Black Breastfeeding Week and Brittany’s Story

by Brittany Brown Marsh

My breastfeeding journey with Maxine started nearly two years ago. TWO YEARS! I decided to breastfeed years before I was pregnant. I used to work at a daycare center and the entire infant classroom including teachers came down with the stomach flu. Well not the whole room. One baby—the only breastfed baby—didn’t get sick. It was in that moment that I decided I was going to breastfeed all of my future children.

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While I was pregnant, I read so many articles and books on breastfeeding. I rarely came across anything written by a black woman. I found that odd, but I still wanted to breastfeed my baby! Nothing was going to stop me. Well when people learned that I was going to be breastfeeding, people expressed a wide range of emotions. Some were visibly angry with me for not choosing to formula feed my child. “How am I supposed to bond with your baby?” was a common question. My favorite reaction of all was “Who told you to do that? That’s a white people thing.” Really? Why would someone even say that to me? I really am glad I was determined to breastfeed because there was little outside support in the beginning.

Breastfeeding in the black community should be more prominent. I’m sure that it is convenient having formula, but it is so rewarding to have that bonding time with your child giving them the best possible nutrition. We need to educate black women on the topic of breastfeeding. The first question I get from other black moms should not be “what type of formula do you use?” and I should not get a look of disgust when I say that I am breastfeeding. Seriously, as long as my child is eating, what is the problem?

Black Breastfeeding Week is so important to me because it show me and others that WE DO THIS. We nurse our children too. We aren’t ashamed to nurse our children.

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Maxine is 23 months old now and is still nursing numerous times a day. No matter where we are, if she needs her milk, she gets her milk. Nursing a toddler is way different than nursing an infant because now she’s standing and dancing and flipping around while nursing. I see no end in sight and WE wouldn’t have it any other way. When she is ready, we will wean. Right now, we are completely content.

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I am a black woman who breastfeeds and I am proud!!

Editor’s Note: Brittany shares much of her breastfeeding journey on her Instagram, @BrittBrownMarsh, including this sweet video of her breastfeeding Maxine.

-Brittany Brown Marsh
Brittany is a twenty-something Old Dominion University Communications major with a focus in Professional Communications. She graduated from Tidewater Community College in December 2012 and received an Associates of Science Degree in Business Administration. Brittany is married and welcomed her first child in September 2013.

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How to Breastfeed in a Moby Wrap


Sponsored by Moby Wrap, where babies get a good wrap.

LeakyBoob_web

Nursing mamas rejoice! You can wear your baby and breastfeed at the same time!

Sarah Harding Traverso of Asobi Sport Family Fitness and Moby Wrap have put together a couple of quick tutorials to demonstrate two popular ways to breastfeed baby while wearing a Moby Wrap: 1) The Side Hold and 2) The Easy Hold. Rest assured, they’re both pretty dang easy, and we’re confident you’ll find the breastfeeding hold that works best for you and your baby. See the videos for the full tutorial, which includes steps on returning baby to the starting position after nursing.

We’ll add more How to Breastfeed in a Moby Wrap tutorials soon, so stay tuned!

MW_SideBF

Side Hold Steps:

1: Start in the Hug Hold

2: Gently Pull the Seat Belt Down

3: Pull One Shoulder Panel Away & Support Baby’s Head

4: Safely Lift Baby Out of the Moby Wrap

5: Place Baby on the Shoulder Above the Breast From Which You Will Feed (i.e.: Left Breast; Left Shoulder)

6: Reach Under Opposite Panel (i.e.: Left Breast; Right Panel) and Grab Baby’s Feet

7: Open Panel & Slide Baby’s Feet, Body, and Arms into the Panel

8: Lift Baby & Panel Up while Leaning Back to Gather the Seat Belt

9: Pull the Seat Belt Up & Over Baby’s Lower Leg Securing Baby’s Bottom

10: Spread the Seat Belt Up & Over Baby’s Bottom & Shoulder

11: Latch Baby & Pull Shoulder Panel Down For Privacy

12: Keep One Hand on Baby at All Times while Baby Nurses

Watch the video!

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MW_EasyBF

Easy Hold Steps:

1: Start in the Hug Hold; Know which Breast from which you’ll Feed

2: Reach Under Same Panel (i.e.: Right Breast; Right Panel) & Support Baby’s Head

3: Gently Guide Baby’s Head Under that Panel

4: If Baby is Lined up with Mom’s Breast, Let Baby Latch

5: If Baby is Not Lined up Perfectly, Shimmy Baby’s Bottom Toward Mom’s Opposite Hip (i.e.: Right Breast; Left Hip)

6: Pull the Shoulder Panel Down for Privacy; Keep One Hand on Baby at All Times while Baby Nurses

Watch the video!

