Child Passenger Safety and Feeding On The Go- Answers From a CPST

by Jessica Martin-Weber with Allana Pinkerton, CPSI
This post made possible by the generous support of Diono.

September is child safety month and we’re taking a look at safety and what we talk about most around here at TLB: feeding our kiddos. Many of us find ourselves needing to feed on the go, from a snack in the car to an entire meal between one activity and the next. 

Allana Pinkerton, a child injury prevention specialist, CPST/CPSI, and mom of two answered our questions on The Leaky Boob Facebook page Live Stream on what we can do to minimize risk when it comes to feeding our children on the go. A huge thanks to Diono in making this conversation with Allana possible.

Whether your child is 3 months old or 3 years old or 13 years old, it is very likely there will come a time when meal or snack time happens on the road. It probably goes without saying that the safest option is to not eat in a moving vehicle. But we all live in the real world and can’t just stay in a bubble so sometimes that’s just not possible so we’re looking at what we can do to make the mobile mealtime as safe as possible. Below are the questions we asked Allana and the Leakies.

When it comes to feeding our children on the go, when we’re in a moving vehicle perhaps on a road trip or having to grab something quick between scheduling commitments, what is important to keep in mind?

*Please note: for safety and to reduce distractions, the driver should never eat and drive.

  • A seat that is more inclined is not a safe option to have a child eat food. Solids shouldn’t be fed in a laying down position.
  • Nothing too hot.
  • When possible, have someone keep an eye on a very young child when they are eating in a moving vehicle. Determine if a mirror is a safe or distracting option for you.
  • Pick foods that are easy to swallow.
  • Avoid choking hazards- for babies and toddlers, nothing hard or like grapes and popcorn.
  • Foods that dissolve easily will reduce choking hazards (i.e. puffs and yogurt melts, etc.)
  • Contained foods that aren’t as likely to spill and get car seat straps wet.
  • Keep in mind, if you’re always eating in the car it may be time to reevaluate how much we’re doing.

Is there anything in particular we should avoid when it comes to feeding our children on the go?

  • Hard candies, even lollipops (a sudden stop could result in injury and/or choking).
  • Foods you know will be messy.
  • Foods that may damaging to your child’s car seat (sticky drinks, dairy, etc.).

What do we need to keep in mind when it comes to installing children’s seats? How can parents find a local CPST to help them?

  • Read the manual. If you’re unclear about something, call the manufacturer. 
  • Have your seat checked by a CPST and be sure they watch you install it and check your install as well, not just have them install it for you. Find one here.
  • Do not use after market products with your seat that are not made by or approved by your seat’s manufacturer (i.e. strap pads) as they could compromise the safety of your seat.

Breastfeeding in the car seat moving vehicle child passenger safety

Are there any safety concerns related to these breastfeeding or bottle-feeding a child in their car seat in a moving vehicle?

  • Propping a bottle for a child not yet able to hold their own is dangerous in that the child may be overwhelmed with the contents of the bottle and has a higher risk of aspirating. Have someone give the baby their bottle and be able to pay attention to them as they feed.
  • Keep in mind a bottle would become a projectile in the case of an accident. Use as small a bottle as possible.
  • Breastfeeding a child in a seat, even if the breastfeeding parent isn’t leaning over the seat, is a significant hazard in the case of a car accident as it places something in front of the child’s face. Physics tell us that in a crash objects (including a breast) will weigh their weight times the force of gravity of the crash. For example, a 30mph crash is around 20-25 G’s (force of gravity). Let’s say the breastfeeding parent weighs 140 pounds. Multiplied by 23 G’s (right in the middle) means 3,220 pounds. That’s the total weight of their body with the momentum of the crash. Their chest alone will weigh at least 1,000 pounds, if not more. Being positioned in front of or possibly over the baby to breastfeed, that’s a minimum of 1,000 pounds being dropped or slammed into the baby. Potentially crushing the child and injuring the parent. This all would be true even with a seat belt on the breastfeeding parent as the parent would not be positioned properly with a chest belt to restrain them from hitting their child in the case of a collision or sudden stop. (See more on this here.)

Feeding on the go means seats will likely get soiled, what do we need to know about cleaning our seats?

  • Never hose a car seat down, that can compromise not just the cover and straps but also the frame and internal materials.
  • Follow your manual’s instructions. 
  • Replace straps if webbing becomes soaked.
  • See these cleaning tips.

 

Allana Pinkerton is the Global Safety Advocate for Diono. She began her career in Child Passenger Safety as a National Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician in 2001 and advanced into the position of a National Instructor in 2002. In 2004, she founded a non-profit organization, Sit Tight, which provided education and free car seats to underserve communities.
As the Global Safety Advocate, she facilitates educating the staff, consumers and the media about car seats. Allana works closely with the marketing team, educating at consumer and industry trade shows, as well as writing blogs on CPS issues. She is called upon to work with engineering and product development team on current and new products. As Diono expands across the globe, Allana continues to expand her role assisting the Diono European and China teams.
Allana has two children, Max (12) and Andrew (20) who is ironically a race car driver. She has been married to Paul for 22 years and he still cannot install a car seat.
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The Serious Injury No One is Talking About: Diastasis Recti

by Nicole Nexon, MSPT

This post made possible by the generous support of Chunkabuns

 

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Sometimes I feel like exercise has become a dirty word in the mommy sphere. I can understand that.

We get this message that we need to do everything – work, raise babies, maintain perfect households, create Pinterest worthy projects, not burn dinner… and erase any shred of evidence that our bodies have created life. Society settled on the idea that skinny = perfect and the backlash from that led to a movement of pride in our bodies. Which somehow turned in to “ real woman have curves “ and all kinds of craziness about skinny girls and curvy girls and…

It’s out of control.

And what has been missed in all of this is the truth of the matter – it’s not about skinny. It’s not about having curves or not having curves. It’s not about “mummy tummies” or thigh gap or muffin tops.

It’s about being healthy.

And not “healthy” in a way that has been co-opted by people meaning “stop eating junk food you fatty!” Healthy in way that allows people to live their lives in a manner they choose. Healthy in a way that allows you to lift babies and chase toddlers and carry laundry wherever you need to carry your laundry. Healthy in a way that makes you feel confident, that lets you sleep well and go about your life.

What happens when you’re injured…and you don’t even know it?

When I was pregnant with my second daughter, I began to feel a pretty distinct pain by my belly button. It was so specific that I was fairly certain I was developing an umbilical hernia. I brought it up with my midwife and was told it wasn’t a hernia. I was developing a diastasis recti – a split between the muscles and muscular tissue that runs down the center of the abdomen. The pressure inside from an expanding uterus/baby was just too much for the abdominal tissue to handle so the tissue and muscles were separating.

With my first pregnancy, I worked in an outpatient clinic that was less physically demanding. With this second pregnancy, my current position required a lot of physical lifting as a physical therapist in a subacute center for patients who were not sick enough for the hospital, not well enough to go home. I already had work restrictions due to the physical requirements of my job; working with those restrictions AND dealing with a developing case of Diastasis Recti made the restrictions even more difficult.

It was in this position that I recognized a growing group of people in need of support, awareness, and healing of Diastasis Recti: new moms.

Here were these women, trying to juggle new responsibilities, healing from the changes their bodies went through during pregnancy and subsequent post-partum recovery and there was little to no support or even awareness about the problems that Diastasis Recti presented.

Diastasis Recti can affect your body in some pretty drastic ways.

  • -Incontinence
  • -Irregular bowel movements,
  • -Lower back pain, spinal or hip injuries due to your abdominal muscle’s inability to support your body when you’re lifting or bending
  • -Pain during sexual intercourse
  • -Increased chance of sciatica or disc issues
  • -Increased chance of umbilical hernia
  • -Postural instability due to poor strength of the abdominal muscles

The effects are numerous.

Now it was MY body that was going to need to be supported.

My body that was going to need help carrying a car seat. A baby. My toddler. The laundry.

My body that was going to be more prone to injury- that would need me to completely rethink how I went about my day. I worked out through my pregnancy because I knew what was ahead of me. I knew my core was going to be compromised. I wanted to achieve a VBAC and I knew I would need endurance (among other things) to prevent a repeated OR experience. I went back to my books and read studies on exercise efficacy. I reviewed exercise programs for pregnant women, post partum women, and people who had just had abdominal or back surgery. I had a plan, and I HAD to be as physically strong as I could when I returned from maternity leave so I could perform my job effectively.

I ended up with a VBAC, a baby girl, and a three-finger diastasis.

*when I say “three-finger diastasis” I am describing how many fingers I can horizontally fit across the tissue separation. To find this, lay on the floor with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift up your head slightly and contract your abdomen muscles gently. Find your belly button and make the “scout symbol” with your fingers…see how many you can fit in there. i.e. 1 finger, 3 fingers, etc. Check the same line down by your pelvis, and again up towards your ribs. Different points along your abdominal muscles may be different fingers of separation.

 


I feel blessed that my passion and my education allowed me to understand what my body needs to function well and heal from my condition. I am grateful for my colleagues and friends with whom I can discuss ideas or count on to help me with the hands-on techniques I can’t perform on myself. I know I am lucky to have access to the information that I have.

I want other women to have this valuable access to connections and resources that are out there for those recovering from Diastasis Recti.

I want women to know that sometimes “mummy tummy” can actually be caused by a medical condition.

I want women to know that the media are not medical professionals and there is a wide range of “normal” when it comes to our bodies.

I want other mothers to know that exercise and eating well are available to them.

I want women to know there are safe exercise routines that WON’T injure a body healing from Diastasis Recti. That recovering doesn’t need to be a series of scary, out-of-reach experiences. They don’t need to spend hours in the gym (Though you certainly can, if you enjoy it!).

Recovering means that you can take a walk, be it pushing a stroller or wearing a baby. You can do squats in your living room, jumping jacks, and eventually pushups and planks. (But until you’ve healed from your diastasis, it is best to do modified planks so that you don’t further separate your diastasis or have your abdominal muscles work against you or push on that separation while you’re healing!)

