TLB Reviews: Virtual Bra Fitting

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The Goods: Virtual Bra Fitting by Judy Masucci-Owner of A Mother’s Boutique

The Reviewers: Elise and Kileah

The Good: 

Elise says… Judy was a great communicator. We emailed back and forth several times so that she could get all of the information she needed to virtually fit me for a bra. At the time I was about 8 month pregnant so I was facing the challenging transition from the end of pregnancy to the beginning of breastfeeding. We discussed measurements and she asked about the fit of my old bras. Judy knew exactly what size of bra to recommend that would fit me during this transition. She recommended 8 different styles that would suit me. I chose the Anytime Bralet and it is currently one of my favorite nursing bras. 

Kileah says…Judy emailed me the list of questions to answer with as much detail as I could give on what I did/didn’t like about my prior bra experiences. My breastfeeding size is a LOT different than my “dry” size as far as bras go, and I had a TON of “I hate bras” information to give her (seams, uncomfortable squishies in weird places, near-death-by-underwire…you get the picture). She was so knowledgable, prompt in her responses and had several options she recommended! I ended up choosing the Toffee nursing bra from Cake Lingerie. It fit like a DREAM (also looks FABULOUS under my shirts and tops!).

The Bad:

Elise says… This was my first time doing a virtual fitting and I was not sure how it would work. I was skeptical that someone could fit me for a bra without actually seeing me. Judy was very clear in her requests for information and I trusted that it would all work out. When I received the bra at 8 months pregnant it only fit on the very last closure and I was unsure it was going to be a good fit for nursing postpartum. However when I began nursing it fit perfectly. Although it may be a challenge to trust that someone can fit from afar, Judy does know what she’s talking about!

Kileah says…So per the sizing recommendations (I measured at a “36D”…but hearing my issues with current bra situation…she recommended a “34G”) which ended up slightly too big in the cup. I emailed her and she quickly sent the next cup-size down and it was MAGIC.  I am, as you have all read in previous reviews, the skeptic when it comes to online clothing shopping (especially for undergarments!) and boy did Judy prove me wrong. She IS the bra-whisperer. All women should absolutely get professionally fitted for undergarments like this, especially nursing moms! Having a bra that is well-fitting can be such a confidence-booster and helps you feel fabulous in your own skin!

The Ugly: 

Elise says… Judy requested a description of how my pre-pregnancy bras fit me at 8 months pregnant. I had just moved so they were packed away and I had to do a few searches to find them. Some mothers-to-be may get rid of their old ill-fitting bras during pregnancy and this step could be difficult to complete. It is also a little uncomfortable to try on old bras that don’t fit anymore, but in the end it will help Judy figure out your virtual fit.

Kileah says…To compare the different virtual bra choices on the website was a bit tricky (but definitely doable!). The website itself can be a bit difficult to navigate on mobile phone but it’s definitely worth it!

*One of my favorites about this fitting: the $25 you use to purchase the bra fitting gets given right back to you in a $25 coupon towards a purchase of a bra on A Mother’s Boutique after you get your custom fitting! I’d get on that ASAP, Leakies!

We love you, Judy Masucci! Thanks for being our Bra-Whisperer!

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LBL Wednesday- Boob Out Fashion: Leakies Vote!

So this week on The Leaky Boob Facebook Community, I put it to your vote: Choose YOUR favorite look and I’ll do a #flatlay collection featuring a boob-friendly look based on that theme!

Bohemian/Hippie Mama and Beach Mama came in First and Second by a landslide with Portlandia Mama a close Third! So without further adieu, I give you Leaky Boob Looks: Leakies Edition.

Leaky Look #1: Bohemian Hippie Mama

 

Breastfeeding friendly fashions

I found this A-MAZ-ING paisley bohemian dress that functions as a wrap-style dress (I need this. In all of the colors.).  The bodice and skirt hit all the right spots and give a flowing freestyle look while the neckline is perfect for easy feeding access! I paired this up with the Glamour Mom Nursing Bra Full Bust Long Top. Sleek, comfortable, crafted to celebrate your beautiful curves! I added in a Luv My Bag in Namaste Poppins and some bangled gladiator sandals (it’s like they were MADE for this dress!) and finished it off with some coordinating Chewbeads bangles and necklace. Because teething. And distractions.

 

Leaky Look #2: Beach Mama

Ergo baby breastfeeding beach ready

 

I wanted this Beachy look to be comfortable and easy to throw on and go! Stripes for this loose cotton shirt and the cut is longer so it can work over fitted jeans OR shorts. I added the Bella Materna Anytime Nursing Bralette both for its comparable range of sizes but also for its all-day comfort! I had to include the Ju-Ju-Be “The Admiral” bag (because ANCHORS, Leakies! Seriously. Cute.) and the Ergo Original Carrier in Marine. (Whales. Beach. Follow me? :D). Finished off the look with easy on-easy off Birks. Because no one wants to get sand in their shoes!