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TLB Comic: Switch Sides

by Jessica Martin-Weber, illustrated by Jennie Bernstein

 

breastfeeding lopsided breasts

 

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World Breastfeeding Month Wrap Up!

World Breastfeeding Month is coming to a close and we want to help close out the party with a celebratory giveaway! Naturally, this doesn’t mark the end of the support that The Leaky Boob offers year-round. But, for the month of the year where the limelight shines brightest on breastfeeding related things, let’s party like a Leaky!

This giveaway includes 3 bundles of awesome goodies from many of our favorite brands, including Diono, Ergobaby, Ameda, Bamboobies, The Dairy Fairy, A Mother’s Boutique, The Naked Nursing Tank, Nursing Bra Express, Cezara, Rumina Nursingwear, Melinda G, The Vintage Honey Shop, Motherlove and Molly’s Suds. Three lucky leakies will have a chance to win one of these amazing bundles. Good luck, and happy breastfeeding!

The grand total value of the products included in this giveaway is over $3000!

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World Breastfeeding Bundle #1

Bundle #1 

Arm’s Reach: Mini Arc Cosleeper bassinet – Retail Value: $174.99
The Curved Mini Co-Sleeper® bassinet is a unique creation that allows you and your baby boy or girl to sleep comfortably next to each other from the moment your baby arrives. This bassinet enables you to reach over and draw your baby close for comforting and bonding. The innovative design also makes breastfeeding easy. The Curved Mini Co-Sleeper® bassinet is the ideal sleep solution for any concerned parent.

Diono: RadianRXT – Retail Value: $359.99
The RadianRXT Car Seats are designed with your child’s security and safety as top priorities. Premium materials and thoughtful safety features like a steel alloy frame, aluminum reinforced side walls, energy absorbing EPS foam, and a five-point harness put your mind at ease as your little one stays safe and sound. The reinforced adjustable head support provides additional side impact protection.Comfortably seats rear-facing children from 5-45 lbs, forward-facing children from 20 – 80 lbs in a 5-point harness, then converts to a booster for children up to 120 lbs.

ErgobabyNatural Curve™ Nursing Pillow – Retail Value: $70
The Ergobaby Natural Curve™ Nursing Pillow gives you the enduring support you need to relax, nurse comfortably and bond with baby.

Beco: Gemini baby carrier – Retail Value: $130
Beco combines proper ergonomics, convertible and adjustable features, quality materials and fresh patterns for an award-winning intuitive design celebrated by parents around the world. The Gemini and Soleil Baby Carriers offer the most comfortable and safe babywearing experience for parent and baby.

Rumina Nursingwear: Pump&Nurse Set- Retail Value: $82
Pump&Nurse Tank: Finally a pumping bra that does it all. The Hands-Free Pumping Bra & Nursing Tank has a built-in seamless bra that allows for effortless pumping and breastfeeding without sacrificing shape and support. Style, color and size (S-XL) winner’s choice.

Pump&Nurse Bra: The Relaxed Hands-Free Pump&Nurse Bra is made of soft jersey knit cotton that gently stretches to accommodate sensitive, engorged breasts and offers moms moderate support for all day or night comfort. –  Style, color and size (XS-XL) winner’s choice.

Bamboobies Set: Retail Value: $37.98
A multi-pack of Bamboobies nursing pads (3 pair of regular and 1 pair of overnight) – Bamboobies® are made of ultra-soft and soothing bamboo rayon velour, an absorbent inner layer of hemp and cotton with an outer milk-proof™ liner to help prevent embarrassing leaks! These nursing pads are super absorbent and eco-friendly.

Boob Ease Organic Nipple BalmBreastfeeding is Beautiful and Natural…but it’s not always easy! New mothers can suffer from sore and cracked nipples in the first few weeks.  Protect yourself and your newborn with a non-toxic, certified organic nipple balm that keeps nipples feeling soft, supple and healthy. All ingredients are safe for ingestion by your breastfeeding baby.

A Mother’s Boutique- Zara Shimmer Top- Retail Value: $89
Light, airy, beautiful – the Zara shimmer top has a touch of shine which gives it that extra “flair” – it is light weight and beautiful and will flatter your pregnant or post-partum body. Easy nursing access is through the neckline. Pair with your favorite pair of jeans or a cute skirt for a fun flirtatious look that every mom wants. Nursing access: Pull-Aside Neckline

Fabric: 95% cotton 5% spandex

Naked Nursing Tank: Luxury Bamboo Edition Naked Nursing Tank- Retail Value: $40
100% Canadian made Luxury Bamboo Naked Nursing Tank – A midsection cover-up worn beneath regular wardrobe to instantly transform every shirt into a nursing shirt for breastfeeding women. The Naked Tank allows nursing moms the flexibility, comfort & confidence while nursing on demand, anytime, anywhere.The Naked Tank is the only nursing tank on the market that can be worn with any bra, and fits every body type (sizes XS – 5X), turning every shirt into a nursing shirt -saving Mom’s money!!

