For the mom who feels invisible – #TLBMomsMatter

by Jessica Martin-Weber

In all the needs we put before our own,

It can feel like in the equation of our life, we don’t matter.

In always being available to meet other’s need for sustenance, connection, guidance, and care…

It can feel like our own needs for rest and space are no longer allowed.

In all the spinning plates we juggle and all the work that always STILL needs to be done…

It can feel like we are dropping everything and can’t cope.

In helping instill a sense of self in the ones that call us “mom” or “mama” or “mommy” by encouraging their character and personal growth…

It can feel like who we are isn’t important and our own personal growth is forgotten.

In the pursuit of what is best for our children and cheering them on in their adventures…

It can feel like nobody cares about doing the same for us and we can only watch the adventures of others.

In supporting the ones we love in their opportunities to follow their dreams…

It can feel like we are unsupported and our own opportunities and goals are discarded.

In providing community and camaraderie for the most precious people in our lives…

It can feel like we are left-overs, unwanted, invisible, and alone.

In managing our feelings to tend to the big and small emotions of the developing ones we care for…

It can feel like our own emotions are a nuisance and insignificant.

In the nurturing of those who need us most…

It can feel like we are emptying ourselves so completely but that it will never be enough.

 

You matter. 

Moms matter.

TLBmomsMatter

 

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

You aren’t perfect and you never will be, whatever perfect means.

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

Your highs and your lows.

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

The good, the bad, and the ugly.

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

The flab, the stretch marks, the skin and bones, or the extra padding.

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

The moments of pride, the moments of shame.

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

Your hurt and your joy.

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

Your vagina, your scars, your breasts, and your bottles.

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

And you matter.

#MomsMatter

 

The oxygen mask theory is that if you don’t have your own mask on, you’ll become incapacitated and unable to help those who need assistance. In other words, we all matter.

Moms, this campaign is for you and we want you to know that you matter. And when moms matter, it is good for the whole family.

*****************************

 

Thanks to NOONI’S, Simple Wishes, TWELVElittle, and Wilde Brands.

 

Our friends at NOONI’S, Simple Wishes, TWELVElittle, and Wilde Brands believe so much in moms that they decided to sponsor the very first #TLBMomsMatter and you have a chance to win some of their products! A bundle of products for 2 winners, plus a few runner-up prizes.

Each of the 2 bundles includes:

A NOONI’S Leak-Resistant Nursing Sleep Bra, retail value $50
No nursing pads needed in NOONI’S sleep bra, the first all-in-one full-coverage bra designed to wick away, absorb, and prevent breast milk from leaking through. NOONI’S relaxed fit straps and waistband allow for effortless nursing access. And, our baby-soft fleece interior is not only incredibly cozy, but also stays warm when wet and won’t stick to healing chapped nipples. Use Code MomsMatter for 10% off your purchase HERE!

Simple Wishes, winner’s choice of nursing and pumping bras, with matching panties, retail value $75
Comfort, support, adjustability, and a touch of sexy – why shouldn’t moms have all of that in one bra? Simple Wishes wants all moms to feel confident, and a comfortable sexy bra is a great place to start! Use code SUPERMOM25 for 25% off your purchase HERE!

Wilde Brands brings you the very first chips made from 100% chicken! A 4 pack is yours for the winning. A $20 value. 
These chips have the satisfying crunch you crave and they are a total protein snack. Perfect for moms-to-be, new moms, and seasoned moms too. And speaking of seasoning, the Wilde Chicken and Waffles flavor is amazing! Use code LEAKYBOOB for 20% off your purchase HERE!

TWELVElittle is offering winner’s choice of anything on their website, a $75-179 value
Adorable and fashionable, these baby bags are for all moms and dads. Each bag is thoroughly designed with individual style, and engineered with every practicality. Made of high quality water resistant fabrics and genuine leather, these bags continue to be the perfect accessory long after you graduate from the baby stage. Use code TLB20 for 20% off your purchase HERE!

4 other winners will each receive a 4-pack of Wilde Brands chips! That’s 6 chances to win in this giveaway. 

Enter the giveaway with the widget at the bottom of this post! 

 

Meet our #TLBMomsMatter campaign ambassadors:

Hey y’all! I’m Ashley- wifey to my college sweetheart Nelson and mama of 3 under 3.

I work full time at a university as a program coordinator. Aside from work, I adore family time and going on adventures.

My goal with blogging is to encourage mamas to live their best and most healthy lives!

Follow Ashley on Instagram and don’t miss her blog.

 

I’m Kimberly! Mom of unexpectedly four, aged 10, 7, 5, and 1. Married 15 years this summer (a child bride, OBVIOUSLY ; )  ).

I love baking, mom dates, Netflix, research, all day shopping trips, being outside, making lists, and being right. I’m passionate about motherhood and not losing your personhood within it, and the spirit of The Leaky Boob’s message. I’m also typing this as I nurse the baby back to sleep, because #whateverworks, right?

Find Kimberly on Instagram.

 

 

I’m Lissette. Often loud New Yorker but mostly exhausted pigeon. 😀  Married to a pretty tall guy named Ralph and together we have 2 kids, aged 4 and 2 months, and 2 cats, Nintendo and Sony.

I’m a nerdy momma who also loves crafting. My 4th trimester has just been breastfeeding, changing cloth diapers, trying to fid new volunteers for our community garden, and maybe too much Instagram… lol. Excited to be a part of this! 🙂

Look for Lissette on Instagram!

 

 

My name is Nayeli, I am a mom of two!

I am a small business owner, my husband and I are videographers. I’m mostly at home with my little ones, and when I am out at work our families help us with the kids.

I felt that with my first pregnancy/parenthood journey I didn’t have all the knowledge/research available to me, so that’s what I’trying to do on my page- help parents-to-be/new parents be aware of all the options they have!

Follow Nayeli on Instagram.

 

 

My name is Rachel! I am mother to 4 living children, 1 angel baby, former foster mother to 4 different children, and current foster mom to a teenager and her baby (yes, I’m a grandma at 33!), and wife to Milkman.

I can be found stealing kisses from my husband in the kitchen, munching on baby cheeks, nursing a kid or two, chasing chickens around the farm we live on, juggling social workers, and sending memes to my bestie.

