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Episode 59: Working, Traveling & Pumping with Karlee Vincent

, , October 21, 2021

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Jacqueline Kincer  0:36

Welcome to Episode 59 of The Breastfeeding Talk Podcast. I’m your host, Jacqueline Kincer. And today’s guest is a super cool Millennial Mom named Karlee Vincent. And if you don’t know who Karlee Vincent is, you certainly will soon but you might know her as the traveling milk truck. And so this has sort of evolved from one thing to another, and she’s gonna share her story with us today. But with COVID and whatnot, the milk truck is currently not traveling. But Karlee used to manage huge technology company events for over 100,000 attendees. And in her line of work, she would struggle to breastfeed while traveling in airplanes and hotels and just being on the road. And her personal experience led her to uncover policies ways to ship breast milk across the country, getting companies to support and pay for these things and support their traveling and hard working lactating moms. So we go in depth talking about all things that are really important when it comes to any line of work and going back to work while trying to provide breast milk for your baby. Especially if you’re traveling. Karlee is also in the process of writing a fantastic book, which is going to be a guide to help moms create the best workplace situations for themselves and their babies. So without further ado, I’m going to share all of the magic that Karlee has to share with you on today’s episode. Welcome to the podcast, Karlee, I’m so excited to have you on today. And we’re gonna have such a fun conversation we already have before I started to hit record here. And I know I just gave a little bit of an intro about who you are and what you do. But just for our audience who’s listening. Tell us a little bit more about yourself. Tell us where you are in the world. Tell us what it is that you’re working on right now. Because you are just you’re doing a lot of things.


Karlee Vincent  2:43

Right. Hi, first. First of all, I just want to say thank you for having me on the podcast today. I’m excited to have this conversation with you. And as you mentioned, my name is Karlee Vincent, I live in the San Francisco Bay Area with my husband and two daughters. I for the last number of years have been working on a book to help breastfeeding moms who are returning to work after maternity leave. And my business, the traveling milk truck helps those moms as well by providing actionable resources and steps to help make that transition easier and to help traveling become a little bit more straightforward for them.


Jacqueline Kincer  3:29

I just think that is one of those things that’s so needed. You know, I feel like the overall gist of things that moms sort of get is okay, well, I need a pump for when I go back to work, and I need bottles and I need my baby to take a bottle and then I’m going to just figure it out. So I know there’s just so much more that is needed in all this area. And there is a fair amount of talk about you know, that return to work and whatnot. And you know, companies are giving pumping breaks or maybe they have an official pumping or lactation room or something and you know, the employee doesn’t have to use a bathroom, they shouldn’t be using one. But there’s really a lot more to it than just some break time and a room and you know that really, really well. So when when you’re speaking to moms when you’re working on this amazing book that you’re that you’re working on, what are what are the things that you really want to have moms know about this return to work like, you know, this their first baby, they have maternity leave, it’s coming to an end. Like what’s next for them? Where can we help them out and get them started?


Karlee Vincent  4:44

Yeah, absolutely. I think some of the key takeaways and through my experiences, I realize that not only going back to work is a transition in and of itself. But if you are in a position Whether it be in the medical field or sales or a traveling type of business, it tends to be more multifaceted than what you are given going back into the work for. So one of the goals that I had when starting the traveling milk truck was to help moms break that down and find those actionable tips and guides to help make that process easier. For instance, some of the experiences I had, through this process in 2017, after my second daughter was born, I had gained enough experience by that time to realize that I could open up the door and have conversations and if ask important questions with my employer to try and get some policies changed in the workplace. And just a few of those would be to help improve and create breastfeeding spaces for moms at every company conference, and to also get milk shipments approved for moms if they were traveling and breastfeeding. Hmm,


Jacqueline Kincer  6:18

so so important, I know that I’ve been to a number of conferences as a lactation consultant for work, and I’ve gone up to my hotel room to pump because there wasn’t a place to do that at all near the conference space. So if we don’t have conferences where lactation consultants are presenting or an attendants that have lactation spaces, why would we expect any other type of industry to do that? So I love that you’ve thought about that. That’s just that’s just huge. And there’s so many different types of work out there. You know, I have clients who are surgeons or police officers, or, you know, traveling salespeople, or maybe they do work in a cubicle desk job all day or retail, and everyone’s got different needs and different circumstances, different hours, you know, different locations, and all of that. And then like you said, the sending the milk back. Oh, my goodness, how how do moms actually, you know, if they’re, if they’re away from home, and they’ve they’ve flown or what have you? How do they get their milk calm?