The Dairy FairyThe Rose Handsfree Pumping Bra – Retail Value: $34
The Rose handsfree pumping bra reflects the goddess that you are. No more bands, velcro, zippers, hooks or pullies. Just a beautiful and feminine bra so you can quickly and efficiently pump, and maybe even have a second to check email.

Nursing Bra Express: Molded Seamless Washable Nursing Pads by Baby Nip – Retail Value: $14
High quality, soft cotton pads are reusable and the environmentally friendly choice among nursing moms. Molded shape provides good fit and positioning in your bra. Seamless shell doesn’t show through clothing. Multi-layered for absorbency.

The Vintage Honey Shop: Nursing/Teething Necklace – Retail Value: $27
Our designer, handmade, teething, nursing, & babywearing necklaces are made with the stylish mama in mind! Our necklaces help keep mama from being scratched & pinched during feeding time! You can also wear our necklaces while wearing your baby. Our necklaces will provide a focal point, and give them something to play with and grab onto while being close to your heart. Beautiful, functional, lightweight, & washable… this is every mama’s dream necklace!

MotherloveNurturing Life Giftbox – Retail Value: $59.95
Motherlove’s complete selection celebrating new motherhood! From pregnancy and labor, to breastfeeding and babies, these products nurture mother and baby with certified organic herbs and pure ingredients. These products do not contain any synthetic ingredients, fragrances or parabens commonly found in body care products. The perfect gift for the mother who is looking for only the highest quality, pure, natural products for herself and her child.

Total Retail Value: $1118.91

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World Breastfeeding Bundle #2

Bundle #2

Ameda: Purely Yours Double Electric Breast Pump - Retail Value: $199
Whether you are returning to work or want a fast and easy pumping experience, the Ameda Purely Yours double electric breast pump, designed for daily use, is the ideal breast pump. The Purely Yours breast pumps combine hospital recommended technology with mom friendly features.  Offering the same great pump through retail locations (on-line and brick-and-mortar), insurance benefits, and WIC you can depend on Ameda to provide moms with the tools they need to feed their baby.

ErgobabyNatural Curve™ Nursing Pillow – Retail Value: $70
The Ergobaby Natural Curve™ Nursing Pillow gives you the enduring support you need to relax, nurse comfortably and bond with baby.

Arm’s ReachMini Arc Cosleeper bassinet – Retail Value: $174.99
The Curved Mini Co-Sleeper® bassinet is a unique creation that allows you and your baby boy or girl to sleep comfortably next to each other from the moment your baby arrives. This bassinet enables you to reach over and draw your baby close for comforting and bonding. The innovative design also makes breastfeeding easy. The Curved Mini Co-Sleeper® bassinet is the ideal sleep solution for any concerned parent.

BecoGemini baby carrier – Retail Value: $130
Beco combines proper ergonomics, convertible and adjustable features, quality materials and fresh patterns for an award-winning intuitive design celebrated by parents around the world. The Gemini and Soleil Baby Carriers offer the most comfortable and safe babywearing experience for parent and baby.

Rumina Nursingwear: Pump&Nurse Set – Retail Value: $82
Pump&Nurse Tank: Finally a pumping bra that does it all. The Hands-Free Pumping Bra & Nursing Tank has a built-in seamless bra that allows for effortless pumping and breastfeeding without sacrificing shape and support. Style, color and size (S-XL) winner’s choice.

Pump&Nurse Bra: The Relaxed Hands-Free Pump&Nurse Bra is made of soft jersey knit cotton that gently stretches to accommodate sensitive, engorged breasts and offers moms moderate support for all day or night comfort. –  Style, color and size (XS-XL) winner’s choice.

Bamboobies Set: Retail Value: $61.98
A multi-pack of Bamboobies nursing pads (3 pair of regular and 1 pair of overnight) – Bamboobies® are made of ultra-soft and soothing bamboo rayon velour, an absorbent inner layer of hemp and cotton with an outer milk-proof™ liner to help prevent embarrassing leaks! These nursing pads are super absorbent and eco-friendly.

