Twelve Days of Thanks

Today I’m grateful for… you. Friends, community, family.

Beco 12 days of thanks

This Thanksgiving season, our community is focusing on what we all have to be grateful for and paying it forward. Because we know how hard it can be to juggle everything, in having our hands full we sometimes forget it a blessing.

So we’ve teamed up with Beco Baby Carriers for 12 Days of Thanks to hear your gratitude stories from your life and then to pay it forward. Sharing stories every day for the next 12 days, we’ll be drawing 5 winners for a Beco Gemini and sending 5 Beco Soleils to Serenity Infant Care Homes for the foster families caring for newborn babies.

Serenity Infant Care Homes, Inc. was founded by three social workers in response to the need for foster homes and programs. Incorporated in 1990, Serenity serves the children of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties.

Serenity Infant Care Homes, Inc. is a non-profit agency whose mission is to provide quality foster care homes for abused, abandoned and neglected infants, as well as for drug affected infants that require special emphasis. Having served over 1500 children and families since the program was incorporated in June 1990, Serenity’s goal is provide treatment and resources to ensure that the child is ultimately placed in a safe, secure environment. The primary goal of Serenity is family reunification but should those efforts fail, Serenity is committed to seeing the children in their care in a secondary, permanent home.

 Join us in celebrating all we have to give thanks for and supporting other families with their full hands full of children and hearts full of love.

Twelve Days of Thanks

Share

KoalaKin Fall Giveaway

KoalaKin, with its one-of-a-kind hands-free nursing pouch, loves to support new moms in their journey.  Vivian, founder and creator of KoalaKin, wants to show her support by offering a KoalaKin nursing pouch in a free giveaway.  I’ve asked her to tell us a little about the other ways that she likes to support new moms:

UrLM97BAD9nM28WcLQBzxoUdaBbmPseqzhnGwlHeRhU

Vivian, creator and founder of KoalaKin.

 

TLB: For every product created, there is a story behind it, a motivating drive that moved a person to invest their energy, creativity, time, and resources to make that product.  What drove you to create the KoalaKin? 

Vivian: I’m all about making life easier for moms, especially in those first few months with their new baby. That is the most critical time for their breastfeeding relationship and I’ve seen SO many moms give up breastfeeding because it was too hard / complicated / time consuming / painful, etc…

It seems to me that many moms are willing to give BF a try, but if the level of “investment” or sacrifice is too high for them (always such a personal thing), they will give it up.

 

TLB: How can the KoalaKin help with this? 

Vivian: I created the KoalaKin to “decrease” that level of investment and sacrifice, in the hopes that this will help moms stick with it longer – until it gets easier and more manageable.

In other words, the KoalaKin is there to help get moms through the difficult times by perfectly positioning the baby at the breast, freeing up mom’s hands, promoting a healthy, ergonomic posture, and allowing moms to be more mobile. All in the hopes they’ll stick w breastfeeding for as long as they can / want. Because the longer they do it, the better off babies will be.

That’s what the KoalaKin is all about.

 

TLB: Are there other ways that you and KoalaKin are there to support moms? 

Vivian: Yes!  On social media.  My desire is  to create a non-judgmental space where moms can gather and share information that will help them in their breastfeeding efforts / journey.

And here is where:
Facebook
Twitter
KoalaKin Blog 

KoalaKin_Logo_Fnl_NOshad_newGrn_web2

______________________

Vivian is offering one KoalaKin Hands-Free Nursing Pouch to one lucky Leakie!  
Color and size to be chosen by the winner
Retail Value: $89.99

______________________

Koalakin Hands Free Nursing Pouch (5)

______________________

Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from November 20, 2014 through November 27, 2014.  A big thanks to Vivian and KoalaKin for their support of TLB and all breastfeeding women; please be sure to visit their Facebook page or follow them on twitter and thank them for their support of TLB and this giveaway opportunity.

This giveaway is restricted to U.S. entries only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Share

Move Over Kim Kardashian, Breastfeeding Breaks The Internet!

by Jessica Martin-Weber

So KK wants to break the internet with a picture of her butt, breastfeeders know that to break the internet all you have to do is put a picture up of a baby being breastfed and the internet loses it’s mind. Move over Kim, you think balancing a champagne glass on your butt is hard while holding a bottle of champagne? Try balancing an empty bottle while being hooked up to a breast pump and expressing breastmilk as milk shoots over your head right into the bottle on your butt. Now that is talent.

 

Breastfeeding Kim Kardashian Jamie Witwerr

In case you’re wondering, the above image was created by Jamie Wittwer and posted on twitter, it is photoshopped and it’s one of the cutest and most funny knock-off’s of KK’s champagne photo in Paper Magazine I’ve seen. Sometimes, photoshop is just fun and having fun is… well… fun.

There’s an ongoing conversation happening about what women can show of their bodies and why. From bikini selfies to breastfeeding selfies, from Kim Kardashian on the cover of Paper Magazine to Olivia Wilde breastfeeding in Galmour Magazine. Typically the reactions to such images range from “oh no, a woman’s body is showing!” to “good for her, I think it’s beautiful.”

Whatever you think of whatever type of pictures, there is a rather interesting dichotomy at play, while there are some that don’t like any of the photos and think all women should be covered head to toe all the time (burkas for all!), there are those who appreciate one but loath the other. Judging from the comments posted on social media and the numerous articles covering these images, the reasons seem to be taking issue with photoshopped versions of the female body, the over sexualization and objectification of the female body, the messages underlying such images that girls and women are to be valued based on their sex appeal, or being grossed out with a baby sucking on the female breast, that “nobody wants to see that,” that breastfeeding is a personal bonding moment and such intimacy shouldn’t be shared, judging how narcissistic those breastfeeding moms must be to take and post a photo of themselves feeding their baby, and my personal favorite: that peeing and pooping are natural too but nobody wants to see pictures of that posted anywhere. Some good points are made in the critics and there are certainly some concerns we should be wrestling with both as individuals and as a society but nonetheless, there is a rather obvious double standard here for some: sexy images are good, nurturing ones are bad. “Breast is best” (stupid saying) but sexy is better.

How hypocritical of our society to encourage breastfeeding, even to the point of moms feeling pressured to breastfeed but then only value them when they appear in such a way that they’re a MILF. Do the “best” thing for your baby, be the “best” mom, but we don’t want to see it, we just want you to be invisible or “do-able.”

Alyssa Milano pointed out the hypocrisy of some of the reactions when Kim Kardashian’s Paper Magazine cover came out, not to criticize Kim, just noticing that there seems to be a double standard: naked women oiled up and looking sexy in digitally altered images including full frontals are fine and labeled “artistic” and “bold.” But an image of a woman feeding her baby at her breast is argued against as disgusting, inappropriate, and narcissistic, plus those that are so concerned that the mother’s full attention isn’t on the child that is actually at her breast feeding 32 times a day.