I feel sad when I hear people say “I can’t workout because…”

I feel sad because they are being taught that only the big efforts count.

That’s not true.

I work with people for whom sitting at the edge of their bed is enormous effort, and standing requires assistance of others. When you see the enormous joy on a person’s face brought by these small yet enormous victories, you begin to understand the true beauty of the movement our bodies are capable of. What may seem like a small victory may be an enormous triumph-a giant step towards hope and healing.

Misguided emphasis on skinny and perfect or the fear of never being _____ enough WILL STOP US in our tracks.

Enough.

You are enough.

It’s ok to start small.

It’s ok to fail.

It’s ok to not be perfect.

It’s ok to be YOU.

It’s not about meeting someone else’s standards.

It’s about taking care of yourself, teaching your family that our bodies are a great gift and we should treat them well. It’s about understanding that you are worthy of the time and energy it will take to begin, to HEAL, and to build healthy habits that facilitate that healing and well being.

Let’s get moving, because moving not only transforms your body, but it transforms your mind, no matter what size jeans you wear.

Some Exercises to Get You  Started:

Some Other Tips to Start Healing:

  • Sitting with the best possible posture: (Pull your belly button in towards your spine. Keep breathing while doing this. Pull your shoulder blades onto your back. Keep breathing!)
  • Kegels/pelvic floor exercises (contracting the pelvic floor muscles-the ones you use to stop your pee, if that makes sense!).
  • Standing on one foot while brushing your teeth while pulling your belly button in towards your spine.
  • Stretching before you get out of bed.
  • Taking a walk or parking further from the store.
  • You can climb your stairs.
  • Swim.
  • Dance.
  • Work out with a DVD program or take a class.
  • If pregnant, getting an abdominal/belly support band to help support your abdomen and relieve pain you may be experiencing.
  • If in post partum recovery, gently binding your belly to help pull the muscles together and support you in those first few weeks of initial birth recovery.

starting pt image

arms image

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plank image

Where am I now? I’m down to a one finger split at my belly button. I am confidently back to work full time with no restrictions. I’m still doing pelvic floor exercises and modifying my workouts to protect and strengthen my abdominal muscles so I don’t re-injure or reinforce the Diastasis Recti. I’m teaching my daughters that exercise and eating well are ways to treat your body with respect, to give it what it needs so when you need your body to work for you, it will. I’m teaching them that strong is beautiful, that healthy allows you to follow your dreams, that food is a tool and a pleasure and size is just another physical trait that varies from person to person.

Final thought… can we all agree to stop using the words “mummy tummy” ? Please? Your tummy is awesome, mommy. Growing a human is beautiful. A body that shows the results of growing a human is also beautiful!

For more information on Diastasis Recti click here.

*You are strong, and Chunkabuns knows it. Check out their “Mom Strong” Tee-shirts (and matching “Strong Like Mommy” shirts for baby! ♥♥♥) and other clothing options for mom and baby at www.chunkabuns.com

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nicole nexon image
Nicole Nexon is a mother of two, working full time as a physical therapist. Nicole has her master’s degree in Physical Therapy, and has been working for 9 years in both the inpatient and outpatient fields of physical therapy. She is a complete nerd when it comes to the human body and wants to encourage others to take the opportunity to treat their bodies well at whatever stage of life they are in. She is also a Beachbody coach and has found it to be a great platform to spread her mission of health and wellness. In her spare time, Nicole enjoys traveling and snowboarding. You can follow her at www.facebook.com/nicolerosenex )
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#TLBmoves 2017 – Helping You Get Moving with a Chance to Win

We all need a little inspiration to make changes in our lives.

In the context of #TLBmoves, where we consider how we can increase our level of physical activity in ways that make sense to each of us, it helps to figure out more specific reasons than “Moving more is good for me” and set some more specific goals than “I’m going to move more than I usually do.” (not sure what #TLBmoves is? Click here for more information).

Reasons to get moving might be to keep up with the kids without huffing and puffing, to increase our energy level, to avoid certain health risks or issues we are already coping with, or to enjoy a longer life with our partner. 

Setting specific daily and/or weekly goals are helpful too, like walking a mile a day, getting through an exercise routine 3 times per week, or taking yoga classes or hitting the gym a certain number of times per week. We need measurable goals that are easy to track or we’re more likely to lose interest. 

And we need to cut ourselves some slack when we fail, because failure is a part of living.

So for those of us that need a little more inspiration, the #TLBmoves 2017 sponsors are offering some wonderful products that could be very useful to us as we get moving. I am pleased to announce the #TLBmoves 2017 giveaway! 

A huge thanks to Joovy, Contours, The Vintage Honey Shop, and Chunkabuns, for their support of this campaign. 

 

The Giveaway

 

Contours – Wear your little one as you get moving! 

The Contours Love 3-in-1 Baby CarrierRetail Value: $99
The Contours Love 3-in-1 Baby Carrier is soft, supportive, and super easy-to-use. This award-winning infant carrier provides beneficial skin-to-skin contact with no fabric or straps between parent and baby. The Love is perfect for babywearing from infancy (beginning at 8 lbs.) when the little one will rest in an ergonomic fetal or “froggy” position. As baby grows, the Contours Love baby carrier provides a supportive seated position and allows legs to rest comfortably as they naturally straighten out over the next 10+ weeks. At 6 months of age and up to 30 lbs., your baby can face forward in the carrier. The Love carrier requires no separate inserts or accessories to accommodate newborns and provides a hip-healthy position for your little one as recommended by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute. 

 

Joovy – Get moving with your little one!

Winner’s choice of either the Caboose Too or the Tricycoo 4.1.  Retail Value: $180 (Caboose Too) or $130 (Tricycoo)

Caboose Too – if your children are close in age, the Caboose is just what you need in a compact double stroller. The “Too” includes the Rear Seat so you’ll have more options for younger riders. The seat is easily removed so when your older child is ready, they can choose to stand, sit or walk. Check out all the amazing specs here

Tricycoo 4.1 – for children as young as 10 months, the Tricycoo 4.1 is the perfect way to introduce your child to balance and coordination. Featuring 4 different stages, this tricycle grows with your child (from 10 months to 30+ months!), changing from a parent assisted ride to a kid powered tricycle. Find out more details here.

 

The Vintage Honey Shop – Keep your little one distracted as you get moving!

Winner’s choice of a teething/nursing necklace. Retail Value: $25
Our necklaces help keep mama from being scratched & pinched during feeding time and provide relief when teething! 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. 

 

ChunkabunsGet moving without apologies, but with comfort!

“Mom Strong” shirt with matching “Strong Like Mom” shirt. Retail Value: $49
Mommy and Me set! “Strong Like Mommy” for the infant tee and for mom, a “Mom Strong” flowy tee. Super flattering fit, Flowy style to disguise any wobbly bits (mom’s only nemesis) that may remain from the creation of her adorable baby. 

Total Value for the giveaway: $350

Please use the following widget to participate in the giveaway. Be honest with your answers – we will be checking! One winner takes all! Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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A Move Toward Health, for Family, for You – #TLBMoves 2017

You might think that with expecting a baby for the 7th time there would be very little left to surprise me about the pregnant life – that there wouldn’t be anything new for me to figure out. That’s what I thought.
 
But I find myself fairly well stumped about what to do about a condition that I have never experienced in previous pregnancies: feeling well. Well enough to do more than my typical pattern of laying down, bathroom run to puke, laying down, bathroom run to puke, ad nauseam (pun intended).
 
So here I am, not throwing up all day long, eating better than I have since, well, possibly ever, and feeling like I could go for daily runs with Jeremy, who isn’t running daily but did start running several times a week a couple months ago. Of course, I can’t actually run, what with my belly and boobs bouncing and flopping, but more importantly because, well, I’m actively saving all my running energy for when I’ll need it most: when we’re past some cataclysmic event and living in a glorious post-apocalyptic era – and also, I hate running. Not to mention I stopped running last fall and it’s not a good idea to start a new high impact physical activity over halfway through pregnancy (if you are a runner before you are pregnant and can continue into your pregnancy, that’s great!)
 
But I am wanting to get more active because I know that being active is good for me, looking through Pinterest to find inspiration, browsing YouTube for activities that I would enjoy, while I know that at this point a 20 minute walk completely wears me out – the upside being that I nap really well right now!
 
How on earth are we supposed to focus on our health while growing a baby? Especially when the information out there is so polarized? It’s either do/eat whatever you want or start Zumba and hot yoga and stick to green protein smoothies.
 
And how on earth are we supposed to think about being physically active with a newborn? Or an infant? Or a toddler? Or all of the above? And be a stay at home parent? Or a working parent?
 
I don’t know.
 
But once a year I encourage The Leaky Boob community to think about it and find small ways to inch ourselves toward being more healthy. For the 4th year in a row, we are taking a few weeks of summer to take a good, non-shaming, look at ourselves, and determine what steps we can each take to be just a little healthier than we are.
 
I’m not dogmatic about how babies are fed, and I’m sure as hell not going to be dogmatic about getting fit. You won’t find me pushing my Leakies to join a gym or a 6 AM boot camp. Just like for infant feeding, I look forward to sharing thought-provoking information, personal stories and anecdotes from our community, and encouraging the support of one another in TLB’s various platforms.
 
#TLBmoves is a campaign where everyone is welcome, couch potatoes to triathletes, fitness experts to exercise loathers, women and men and children, because no matter who you are, taking care of you is one of the ways that you take care of the ones you love.
 
I bring no agenda, no program, no exercise routines, no weight loss plans, or anything like that. Just a desire for Leakies to support each other as we each figure out what’s right for us. It could be adding a 10 minute walk to your day, cutting back on sugar, trying the squat challenge, really anything that seems achievable to you right now. Try it out, assess, and change your goal when you need to.
 

