Happy Sex Life – Happy Family, Good Clean Love

by Wendy Strgar

 

goodcleanlove.com

(Facebook livestream on The Leaky Boob with Jessica and Jeremy, parents of 7, featuring Loveologist, Wendy Strgar.)

It has been almost two decades since the birth of my fourth and last baby and yet, even 20 years later, I still remember the cold snap that overtook my marriage in the months that followed her birth. It wasn’t like the previous three kids hadn’t taken a cumulative toll on our sex life. But it was also easy to blame our degenerating intimate life on the overwhelming demands and exhaustion of raising four kids. Over time, it became clear that there were actually many other more important factors contributing to the sexless state of our marriage, and more importantly, that the lack of intimacy we shared was creating deep fissures in the foundation of our loving connection.

It was mind boggling for me, as I suspect it is for most every new parent, just how much of our attention is consumed by the fragility and wonder of a new life – often more than we think it is. In ways that I didn’t expect, a powerful internal conflict grew with each child I had, and worse still, lived at the epicenter of the ongoing and escalating conflicts I had with my partner. Who got to do their own thing, whether occupationally or personally, became our ground of competition. With each new baby the challenges of meeting my own needs and knowing my own desires left me feeling lonely and often angry at my husband. Our experience of growing a family was so different. His inability to understand my ambivalence about full-time mothering and my longing for myself isolated us from each other. And not surprisingly, it was our sex life that was held hostage by our ongoing estrangement in our relationship.

 

Wendy Strgar

 

This loss of a sex life is so common to new parents that it’s cliché. In fact, of all life transitions having a baby tops the list for the disruption of a woman’s libido and a couple’s sex life – sometimes for years. Of course there are many factors at play here – everything from hormones to how couples communicate and show up for each other after the birth of a new baby plays a big role. But even more important than many people realize is how a lack of sexual education and communication skills weighs on our ability to adapt and grow together intimately.

Initially, our sex life falls apart innocently with the many challenging circumstances of growing a family.   But often what becomes clear is just how our limited sexual education manifests and undermines our ability to both identify and express our sexual needs. Without realizing it, our deficit of sexual know-how degenerates into low sexual self-esteem and turns into a battleground of hurt feelings. I remember early in my marriage how little I understood about my own arousal mechanism and how uncomfortable we both were when it came to using words to describe our sexual preferences. Erroneously, I believed that my partner should just know what kinds of touch felt best or which positions worked for me – which was strange, because I didn’t know them myself.

The truth is that what we have no language for is often not available to us. And it is not surprising that so many relationships suffer from ongoing sexual dysfunction issues issues like pain with sex, the inability to orgasm, ongoing vaginal dryness or for men, premature ejaculation and the inability to maintain erections. In fact the sexual health issues are shared almost equally between male and female partners.

We struggled with this combination of sexual inexperience for more years than I would like to admit, which often created more frustration than our fledgling relationship could hold. We often degenerated into hurtful sexual blaming that made both of us feel impotent and afraid to engage. Living with persistent sexual frustration often evolves into an approach-avoidance game where everyone loses and one, or both, partners starts putting one foot out the door.

As our sex life starts to slip away, we don’t realize the impact it is having on the cohesion in the whole relationship. We forget how much emotional release that our physical intimacy brings. I often call it the glue that keeps all the rest of the mess intact, but we know that not engaging sexually undermines the health and longevity of the relationship in so many other ways.

Finding your way out of this downward sexual spiral is possible and deserves your attention. What helped us was both recognizing how much we didn’t want to lose the intimate space we had taken for granted, and developing the curiosity to learn more about our own sexual response. The more confident I became in my own ability to express my sexual needs, the more I could bring to our intimacy and stop blaming him when it didn’t work.

As he saw my willingness grow, and wasn’t worried about my wrath, he had time and space to figure out what helped for him to last longer. With practice, I also got better at finding ways to wake up my arousal which made it possible to throw out the entire idea of needing to “be in the mood.” The more I trusted my capacity to generate a sexual mood, the more we were able to synch up our sexual desires.

During all the baby years I usually had to think my way into desire. It never just came to me, but it became easier and easier to remember how much softer life was for everyone when we took care of our sexual needs first.

 

Wendy Strgar is an award-winning entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of Good Clean Love, a pioneer in the organic personal care product industry. She is a popular blogger and author of two books. Sex That Works: An Intimate Guide To Awakening Your Erotic Life, published by Sounds True Publishing in June 2017, is the companion to her first popular book, Love that Works: A Guide to Enduring Intimacy. Wendy has been featured in many publications including The New York Times Book Review. For more information about Wendy’s relationship help books, visit her author website.

Share

Virtual Baby Shower Giveaway

This post made possible by Babylist.

I can’t believe it’s been almost 6 weeks since our little Lucky made her appearance to the world. 6 weeks fly by, even when you’re making sure not to blink so you won’t miss anything – maybe especially so. I have had the privilege of enjoying some quality rest this 4th trimester, prioritizing listening to my body and connecting with Lucky. But the fun didn’t end when Lucky was born live for all who tuned in to watch. Last week we had Welcome to the World Lucky! Virtual Baby Shower, thanks to Babylist, and sponsored by many of my favorite brands. In case you missed it, you can watch the baby shower live stream here, where Jeremy and I shared a bit of our lives and living room with you, enjoyed a few games (with prizes!), and discussed with you what we like so much about the featured products in the baby registry we created on Babylist.

And because we like to use opportunities for celebration to bring a bit of joy to others too, we decided to “shower” our followers with a group giveaway, and the non-profit World on My Shoulders with products from the sponsoring brands that they can pass on to survivors of the recent hurricanes in the U.S.. More on both of those below. Don’t miss the sweet deals at the end of this post that our brands are also offering for Black Friday weekend!

_________________________________

The non-profit organization: World on My Shoulders

“World on My Shoulders (WoMS) is a national organization committed to providing long-term, evidence-based, holistic care to caregivers who are low-income and/or domestic violence victims by providing peer-to-peer support services, reusable and sustainable reproductive health goods, and infant care essentials.” (quoted from the WoMS website

WoMS has been working to provide support to those impacted by hurricane Harvey earlier this year. For more information on how you can support WoMS, including monetary donations, check out this Facebook page. Speaking of monetary donations, would you please consider making one here, however large or small?