Question: every time you share a meal with someone do you never, ever, ever stop gazing lovingly in their eyes and have candlelight every time? Wouldn’t each meal time having to be an intimate bonding experience get exhausting?

Milano’s tweets got some cheers and some leers, not everybody has a problem with this double standard.

Alyssa Milano Kim Kardashian tweet copy

Personally I’m not a big fan of Kim’s photos in Paper Magazine and truthfully I don’t care. I’m shocked that somehow I’ve managed to write about KK at all here at all (let alone more than once) but here she is in the public eye and people are talking about her (including me too I guess) and she’s brought up some questions that even get my attention. The only real commentary I have is as long as she was ok with it, was aware and approved the photoshopping, then who am I to say anything? It’s not my style, I don’t particularly care for it, I certainly wouldn’t do it, and I can see the artistic value of it even if it doesn’t appeal to me. There are lots of other controversial questions about it that I find more interesting, such as the question of racist undertones and history of the artist. Overall though, it doesn’t bother me. I sat down with my older children ages 11, 13, and 15, showed them the images and asked them what they thought of them and I’m grateful for the conversation that came out of that. They got hung up on the unrealistic position of the wine glass and the lack of pubic hair (“why would anyone do that? Doesn’t it hurt? It looks like a little girl, how is that sexy?”) and after sharing their reactions, concerns, and thoughts on the images, decided it wasn’t for them. I’m ok with my daughters seeing images like this and if I had sons I would be ok with that as well. And I want them to see images like the one of Jamie Wittwer above and images of average people like you and me too.

And I want to laugh at it all sometimes. Maybe even break the internet.

Break the internet Kim Kardashian breastfeeding

Jamie Witwerr thinks it would be fun to break the internet with breastfeeding, join her and post your breastfeeding photos on social media.

The Paper Magazine images haven’t been without controversy but there does seem to be quite a few that praise the images and Kim’s flaunting of her body but are quick to say disparaging comments about breastfeeding photos.  The double standard is just one facet of how women are policed by society and overvalued in one aspect (for their sexuality) and undervalued for their many other facets, including but not limited to motherhood.

_______________________

What do you think? Is there a double standard for how women are viewed?

Share

Healing Nips and Nipple Butter Recipe

by Carrie Saum
This post was made possible by the generous sponsorship of Wean Green Glass.

Pumping. Nursing. Weaning. Teething. Lip ties. Tongue ties. Thrush. Mastitis. Clogged ducts.

What do these have in common?

Well, for starters, they can all be painful. Super painful. When I started my breastfeeding/pumping journey, I experienced serious boob trauma. In all of the pre-baby breastfeeding classes I took, nobody prepared me for pumping, nobody showed me how to hook one up, and the diagrams in the pump directions resembled a more risqué version of Ikea furniture assembly than easy-to-follow steps. Add a poorly fitted breast shield on a double electric pump, a baby with a hard suck, partial facial paralysis, and upper lip tie and you have the recipe for some seriously ouchie boobies.

I look back now and laugh at my naïveté. After all, much of what I’d heard from other moms was that breastfeeding (and pumping) would be painful. I expected it. So when my areolae wore down to pale, oversized, paper-thin circles, I wasn’t surprised. When my nipples were a violent bright red, sometimes tending towards purpley-black hues, I thought it was normal.

IT IS NOT NORMAL.

Common, but not normal. And a sign of there being something wrong. Not that you’re doing something wrong but that there is something wrong.

For months, my breasts were off limits, even to myself. The slightest graze of my husband’s hand would cause me to shriek, and not in a good way. The needle-like spray from our low-flow shower converted me into a stinky land dweller. I white-knuckled my way through each pumping or nursing session, telling myself that this level of pain seemed excessive and prolonged, but gosh, it was supposed to be this way, right? RIGHT? Even though I had been evaluated by FOUR lactation consultants, none of their suggestions seemed to help. I began combing the internet to figure out how to make feeding my baby less painful because this just was not working.

After correcting my son’s lip tie at 8 weeks, nursing became slightly less painful. (Wonder if your little one has a tongue or lip tie? Check out these basics of tongue and lip ties here.) I wanted to enjoy it. I loved the cuddles and sweet stares between us. But damn it, my boobs still hurt! Because of some other medical issues my son faced, I still pumped 50% of the time. I wised up and began using coconut oil to lubricate my breasts during pumping sessions. I changed out my breast pads every day. I washed and sterilized all of my pump parts regularly. I soaked my bras and nursing tanks in an apple cider vinegar solution before laundering them in order to kill all of the milk/saliva/sweat bacteria. And still…the pain was nearly unbearable.

I asked our doctor, who is also our midwife, to take a look at my breasts at my son’s four month check up. She called in another one of the midwife-doctors for a second opinion and they were both visibly pained by what they saw. My doctor suggested trying a different type of breast shield, which I ordered that same day, and manuka honey breast pads for my nipples and aureolas.

Turns out, the manuka honey breast pads are very spendy. I bit the bullet and purchased them anyway. I was desperate. After $20-ish and a week of use, my boobs started to feel so much better. I showered with abandon. I slept without breast pads. Nursing felt remarkably less painful. My husband touched my breasts and I almost enjoyed it. However, I still had a long way to go before they were healed up enough to lose the super-sensitivity.

Since I’m a mom on a budget, I set out to make my own raw manuka honey breast balm concoction. (It was still expensive, but more financially viable than the pads.) Initially, I was worried about putting honey on my breasts. Honey + baby = potential botulism. But cleaning the area impeccably (and I do mean impeccably) before nursing or pumping made it safe for my little guy. I created a simple recipe, used VERY clean utensils and pots, and made certain to keep the honey in it’s most raw state possible in order to preserve its antibacterial and healing qualities.

I applied this in a micro-thin layer in the morning during my son’s longest daytime nap, and again in the evening for a couple of hours before bed, making certain to wash thoroughly with soap and warm water before pumping or feeding. I also switched out my breast pads to avoid cross-contamination. Within two weeks, the super-sensitivity vanished. I enjoyed feeding my baby, softened at my husband’s touch again, and didn’t cringe when I accidentally bumped my boobs while changing my shirt or squeezing by someone in a crowded place…like our bathroom.

So, to recap:

Pumping and breastfeeding should NOT be excruciatingly painful for prolonged periods of time. But if it is, there’s help. Find an IBCLC, (which I did not do), and have your baby’s latch evaluated. Lip/tongue tie, thrush, suck, etc. They can help you. Also, have your pump properly fitted and ask for a tutorial by someone who knows all about it…like an IBCLC. Lastly, take care of your boobies. They are amazing, miraculous milkmakers and you will only use them in this capacity for a short, but critical, window of time. Take the time to care for them (and yourself) with kindness. Healing oils, balms, spendy nursing pads, whatever. It’s worth it.

