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Pumpin’ ain’t easy, neither is the constant stress of worrying whether or not you’ll be able to produce enough, or what to feed your babe in the event your caregiver runs out of milk before you come home or pickup from daycare.

I will say that it gets soo much easier once they start eating solids. I wanted to share these tips of what worked for me once I had to be back at the office full time.

Communicate Expectations With Caregiver:

I was shocked that many of the nannies we interviewed had never worked with a breastfed baby. In Brooklyn? So from the very beginning to avoid issues of running out/ over feeding etc. I made it very clear, that yes there are differences between how much milk is needed for a breastfed baby and one who isn’t. I had clear guidelines on how to and how much to feed. When to reach for frozen milk, when to hold off because I was on my way etc. This can be a little bit more difficult obviously if your child is in daycare, but you could still communicate the basics with the caregiver.

Stop worrying about building a stash:

The way some women post their stashes on the interwebs, you would think there was a breast milk Armageddon coming soon. While I’m all for proud mamas showing how it’s done and showing off their fruits of their labor, having 2 freezers full of milk is not possible for most, not to mention completely unnecessary.

I’ve always been a pump just enough to have an extra bottle or two kinda girl. At its best my stash was maybe 50 oz total. I remember being so sad and almost panicking even as it dwindled around 8 months or so. I just had to surrender and know that stash or no stash, Anaïs was getting exactly what she needed.

My “stash” now stand somewhere between 7 and 8 oz, divided between 2 lonely bags at the back of the freezer.But I’m holding on to those bad boys! My nanny asked the other day if they were bad, since I had never mentioned them. My reply: “oh no no, they’re perfectly fine! Just waiting until it’s necessary”.

Have a backup plan, in case you actually run out of milk:

As much as I wanted to not use formula, I had to get into reality with myself and acknowledge that there may be times that it would be necessary to supplement. What I ended up doing to make me feel really comfortable with my decision, was doing a lot of research and trying to come up with a backup plan so in the event that there was no breastmilk available, and my return wasn’t eminent noboby would have to panic and scramble to figure it out. 

For us, we settled on homemade coconut milk formula. Since it would only replace a meal or two, I felt comfortable enough that it would provide her with great nutrition until I got home to nurse her. We used it once, she was a few days shy of 10 months. The recipe consisted of coconut milk, a small amount of cod liver oil, baby probiotics and a small amount of Great Lakes Gelatin. We improvised, simply because it was last minute and those were the ingredients we had around. If I were to supplement more regularly, I would use this recipe.

Night Nursing:

I know, I know, this is not for everybody. But if breastfeeding long term is your goal it may be worth considering. Anaïs still jumps on the boob once or twice at night. Never for long, and it’s probably mostly for comfort but I do think that it has helped keep my supply up and alleviate any concern I have that maybe she didn’t get enough milk during the day.

If mom is traveling , baby travels too:

By the time she was 10 mths, my little jet setter had been on 4 different business trips. I’m really big on trying not to do things before it is age appropriate, and for me overnight travel without baby before the age of 1 is not age appropriate. It’s a non negotiable, if I was going somewhere so was my baby and we figured out the additional details as far as who would travel with us, and watch her while I was at my meetings etc along the way.

The one problem I see often being in a corporate environment, is that women don’t always communicate their needs, especially after having a child. There is this fear of being “unreasonable” and a need to be just like everyone else and not seem like they’ve changed since becoming a mom. I’ve had several women say to me in regards to taking Anaïs with me “I didn’t know they let you do that!”. I just smile and nod. The truth is I never asked for permission, I just did what I know is best for me as a nursing mom. Since it doesn’t interfere with my duties, I didn’t see the need for it to be brought up to anyone.

If you have specific request or boundaries that need to be set upon your return to the office, it’s best to speak up and let the proper people know immediately. Don’t be afraid to communicate your needs. Everyone wins when mama’s needs are met!


Vlog: Be Where You’re At

by Stepha on January 14, 2015

Happy Hump Day!!

