Pump Like a Pro – The 300 Hour Rule

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

 

Breast pumping tips Snugabell PumpEase

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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Sexy Oatmeal

by Carrie Saum

Sexy Oatmeal

 

When I was exclusively pumping, I lost interest in oatmeal around month four. Completely. It went the way of my sex drive. Gone. Poof. The end. Oats and penises were unwelcome guests in my body, and it took a while to come back around to both.

As it turns out, I just needed to spice things up a little. Well, okay. That’s not entirely true. I needed to spice things up more than a little. I needed a major boost to my palate, my milk supply and my sex drive.

After doing some research, I discovered a small amount of maca root might boost my sex drive, as well as my milk supply. After having a chat with my doctor and midwife about the possible side effects of maca in breast milk, I felt safe trying it in very small quantities.

I bought some organic maca powder from my favorite local health food store and tasted it. It was pretty gross. I tried mixing it in my coffee. That was worse. I added a half teaspoon to my oatmeal. It wasn’t bad. In fact, I couldn’t taste it.

I choked down quarter of a bowl of oatmeal with the maca. I was still weary of eating oats, so I needed to reinvent them. But what can you do to oats? I mean, at the end of the day, oats are oats, right?

I pumped an hour later and got two ounces more than I typically did at that time of day.

That night, my husband and I were watching TV after putting our son to bed. I had the sudden urge to jump his bones. And I did.

Obviously, the next morning I was determined to make my oatmeal taste decadently delicious. Because it was doing good things for my baby, my body, and my marriage, I needed to make it do good things for my palate. I played with some spice combinations, continuing to add (barely more than a pinch of) maca to my breakfast bowl, and tried dousing it with Indian spices, fresh fruit and nuts. I wanted my oatmeal to taste the way I felt: warm, complex, and sexy.

I know. HOW CAN OATMEAL BE SEXY? But I wanted to dress it up in its most alluring dress with a bra straps slipping, biting it’s lip with smoldering eyes. Ancient maca root and lots of spices do just that. My post-partum body NEEDED me to do that.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups liquid (milk, water, or combination of both)
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 2 Tbsp butter or coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed or flax meal (they’re the same)
  • 2 tsp raw honey or maple syrup
  • ½ tsp maca powder
  • ½ tsp of the following spices:
    • ground coriander
    • ground cardamom
    • ground cinnamon
    • ground tumeric
    • ground ginger (or sub minced candied ginger if you want a little kick and sugar is not a problem for you)
  • pinch of salt
  • dash of vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Combine liquid, salt, oil and spices and bring to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil. (If you are using milk, you will need to stir constantly.)
  2. Add oats, vanilla and flax meal, and stir well.
  3. Cook over medium low heat for 20 minutes, stirring often, until thick and creamy, or it reaches your desired consistency. Add maca powder in at the end and mix well.
  4. Top with sliced almonds or pecans, sliced bananas, and a little raw honey or brown sugar.

Disclaimer One: Too much maca might make you a little testier than usual. It can ramp everything up, including your emotions. It stokes the fires. ALL THE FIRES. So, use restraint when adding it to your oats.

Disclaimer Two: Maca has been used for centuries to naturally support hormone balance, and but you might want to run it by your doctor to be on the safe side. If I took too much, it revved my son up for a few hours. If you or your trained medical professional person feel uncomfortable with the maca, you can omit it. It will still work great with the flax and oats.

Disclaimer Three: Be sure to stock up on condoms or your favorite birth control. Or don’t and make another baby. Either way, this could possibly boost your libido, so be prepared.

Disclaimer Four: Sex after baby can be tricky (some tips from HIM on better sex after baby here, some tips from HER on better sex after baby here.). While a little maca helped my struggling libido, it doesn’t work for everybody. Because everybody’s body is different. So, go easy on yourself, and know there is support for you wherever you’re at.

_______________________

If you love this smoothie recipe, you might like this recipe for Paleo Chocolate Chip Granola or these Gluten-Free Strawberry Shortcake on Our Stable Table.