YOU are worth it.

The Nice Boobies Healing Salve

Ingredients:

3 TBSP Raw Manuka Honey (I like Wedderspoon brand, available here.)

3 TBSP Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

1 tsp Organic Beeswax

1 tsp Rosewater

4 oz tin or glass container with lid, sterilized (we used Wean Green glass.)

Directions:

1) In a small, stainless steel pot, combine coconut oil and beeswax and stir on low heat until dissolved.

2) Take pot off burner and stir in honey. Once the honey is completely incorporated, stir in rosewater.

3) Immediately transfer mixture to container and allow to cool to room temperature. Cover with lid and store

away from direct sunlight or heat.

To Use:

1) Wash hands thoroughly. Scoop out a small, pebble sized amount with a clean utensil and warm between fingers to soften.

2) Apply a thin layer of salve to nipples and areola.

3) Cover with clean breast pad or soft cloth and bra.

4) Before nursing or pumping, CLEAN THOROUGHLY, and gently. (Botulism, people. And not like Botox.)

5) Put used breast pads immediately in the hamper to reduce cross-contamination.

*This salve is excellent for healing all kinds of ouchies. I use it on minor blisters, burns, and cuts. This has replaced our first aid cream.

** If the manuka honey is cost prohibitive for you, try sharing the cost with other moms and splitting a jar.

***If you are worried about your baby accidentally ingesting some of the salve, I successfully managed to keep my baby (who is allergic to almost all food) safe and uncontaminated. But please, only use this if you are comfortable doing so!

 

IMG_1299.JPG

 
What kind of nipple issues have you struggled with? What tips and tricks have you found help?
 

____________________________

Carri Saum Bio Pic 2

Carrie Saum brings a passion for wellness and over a decade of experience in health care to her clients. A certified Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor (AWC) from the Kerala Ayurveda Academy, she empowers individuals and families to achieve health and balance through time-honored practices. Carrie has extensive first-hand experience in vast array of medical fields. She has a background in paramedic medicine and spent ten years serving in the non-profit sector managing organizations, programs, and orchestrating resources to meet the health needs of people across the United States and abroad in countries such as Guatemala, Mexico, Kenya, and Zambia. She has coached countless clients on topics such as nutrition, weight loss, and stress management. In addition to her work as a wellness counselor, Carrie is a passionate “foodie” and blogs regularly about healthy cooking via her blog, Come Kale or High Water. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and young son.
Share

Nine Naturals Beautiful Giveaway

Nine Naturals group

Nine Naturals just became a sponsor of The Leaky Boob, and to help celebrate we’re offering you this beautiful giveaway opportunity.  Why “beautiful” you may ask?  Because Nine Naturals is all about offering beauty products that are safe for moms – especially expectant mothers.  Natural, organic, simple, smart, and safe: these are the qualities that go into each of their beauty products.  After using them ourselves, we agree!  Luxuriously simple and a list of wholesome ingredients so expertly combined, not only did we feel pampered in our quick shower, we felt safe knowing there was nothing we were putting on our bodies that could harm us or our children. We’ve invited Grace, co-founder and CEO of Nine Naturals, to tell us a little more about their company and products:

Grace Lee_headshot

Grace Lee, Co-Founder and CEO of Nine Naturals

TLB: What was the inspiration that led to the birth of Nine Naturals?

Grace: We were inspired (and continue to be inspired!) by pregnant and breastfeeding women who are choosing safer beauty routines for themselves and their babies.

It’s not easy! When my friends and I were looking for safe beauty products to use during pregnancy, we kept running into two problems –1) most products that claimed to be natural still contained harmful ingredients and 2) many natural products simply didn’t perform well! The shampoos didn’t lather well or the body products didn’t do much for their skin.

When I started developing Nine Naturals products, I focused on using natural, pure ingredients safe for pregnancy while maintaining a high standard for beauty and performance.

 

TLB: Were you surprised by any of the research you discovered when developing your products?

Grace: Yes! I was shocked to learn how prevalent certain toxins are in beauty products, despite research that links these chemicals to negative health effects – particularly on babies.

Have you ever read the ingredient labels of the products you use? The average woman uses 12 beauty products a day –a routine that exposes her to as many about 168 different ingredients! Some of these ingredients, like parabens and phthalates, are toxic and can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Many synthetic chemicals have been associated with diseases and health problems like cancer, endocrine disruption and behavioral disorders.

With pregnancy being the stage when babies are most vulnerable to environmental toxin exposure, it is imperative that we act on the mounting research. Unfortunately, given the prevalence of toxins in commercial products, the onus is on us parents to minimize our babies’ prenatal exposure.

 

TLB: What are the values that go into the products you make?

Grace: We believe that pregnancy and breastfeeding are periods in a woman’s life when she should feel peaceful and safe but also a time she can indulge and feel amazing about herself. We believe that every pregnant and breastfeeding woman deserves to feel pampered.

We believe in the inherent quality and effectiveness of natural ingredients. We believe in handpicking all of our ingredients; diligent research and scrupulous sourcing are critical parts of product development, from ideation to formulation to production.

 

TLB: What is your favorite breastfeeding tip?

Grace: Don’t be afraid to get help. Breastfeeding can be difficult in the beginning. Hire a lactation consultant to come to your house or look for a local meeting of La Leche League to get help from a lactation expert. No woman should feel alone in their breastfeeding journey. That’s why I love the Leaky Boob!

NN_Partnership Logos_030313-01

TLB: If a parent is concerned, what can they do to limit exposure without having to drastically change their lifestyle?

Grace: Synthetic chemicals are found in the everyday products we use in our homes, on our bodies and on our children. Water bottles, beauty products, soap, toothpaste –we are literally inundated.

Limiting exposure might feel overwhelming, but small, simple changes make a difference. Start by switching out the products you use most frequently. Imagine if you substituted the shampoo you use everyday for a toxin-free alternative. With no major effort, expense or sacrifice, you’ve just eliminated one regular source of exposure.

We created Nine Naturals to facilitate these simple, high-impact changes. Our products were developed to be natural, safe replacements for the products you use everyday, and designed with performance as well as purity in mind. All of our formulations are 100% plant-based. We never, ever use sulfates, phthalates, parabens, petrochemicals, BPA, triclosan, DEA, synthetic fragrance or artificial preservatives.

 

TLB : What specific steps would you suggest moms take to reduce toxin exposures?

Grace: First and foremost, make sure your personal care products are safe and natural. Switch out your products that contain harmful chemicals to products that do not.