Karlee Vincent  7:22

Yeah, so that actually, yeah, no, that’s an important topic. To discuss. I think one of the biggest unknowns for moms just alone is traveling to a workplace, for instance, pumping milk while you’re there, and then trying to get that milk and that food back to your, your baby in that process. And so there are some really great companies out there that I just want to give a shout out to one is milk Stork, which is the company that that helped send milk back when I was traveling between San Francisco in New York. And then the other one, which I found, kind of by accident is mama who has pods with has pods that are designed so that way moms don’t have to pump in a bathroom stall, which I have done many times. And I know, I know a lot of other moms out there that have had to do make that tough decision for themselves as well. So those are two two great companies that have helped me in that process along the way.


Jacqueline Kincer  8:44

Yeah, thank you so much for sharing that. Because, you know, I think one of the things especially if you’re you’re going to be you know, away for a while, or what have you is, you know, for you to have a giant stash of milk saved up for your baby before you leave is pretty unrealistic, right? So you need a way to get that milk home quickly and safely. And like just going to your regular old UPS stores probably not going to cut it. If if my Amazon Amazon packages getting delivered in the condition that they are that I probably would say you want to have a really good service that’s geared towards that.


Karlee Vincent  9:22

Yeah, so I’m just to that point alone. I I was looking at and this is what really got me asking. my place of work was that I realized that it wasn’t going to be cheap or easy to get milk back home to my daughter while I was traveling for work. And I had done my research to try and figure out exactly what was needed to safely get the milk back home. Such as having dry ice available and a box and the shipping labels and the storage container inside. And while you’re on a business trip that is not something that’s totally on your priority list, let alone having the time to be able to find a place to send the milk and get it back home in a timely manner. Because to your point, having a giant stash of milk in your freezer, it takes a lot of work and a lot of effort and a lot of extra pumping sessions just to make sure that you have enough milk for the time that you’re gone. So in one particular trip, I knew that I at least had three or four days of milk stashed for my daughter, which gave me enough time to be able to ship my milk back. Well, one of the the mess ups and I really like to laugh at the mess ups because it’s part of the journey. But one of the mess ups that I did was I got the milk there, I got it ready to go and ready to send out at I was at a convention center in Manhattan, and I get it there. And I send it off, and I leave. And I realized the next day that I didn’t have the tracking slip, I had no way to track when and how the milk was going to get back home. And I just prayed that my my daughter had enough nope, for the rest of the week. And with that being said, we’ve had to supplement with formula. And that has been totally fine for our family. But you know, just the all of the work and effort put into pumping and shipping that milk. It’s it’s a lot of effort. And when you’re managing a lot on your plate during work trips, it’s the last thing you want is the phone call from your husband, or whoever is at home taking care of your little one saying when is it when is the food gonna get back.


Jacqueline Kincer  11:57

So totally, totally. And even if you’re like, hey, you know what, I don’t have enough saved up before I go. So my baby’s just gonna have to have a formula, and that’s fine. But if you want to continue breastfeeding, when you get back, you’re going to have to pump on that trip. And nobody wants to be pouring that down a drain, like, Oh, definitely want to get that back home. Like you’ve worked hard for that and you’ve interrupted, you know, your your work cycle, or you’re you’re traveling or you’re on a plane for X amount of hours. And you know, like, you don’t want to throw all of that out, that would just be so heartbreaking and sad. So, for all those reasons, I think it’s so important. And I’m so glad that there are companies out there that can support moms and doing that. And I’ve learned a lot of companies probably just you know, you and others have brought awareness to this issue. Right? And, you know, companies are partnering with milk Stork, or mom, Yvonne, whatnot and providing these services. So it’s just excellent. And what about like, what about shorter term? Travel, meaning like, you know, you’re not in an office all day for a job. That seems to be a really big challenge for a lot of moms. Like I mentioned, I had a police officer client, like she’s, she’s a road cop, like she’s pulling you over if you’re speeding kind of thing. There’s no real like schedule, or you know what I mean? And then I might even have a partner in their car with them. There’s just a lot of logistical challenges. And that’s just one example. So how, how can we support and empower those moms and continuing their, you know, breastfeeding and lactation through those kinds of circumstances, because, again, not everyone has, you know, works for a big corporation and has a nice lactation room to go and pump. Right. All of that kind of stuff.