I blog over at SheRocksTheCradle.com, where I talk about parenting, babies, fostering, breastfeeding, and marriage. I am so excite to be back on a TLB Campaign because it gives me the opportunity to build a community with other mothers.

Follow Rachel on Instagram and Facebook!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Share

For the mom who feels invisible – When #TLBMomsMatter, it’s good for the whole family

by Jessica Martin-Weber

In all the needs we put before our own,

It can feel like in the equation of our life, we don’t matter.

In always being available to meet other’s need for sustenance, connection, guidance, and care…

It can feel like our own needs for rest and space are no longer allowed.

In all the spinning plates we juggle and all the work that always STILL needs to be done…

It can feel like we are dropping everything and can’t cope.

In helping instill a sense of self in the ones that call us “mom” or “mama” or “mommy” by encouraging their character and personal growth…

It can feel like who we are isn’t important and our own personal growth is forgotten.

In the pursuit of what is best for our children and cheering them on in their adventures…

It can feel like nobody cares about doing the same for us and we can only watch the adventures of others.

In supporting the ones we love in their opportunities to follow their dreams…

It can feel like we are unsupported and our own opportunities and goals are discarded.

In providing community and camaraderie for the most precious people in our lives…

It can feel like we are left-overs, unwanted, invisible, and alone.

In managing our feelings to tend to the big and small emotions of the developing ones we care for…

It can feel like our own emotions are a nuisance and insignificant.

In the nurturing of those who need us most…

It can feel like we are emptying ourselves so completely but that it will never be enough.

 

You matter. 

Moms matter.

TLBmomsMatter

 

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

You aren’t perfect and you never will be, whatever perfect means.

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

Your highs and your lows.

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

The good, the bad, and the ugly.

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

The flab, the stretch marks, the skin and bones, or the extra padding.

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

The moments of pride, the moments of shame.

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

Your hurt and your joy.

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

Your vagina, your scars, your breasts, and your bottles.

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

And you matter.

#MomsMatter

 

The oxygen mask theory is that if you don’t have your own mask on, you’ll become incapacitated and unable to help those who need assistance. In other words, we all matter.

Moms, this campaign is for you and we want you to know that you matter. And when moms matter, it is good for the whole family.

*****************************

 

Thanks to NOONI’S, Simple Wishes, TWELVElittle, and Wilde Brands.

 

Our friends at NOONI’S, Simple Wishes, TWELVElittle, and Wilde Brands believe so much in moms that they decided to sponsor the very first #TLBMomsMatter and you have a chance to win some of their products! A bundle of products for 2 winners, plus a few runner-up prizes.

Each of the 2 bundles includes:

A NOONI’S Leak-Resistant Nursing Sleep Bra, retail value $50
No nursing pads needed in NOONI’S sleep bra, the first all-in-one full-coverage bra designed to wick away, absorb, and prevent breast milk from leaking through. NOONI’S relaxed fit straps and waistband allow for effortless nursing access. And, our baby-soft fleece interior is not only incredibly cozy, but also stays warm when wet and won’t stick to healing chapped nipples. Use Code MomsMatter for 10% off your purchase HERE!

Simple Wishes, winner’s choice of nursing and pumping bras, with matching panties, retail value $75
Comfort, support, adjustability, and a touch of sexy – why shouldn’t moms have all of that in one bra? Simple Wishes wants all moms to feel confident, and a comfortable sexy bra is a great place to start! Use code SUPERMOM25 for 25% off your purchase HERE!

Wilde Brands brings you the very first chips made from 100% chicken! A 4 pack is yours for the winning. A $20 value. 
These chips have the satisfying crunch you crave and they are a total protein snack. Perfect for moms-to-be, new moms, and seasoned moms too. And speaking of seasoning, the Wilde Chicken and Waffles flavor is amazing! Use code LEAKYBOOB for 20% off your purchase HERE!

TWELVElittle is offering winner’s choice of anything on their website, a $75-179 value
Adorable and fashionable, these baby bags are for all moms and dads. Each bag is thoroughly designed with individual style, and engineered with every practicality. Made of high quality water resistant fabrics and genuine leather, these bags continue to be the perfect accessory long after you graduate from the baby stage. Use code TLB20 for 20% off your purchase HERE!

4 other winners will each receive a 4-pack of Wilde Brands chips! That’s 6 chances to win in this giveaway. 

Enter the giveaway with the widget at the bottom of this post! 

 

Meet our #TLBMomsMatter campaign ambassadors:

Hey y’all! I’m Ashley- wifey to my college sweetheart Nelson and mama of 3 under 3.

I work full time at a university as a program coordinator. Aside from work, I adore family time and going on adventures.

My goal with blogging is to encourage mamas to live their best and most healthy lives!

Follow Ashley on Instagram and don’t miss her blog.

 

I’m Kimberly! Mom of unexpectedly four, aged 10, 7, 5, and 1. Married 15 years this summer (a child bride, OBVIOUSLY ; )  ).

I love baking, mom dates, Netflix, research, all day shopping trips, being outside, making lists, and being right. I’m passionate about motherhood and not losing your personhood within it, and the spirit of The Leaky Boob’s message. I’m also typing this as I nurse the baby back to sleep, because #whateverworks, right?

Find Kimberly on Instagram.

 

 

I’m Lissette. Often loud New Yorker but mostly exhausted pigeon. 😀  Married to a pretty tall guy named Ralph and together we have 2 kids, aged 4 and 2 months, and 2 cats, Nintendo and Sony.

I’m a nerdy momma who also loves crafting. My 4th trimester has just been breastfeeding, changing cloth diapers, trying to fid new volunteers for our community garden, and maybe too much Instagram… lol. Excited to be a part of this! 🙂

Look for Lissette on Instagram!

 

 

My name is Nayeli, I am a mom of two!

I am a small business owner, my husband and I are videographers. I’m mostly at home with my little ones, and when I am out at work our families help us with the kids.

I felt that with my first pregnancy/parenthood journey I didn’t have all the knowledge/research available to me, so that’s what I’trying to do on my page- help parents-to-be/new parents be aware of all the options they have!

Follow Nayeli on Instagram.

 

 

My name is Rachel! I am mother to 4 living children, 1 angel baby, former foster mother to 4 different children, and current foster mom to a teenager and her baby (yes, I’m a grandma at 33!), and wife to Milkman.

