I’m delighted to bring you a giveaway from The Leaky Boob sponsor Mama Pear Designs. Creating lavticist inspired t-shirts and onesies for mom and baby, Mama Pear Designs to create breastfeeding awareness and offer support to nursing moms. Not limited to t-shirts though, Lara also offers breastfeeding education classes as a CLEC in her area. I hope you enjoy this interview with founder Lara and her openness about her own breastfeeding journey.
TLB: What would you like the readers of The Leaky Boob to know about you?
Lara: Ten years ago, or even five years ago if you had told me that I would be a Lactation Educator and designing t-shirts to promote breastfeeding awareness, I probably never would have believed you! It was almost exactly five years ago that I became pregnant with my oldest son, at the time I was teaching at a very well-recognized College Preparatory High School in Florida where I am from. I was content with my career. When I became a mother everything changed, as I found that I had a passion for breastfeeding, and helping other my mom friends find their “breastfeeding groove” became a hobby. Last year when I started my company, I turned that hobby into a career. At the end of the day I am just like every other mother. My house is never clean enough, my laundry is never quite all folded and put away, there are always dishes to either load or unload in the dishwasher, but I try everyday to enjoy my boys, while helping them acquire the necessary tools they need to be capable adults one day.
TLB: Share with us the story of how you came to start MamaPear Designs?
Lara: About a year ago, the idea for MamaPear Designs came to me while I was in the shower. It was like a flash, and I stepped out and told my husband I was going to start a company, to which he replied “Okay.” 🙂 My eventual goal is to become a Lactation Consultant, but with two young children that was/is not logistically possible at this stage in my life. However, I realized that I could work to promote breastfeeding through all of these cute, witty phrases I had popping into my head (which later became my t-shirts and onesies) and that if I started teaching prenatal breastfeeding education classes, I could have a hands on access to pregnant moms-to-be. Heading back into education felt very natural as I love it and it is really something I think I do well, and the fact that I could teach something I was so passionate about was a double bonus! Three months after launching my company I enrolled in the Certified Lactation Education Counselor (CLEC) program at UC San Diego, and it was one of the best choices I have ever made. Now I teach prenatal breastfeeding classes while continuing to sell my shirts/onesies in boutiques locally, and online through my website.
TLB: Did you always plan to breastfeed your children? What was the biggest breastfeeding challenge you’ve overcome?
Lara: I did always plan to breastfeed. I did not even buy bottles before my first son was born. Actually neither of my boys has ever had a bottle, they have had every drop of breast milk they have ever consumed literally from my breasts. As a stay at home mom this was possible for me, and I am not one to longs to be away from her children, so I never left them for longer than a few hours here and there. Even still, my oldest will be 4 and a half this summer and my youngest will be two and I think the longest I have left them both is five hours. To me it has been a small sacrifice, for a great reward! I never imagined that I would breastfeed so long (this month marks 48 months of lactating 🙂 but my sister who is my best friend, nursed my nieces until after they each turned four years old, so I never really thought that once my baby became a toddler I had to wean, as so many moms do. I just figured when we were ready we would stop, and that is exactly what happened, and I feel very lucky for that.
My biggest breastfeeding challenge has not been anything physiological, but rather societal pressure, or pressure from friends/family to wean as they thought I nursed my oldest son too long (27 months). He weaned when I was pregnant, but truth be told if I had not been pregnant, we would have continued to nurse for a good while longer I am sure. It took some confidence building to stand tall, but at the end of the day I was not going to let anyone make such an important decision for me and my son, our relationship was ours! Now of course, people know better than to suggest weaning as my youngest is 20 months and we are still going strong.
TLB: What’s your favorite breastfeeding tip?
Lara: My favorite breastfeeding tip is something I learned from the IBCLC at the hospital where I delivered my first son. With both of my boys they struggled to keep up with my very fast “let down” or Milk Ejection Reflex. Once they were about 6 weeks it was not a problem, but in the early days, they would struggle at the breast, drowning in milk and gasping for air, all while I was soaking burp rags, nursing tanks and Bobby covers! The IBCLC recommended to help slow the flow that I apply pressure to the breast that the baby was not nursing from, either by pressing with my hand or arm, when I started to feel the let down sensation, and to maintain that pressure for about 30-45 seconds. It worked wonders, and it also came in handy for helping stop the leaking from the breast that was not being nursed on as well. I share this information with lots of moms, because it is simple, effective, and produces immediate results!
This giveaway is now closed. Thank you to all who participated.
To enter to win, please leave a comment on this post and if you’d like, share what your favorite shirt is on Mama Pear Designs. This entry is REQUIRED in order to be entered for a chance and the giveaway.
For 1 additional entry (limit 2 entries per person) go follow Mama Pear Designs on Twitter, let her know TLB sent you and return to comment here stating you followed her on Twitter for your second entry. If you already like Mama Pear Designs on Twitter just leave a second comment (must be a second comment to be counted) letting me know you already like them.
That’s it – two simple tasks and you’re entered for a chance at a great giveaway. Thanks to Lara for her generous giveaway and sponsorship of The Leaky Boob, providing support for breastfeeding moms everywhere. This giveaway will remain open through May 18th, 2011. Good luck and have fun!
Congratulations to Lacey!
“Thanks Lara for sharing the MER tip- very helpful I love the “Just add baby to (L)activate” tee & “Gaga for Tatas” onesie- sooo cute!”
For everyone else, Lara has generously offered up a discount code for Leakies: TLB15, good for 15% off entire order. Good through August 1, 2011!