My husband, Jeremy, started running again a couple of months ago. He walked to our neighborhood park and set for himself the goal of making it around the park 8 times, running as much as he could handle and walking the rest. The park is ⅓ mile around. I don’t know why he picked 8 times. The first time he tried, he mostly walked. Now, 2 months later, after going to the park 2-3 times a week, he is up to 13 times around, 10 of which are running. He slowly increased how much he ran and also the number of times he went around, based on how he felt each day he went out. He has no goal other than getting healthier and losing a little weight in the process. After the first couple of weeks, he made a startling discovery: he had more energy overall. Yes, exercising still wipes him out right after he goes for his run, and he still hates it, but he feels more awake and “with it” than he did before he started moving more.
 
#TLBmoves is about getting started together. You can make it into becoming an Olympic athlete if you want. Or you can focus on being better able to keep up with your toddler. It’s up to you. Will you join me? 
 
It’s time for #TLBmoves!
 

 
Find support and inspiration in our closed group #TLBmoves here.  And join me on The Leaky Boob Facebook page, here; The Leaky Boob Community Facebook group, here; BeyondMoi.com and the Beyond Moi Facebook Page, here; and the Beyond Moi Community Facebook group (where we talk about just about anything and everything- particularly relationships), here.
 
#TLBmoves 2017 runs through the end of July, though a meaningful focus on how we get moving with our families is never really limited to a set of dates. We will be focusing on what inspires us in health and fitness, sharing meaningful experiences, opening up, posting ideas, and a lot of humor. All of this through the sharing of information, support, and most importantly, The Leaky Boob and Beyond Moi communities in action teaming up with you, our communities, and a few select brands we trust: Contours, Joovy, The Vintage Honey Shop, and Chunkabuns.
 
Be on the lookout for the hashtag: #TLBmoves (and start using it too!), Leaky guest posts, a vocal presence across social media (Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook), posts from our campaign ambassadors, relevant information and interactions on our sister site, BeyondMoi.com, inspiring support within our community, involvement from our campaign sponsors, giveaways, and informative articles.
 
Let’s explore health and moving together, with #TLBmoves. Oh, and enter our giveaway here

 

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Meet Our Ambassadors

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

 
 

Dominique Gallo

I am a Hampton Roads native currently residing in Roanoke County. I am a wife to a  L.E.O (Law Enforcement Officer) and mom to two beautiful girls, an energetic little boy,  and two fur babies. I was called to birth work because of the birth of my oldest. I had no support and was not able to make informed decisions– or any decisions for that matter!. I felt bullied and scared. From then on with a little helpful nudging from friends and family I decided to become a lactation consultant and a doula to make sure that mothers did not have to experience what I experienced. I have an undergrad degree in Community Health Education from Virginia Commonwealth University (Go Rams!) and currently finishing up a master’s degree in Health and Wellness: Lactation Consulting to further my knowledge in lactation. I am an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) , a professional doula trained by toLabor, and a child birth educator trained by Lamaze International.  I am the Director of Marketing for the United States Lactation Consultant Association (USLCA), and I also host a podcast, called Mocha Milkies Cafe, to help bring knowledge and awareness about breastfeeding and positive birth practices to African America women in my spare time. 


Ambar Gingerelli

Ambar Gingerelli is a wife + mama, life coach for new moms, and the creator of Mama Bird Well Nest, a blog dedicated to supporting mothers in creating happy and healthy lives. She helps mamas who are struggling to find balance learn to put themselves first so that they can have a positive experience of motherhood and feel deeply connected to themselves and their children. Ambar believes that true health comes from nurturing ourselves fully in mind, body, and spirit, and that it is vital for us to take great care of ourselves so that we are better able to care for our loved ones. You can connect with her on her blog, www.mamabirdwellnest.com and on her Instagram page, www.instagram.com/mamabirdwellnest. Check out her free yoga video series – an easy way to get moving!

 


Ashley Martin

Ashley Martin is a breastfeeding educator from the Chicagoland area. She the mama to one busy bee toddler and currently waiting on the arrival of her second seed.  Ashley is also the creator of Mommy & Moon, a blog dedicated to encouraging moms to cultivate a positive space for self love. She believes the key to motherhood is being resilient.

There is so much beauty in the resilience of a woman, both physically in mentally! We are strong! 

You can connect with Ashley on Instagram and through her blog, www.mommyandmoon.com

 

View More: http://yourstreetphotography.pass.us/martinwebberfamily1Jessica Martin-Weber

Drawing from a diverse background in the performing arts and midwifery, Jessica Martin-Weber supports women and families, creating spaces for open dialogue. Writer and speaker, Jessica is the creator of TheLeakyBoob.com, and co-creator of BeyondMoi.com. She co-parents her 6 daughters with her husband of 20 years and they are all looking forward to the addition of a new family member sometime this Fall.

 

 

 

 

Sara Smith

Sara Smith is a wife, mother, breastfeeding and education advocate, and community volunteer. After struggling to nurse her first child due to a lack of knowledge and community resources, she decided to continue her post-graduate education as a breastfeeding peer counselor and aims to provide breastfeeding support to families in her county once certified. Sara believes that evidence-based information is greatly empowering, especially when it comes to the health and well-being of new mothers and the babies that depend on them.  When Sara is not wrangling her two toddlers, she volunteers as the Co-Vice President and Co-Chair (and blogger) for the Arizona Breastfeeding Bag Project/Arizona Breastfeeding Bag Project – Mohave County, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing breastfeeding support bags to new and expecting mothers in Arizona. Follow her personal adventures with #TLBmoves on Instagram

 

Brianda Traylor.

Hey! I’m Brianda Traylor I am a proud mommy of a two year old girl named Olivia and twin 5 month old boys named Owen and Benjamin. My house is always chaotic but I love every minute of it. I work full time and I am always on the move with my little dragons (khaleesi reference). I am so happy to be apart of the #TLBMoves campaign and I hope I bring some love and light by sharing my chaos.  

 

 

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Meet Our Partners

We are so grateful to partner with brands who value the mission of The Leaky Boob and we trust to share with our community. Leakies themselves, the brands below have made caring for families with quality products that we can trust a priority, and they believe in the importance for us all to get moving in and beyond #TLBmoves. Check out the giveaway they’re sponsoring over here!


Contours Contours is a family-owned and family-operated company that has been developing baby products for more than 70 years, and we know that nothing is more important than family. Life is hectic, kids grow up fast, and every moment counts. Contours products are designed to make parents’ lives easier. Our strollers, carriers, and everything in between bring balance to their active lives with convenience and adaptability. Check out the Contours Love 3-in-1 baby carrier!

 

Joovy – Joovy is a U.S. born, lifestyle brand that brings innovative design concepts to the growing and dynamic baby accessory market.

Since 2005, Joovy has been dedicated to making mobility easier for growing families. Our mission is to provide parents with products that are both fun and functional with an emphasis on durability, utility, and on-trend design. Each of the products that we offer also takes your child’s comfort and safety into consideration, making it a product that the whole family enjoys.

Joovy’s collection of products has grown to five categories: strollers, feeding, playards, walkers, bikes/trikes/toys and accessories. Its attention to innovative designs and high quality at an affordable price sets it apart from the competition.

 


The Vintage Honey Shop – We are a handmade teething & nursing necklace company in Nashville, TN. Our necklaces help keep mama from being scratched & pinched during feeding time and provide relief when teething! You can also wear our necklaces while wearing your baby as they provide a focal point for your baby, giving them something to play with and grab onto while being close to your heart. Check out their teething and nursing necklaces!

 

Chunkabuns – Like every great idea, Chunkabuns began with a mission in mind: to solve the Fluffy Bottomed Baby epidemic once and for all. Chunkabuns is the passion project of a cloth-diapering mom who struggled to find clothing that fit comfortably around cloth diapers while still looking good. After two years of research, redesign, and product testing, Chunkabuns is proud to offer a unique, quality solution for parents using non-disposable cloth diapers that will grow right alongside your baby! But that’s not all – they have also developed fun and inspiring shirts and other items of clothing for everyone in the family! Check out Chunkabuns tops here!

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Lucky #7 Celebration and Giveaway!

It’s The Leaky Boob’s 7th birthday! And TLB founder and community manager, Jessica, and her family is expecting baby #7! With so much to celebrate, we decided to make a big thing of it.

We kicked it off with a Facebook Live Stream featuring our entire family, all 8 of us, on camera, taking turns sharing tips on how to help prepare your children for a new sibling. In case you missed that surprisingly moderately rambunctious event, you can watch it here

About half way through that Live Stream, we shared a special video announcing our family’s exciting news, thanks to our friends at Snugabell Mom & Baby Gear and My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear. It features our whole family, a touch of nostalgia, stuffed animals dancing the Macarena, a game full of laughter where apparently dice give birth to baby dice, and a pumping bra demonstration, among other things. 

This Live Stream offered us the opportunity to talk about a number of great products too,  and a few brands even surprised us with a surprise gift just to help us celebrate our Lucky #7! Thank you so much My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear, Ameda, Chunkabuns, and Molly’s Suds for the surprise gifts! 

Heartfelt thanks also to My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear and Snugabell Mom & Baby Gear, as well as Bamboobies, Bella Materna, Chunkabuns, Earth Mama Angel Baby, Evenflo Feeding, Pariday, and UpSpring, for making this Live Stream possible. 

And that was the kick off of 7 days of a huge group giveaway for The Leaky Boob community: 

7 prize bundles
7 winners
7×4 brands featured
$7000 of prizes (actually over $9000)
for 7 days

Along with our Live Stream brands, we thank the following companies for their support of The Leaky Boob and their participation in this Lucky #7 celebration giveaway: Ameda, 5 Phases, Baby K’tan, Belibea, Chompy Chic Chewlery, Euphoric Herbals, Flora Inc, Freja Toys, Glamourmom, Kanga Care, Lansinoh, Milkin’ Cookies, Momzelle, Onya Baby, organicKidz, Snuggle Me Organic, The Dairy Fairy, and Wean Green

Check out more information on all the wonderful giveaway brands and prizes below, and make sure to enter the giveaway near the bottom of this post.