Believe it or not we’re halfway through January. How has 2015 been treating you so far? Given up on those resolutions yet? In this vid, I share one of the most valuable tips I’ve learned in helping me stay the course, and appreciating my journey no matter how difficult things may seem at any particular moment. Check it out!

Love & Joy,



Adieu 2014

by Stepha on December 31, 2014

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Woo!! What a ride! 2014 was definitely a year of learning and growth.

I became mama to a brave, and inquisitive little girl named Anaïs. I had a beautiful birth experience, completely supported by hubby, midwife and some amazing sister friends. Of course, if you’re a mom you know that birth is just the beginning and shit gets real as soon as the baby comes and I had to learn to go with the flow and embrace the ups and downs if this sacred journey.

I joined a coaching program to get mentoring and finally launch my coaching business! As a result I have met and collaborated with some of the most inspiring women from around the globe, learned to say yes to my desires and put myself in the game by hosting my first ever live Teleseminar.

Along the way, I learned:

*That the baby is much wiser than me, so I better follow her lead
*The importance of setting boundaries and saying no to anything that just doesn’t work for you
*Work/ life “balance” is bullshit
*Your vagina will probably need a lot more than 8 weeks for sex to feel normal again! #truestrory
*You can have it all, but you can’t do it all
*Done is better than perfect

What I’m leaving behind:

Overwhelm– I’m taking it completely out of my vocabulary. Choosing instead to feel empowered and in control.

People who just can’t get their lives. I’m such a nurturer and always want the best for everyone. But I will no longer be more invested in people than they are in themselves. Bye, Felicia.

Procrastination– One of my oldest friends, probably a close relative to overwhelm. We’re done.

Looking Ahead


2015 will be the most magical year yet and I can’t wait!

Top Goals:

*I’m back blogging. Yay!! A new look is coming soon, and monetizing is next.
*Create a more inspiring office and living space.
*Launching my first coaching program starting with social media, and then a website!
*I will host one webcast or call per month.
*Travel!! The last few years have been a travel drought, but that’s no longer. Jamaica, Paris, Mexico, LA are just a few things we’ve got line up.
*Match my current salary with my coaching business. It’s definitely a stretch goal, but I’m speaking it into existence and so it is!

Happy New Year to you!! May 2015 be your most magical year yet! Thanks for reading and always supporting.

Love & Joy,



Join Me Tomorrow!!

December 17, 2014

Hey Lovelies, Long time, no speak! It’s been a busy few months here at Stepha Headquarters. I have a ton of new updates that I will be posting about very shortly. Including another name change, or shall I say a name revival? Hmm. More on that next time. Today, I’m here with a very special […]

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Update & Pics Galore

September 29, 2014

Oh, hello there! It’s been awhile. I think about blogging often, I swear I do, but get the actual time is something I truly need to work on. Life is awesome over here. My little Anou-scka is growing fast, has two teeth, is ready to start solids and this close to crawling…eek! I take it […]

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Black Breastfeeding Week

August 29, 2014

August is breastfeeding awareness month, and this week in particular is Black Breastfeeding Week, with events taking place both online via webinars and social media chats, as well as some live events in select cities. This year’s theme is Black Families Rock, and is intended to celebrate their beauty, power and ability to support healthier […]

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4 Months!!

August 26, 2014

Anou, will be 5 months at the end of next week, and we just took her 4 Month pic on Sunday. Clearly, we’re totally rocking this parenting thing! Another month of big changes and constant chaos! Our little bub, is starting to be more active, playing with toys, lifting her head very high, and rolling […]

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Note from a Proud Bed Sharer

July 24, 2014

I started writing this post earlier this month, but never got to finish and probably would have held of for a bit. Then last week, this gem came out, putting co sleeping back in the media and re-igniting the never ending debate, pinning crib parents over bed sharers all over my social media feeds. So […]

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Quarter Birthday!

July 11, 2014
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She Must Be A Boy

July 8, 2014

Anaïs doesn’t wear a lot of pink, nor do we adorn her with over sized, ridiculous looking bows. So naturally people assume she’s a boy, we stopped correcting them a while back. I do find it quite hilarious though, that even when wearing clearly girly outfit, she’s still referred to as a boy, simply because […]

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