Do a sweep of your existing personal care products. Read all of the labels and verify that those products that claim to be natural actually are natural! If you don’t understand the label, that’s a good sign that there might be some chemicals in that product you want to avoid. The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) features great, safe alternatives in their Skin Deep Cosmetics Guide.

Avoid salons that are not well-ventilated! At the salon, avoid chemical-heavy hair processes, especially at the roots. At the spa, opt for treatments that use natural and organic products. For manicures, look for polish that is “three-free”, meaning free of dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde and toluene. And last but not lease, use Nine Naturals!

You should also be changing other areas of your life! Nearly all of our tips about detoxifying your beauty care routine apply to your cleaning products! Use glass where possible; avoid plastics, which often contain Bisphenol-A (BPA) and phthalates, industrial compounds linked with breast cancer and infertility. Eat organic and fresh! And, finally, open a window! Improving ventilation and air circulation will help deter unwanted particles from settling in your furniture, clothes and the rest of your home.

 ______________________

This Nine Naturals Beautiful Giveaway is offering a Grand Prize and 5 Runner-Up Prizes for a total of 6 lucky Leakies!

Grand Prize: Complete Nine Naturals Product Line! ($285 in value)

5 Runners Up will Get a Nine Naturals Repairing Body Balm! ($15 value!)

 ______________________

Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from November 7, 2014 through November 14, 2014.  A big thanks to Grace and Nine Naturals for their support of TLB and all breastfeeding women; please be sure to visit their Facebook page or follow them on twitter and thank them for their support of TLB and this giveaway opportunity.

This giveaway is restricted to U.S. and Canadian residents only.

The Leaky Boob + Nine Naturals

Share

A Quick Guide to Breast Pumps

By Sarah Wells, CEO & Founder, Sarah Wells Breast Pump Bags  & Megan O’Neill, CLC, Acelleron Maternal Health & Wellness

 

Think you might use a breast pump along your breastfeeding journey? Here is a quick guide for getting a pump and using it effectively:

 

Breast Pumps and Insurance

The Health Reform law (Affordable Care Act or “ACA”) requires most health insurance plans to provide moms with a breast pump. The type of pump (double-electric, manual, etc.) and whether it is a rental or for you to own, is up to the insurance plan.

Insurance plans in place prior to the new law are “grandfathered” in. This means they can follow the old rules. They do not have to provide you a pump free-of-charge. But, do not give up. They may still offer you a pump with a co-pay.

You will need to work with an approved durable medical equipment (“DME”) supplier who can bill insurance (and in some cases, retailers, hospitals or lactation practices can also do this for you). Call your insurance for a list of approved suppliers or do a quick online search for “DME and breast pump” and you will find several websites providing supplier lists by insurance type. These suppliers can be of great assistance to you by communicating with your health plan directly on details such as reimbursement level, timing of when you can get the pump and more. Many even offer free and expedited shipping of your pump.

A special note for military moms: Tricare, the military’s health care program, is exempt from the health reform law mandate for breast pump coverage; Tricare only covers hospital-grade pumps in some cases of premature birth. Legislation to require Tricare to cover breast pumps is working its way through Congress now.

 

Choosing the Right Breast Pump

If you are using insurance coverage to obtain your breast pump, speak with the supplier providing your pump (several have lactation consultants on staff!) to learn which brands and options are available to you.

Good questions to ask yourself in choosing a pump are: how frequently will I pump (a small hand pump might be just what you need if you will pump infrequently, whereas a double-electric pump with effective suction and well-fitting flanges will make a big difference for successful frequent pumping); and do you need portability (if yes, look for lighter weight pumps and buy a battery pack)?

 

Tips for Successful Breast Pumping

In addition to getting a quality breast pump that has the right features for you and fits well, here are a few of our favorite tips for successful breast pumping:

  1. Get spare parts.

As a busy new mom, it can save you time and energy to have spare parts (flanges, bottles, tubing) around for when you need to grab your pump and go, while other parts may still be on the drying rack or waiting to be cleaned. This also can go a long way in avoiding situations where you forget a part and really need to complete a pumping session!

  1. Store your dirty parts in the refrigerator in between pumping sessions, within the same day.

Rather than trying to thoroughly clean your pump parts in an office sink, bathroom or during the middle of the night, store them in a clean container in the fridge. Thoroughly clean the pump parts after a day of use.

  1. Look at a picture of your baby, and listen to baby, while you pump.

Not only will looking at a photo, or listening to your baby (record your little one on your smartphone!) help remind you of all positive reasons you are on your breastfeeding/pumping journey, but it’s proven to help with let down, for faster and more efficient pumping!

  1. Start back at work mid/late week.

If you are headed back to work at a Monday-Friday job, and will be pumping, try scheduling your return date at the middle or end of the week; this will give you a few days of practice for your new pumping routine, with the relief of a weekend break to make any adjustments needed and to be back in touch with your little one.

Please take the time to congratulate yourself on your pumping efforts; for many moms, pumping can be quite the undertaking of time, resources, and energy. Pumping is an awesome thing you are doing for you and your child(ren); for many moms, pumping is an integral part (or the entire experience) of their breastfeeding journey. Finally, seek help if something is not right; if your pump is not working well, contact the manufacturer or supplier who provided it to you. If you are having issues with supply or with the pumping process in general, seek support from certified lactation consultants and from the breastfeeding community.

________________________

To get your pumping journey off to a great start, Sarah Wells and Acelleron are partnering with a few other great companies to offer you a chance to win a bundle of products with a value of over $700 in the following giveaway!  

The Dairy Fairy Logo

mhw-logo2 Milkin Cookies

Sarah Wells Logo

PrintMilk it

 ________________________

Prizes included are:

Sarah Wells Maddy Breast Pump Bag

Sarah Wells “Maddy” Breast Pump Bag (Value $145)

 

Milkin Cookies Cookies

Milkin’ Cookies Gift Certificate for a 2 week supply of Milkin’ Cookies (14 cookies) (Value $21.99)

1. Black Tank pink bra

Two North American made, Luxury Bamboo or Classic Cotton Naked Nursing Tanks (value $80). Midsection cover-ups for breastfeeding women -worn underneath your regular wardrobe, it transforms every shirt into nursing wear! Winner to choose size & colour from our selection of Naked Tanks.

Milk it Kit and Onesie

Milk It Kit – back to work survival kit for breastfeeding moms; 80 pack of waterproof breast milk labels; a “Will Cry Over Spilled Milk” onesie (Value: $48)

The Dairy Fairy Arden Bra

Arden All In One Nursing and Handsfree Pumping Bra in Blush, winners choice of size. (Value $68)

Acelleron Freestyle or Pump of Choice from Inventory

Medela Freestyle Breast Pump (or other breast pump of winner’s choice from Acelleron’s inventory) (Value $350)

 ________________________

Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from November 4, 2014 through November 11, 2014.  A big thanks to Sarah Wells Breast Pump Bags, Acelleron, Milkin’ Cookies, Naked Nursing Tank, Milk It, and The Dairy Fairy for their support of TLB and all breastfeeding and pumping women; please be sure to look them up on your favorite social network platform and thank them for their support of TLB and this giveaway opportunity!