 

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TLB’s Lucky #7 Giveaway

 

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Brands that sponsored the Pregnancy Announcement video: 

Snugabell Mom & Baby Gear
Born out of one mom’s desire to pump breastmilk so she could focus on running her small business while others fed her daughters, without forgoing style for efficiency, Wendy put her years in the apparel industry to good use and designed her own pumping bra! 10 years later the PumpEase is now one of many in Snugabell’s product line, and Wendy also manages an online community of support, encouragement, and tips, as well as the Snugabell Milk Money Grant Program, which funds grassroots breastfeeding support initiatives. 

 

PumpEase Hands-Free Pumping Bra (all bundles): Can I just say how much we love that PumpEase has a new print that looks like it’s inspired by The Leaky Boob’s logo? The PumpEase is your fashionable AND functional solution for pumping while doing just about anything you might want to do while you sit and let the PumpEase hold your pump flanges in place for you. Look mom, no hands! RV (Retail Value): $38

Additionally, receive $7 off the PumpEase at www.snugabell.com, amazon.com, and amazon.ca using code: TLBLUCKY (valid through 5/31/17, listing must state “Sold by Snugabell Mom & Baby Gear and Fulfilled by Amazon” for the code to work)

 

My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear
My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear is the product of a sonograph tech that recognized how much people love to be able to hear their baby’s heartbeat. And after noticing how enthusiastic these families were over being able to take a recording of that heartbeat home with them in a little stuffed animal, Purusha just knew that she had to be a part of it. Now with dozens of animals to choose from, the amount of cuteness is overwhelming! Meet one of the newest additions to the My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear family, as well as a couple other products featured in this giveaway: 

Vintage Sloth (select bundles): Adorable stuffed animals that contain a red heart recorder for 20 seconds of precious and comforting sound: your baby’s heartbeat. And now that our babies have gotten older, they have a special and unique message from their parents recorded so they can hear it whenever they need it. RV: $39.99

“SAVE the Midwives” Woven Wrap (select bundles): 5 of our 6 babies were born at home and we are planning a home birth for “Lucky” too, so we LOVE our midwives. This wrap with a message is 40% hemp, and 60% cotton, an exclusive made by “Natibaby” and balances elegance with functionality and support. Our new baby’s first wrap! RV:$125

My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear Mei Tai (select bundles): made by Babyhawk, this charcoal gray, Asian style baby carrier works great for infants and toddlers. We’re looking forward to trying it out with our little one. RV: $75

 

 

 

 

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Brands that sponsored the Facebook Live Stream:

Bamboobies
Bamboobies Multi-Pack (all bundles): These are some of my favorite breast pads. Their heart shape is not only adorable, it allows for easy moulding to all kinds of breast shapes – which, let’s face it, applies to our own breasts all the time while breastfeeding. Very absorbent, they come in two different types: day and night, so you can always have that soft velour on your skin. Bamboobies has got your front! RV: $24.99

 

 

Bella Materna 
Sexy T-Shirt Nursing Bra (select bundles): Yes, you can wear a nursing bra that honors both the baby feeding and the sexy sides of your breasts! This elegant bra features safe underwire and sizes up to I cup. RV: $64

Choice Full Bra Support Camisole (select bundles): Comfort, support, wire-free built-in bra (up to a K cup), good for breastfeeding and pumping, maternity and nursing, this Bella Materna cami is versatile and comfy! RV: $64

 

Chunkabuns
Savvy Pants, size 9M-24M (all bundles): These cute pants have plenty of room for children in cloth diapers, but the best feature is definitely the grow-with-me cuffs and waist – the pants grow with your baby! Forget about pants that only last a season: these pants will last you a couple years! RV: $49.95

Handy Bands (all bundles): What do you do when your baby outgrows their diapers? Expand them with these Handy Bands! And check out other cool uses for these here (for mom too!). RV: $9.95

 

 

Earth Mama Angel Baby
Pregnancy Essentials Bundle (select bundles): An extraordinary natural gift for a special pregnant mama, this bundle of Earth Mama Angel Baby products is filled with everything to help ease pregnancy’s common discomforts, from worried head to urpy belly! RV: $25.95

Additionally, receive 20% off purchases at earthmama.com using code: LuckyLeaky7 (for regularly priced items. Excludes bundles and kits. Valid until 5/12/17 for US orders only)

 

 

 

Evenflo Feeding
Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump (select bundles): Can quality and affordability be found in a breast pump? My friends at Evenflo Feeding believe it should be a reality. This pump has everything you’re looking for: closed system, independent speed and suction control, multiple flange sizes included in the box, and a low price point. RV: $86.99

 

 

 

Pariday
Pariday TendHer Pillows + Pillowcases (all bundles): find some relief from early breastfeeding discomfort with these re-usable gel packs & sleeves. A little cooling therapy for your breasts! Also works as stress relief balls, as demonstrated by my children during the Live Stream! RV: $24.99

Additionally, receive 15% off any order over $25 at www.pariday.com using code: TLBLUCKY7

 

UpSpring
UpSpring Prenatal Gummies + Soft Gel (all bundles): Even though we’re fairly relaxed about taking supplements most of the time, when it comes to growing a baby we want to make sure both mom and baby are getting what they need – especially since HG makes balanced nutrition a real challenge for us. UpSpring supplements are not only free of artificial ingredients, gluten-free, and non GMO, they also taste good, and of course, they are full of the nutrients you’re looking for. RV: $24.99

Additionally, receive 25% off Prenatal gummies or tablets at www.upspringbaby.com using code: LEAKYBOOB7 at checkout (expires 5/2/17)

 

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Brands that surprised us with a Special Gift in the Facebook Live Stream:

My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear
Not only has Purusha kept our kids spoiled with all the cuddly plush they could want (including the new Vintage Sloth – so cute) with personal messages from their mommy and daddy, she also sent us one of the “SAVE the Midwives” woven wrap (she knows how much I respect midwives!), as well as a My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear Mei Tai, for us to discover with you during the Live Stream. Thank you so much! More information on all of these products above. 

Ameda
Our friend Vicki knows that there’s way more to parenting than keeping littles fed, changed, bathed, and rested. They need stimulation and connection! And so we just love that Vicki surprised us with a family game. Ameda is not only there for your pumping needs, they support your journey as a mom. Thanks, Ameda! 

Chunkabuns
I got to meet Angie earlier this year, and she loves getting creative with baby clothes, which explains the Savvy Pants that grow with your baby, the Handi-Bands that expand your baby’s diapers, and the shirt I was wearing during the Live Stream that read “Mom Strong” and that has a matching shirt for baby that reads “Strong Like Mommy.” Angie surprised us with a set of custom-made T-shirts for our 6, I mean, 7 kids! “Big Sister” for our 6 girls, and “Hello World” in html for the baby that’s coming! So cute! Check out Chunkabuns custom T-shirt ideas for your family! 

Molly’s Suds
We know Molly’s Suds for their great laundry soap options. Time for us to get our cloth diaper stash out and get them ready! Thank goodness we didn’t give them all away. Molly’s Suds surprised us with wool dryer balls during the Live Stream. Wool dryer balls are a great alternative to fabric softener, and we were in need of replacing the ones that disappeared on us a little while ago. Thank you! Check out Molly’s Suds tips on reducing static cling here

 

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Brands celebrating Lucky #7 with the Group Giveaway:

5 Phases Hybrid Glass Baby Bottles include a recyclable plastic sleeve that guards against  (and contains) breakage. The environmentally-friendly 4 oz glass inserts can also be used for baby food storage when they transition away from the bottle. RV: $18.99 (all bundles)

 

 

 

Ameda Cool’N Carry Tote is helpful for discreetly and safely cooling and transporting breast milk whether for work, daycare, and/or away from your baby. Insulated, easy-to-clean, it holds up to six Ameda Breast Milk Storage bottles. RV: $29.99 (all bundles)

 

Ameda ComfortGel Extended-Use Hydrogel Pads for the soothing, cooling relief and protection from nipple pain or trauma related to breastfeeding, keeping the area moist. Reusable, discreet, they fit securely inside most nursing bras. RV: $14.99 (all bundles)

 

 

 

Belibea Nourish nursing, pumping, and everything-in-between bra was designed with the flexibility of the modern mom in mind. It’s convenience and comfort wrapped up in one bra that lets you do it all! RV: $49.95 (all bundles)

 

 

 

 

Chompy Chic Chewlery Nursing/Teething Necklace are perfect for fidgety baby hands at the breast and sore gums when those little chompers make their challenging appearance. And they look cute on mom too! RV: $25 (all bundles) 

Additionally, receive 20% off purchases at www.chompychic.com using code: Leakyboob

 

 

 

Flora, Inc is the brand I turn to when my body needs a boost of iron – near the end of each of my pregnancies. Their Floradix Iron + Herbs is a liquid iron supplement specially formulated for its high absorption rate, and my body loves it. RV: $26.79 (all bundles)

 

 

 

Freja Toys makes the cutest crocheted toys! Handmade in Ukraine of 100% cotton yarn and hypoallergenic polyester filling, this set of adorable veggies is sure to take your baby’s play time to a whole new level of cute! RV: $28.50 (all bundles)

 

 

Glamourmom nursingwear is designed for full support and easy breast access while keeping your postpartum belly covered. Their $25 gift certificate is sure to get you at their options in body type, color, length and adjustability. RV: $25 (all bundles)

Additionally, receive 15% off purchases at www.glamourmom.com checkout using code: LB4417 (offer ends 7/1/17)

 

Milkin’ Cookies were created by 2 frazzled sleep-deprived physicians who saw a decrease in their milk supply. It only took them 35 tries to create delicious lactation cookies! Yum! A 14-day supply with your choice of flavor is yours for the winning. RV: $28 (all bundles) 

 

 

 