 

Leaky Look #3: Portlandia Mama

Breastfeeding friendly fashion

 

This look was so fun to put together! I am a PDX mum myself (disclaimer I live in Vancouver. I love it. We locals affectionately call it either Vantucky or the Suburb of Portland. But Portland is basically my second skin. And just a 3 minute drive away! Long live Vantucky!) I confess that I have these particular boots and I live in them. And they make me feel like a badass mom. Amazing how shoes can do that. Ok. Moving On 😀  I centered this look around one of my favorite sweatshirts from Sly Fox Threads over a Naked Nursing Tank. We Portlanders are pretty laid back, eclectic and a little particular, but we really value our comfort. Boyfriend jeans are super “in”, flatter nearly every body shape and go with just about any kind of boot, shoe, sandal or loafer that you put with it! AND they don’t look like mom jeans. WIN. We are really conscious of our choice in natural and organic anything. Hence the Alexa Organics teething necklace! Finished off this look with a great wool Fedora and a low-profile diaper handbag and now YOU can rock the Portlandia look!

 

Show us how YOU rock your Leaky Look! Tag us on Facebook or Instagram and use hashtags #booboutfashion     #LBLWednesday

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Leaky Boob Looks With Ameda- Boob Out Fashion for Breastfeeding Moms

by Kileah McIlvain
this post made possible by the generous sponsorship of Ameda.

Welcome to our all NEW feature:   Leaky Boob Looks

Every Wednesday, we will be featuring awesome fashions for the Leaky mom. YOU!

 Real life. Real options. Options that work for your lifestyle. 

Because you’ve got to be able to get a boob out.

I don’t know about you, but I love feeling put together without feeling like I have to use all of my remaining brain cells to pull it all together.  Why not share the awesome?

So-we’re here to share some of our ideas with you!

Moms who work, moms at home, moms on the go. Moms in between, moms rocking their awesome.

YOU!

Stuck? Want to break out of the mold and try something new that can help you rock your awesome? Here are some looks we’ve created just for YOU featuring some of our favorite products to inspire YOU to rock your own Leaky Looks!

 

Leaky Looks 1: Retro Mama

 

Ameda nursing tank, Eat@Moms shirt, Tom's High Heel Shoes, Vintage Honey Nursing Necklace, Luv My Bag

 

 

Leaky Looks 2: Babywearing Mom On The Go

On the Go Mom babywearing breastfeeding fashion, Annee Matthews keyhole tunic breastfeeding top, Ergo 360, Jujubee diaper bag

Leaky Looks 3: From Office to Mom’s Night Out

Working mom date night breastfeeding babywearing friendly fashion Sakura Bloom ring sling, Luv My Bag, Vintage Honey nursing necklace, The Dairy Fairy Arden nursing and pumping bra

Leaky Looks 1: Retro Mama 

This look features Ameda’s retro-themed crew neck t-shirt and nursing tank!  The greatest feature of this look? That the Ameda nursing tank makes ANY shirt (even a “non-nursing” shirt) breastfeeding-friendly! Pair this with a nursing/teething necklace from The Vintage Honey Shop and the Skooch Urban Messenger diaper bag from Luv My Bag (maybe even a pinup bandana!), pair it all with your favorite jeans (maternity jeans are the best!), and you’ve got yourself some serious rockabilly cute going on that will still let you chase after your toddler.

Leaky Looks 2: Babywearing Mom On The Go

This lightly-layered Leaky Look features the Keyhole Tunic from A Mother’s Boutique, the Ju-Ju-Be Be All diaper bag from Luv My Bag (major bag envy going on over here), and the Four Position 360° from Ergobaby.  The Keyhole Tunic is fantastic (and so kind!) for the post-birth mom and the extra-long bodice with hugging bottom panel lays so well over leggings or skinny jeans (or your maternity trousers!). For a review of this piece,  read here. The Ergo 360° is easily versatile with 4 positions to carry your little squish and easily adjusts to nurse or feed while out and about.  And. The diaper bag, you guys. sighs of bag love We paired a thin patterned scarf, a light cardigan for unpredictable spring weather, and a chic black ballet flat to complete the look. Easy, comfy, fabulous!

Leaky Looks 3: From Office to Mom’s Night Out

We created this classy set to highlight how easy it can be to pump in style while at the office or out on the town! We paired a gorgeous chambray shirtdress (buttons are magic!) with the all-in-one and handsfree-pumping Arden Bra from The Dairy Fairy.  We found the Halsea Weekend Bag (that can hold ALL OF THE THINGS, including your pump gear!) from Luv My Bag, added some edgy leather moto leggings, and comfortable red hot pointed flats. A look you can easily transition  from office to night out in effortless and comfortable style.

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Want to show us YOUR leaky looks? Create your own Leaky Looks and post on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and TAG us using

#LBLWednesdays       #FashionOn

We’d love to feature YOUR leaky fashion on Leaky Boob Looks!

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Get started on today’s Leaky Looks by winning this bundle from Ameda:

[email protected] T-Shirt: $15

Bra/Cami: $29.99

Store’N Pour 50ct plus adapters: $12.99

Cool’N Carry: $29.99

HydroGels: $16.99

Hand Pump: $46.99

Use the widget below to enter, this giveaway is open to EVERYONE but you only have 24 hours so hurry!

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TLB Reviews: Wrapsody

The Goods: Wrapsody Breeze wrap

The Reviewers: Micah, Kileah

The Good

Micah says…

This is definitely the most breathable wrap I have used to date. I tend to gravitate toward buckle carriers in the warmer months (for me, that’s anything over 55-60 degrees!), but I have had no issues with feeling overheated while using the Wrapsody in warmer weather. This means that the child I am carrying is also more comfortable, less fussy, and less likely to want out because he or she is too warm. This wrap in particular is a pretty cool-looking “tye- dyed” rainbow pattern- hard to miss, and the kids absolutely love it because it is so bright and lively.