_________________________________

The giveaway

Thank you so much to Babylist for hosting the Virtual Baby Shower giveaway! And much appreciation too to our sponsoring brands: Bamboobies, Chunkabuns, Euphoric Herbals, Glamourmom, Innobaby, Joovy, Ju-ju-be, Milkies from Fairhaven Health, My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear, Naked Tank, and Snugabell.

To enter, please use the widget at the bottom of this post. 

Clockwise from the top left: Euphoric Herbals, Bamboobies, Ju-ju-be, My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear, Snugabell, Innobaby, Milkies from Fairhaven Health, Joovy, Naked Tank, Chunkabuns, Glamourmom

Euphoric Herbals: Ultimate Breastfeeding Bundle, Retail Value: $92
The Ultimate Breastfeeding Bundle contains everything new moms need! A great baby shower gift. Includes Milky Mama tea, Dairy Diva capsules, Milk Machine capsules, Super Salve, Leaf Tea Steeper, and 4 pairs of Bamboo Cotton Nursing Pads. 

 

 

 

 

Bamboobies: Combination Pads, Retail Value: $13
bamboobies® are made of ultra-soft and soothing bamboo rayon velour, an absorbent inner layer of cotton with an outer milk-proof™ liner to help prevent embarrassing leaks! These nursing pads are super absorbent and eco-friendly.

bamboobies® Washable Nursing Pads come in two varieties. The ultra-thin, heart-shaped regular nursing pads are made for light leaking and are designed to be less visible through clothing. The round-shaped overnight nursing pads are not only ultra-soft, but larger, thicker and super absorbent for heavy leaking and newborn nursing. 

 

Ju-ju-be: Be Supplied pump bag, Retail Value: $125
Introducing the Be Supplied: the ultimate structured tote for pumping moms. The little sister of the Be Pumped, the Supplied is lightweight but perfectly roomy. The easy-open interior will comfortably fit your breast pump with room to spare, and the exterior boasts a Mommy Pocket. Both beautiful and versatile, the Be Supplied can be carried with the comfy tote handles or its detachable memory foam messenger strap. It comes in two color ways, The Queen of the Nile (chevron) and The Duchess (polka dot). With its cute design, world-class prints and ultra-organization, you’ll love to carry the Be Supplied with or without the pump!

 

My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear: Rainbow Keepsake Kit, Retail Value: $35
The Rainbow Keepsake Kit is a beautiful way to celebrate or honor life. Accessorize your Heartbeat Animal with a rainbow tutu, rainbow bowtie, or both. Includes your choice of a 13-15″ stuffed animal and heart shaped recorder. 

 

 

 

 

Snugabell: Pumpin’ Mama Starter Pack, Retail Value: $75
Everything a pumpin’ mama needs to start her pumping journey. The award-winning PumpEase hands-free pumping bra holds your pump flanges in place so you can read, scroll through your phone, eat, or just relax while you pump. Snugabell’s eco-friendly wet bag is sized to transport all brands of pump accessories incognito, and comes in matching PumpEase prints with a practical snap-loop handle and lined with waterproof PUL so you can use it in a variety of ways even after you’ve hung up your pump flanges. Snugabell’s newest product, Nip Balm, relieves breastfeeding and pumping discomfort by replenishing moisture and treating tired tatas to a refreshing cocktail of healing herbs and nourishing oils. Snugabell Nip Balm can be used on nipples, lips, cheeks, cuticles, elbows, rough spots, tattoos, and more! Snugabell’s Breastmilk Storage Guidelines Fridge Magnet is a must-have for moms with more on their mind than keeping track of their milk; it keeps the information you need where you need it – on the fridge!

 

Innobaby: Nursing Mother’s Bundle, Retail Value: $49
The Silicone Fish Bath Scrubs are great for gently cleaning and massaging baby, kids, and grown-ups too! Its double sided design features shorter strands that are great for gently cleaning cradle cap, while the longer strands work great for lathering and massaging. 100% silicone, this scrub is easy to care for and naturally resists mold – dishwasher and sterilization safe. 

The Aquaheat™  Solo Food Warmer is a portable, lightweight on-the-go food warming solution that requires no electricity to create heat. Simply add water to the heat packs to activate heat anytime, anywhere. Great for warming up breastmilk and bottles on the go as well as food. Solution for Lipase and scalding milk on the go. 

The Packin’ Smart Twistables 2-Tier all-in-one storage solution for moms on-the-go is now designed to store both liquid and dry! Can carry water for Aquaheat™ activation as well as snacks like nuts and fruits for nursing mom. A must-have diaper bag essential to store, dispense and organize formula, cereal, snacks, water, extra juice, pacifiers and more in one convenient unit. Put an end to a diaper bag mess or endless search for the items you need. Twist-to-Seal design allows you to stack and interlock multiple containers while quality construction allows each use as simple as it can be. 

 

Milkies, of Fairhaven Health: Milkies Milk-Saver and Milkies Milk Tray, Retail Value: $48
Milkies Milk-Saver: Easy to use, simply slip the Milk-Saver into our bra-cup on the non-nursing side before you begin breastfeeding. The Milk-Saver collects the milk that is leaked when your breast milk lets down. Once you’ve finished the breastfeeding session, simply transfer the collected milk into storage containers and keep in refrigerator or freezer to feed your baby at a later time. 

Milkies Milk Trays freeze your breast milk in 1-ounce “Milk Sticks” that fit through all bottle openings and allow you to thaw just the right amount of milk for each feeding – so that not a drop of your “liquid gold” goes to waste! 

 

 

Joovy: Groove Ultralight 2017 stroller ($200), Nook high chair ($130), Room playard ($200), total Retail Value: $570
The Groove Ultralight is the perfect car stroller, travel stroller, or second stroller with all the right features. Getting around with baby is a breeze. This durable umbrella stroller is newborn ready and weighs only 15.7 lbs, but has a capacity of 55 lbs – it will grow with your child. With cup-holders for larger wheels, you’ll be strolling in style. And this rain cover ($40) allows you to take your baby out in the rain too! 