Karlee Vincent  13:40

Exactly. I think I think you hit the nail on the head there. There are a couple of things. Absolutely. That I think would be helpful for anybody that’s on the road, one being the type of pump that you have. So there are pumps now that have come into the market such as free me, the free me and the willow pump. Now the one thing I have to say about those two pumps is that it and it could have changed by now but they pumps are available through insurance. Usually, you can get them for free, but it only covers certain types of pumps, it doesn’t cover those hand free pumps. However, if you have a program at work that is like a FSA, a flexible spending account, for instance, you can use those dollars towards that purchase for yourself as as a mom on the go. And I have to say I did it hardware didn’t invest in one of those pumps. And so I always had a hand pump and a electric pump that I could plug into the outlet in the car, but as a paramedic or a EMT or a police officer, that doesn’t always mean makes sense for them. So what I would say because especially if you’re going to be driving, you need to have that your hands available and free to you. So that way, there’s no distraction, and you’re being safe, right? So say, safety with safety first, free me and the willow pump are always a great option, you can discreetly put those into your your clothes for a period of time that you need. And then always have a cooler and an ice pack on hand for that journey. They do you make some ice packs, which I came across, for those people that are on the road frequently, that can stay a certain temperature up to a 12 hour period. So that’s something else to consider. If if you are looking at gear to keep that milk at the proper temperature for safety purposes, so that way, you know you’re bringing back the freshest milk for your baby. The other thing being they do have portable coolers or refrigerators. So depending on the size of the vehicle you’re in, and may not work for somebody like paramedic, but if you’re a salesperson on the road, that’s something to consider as well. And then last but not least, you know, ask your employer about space, and locations. And I mentioned mama VA, for instance, they place their pods, basically anywhere that there’s a need. So whether it be at hospitals, or police stations, or at big retailers, like they have moms in mind and realize you don’t always know where you are, the need is for you to pump. I once had the pump in the in the back of a shipping container container. And you know, it had a mom have all been available to me, I would have hands down gone and found that place because they have it’s quiet. And you also don’t have that fear of anybody walking in on you. And it’s it’s built basically for pumping or breastfeeding mom and mind. Oh,


Jacqueline Kincer  17:15

yeah, totally. I mean, I’ve I’ve seen them in airports, and like sports stadiums, maybe even malls as well. And, you know, they’re definitely popping up in more places. So you can go on their website and locate one. Yeah, absolutely had to you mentioned the freemii pump. And a lot of moms don’t know this, you can also buy like the freemii cups and use that with it doesn’t have to be the freemii pump like you can actually adapt those. So that’s kind of cool. And then there’s the LV, which is also like the willow. So just there are more options coming out on the market. But like you said, you’re probably going to have to use your own dollars or FSA, or HSA accounts for those interests. Some insurances I’ve seen just kind of cover $1 amount, too. So I always tell moms, you know, hey, if they don’t cover the pump, you want ask if you can buy it, and then submit a receipt and get reimbursed so you can get the one you want. And sometimes insurance companies do that, or they even cover, you know, breast milk storage bags are replacement flanges or tubing or pump parts as well. So the more we can not have to spend out of pocket on that stuff, the better. Right?


Karlee Vincent  18:27

Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. And those pieces. And to your point, those pieces aren’t always readily available. If there have been more than one instance where I’ve been in the office and realized I forgot the flange or the valve at home to part of the pump. And I’m like, I mean, I can’t I can’t pump. And you know, as if a mom goes so long without pumping in a, you know, a number of hours. Like for me, I would often get in gorged and start immediately getting symptoms of mastitis. So it was it was a necessity, health wise for me to make sure I was pumping within that window that I had otherwise I’d start not feeling so great. So to your point, yes. If employers have the ability to help those moms out by providing extra backup equipment in the office, that can go a long way to longevity for employees. Oh, absolutely.