Nursing Tank- Bamboobies® Nursing Tank combines the comfort and support of a seamless design with super-soft bamboo fabric. Bamboo is more breathable, softer and eco-friendly than cotton. Great for pregnancy and nursing alike – one of the few things that will fit your 9-month body and afterward because it’s so stretchy and supportive. Sizes S-XL

Melinda G: Dreamy™ sleep bra – Retail Value $26
Dreamy comfort as you dream of your little one!

The Dreamy™ sleep bra has a sweetheart neckline and a no-hardware back for beautiful, lightweight support – the fabric is a soft cotton-rich jacquard with lots of LYCRA® in a shimmery swirly pattern. Win it in luscious white in your choice of 6 sizes – Enjoy your baby! 

A Mother’s Boutique: Zara Shimmer Top – Retail Value: $89
Light, airy, beautiful – the Zara shimmer top has a touch of shine which gives it that extra “flair” – it is light weight and beautiful and will flatter your pregnant or post-partum body. Easy nursing access is through the neckline. Pair with your favorite pair of jeans or a cute skirt for a fun flirtatious look that every mom wants. Nursing access: Pull-Aside Neckline

Fabric: 95% cotton 5% spandex

Naked Nursing Tank: Luxury Bamboo Edition Naked Nursing Tank - Retail Value: $40
100% Canadian made Luxury Bamboo Naked Nursing Tank – A midsection cover-up worn beneath regular wardrobe to instantly transform every shirt into a nursing shirt for breastfeeding women. The Naked Tank allows nursing moms the flexibility, comfort & confidence while nursing on demand, anytime, anywhere.The Naked Tank is the only nursing tank on the market that can be worn with any bra, and fits every body type (sizes XS – 5X), turning every shirt into a nursing shirt -saving Mom’s money!!

The Dairy FairyThe Rose Handsfree Pumping Bra – Retail Value: $34
The Rose handsfree pumping bra reflects the goddess that you are. No more bands, velcro, zippers, hooks or pullies. Just a beautiful and feminine bra so you can quickly and efficiently pump, and maybe even have a second to check email.

Nursing Bra Express: Molded Seamless Washable Nursing Pads by Baby Nip – Retail Value: $14
High quality, soft cotton pads are reusable and the environmentally friendly choice among nursing moms. Molded shape provides good fit and positioning in your bra. Seamless shell doesn’t show through clothing. Multi-layered for absorbency.

The Vintage Honey Shop: Nursing/Teething Necklace – Retail Value: $27
Our designer, handmade, teething, nursing, & babywearing necklaces are made with the stylish mama in mind! Our necklaces help keep mama from being scratched & pinched during feeding time! You can also wear our necklaces while wearing your baby. Our necklaces will provide a focal point, and give them something to play with and grab onto while being close to your heart. Beautiful, functional, lightweight, & washable… this is every mama’s dream necklace! 

MotherloveNurturing Life Giftbox – Retail Value: $59.95
Motherlove’s complete selection celebrating new motherhood! From pregnancy and labor, to breastfeeding and babies, these products nurture mother and baby with certified organic herbs and pure ingredients. These products do not contain any synthetic ingredients, fragrances or parabens commonly found in body care products. The perfect gift for the mother who is looking for only the highest quality, pure, natural products for herself and her child.

Molly’s Suds: Cloth Diaper Laundry Powder – Retail Value: $14.99
Safe and effective for ALL baby laundry and formulated for sensitive skin, Molly’s Suds Cloth Diaper Laundry Powder is comprised of only four earth-derived ingredients and is free of harsh chemicals, toxins, fragrance, fillers, carcinogens, preservatives and GMO ingredients.

Based on the Real Diaper Association’s recommended ingredients and washing routine, the super-concentrated powder naturally removes tough stains and brightens fabrics, and is as effective as conventional brands. Works great in all water temperatures and hard water, and is septic- and High Efficiency (HE) washer-safe. Gluten- and nut-free.

Total Retail Value: $1022.91

 ___________________________

World Breastfeeding Bundle #3

Bundle 3 revised

Ameda: Purely Yours Double Electric Breast Pump - Retail Value: $199
Whether you are returning to work or want a fast and easy pumping experience, the Ameda Purely Yours double electric breast pump, designed for daily use, is the ideal breast pump. The Purely Yours breast pumps combine hospital recommended technology with mom friendly features.  Offering the same great pump through retail locations (on-line and brick-and-mortar), insurance benefits, and WIC you can depend on Ameda to provide moms with the tools they need to feed their baby.

ErgobabyNatural Curve™ Nursing Pillow – Retail Value: $70
The Ergobaby Natural Curve™ Nursing Pillow gives you the enduring support you need to relax, nurse comfortably and bond with baby.