To simplify mealtime, the Nook high chair features a large swing-open tray that can be operated with just one hand! It is a roomy, full-size high chair with a deluxe, padded leatherette seat and accommodates a child up to 50 lbs. The tray’s four depth adjustments allows the Nook to grow with your child.   

The Room is a full-featured nursery center for any room in the house and grows into a playard as baby gets mobile. From bassinet to changing table and diaper station, to playard, the Room easily transitions with your baby as they grow, and moves from room to room, and house to house, with its two wheels and collapsible frame. 

 

 

 

The Naked Tank: Bamboo Naked Tank, Retail Value: $35
A perfectly designed tank top that fits just under your bra, keeping only your midsection covered when you need to breastfeed. Works seamlessly with any bra, including your sports bra if you need the added support, because there are no clasps or hooks to attach or move out of the way. Designed by two breastfeeding mamas who needed something that helped them feel more comfortable breastfeeding in public. 

 

 

 

Chunkabuns: Merino Wool Pants, Retail Value: $90
These pants double as diaper covers because they are made of support-soft 100% knit wool. They are stretchy, breathable, absorbent, and naturally anti-microbial. For a snug, comfortable fit, there is extra stretch in the legs and waist that moves with you baby. Plus, Grow-with-me features so that one pair of pants lasts four or more pant sizes! 

 

 

 

Glamourmom: Nursing Bra Long Top, Retail Value: $59
Full support adjustable nursing bra built-into a stylish nursing tank top. Featuring Full discretion and support when nursing in public, adjustable chest band, postpartum tummy coverage, extra length to mid-thigh for a more fashionable option, wide adjustable elastic bra straps for extra support, nursing bra hook closures for easy, one-handed access, machine washable. 

 

 

 

_________________________________

The Black Friday weekend deals

These amazing brands are not only giving these products away to a lucky Leakie and to World On My Shoulders, they are offering some amazing deals for this coming Black Friday weekend! Check out what they’re offering below:

 

Bamboobies
Check in with them for some amazing Black Friday and Cyber Mom-day deals!

Chunkabuns
Black Friday: 3 for 1 Chunkabuns Socks! and 30% off shirts.
Small Business Saturday: 2 for 1 Savvy & Posh Pants
Cyber Monday: 3 for 1 Handy Bands

Euphoric Herbals
Receive 20% off your first purchase by using coupon code: TLB.
Join the Euphoric Herbals newsletter to be notified of the special Small Business Saturday promotion.

Fairhaven Health
They are having their biggest Black Friday sale to date! Be sure to check out www.mymilkies.com on Black Friday!

Glamourmom
Now through Cyber Monday: 20% off at www.glamourmom.com using code LBGM1117

Innobaby
Cyber Monday Promo Code: CYBERTLB for 30% off at www.innobaby.com – only god on Monday 11/27/17
Use code TLBSHOWER for 25% off at www.innobaby.com anytime (expires 12/31/17)

Ju-ju-be
25% off site wide on Black Friday from 6am-10am PST

My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear
20% off using code: LUCKY

Snugabell
Pumpease pumping bras will be 25% off on amazon.com and amazon.ca 11/24-11/27. No code required. Listing must state “Sold by Snugabell Mom & Baby Gear and Fulfilled by Amazon” to be valid.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Share

#TLBnourish 2017 – Gifts to Support the Nourisher

#TLBnourish 2017 is under way, and our campaign sponsors want to support you as you seek to nourish your family and yourself. Check out the sponsors’ products below and use the widget underneath to enter for your chance to win them! For more information on #TLBnourish 2017, click here.

 

A huge thanks to My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear, Pure Spoon, BeliBea, and Motif Pumps presented by Aeroflow Breastpumps for supporting parents and their kids year-round, and for supporting #TLBnourish 2017 for the next few weeks. Check out their featured products below and enter the giveaway for your chance to win all of them!

 

My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear

The Rainbow Keepsake Kit, retail value: $39.99

The Rainbow Keepsake Kit is a beautiful way to celebrate or honor a life. Accessorize your Heartbeat Animal with a rainbow tutu, rainbow bowtie, or both. Comes with a 13-15″ stuffed animal of your choice and heart-shaped recorder. 

 

Pure Spoon


Pure Spoon $50 gift card, retail value: $50

Pure Spoon’s organic HPP baby food use 100% fresh, certified organic fruits and veggies that are cold-pressed, cold-packed and delivered right to your door. Pure Spoon has 11 flavors, including Avocado and Apples; Blueberry, Bananas and Apples; Butternut Squash, Apples and Oats; Carrots and Zucchini; Simply Pears; and more.

 

Belibea

 

NOURISH Essentials 3-pack, retail value: $127.95

NOURISH Essentials 3-pk includes:
1* NOURISH by BeliBea bra (nude)
1* NOURISH by BeliBea bra (black)
1* NOURISH CAMI (black)
Our seamless, stretch NOURISH Nursing & Pumping bras feature a unique two panel, double snap design allowing for both breastfeeding and pumping. Made for the flexibility of the modern mom, it provides the comfort and convenience of wearing one garment whether nursing, pumping or reveling in the sweet moments in between.
 

Motif Pumps, presented by Aeroflow Breastpumps

 

 

Motif Medical Duo Breast Pump, retail value: $190
Giveaway winner will have the choice to receive either the Curve or the Duo. 
Motif Medical was started with one thing in mind – family. With that, Motif has created products that help families stay happy and healthy. By providing quality products, Motif is able uphold the highest standard for the company. The Motif Duo is the perfect breast pump for busy moms. The pump features an easy-to-operate memory mode that stores your favorite settings to use at a later time. Enjoy pumping on-the-go with this lightweight pump with a rechargeable battery. The Motif Curve is lightweight, quiet and supports many combinations of suction and massage settings. Pump anytime and anywhere with the battery powered motor.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Share

Nourishing Our Children and Ourselves – #TLBnourish 2017

#TLBnourish 2017 is made possible thanks to Title Sponsor: My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear

 

#TLBnourish is a time to celebrate nourishing our families, ourselves, and even our community. From sharing recipes to sharing stories to sharing our photos, #TLBnourish is about feeding our whole selves well.

