Adele Reinking

  • Colorado
  • Mom to 1-year-old son

This mom embarked on an 11-day Arctic expedition AND figured out a way to pump at 50 degrees below

Adele is a first-time mama on a mission. As a wildlife biologist at Colorado State University’s Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, she made the brave career decision to embark on an 11-day Arctic expedition at just seven months postpartum. And she figured out a way to pump throughout her journey.

“The chance to traverse hundreds of miles of tundra on snowmobile, studying snow and caribou, was the opportunity of a lifetime for any wildlife biologist… [But] breastfeeding my son was hugely important to me. I was so happy when I discovered that the Willow would even work in sub-zero temperatures, and the battery life didn’t seem to be affected by the cold, which was a big concern of mine.”

With support back home and from her colleagues, Adele committed to a pumping schedule while away and kept her son top of mind to help her power through the long days.

“I always thought of my son while I was pumping to keep myself motivated. I even hung up photos of him in our tent every night and took them down every morning when we broke camp. I ordered extra parts so that I could pump throughout the day, and then just do my washing at night. Having the internal [Milk Bags] also helped to streamline the process.”

Adele admits it wasn’t always easy and credits her village for making her breastfeeding goals within reach.

“I felt supported by all of the women and all of the men in my life. I want to emphasize how amazing the men — my dad, husband, supervisor and mentor, colleagues, father-in-law and friends — were in furthering my goal of pumping while in Arctic Alaska. I feel very lucky to have such wonderful people around me.”

Photo Credit: Kelly Elder