BecoGemini baby carrier – Retail Value: $130
Beco combines proper ergonomics, convertible and adjustable features, quality materials and fresh patterns for an award-winning intuitive design celebrated by parents around the world. The Gemini and Soleil Baby Carriers offer the most comfortable and safe babywearing experience for parent and baby.

Rumina Nursingwear: Pump&Nurse Set – Retail Value: $82
Pump&Nurse Tank: Finally a pumping bra that does it all. The Hands-Free Pumping Bra & Nursing Tank has a built-in seamless bra that allows for effortless pumping and breastfeeding without sacrificing shape and support. Style, color and size (S-XL) winner’s choice.

Pump&Nurse Bra: The Relaxed Hands-Free Pump&Nurse Bra is made of soft jersey knit cotton that gently stretches to accommodate sensitive, engorged breasts and offers moms moderate support for all day or night comfort. –  Style, color and size (XS-XL) winner’s choice.

Bamboobies Set: Retail Value: $54.98
A multi-pack of Bamboobies nursing pads (3 pair of regular and 1 pair of overnight) – Bamboobies® are made of ultra-soft and soothing bamboo rayon velour, an absorbent inner layer of hemp and cotton with an outer milk-proof™ liner to help prevent embarrassing leaks! These nursing pads are super absorbent and eco-friendly.

Chic Nursing ShawlSo stylish and discreet, no one will know it’s a nursing cover.Unlike brightly-colored apron-style nursing covers- Bamboobies® Chic Nursing Shawl is a versatile wardrobe essential for maternity, nursing, and beyond!

Melinda G: Dreamy™ sleep bra – Retail Value $26
Dreamy comfort as you dream of your little one!

The Dreamy™ sleep bra has a sweetheart neckline and a no-hardware back for beautiful, lightweight support – the fabric is a soft cotton-rich jacquard with lots of LYCRA® in a shimmery swirly pattern. Win it in luscious white in your choice of 6 sizes – Enjoy your baby!

Cezara: Belly Support Panty - Retail value: $48.99
Cezara provides comfort and support during pregnancy, after delivery and especially after Cesarean delivery. The integrated support band lifts the belly and supports the back while the internal padding compresses the lower abdomen and, after a Cesarean, compresses and protects the scar. Mom is supported and nurses, babywears and cares for her baby more comfortably. Cezara is worn over a panty or as the panty and is panty sized from small (fits panty size 5) through 5-X (fits panty size 13) – the winner chooses the size.

A Mother’s Boutique: Zara Shimmer Top - Retail Value: $89
Light, airy, beautiful – the Zara shimmer top has a touch of shine which gives it that extra “flair” – it is light weight and beautiful and will flatter your pregnant or post-partum body. Easy nursing access is through the neckline. Pair with your favorite pair of jeans or a cute skirt for a fun flirtatious look that every mom wants. Nursing access: Pull-Aside Neckline

Fabric: 95% cotton 5% spandex

Naked Nursing Tank: Luxury Bamboo Edition Naked Nursing Tank - Retail Value: $40
100% Canadian made Luxury Bamboo Naked Nursing Tank – A midsection cover-up worn beneath regular wardrobe to instantly transform every shirt into a nursing shirt for breastfeeding women. The Naked Tank allows nursing moms the flexibility, comfort & confidence while nursing on demand, anytime, anywhere.The Naked Tank is the only nursing tank on the market that can be worn with any bra, and fits every body type (sizes XS – 5X), turning every shirt into a nursing shirt -saving Mom’s money!!

The Dairy FairyThe Rose Handsfree Pumping Bra – Retail Value: $34
The Rose handsfree pumping bra reflects the goddess that you are. No more bands, velcro, zippers, hooks or pullies. Just a beautiful and feminine bra so you can quickly and efficiently pump, and maybe even have a second to check email.

Nursing Bra Express: Molded Seamless Washable Nursing Pads by Baby Nip – Retail Value: $14
High quality, soft cotton pads are reusable and the environmentally friendly choice among nursing moms. Molded shape provides good fit and positioning in your bra. Seamless shell doesn’t show through clothing. Multi-layered for absorbency.

The Vintage Honey Shop: Nursing/Teething Necklace – Retail Value: $27
Our designer handmade teething, nursing, & babywearing necklaces are made with the stylish mama in mind! Our necklaces help keep mama from being scratched & pinched during feeding time! You can also wear our necklaces while wearing your baby. Our necklaces will provide a focal point, and give them something to play with and grab onto while being close to your heart. Beautiful, functional, lightweight, & washable… this is every mama’s dream necklace!