A few years back my wife taught the kids how to use a woven wrap to make a hammock under their beds or under the table, and the Wrapsody has become a favorite of theirs for that purpose. I regularly find our 6.5 year old son with it tied up under his loft bed so he can lay in it to read or play on the iPad.

This wrap has been super easy to use with our youngest, who is just over one year old. The fact that it is so light weight has made it really easy to adjust while wearing a child. My favorite feature of the Wrapsody, and something that definitely sets it apart from other wraps, is the fact that one of the tails is sewn in such a way that it forms a pocket- depending on how you tie it off. This makes it that much easier to be hands free while baby wearing with a wrap and is especially helpful for me as baby wearing tends to limit my access to things like pockets!

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Micah trying out the Wrapsody Breeze Iris. Shopping!

 

The pocket is more than deep enough to hold my phone, keys, and even wallet if necessary while keeping them all secure and easily reachable.

Here’s the wrap in hammock mode! I employed the youngest hobbit’s favorite monkey as a model since all of the hobbits were sound asleep- everyone knows you don’t wake a sleeping hobbit!

 

Kileah says…

This Wrapsody Breeze Iris wrap is soooo lightweight! It was nice to be able to do a quick rucksack wrap to go hiking and not feel like I was going to sweat myself into dehydration mode. It was also long enough so I was able to wrap comfortably without feeling like I was losing functionality. Baby Hobbit here is 25 lbs and 16 months. Though it took some adjusting and practice, I was able to breastfeed in the wrap from about 6 months old forward.

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Hiking in the Wrapsody Breeze Iris. She IS happy! Haha!

 

The Bad

Micah says…

I was really only able to use the Wrapsody with our youngest- I just couldn’t get a secure wrap with our 3 year old, who still really enjoys being carried. Carries that I can do with no problems at all using other wraps were difficult to do with our 3 year old. The Wrapsody just didn’t have enough grip to use while carrying her. This is really only problematic in that I prefer to use a carrier or wrap that works for any of the children I may need to carry. The Wrapsody fits the bill perfectly for an infant, but just doesn’t have the versatility I want when it comes to being able to carry a range of children.

Kileah says…

It does take a little bit of practice to make this wrap work well so that it doesn’t dig into your shoulders. It is a bit more difficult to ensure that the passes of fabric are spread out enough along the back and under the bum. This wrap is light weight enough that it wrinkles easily and ends up feeling a lot narrower than it actually is.

The Ugly

Micah says…

I don’t really have an ugly for this wrap, except to repeat what I already said- the Wrapsody is cool, but just doesn’t offer the versatility that I need for the stage of child rearing/ baby wearing/ toddler wearing that I am in.

Kileah says…

No ugly  here! The wrap was so very colorful and the price point is very accessible for a woven wrap.

 

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Do you have experience with one of these wraps? Leave us your review in the comments!

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TLB Reviews: Ovolo

The Goods: Ovolo Woven Baby Wraps

The Reviewers: Kileah, Micah, and Amy

Editor’s note: we like to use products for a long time before posting our reviews because we feel a week or even a month’s use for something that could be an investment for a buyer isn’t enough time to really be able to review the product. That said, it took us AGES to get this review posted, much to our embarrassment. In that time though we got to learn that not only does Ovolo make quality wraps, they also maintain quality service, support, and interactions.
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Left- Lark Glacier, size 6. Right- Fletching Wagtail, size 4.

The Good

Kileah says…

I am pretty sure I squealed when our Ovolo wraps came in the mail! Down to the packaging…there was so much love and care put into sending it to us. We received the Fletching Wagtail in a size 4 (3.6 metres/11.81 ft.) and the Lark Glacier in a size 5 (4.2/13.78 ft.) both in their loom state.  They both are 100% cotton but both completely gorgeous and DIFFERENT in their feel and wrapping specifics. The wagtail was a bit of a “beast” to break in at first…but nothing that a good thorough washing/drying and a few wears couldn’t fix. It’s an amazingly squishy and supportive wrap that doesn’t dig in at the tension points, and practically oooozed of sleepydust. The pixie hobbit and the baby hobbit both absolutely love getting wrapped up in it. The design of the fletching has a bit of personal meaning to our family as Micah’s grandfather’s name was Fletcher…the middle name we picked out for the sweet baby that we lost several years ago. Holding, wearing, using this warm, sturdy wrap has been a small source of healing in my heart.

And then Ovolo sent me and my littlest squish a NINJA and a HANDMADE Bandana in December. They did it JUST BECAUSE. Because they love their people and care about creating pieces that last. Pieces that are a part of your family…even for generations to come. THAT is the kind of heart and company I want to support. The kind that values my family and will do whatever it takes to help and support us in our journey of loving and learning with each other. Thank you, Ovolo. Thank you for working so hard to love on us in such a busy time of the year!

Baby hobbit in a double hammock carry using the Fletching Wagtail.

Baby hobbit in a double hammock carry using the Fletching Wagtail.