Jacqueline Kincer  19:33

You know, it’s huge. I had an opportunity to design a lactation room for a manufacturing company. It was actually a client of mine who I had helped and then she said, You know what, we’ve got three women who are going to have babies in the next few months and she said I really want to set up a space for them where they can come and it was really neat that she was able to do that for that company. It wasn’t like she didn’t own it, but She was, I think, like a vice president or something. And not only did she actually have a hospital grade pump, and then provided, like the flanges and everything and extra ones for the moms and extra parts, membranes, you know, valves, all of the things. She also had like a stash of snacks like granola bars and a fridge of water and just had just thought of all the things, you know, and she was like, I just want a list of everything you would ever want to have in a lactation room. And then I’m just going to buy all of that stuff. And she did. And it was so cool. So I love that. And she said, some of the men in the company were upset that, you know, she had taken over this room and turned it into this. And she was like, Okay, well, too bad. And I just thought, That’s so great. Because we really do need more of that. And you’ve just shared so many amazing ideas that, you know, if your company, if you’re listening to this, you’re going back to work, or you are back at work, and you’re like, Yeah, you know what I need that, like, you can ask for that at your company, you know, you don’t have to wait for them to be the one to provide it for you. But on that note, like, I think there is a lot of anxiety and hesitancy about going to your employer, your HR department, your manager, whoever, right and having have these conversations, what kind of tips do you have for moms who are listening to this going? Wow, I sure wish I had that I sure wish my company paid for milk storage, or had a mom of a pod or whatever, like how do we help moms have those conversations and express their needs?


Karlee Vincent  21:35

You know, that’s, that’s a really great question. And I think pregnancy discrimination and moms going back to work and not feeling like they’re in a supportive work environment, can often feel very overwhelming. With that being said, the cost of replacing an employee is often three times the amount, then then it would be to have that that to essentially take care of the mom, that’s coming back. And if you invest in the mom, then they’re gonna spend the time and be there and invest in their time and energy in the company as well. I mean, everything from medical bills go down to health improvement for the mom and the baby. I mean, just, it’s really a win win all around. With that being said, in terms of the advice I would give, for moms, I would be specific with whatever your ask is, right? It is making sure that you have a safe space to pump that is in a bathroom, you know, help them be aware of that need. For instance, sometimes if you don’t speak up, then there’s just no way of knowing with. With that being said, sometimes it helps to have an ally at work. So if you have some friends that you’re working with, just let them know what you’re doing, tell them you know, I’m going to pump I’ll be back. And oftentimes, if you create that ally ship at work, then then it’s a lot easier to broach those conversations, whether or not it is with your manager, and, or the HR department. And oftentimes, when I was asking those hurt conversations, I or asking those hard questions to my my boss, I would go directly to my manager, talk to her and say, hey, you know, I want to get back to work, and I want to help you out. But in order for me to do that, these are the things that I need. And it’s not a one straight shot. It’s a continual conversation I often found out and just open open communication was really the key.


Jacqueline Kincer  24:00

Hmm, yeah, I love that. I absolutely love that. And I think you you really had a key point, which is, you know, this is a benefit to your employer to have you return to work, right? So if you’re letting them know, you know, absolutely, I’m ready. I’m raring to go, like, going to come back and whatever. But you know, I can’t come back and plus, or, you know, I can’t do my job effectively unless I have these things from you. So just meaning that it’s it can be a very straightforward thing. And yeah, it can be nerve wracking, but I think if you just lead with that, it tends to open up that conversation and love what you said about it not being a one time thing for sure. You know, and I think yeah, I think they’re doing a great job by saying, you know, you Yeah, you can pump in the bathroom, right? Like, maybe they don’t know I mean, I literally encountered this one time I met with a dentist, very, very, you know, older You probably didn’t know he was going to retire soon. And he did a few years later, and had a very, very large restroom in his dental office. And he had put a nice chair in the corner of the restroom so that whenever he had released a baby’s tongue tie, then the mom could go in there and have a cozy place to sit and nurse the baby. And he was like, very proud showing me this. And I was like, you know, I like I like your intention there. But I can promise you that moms are not going to want to nurse their babies in the restroom, nor should they be nursing him in there. So where else can we set up a space that’s not a restroom. And he was like, Oh, he’s like, okay. And he was totally open to it. And he actually ended up setting up a space in the kitchen, which was great, because it was big and spacious and quiet and whatnot. So anyway, if they don’t know, it’s sometimes they’re not meaning to be offensive, they just don’t know. So I would say don’t make that assumption that your employer hates you and wants to make your lactation journey a living hell, they just maybe don’t know what you need. And they’re not going to know unless you tell them. Right.