Momzelle “Nora” Nursing Dress is the summer dress you’re looking for! It looks like denim, but feels so soft. I love Momzelle’s styles and their desire to help mothers feel confident and comfortable breastfeeding anywhere. RV: $82 (all bundles)

Additionally, receive 20% off regular priced items at www.momzelle.com using code: MOMMY20

 

 

Onya Baby keeps you on-the-go with The Pure carrier. Lightweight, breathable, and easy to use, its front panel rolls up and tucks away to reveal soft 3D Hex mesh which helps wick away moisture and keep you both cool on hot days. RV: $129 (all bundles)

Additionally, receive 15% off all orders at www.onyababy.com using code: LoveOnya

 

 

 

organicKidz Baby Grows Up Gift Set has everything you need to transition your baby from bottle feeding to sip cup to water bottle by a simple switch of accessories in the kit. Their stainless steel recyclable bottle grows with your baby! RV: $25 (all bundles)

 

 

Snuggle Me Organic Cosleeping Baby Lounger is like a sleep cloud for your newborn to 6 month-old. It’s made in the USA, midwife recommended, in a family run business owned by a woman – just the kind of work and product I like to support! RV: $140 (all bundles) 

 

 

 

 

Wean Green tempered glass food storage containers are a staple in our kids’ daily lunches. They’re just so practical, durable, and colorful! The Baby Starter Set includes 3 basic sized to prepare, store, and serve homemade baby food. RV: $29.99 (all bundles) 

 

 

Baby K’Tan Carrier is a “ready-to-wear” wrap that that functions as a sling, wrap, and baby carrier, without wrapping or buckling! Just slip it on like a T-shirt! Designed for children with special needs, it fits babies up to 35 pounds. RV: $49.95 (select bundles)

 

 

 

Euphoric Herbals offers handcrafted herbal products from the heart of a doula for comfort and healing before and after birth with their Pregnancy & Postpartum Set, Herbal Postpartum Set, and $50 Gift Certificate. RV: $135 (select bundles)

Additionally, receive 15% off purchases at www.euphoricherbals.com using code: TLB7

 

Kanga Care cloth diaper experts bring us their Rumparooz: in vibrant styles and colors, these one-size cloth diapers fit babies from birth to potty training (6 to 35+ lbs)! Their 6 customizable absorbency settings keep leaks in check. RV: $25.95 (select bundles) 

Additionally, receive 10% off one purchase at www.kangacare.com using code: KCLUCK7 (offer ends 5/31/17)

 

 

Lansinoh‘s new Smartpump Double Electric Breastpump uses Bluetooth technology to connect seamlessly to the Lansinoh Baby App to track pumping sessions and more! Its closed system features 3 customizable pumping styles. RV: $219.99 (select bundles)

 

 

 

The Dairy Fairy Ayla is one of my favorite nursing/pumping bras – and now one of my teens’ favorite too! Its ingenious design is accommodating to fluctuating breast size, and manages to be elegant and sexy too. RV: $54 (select bundles) 

 

 

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*My Body* On Demand

by Jessica Martin-Weber

Content Note

This piece focuses on sexual assault and includes discussion and detailed description of birth including birth trauma, anxiety, and mention of sexual assault.


The sweet smell of a new baby was more intoxicating than I had imagined. My heart swelled every time I held her, I thought I had known love, this was even more. Joy, relief, peace, total contentment.

It had been a difficult pregnancy and an even more difficult birth. So often, most of the time, I felt completely out of control as though I had no say over my body or what happened to me. Spending hours and hours reading text books, reading personal accounts, absorbing all the literature I could on pregnancy and birth, I had taken advantage of every resources I could to be prepared. Long ago I had found that learning as much as I could about an experience I was facing helped me feel less out of control and more calm. It helped me to think rationally, ask informed questions, and make decisions that didn’t seem desperate. So I managed better than I expected with the sense of lack of control and autonomy. Reading and listening to the stories of others that had traversed the path of parenthood through pregnancy and birth before me, I understood that modesty might fly out the window, that decisions may need to be made quickly, that plans may need to be altered for life saving measures.

As a sexual assault survivor who was still processing and recovering, I saw a therapist regularly, journaled, and read materials on sexual assault survivors giving birth. It was important to me that my birth partner- my husband and my birth team be aware that I was a survivor and that consent was particularly important to me for any touching. We were all prepared.

But in the end it wasn’t the pregnancy and birth that brought anxiety flooding back for me as I became a mother for the first time. It wasn’t the incessant vomiting, multiple hospitalizations for hydration, the numerous failed IV placement attempts, the premature rupture of membranes at 32 weeks and the rushed amniocentesis without anything to numb the insertion of the largest needle ever to enter my body, the diagnosis of asymmetrical IUGR, the weeks of steroids, or the diagnosis of pre-e that made me feel that I had no say over what happened to my body. Even when we had to fight in the hospital for certain accommodations to help me relax in labor I didn’t feel out of control. And when an episiotomy was performed without my consent I was angry but at the time accepted it was necessary (it wasn’t but I made peace with it). Not even when my doctor shoved her arm up inside me to her elbow to manually scrape out my uterus and perform an extraction of my partially retained placenta when I was hemorrhaging, not even then did I feel that my autonomy was threatened.

It wasn’t until a few days later, at home, as my milk flooded my breasts making them hot and swollen and my baby suddenly was desperately and constantly in demand of my breasts that I experienced my first panic attack.

Feed on demand.

sexual assault survivor breastfeeding

I wanted to run away. I wanted to say no. I felt trapped and stuck and completely at the mercy of another human being.

Every time she rooted or fussed, her little mouth searching, I felt it wash over me.

Feed on demand.

Those 3 words were the sentence that thrust me back to when someone else had the control, the say, and all the power over my body. Their hands, their mouth, their fingers, their body probing mine and demanding what they wanted from me. I had no say, I was overpowered. And later, in another context, there was a charade of my own power but if I truly loved them, truly trusted them, I would give my body over to their demands, because that was what love did, even if it hurt. Love meant obligation.

Feed on demand.

But this was my baby. The greatest love I had ever known. And this wasn’t sexual, this was nurturing and caring, this was mothering.

What was wrong with me? Why did I feel like this?

Feed on demand.

This other person outside of myself had all the say over my body. She had the right to demand my body and I had to give it to her or I was failing in loving her fully and in giving her what she deserved. Her right to my milk was so much more important than my right to my body, what kind of mother would I be to deny her demands?

Feed on demand.

I loved her. I was obligated to her. I would do anything for her.

So I would expose my breast to her demanding mouth. I would draw her close through her demanding cries. I would try to control my reaction as her suck demanded my milk. I offered myself to her demands because she mattered more than me.

Feed on demand.

Utilizing breathing exercises I had practiced for labor and staring up at the ceiling as I ran through songs in my head trying to distract myself from the anxiety that clawed at my throat as she suckled at my breast. I got through weeks and weeks of feeds. Months. I was loving her, I told myself. Love required sacrifice, motherhood is full of sacrifices. I would meet her demands for my body because I loved her.

Feed on demand.

Mommy and Arden bfing hand kiss

Eventually it got easier for me. I didn’t stay stuck there and I even found feeding my baby to be a healing experience. As she grew our relationship developed and I could look into her eyes as I fed her, her contented sighs and complete trust helping my anxiety to subside. I’m sure oxytocin helped too. But personally, it was having the option to always say no by instead offering a bottle of breastmilk that helped me find the autonomy I had in saying yes too. It took time but slowly I was able to reframe what was happening.

I wasn’t losing control of my body to a demanding, controlling, abusive person in an imbalanced relationship that was causing me pain. No, my baby was dependent on me and powerless herself as an infant. I was choosing to respond to her and care for her needs.

I no longer saw it as feeding on demand but rather responsive feeding. Responding to her cues and cries for me, the safest person she knew. She was safe for me too.

Love is responsive.

Responsive feeding. Feeding with love.

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Drawing from a diverse background in the performing arts and midwifery, Jessica Martin-Weber supports women and families, creating spaces for open dialogue. Writer and speaker, Jessica is the creator of TheLeakyBoob.com, co-creator of BeyondMoi.com, and creator and author of the children’s book and community of What Love Tastes Like, supporter of A Girl With A View, and co-founder of Milk: An Infant Feeding Conference. She co-parents her 6 daughters with her husband of 19 years and is currently writing her first creative non-fiction book.
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Father of 6 Shares: Breastfeeding, Bonding, and the Non-Breastfeeding Parent

by Jeremy Martin-Weber

This post made possible by the support of EvenFlo Feeding

Brand-Ad_29APR16________________________

Six times now I have seen my babies experience the sweet bonding power of breastfeeding with their mother. Six times I have marveled at their connection. Six times, in spite of the struggles that accompany the breastfeeding journey, in spite of the pain, the latch issues, the horror of mastitis, the mystery of blebs, the touch fatigue that comes with nursing every couple hours, I have watched these nourishing moments of intimacy with a mix of appreciative awe, compassion for the struggle, and jealousy.

Even though I understand and accept the natural way of things, that women are equipped both with the ability to grow and nourish a baby inside their body and the ability to nourish that baby outside their body, and that men – how should I put this? – aren’t; even though I know this to be a fact of the human experience, I see the connection between them both before birth and after with a twinge of envy.

Especially with our first, I even wondered if I should just accept that my chance to bond with my baby would come… later. Probably months later. Hopefully no more than a year or two. It’s even harder when the baby obviously prefers their mother. We had one of those. I tried not to take it personally. I decided to be present and patiently wait for her to come around, and she did. Eventually.

We’ve all heard just how important it is for babies to bond with their mother, and we also hear how important it is for kids to have both parents involved in their lives as they grow up (for those who happen to have two parents). This implies that it’s essential for both parents to bond with their little ones. So how does the non-breastfeeding parent get started, especially when it seems that their babies only seem to need one parent: the one with the leaky boobs?