Motherlove: Nurturing Life Giftbox – Retail Value: $59.95
Motherlove’s complete selection celebrating new motherhood! From pregnancy and labor, to breastfeeding and babies, these products nurture mother and baby with certified organic herbs and pure ingredients. These products do not contain any synthetic ingredients, fragrances or parabens commonly found in body care products. The perfect gift for the mother who is looking for only the highest quality, pure, natural products for herself and her child.

Total Retail Value: $874.92 

 ___________________________

Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered. A BIG thanks to Diono, Ergobaby, Ameda, Bamboobies, The Dairy Fairy, A Mother’s Boutique, The Naked Nursing Tank, Nursing Bra Express, Cezara, Rumina Nursingwear, Melinda G, The Vintage Honey Shop, Motherlove, and Molly’s Suds for supporting TLB and all breastfeeding women. 

This giveaway is open to participants in the USA.

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Pump Like a Pro – The 300 Hour Rule

by Wendy Bell, CLE
Editor’s note: A big thanks to Snugabell for their support of TLB and all breastfeeding women; please be sure to take a moment to thank Snugabell on their Facebook page  for their show of support! You can also follow Snugabell on Twitter and Instagram: username @snugabell. Be sure to check out their special at the end of this article.

 

Breast pumping tips Snugabell PumpEase

 

Just like any of the other mechanical doodads that we rely on day-to-day, a breast pump is not built to last forever. As a general rule, you should be able to expect about 300 hours of active use out of a good, high-quality pump. Now before you worry too much, keep in mind that if you’re pumping for around 15 minutes each sitting, your 300 hours should still get you well past the 1,000 session mark.  Think of all that milk!

If you’re an especially active pumper, are using the same pump through multiple babies, or have inherited a pump that already had some mileage on it, keep alert for warning signs like poor suction, a straining motor, or what seems like an unexpected dip in supply. These could all be indicators that your pump is reaching the end of its life and could stand to be tested by a pro (a local lactation consultant might be able to take a look for you).

Regardless, wherever your pump is in its lifespan, make sure it’s working properly and take steps to resolve any issues right away.  Your milk is too precious not to!

 

pumping-pro-tip9 (2)

To celebrate their SUPER exciting collaboration with Destination Maternity and A Pea in the Pod, Snugabell is sending PumpEase customers one of their fabulous Wet Bag absolutely FREE.  Details hereThe PumpEase design will securely hold your pump in place and is guaranteed to accommodate any breast pump on the market. The PumpEase bra like the one shown above makes multi-tasking a breeze for busy moms. Visit www.snugabell.com for more information about PumpEase.

 

Breast pump
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TLB Comic: When Fantasy Creatures Babywear

by Jennie Bernstein

Babywearing mermaid unicorn and fairy.

 

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13 Truths of a Bed-sharing Family

by Joni Edelman

Joni Edelman, cosleeping

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We share a bed with our babies. Actually two beds. We share two beds with our babies — because one bed just wasn’t enough bed.

I was a bed-sharer even in the early 90s when the Back to Sleep campaign was a newborn and the idea of an infant lying anywhere but a crib was gasp-worthy. How dare you risk your infant’s very life by being so foolish as to allow them to sleep in any position that deviates from flat on their back, on a FIRM mattress, without even so much as a blanket.

I ignored them.

Joni Edelman, cosleeping

This was before Dr. James McKenna told us, YES. Sleeping with your baby isn’t only OK it’s even good, even better. Since then Dr. McKenna has devoted his very existence (well, maybe not existence, but certainly his life’s work) to researching, writing, and talking about co-sleeping. Babies actually shouldn’t sleep alone.

I’ve put every one of my five babies in my bed, despite the finger-wagging, the “campaigns” set out to terrify me (likely in the name of crib sales), the pediatrician’s shame scowl. I did it because it matters to me, even if I get kicked in the face. A lot.

Joni Edelman, cosleeping

Bed-sharing is a darn good-time, and here’s how you know you’re definitely having all the fun that you can fit into one (or two) beds full of people:

  1. You wake up because someone kicked (or hit) you in the face. They probably didn’t do it on purpose — if it helps to know that. But it probably doesn’t help to know that because you are busy trying to sop up the blood pouring from your nose. It’s like a Game of Thrones episode — in your bed.
  2. You have sound, scientific evidence that your child(ren) have telepathy. They know when you’re asleep. Either that, or the sound of your deep sleep inhalation activates their Pavlovian response. “Mom is sleeping. QUICK. CRY.” (Note: This also holds in non-bed-sharing settings.)
  3. There is a towel in your bed, somewhere. Possibly more than one. The towel is covering pee. Because someone peed at 3 AM and no, you are not changing sheets at 3 AM. In fact, you may just leave that towel there for tomorrow when someone else pees in your bed.
  4. You know how to sleep with nothing but a corner of a sheet. Everyone is burrito wrapped in your blankets. You’re too tired to get up to forage for one. Sure, this 12X12 section of flimsy cotton — that probably has pee on it — will suffice. Who needs blankets anyway?
  5. You have mastered the art of sleeping, fetal, on the southeast 5% of the mattress. Forget that you are four times larger than your toddler. Starfish child cannot be bothered with your sleep needs. 
  6. You can sleep without moving. AT ALL. There is a nursing baby in the crook of your arm. Because A. you know they are safe there and B. they are face-to-face with your boob. The bar is open all night.
  7. You’ve given up shirts. The only thing shirts are good for is absorbing milk. And, oh hey, there’s already a towel in your bed. FORWARD THINKING. Achievement unlocked.
  8. No fewer than 17 people have told you “if you let them sleep with you, you’ll never get them out of your bed. And for a split-second you thought, OHMYGODNO, and then you remembered that the number of 16-year-olds sleeping with their parents is practically zero.
  9. Your bed is on the floor and you may have more than one bed sandwiched together. This isn’t a look you’ll find in decorating magazines. You no longer care about magazines, only that everyone will just Go The F*&K To Sleep. Please. God. Sleep.
  10. You have slept on the floor. Because bed-sharing is beautiful, but sometimes you are so terrified to wake up your sleeping toddler by moving them, that you’ll just sleep anywhere. See: Floor.
  11. Your partner has slept on the sofa. No, not because you’re fighting or they don’t want to be near you. But because the baby owns you now — and also the space where daddy used to sleep. Ownership: transferred.
  12. Your children have never slept on the sofa. They own the bed. This is your life now. Embrace it — at least until they’re 16.
  13. You wake up to snuggles. And you’re reminded why the bloody nose is (probably) totally worth it.

Joni Edelman, cosleeping

______________________

IMG_0670 I’m Joni. I’m lucky enough to have 5 amazing kids (19, 16, 15, 4 and 2), one fantastic husband, an awesome sister and a yarn addiction. When I’m not raising up people I’m a freelance writer, RN, and the momma behind mommabare. Love is my religion. I like cake and crafty crap. And yoga. In that order. 
You can follow Joni on Instagram here and on Twitter here.
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Pump Like a Pro – Add a Session

by Wendy Bell, CLE
Editor’s note: A big thanks to Snugabell for their support of TLB and all breastfeeding women; please be sure to take a moment to thank Snugabell on their Facebook page  for their show of support! You can also follow Snugabell on Twitter and Instagram: username @snugabell. Be sure to check out their special at the end of this article.

 

Breast pumping tips Snugabell PumpEase

 

If you’re looking to boost your supply, consider hitting the ground running (so to speak) first thing in the morning.  Lots of moms find that a little early morning pumping can have a BIG impact on supply.  It’ll take your body a bit of time to get used to the increased demand, but you’ll be seeing the benefits before you know it. 

Of course, as any sleep-deprived mama can tell you, swapping precious minutes of shut-eye to sneak in an extra pumping session doesn’t always sound like the best deal.  The good news is that you just might find that starting your day off pumping puts you in a much happier and well-balanced frame of mind than the typical morning routine. 

Want to do yourself one better?  Turn that early-a.m. pumping routine into a personal ritual that just might become one of the peaceful highlights of your day.  Take your pumping time and turn it into something more…think morning beverage and maybe a little quiet reading time or web scrolling.  We hope you enjoy your new morning routine!

(And keep in mind that PumpEase is one way to get even more out of any pumping session.  Take your bliss to another level by pumping hands free!)

Add a Session
To celebrate their SUPER exciting collaboration with Destination Maternity and A Pea in the Pod, Snugabell is sending PumpEase customers one of their fabulous Wet Bag absolutely FREE.  Details hereThe PumpEase design will securely hold your pump in place and is guaranteed to accommodate any breast pump on the market. The PumpEase bra like the one shown above makes multi-tasking a breeze for busy moms. Visit www.snugabell.com for more information about PumpEase

 

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TLB Comic: Leaky Trouble

by Jennie Bernstein

TLB comic, funny friday


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Breastfeeding During Pregnancy AKA Why Does It Feel Like My Nipples Are Falling Off

by: Joni Edelman

breastfeeding during pregnancy, beautiful breastfeeding

My husband and I decided to at least try get pregnant with our fifth (yes, I said fifth) child when our fourth child was just 8 months old. This was a conscious choice because: A. I was (am) getting old. Fast. B. Since I was already Advanced Maternal Age (whatever that means) we considered that it might take a few tries before we were successful, we thought, “Hey, let’s get this party started.”