Micah says…

While I’ve been baby wearing since our oldest hobbit was born 6 years ago, this was my first experience wrapping with anything other than a Moby. I have to say that I was a bit skeptical at first- mostly because my experience using the Moby wasn’t that great- it was too long, and stretched out too easily for me. I did my best to put preconceived ideas aside and went to work learning to wrap with the Ovolos we received. I’m pretty big on the way things look, so for starters I can tell you that I was absolutely thrilled with the wraps Ovolo had sent as they were both patterns and colors that I liked. What I was not prepared for, however, was just how comfortable they would be once I got a few wrapping techniques down. The support that I felt I had as I carried a child in both was fantastic, and the knots stayed tied well.

Pixie Hobbit in a ruck carry with a tibetan tie-off using the Lark Glacier.

Pixie Hobbit in a ruck carry with a tibetan tie-off using the Lark Glacier.

 

Amy says…

We reviewed the Heartwood Onyx in a size 6. (100% cotton, 257gsm if you’re into wrap stats.)
I’m saying this, but really, it’s my husband who’s giving the feedback for the review! This wrap is his daily driver. In fact, it’s probably in use for at least an hour each day, if not more! This is our son’s legacy wrap, hands-down, from both a quality perspective and for the emotional attachment we all have to it. My husband is not a wrapper. He wore our daughter in a “crotch-dangler” buckle carrier six years ago, so the first time he wrapped our newborn son in this Ovolo wrap was literally the first time he had ever wrapped a baby.

It’s beginner friendly. At first, we both scoffed at the included instruction photos (“Isn’t this a bit much? LOL.”) Answer: no! It’s not a bit much. Literally as soon as he had the wrap tied, he was praising the instruction sheet for how easy it was to do something that, at first blush, looked complicated. Since then, he’s tried a variety of videos and tutorials to guide him through other carries. (Spoiler alert: none have really worked, he’s ended up frustrated, and gone back to the tried-and-true FWCC. Front Wrap Cross Carry, for those who don’t speak wrap-ease.) It showed up soft and has broken in to buttah. It’s lovely. M y husband does things to this wrap that I’d never dream of! It gets tossed wherever he’s taking it off (floor, couch, bed, on top of the laundry heap in our room…). He’s not gentle with it. Our son has barfed stinky chunks of curdled breastmilk on to it more times than we can count. He sucks, teethes, and chews on the rails. I couldn’t tell you what the care instructions say; all I can tell you is that the hubs tossed it straight into the washer on ‘delicate’ with cloth-diaper safe detergent, and then we line-dried it. In the winter, it went into the dryer on ‘delicate’. I don’t think it’s shrunk much since we first washed and dried it to set the weave and prep it.

Real dad. Real newborn. Real beginner wrap job!

Real dad. Real newborn. Real beginner wrap job!

It’s forgiving as all get-out. It’s been in action for 10 months here and over that time, my husband has gotten MUCH better at wrapping (always the FWCC). He needed a mirror for the first month or so, and now he could probably do it with his eyes closed. He still doesn’t care much for getting the prettiest, or the neatest, or the best wrap job. He knows how to make sure the baby is in a deep seat and to spread the passes over his bum. Beyond that, all bets are off. Our guy isn’t small, either, he’s 25 pounds or so. This wrap forgives the sometimes sloppy passes and stays tight; it keeps him high and feeling light, despite his baby-heft. Even when our (strong like a horse!) baby is arching his back and trying to nose-dive out of it (for instance, when he’s about to be handed off to me to nurse), the passes stay tight and hold him.

If I had to get rid of all my wraps except one, this would be the one we kept. It has taken abuse, forgives sloppy wrapping, and my husband and son don’t go a day without it. It also helps that Ovolo knocked it out of the park with the design; it’s masculine and earthy and aesthetically simple yet beautiful. We love it.

Ovolo Heartwood Onyx. Our legacy wrap.

Ovolo Heartwood Onyx. Our legacy wrap.

The Bad

Kileah says…

As I mentioned before: the Fletching is what I’d call more of an experienced babywearer’s wrap…it’s a DREAM to wrap with when the wrap is broken in…but it takes some good washing/drying and some good beating/wearing around to break in. Absolutely worth the effort because it speaks STRONG and SOFT when it’s in its ideal state. The Lark, simply due to its more “lightweightedness,” was easier to re-adjust to breastfeed my youngest two in.

Micah says…

A few things come to mind here. First, the Fletching Wagtail, which is the wrap that I absolutely loved, is too short to be a versatile wrap for me. At 5’10” and 245 lbs. I need a wrap that’s at least a 6 to be able to feel secure using it in a back carry- I wasn’t able to use this wrap for anything more than a simple hip carry. This could definitely be a downside for dads since we tend to be bigger framed than moms! Also, the Fletching Wagtail is such a heavy woven fabric that it really isn’t ideal for use in warmer weather.

Pixie Hobbit in a hip cross carry using the Lark Glacier. This was on a Costco that she was less than thrilled to be a part of!

Pixie Hobbit in a hip cross carry using the Lark Glacier. This was on a Costco that she was less than thrilled to be a part of!