Because the breastfeeding parent naturally needs to spend more time with their baby than their non-breastfeeding partner (babies eat all day, after all), it can be very helpful for them to take deliberate steps to help the other parent connect with their baby. Even though it may be easier to just do everything yourself, and indeed, our culture still encourages moms to think that they should be able to do it all, so there is a level of responsibility and personal pride that comes along with not needing your partner to help at all (and guilt if you don’t do it all), that kind of attitude only serves to speed up your own burn-out and to hinder your partner from being an equal parent. It requires intention to share the responsibility of caring for a baby. Here are some ideas to get you started based on some of the helpful ways that Jessica encouraged me to bond with our babies:

  1. Invite your partner to join the snuggle.

I never wanted to intrude on the intimate moments when Jessica and our baby were cozied up on the couch, mouth to boob, staring into each other’s eyes. It was so magical, and I didn’t want to break the spell, or distract them from their moment. A simple invitation from the breastfeeding parent is enough to change it from an intimate moment with that parent and the baby to an intimate family moment. Your first family portrait etched into all 3 of your memories. You’ll be working on intentionally welcoming each other into all sorts of situations for years to come (like when you’re on the toilet, or when you thought you were going to have a private intimate moment with just your partner), so why not get started right away? I had heard enough about sacred motherhood and the importance of the baby bonding to its mother that I needed an invitation to be a part of it. Maybe your partner does too.

  1. Offer for your partner to burp the baby.

Inviting your partner to burp your baby after nursing is a great way to get them involved and give yourself a little break from the constant skin-to-skin contact from that cuddly hot water baby. Sure it may seem easier to do it yourself since you’re right there but if you share the experience you might have a chance to get up to pee, or just to stand up and stretch. And if your baby can’t go without that skin-to-skin, invite your partner to lose a layer or two. For your partner, burping their baby is an opportunity to unlock that natural baby-holding sway. Pretty soon they’ll be practically dancing (it happened to me, and I’m not much of a dancer). And you can enjoy the sight of them bonding together.

  1. Share the other baby care responsibilities with your partner.

Once you’ve shared the responsibility of burping the baby, you’re ready to encourage your partner to take on other baby related tasks, like bathing them, dressing them, and cleaning that umbilical cord. Of course, there’s no reason for the 3 of you not to share those special moments together too.

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  1. Share the secret of diaper changing fun.

In many ways, diaper changes represent the last stand of traditional parenting roles. Guys willing to do all sorts of things for their wives and children still draw the line at diaper changes. What those dads miss entirely is that changing a diaper doesn’t have to be about changing the diaper at all. It’s a necessary task that provides the opportunity for special parent-baby time. Most anything can be turned into a game, and any event can be a bonding moment if that is the intent. Diaper changes can either be a disgusting obligation, or play time with your baby! Pee and poop, or fun and games. It’s time to let your partner in on the secret. You may have to model it like Jessica did for me. But once I understood it, I was hooked on diaper changing fun.

  1. Encourage your partner to hang out with their baby  

There is definitely something special about mother & baby time. But the part I used to downplay in my mind is that there is also something very special about babies connecting with their other parent. Encourage your partner often to hold your baby, their baby: to babywear, to cuddle, to take a nap together, to hang out in the rocking chair, etc. Bonding happens through time spent together. Your partner needs some of that time too!

  1. Spend a little quality time with your pump

This isn’t a necessary one and it is totally possible for bonding to happen without any participation in baby feeding- until introducing solids, invite your partner in on that fun for sure! But if you’re going to be pumping anyway to return to work or to have the occasional bottle for you to go out, this could be one way to give your non-breastfeeding partner the chance to participate. I loved every opportunity I was provided to give our babies a bottle, and, for my partner who gets overstimulated by touch very easily, sometimes it was just to provide her a break from all that physical contact that could get a bit overwhelming. You determine how often it will work for you – whatever the frequency, it’s such a special opportunity for your partner to connect with your baby.

  1. Ask for help and then back off

Sometimes our greatest enemy is ourselves. This is so true when one partner claims ownership of certain responsibilities. Our natural tendency is to want to make sure that the job is executed up to our standards, even when we “allow” others to do it for us. We want to control the outcome. We micromanage. We say too much. We follow too closely. We watch incessantly. We are ready to jump in (or take over) at the first hint of hesitation. And we get stressed out, anxious, and even angry, when things don’t run  by our definition of “smoothly”. This approach to letting your partner help does the exact opposite of building up their confidence. It may discourage them from even trying to be involved. And you may end up resenting an uninvolved partner that you had a role in creating. For your partner to really bond with your baby (and by “your” I mean theirs and yours), you have to really want your partner to be involved. That means you have to get out of the way. They may not do things exactly like you do, and that’s ok. Give them space, provide information when necessary, trust that they have their own parenting instincts, that they will ask you when they can’t figure things out, and that they will find their own parenting groove.

  1. Enjoy the view and tell your partner about it

Jessica has told me through the years that she loves seeing me with our kids. She loves it when they’re babies, and continues to love it as they get older, all the way up to high school! She says that the way I interact with our kids makes her love me even more. Somehow me bonding with our children brings us closer together as a couple. And it’s sexy. Not that my interactions with my children are sexy, but that she thinks I’m sexy when I connect with our children. And hearing her say how much she appreciates the view, I mean, my efforts, boosts my confidence and encourages me to keep at it.

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View More: http://yourstreetphotography.pass.us/martinwebberfamily1

Jeremy Martin-Weber is the proud father of 6 inspiring girls, and is 20 years into a love story with his partner, Jessica Martin-Weber.

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Picking Bottle Nipples for the Breastfed Baby

With Amy Peterson, IBCLC

This post made possible by the support of EvenFlo Feeding

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Lots of breastfed babies will also use a bottle. Most of us have heard that introducing a bottle can potentially have a negative impact on the breastfeeding relationship. But thankfully, we can control these risks.

Lower risks

Latch:  The way your baby latches on the breast needs to be similar to the bottle. Look at your baby while s/he is feeding at your breast.  Notice how the bottom lip flares, and the top lip rests in a neutral position. Observe how the corners of the mouth seal on the breast, and how milk doesn’t leak from the lips while baby feeds. Pull down baby’s lip slightly and see the baby’s tongue cup or curves around your nipple. We look for these same characteristics when baby sucks on a bottle nipple.

gradual wide leaking bad

Not a good latch: Averted gaze (no eye contact), top lip rolled in, leaking at corners, latched more toward the tip.

wide abrupt good no leak

Decent Latch: Eye contact, flared lips, deep latch near collar of bottle, relaxed posture, no leaking at corners.

 

Flow preference: You want your baby to prefer the flow of your breast over the flow of a bottle. There is no standard flow rate for bottle nipples, so you might have to try more than one bottle to find a similar swallow pattern. Most babies will use a slow flow nipple, but slow flow isn’t best for every baby–match your own flow. For detailed information, Balancing Breast and Bottle lists bottle flow rates in Appendix C.

Milk supply:  Anytime the baby takes 2 ounces from the bottle, ideally you will be able to pump this amount so your body knows how much your baby is taking and can maintain your supply. But don’t worry if you don’t pump exactly what your baby eats every time, baby is likely more effective at removing milk from your breast than a pump will be. Adding a pumping session may be necessary to ensure you’re producing the amount needed for your child’s bottle feed.

 

breastfeeding and bottle feeding

Good latch: Eye contact, flared top and bottom lips, no leaking, medium depth latch, relaxed posture.

 

Reduce risks by picking a nipple shape

One way to reduce bottle risks is in choosing the nipple shape we use to bottle-feed our baby.

Nipples have three general shapes: narrow, wide-abrupt, and wide-gradual.  

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Narrow neck nipples fit narrow neck bottles, and most have a gradual transition from nipple length to base where the baby’s lips can slide easily to latch deeply.

Wide neck nipples fit wide neck bottles.  Wide, abrupt shapes have an abrupt transition (like a 90 degree angle) between the nipple length and nipple base. Make sure your baby is able to rest their lips opened widely on the nipple base, not suck on the nipple length like a straw. Also, make sure your baby is able to fully seal the lips without gaps in the corners of the mouth.

Wide, gradual shapes gradually blend from the nipple length to the base. This shape may help the baby’s lips to rest on a portion of the base, and help the lips to form a complete seal. Make sure your baby is able to keep the nipple inserted deeply during feeding, rather than sliding down to the tip of the nipple.

 

Best does not exist

Different bottle nipple shapes work for different babies. One bottle will not be best for all babies, but you can find which bottle is best for your baby.  Therefore, beware of marketing and packaging claims. You’ve probably noticed many bottles claim to be best for breastfed babies, or to look just like the breast. But neither of these statements matters. How your baby latches onto the bottle nipple matters, not the packaging claims. You have found the right nipple when the nipple tip reaches deeply into the baby’s mouth; tongue cups the nipple; lips open widely and rest on a portion of the base; lips form a complete seal.

Additionally, now that you know that one bottle will not be best for every baby, don’t be swayed when you hear which bottle is “best” from other moms; what’s best for their baby might be terrible for your baby. You will need to look at your baby’s latch and then decide.

Picking bottle nipples - evenflo cobranded

Buying bottles

If you are having trouble finding a bottle your baby accepts, make sure you have tried all three types: narrow, wide-abrupt, and wide-gradual.  A lot of moms tend to buy various bottles marketed for breastfed babies, and then end up with a bunch of wide-abrupt shapes. Make sure you try the other shapes.

Chances are you will own more than one type of bottle, either bottles you have experimented with, or baby shower gifts that your baby can’t achieve a good latch with. Don’t despair.  As your baby grows, the mouth grows as well.  Nipples that do not work for young babies often work well when the baby’s mouth is bigger, say 4 months or so. Feel free to try the other nipples you have when your baby is older, and check the latch again.