It took one month.

One.

So I found myself pregnant, mid-summer, with three teenagers and a 9-month-old baby. It’s worth adding that the 9-month-old baby slept about as good as a newborn baby, or worse. Just imagine the worst sleeping situation you can. Multiply it by 2. That’s her. Oh and by the way, my husband works out of town three days a week.

I know you’re probably saying to yourself, “WHAT THE HELL is wrong with this woman? Is she insane?’

Yes.

I am.

Breastfeeding is important to me. Also, I have a guilt complex. There was no damn way I was weaning Ella. Even if it killed me (and it came close), I was hanging in.

And the first few weeks were really nothing special. I was nauseated, having a hard time nursing and keeping food in my body simultaneously. There was some gagging. Ok, there was a lot of gagging. It passed. There was some discomfort but nothing to moan too much about. Ella seemed thirsty, but Adventures in Tandem Nursing was my trusted companion. Having read that milk can take a turn for the salty, I kept a water bottle nearby and soldiered on.

The second trimester crept up before the holidays and one day, nursing Ella down to nap, I realized I hadn’t heard her swallowing. I snuck away, attempted to hand express some milk, only to find that I could not. I chalked this up to some inexplicable cause, I was dehydrated, hungry (neither of which are plausible), any cause really, other than the actual cause: my milk was gone.

It hadn’t even occurred to me that my supply would even dip, much less drop to nothing. And so I sat on the floor of my bedroom, huddled next to an outlet with my pump, topless and awkwardly entangled in tubing, pleading for even a drop of milk to appear. And of course — or there would be no point in this story — there wasn’t a bit. Not an ounce or a teaspoon. Not even a drip.

Blame it on the hormones, the dark winter, the shortened days, the overwhelming task of taking care of four children, blame the tears on what you will. I sat huddled, crying, sobbing, irrationally devastated. The only thing I wanted to do was feed my baby, and birth my other baby. And those things couldn’t co-exist.

Cue guilt.

Suddenly I felt the crushing guilt of everything I’d ever done; my divorce, my new husband, the new baby, the other new baby, the non-organic fruit in my fridge, that time I bought french fries, that other time I bought french fries, that glass of wine I drank during the third trimester, that time my sprinklers ran all night and we were in a drought, global warming. All of it.

Guilt complex. Did I mention it?

I took my guilt and terror into the second trimester. I took my crying to twitter. I asked for reassurance anywhere I could find it (including The Leaky Boob). I was so sure she would wean and it would be my fault and I would have broken her and myself and everything.

But she didn’t wean.

And sometimes I wished she would have. I know that doesn’t make sense (see: I’m crazy). But there were at least three occasions in the middle of the night — Ella screaming to nurse from a breast that had no milk (and PS that isn’t super comfortable) — that I wanted to literally put her outside. It was winter, or I might have.

Pubic symphysis dysfunction nearly crippled me. I had no milk and a baby that wanted nothing but milk. I had four kids that needed me and I was crawling on all fours to the laundry room. I wanted to put my screaming baby outside. I wanted to cover my head and come out finished with pregnancy. Sometimes I didn’t want to be pregnant at all. Sometimes I wanted to cease to exist.

It was not a good time.

And of course, because guilt, I was sure my unborn child knew I didn’t want to be pregnant. And I knew he’d be born and feel unloved and unwanted. I knew it.

And then my homebirth turned into a hospital birth (though that’s another story). And because I didn’t feel guilty enough about the fries and the lawn and everything else, I now got to feel guilt that the baby (who I was already sure felt unloved) had to be born in the hospital.

Less than two days after Max arrived my milk came in with a gush. When Ella realized the milk had miraculously returned after 6 months, she looked up at me, slowly signing ‘milk’ with the deliberate opening and closing of her tiny fist, she smiled her tiny smile, tongue still curled around my nipple. Her hand stroked the back of Max’s head, as if to say, “Thanks for coming. And oh also, thanks for bringing the milk with you.”

We made it to the other side. We graduated to tandem. And I didn’t put anyone in the backyard — excluding myself anyway.

Back to feeling guilty about global warming.

beautiful breastfeeding, cuddling, feeding two kids

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IMG_0670
 I’m Joni. I’m lucky enough to have 5 amazing kids (19, 16, 15, 4 and 2), one fantastic husband, an awesome sister and a yarn addiction. When I’m not raising up people I’m a freelance writer, RN, and the momma behind mommabare. Love is my religion. I like cake and crafty crap. And yoga. In that order. 
You can follow Joni on Instagram here and on Twitter here.
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