I can be found stealing kisses from my husband in the kitchen, munching on baby cheeks, nursing a kid or two, chasing chickens around the farm we live on, juggling social workers, and sending memes to my bestie.

I blog over at SheRocksTheCradle.com, where I talk about parenting, babies, fostering, breastfeeding, and marriage. I am so excite to be back on a TLB Campaign because it gives me the opportunity to build a community with other mothers.

Follow Rachel on Instagram and Facebook!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Share

Your Marvelous Changing Bust And What You Need To Know- Breast Changes In Pregnancy

by Jessica Martin-Weber with Tracey Montford
This post made possible by the generous support of Cake Lingerie.

Breasts change throughout our lives are influenced by hormones, genetics, age, and other factors. For many, after puberty, the most noticeable change comes with pregnancy and breastfeeding. It can be helpful to know what to expect and what may help with comfort through these times of transition for our breasts and what to look for bras that provide gentle transitional support. You may not recognize your breasts with all the changes you may experience in pregnancy and breastfeeding but you still can have support, comfort, and know what you need to know to enjoy your marvelous changing bust.

Breast changes in pregnancy

For some, breasts are like their own personal magic 8 ball. Give them a little shake, ask them a question, and see what the answer is. Should I wear that underwire or go with the yoga bra? Is it a good day for potato chips or should it be salad? Should I carry pads with me or is it going to be 9 months before I need those? Or boobs are like horses. Gently pat them and ask “is it looking like rain, snow, or ice today girls?” “What do you think, facing the red flood or are we pushing a new human being out in less than a year?” “Are we craving chocolate or need a puke bucket?”

Second to puberty, during pregnancy breasts tend to experience significant growth and change. Thanks to pregnancy, it’s like you get to relive the wonders and magic of puberty all over again only this time, strangers may want to rub your belly and ask you what you’re having. (A human, we can safely guess you’re having a human!)

Pregnancy triggers the breasts to prepare for lactation to feed the developing baby after birth. The grape-like clusters of milk making tissue in the breast begin to increase in volume and number causing the tissue to expand. Yes, your boobs typically are going to grow in pregnancy- likely the biggest and most noticeable change to you’re breasts you’re going to experience since you were 11 years old. So many breast changes in pregnancy, milk making tissue expands, you grow more milk making tissue, blood flow increases, the tissue becomes more dense, the nipples and areola darken and often grow, and more. This involuntary biological response is often the first noticeable symptom of pregnancy for many women and can be quite sudden. Others may not notice any change until later in their pregnancy. Those that experience discomfort during their regular cycle are more likely to experience additional discomfort during pregnancy. Be kind to your breasts, understand that every individual and every pregnancy is unique, and find what helps you feel comfortable in this time of transition.

*Note: No change at all may be an indicator, along with other markers, of a lack of glandular tissue and should be discussed with a health care provider. This alone is not a determinant factor or sign of future breastmilk supply.

Breast changes common in pregnancy- first trimester

  • Rapid growth sometimes even before positive pregnancy test.
  • Tissue may feel more dense.
  • Achy pain is common and may last for weeks.
  • Skin my itch and be sensitive.
  • Nipples may become more tender and sensitive.
  • Areola may begin to get larger.
  • Rapid growth may lead to stretch marks on the breast.
  • Veins may become more visible as the skin gets thinner.

Support for breast changes in first trimester

As your breast size and shape may begin to change rapidly with growth being common, a transitional bra that offers flexible support with a size range in cup sizes my minimize discomfort and sensitivity. Look for a bra that is very soft with minimal structuring while providing support with a wide band and fabric that gives, providing gentle support. Some breasts change 5-6 cup sizes, it may be necessary to shop for new bras that accommodate the new breast growth. Limiting refined sugars and caffeine may also reduce discomfort.

Breast changes common in pregnancy- second trimester

  • Growth may slow down or even stop.
  • Sensitivity usually lessens.
  • The nipples and areolas may begin to darken.
  • The areola may continue to get larger.
  • To accommodate the growing baby, the rib cage may begin to expand.
  • More blueish veins may be visible under the surface as blood volume increases.

Support for breast changes in the second trimester

The second trimester tends to be more stable with changes slowing down and discomfort decreasing. If breast growth has slowed or ceased altogether, wearing a more structured bra may be more comfortable. As the rib cage begins to expand adding an expander may provide more comfort or getting sized for a better fitting bra may be necessary. During pregnancy, blood volume typically doubles and due to the thinner nature of the skin of chest area, veins may become more visible under the surface.

Breast changes common in pregnancy- third trimester

  • Some discharge or dried flakes of colostrum may be noticed on the nipple.
  • Breasts may become more sensitive again.
  • Growth may increase again.
  • Rib cage expands further as the hormone relaxin loosens tissue and baby gets bigger.
  • Breasts may begin to feel more heavy.
  • Nipples may become more sensitive to touch.
  • Areola may darken.
  • Areola may grow larger.
  • Bumps on areola may be more noticeable (Montgomery Glands).

Support for breast changes in the third trimester

As the body prepares to feed the growing baby, the breasts again enter a time of transition, particularly closer to the due date. Structured bras may be uncomfortable and compress the tissue and as more milk producing tissue develops, breast size may be in flux. A soft, supportive transitional bra may be more comfortable during this time and into the immediate postpartum. Some may notice their breasts beginning to leak or to find dried bits of colostrum on their nipple or on their bra. Though it is unusual for leaking to be noticeable through clothing in the third trimester, soft nursing pads can be used to absorb any leaks and prevent soaking through and may be more comfortable. Montgomery Glands around the nipple and on the areola my increase in size. These glands secrete an oil (lipoid fluid) that helps keep the areola and the nipple lubricated and protected and the smell of this oil may serve as a signal to the newborn of where to latch and suckle.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding breast myths