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Amy Peterson is a mom of 4, IBCLC, Early Intervention coordinator, and retired LLL Leader. She works alongside a speech-language pathologist, and together they co-authored Balancing Breast and Bottle: Reaching Your Breastfeeding Goals. They have also written a series of tear-of sheets available through Noodle Soup: Introducing a bottle to your full-term breastfed baby, Pumping for your breastfed baby, Pacifiers and the breastfed baby, and Bottle pacing for the young breastfed baby. Amy’s passion is helping others find fulfillment and confidence in parenting, regardless of feeding method. Visit Amy’s website at breastandbottlefeeding.com.
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#TLBloves Giveaway- Share the Love

by Ophélia Martin-Weber

Humans have a deep need to connect with each other, forming bonds and experiencing love. But it isn’t always easy and sometimes it is downright confusing to be in relationship with others. With #TLBloves, we aim to provide families with community support through information sharing, narrative, and personal challenges, all free of judgment.

#TLBloves 2017 Giveaway Bundle includes items from Indigo Willow Breast Milk Jewelry & Keepsakes (our amazing Title Sponsor), Dressed to Deliver, Evenflo, Naked Nursing Tank, Nova Natural, and Silverette!!

 

The giveaway!

 

Indigo Willow Breast Milk Jewelry & Keepsakes, Title Sponsor

Indigo Willow logo

Indigo Willow Breast Milk Jewelry & Keepsakes is offering not one, but 4 of their exquisite pieces of breast milk jewelry to 4 lucky Leakies (one per winner). The Clair de Lune Breast Milk Ring (their most popular ring, featured in the Grand Prize), the Love You Infinity Breast Milk Necklace, a choice of any of their 5 Breast Milk Heart Charms, and a simple but beautiful Mini Breast Milk Pearl.

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1. The Clair de Lune Breast Milk Ring from Indigo Willow features a center breast milk stone made using a mother’s own milk and is perfectly faceted like a high-shine diamond. The stone is surrounded by a cubic zirconia halo and a filigree pattern and the scroll work in this ring is delicate and open for a very feminine feel. The base of the ring is a sterling silver coated with a high-grade, anti-tarnish rhodium plating for added protection.
Retail Value: $377

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2. The Love You Infinity Breast Milk Necklace is one of Indigo Willow’s signature pieces and features a few unique design details. The sterling silver infinity shape with hearts gives this unique necklace its name. It includes a high gloss breast milk pearl and your choice of one sterling silver Swarovski crystal birthstone. This necklace also features two sterling silver hearts in back to allow you to extend or decrease the length of this necklace.
Retail Value: $259

 

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3. The Breast Milk Heart Charms from Indigo Willow are made using a mother’s own precious breast milk and are finished with a sterling silver ring to allow it to hang freely from a necklace or traditional charm bracelet. Choose one of any of these 5 beautiful designs!
Retail Value: $179

 

 

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4. Simple and beautiful, this high-gloss pearl from Indigo Willow is sure to please. This little pearl is made using a mother’s own breast milk and is finished with a sterling silver bail and a ring to allow it to hang freely from a necklace.
Retail Value: $189

 

 

For more information, visit Indigo Willow Breast Milk Jewelry & Keepsakes

 

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#TLBloves 2017 Giveaway

From Top to Bottom, Left to Right: luxury bamboo Naked Nursing Tank, Indigo Willow Clair de Lune breastmilk ring, Nova Natural Wool Hood & Cuddle Doll & Rainbow Bead Toy, Evenflo Balance & Wide-Neck Bottles, Silverette nursing covers, Dressed to Deliver Birthing Gown & Nursing BabeCover

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Dressed to Deliver

Dressed to Deliver logo

Dressed to Deliver’s premiere product: the 3-in-1 Birthing Gown, was created with the birthing mother in mind! If you are already in your last few months of pregnancy you know what it feels like when your legs are swollen and most of your clothes feel so restricting & many fabrics make your skin itch! That’s why we created our 3-in-1 gowns from extremely soft and luxurious bamboo fabric that is so flattering, you can wear it as a maternity dress.

dressed to deliver birthing gown

Its empire waist allows comfort for your beautiful expanding belly. If you want to feel more like yourself and not a patient; if you want to comfortably and easily do skin-to-skin and be able to breastfeed immediately after your new bundle is born, without the clumsy mess of the hospital gown – then Dressed to Deliver’s Birthing Gown is a perfect OPTION for YOU!  Our gowns are hospital approved and allow for immediate skin-to-skin and nursing this with snaps on the shoulder that allows for easy access and if you need an IV it won’t get tangled up!
Retail Value: $65, but our Leakies can get theirs for $39.99 here! 

 

dressed to deliver babe cover

 

 

Our Nursing BabeCovers  are also a mom favorite since they are so versatile! Wear as a scarf, for nursing, as a carseat cover and shopping cart cover!
Retail Value: $35, but Leakies can grab theirs for $25 plus free shipping here!

 

 

Evenflo-Feeding-Logo

Designed to support healthy bottle-feeding without interfering with mom’s personal breast-feeding journey, we’ve developed a unique and intentional nipple shape to allow for a proper latch along with an adjusted flow rate that promotes a comfortable drinking pace for baby. These are key components for moms that will be breast and bottle-feeding. This gentle feeding system also comes with our patented Proflo™ venting technology that reduces the potential for colic, reflux, gas and fussiness. To help take the guesswork out of feeding your little one the Evenflo Balance + Wide Neck Bottles have molded measurement markers in both ounces and milliliters to provide and easy and accurate way to measure the volume of liquids without the risk of the measurements washing off.

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To help take the guesswork out of feeding your little one the Evenflo Balance + Wide Neck Bottles have molded measurement markers in both ounces and milliliters to provide an easy and accurate way to measure the volume of liquids without the risk of the measurements washing off. An added bonus is that you can pump directly into these wide neck bottles with the use of the Evenflo Balance + Pump Adapter (sold separately) for added convenience. Rest assured that our bottles are 100% free of BPA, polycarbonates, PVC and phthalates and are made of FDA approved food grade material.
Retail Value: $12.99 (3 pack)

 

Nova Natural Toys and Crafts

Nova logo 2 lines

Rainbow Grasping - Nova Naturals

 

The Rainbow Grasping Toy is an engaging cluster of rainbow beads serves as a grasping toy and a teething toy. The Brightly colored beads roll against and around one another on an elastic band. This wooden toy is finished with non-toxic stains, so it’s safe for your baby to explore with his hands or mouth.
Retail Value: $20

 

Cuddle dolls - nova Naturals

The Cuddle Doll‘s cotton body and wool stuffing make this the perfect first Waldorf doll for toddlers and young children. The  clothing is part of the rag doll, so young children don’t have to deal with dressing and changing their doll just yet. Large enough to cuddle close, but light enough to easily tote around, it’s the perfect doll for kids to fall in love with.
Retail Value: $36 (winner’s choice of color)

 

Baby's wool head - Nova Naturals

Baby’s Wool Hood – Wool baby clothing is especially good at keeping little ones warm because of the wonder of wool. This balaclava-style hood covers head, ears and neck and is just snug enough that babies can’t easily take it off. It also won’t slide into their eyes. This woolen garment is made by Ruskovilla Oy, a Finnish company deeply committed to quality and the environment at all phases of production – from raw materials to the finished garment. The organic wool is ethically produced in South America and the yarn is spun in Germany.
                                               Retail Value: $29

 

Naked Nursing Tank

Naked Nursing Tank logo

Naked Nursing Tank image
The Luxury Bamboo Naked Nursing Tank in black or white is made of super soft bamboo fabric that allows a mom to wear it during her entire pregnancy as a layering shirt, as well as during and after breastfeeding.

Retail Value: $40 (winner’s choice of color)

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IMG_7993-A pair of Silverette Nursing Cups
Silverette are small cups crafted out of pure 925 silver that fit over and help to protect nipples while breastfeeding. Silver is a natural antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial metal that also contains anti-inflammatory agents. It heals and prevents cuts, wounds, cracks, soreness, and infections.
Retail Value: $60

 

Silverette pendant image

The Recycling Program option which is the possibility to send back the Silverette cups to us after using them and convert them to a pendant with the child’s initial engraved.
Retail Value: $39

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Total Retail Value of the Grand Prize Bundle: $714

Good luck to everyone! Please use the widget below to enter. The giveaway is open from now through March 8, 2017. A big thanks to Indigo Willow Breast Milk Jewelry & Keepsakes, and also to Dressed to Deliver, Evenflo, Naked Nursing Tank, Nova Natural, and Silverette, for their support of TLB and all breastfeeding women.

This giveaway is open to participants in the USA.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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#TLBloves – A Time to Focus on Love

by Ophélia Martin-Weber
#TLBloves pic 1
It’s time for #TLBloves!

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with Valentine’s Day seeing it as a Hallmark holiday yet loving the excuse to celebrate and focus on love a little more while maintaining that we don’t need an excuse or a special date to show our loved ones we love them but still totally loving Valentine’s, chocolate, and flowers along with heart shaped pancakes and candlelight dinners but at the same time rejecting the commercialized pressure to even just HAVE romantic relationships and heart themed craft experiences for your kids.

Totally conflicted.

In the end though, my sappy, romantic side wins: it’s fun to see the whole world (sort of) celebrate love and it sparks that part of me that is encouraged that maybe the world is going to be ok because in the end it all comes down to love. That one day a brief moment to come back to and focus quickly on what really inspires me all year long and though I don’t need a commercialized day to celebrate and express my love to those that matter most to me, I appreciate the time when, for a heartbeat, the world seems to collectively agree that love is worth celebrating in the first place. I almost don’t even care that they’re trying to sell me something at the same time.

I’m a bit of an optimist too.

It’s true though, like most Holidays, Valentine’s can feel like an over-hyped, over-commercialized day based on one simple reason to celebrate: love.

There is value in giving intense attention to one specific area for a time. Such focused intention can strengthen a weakness, do the work required to heal hurts, build shared experiences, foster fresh energy, and create fuel to help sustain that area long after that time of focus is over.

And so it is with the belief that seasonal times of focus on a specific theme can be of great benefit for us and for our family, we’re pleased to announce that it is time for #TLBloves 2017!