Nourishment is so much more than just nutrition for our bodies; our spirits find nourishment in connection, our relationships find nourishment in each other, our children find nourishment in our arms (our little Lucky reminds my family of this daily), our minds are nourished through learning and conversation, and our hearts are nourished by being with the people we love.

#TLBNourish brings us all together as we hold space for each other in what this may look like in our lives, embracing the bravery required to open up about what and how we nourish ourselves and our families. With so much pressure to be a certain way with an expectation of perfection it can feel risky to say what we really do, but that’s exactly what we’re going to do together, supporting how our journeys are diverse and meaningful. Feeding our very souls.

Also, sometimes we’re just plain ol’ surviving! And we can laugh, cry, and joke about that reality. Nourishment isn’t always the stuff of cooking shows and feel-good-TV. It’s more of a buffet of hasty snacks, complex dishes, and some total flops- like the time my brother used garlic oil on accident to make brownies and it was the laughter that nourished us.

We are excited to share #TLBnourish 2017 with you, The Leaky Boob community, and also our Beyond Moi community, that focuses first on strengthening the connection we have with our families and ourselves to key aspects that deeply impact relationships of all sorts. Join us on The Leaky Boob Facebook page, here; The Leaky Boob Community Facebook group, hereBeyondMoi.com and the Beyond Moi Facebook Page, here; and the Beyond Moi Community Facebook group (where we talk about just about anything and everything- particularly relationships), here.

#TLBnourish 2017 launched a few days ago with our campaign ambassadors sharing their daily nourishing experiences on Instagram, and introducing our campaign giveaway. It will run for the next couple of weeks though a meaningful focus on how we nourish ourselves and our families is never really limited to a set of dates. It’s what TLB does every day! We will be focusing on what nourishes us with good food, meaningful experiences, opening up, and a lot of humor. All of this through the sharing of information, support, and most importantly, The Leaky Boob and Beyond Moi communities in action teaming up with you, our communities, and brands we trust including Title Sponsoring Brand My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear, maker of the cuddliest keepsake to celebrate and/or honor our new family members.

Be on the lookout for the hashtag: #TLBnourish (and start using it too!), Leaky guest posts, a vocal presence across social media (Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook), posts from our campaign ambassadors, relevant information and interactions on our sister site, BeyondMoi.com, inspiring support within our community, involvement from our campaign sponsors, giveaways, and informative articles.

Let’s explore the many ways we nourish ourselves and our relationships together, with #TLBnourish 2017.

Check out and follow our team of brave campaign ambassadors below on social, and show some love to the wonderful campaign sponsors below who understand the importance of nourishment within our families and intimate relationships.

____________________

Meet Our Campaign Ambassadors 

We’ve assembled a small team to provide a little daily inspiration and some real-life experiences as they focus on the nourishment present in their relationships. Here are the six mamas (apart from myself) that will be sharing their #TLBnourish experiences with us:

Hi everyone! My name is Aley, and I am a 26 year old mother of three – ages 12, 3), and 5 weeks. I nursed my 3 yr old until he was 3.5 and he self weaned when I was about 30 weeks pregnant with his brother. So far, my baby and I are also going stong with nursing. I did disposables with for my other babies but am looking forward to starting cloth soon with my newest little one. I am a stay at home mom so keeping up on housework and keeping the kids alive are my usual daily battles.

You can find Aley on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 

Hi, I’m Angela  Mom of three kids (ages 6, 3, and 8 months), I’m a Navy spouse, and registered nurse (pediatrics). We have been moving every two years and we just recently moved to Nevada in July, so still trying to get settled and starting to think about going back to work!

You can find Angela on Instagram.

 

 

Hey Everyone! I’m Ashley, mom of two (ages 2 & 2 months). Currently, I’m a breastfeeding peer counselor. I also volunteer and lead a breastfeeding support group at a local women’s center! I cloth diaper and I’m trying get the hang of babywearing haha!

You can find Ashley on Instagram.

 

 

 

Hello! My name is Diamond and I’m the mom of 4 girls (ages 11, 9, 4, and 8 months)! I’m the founder of Carry On-Newark, (we give free education and natural parenting supplies to low income families in Newark) ,I blog for Smitten Wovens, I’m a chapter leader for World On My Shoulders and occasionally assist my husband on his page (The Babywearing Dad). I am a Babywearing educator, cloth diaper expert and a breastfeeding advocate in Newark NJ. I’m so excited to be here!!

You can find Diamond on Instagram.

 

Hello, my name is Iola. I’m a social media consultant, birth/breastfeeding advocate, hiker, climber, kayaker, doula and mom. I have five wonderful kids ages 6, 5, 2, 1, and 7 weeks. I am a single, co-parenting mom, by choice. We live in Minnesota, twin cities area, my second home is Duluth, MN. We are avid campers. Pretty much an open book.

You can find Iola on Instagram.

 

 

Hey guys! My name is Jess and I’m 31. I have a 2.5 year old boy and am 33 weeks pregnant with a little girl.

I’m a pediatric cardiology nurse at Seattle Children’s in their central Washington clinic but in late February, my family is moving to the east coast. I’m really looking forward to getting the heck out of Washington and starting fresh!

You can find Jess on Instagram.