  • Myth: Use a toothbrush or rough cloth to toughen up nipples for breastfeeding.There is no need to prepare nipples for breastfeeding by using anything on your nipples. Nipples naturally prepare themselves. The one exception could be with inverted nipples needing to be drawn out. To prepare for breastfeeding, take a class, read materials, and if you are concerned, meet with an IBCLC or other breastfeeding support person to have your breasts evaluated.
  • Myth: Breast size indicates how much milk you will makeWhile your breast size may indicate how much milk your breasts may store, breast size is not an indicator of breastmilk supply. Shape of breasts and the space between the breasts may indicate how much glandular tissue is present which may impact milk supply but this can impact breasts of all sizes. If you are concerned, see an IBCLC or other breastfeeding support person to have your breasts evaluated.
  • Myth: Breastfeeding causes breasts to sag. It isn’t breastfeeding that causes sag, it is thought to be a combination of factors such as genetics and pregnancy. While breast tissue changes in density sometimes through pregnancy and breastfeeding, breastfeeding doesn’t mean sag. Read more in this study here.
  • Myth: No leaking means you don’t have milk. Some breasts never leak through pregnancy or breastfeeding but this is not a sign breastmilk supply or ability to breastfeed.
  • Myth: Inverted or flat nipples mean you can’t breastfeed. Inverted or flat nipples do not automatically mean baby won’t latch. Often inverted or flat nipples are drawn out with breastfeeding and there are options to help otherwise, even before baby is born. If you are concerned, see an IBCLC or other breastfeeding support person to have your breasts evaluated.

The hormonal response of breast changes through pregnancy all lead up to breastfeeding. There are more changes through breastfeeding and then again through weaning but the majority of the breast changes take place in pregnancy. 

How the right bra can make a difference

A good bra that fits well and accommodates these important changes in pregnancy and through breastfeeding can make a difference in comfort levels in this time of flux. Some bra fitting tips for the stages of pregnancy and breastfeeding:

  • Band should be snug but not tight. The majority of the support comes from the band, not the shoulder straps. Be sure it sits straight around the body for best fit. If it feels tight but is the right size, try loosening the shoulder straps some and pull the band down in the back. A band riding up in the back compromises fit and support.
  • Center front sits plat on chest, breasts fit comfortably within the cups.
  • Straps fit comfortably, not digging into shoulders or slipping off. 
  • Flexible sizing with minimal structure. Look for a transitional bra such as Cake Lingerie’s maternity and nursing bras, Rock Candy, Cotton Candy, and Sugar Candy, that accommodate 4-5 cup sizes with supportive fabric that has give. This doesn’t mean you have to accept uniboob, a good transitional bra will provide gentle lift, separation, and support.

Get your best fit with this step-by-step fit guide and calculator.

_________________________________________________

Use the discount code TLB15 for 15% off at cakematernity.com.

Tracey Montford created Cake Lingerie in 2008 when she wanted bras that worked for the modern mother. With a background in creative arts and teaching, she never imagined having her own business, let alone creating one out of her own personal need. She now owns and runs Cake Lingerie from Sydney, Australia with her husband, Keith and their children.
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, freelance writer, and co-founder of Milk: An Infant Feeding Conference. Jessica lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest and co-parents her 7 daughters with her husband of 22 years.

 

 

 

 

 

Share

Happy Sex Life – Happy Family, Good Clean Love

by Wendy Strgar

 

goodcleanlove.com

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

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

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

 

Wendy Strgar

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Share

*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.

____________________________________

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.
Share

Health- Not Just Boobs, Get Moving Too- #TLBMoves 2016

TLBmoves1
Big active giveaway here.

What if we had a community that didn’t judge to be a part of in pursuit of health for ourselves and our family? A community that understands life, fitness, and health isn’t one-size-fits-all. Wouldn’t that be a refreshing change?

This year we’ve loved, we’ve nourished, and now… we’re moving!

We’re not going anywhere in particular but we are journeying toward health, activity, and awareness. Not as isolated individuals, but as a family, a community. With each other and with our kids, we’re taking steps to get more movement in our lives. That movement may be a dance party in the living room, a daily babywearing walk at the park, hitting the gym, taking a Zumba class, playing Pokemon Go, including more veggies, setting up the blender for more healthy homemade smoothies, you name it, you define what #TLBmoves looks like for you.

It all began in August 2014 with the first ever #TLBmoves and it took off. Some of us got a little more movement in our lives, others got a whole lot more. We cheered on some working on (and succeeding) quitting smoking, others had step goals to hit, there were those that started yoga or crossfit or pilates regularly, and others started having salads once a day. Getting moving together brought us closer together and we discovered that thanks to the global village of the internet, we could cheer each other on and have fun in the process. When we found ourselves stuck, we could be honest about the challenges we were facing and there would be no judgment, just support and encouragement. It was inspiring and we all wanted to keep moving.

Many of us did, though our interactions weren’t as frequent with the start of school and as colder weather rolled in, many of us found ways to keep going. And here we are, nearly a year later, and we’re still moving. The push we all got from the month of #TLBmoves was motivating and we felt it was time to do it again and invite more to join us.

As parents, we have every reason in the world to be physically active; heart health, longevity, reduced health problems, strength, endurance, lower blood pressure, stronger bones, joint health, mental clarity, better sleep, and decrease in depression and anxiety to name a few. With having children though, juggling family, home, and for some, work, getting to exercise is often an overwhelming challenge. Between the media, “experts,” bloggers, friends, family, health care providers, and yes, even myself saying what is so important for children, there are just so many other aspects of a child’s development that require my attention. There is every reason in the world to not be physically active; reading to our children, providing quality meals, addressing their social needs, researching all medications/foods/education, shopping to have the “best” deals on the highest quality, spending quality play time with our children, limiting screen time, grooming them, keeping house, bonding, learning and executing proper child passenger safety (installing that perfect car seat that took 3 weeks of research and a small loan to purchase), and being sure every minute of their every day is filled with only the best developmentally appropriate activities. With all that’s on our plates, how do we find time to be physically active?

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

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

It’s time for #TLBmoves!

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

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

Whatever your goal, you can join us for #TLBmoves!  This is all about embracing an active lifestyle and making healthier choices, no matter where you’re starting from and we’re here to support each other completely free of judgment each step of the way.

Following the collective inspiration of #TLBloves, #TLBsafeKids, and most recently #TLBnourish, we are excited to share this moving experience with you, The Leaky Boob and Beyond Moi communities, that focuses first on strengthening the connection we have with our families and ourselves, through physical activity and health. Join us on our closed group #TLBmoves here; The Leaky Boob Facebook page, here; The Leaky Boob Community Facebook group, here; BeyondMoi.com and the Beyond Moi Facebook Page, here; the Beyond Moi Community Facebook group (where we talk about just about anything and everything- particularly relationships), here; and What Love Tastes Like, here.