Karlee Vincent  26:04

Right? Absolutely. I think the good news is that there are policies and programs that like a company, the mom project, for instance, their their mom based centric organizations, helping to improve those policies and workplaces. And so I’ve been seeing more traction in having those conversations and changing those policies and those programs from that that internal employer level, and helping to improve that culture. So that way, people, like your experience are open to moving a chair from the bathroom and creating that that safe space for women, wherever it might be. So that’s great.


Jacqueline Kincer  26:52

Yeah. Oh, I love that. Well, I’d love to hear more about your book. So I think you’d said You know, it’s really geared for, you know, moms who are going back to work, what kind of information are you going to feature in your book? Because I, I know that one of your things you wanted to do was also to include some stories in there. So just let us know a little bit more about that.


Karlee Vincent  27:15

Yeah, absolutely. So the the traveling milk truck really has a has a wide range of experiences that kind of led led me to ultimately writing the book. And it was through my travels through airports, and having to pump in airplanes, and finding space in business conferences, or pumping on the road or pumping into the back of my car. That that really made me realize I could help a lot more women in that journey and in that process, and so by 2019 So my, my second daughter was born in 2017. But by 2019, I realized that I could help a lot more women. And so what turned into an initial idea kind of evolved into this book. And the other thing too, is that I want to make it real, I’m gonna include expert voices and opinions in the book and also very much so include other voices of moms and their experiences of traveling just to try and help moms along their journey and whatever they might encounter. And then the last thing too is just, if I’ve learned anything, is that you know, you’re gonna mess up and you’re gonna spill milk and you’re gonna cry about it, and you’re gonna laugh about it. And you know, the the crazy ups and downs of trying to navigate not only returning back to work, but also find your space within, in that traveling and business world is a is a totally new facet. That I’m hoping I can address for moms across the board.


Jacqueline Kincer  29:10

Ah, yes, it just it sounds just like a like a bit of a comfort thing but I can imagine moms just kind of keeping in their in their bag there. They’re pumping with them and just I’ve I’ve definitely you know, I’m sure you’re including stuff like this, like I’ve had bags of milk leak or, you know, I forgotten some parts actually, I will never forget this. I went to an office where we had a breast pump manufacturer coming to demonstrate their breast pumps for us, and I needed to pump while I would be there for that day. And I had everything except for the bottles to pump my milk into and there were no bottles that fits on my pump while I was there. And so I remember sitting in an office hand expressing into a mason jar. That was fun, let me tell you, apparently, I’m very good at hand expressing which I should be some lactations all nice people teach people how to do it. But it was a, like, wow, this is the pits, you know. And then all these demo breast pumps, I mean, they weren’t like, clean or anything, they were touching them all over. So I wasn’t gonna use one of those, nor that I want to pump in front of everybody. So just you, anybody who’s listening out there, like, even as a lactation consultant, who should literally know better, I totally forgot one of the most important pieces of my pump. And not only that, I went to present at a conference in Toronto one time, and I forgot the little duckbill valves that go in. And so I remember hooking up everything on my pump and going, Why is there no suction, that’s weird. And I got in it like midnight, so I had to have Express. And thank goodness for Amazon working in Canada, and that I could order this part that would I could go pick up from an Amazon locker. And I was in the middle of downtown, but I still had to keep hand expressing like that whole time. It was awful. So I’ve been there, and we are not perfect. Even if you’re an ibclc. So total, like Mom Brain brain fart moment that I do not. I have so much empathy for moms who, even when you have all the pump parts, it’s not fun, you know? So


Jacqueline Kincer  31:30

do not beat yourself up if you have ever, you know, had a mishap like that. Because, believe me, we all


Karlee Vincent  31:37

have. Yep, we all have.