This giveaway is restricted to U.S. residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Share

9 Tips to Having More and Better Sex After Baby

by Jeremy Martin-Weber
This post is a partner post to one Jessica wrote, 16 points about sex after baby, on beyondmoi.com and a giveaway for Newport Beach MommyCon on November 1, 2014.  Find the giveaway information and widget to enter at the end of this post.

Running the risk of sounding like Cosmo, or Marie Claire, in honor of Valentine’s Day and all the men out there making strategic plans, hoping that their romantic equations will guarantee that they’ll get lucky, I’d like to offer a list of my own.  I don’t claim to be an expert, but my list is the product of 17 years of trial and error with my wife, and I can personally attest that as long as I stick to it, she simply can’t get enough of me.  Seventeen years and six children, and sex just keeps getting better, and we both want it more than we ever did before.

#LoveBeyondMoi The Leaky Boob Beyond Moi Valentine's Day giveaway

You too can have a better sex life; it’s not over just because you’re parents.  If you’re looking for ways to make her (or him) want to drag you to the bedroom, rip your clothes off, and have hot, steamy, sex with you all night long (that’s how those magazine covers read, right?), then this list is for you.

1. Help around the house… but not for sex Everyone loves a partner who is involved, who takes time to help out with household duties.  Way back when we were first married, I first heard the notion that if I took the trash out, my wife would find that act so sexy she wouldn’t be able to help herself and would have to have me right then and there.  I thought that sounded rather strange and hadn’t noticed that effect on her before, but I really started paying attention the next few times I took the trash out, and here is what I noticed: she appreciated my help, but didn’t think it was anything extraordinary.  And that made sense.  But I also noticed that when we were both paying attention to the ways the other was helping out, we both appreciated the other person for doing so, and we felt closer for noticing, and feeling closer can easily lead to sexual feelings.  See how it works?  But it won’t work if you help around the house just to have sex.  There is no magic there.  My advice: do the dishes, help out with your kids, fold and put away the laundry, by all means take the trash out, and for extra credit, thank your partner for those same things and all the other tasks they do.  They may argue that they don’t do it for you, and don’t need to be thanked, but they’ll still appreciate you noticing.  Noticing is sexy. That first tip isn’t just for parents, I admit, but it may be more relevant to parents because prolonged lack of sleep so effectively scrambles your brains that even very simple relational things can get sucked into that black hole (or driving your children to all of their extracurricular activities – that can scramble your brain too over time).  It’s very much the same for this second tip.

2. Get physical… but not for sex Touch your partner.  Often.  Every day.  We can get so determined to get it on that we forget the thrill of simple touches.  You know how physical relationships are compared to a baseball diamond, each base representing more intimate acts of physical expression, ultimately culminating in sexual intercourse when you get to home base?  We can be so goal-oriented, or sexually frustrated, that all we focus on is getting to that home plate.  When Jessica and I were first dating, even the simplest of touches was thrilling because it carried so much meaning.  Caressing each other’s hands communicated love and care, romantic intention, and sexual desire all rolled into one.  A kiss was a gesture of commitment, a desire to be close, to be real and vulnerable.  Sure, at other times, a kiss was an expression of sexual desire, full of passion and wild abandon. But that’s exactly the point.  Physical expressions weren’t all just a means to a steamy, naked end.  Because of their variety, their commonality was clear: a communication of love.  And when I feel loved by my wife, I feel safe, trusting and sexy.  And I know she feels the same way.  And do you know what that leads to?  Great sex.  My advice: kiss your partner at least every morning and evening, wrap your arms around her, hold hands, maybe even take a few dance steps together, and savor each of those physical moments for their simplicity.  Because touching to communicate love is sexy.

3. Distance makes for sexier reconnection Now that we’re all ready to touch our partners more, I offer a word of caution: it has to be the right moment.  Unfortunately, most of us have to find out through trial and error; that’s for both partners.  Jessica and I have both had to learn about ourselves how and when we like to be touched, let alone what our spouse likes.  If you try to touch your partner and you are rebuffed, don’t jump to the conclusion that they just don’t like your touch or don’t want sex (touching just for that end is already a big libido killer anyway).  Pluck up your courage, control your urge to scream and cry (if you actually have feelings, of course), and ask your partner about it.  The way our schedule works, one of us is often home with children most of the day while the other goes out and works at a coffeeshop.  It doesn’t matter which one of us it is, some days at home leave us wanting to find a dark, quiet, corner where we can hug our own knees and twitch for awhile as our brain tries to reboot, and our body relaxes from being touched all day long.  It’s not that we don’t love being home with our children, it’s that it’s not the easiest job in the world.  If you walk in the door and see a frazzled, bleary-eyed partner with a blank expression on their face, that is probably not the time for dipping your partner and a fervent I-missed-you-so-much-wasn’t-today-great kind of kiss.  If ever you’re unsure, I have the simplest solution: ask.  And follow it up with an offer to give them some space.  Ask how you can help before jumping in.  And then, by all means, jump in!  Find ways to give your partner a break on a regular basis.  Sometimes 20 minutes is all it takes to center ourselves.  Sometimes it may take a whole morning, or an entire day, but trust me on this: sex is way better with a centered partner.  Because getting time away is sexy.

4. flirt more… but not for sex I think that every healthy, sexually mature human being likes to feel sexy.  One way to feel sexy is to get a good idea of what real sexy people look like by gazing at magazines, watching music videos, or checking out the latest blockbuster film, then looking in the mirror and saying to yourself: “Damn I look good!”  If I just described you, then this whole post probably isn’t for you at all.  For most of the rest of us, feeling sexy is deeply tied to feeling desired.  When Jessica gives me a sultry “Hey sexy” I feel a boost in confidence, my day gets brighter, and I feel sexy.  Granted, I have to fight off the destructive voice in my head giving me a 5 reasons why you’re not on the sexy list, and just trust that my wife is calling it likes she sees it.  This takes practice, but when I do it regularly, that vile voice in my head gives up and must go into hibernation or something.  I’m sure I don’t have to tell anyone that when you feel sexy, you’re more inclined to have sexy thoughts, and… you know.  So my advice to you is to give your partner a reason to silence that voice in their head.  All the time.  Okay, don’t be obnoxious about it, or you’ll come across as pushy.  Flirt, wink, do the Magnum P.I. eyebrow thing (if you don’t know what that is, well, then, never mind), make subtle suggestive comments; whatever communicates to your partner that they are desired, and desirable.  But don’t have your heart set on sex.  Because flirting is sexy and is an end in and of itself.