#TLBmoves 2016 runs through the month of July, though a meaningful focus (and a fun giveaway!) 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 brands we trust including Title Sponsoring Brand ThinkBaby ThinkSport, a company that prioritizes making products that are safe including sunscreen and water bottles to help you get moving. Be on the lookout for the hashtag: #TLBmoves (and start using it too!), Leaky guest posts, a vocal presence across social media (Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook), posts from our campaign ambassadors, relevant information and interactions on our sister site, BeyondMoi.com, inspiring support within our community, involvement from our campaign sponsors, giveaways, and informative articles.

Let’s explore health and moving together, with #TLBmoves.

 

____________________

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:

MommyCon presents WEAR: Babywearing Conference (TK Photography Photobooth) | wearconference.comLaTia Barrett.

LaTia lives in Maryland with her wife and daughter. She loves all things food and Disney, and tries to combine the two as often as possible. When not at Disney (or planning a Disney trip), she is a WAHM, babywearing educator, postpartum doula, and singer.

 

 

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, 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.

 

 

IMG_0112Hannah Buckley.

I’m Hannah!  I’m from a small town in NE Texas, but I currently live in New Port Richey, FL.  I am an extremely busy work at home mom!  Aside from the everyday Mama duties, I’m a local photographer. We also own a web design and marketing company in Tarpon Springs, FL, so I stay very busy!  For the past (almost) 4 years, I have been married to my best friend, Brian.  We have 2 beautiful and energetic boys, Dayton (2 years) and Madden (4 months).  I love being outside, grilling and playing in the water with the boys. We take frequent trips to the beach and love to try new local restaurants.  I have recently started to really enjoy cooking and baking, and I’m having a blast with lactation recipes!  My life is hectic at times, silly, fun, hard, and busy… but I wouldn’t trade one single minute of it!

 

13383538_10157045234550038_1295936637_oBryttany Hyde.

My name is Bryttany, I am a work from home mom, blogger, and business owner from Woodstock, GA. I moved to Woodstock shortly after meeting my husband Cameron while now 6 years later we are proud parents to Killian (23 months) and AthenaRose (1 month). Coloring and reading are some of my favorite activities when I’m not wrapping babies and helping others learn about cloth diapers!

 

allyson

Allyson Storey.

I am originally from California, moved to Delaware as a teenager, and am now located just outside of Portland Oregon! I am a stay at home mom but am starting a photography business. I love to go camping and rock climbing with my family. I have one daughter, her name is Savannah and she is 7 months old. I have been married for almost 5 years to my husband Richard. 

 

 

 

IMG_9804

Shannon DeLong.

Hey Leakies! My name is Shannon and I am a native Texan in the Houston area.  I am a work at home mom as the Project Manager for The Leaky Boob and I am currently working on my certification to become both a lactation counselor as well as a birth doula.  I am a busy, single-mom to my daugher Mirabelle (9), and my 2 sons Levi and Isaiah (6 & 3).  I love roadtrips, being outdoors camping, hiking, and making memories as a family.  Oh and coffee…I LOVE coffee!

 

 

 ____________________

Meet Our Partners

Supporting our unique and diverse nourishment journeys, 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.

Thinkbaby_favoredby

Thinkbaby  Thinksport.  At Thinkbaby and Thinksport, we are continually expanding our mission to provide safe products by identifying consumer product categories with known human health issues. Specifically, we target products that contain high levels of hormone disruptors and carcinogens. We then work with leading scientists worldwide to create safe alternatives.

 

BelabumbumActiveLogo

Belabumbum.  Belabumbum’s Ultra Smooth Nursing Sports Bra offers medium-impact support with wireless microfiber cups lined with cotton and removable spacer pads to provide coverage and wick away moisture. The bra’s side cup is made with breathable stretch mesh and elasticized for fit. Ventilated side panels transfer moisture and heat away from mom.

 

TulaLogo

Tula. Prance is a Tula Coast carrier with a whimsical, spirited print. Fields of flowers and happy, prancing unicorns fill the design that is paired with a fun purple canvas and mesh center panel. Prance is the ultimate wish come true!

Tula Coast is designed to bring a cool breeze to your day! This line of Tula Baby Carriers offers a reinterpretation of our original framed panel design using breathable mesh material which creates a ventilated carrier perfectly suited for active lifestyles and warm weather locales.

Share

Reasons To Love Your Body Right Now

by Joni Edelman

joni edelman, love your body, body image

It seems of all the things we love, it’s hardest to love ourselves. Maybe it’s the ideal we are being sold by the media. Maybe it’s borne out of comparison. Maybe there’s no real explanation at all. I’m not really certain, though I suspect it’s a bit of all of those. We love our partners, our children, even our dogs (even though they chew on things and poop on things). But at the end of the day, we look in the mirror, we poke, we pull, we loathe. Many of us do it. Most of us do it. I don’t know why we exhaust ourselves to be something besides ourselves.

Here is what I do know, if you can’t love yourself (or at least just be OK with yourself), right now, as you are, you’re wasting your time. You’re wasting your energy. You’re wasting your spirit. You’re wasting your life. I spent most of my adult life fighting the body I live in. I tried to change it. I dieted. I exercised to excess, to self-harm. I starved myself. I wore things to try to squish my body, to shape my body — anything, to change it into something I would love.

And then one day — literally one day — I decided I was done. I was done hating. I was done starving. I was done with disgust, anger, envy, loathing. I was done comparing myself to people on TV, people in magazines, people in the grocery store. I was just… done.

Am I 100% successful, 100% of the time? No. Some days are better than others. Some days I see myself in a photo, and I think, “Well. Your stomach looks there is a baby in it [there isn’t].” Some days I briefly entertain going back to the not eating and obsessive exercising. And then I remind myself of all the following. I hope you can remind yourself too.

You are not your body.

Your body is part of you, but you are not it. You may be lot of things; human, a female/male/transgender/non-binary, 41 years old (in my case anyway), a mother, a partner, a sibling, an artist, a writer, a gardener, a cake aficionado. You are not your body. There is more to you than your physical form. So much more than what the mirror reflects.