Amy says…

I think it’s faded a bit after a ton of use and several times drying in the sun. Black is a tough color as fading goes, but that’s really the only potentially bad thing I can say. We don’t mind it the slight fade. I probably should’ve hung it in the evening when it wouldn’t be in direct sunlight. Maybe the other “bad” is that my husband commandeered this thing and I think I’ve gotten to use it maybe one time! Ha!

To Micah’s point, I’ll mention that my husband is 5’7″ and a medium build, and a 6 is just fitting him to wrap our 10 month-old in a FWCC. If you’re buying for a dad (and this is the epitome of a dad wrap!), look at the longer sizes.

The Ugly

Kileah says… 

The ugly for me? Don’t know if I have anything bad to say…I’m in love 🙂

Micah says…

The ugly for me is simply that wraps just aren’t as quick and easy to use as most soft structured carriers. I wish they were, because they are pretty cool and extremely comfortable as long as you wear them correctly.

Amy says…

We did have a hem on one rail succumb to some razor-sharp baby teeth. Fixing that is on my to-do list, but it’s been like that for a couple months, and it hasn’t impacted wrapping at all. (And again, my husband is not gentle when he’s using this thing, so consider that the hems were put under a good deal of stress every time he’s used it.) Did I mention this thing takes a beating?

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While no product is absolutely perfect for everyone, our reviewers all agreed that the Ovolo wraps come close. So we’re excited to share the love with you in an Ovolo Wrap giveaway for one lucky Leaky and excited that 3 additional wraps are going to babywearing lending libraries!

Babywearing Ovolo wrap

Ovolo Ombre Lupine

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Ovolo is giving away one of their brand new wraps, the Ombre Lupine in a Size 6 ($325 value) for one lucky Leaky!

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Meet Ombre Lupine, a gorgeous combination of blues, purples, and greys with a navy blue weft. Lupine is the first in our series of wraps called Ombre. Ovolo Ombre wraps are uniquely woven on a small dobby loom in plain weave and in very limited batches, less than 20 per color. Ombre wraps are woven with 8/2 cotton for both warp and weft. Ombre is truly the wrap for everyone. It carries very much like your favorite handwoven, with lots of stretch, amazing drape, and very gentle on shoulders. Woven and finished in the USA.

Size 4: 4.6 meters

Width: 76cm
Rails: Selvedge
Ends: Blunt Hemmed
Middle Marker: Tactile

100% 8/2 cotton | 275 gsm

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Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from March 16, 2015 through March 23, 2015.  A big thanks to Ovolo for their support of TLB and all breastfeeding women; please be sure to visit their Facebook page and thank them for their support of TLB and this giveaway opportunity.  Check out their Etsy shop too!

This giveaway is restricted to US entries only. 

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Motivation to Get Moving: #TLBmoves Prizes!

Are you moving yet, Leakies?! We’ve been getting our move on during the month of August. Breastfeeding here, there, and everywhere, and making sure we get outside and get active while we’re at it. We’re rounding the bases into the homestretch of World Breastfeeding Month. We’re SO proud of all the Leakies (and their families) that have gotten more active with #TLBmoves! In fact, we think you deserve a reward. How about some #TLBmoves swag?!  Our brand partners – Joovy, Thinkbaby/Thinksport, and Tula Baby Carriers – have been amazingly supportive of our efforts (and yours!) and they’ve also been generous with their products! We’ve got some fantastic prize packs to give away. (US residents only; winners drawn at random during the first week of September.) GRAND PRIZE: (up to $699.00 total value) tlbmoves grand prize

$350.00 to put toward the stroller of your choice from Joovy! Tula’s limited edition Star carrier (your choice of standard or toddler)! (Yes, really!) $150.00 in Thinkbaby/Thinksport sports bottles and sunscreen!

Yeah, it’s pretty awesome! First runner up: (up to $269.00 total value) tlbmoves first runner up

The Gray Zig Zag Tula Baby Carrier (your choice of standard or toddler)! $100.00 to spend any way you’d like on Thinkbaby/Thinksport sports bottles and sunscreen!

Second runner up: (up to $219 total value) tlbmoves second runner up

Tula’s Chloe carrier (standard or toddler) $50 to spend on Thinkbaby/Thinksport sports bottles & safe sunscreen!

Our brand partners have been amazing throughout #TLBmoves. They’ve been as excited as we are about families getting healthy, every step of the way! A huge thanks to each of them for their support. (And for making such awesome products that support us in reaching our #TLBmoves goals!) Joovy’s Qool, Zoom 360, TooFold, and Caboose VaryLight have logged a lot of miles so far this month, with a lot more to come! We’ve worn our babies while walking, dancing, doing chores – you name it – thanks to Tula’s carriers and woven wraps. Thinkbaby/Thinksport has kept us in sunscreen and water bottles, and speaking of… Here’s **20% off Thinkbaby/Thinksport** that you can use right now! (These water bottles are amazing. AH-mazing. No freaky metallic taste in the water and they have kept ice solid overnight!) Print PLUS! WAIT! We’ve got Thinkbaby/Thinksport sports bottles and sunscreen to give away through the end of August! Just post on the #TLBmoves hashtag on Instagram. We’ll be choosing TEN winners at random. All you have to do is share a pic! We’ll choose ten people who’ve shared pics on the #TLBmoves hashtag to win sunscreen and water bottles. (US only) ENTER to win one of the three prize packages above!