Jacqueline Kincer  31:41

I guess like if you could pick like, I’m sure it’s in your book, but like, what’s like the craziest, like mishap you’ve experienced? Oh,


Karlee Vincent  31:49

I’ve had quite a number actually. One, I’ve had a couple of mishaps with TSA actually coming in and out of the airport line. My very first conference after I had returned to work, it wasn’t that long. So I was just pumping the milk there and bringing it back with me. But what I didn’t do in advance was research what TSA was expecting, of of, of moms coming back. And I have to say just kind of, generally that the information TSA has often is pretty vague on their, on their website. So like liquids, you can you can bring breast milk through the TSA checkpoint, but I had packed so much. I had the wrong type of cooler. It was like one of those tall bottles stand up coolers and a pack so much breast milk in it and zipped it up that when it went through the line, the TSA agent pulled it to the side goes What is this? unzips it and everything comes Oh, flying out. So I’m sitting there kind of going Oh, no. And no cuz it’s all over the the TSA sprint space and she like processes what is happening? And I felt so bad for her. But she started asking me so are these bags, three ounces each? And I’m like, What? No that and I have to say she was the only one that ever asked me that that question like if I had individually sized the breast milk and each bag to make sure that they were three three ounces. It is possible to check your your breast milk so so just know that that is a possibility. But the other snafu that I ran into with that was the ice pack. So they have every right to throw away your ice if it is a certain percentage of water I believe and things are always changing. So make sure you do your your research in advance if you are indeed a mom that’s traveling. But I remember two TSA agents arguing about the percentage of water in my ice pack. me thinking that that Oh no. Like the ice pack is the thing that’s going to keep all of this from going bad. So with that being said like if you are in that situation and you do find that they’re gonna you know, toss your ice pack words in your ice pack has somehow melted and go to the nearest restaurant after you get through security and ask them to fill up a bag of ice for you and they will do it and you know, I had some extra breast milk bags Hand wants and I handed them over to a somebody at the bar the bartender, then thinking I was going to order a drink, but I hand them breast milk bags instead. Ask them to put ice in there. Yeah, they did. Yeah. They didn’t quite know what was happening. But like, this is not what you expected. Was it? So it is.


Jacqueline Kincer  35:25

Yeah. Yes. Well, and to if people are listening to this episode, go listen to a previous episode, a couple episodes back where I have Lisa Myers from the company series chill, because they have created this breast milk cooler, so to speak, like a thermos, right. And they’ve actually taken into consideration these TSA guidelines and whatnot. But we actually talked about that, like going and getting that ice afterwards or what have you. And there’s there are some solutions coming out on the market and probably worth investing in. So you don’t lose that. But like you said, the guidelines are changing. So don’t listen to this. And take Karlee’s word for it. Because he has a website or the airline website, or what have you. And just make sure because yeah, it’s yeah, it’s nuts. But thankfully, yes, there are restaurants on the other side, and you can get some ice and what have you. And that should be okay. There’s ice on planes, too. So


Karlee Vincent  36:26

yes, I think the the great things, thing about it is that moms are actively having these conversations. So to that point, just keep checking in for those rules and regulations, always just give yourself the time to research in advance. So that way, you don’t feel like you’re blindsided and having that conversation about the viscosity of an ice pack with the TSA agents. But that that cooler is going to be such a help to so many breastfeeding and traveling moms, I is such a need. So to your point, once that hits the market, and if it already has in you are a mom, that is traveling and breastfeeding, spend that extra money don’t be like me and use a cooler that doesn’t work that well.


Jacqueline Kincer  37:17

Oh, yes, I know. It’s crazy. I mean, you do what you can, right? And sometimes, you know, right. But it’s, it’s funny, I feel like, you know, these are kind of some things that we should definitely be having on our baby registries instead of, you know, cute little one Z’s and whatever. Those are great to trust me awesome. But some of these essentials, like you’re mentioning are just, you know that, that thinking out doing the research, right? I think there’s a lot of focus on like the breast pump, you know, but then what about the breast milk, we definitely have that storage all working out. Because if you have the palm, you’re gonna have to store the milk, you’re not pumping it into the baby’s mouth. So so many things to consider so much mental and emotional labor that goes along with this. And I think that that’s really one of the the challenges. So anything we can do to make this experience easier? I think it’s great.