Your body is working for you.

You are breathing and moving. Your blood is circulating. Your stomach is digesting. You literally have to do nothing to make all of that happen. Sometimes it’s good to just pause and recognize that your body is giving you a lot. Maybe instead of loathing it, you could thank it for all the stuff it is doing that you aren’t even asking it to do.

Your body is impermanent.

Whether you believe in God, Allah, Buddha, Mother Earth, Zeus, Physics, Oprah or Tom Cruise, we can all agree (I think) that at some point our physical body will cease to exist. Whether we go to heaven, or the sky, or Venus, or into oblivion, or are reincarnated into a whole new thing, or if our particles just go back into the universe, we won’t be this thing forever. At some point this thing will just be a thing that existed and then didn’t.

Capitalism wants you to hate yourself.

There are industries based on your self-consciousness. If America got up tomorrow and said, “Yeah, I’m actually done spending money on things to make myself look ostensibly better.”, ENTIRE industries would completely cease to exist. The cosmetic industry makes $60 billion dollars a year IN AMERICA alone. That said BILLION. DOLLARS. The diet industry? Twenty MORE billion. That’s like $80 billion dollars. We could literally cure world hunger with $30 billion dollars a year and we are spending $20 billions a year trying to lose weight. Just let that simmer for a minute. The commercials you see? They are designed to make you feel bad. Don’t be fooled. Be angry.

You are the only one who really cares.

At the end of the day, your stretch marks only matter to you. Your partner loves you regardless — and if they don’t, you have another problem to address. Not one of my five children, not the 20-year-old not the three-year-old, quite literally none of them ever have said, “Wow mom I really hate your stretchmarks.” Never once. Your fat, your wrinkles, your spider veins, you are the only one who cares. Until you don’t.

There are other things you could be doing.

If you even spend 15 minutes a day thinking about your body, can you think of anything else you could do with that 15 minutes. Can you think of anything? Could you read a book? Learn a language? Knit? Crochet? Spend time with your kids? Your partner? If you stopped worrying about your body, what else could you do?

At the end of your life, you WILL NOT EVER say “I wish I looked better.”

I’m an RN and I used to be a hospice RN. I solemnly swear, of all the people I watched die (and it was a lot), none of them ever said, “I wish I were skinny. I wish I had fewer stretch marks. I wish my stomach were flat.” NONE. Not even one. Ever. I bet you want to know what they did say. I’ll tell you. 1. I wish I had spent more time with my family. 2. I wish I had been more open and expressive with my love. 3. I wish I had mended fences sooner (or not broken the fence in the first place).

Why not start doing those things now? You don’t have to be diagnosed with a terminal illness to shift your focus.

You get one body. You get to do this whole thing one time. What if you could just enjoy it? How would that change everything?

____________________

IMG_0670Joni M. Edelman is a feminist, wife, mom of five, Editor In Chief at ravishly.com, and (sometimes) RN. You can read her relevant, relatable writing around the internet. Subject matter addressed includes, but is not limited to; body positivity, parenting, mental health, cake.
Likes: cake, yarn, root vegetables. Dislikes: pants, mosquitos, writing in third-person.
Follow Joni on twitter and instagram.
Share

Breastfeeding and Teenage Boys

by Joni Edelman

Joni Edelman, family photo

Sometime in the early 2000s, a friend was visiting my house for a playdate. Nothing special, just the typical crackers and raisins and toys all over the house sort of thing. We were just sitting on the couch, chatting and eating ice cream — you know, like stay at home moms do — and mid sentence, she paused, “Joni, what is THAT?”

‘That’ was a book on my ottoman (not coffee table because, hello, no coffee tables with five toddlers running around). ‘That’ was a book by Anne Geddes, a large coffee table (ottoman) book. It featured photographs of women — in all states of pregnancy and postpartum — their babies, and sometimes babies that weren’t theirs. You get what I’m saying; there were babies and ladies. Oh and also, they were nude, or partly nude.

I said, “It’s a… book?” Other Less Free-Spirited Mom says, “BUT THEY ARE NAKED. Aren’t you afraid your kids will see this? They are TOTALLY NAKED.”

Astute observation, Queen of Obvious. The commoners are so lucky to have you.

“No. I’m not really worried about them finding it because I read it to them. I don’t want them to be embarrassed by seeing nude babies and pregnant women. Bodies are normal. Whatever.”

The playdate became less frequent after that.

You guys still with me?

Good.

That was about 15 or so years ago and I’m no less ‘progressive’ now. I was already sort of odd compared to my peers. My parents were hippies — like free-love and stuff and things (by ‘stuff’ I mean braless concerts and by ‘things’ I mean pot, lots of pot.) My parents never shamed my body, and though they failed in a lot of ways, I’ve never been uncomfortable with the human form. I’m an RN and for years I looked at vaginas for 12 hours a day. It’s a just a body.

We are skin and bones and muscle and fat and hair. No we are literally ALL just of that stuff differently configured.

I’m getting to the point. Hang in there.

Five years ago I had my fourth baby and 18 months after that, her brother. By the time I thought it would be a great idea to start a whole entire second family my older children were 10, 12, and 15. I thought I was done having babies so I never gave much thought as to how my older kids would (or would not) be involved in the pregnancy/labor/birth process. I became pregnant, and we just went with the flow.

We opted to homebirth and offered them the opportunity to be present — ⅔ of them decided that they weren’t that afraid of blood, and stayed to cheer me on (the other ⅓ was just in his room down the hall) My 10-year-old, Owen, was the first person to spot Ella’s head in the water and my 15-year-old, Kelsey, was the first person to hold her.

Here’s a video. Get a kleenex.

You’re welcome.

Anyway.

It just simply never occurred to me that any of this should have been hidden. And it begs the question, when did we start to think birth and death and life should be hidden? Who taught us that shame? Where did we learn to sexualize our bodies such that to see them is a forbidden and lustful act?

BRB need to go get a Master’s degree in anthropology with a focus on human sexuality.

As the babies grew and my big kids grew, we shuttled everyone around to sports things and band things and all the things teenagers do, and we brought the baby (and eventually babies). And I nursed uncovered at every event. And then I tandem nursed and basically my boobs were out, like completely OUT, for at least three solid years.