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We’re Moving!

by Jessica Martin-Weber and Amy West

Leakies, we’ve got something really special for you. We’re talking about #BFingPlaces (Oh!  The Places You Go!) for World Breastfeeding Month and we’ve taken it one step further. Literally.

We have every reason in the world to be physically active; heart health, longevity, reduced health problems, strength, endurance, lower blood pressure, stronger bones, joint health, mental clarity, better sleep, and decrease in depression and anxiety to name a few.  Several studies show that people who exercise more are just happier.  Which has always baffled me personally since exercise is kind of the opposite of happy for me.  Still, I know it’s good for me so I’ve tried to do it regularly and felt guilty when I didn’t.

With having children though, juggling family, home, and work (and yes, even when I didn’t have a job), getting exercise in is often an overwhelming challenge.  Between the media, “experts,” bloggers, friends, family, health care providers, and yes, even myself saying what is so important for children, there are just so many other aspects of a child’s development that require my attention.  There is every reason in the world to not be physically active; reading to our children, providing quality meals, addressing their social needs, researching all medications/foods/education, shopping to have the “best” deals on the highest quality (but the blanket MUST be organic, what about off-gassing?!), spending quality play time with our children, limiting screen time, grooming them, keeping house, bonding, learning and executing proper child passenger safety (installing that perfect car seat that took 3 weeks of research and a small loan to purchase) and being sure every minute of their every day is filled with only the best developmentally appropriate activities.  With all that’s on our plates, how do we find time to be physically active?

But really, how can we not?

We have perfectly legit reasons to not be moving and perfectly inspiring reasons to get moving.  It’s not easy sometimes but it’s definitely worth it.

I was born with a minor heart condition, something I’ve lived with all my life.  Doctors have told me that keeping my weight in a healthy range and staying physically active will go a long way in taking care of my health and sure enough, I can tell when I’ve put on a few too many pounds, have let inactivity sneak into my routine, or am lazy about my water intake.  I try to make it a priority but I’m just not crazy about most forms of exercise.  I’m not the type to become a health nut, I’m not likely become an exercise fanatic, and I don’t like exercise for exercise’s sake.  Something else has to motivate me to get off my butt and get moving.

Turns out I have 6 really talented motivators.  I want to be around for a long time to be with my children and eventually my grandchildren and I can’t afford to wait to get started.  They inspire me and not only for my own health, but for the health of my whole family.  And now they’ve inspired me to share that motivation with you!

Actually it was Amy West’s idea, she came to me about how regularly taking walks was helping her in her immediate postpartum time.  Her mood, emotional state, and energy levels went up as she walked with her two kids, Ava and Luke.  I agreed and we wanted to find a way to share it with the Leakies and their families.  And with that, #TLBmoves was born.

It’s time for #TLBmoves!

And I hope you’ll get moving with me for your own reasons.

Are you a runner? Walker? Cross-fit fan?  Couch potato looking to change? Or maybe you just want to be screen-free a little more often.

Whatever your goal, you can join us for #TLBmoves!  This is all about embracing an active lifestyle and making healthier choices, no matter where you’re starting from.

Us? We’re starting by walking more. Just the simple act of taking a daily stroll can do amazing things for your health–both mental and physical! Our initial goal is to log a minimum of 10 miles (about 15,000 steps) each week, or 30 very active minutes each day, but you can set virtually any goal that’s important to you and participate in any way you’d like! (Quit smoking, play with the kids more, eat more veggies, do jumping jacks at your desk, living room dance party – anything goes!)

If you’re already doing that (or more), awesome! Whatever YOUR goal is, we want to see you reach it. #TLBmoves is not a fitness campaign; yeah, we’re talking about steps and activity, but the bigger goal here is overall health and happiness. You can participate at whatever level is comfortable for you: walking, jogging, running, cross-fitting, swimming – anything. (#TLBmoves is aimed at all moms of all backgrounds and is not limited to or specifically endorsing those who breastfeed.)  And we’ll never ask what’s your excuse, we know we all have great excuses so we understand that it’s one day, one step at a time to reach your personal goals.

#TeamTLBmoves! Meet the four mamas who will be sharing their #TLBmoves journeys during the month of August:

Jessica: Founder, owner, and author of The Leaky Boob Facebook group and website; mother of six girls, ages 2, 4, 6, 11, 13, and 15.

Amy: Writer (www.amywest.co); mother of two children, a five-year-old daughter and a three-month-old son.

Kileah: Member of the TLB Reviews editorial team; mother of four children, ages 6, 4, 2 and 8 months.

Elise: Member of the TLB Reviews editorial team; mother of one two-month-old son.