 

____________________________________

#TLBnourish 2017 Sponsors

 

Title Sponsor: My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear

Looking for a unique pregnancy keepsake? There is nothing more precious to an expectant mother than the sound of her baby’s heartbeat. My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear provides everything you need to capture the sound of your baby’s heartbeat and create a keepsake that will be cherished forever. Our kit includes an adorable stuffed animal, and a 20 second red heart recorder that will easily preserve the sound of your baby’s heartbeat. My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear Kits also make fantastic baby shower gifts! Find out more here

 

Pure Spoon

Pure Spoon’s organic HPP baby food use 100% fresh, certified organic fruits and veggies that are cold-pressed, cold-packed and delivered right to your door. Find out more here

 

BeliBea

An innovative maternity bra line for both breastfeeding and hands-free pumping convenience. Find our more here

 

Motif Pumps, presented by Aeroflow Breastpumps

Supporting new and expecting moms by providing breast pumps through insurance. Find out more about Aeroflow here and more about Motif here
.
To participate in the #TLBnourish 2017 Sponsors’ giveaway, click here
Share

Lucky’s Birth – Live!, with My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear

This special occasion made possible by the generous support of My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear.

 

Ever since we live streamed Sugarbaby’s birth 5 years ago, we have received message after message from people thanking us for showing how calm and beautiful birth can be. And ever since we announced this pregnancy, we have received message after message from people asking us if we are going to live stream Lucky’s birth too. Yes, it’s a private event for our family, but we also consider this a wonderful opportunity for us to do our part in re-normalizing birth as a biological event first, that is medicalized only if absolutely necessary. We consider it an educational opportunity for the masses!

We will start the live stream (below the Live Chat window) once labor officially kicks in. Labor could last just a few hours (or less!) and go for 24 hours or more. There’s no predicting just how long it’ll take. We have recruited some special help to keep things interesting. First we will have someone from our team interacting in the Live Chat window below, posting tidbits of information regarding the birth, and actively answering your questions.

Second, Lavinia is excited to act the part of interviewer for a number of short FB Live Streams were calling Featurettes. She’ll be discussing several topics with our birth team and family, from what the midwives need to do to get set up, to what our kids are doing to help celebrate their little sister’s birth (spoiler alert: there may be cake). These featurettes will be separate from the static live feed below.

Feel free to share this exciting event with your friends, family, and strangers online!

Below the Live Chat window and the Live feed, we are featuring a number of brands that believe in the importance of education relating to motherhood, family, and health – their featured products represent their commitment to supporting mothers and their families.

Enter your username

 

 

A huge thank you to our Title Sponsor: My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear.

To help celebrate Lucky’s arrival, My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear is offering 7 Rainbow Keepsake Kits, one for each of 7 Lucky winners!

The Rainbow Keepsake Kit is a beautiful way to celebrate or honor a life. Accessorize your Heartbeat Animal with a rainbow tutu, rainbow bowtie, or both. Comes with a 13-15″ stuffed animal of your choice and heart-shaped recorder. A $39.99 value. 

To enter this giveaway, please use the widget at the end of this post. 

_____________________________________

A big thank you to Earth Mama Organics and Andaluz Waterbirth Center for co-sponsoring Lucky’s big day!

Be sure to check on The Leaky Boob Facebook page for fun featurettes full of home birthing facts, thanks to My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear, Earth Mama Organics, and Andaluz.

_____________________________________

 

From the positive test to the big push, from the first latch to the thousandth diaper, Earth Mama effectively supports the miraculous wonders and common indignities of motherhood with effective, natural herbal care. They know the fierce love, gut-wrenching fear, and boundless joy, that are simultaneously present and part of the process, because they’ve been there. And they’re here to tell you:

You’ve got this
You’re not alone
And by the way: 
You’re amazing 

Hemorrhoids and all. 

Earth Mama wants you to know about the importance of Lying-in after birth. As defined on their website, “‘Lying-in’ is the period of time for a postpartum mama to heal and bond with her newborn. It’s a time to take care of the mama that made the miracle, and heal her body and soul while she gets to know every crease, dimple, and the sweet scent of her brand new baby.”

Read all about this important time on their blog.

Earth Mama has developed a range of products focused on healing and soothing postpartum mamas, including their Organic Monthly Comfort Tea and Postpartum Bath Herbs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________

We are thrilled to be on this baby journey with the amazing midwifery team at Andaluz Waterbirth Center here in Portland, Oregon. Their beautiful birth center, with its big birthing tubs and homey feel, would have easily swayed us into having our Lucky there if our hearts weren’t hard set on continuing our home birthing tradition! Anyone in the greater Portland area interested in having a midwife-assisted birth should definitely take the tour. Andaluz Waterbirth Center is just about as charming as its midwives, who embody the simplicity, beauty, and spirituality inherent in bringing new life into the world. There is an art between applying knowledge and letting nature take its course, and these competent midwives know just how to manage that balance.

Follow Andaluz Waterbirth Center on Facebook!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Share

Getting Ready For Baby And How We “Do It All” (Lucky’s Birth Live Feed Test)

We’re often asked how we prepare our family for a new baby, how we set up our birth space, and how we “do it all” with kids, managing our business, homeschooling some of our children (3), household responsibilities, our marriage, etc.

Sometimes we write about it but we decided that since we need to test out the tech set up for the birth, maybe we should just show you. Unpolished, unrehearsed, this video is us sharing our real life.

Check out our chat feature too, say hi and help us test it. This feature will be utilized during the birth live feed for interaction and to answer questions. We’d appreciate your help in testing this feature, thanks!

Enter your username

 

Share

Belly Painting- Celebrating and Commemorating Pregnancy With Your Children

By Jessica Martin-Weber with Squiggle Bug, Smunchie, Sugarbaby, and Jeremy Martin-Weber

Each person deserves to be celebrated. A theme that is common in our family. Most often , the ways we find to celebrate are small and simple but very special.

We’re going to show one way we enjoy celebrating a coming baby. Belly painting! Together we cooperate to celebrate and commemorate the new person joining our family with creative expression.

Today we already agreed on a seasonal theme but it could be anything! Comment telling us what you’ve done to celebrate a pregnancy and the new family member joining your family.

Share

#TLBsafekids 2017 – a Giveaway to Inspire and Support

Keeping our kids safe is quite a daunting task. They start out so little, so vulnerable, and though they are amazingly resilient and life comes across as a force with a seeming will of its own, at least babies can’t get themselves into trouble – they’re immobile.