At more than one event, I was given the put your boob away, lady stink eye. And at more than one event one, or both, of my boys gave the stink eye right back. I didn’t have to tell them to defend their sister’s (and brother’s) right to eat. They just did it. We nursed at a gym, at a concert, at a Giants baseball game, at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, on a ferry, on a beach, at a park.

I never said, “This is my right, and I’m going to do it.” I just did it. And none of them ever thought it wasn’t normal.

Because I never said it wasn’t.

Did my sons see my breasts and nipples? Yes, I’m sure they did. They also saw my vagina, because a baby came out of it and they were watching. And they see my face everyday and the top of my head too because my tallest son is 6’3”. And you know what? They are totally not even traumatized a little bit. Well, they may be a little traumatized by my face. It gets pretty cranky looking when they forget to take out the trash.

What did they learn from those experiences? Well, hopefully, they learned that human bodies are just that, bodies. We respect them and we revere them and we don’t shame them. Because they don’t deserve any of that.

This is where the change starts. With my kids and your kids and the kids who see us feeding our babies without embarrassment. Things become normalized one act a time.

I’ve given my kids the opportunity to see something I hope will serve them in their lives. My son’s partners will never have to be concerned that they won’t be supported. My daughters will know the normalcy that is child birthing and feeding and rearing.

Teenagers are easily embarrassed. And I guess I should have expected that mine would be too. But they just weren’t. Why not? I don’t know. Maybe it was the Anne Geddes book.

____________________

Not sure how to tell your kids about breastfeeding, here is an article with helpful tips. 

 ____________________

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

 

Share

Free to be SAFE!- #TLBsafeKids with Clek

#TLBsafeKids

Hey Leakies,

It’s time to talk about practicing safe…ty.

We’re not here to feed into any anxiety or to cause any stress about your family’s safety.

Be honest, you probably do that just fine on your own.

Since so many of us parents have no problem worrying about our families we wanted to start something to actually help reduce that worry.

I know, right? How are we going to do that without alcohol?

Community. Better than fine wine.

Through the month of September and even far beyond we’re building community to share information, tell our stories, confess our fears, admit our mistakes, and help each other work out the right safety decisions for our families. Free of judgment, #TLBsafeKids respects the individual responsibility of parents for their family and trust them to make the best informed safety decisions according to their individual resources, circumstances, and access to information.

Respecting each other, ourselves, and our children, #TLBsafeKids brings together parents concerned about safety around information, ideas, and sharing our stories. And we believe it can be fun. Though there are aspects of safety conversations and education that can be scary, when we approach it with respect and a sense of fun it can become a part of parenting that isn’t dominated by fear and instead builds confidence in ourselves, our communities, and most importantly, our children. Together we are journeying toward health, safety, confidence, and awareness. Not as isolated individuals, but as a family, a community. With each other and with our kids, we’re taking steps to be confidently and freely safe. It may mean getting your car seat installation checked, reassessing your home for safety hazards, changing how you talk to your children, adjusting your sleep arrangements, fixing something broken in your home, you name it, you define what #TLBsafeKids looks like for you.

It all began in August 2014 with the first ever #TLBmoves and it took off. We cheered on some working on (and succeeding) quitting smoking, others had step goals to hit, there were those that started yoga or crossfit or pilates every day, and others started having salads every day. Getting moving together brought us closer together and we discovered that thanks to the global village of the internet, we could cheer each other on and have fun in the process. When we found ourselves stuck, we could be honest about the challenges we were facing and there would be no judgment, just support and encouragement. It was inspiring and we all wanted to keep moving. Nobody was judged and everyone was supported.

Not long after that we began dreaming about other ways we could support each other and other areas that can be difficult to address alone or where we fear judgment. Safety quickly emerged as an area that where many of needed judgment-free support and information sharing. And to safely admit our missteps along the way.

So #TLBsafeKids was born.

From sleep to babywearing, from car seats to home safety, from relationships to skin care, from health to cleaning products and so much more, we’re talking about it all with #TLBsafeKids and daring to honestly share the journey with each other without judgment. Ultimately, we believe this is the only way we can actually succeed.

#TLBsafeKids isn’t about wrapping our children in bubble wrap and keeping them from experiencing the world around them. Respectful of ourselves and our children, #TLBsafeKids aims to help each of us, parents and children alike, to tap into our own power to make confident decisions assessing risk, utilizing products, and employing strategies that allow us to live life to the fullest while being safe.

We hope you’ll join us.

It’s time for #TLBsafeKids!

Whatever area concerns you the most, our #TLBsafeKids community is here to support you. We may not have all the answers but you have our support in finding them.

Whatever your goal, you can join us for #TLBsafeKids!  This is all about embracing an intentional lifestyle that isn’t encumbered by safe practices but enhanced by them. No matter where you’re starting from and we’re here to support each other completely free of judgment each step of the way.

We have a team to help provide some inspiration, not with dictating how you decide to keep you family safe, #TLBsafeKids isn’t about acquiring a certain set of safety rules, but honest and respectful sharing of the journey we’re all on to keep our children safe. Kids in tow and personal goals put out there, our team isn’t to glamorize the journey, simply to share together one step at a time.

#TeamTLBsafeKids! Meet the five mamas who will be sharing their #TLBsafeKids journeys during the month of September:

Jessica: Founder, owner, and author of The Leaky Boob Facebook group and website; mother of six girls, ages 3, 5, 7, 12, 14, and 16.

Jasmine: is a stay at home mom of 4, 2 in heaven and 2 boys ages 4.5 years old and 7 months. Her eldest has Autism and they are currently implementing some new safety strategies according to his needs. Jasmine is a babywearing group leader in the Pacific Northwest.

Kileah: Member of TLB’s editorial team; mother of four children, ages 7, 5, 3 and 22 months. Kileah loves canning, cooking, and being with her family.

Brianne: work from home mom of 3 children, ages 11, 6, and 3 years old. Brianne is married to a fitness enthusiast but has struggled to find time for herself to do the same.