Meet our partners:

#TLBmoves is a big undertaking and we are so thrilled to be working with brands we believe in to bring you this event. Our partners really want to see moms getting active and enjoying a healthy lifestyle with their families! We’ll be sharing tons of photos of #TeamTLBmoves using gear from the following brands:

Joovy

JoovyWe are all about taking small steps to a healthier lifestyle – literally! Going for a daily walk with the little ones is one of the cornerstones of what we’re doing. Joovy has partnered with us to feature four of their kick-ass strollers, which we will put to to the test over the next month. You’ll see the TooFold, Qool, Caboose VaryLight, and Zoom in action. From the big kids to the littles, Joovy is making it easy (and whine-free!) to stroll with the whole family.

tula

Tula Baby CarriersWe aren’t just pushing our little ones in the strollers – we’re going to wear them, too! Whether it’s in the uber comfortable Standard or Toddler carrier, or in one of Tula’s amazingly gorgeous woven wraps, we’ll be wearing our babies throughout the month as we get out and move! Where will the #TULAlove turn up next? Stay tuned…

thinkbaby thinksport

Thinkbaby and ThinksportIt’s August, so the weather is hot. A big part of #TLBmoves is getting active outdoors (work that natural vitamin D!). A good, safe sunscreen and water bottles are necessities. Thinkbaby and Thinksport care as much as we do when it comes to keeping our families safe from harmful chemicals. We’re staying hydrated and keeping sunburns at bay, minus the endocrine disruptors!

When?
#TLBmoves will run from August 1st-31st, 2014, but we hope you’ll keep moving long after the end of the month! (We may have something up our sleeves to that end, too!)

How?
Participation is on the honor system. Counting steps can be fun, but the point isn’t a number (on a pedometer, scale, or otherwise) – it’s making healthy choices and becoming more active in general. It’s all about feeling good! Moms can track their activity via whatever means they choose. (You can use a FitBit, another pedometer, you can time three five-minute songs for a dance party in your living room – it’s up to you!)

Where?
Anyone, anywhere can participate! We’ll be announcing some fun prizes from our brand partners, and those are limited to the United States at this time, but the world is your oyster if you want to get active with us!

JOIN OUR PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP (Please note: this is a co-ed community where you’ll find support as we get active and make healthy choices together. Judgement free! Come as you are, this group is your #TLBmoves tribe!)

JOIN OUR FITBIT FORUM (The four #TeamTLBmoves mamas will be using FitBits to track our steps! They’re totally optional, but if you want to use one, you can grab yours here: http://bit.ly/TLBfitbit.)

Who?
You, your friends, your kids, your partner, your boss, your mom, your dad… anyone!  Though The Leaky Boob is focused on encouraging families primarily through breastfeeding, we support breastfeeding moms and everyone that supports them.  Breastfeeding isn’t a requirement to participate with TLB and #TLBmoves.  (If you are breastfeeding and you’re wondering about exercise and breastfeeding, we have an article all about that here.

We’ll have more updates soon – in the meantime, please follow TLB on Instagram to keep up with #TLBmoves. Use the hashtag #TLBmoves on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to share your pics. We want to see what you’re doing to MOVE, mamas!

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TLB Reviews: Líllébaby All Seasons Carrier

The Goods: líllébaby Complete All Seasons Carrier in Stone

The Reviewers: Micah and Amy

The Good: 

Micah says…

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On a hike with Baby Hobbit- this was our first outdoor excursion with the lillébaby All Seasons Carrier.

My  complaint with soft structure carriers has always been that I couldn’t wear them for very long without my back hurting. The lillébaby All Seasons Carrier is the first soft structure carrier to solve that problem for me with the lumbar support. Previously, I would find myself needing to adjust whatever carrier I was wearing in an attempt to stay comfortable. The lumbar support on the lillébaby All Seasons Carrier not only supports my lower back, it also helps me to get the carrier on right the first time because of the way it lays on my back. I’m a big fan of the extra long straps and the fact that they can be worn backpack style or criss-crossed as it allows for maximum comfort while baby wearing. Speaking of the straps- I love that they are placed in such a way that you pull them from the front when wearing baby on the front. Other soft structured carriers require you to reach around your back and pull the straps from your shoulders, which is no easy feat- especially with a baby strapped to you!

None of our children have cared to forward face when being carried, but the fact that this carrier is convertible and can be used both ways is pretty cool and adds value as you are really getting 2 carriers for the price of 1. The neck support is fantastic for providing support for a sleeping baby’s head without having to put the full hood up and in doing so make baby warmer and uncomfortable. Additionally, I love that the front panel unzips to allow baby’s body to be cooler, especially in warmer temperatures. Our children tend to be little heaters, so this carrier helps mommy and daddy to stay a bit cooler as well.

photo (2)

We took Baby Hobbit out on the town with us for our anniversary last month. As you can see, she was quite comfortable!

Amy says… Soft-structured carriers (SSC’s) tend to be a recipe for sweat in the humid summer heat where we live. Baby usually ends up too hot to stay in the carrier, which defeats the purpose of trying to use it (and means schlepping the carrier and baby separately). The mesh material used and zip-down front panel on this carrier live up to the “all seasons” name; it really is cooler! To that end, the neck support being there without needing the hood to support our little guy’s head was very appreciated in the summer heat!

We’ve used it with our newborn for the first few months of his life and both my husband and I have been really happy with this one.  I was able to breastfeed in it just by lowering the waist band a bit. I got some looks, but they were mostly in awe that I could wear him, feed him, and have the use of both of my hands! (The stone color also meant that we can switch this one back and forth and both be happy wearing it. My husband is totally fine wearing my cutesy patterned babywearing stuff, but he prefers this one over the rest!)

