense to me as a goal-oriented woman.

So: how did YOU approach breastfeeding or formula-feeding? Why did you make the decision you made? Especially for those among you who have pumped for an extended period — how do you think about it?

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