#TLBloves focuses on what inspires us to connect beyond how we feed our babies, strengthening bonds with our other children, connecting with friends, deepening our partner relationship, and supporting each other in growing in loving themselves by providing them with information, support, and most importantly, community in action.

#TLBloves is a movement to talk honestly and openly about relationships and connection. With our partners, our children, and most of all, ourselves.

Humans have a deep need to connect with each other, forming bonds and experiencing love. But it isn’t always easy and sometimes it is downright confusing to be in relationship with others. With #TLBloves, we aim to provide families with community support through information sharing, narrative, and personal challenges. All free of judgment.

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

#TLBloves appropriately launches today, Valentine’s Day, and officially will run through March 7. Though a meaningful focus on how we connect with others is never really limited to a set of dates, we will be focusing on what inspires us all to connect beyond how we feed our babies, such as strengthening bonds with our other children, connecting with friends, deepening our partner relationship, and supporting each other as we grow in loving ourselves, all of this through the sharing of information, support, and most importantly, The Leaky Boob community in action.

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

Let’s explore the depth and strength of love in our relationships together, with #TLBloves.

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

 

Angela NavarroAngela Garcia Navarro

Hi, my name is Angela! I am a SAHM of 2 amazing kiddos, MJ and Athena. Bonding with my kids and loved ones in any way possible are so important to me. I am so passionate about breastfeeding because I know what it’s like on the other side wanting to have that special bond and connection with your baby but not being able to produce enough milk and have latching problems. Because I was unable to successfully breastfeed my son I was determined to do so when my daughter was born last April. And with the support of my husband I am going on almost 10 months EBF which is a HUGE mommy milestone for me! I am so grateful to have this opportunity to hopefully inspire others on their breastfeeding journey as well as help and learn myself how to strengthen bonds between loved ones! For an inside scoop of my unfiltered life follow us on Instagram.

 

Brianda TaylorBrianda Traylor

Hey everyone. I’m Brianda Traylor! I moved to Atlanta from Houston 3 years ago to be with my husband and start our family. We have a two year old daughter named Olivia and I am currently 35 weeks pregnant with her fraternal twin brothers, Owen and Benjamin. My husband and I enjoy going to car events and buying, modifying and selling old BMWs. A few days before Olivia was born my husband was in a serious accident that required an immediate spine surgery. (If you want to know more watch this.) Because of the stress of the situation my milk never came in and Olivia started to lose weight and was diagnosed failure to thrive. Her pediatrician wanted me to start formula but I knew I could do one better and give her donor milk. With the help with local mom groups and HM4HB I was able to receive donations and Olivia thrived only on donor milk and never had to have formula. It was a stressful time for our family and I’m happy to say everyone is happy and healthy now. I will be delivering these twin boys any day and I can’t wait to see what our nursing journey looks like! Thank you again so much for letting us be apart of this program <3

 

Kayla Nau headshotKayla Nau

Hi, I’m Kayla! My husband and I live in rural Ohio with out three sons ages four, two, and newborn. I have been in the Air National Guard for 9 years as a telecommunications and antenna systems journeyman, and I am a stay at home mom when not working for the guard. We strive to raise as much food as we can on our small farm, and live as sustainable and naturally as possible. I am breastfeeding my third child, and will be donating milk as soon as breastfeeding is well established. I am so excited to share a little insight to my life through #TLBloves and form new connections!!

 

Rachel Kirk headshotRachel Iglesia

I’m Rachel! I am a mother to 4 biological children (3 living, one angel), and a foster mother. I am married to a gentleman of the highest degree whom I lovingly refer to as “the Milkman”! We are a family that loves eating good food– be it from our own kitchen or other local establishments. I’ve been breastfeeding for the last 5 years straight and have also gotten formula feeding under my belt more recently with fostering. I write about my life as a mother at sherocksthecradle.com, post entirely too many food pictures on Instagram, and share random thoughts and stories on Facebook. I can’t wait to give you a little peak through the Window of my life via #TLBloves and share how my family loves and connects within our family and beyond!

 

Rebecca Zuick headshotRebecca Zuick

Hello everyone! My name is Rebecca Zuick and I’m the wife of 2.5 years to Alex and mom to Asher and Tobias, our angel baby. I’m from Florida but currently live in Texas and, even after almost 2 years, it is still an adjustment. Right now I’m a student, looking to finish my B.A. in Multidisclipinary Studies by the end of this year, and then completing the teacher certification program here. I’m also a nerd, bookworm, and caregiver to my husband who was medically retired from the army last year and our son who is still struggling with sensory issues and a possible autism diagnosis. Thankfully, Asher still breastfeeds, so we have that centering activity that he can turn to when things get too rough. Needless to say, there’s never a dull day around here! In 2015 I was blessed to be able to give birth to our youngest, Tobias, at 23 weeks and spend time with him before leaving the hospital. I love taking pictures of Asher and Alex, reading when I can find free time, and exploring other cultures through television and music. Someday I’ll actually be able to visit them, but the internet works just as well for now. I have a blog at thenerdymatron.com, which started off as an attempt to alleviate some of my stress through writing. I look forward to learning more about all of you wonderful ladies!

 

Jenna StevensJenna Stevens

I am Jenna, wife to Anton, and mother to Gianna, Athena, Evanora, and Oberyn. I also am a bonus mom to Jalen. I run a small home daycare and home school my middle daughter because she is Type 1 diabetic. My interests lie in politics, world affairs, and general interest insofar as motherhood is concerned. I have an amazingly supportive tribe of friends who have helped shape the person and mother I am today. Without them, I’m not sure I would have had the confidence to breast feed despite my previous breast reduction surgery. I strive for as natural a home as possible which, for us, means as fresh a diet as possible, no chemical cleaning agents, and open-ended, often wooden toys. I’d like to consider myself knowledgeable enough to know that I am always opening to learning new things and changing behaviors when new information is presented. 

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Meet our partners:

Indigo Willow logoIndigo Willow Breast Milk Jewelry & Keepsakes specializes in custom jewelry made using a mother’s own breast milk to commemorate her nursing journey. It gives her a tangible reminder of the time they spent nursing and bonding with her little ones. Indigo Willow offers many beautiful original designs.

 

Naked Nursing Tank logo

The Naked Nursing Tank was invented by a busy breastfeeding mom who needed easy access to her breast AND the ability to wear a sports bra for the extra support. The open-chest design allows a mom to turn every shirt in her wardrobe into a nursing shirt while keeping her tummy covered. Made from a bamboo blend, this tank can be worn before, during, and after a mom’s pregnancy, making it versatile and money conscious purchase. You’ll love the freedom and comfort this tank provides, and the ease at which you can breastfeed on demand, whether at the park, doctor’s office, or in the comfort of your own living room.

 

Dressed to Deliver logo

Dressed to Deliver strongly believes that every woman deserves to feel comfortable, confident, concealed and beautiful – before, during, and after one of the most important days of her life! Every woman should choose to wear what makes them feel like the strong, competent, confident and beautiful mom that they are. Our hope is that our 3-in-1 birthing gowns provide you with the comfort and confidence to enhance your experience of labour.

 

Nova Natural logo

Nova Natural Toys and Crafts strives to inspire creativity by sparking the imaginations of children and adults with materials that allow them to learn and grow together. We connect communities by bringing people together to play, create and explore in families, neighborhoods and across the globe. A key goal is to practice sustainability by working with small businesses and artisans to supply families with heirloom quality, non-disposable toys that support healthy lifestyles in balance with the environment.

 

Uberlube logo

Überlube believes in focus and simplicity—not just in our products but also in how we do business. Rather than modeling our approach on the restaurant that serves 50 mediocre food options, we are focused on doing one thing right, every time: producing the best personal lubricant on the market. When you use überlube you are using a product that’s all about helping you feel and be your best, whether you are enjoying a romp with your partner, hitting mile 19 of your marathon, or putting on the finishing touches for an evening out. Simply put, überlube’s first job is to make you feel amazing. That’s why we say “feeling is everything,” and why we expect you’ll agree after trying our product.

 

Evenflo Feeding Logo

Evenflo Feeding’s Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump is the perfect solution for moms with frequent pumping needs. Whether at home or at work, the Advanced  Double Electric Breast Pump delivers all the premium features and benefits mom requires and deserves. This innovative pump’s PerfectlyPure™ design is a closed system that prevents milk back-up in tubing, which helps to keep tubing clean and dry, protecting mom’s breast milk and making pump cleaning more efficient. Each pumping session can be personalized with the AdvancedControl™ technology, which creates 32 unique setting combinations of speed and suction for optimal control.

To help ensure a successful pumping session, it’s important to have a comfortable, correctly sized flange fit. The Advanced Double Electric Pump includes 3 different flange sizes from our AdvancedFit™ flange system to help ensure the best fit, with additional sizes sold separately. Evenflo’s PerfectPosition™ design includes a shorter nipple tunnel and higher bottle-to-flange angle that allows mom to relax in a slouch-free pumping position. The integrated bottle holders keep mom’s milk safe after pumping, providing an extra “hand” to protect her precious milk from spills.

Access to expert resources can help ensure a successful breastfeeding experience. Evenflo is excited to include the ultimate breastfeeding education with the purchase of your pump. Developed by our partner, Breastfeeding Expert Shari Criso (IBCLC, CNM, RN), mom receives digital access to two practical and proven programs she can access anywhere! Both Simply Breastfeeding™ and Breast Pumps & Briefcases™ have helped thousands of moms successfully breastfeed and continue breastfeeding while returning to work and are included with purchase.

 

Silverette logo

Silverette is the original silver nursing cup that has been crafted by fully licensed silversmiths in Italy since 2002. Silverette cups soothe and protect nursing nipples. They use the healing properties of silver to heal and prevent soreness, cracks, wounds and infections. They are natural, easy to use and effective. Just wear them on your nursing nipples between feedings and forget about them! No need to wash your nipples before latching and no creams or oils needed.

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#TLBloves pic 2

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