My absolute favorite thing about this carrier is the lumbar support! We have a few other soft-structured buckle carriers and a narrow waist belt will compress exactly the wrong part of my lower back and make it really sore. The little lumbar support panel on the líllébaby All Seasons makes a HUGE difference, both distributing baby’s weight more evenly and making the carrier WAY more comfortable to wear, especially for longer stretches. Lumbar support in action: (excuse the crappy picture!)

lillebaby lumbar

Really, I just love that little panel! I think all SSC’s should be designed this way, it’s *awesome!*

The Bad:

Micah says…The only bad thing I have to say about this carrier is that none of the accessories are included. I don’t expect manufacturers to include every accessory imaginable with their carrier, but I would love it if they included things that most parents would appreciate, like teething pads, with the carrier instead of selling them separately.

Amy says… After the first few times we adjusted the seat, it was easier, but the snap system  for the seat can be a little tricky at first. (Do not attempt to change the seat from wide to narrow for the first time if your baby is already unhappy…not that I’d know, or anything!) The way the seat on this carrier adjusts is really clever, I actually like it a lot.

The Ugly: 

Micah says… At the risk of sounding a bit picky, I will say that I don’t really like that the neck support doesn’t stay in place when not in use. there are snaps to hold it in place when folded down, but the weight of the baby prevents them from staying snapped. In future models I think it would be great if lillébaby addressed this. While it isn’t an issue of functionality, I feel like this does detract a bit from the overall look of the carrier.

Amy says… To use this carrier for a newborn, they recommend rolling up a hand towel or blanket and using it as a seat. We had trouble finding a blanket that was the right size to create the seat height we needed for our newborn. Even once we did, it’s a pain to be rolling up a seat and having to tote an extra blanket for that purpose. I’d much prefer an integral newborn seat or insert that just does the job without any guess work. (That might sound a little stupid, but a 30×30 receiving blanket rolls up differently than a hand towel or a big muslin swaddling blanket, know what I mean? A minor issue, but still a point of potential improvement in what is otherwise an awesome SSC. My husband’s favorite, in fact!)

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TLB Reviews: Cezara Belly Support Panty

The Goods: Cezara Belly Support Panty

The Reviewer: Elise

cezara

The Good: Elise says . . . This panty is a great option for those looking for belly and back support. It can be worn on its own or over your regular underwear. It is a nice 90% cotton and 10% spandex fabric that is very soft. For those who feel that their belly is pulling their weight forward and straining their lower back this would be a great choice for supporting the belly weight and relieving back pain. The velcro closure helps to adjust the waist size as you expand during pregnancy and then shrink after birth. I had a belly support band that had the tendency to move around or scrunch up. The nice thing about the Cezara panty is that it will not move around since it is a belly support and panty in one.

cezara drawing

The Bad: Elise says . . . I don’t believe that there is a “normal” pregnancy. Everyone’s body grows and changes in different ways. However there are some common physical issues that occur during pregnancy. One of them is low back pain. I had a back ache for about a week early on during my pregnancy and then for the rest of the time I did not have any back issues, which is a rarity. Therefore I found myself not needing belly and back support. I preferred to wear light-weight bikini underwear that sat below my belly. I was feeling so physically good that I was able to teach dance classes up until the day I went in for my cesarean! This panty would have been great had I had back pain issues, but for my fitness level I did not find that it was necessary.

The Ugly: Elise says . . . The fabric is very soft, but due to my sensitive skin I did not like the thick elastic band. I was lucky to have a fairly painless cesarean recovery. I did experience some tender skin issues with my stretched belly. I found my stretched belly skin to be more tender than my cesarean scar! So for me this supportive underwear with the thick elastic band was not a good option. However for those in need of back support and incision protection these panties would be a great choice to look into.

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TLB Reviews: My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear

The Goods: Heartbeat Bunny from  My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear

The Reviewer: Elise

The Good: Elise says . . . Stuffed animals are fun toys for your baby. The stuffed animals from My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear are not only fun, they are incredibly special. I never would have thought to record my baby’s prenatal heartbeat, but I am so glad I did. The site has many different animals to choose from. I received the bunny and it is a high quality stuffed animal and so soft! It may sound silly, but in the days before I had my baby I would hug the heartbeat bunny and listen to my baby’s heartbeat and feel so comforted. My birthing instructor had just told us to find sensory objects to bring to the hospital to help during the birthing process. The heartbeat bear is a perfect object to bring as it fulfills both hearing and touch. The directions for recording are simple and easy to follow. It is a great keepsake and I know it will be neat to show to my son when he can understand that he is listening to his heartbeat when he was in my belly!

heartbeat bear

The Bad: Elise says . . . This may not be on your list of necessary items. When I was preparing for my baby’s arrival I tried to weed out all the unnecessary items. This stuffed animal probably would not have made the cut. However I am so glad I have it! Although it may not be necessary for the care of your baby, I think all mothers should have one. I thought it might be awkward to ask my ob-gyn to help me record the heartbeat. I thought I might interfere with the important elements of the check up, but she was very supportive and helpful. Although this was the first time someone had asked to record the heartbeat during a check up she was more than willing to help. I cannot think of a better way to record your baby’s heartbeat. It will be treasured for many years!

The Ugly: Elise says . . . There is a little switch that you have to tape over on the recording device that goes in the bear. If it accidentally gets switched back it will delete the heartbeat recording! This is a little nerve wracking. Luckily they have a way to store the recording online so if it gets deleted it can be retrieved. Make sure not to skip that step!

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