I had the opportunity to interview Judy Masucci, the owner of A Mother’s Boutique and a sponsor of The Leaky Boob. Her heart for all mothers, particularly breastfeeding mothers and her wisdom and experience is something I’m so happy to share with my readers.
TLB: What made you decide to start your business?
Judy: The short story is “I had a baby and it changed my life.” I was a corporate executive before having my son. After he was born, I went back to work and worked and pumped for 15 months before deciding to leave my corporate job to do something that would enable to me help other new moms be successful breastfeeding – and enable me to spend more time with my son. I had a very difficult time getting started with breastfeeding and I wanted to help other new moms like me. My son was also an AVID nurser and literally nursed every hour for the first year of his life. So no matter where we went, we nursed in public because by the time we got there, it was time for him to nurse again. I started by business with great nursingwear. I lived in nursing tops when my son was a baby and they were hard to find – none of the local stores carried them and the selection on the web was small and difficult to navigate through. I wanted to develop a place where moms could find everything needed in one convenient location and I wanted it to be easy for them to figure out what they wanted without having to go to 10 different websites to find everything. So I started with clothing, then added nursing bras, breast pumps, slings, nursing pads, hands-free pumping accessories and maternity items. I started my business in April of 2007 and just opened a retail store (in addition to my online store) in April of 2010. I also blog, facebook and tweet – all to connect with moms and provide support for them in any way that I can.
TLB: How do you balance work and family?
Judy: One of the greatest things about owning your own business is that you choose how, when, where and how much you work. For the first 3 years, I operated my business out of my home. So I could literally choose when I worked – and much of it was done late at night after my son went to sleep. Now that I have a retail store, my schedule is a little bit more rigid, but my son is also in school – so that makes it easier to have a regular work schedule. I still do a lot of work at night after my son goes to bed and even during the day when he is playing quietly (I just negotiated 15 minutes of time with him to let me finish this interview- we set a timer and when it goes off, I will stop “working” and go play with him). I probably work harder now than I did in my corporate job – but I work for myself, and when, where and how I want to – and I love every minute (well – almost – there are a few things I could live without LOL).
TLB: What’s your favorite breastfeeding memory?
Judy: I nursed for a VERY long time. Longer than I ever dreamed I would and longer than many moms do – one of favorite memories is actually when my son was older. One he was in a toddler bed (approximately age 2 – 2.5), he would wake up in the morning and come into my bed to nurse. We would nurse, snuggle and both fall back to sleep. It was my absolute favorite time of the day. It was loving, warm and there’s nothing better than falling asleep with a little babe in your arms. Ironically, as he got a bit older and started dropping nursing sessions – this was one of the first to go. I always thought it would be the last – but he would wake up and want to go play with his toys – sometime he wouldn’t even come get me, I would wake up and he would already be downstairs playing. I missed that nursing session most of all.
TLB: How would you encourage someone preparing to breastfeed for the first time?
Judy: I think the things I would say to the mom would differ based on if she was eager to breastfeed or if she was on the fence. I always encourage moms to read books on breastfeeding and to take a class – and most of all – to stick with it. If you get through the first 2 weeks or so (which for some of us can be a difficult two weeks), the rest of it is “easy sailing” and you will be so glad that you stuck with it. I think it is important for moms to know that it “might be hard” at first – because that way they know what to expect and they can prepare themselves and make it through. So many moms who don’t know what to expect think that they must have been doing something wrong and give up – all because no one told them that it might be hard at first. So I wouldn’t say anything to scare them away, but I also don’t hide the truth. One of my favorite articles to give to new moms is by Diane Wiessinger, and it’s called “What if I Want to Wean My Baby?” It walks you thorugh all of the benefits your baby (and you) get from breastfeeding – no matter how short or how long you do it for. I have given this article to moms who were on the fence and didn’t know if they wanted to breastfeed – and it helped them to give it a try – and I have given this article to moms had to stop breastfeeding sooner than they wanted to – and it helped them to see what a wonderful gift they have given their baby – even if they didn’t breastfeed for as long as they would have liked. I think it is an article that every mom and mom-to-be should read.
Nursing bras: ever wonder what size nursing bra should I wear? Judy’s here to help you find out and win one too!