But as they gain mobility, and curiosity grows inside them, each new stage of development has a way of keeping their parents on their toes. How do we balance allowing them to explore their world and satisfy their curiosity, with keeping them safe from dangers lurking around every corner? If we slack on the one side they’ll get hurt! But if we slack the other way, we’ll hold them back.

Put that under things you never thought you’d worry about when you became a parent. This parenting thing was going to be challenging, of course, but frightening? We didn’t see that coming.

But I can tell you this much: those fears are healthy, and so is your desire to allow your kid to explore. Your emotions and your brain may seem like they’re pitted against each other, but in reality you need both to parent well. Because deep down you already know that you can’t completely shield your child from getting hurt, and you also know that hurt, to a degree, is a great teacher. Who ever learned how to walk without falling a hundred times? It’s par for the course, and you are a better parent for allowing your child to learn how to walk even though they will get hurt. And you are an even better parent if you demonstrate to them that you believe in them, comfort them when they’re frustrated and overwhelmed, and encourage them to try again when they’re ready.

We, the parents, have got this, modeling how we can use both our brains and our hearts.

We can learn about developmental milestones form experts, and everyday experiences from others just like us. And there are a ton of tools available to make our life easier, and products designed by people who care about child safety. #TLBsafekids 2017 is featuring several of these products, from brands that were created out of a desire we share with them: making the world a safer place for our kids.

A huge thanks to Diono, Pura Stainless, and Crane for supporting parents and their kids year-round, and for supporting #TLBsafekids 2017 for the next few weeks. Check out their featured products below and enter the giveaway for your chance to win all of them!

 

Diono

The radian rXT All-In-One Convertible Car Seat, retail value: $359.99

Your child’s security is our top priority. We engineered our radian® rXT with premium, innovative features like a steel alloy frame, aluminum reinforced sidewalls, energy absorbing EPS foam and a reinforced adjustable head support to keep your little one protected and comfortable. 

 

Pura Stainless


Pura Kiki Stainless Steel Bottles, retail value: $24.99

100% plastic-free, NonToxic Certified stainless steel bottles that grow with your child from infancy through grade school.

 

Crane

 

Crane Drop Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier, retail value: $54.99

Get relief from dryness in style with a Crane Drop Humidifier. Featuring an award winning design and top rated performance, Crane’s Drop Shape Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifiers provide up to 24 hours of soothing moisture to help relieve the effects of dryness and congestion, helping you and your Family to breathe easy and sleep through the night peacefully. Crane’s Drop design complements any home’s decor. Not only are Crane Drop Humidifiers stylish, but they are easy to use, whisper quiet, more efficient than a household light bulb, and include a built-in auto-shut-off feature that engages when the water tank is empty to ensure safety. The moisture that humidifiers add to dry air also help alleviate many common nuisances brought on by winter heating such as static electricity, peeling wallpaper, shrinking wood, and cracks in paint and furniture.
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Share

Focusing on the Safety of Our Children – #TLBsafekids 2017

#TLBsafekids 2017 is made possible thanks to Title Sponsor: Diono

Every parent’s first job is to tend to their child’s health. Every parent is aware of all the ways that they could let their children down. All the ways that they could fail at protecting their children’s health. All the ways that they are likely to screw up their kid(s).

As a mother to 6, almost 7, here are a few things that I wish I had known when I first became a mother:

First off, it’s normal to worry about the safety of our children. Yes, there are unhealthy levels of worry that can lead us to thinking that maybe the best thing to do is to move to a remote area of Montana and never leave the homestead – which is why we need people around us to help us stay within a healthy level of worry. But being concerned for the wellbeing of our children is a good thing. It means we care about them, and we want good things for them.

Second, we will screw up our kid(s). My kids like to point out how everyone is unique in their own way – that weird isn’t bad because we’re all weird in our own way. And while I agree with them and nod my head, in my mind that translates to “we’re all screwed up in our own way.” And the most likely people to have screwed us up? Family. Namely, our parents. But not exclusively. Siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins, all have the honor of being in the position of screwing us up too. Moving to Montana is probably sounding even better right about now isn’t it? Except that if I’m the only one left to influence my child, guess who’s the only one left to screw them up? That’s right. I am. You are. Time will tell just how much time our children will end up needing to spend in therapy – and I’m not joking about that, so far 2 of ours have needed it and we’re big believers in therapy – but in the meantime, all of us parents are just trying to do our best to not screw up our children too much.

Third, we need information. Which means that we need to be able to ask the questions that we have. Which means that we also need to feel safe in asking those questions. That has been one of my primary goals in shaping The Leaky Boob community: to make it a safe place for moms to find information, encouragement, and support, in a judgment-free space. There are no stupid questions. There are only questions needing answers. And a safe space to admit the mistakes we’ve made.

And as first-time parents, we have a LOT of questions needing answers. Second-time parents too! And even seventh-time parents.

As a mom of 6, soon to be 7, you might think that I have it all figured out! But I don’t. There are some things that I’ve learned, sure, but each of my children has proven to me that what makes them unique requires me to adapt my parenting to fit their mould, and not the other way around. Just because one of my kids thought it was a good idea to stuff peas in their nose doesn’t mean that they all will. Just because one of my children seemed to understood the theory of relativity at 12 months doesn’t mean that they all will. And I’m joking about my 12 month old being a super genius. The point is, even I’m still learning, things are changing, new information is regularly becoming available, and I still need a safe space to ask my questions too.

So for the next 3 weeks, The Leaky Boob community is going to have a special focus on safety in a campaign that I like to call #TLBsafekids. And we’re going to talk about all the things that could potentially threaten the health of our little ones. I’ll spare you a list because it basically includes pretty much everything. Which is why we really need a space to be able to talk about it all.

 

Join our private Facebook group #TLBsafekids, check out and follow our team of brave campaign ambassadors below on social, and show some love to the wonderful campaign sponsors below who care very much about the safety of our kids.

 

____________________________________

#TLBsafekids 2017 Campaign Ambassadors

 

Hello Everyone! My name is Amber. I have 3 beautiful girls: 4, 2 and 4 months. My husband is an over the road truck driver and I am a registered nurse. I am currently not working but am a stay at home mom. My oldest just started preschool, so we are trying to get used to a more structured schedule. I am very excited to be a part of this opportunity!