Karlee Vincent  38:08

Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. And to that point, I often, when I’m consulting with other moms will tell them to if you can hold off for a little bit until after you get back to work and see exactly what you need for the space, you have the time to be able to research that I mean, obviously, you’re going to need some of the basic stuff to to make it through once you get back to work. But I when I went back to work, and I realized I was carrying my cleaning gear and my laptop case and my pump and my pump bag and the cooler and my lunch like I felt like a pack mule. Going back into the office, you know, with bags and bags, when really there are to your point, like so many things that are on the market right now that can kind of streamline that and make that less of a headache for you when you’re traveling or getting back into the office.


Jacqueline Kincer  39:10

Yeah, yeah. And I think we can definitely end up buying the wrong things when we’re not in the experience and knowing like when you’re pregnant, you’re like, Okay, I got I got the best diaper bag ever. Let me tell you how many diaper bags I returned until I found the right one like it until I was using it. I could look at the pictures. I could read the dimensions. I could feel it in the store but until I had diapers and bottles and wipes and teething toys and all the things and then my wallet and my sunglasses came like when I finally knew what I really needed, then I could pick the right product. So I think it’s good advice to either get it from a place that has a really good return policy or it’s okay to wait. That’s yeah, oh my goodness. Well, I think you just have such a wealth of information from your own experience. And how old are your children these days? They’re not babies anymore, right?


Karlee Vincent  40:08

I know. It’s crazy. My My youngest is turning four in December and my oldest is going to be seven this month. So Time does fly. And you don’t even think about it when you’re in the midst of that, that period of time when you’re breastfeeding, and going back to work and trying to figure things out. But you know, through that, those experiences, I really feel strongly about the need to help moms through their journeys, and getting them back to work in the easiest way possible. Hmm, yes, it’s it’s so important. You know, I


Jacqueline Kincer  40:48

think that we have to really support moms and what their needs and what their goals are. And it is not ideal for everyone to just stay home and never have to pump and breastfeed the baby. There are so many moms that regardless of financial need want to go back to work and have their careers that they’re passionate about. And it doesn’t mean that having a baby had make, you know, you don’t have to choose, right. So I love that you are such an advocate for that and putting information out there to help moms. And your book is coming. Do you have a name for your book yet?


Karlee Vincent  41:23

The name is still to be determined, but excited. The if anybody’s interested and would like to connect, I have a monthly newsletter that comes out every month. It’s called work at MAMA monthly. You can find that on my website, the traveling no And I have a wealth of information that moms can dive into in the meantime. And yeah, if anybody has any more questions or would like to hold with me,


Jacqueline Kincer  41:56

I’m I’m there. So happy to help where I can. Yeah, yeah, she really does. She has some great just blog posts and things on her site. So go check that out. I’ll link it up in the show notes. And then Karlee’s on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter at MAMA milk truck. So make sure to link that up. So just an easy click for all you ones that are maybe nursing or pumping and have one little thumb free to go tap on things instead of typing them in. So thank you, Karlee, for being with us today. It’s just been so amazing to hear about what you’ve done your experience, laugh about some mishaps and whatnot. I just think that you’re just contributing to more breastfeeding success for more families. So it’s wonderful to have you on today.


Karlee Vincent  42:41

Absolutely. And thank you so much again for having me on your podcast.


Jacqueline Kincer  42:49

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Today we are joined by Karlee Vincent, founder of the Traveling Milk Truck. Karlee is a millennial mom who has co-managed technology company events for 100,000 attendees, while struggling to breastfeed in airplanes and hotels on the road. Her persistence led to new policies, including breast milk shipments sent across country to a mom’s home at company expense. She also helped to establish a mothers’ room, a private space for nursing moms at every company conference. Her passionate for creating a community that changes our culture in a positive way for nursing moms is loud and clear in her interview.

Karlee’s book-in-progress is a guide to help moms create the best workplace situations for themselves and their babies. Karlee lives near San Francisco with her husband and daughters.

In today’s show we discuss:

  • Finding allyship and cultivating kindness in the workplace while pumping
  • Breastfeeding on the road and in airplanes
  • Advocating for yourself as a breastfeeding parent
  • Great breastfeeding gear for traveling moms