5. Spend quality time together… but not for sex.  Developing togetherness has been foundational to our relationship and affects every part of it, including our sex life.  I realize that this concept may definitively put me in the hapless romantic category, but I don’t care, I am an unabashed hapless romantic who has great sex with his wife of 17 years so there.  We have this notion that relationships are living things, and they are constantly evolving, just as each person in the relationship is growing and changing daily.  This means that being static (not changing) is not possible.  You are either growing closer together and developing stronger bonds, or you are slowly drifting apart – unless you are a stone statue of a couple, and even then erosion does take its plodding toll.  So we intentionally find ways that bring us closer together.  There is no reason why you can’t still be as into each other as when you first got together.  Actually, we believe that you should cultivate your relationship keeping being into each other as a worthwhile goal.  Find common interests, and/or try new experiences together.  Play games together.  Make music together.  No, those aren’t references to sexual activities.  Cook together.  Hike or bike together.  Visit museums.  Go out for coffee or a fancy dinner.  Any activity that you will enjoy together, preferably with lots of eye contact, and with no electronic devices or screens (after you’re done reading this you should try it).  Because when you spend time being into each other, you end up wanting to explore all the ways you could be into each other.  (that was a sexual reference, by the way…).

6. Talk more… and I don’t mean about sex (and I don’t mean talk dirty more) Spending time together, being more and more into each other, involves a lot of communication, and most of that will be through actual conversations.  With words and sentences and all that.  If you’re really getting into each other, developing that sense of togetherness that I mentioned in the previous point, then you’re going to want to communicate that you care about your partner’s life, about their day, every day, and that you’re interested in the details, the little experiences that you missed out on.  This may seem obvious, but you’re going to want to communicate that you missed your partner.  Because being missed is sexy.  And giving a damn is really sexy.

7. Help get the kids to bed, and again after midnight.  So finally a practical tip!  I suggest that you don’t gloss over the relational mushy-gushy stuff that I took nearly 2,000 words to write about.  That’s the stuff that really leads to more, and great, sex.  The practical logistics of making sex happen won’t cut it by themselves.  Getting obnoxious distractions (i.e. children- only obnoxious when you’re hoping to make some whoopie) out of the way is essential to hooking up with your partner.  Bed time can be exhausting and time-consuming, and, depending on the age of your children, can burn a parent out and render them huddled in a dark, quiet, corner, hugging their knees, etc.  Or fast asleep before the kids.  It’s much better with two parents.  That way you communicate that you give a damn, that you want to do this together, that you’re willing to help, not to mention demonstrating to your children that you are there for them and their other parent.  Ways to make it more fun: text each other once the bedtime routine is finished but your haven’t extricated yourself from your children’s arms and legs.  A fun texting game we’ve played is where one of us sends the other a random emoticon, and the other has to guess what it’s supposed to mean.  Oops, now everyone knows: we’re dorks.  Dorks that flirt and have great sex.   This may or may not lead to sexting, by the way, which is always fun but possibly awkward and ill-advised if you’re still helping kids settle.  Getting kids to bed once may not be enough.  You may have to commit to moving a sleeping baby, 1 or 2 or even 3 yr old back to their bed after they have sweetly sought out your comforting cuddles around midnight and fallen asleep in the bed where, damn it, you were hoping to have sex (or just cuddle with your partner, or sleep on separate sides of the bed, depending on how grueling the bedtime routine was and how long you each need to huddle by yourselves in the dark, etc.).  Because a kidless bed with just you and your partner is sexy.  (This isn’t to say cosleeping damages sex lives, it doesn’t and we do cosleep, we just also have a “bed” for the cosleepers that they visit for us to have alone time in our bed.  And, if you don’t have teenagers around, there are plenty of other, though less comfortable, places in a house to utilize.)

8. Change the sheets! Those of you who have known us for a little while know what this means, so feel free to skip this tip.  For those of you who don’t, I’ll let you in on our little secret: clean sheets are sexy.  Clean sheets are so sexy that my wife has this irresistible urge to sleep naked in them.  If it weren’t for the sheer logistics of children seeking cuddles, 8 of us in a house with one washing machine, and having to work and feed our family, I would probably wash our sheets every day.  Quick disclaimer: I have learned that just because my wife is naked in bed does not guarantee that we will have sex, or that she is logically interested in having sex.  You would do well to heed these words.  That being said, clean sheets may increase your odds; they certainly increase mine!  Also, mind-blowing as this may sound: sleeping naked together is sexy, and an end in and of itself. And finally, if you’re still with me, the #1 thing you can do to have more sex as parents:

9. Stop asking for it.   There is nothing quite like a whiner to kill a mood, or destroy any chance of there even being a mood to get into in the first place.  Asking for sex, or demanding it, damages your relationship with your partner.  Asking for it communicates only one thing: you think you have to have sex, that you deserve it, or that it is some kind of need.  It is not a form of flirting, it is not flattering, it is not sexy, it doesn’t communicate that your partner is desirable, it does not bring you closer together, it does not communicate that you care, or give a damn about anyone but yourself, and most of all, it communicates a lack of love and respect.  It is gross.  Even if the sheets are clean.  And if you helped around the house, and you flirted, and did your part in getting kids to bed, and spent time listening to every little detail of your partner’s day, and watched whatever stupid movie they wanted to, and this somehow means that you deserve sex, that they owe you sex, then you know nothing about what a healthy relationship looks like, and I would further venture to say that this is exactly the kind of thinking that leads to an abusive relationship.  Talk about it but in a carefully, respectful, and concerned conversation.  “I miss having sex with you” means a lot more than “We never have sex any more.”  And if you mention your sexual needs, like it’s some kind of basic human need, you should be slapped.  A basic human need is one where the human is at risk of dying if that need isn’t met.  Like eating, or drinking water.  Are you at risk of dying if you can’t have sex?  No.  And if you’re that horny and you feel like you just can’t keep it together without a release, then I’m sure your partner would appreciate you using your capable hands, rather than pressuring them or guilting them into letting you use their body for your own pleasurable end.  Because guilting your partner into sex is NOT sexy.  And pressuring your partner into sex will not lead to more and better sex, before or after baby.  Also, consider getting therapy.  Therapy can be sexy too.

There is one thing that effectively sums up my 8 tips to having more sex after baby (because that last one wasn’t really a tip, was it?): focus on your relationship with your partner.  All the rest will take care of itself.  And no, that’s not a sexual reference.