Meet our partners:

#TLBsafeKids is a big undertaking and we are so thrilled to be working with brands we believe in to bring you this event. Our partners really want to see families discovering the best safety practices for them! With information, education, and support, our partner brands is going out of their way to support YOU. Culminating with a giveaway featuring the best of all our partnering brands for #TLBsafeKids. We’ll be sharing photos of #TeamTLBsafeKids using gear from the following brands:

 

#TLBsafekids clek sponsor

Clek. Elemental safety is the Clek approach — the Clek way of thinking is about the performance of each of their products and the lives they are protecting. Essential elements and our methodology enable them to develop systems that work together to protect our kids. Manufactured in North America with a commitment to innovation without compromise and sustainability which is evident in their recycling program. Clek is striving to keep our kids safe today and tomorrow.

 

#TLBsafekids with California baby, skin deep safetyCalifornia Baby. With a mission to only create the safest natural products to soothe, nourish and smooth out life’s rough patches the natural way: one baby, one kid, one family at a time; California Baby makes it a priority to keep our kids safe from head to toe. They’re obsessed with purity and sustainability in every part of the process, from ingredient selection to manufacturing to packaging and beyond. With California Baby moms and dads who can rest easier knowing that they haven’t brought another unsustainable, toxic product into the house.

Newton Logo

 

Newton. A breathable crib mattress unlike any other. No matter where your baby sleeps, in their own room in a crib, in a crib side-car with your bed, in a crib in your room, or on a Montessori style bed on the floor, a breathable sleeping surface for you little one will let you breath easier too. Newton knows that your baby’s safety comes first and they also know how much you want to give them the right start in life. As experts in the area of sleep, they know just how important good sleep is for both of you. This is why they have devoted our time and expertise to creating a crib mattress that is not only safer, but also more comfortable.

#TLBsafeKids Health safety sponsor Crane

 

Crane. Since 2005, Crane USA has taken the lead in putting the “fun” into cool mist humidifiers, air purifiers, and space heating with a commitment to design for better living. Knowing just how much the air we breath impacts our health and safety, Crane products are functional and efficient at fulfilling your home health needs while communicating an appreciation for elegant design. With a unique sense of design and unwavering commitment to quality Crane continues to create their own distinctive interpretation of humidity, air quality, and heating solutions while remaining a step ahead of the crowd.

catbirdbaby_logo

 

CatBird Baby. Designed by a mom who needed help carrying everything with her baby, CatBird Baby Carriers are designed to be practical, stylish, comfortable, and easy to use. With a variety of products to support babywearing and make the babywearing experience even more enjoyable, CatBird Carriers are designed by a mom for moms and dads. Offering hybrid carriers along with standard designs, CatBird Carriers listens to parents and what they are looking for in a babycarrier.

Rhoost #TLBsafeKids partnering brand

Rhoost. Rhoost’s goal is to create products that allow parents to spend more time having fun with their kids, and less time worrying about them.  They are committed to creating innovative solutions that are safe for babies, safe for the environment, and easy to use. And they’ve succeeded. From baby grooming to cord winders, from finger guards to outlet covers and cabinet closures, Rhoost supports parents in safe, easy living.

When?
#TLBsafeKids runs run from September 1st-30st, 2015, but we hope you’ll keep growing, learning, and sharing long after the end of the month! (We may have something up our sleeves to that end, too!)

How?
Participation is up to you. How do you want to be involved? Want to share your story? Have some specific safety concerns you want to address in your own home? Are you passionate about certain aspects of safety and want to support others in learning about it? Is sharing the process and seeing how others are putting safe practices into place in their home helpful for you? Whatever it is, there are options for finding the way to participate that works best for you and your goals.

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

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

Who?
You, your friends, your kids, your partner, your boss, your mom, your dad… anyone!  Though The Leaky Boob is focused on encouraging families primarily through breastfeeding, we support breastfeeding moms and everyone that supports them.  Breastfeeding isn’t a requirement to participate with TLB and #TLBsafeKids.

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

Share

#TLBMoves: Kelsey’s Story-Changing Her Life to Inspire Others

by Kelsey Daniels

*Editor’s Note: I have had the pleasure of being close friends with Kelsey and her family over the past few years as our two families have grown! I hope that her story inspires you, Leaky. She has been instrumental in encouraging me to  jumpstart taking care of myself with #TLBMoves. If you’d like to continue being inspired by Kelsey and her journey to health, check out her Instagram feed @kelseyjdaniels and Join our Private Group on Facebook!

 

When I became a mom, it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. But to be honest, I kind of lost myself.

I devoted 100% of my time into taking care of my three little boys.

I completely forgot to take care of myself.

 

10418346_10152855333392100_55371046528766681_n

Beginning and Current: Kelsey’s Journey!

 

I used my kids as an excuse for not taking care of my body.I was too busy, too tired, and felt too far gone to do anything about it.

I was surviving motherhood, and not enjoying it at all.

Finally, I decided it was no longer okay for me to use my kids as an excuse to be 50+ lbs. overweight and 11692749_10152852661372100_6381956419378480368_neat nothing but junk. It was time for change. I started eating well, working out daily, and had a killer group of friends to hold me accountable to my goals.

I quickly fell in love with taking care of my body, and my kids quickly took notice! I now feel good about what I’m putting in my body, and I don’t feel guilty when I nurse my little Samson, because I know he’s getting the very best things from me. It’s been just over three months and I’ve lost 25lbs and over 23 inches.

It’s so wonderful to know I’m making my way towards a healthier me, but the best part?

I’ve found myself again.

I matter.

And my family is benefitting from me being well cared for!

I’ve found time in my day just for ME, and it’s amazing how thats affected being a mom, wife, and friend.

I am now the example to my kids that I feel good about.11137182_10152859116892100_8961811249812096667_n

They are my reason why, not my excuse!

 

I did it.

I’m still doing it.

YOU CAN DO THIS.

Together we can change!

From This Leaky To You,

-Kelsey

 

IMG_3082

Kelsey, her husband, and their 3 amazing boys live and work at a youth camp in McCall, Idaho. Kelsey is also a stay-at-home mum and is a coach for Beachbody Fitness! Some of her family’s favorite activities include watersliding, hiking, watching Avatar The Last Airbender, inspiring youth to live enriched lives, and playing pirates with their boys! To follow Kelsey and be inspired by her journey to better health, follow her Instagram @Kelseyjdaniels

Share