I live in a small town called Glencoe, in Minnesota. I am originally from Colorado.

You can find Amber on Instagram.

 

Hey everyone! I’m Brianda and I LOVE The Leaky Boob – it’s been a huge resource as a mom. We live in Woodstock, GA, a small suburb of Atlanta. My husband Reid and I have three littles… Olivia (2 years old), Owen (7 months old) and Benjamin (7 months old). Life with a toddler and twins is absolute chaos but I truly love it.

You can find Brianda on Instagram.

 

 

 

Hello Everyone, I’m D’Andra from the great state of Texas and the best city, Dallas, lol !!!!

I have only my 9 month Old Princess, Miss. Emorie Dakota, 3 fur babies, and a Man Child I call Husband  😂 😂 😂

I’m obsessed with natural parenting and learning about different things for my baby to try.

You can find D’Andra on Instagram.

 

 

I’m Leah. I have a 3yr old daughter, HER (Hannah Elizabeth), a 1yr old son, SIR (Saul Isaiah), 2 babies in heaven and I’m currently a little over 14 weeks pregnant! I’m the head Nurse of a missionary organization, but from July to January/Feburary I’m a SAHM. My husband is a part of the Ministry as well. I look forward to connecting with you all on social! I am from NJ but currently live in Lancaster county PA.

You can find Leah on Instagram.

 

 

Hi! I’m Micah. I live in So Cal with my 4 kids (10, 5, 3, 20 months) and boyfriend.

I’ve been a SAHM since the baby was born but I will be going back to work starting Monday at one of our local coffee shops. I’m super excited about it because I’ll still have a pretty flexible schedule for kid stuff.

You can find Micah on Instagram and Twitter.

 

 

 

Hey guys, I am Ophelia. I am a SAHM to my two little guys. Noah is 3, and Joseph is 20 months old. We are from Alabama, and we LOVE being outside. Both boys love getting dirty, as do I. #boymom

You can find Ophelia on Instagram.

 

 

 

____________________________________

#TLBsafekids 2017 Sponsors

 

Title Sponsor: Diono

Here at Diono we’ve made it our passion to lovingly engineer ideas that are all about safety and smiles. So, whether it’s a big day out or a little trip around the corner, we’ve thought of all the things you’ll need. Find out more here

 

Pura Stainless

100% plastic-free, NonToxic Certified stainless steel bottles that grow with your child from infancy through grade school. Find out more here

 

Crane

Here at Crane, we put “Design for Better Living” into everything we do. We started with a few designs in 2005 and continued to grow each year, working towards solving your indoor needs. Crane products are designed with efficiency, function and style in mind. We love to be creative with colors, designs and we know our products will bring comfort and smiles to your home!

Crane humidifiers help add humidity to any room in your home and will help relieve congestion to keep your family healthy. Any room in your home can be warm and cozy when you have a Crane space heater at your side. Air pollutants are everywhere; Crane air purifiers help eliminate dust, pollen, pet dander and smoke, leaving germ free air in your home. Sometimes you just need a cool breeze, and Crane fans let you direct fresh air into any room you need, whenever you need it.

Find out more here

Share

Pregnancy, Sleep, and New Baby Sleep Expectations

 

Many thanks to Bamboobies for sponsoring this important discussion on sleep expectations related to the arrival of a new baby. 


And heartfelt thanks also to Rebecca Michi, Children’s Sleep Consultant, for providing her expertise in this conversation. Connect with her through her Facebook page, her website, and her excellent book: “Sleep and Your Child’s Temperament.”

________________________

 

 

Important points shared by Jessica and Rebecca during this Live Stream:

Today we are talking all about sleep in pregnancy and sleep expectations with a new baby. Some sleep myths, such as baby sleeping through the night, are just not true.

Sleep During Pregnancy (focus on 3rd trimester)

Peeing

Rebecca: I think in that last trimester sleep becomes more and more challenging when you’re pregnant. And it’s for a couple of reasons, one of them is that you’re probably gonna need to pee five times a night and that you’re being kicked in the bladder. 

Jessica: You have a little human being on your bladder, you’re gonna need to empty way more often. Plus, your blood volume more than doubles during pregnancy and at the end there that means you’re filtering all of that out, you’re gonna have to pee more often. This is just the deal. Plus the baby’s contributing to that so yeah, lots of peeing. You’re gonna have to get up and pee.

Discomfort

Rebecca: And then you’re just uncomfortable as well and you get more uncomfortable quicker  in a position than you would pre-pregnancy and feel like you’re having to move around lots. Pillows can really help but when you gotta move you’re gonna need to move pillows. Also, your whole center of gravity is different than it once was. You’re not just easily rolling over. So even if you were just gonna come into a light sleep, roll over and go back into a deep sleep, chances are you’re actually gonna be really fully waking up because the whole, “I’ve got to move pillows,” or “I just gotta move this bump from one side to the other,” is just uncomfortable and you’re just waking up way more. 

People say you need to be getting lots of sleep, and that stresses you out, which also impacts your sleep. Good news is you can’t stock up on sleep. It’s not something you can put in the bank and so when baby arrives we’re not as tired. You are going to be tired. 

Sleep is very different with a newborn than it is in the last trimester. 

Sleep training babies before birth

Rebecca: The idea that you can train a baby to follow a sleep schedule in utero is completely ludicrous. It’s absolutely bonkers. There is no actual way that this can happen. What you’ll notice is when you are up and about and moving the baby can be very quiet and very still. And then the second you lay down and try to go to sleep or to sit down and rest that’s when baby starts getting really active. 

Normal newborn sleep, first 24-48 hrs

Rebecca: Remember that all babies are good babies, regardless of how they sleep. They’re gonna sleep like a baby which is what we want. In the very early stages you may be lulled into a false sense of security because there’s a lot of sleep going on. Being born is absolutely exhausting. So you may find that your newborn sleeps really long stretches and you just think, “We’ve got an awesome sleeper! This is great.” But that quickly changes: they will soon be spending more time awake and much shorter stretches of sleep.