Did you know that 70% of women are wearing the wrong size bra? And I bet that percentage is even higher amongst nursing moms. When you get pregnant and have a baby your body changes in ways that you could never have imagined. And for many of us – one of the biggest changes (besides the little life form growing in our bellies) is the changes that happen to our breasts! On average, most women will go up 1-2 cup sizes from their pre-pregnancy size to their breastfeeding size. But this is an average and the spectrum ranges from no changes to WOWZA – I didn’t know bras came that large! I have a friend who started out as a 34C and ended up a 34J – yes, that is “J” as in JUGS! She was a size small but had to wear size large shirts just to accommodate her bust.
Luckily, most of us won’t change that much – but any changes mean a new bra is needed. And since most of us started out wearing a bra that probably wasn’t the correct size, figuring out what our new size should be can be very challenging. Lucky for us, there are moms our there who want to help. Judy from A Mother’s Boutique is one of those moms. She specializes in helping moms find great bras and you can see from all of the testimonials on her website -that she does a great job at it. Whether you meet her in person or virtually via phone or email – Judy will be able to find you a great bra
that is perfect for YOU.
First things first – in order to get a great bra, you need to know your measurements. If you can get a professional bra fitting – that is ideal -but if you aren’t nearby a place that can properly measure you, just follow these simple instructions from Judy’s blog, Mommy News and Views, and you will be ready to go.
Now that you know what size you are, you need to pick out a bra that is right for you. And the difficulty here is that every bra runs differently -so even though you have measured yourself and know your size, you need to know something about the bras you are interested in to know if you need to go larger or smaller based on how it runs. For instance – some bras are sized S,M,L,XL instead of particular cups sizes – so you need to look at the sizing chart to see what size you will need. Other bras may “say” they are a 36D, but they really fit someone who is a 38D. Then there are the bras that have European sizing instead of US sizing – for those, you need a translator, because while a DD cup in European sizing is the same as a DD cup in US-sizing, an H in European is really a K in US – so having a conversion key to lead you through is crucial.
So once you figure out your size and find some bras that you like, you now need to know how bra sizing works – because it isn’t always as straight forward as one might think (or hope). A 34C and a 36B have the same “cup size” even though they have different letters – this can be very confusing when trying to get a bra that fits. If you try one one bra and it is too snug in the band, but fits in the cup, most women will just get the next band size up and keep the cup the same. But now this bra will fit in the band, but cup will be too large. If your 34C is too snug, but fits in the cup – you need to get the 36B, not the 36C. If only bra sizing were simpler – moms wouldn’t have so much trouble finding a bra that fits. When you are shopping online – this is key because you don’t want to spend all of your time and money shipping things back and forth.
Believe it or not – it is possible to get a great fitting nursing bra even if you don’t live close to a shop that sells them. And Judy, from A Mother’s Boutique is here today to help out FIVE lucky moms!! Of course, she’ll help all of you if need or want help – but FIVE of you will get a personalized bra fitting and free bra* of your choice!
Winner #1 will get a free nursing bra (up to a $55 value)
Winner #2 will get a free nursing bra (up to a $30 value)
Winner #3 will get a free nursing bra (up to a $25 value)
Winner #4 will get a $15 gift certificate to be redeemed toward any nursing bra of your choice
Winner #5 will get a $15 gift certificate to be redeemed toward any nursing bra of your choice.
To enter to win one of these bras, please leave a comment below telling us why you need a new bra and which one you think would choose from A Mother’s Boutique if you win. This entry is REQUIRED in order to be chosen for a prize.
You can get a 2nd chance to win by stopping by and visiting A Mother’s Boutique on facebook. Her facebook pages is great source of interactive information and she has even hired a Certified Lactation Counselor to post information and answer questions from moms – so stop by, like her page and say “hi” – then be sure to come back here and leave a 2nd comment telling us that you did it. This entry is optional and will give you an EXTRA chance to win one of these great nursing bras.
That’s it – two simple tasks and FIVE lucky mamas are on their way to winning a great nursing bra along with a customized fitting! Thanks to Judy for her generous giveaway, providing support for breastfeeding moms everywhere. With 5 prizes, be sure to share this giveaway, an easy way for you to support other breastfeeding moms as well. This giveaway will remain open until March 7th, 2010. Good luck and have fun!
This giveaway is now closed. Good luck to everyone that entered, winners will be drawn through a random drawing using random.org.
Congratulations to our lucky winners!
Prize 1: comment 457 Larissa Brunken
Prize 2: comment 116 RaShes
Prize 3: comment 311 Katie Langan
Prize 4: comment 182 Rachel T
Prize 5: comment 68 Pocklock
Thank you Judy for this wonderful opportunity!