~ The Piano Man (aka: Jeremy from BeyondMoi)

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Join us at MommyCon Newport Beach on November 1, 2014 where Jessica is talking about Breastfeeding and Healing sponsored by Motherlove Herbal Company, and Jeremy and Jessica are leading a workshop on Sex After Baby sponsored by our friends at Arm’s Reach Cosleeper. For a chance to win a pair of tickets, use the widget below: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Share

Motherlove Giveaway: Organic or non-GMO?

Motherlove is dedicated to providing the healthiest products to the world, their standard of quality being such that only the purest ingredients are acceptable in their formulations.  What does this mean?  How is this achieved?

By using only USDA Certified Organic ingredients, and wild crafted herbs when those aren’t available.  Sounds pretty earthy, doesn’t it?  And this means that Motherlove products possess the richness of dirt itself (dirt from the wild in a place like Colorado, not the dirt in your urban backyard).

You may be wondering if this means that their ingredients are also non GMO (Generically Modified Organisms).  The answer is simple: according to the USDA definition of “organic,” if the product is USDA Certified Organic, it is non GMO, by definition (more details from USDA here).  A product cannot bear the label “USDA Certified Organic” if it is GMO or has been in contact with GMOs or has anyone in their family tree with a history of GMOs; and all this, from seed to full-grown plant, to the grocery store, and to your kitchen (or at least check-out at the store).  And since Motherlove only uses USDA Certified Organic ingredients or wild crafted herbs (which means that they are organic, but so wild that they don’t bear the rubber-stamp of certification), then all of Motherlove’s products are non-GMO (to read more about this, click here).

Here is a simple way to visualize it:

USDA Certified Organic = non-GMO (absolutely)
non-organic = could contain GMO

Just how wholesome are Motherlove products?  Here is a list of NOs:

NO GMOs
NO synthetic ingredients
NO artificial ingredients
NO toxins

And when you think of applying something to your skin, isn’t that the way it should be?

____________________

Motherlove is giving away a Pregnant Belly Salve to 3 lucky Leakies.  

Pregnant or not, this salve is good for your skin, especially in this season of dry skin.  

pbs-4-759160-11044-8

____________________

Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from October 23, 2014 through October 30, 2014.  A big thanks to Motherlove for their ongoing support of TLB and all breastfeeding women; please be sure to visit their Facebook page or follow them on twitter and thank them for their support of TLB and this giveaway opportunity.

This giveaway is restricted to U.S. residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Share

Get Comfortable Breastfeeding- Bebe au Lait Giveaway!

A big part of reaching your breastfeeding goals may actually be about how comfortable you are breastfeeding. Physical comfort (back ache or nipple pain is going to put a big damper on things!), emotional comfort, social comfort, you name it, feeling comfortable can be key to the whole breastfeeding experience. Which is why we are talking about comfortable breastfeeding with our friends at Bebe au Lait and Katy Linda, IBCLC from The Breastfeeding Den and give away 2 breastfeeding covers and 2 breastfeeding pillows to help you get comfortable in your own breastfeeding journey, whatever that means for you.

 

Breastfeeding in public with a breastfeeding cover. When you're a model family at an adorable cafe. Thanks to Bebe au Lait for this image.

The Nursing Cover, $36-$38 value

Bebe au Lait introduced the Nursing Cover, 10 years ago as a solution for nursing in public. The stylish and comfortable covers are adjustable, and are made with a patented open neckline that holds the cover away from the baby, allowing mom and baby to make eye contact. They come in a variety of designs and colors, and are made of either 100% cotton, organic cotton or muslin.

 Bebe au Lait breastfeeding pillow

The Nursing Pillow, $55 value

Bebe au Lait launched for the first time this year, The Nursing Pillow. Created by a nursing mom, The Nursing Pillow puts baby at the optimum height to promote a better latch. The features include a reversible, dual sided surface (soft or flat), convenient two-sided pocket to keep essentials within easy reach and an adjustable, tuck-away strap. The Nursing Pillow is designed with an open shape for a better fit and is foam-free. Both pillow and removable slip cover are 100% cotton and machine washable. Please note that this item is not yet available and will be shipping mid December with the lucky winners being some of the very first to get their hands on one of these beautiful new pillows.

 To be entered for a chance to win one of these prizes, follow the directions on the widget below. Please note, this giveaway is open to those in the USA.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Share

The Romanticized Myth of What Constitutes Successful Breastfeeding- An Apology

by Jessica Martin-Weber

Dear Leakies,

This is my 5th version of this letter. I’m going to finish this one.

But first I’m going to do something I’ve never done here before:

To hell with the WHO Code

That’s a picture of Sugarbaby receiving a bottle. A bottle of my milk. Taken 2 years ago by my wonderful husband, I love this photo. So much love and pride captured in this moment. A vital moment in me reaching and achieving my breastfeeding goals. And that bottle wasn’t even kind of a “booby trap” to my breastfeeding goals.

Still, I never shared it with any of you here, on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Why haven’t I shared this or images like it with The Leaky Boob community before now? Why is this my 5th attempt at this letter? It’s simple:

Shame.

Yep. I have harbored shame. Not shame that my babies have received bottles, no, I have absolutely no shame that I’ve fed my children as I needed to. No, my shame came from using a bottle made by a WHO Code violating company. (To learn about what the International Code of marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes is, go here.) Only, that’s not really the shame I’m holding either, do you know how hard it is to find a bottle that’s not made by a WHO code violator? Nearly impossible.

No, my shame goes way beyond even the WHO Code, bottle feeding, or supporting a WHO Code violator.

My shame is that I haven’t cared about the WHO Code for 3 years, but felt I had to in order to be a “good” breastfeeding supporter.

My shame is that I played along, even became a part of the self-appointed WHO Code policing brigade for a time, even though I knew all along, deep down in my heart, that the almighty WHO Code was creating barriers.

My shame is that I felt righteous supporting the WHO Code. The original purpose of the WHO Code was so pure, so right, so good, how could I not support it?

My shame is that I upheld an artificial picture of what it looked like to successfully breastfeed and called it supporting the WHO Code.

My shame is that my actions supported the WHO Code more than they supported women, babies, and families.

But my shame is not that my babies were fed, not that they were loved, not that they sucked on an artificial teat.

To hell with the WHO Code

Look at that big sister love and pride!

Screw shame. I’m done. And I’m sorry. I’m deeply sorry that it has taken 3 years for me to find my courage to take the stand I live but never shared here.  I’m sorry that I’ve not been honest.