They’re always hungry, because your milk hasn’t come in yet, and that quickly gets in the way of sleep too.

Rebecca: The great news is we cannot create any bad habits, whatsoever. It’s just impossible to create bad habits. And that’s when you’re feeding, you’re rocking, you’re bouncing, you’re jiggling, you’re singing, you’re talking, everything is completely fine. The nurturing that was happening in utero continues when you’re with a newborn. You’re now in the fourth trimester  and it’s just survival mode for at least the first twelve weeks. 

Jessica: Just be responsive and watch your baby and interact with your baby. Let your baby sleep and feed them appropriately. 

Rebecca: You don’t need to worry if your 2 day old is not on a sleep schedule. Not in the slightest. I wouldn’t even think about getting on a sleep schedule until over twelve weeks old. 

Jessica: Our bodies do the most milk making processing at night. As wonderful as it is when babies start sleeping longer stretches at night it does, to some degree, threaten your breastmilk supply.

Can't create bad habits with newborns

Week one

Rebecca: Getting into that week one we’re still in that survival mode. They have no idea what is day or what is night and so they’re going to just be continuing to sleep, wake, sleep, wake, sleep, wake. Sleep is just sleep. They’re not thinking of it as nighttime sleep or as daytime sleep. So if you think that your child has days and nights mixed up, they can’t because they don’t really have days or nights.

Rebecca: When they’re born their stomach is so tiny it’s the size of a marble. And that’s tiny. As they grow older and they get bigger the stomach gets bigger and your supply begins to alter as well. That’s gonna really dictate why your child is waking up and when they get hungry. 

That can continue throughout that first twelve weeks. And you may notice that you’re able to get a little bit longer between the feeds and we’re not ever dropping feeds during the night, we’re stretching the time out between the feeds.

Rebecca: The majority of children, about seventy percent, at twelve weeks old are not even getting a five or six hour stretch of sleep. 

Jessica: One of the things we know is that that interrupted sleep for the baby reduces their risk of SIDs. 

I know for me, when I was really struggling, one of the things I would tell myself is, “I’m so glad you’re awake, just keep on being alive.” Because it was hard, and I would feel a little angry or resentful like “Please just sleep!” but it was so important for me to remind myself that her frequent waking was maybe even saving her life. So, just something to keep in mind, it’s important that our babies do what they need to do. 

Rebecca: Sleep deprivation is incredibly tough when you’ve had a newborn you can see why it’s used as a form of torture because it is so effective. 

Jessica: We need to recognize that it is a part of normal human development that, starting as infants, we wake often. Most of us do.

I’ve had one of those kids that slept long stretches right off the bat, that was super easy, immediately threatened my milk supply, immediately made some growth issues for us actually, and so my doctor was telling me to wake her because this became a problem (and to this day she is still a very good sleeper). But my very next kiddo still at 15 feels like she only believes in sleep when she wants to sleep on her terms. That has not changed. She was that way from coming out and stayed that way. We kind of have this range of normal for humans and what our sleep patterns look like as an adult it’s not fair to impose those on to babies. While at the same time there are different sleep personalities, or personalities in general, and my 15 year old’s sleep patterns are, in many ways, much better than they were when she was an infant – it’s true (in large part because she’s responsible for them and not me) but she doesn’t wake me up either way so she lets me sleep. There’s a pretty big spectrum here but I think one of the biggest mistakes we make going into parenting a baby is we expect our newborn human beings to function, in terms of sleep, as adult human beings. And that’s simply not how we’re wired, that’s not how we’re gonna work. 

Week one to week six

Rebecca: More of the same. Just waking and feeding and this is gonna be happening 24 hours a day. You may have wake ups where it’s not just straight back to sleep after the feed but these are gonna be quite short. And then as your child is getting older these awake periods just get longer and longer – but not hugely.

As we get to twelve weeks the longest awake period we should have is an hour and a half and that’s where we’ve got to get everything in. That’s the feed, the diaper change, the playtime, the bath, whatever it is, we’ve got 90 minutes to do that. So don’t feel you have to be home for every nap because you’re not going to be able to do feed, diaper change, getting dressed to go out to the car to get to the store to get back for that next nap. That’s going to be totally impossible to do. So whenever you can, napping on the go is completely fine. 

Jessica: I have definitely had those kids that have slept so much better when we are on the move and the reality is I have things to do. 

Rebecca: Temperament really does play a really big part at really young ages as to how your child is gonna sleep and that’s actually normal.

Jessica: So learn what’s normal from your baby. And be educated with your healthcare provider to make sure they’re growing appropriately and they’re developing on track and all of those things. You’re going to want to recognize that there is no one size fits all sleep standard. So normal is a range. And you have to learn your baby. 

Rebecca: Only help when you need to help. Your baby knows exactly how to get you to help, their cry is very effective, it’s not something we can easily ignore. Which is one of the reasons why the human race is still here, that cry getting us to do whatever we need to do to get it to stop because that’s how we survive. Don’t over help. If they’re happy to just hang out, perfect. It may be they’re happy to hang out for 10-20 minutes and then they may fall asleep or maybe then they need help. But you don’t need to over help especially in the middle of the night if you don’t actually need to be there helping. Generally when they’re crying they need something, even when they need sleep they’ll cry because they’re overtired. That doesn’t necessarily mean you should just leave them, if they’re fussing that’s fine, but you’ve got to figure out what works for your child. Because it may be that they actually need to be held and rocked whilst you’re patting their back. It may be that you need to rock side-to-side rather than back and forward. Every single child is completely unique with what it is that they need but when they’re crying and they need something they’re not manipulating you. 

Jessica: When they wake at night, close to twelve weeks, and they want to be awake for a little while do we engage them during that time or do we keep the lights low and things quiet?

Rebecca: I would keep the lights low with low interaction. And it may be that you need to do a diaper change or whatever it is you need to be doing and we don’t want to be creating this our awake time we actually want to be encouraging sleep at this time. Just keeping it dark, dim and using a very low voice and really low interaction because we want to be encouraging sleep. 

Share