Because this is what successful breastfeeding has looked like for me:

To hell with the WHO Code

And so is this:

to hell with the WHO Code

For every single one of my 6 beautiful children, bottles and breast have been a part of me reaching my goals. And not just because I had to go back to work. I choose to go back to work, I love working and am a better parent when I work, but even when I didn’t work outside the home, I elected to partially bottle feed my milk to my baby. This was a positive thing for me as I get physically stimulated very easily and as an introvert found the need to create some space for myself. I did better mentally and emotionally, which meant I was in a healthier place mentally and emotionally to parent my children. It was the best healthy choice for us. I have never, not once, regretted it. Today, with a breastfeeding 2.5 year old, I also don’t believe it ever interfered with our breastfeeding nor did bottles have a negative impact on me reaching my breastfeeding goals.

In fact, I firmly believe that without bottles, I would have quit breastfeeding early on.

And see the big child in this photo bottle-feeding her baby sister my milk?

to hell with the WHO code

Do you see that eye contact? *melt*

She was mostly formula fed.

I don’t have any shame about that either. In fact, I’m damn proud that when the time came I could make the right decision for us to stop breastfeeding and switch to formula. The regret I have felt about that has been artificial and circumstantial, never true. It took a lot of courage for me to make that decision and it was the right one. I would make it again if I had to. I will support you if it’s the decision you need to make as well. We’ve been vocal here that breastfeeding doesn’t have to be all or nothing to be successful, I just haven’t been visible with that reality for myself.

Through The Leaky Boob I have contributed to a beautiful yet often unattainable depiction of what it looks like to breastfeed. In my attempt to normalize breastfeeding and provide support up what breastfeeding looks like, I have held up at the breast breastfeeding as being more beautiful, more important, more viable, more worthy of sharing and discussing and promoting than any other infant feeding methodology.

I support people before I support a feeding method.

to hell with the WHO Code

Sugarbaby’s big sisters loved to give her a bottle

I look at these photos of my baby receiving bottles and I see a beautiful, important, viable feeding worthy of sharing and discussing and promoting. Normalizing breastfeeding (bottle-feeders will tell me they feel that is normalized) and normalizing bottle-feeding(breastfeeders will tell me they fell that is normalized) shouldn’t be in competition with each other. What really seems to need to be normalized is caring for children. Parenting. Without it being a contest or a platform to boost how we feel about ourselves.

Feeding your child is real, no matter what they are fed or the mode of delivery. It’s real, it’s important, it’s complicated, and parents deserve support as they navigate this terrain. I am sorry that The Leaky Boob has, at times, failed to communicate that. I a sorry if instead of being a part of building your confidence, I’ve been a part of tearing it down. Deeply sorry.

I know there are those who will tell me I haven’t failed and I appreciate that.

I also know there will be those that will tell me that I haven’t failed until now. I appreciate that too.

But for the last 4 years as The Leaky Boob I have not been entirely honest with you. As a public voice in breastfeeding support, I have contributed to a mythical image of breastfeeding. I wish I could say it wasn’t intentional but it was and of the 4 years I’ve been doing The Leaky Boob, I have wrestled with this for three years. Motivated by fear, I allowed myself to present a picture of my breastfeeding journey and an idealized image of “successful” breastfeeding that simply wasn’t true. Well, not true for me anyway and likely not true for many of you. And I know holding that ideal up was damaging for some and a sort of betrayal for others. It wasn’t that I overtly lied, it was more of an omission of truth. I was wrong to do so and I am sorry.

A few weeks ago I was sitting with a friend of ours, a new dad who was bragging about how his wife and son had worked so hard at breastfeeding and just the day before, at close to 8 weeks old, had fed directly from the breast for all of the feeds. He said something that struck me: “you know, I think they’ve been breastfeeding, we’ve worked so hard but it’s not like you ever see pictures of breastfed babies getting bottles. Our lactation consultants were great but it’s a lot of work, a lot of time, a LOT of money, you know? The work you do is so important, we were on The Leaky Boob all the time and we have found a lot of help and support there but we still felt alone. I mean, it feels like it’s not as real if we’re giving a bottle, nobody ever talks about that. Does anyone else go through this?”

I was confronted with the reality of my failure on my couch.

to hell with the WHO code

Babies feeding babies here. So much big sister love!

Leakies I am sorry I never shared images of my babies and other babies receiving bottles. I was wrong to only ever present a side of my infant feeding journey that was safe for me as a public breastfeeding supporter. Anxious that I would be inviting drama and attacks from other breastfeeding supporters, educators, blogs, organizations, and my own readers, I didn’t want to risk being accused of being a WHO Code violator by posting pictures of my babies with their bottles. Specially since I do make some income from The Leaky Boob, I was concerned that if I ever even showed bottle feeding some would think it was sending the wrong message.

But message or not, this is the truth: my babies, all 6 of them, got bottles. One got mostly formula in her bottles. Back when I was attending women as they had their babies, often I was helping a new mother and baby pair with their first few feedings while my baby was at home getting a bottle of my milk. And every single bottle my babies have received was manufactured by a WHO Code violating company. I’ve never once regretted that, never once felt guilty for it, never once wished it was another way. But I did feel afraid to show it.

My incredible husband, Jeremy, The Piano Man, has never had a problem sharing these images though and not because he doesn’t understand the WHO Code or is unaware of the barriers women face when it comes to breastfeeding. When he came home one day with a new bottle and I stressed about having a WHO Code violating bottle in our house, that it couldn’t be posted anywhere online, and that I felt sick giving money to a Code violating company, he simply looked at me and calmly said “I thought this was about feeding our daughter.” I sterilized that bottle and moved on, knowing I wouldn’t post any photos of the offending bottle. But he did. And the very first comment on the photo was this:

WHO Code

E bottle feeding A copy IG bottle feeding comments redacted

I understand where the commenter was coming from and she wasn’t giving anyone a hard time but it’s true, because of the half truth I had shared, it was strange to see one of my baby’s drinking from a bottle. But it wasn’t strange that she was receiving one, it was actually a part of our normal infant feeding routine.

Bottles were an important part of me reaching my breastfeeding goals. Without bottles, I’m not sure I would have made it as far as I have and I’m pretty certain I would never have even started The Leaky Boob. I have talked about using bottles and formula feeding my second daughter, but I never shared images and I carefully couched sharing those experiences as safely as I could so as not to invite controversy.

I have let go of my shame and my fear.

By intentionally keeping that part of my breastfeeding journey quiet, by not sharing images of my baby receiving a bottle, by just sharing images of my babies feeding only at my breasts, and by neglecting the real life bottled-up aspects of the breastfeeding journeys of others, I perpetuated a romanticized myth of what constitutes successful breastfeeding.

I am sorry. Please forgive me.

With all my love, sincerely,

~Jessica

bottle feeding and breastfeeding The Leaky Boob Sugarbaby

Do you use bottles? How do you feel about using bottles? Do you share pictures on social media of your baby receiving bottles? Need help bottle-feeding your breastfed baby? Check out this articleFacebook page, and this book.

Share