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*Note: It’s important to point out that most women aren’t going to need to eat food with the intention of upping their milk supply, if everything is working the way it is supposed to, your baby will know how to up your supply just fine themselves. Skin-to-skin and feeding on demand are the best ways to increase breastmilk supply to meet your baby’s needs. (Concerned you have low supply? Read this to help figure out if it is something you need to be concerned about.) For those women, galactalogues just happen and they don’t need to think about it. But some women, like me, do need a boost. As a mom who ended up exclusively pumping and indeed having low supply such that I ended up on medication solely to increase my milk production, I know what it’s like to look for anything, anything at all that would help my body make even just a little more milk to help feed my baby. With the support of my health care providers, we tried everything. It becomes “I will eat all the cookies, I will drink all the shakes, I will eat all the parfaits!” if it even just makes me feel like I’m doing something to address the low supply struggle, it is worth it.

_______________________

IMG_2895Carrie Saum brings a passion for wellness and over a decade of experience in health care to her clients. A certified Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor (AWC) from the Kerala Ayurveda Academy, she empowers individuals and families to achieve health and balance through time-honored practices and health knowledge.
Carrie has extensive first-hand experience in vast array of medical and service fields. With background in paramedic medicine, Carrie spent ten years serving in the non-profit sector managing organizations, programs, and orchestrating resources to meet health needs of people across the United States and abroad in countries such as Guatemala, Mexico, Kenya, and Zambia. As an AWC, Carrie currently coaches her clients and their families about topics including nutrition, weight loss, and stress management. In addition to her work as a wellness counselor, Carrie is a passionate “foodie” and author. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and young son and writes atOurStableTable.com.
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Pump Like a Pro – Add a Session

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

 

Breast pumping tips Snugabell PumpEase

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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TLB Comic: Leaky Trouble

by Jennie Bernstein

TLB comic, funny friday


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Newsletter: THE NEW MOM- Our Best Advice EVER!

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For the BRAND NEW MUM, or for the NEWLY-MADE-MOTHER in your life, this newsletter edition is just for YOU. Resources curated to keep, share, and change lives plus some special discounts! We welcome you and your new bundle. If that new baby stage is over for you, scroll down to our contribution from our sister sites that have nothing to do with babies and infant feeding for recipes, relationship stories, and reviews.

 

Dear Leakies,

How will parenting change you? Let me count the ways. We’ll start with 4 for now though.

Whether everything went according to the serene picture in your head or nothing like it at all, becoming a new parent is an experience like no other. Largely because all the preparation in the world doesn’t really prepare you and before you know it, parenting is sink or swim.

So you start swimming. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep SWIIIIIIIIIIIIIMING!

The reality is no matter how much you envisioned being a perfect parent, you will fail. I know, not very encouraging. But the sooner you accept that, the better it will be, you are not going to ever be a perfect parent. Parenting will change you and though you won’t be a perfect parent, you ARE the perfect parent for your child(ren). Flaws and all. There are glorious, amazing moments in parenting that will take your breath away. There are sweet, tender moments in parenting that will make you smile and treasure the little things. And yes, there are horrible, nightmarish moments in parenting that will cause you to question what you were thinking getting into this gig in the first place. All of the moments need the other moments.

Three ways parenting will change you:

You will redefine a good night’s sleep. And you’ll be amazed at how little can feel so good. Four months into parenting our second daughter, who had a personal vendetta against sleep, we had our first night with 4 hours in a row. Plus another 2 after that. It was amazing. I celebrated. Never mind that a year before a good night was 10 uninterrupted hours of sleep.

Clean takes on a new meaning too. So just how much like sour milk does that shirt you wore yesterday smell? On a scale of 1-10 if it’s a 7 it may likely pass as wearable.

You will need more storage on your phone. Sure, it’s popular to be annoyed with your friends posting pictures and videos of their kids all the time on social media but, OMG, you should have seen the way she discovered her fingers! You’re going to need more room on your phone.

Patience for yourself. At least I hope parenting changes you this way. If you are a perfectionist, this is particularly hard. In the end though, if you wouldn’t want someone treating your child the way you treat yourself, then you’re going to need to model that with how you treat yourself. Patience is key.

You’ve got this. You will keep swimming.

And for some of the more fun parts of parenting a newborn, see these 12 signs that you’re breastfeeding a newborn here.

Scroll down for more support for new parents, a great coupon code (20% off!) for a top that will convert all your shirts into breastfeeding tops, and for topics well beyond those baby days, see the sections from our sister sites OurStableTable.com andBeyondMoi.com.

GO HERE for an exclusive coupon code and MORE!

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Pump Like a Pro – Bring on the Dirty Clothes

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

 

Breast pumping tips Snugabell PumpEase

 

There’s nothing quite like that indescribable mini-rush you get from catching a deep whiff of baby smell.  Well it turns out that unlike the stuff they spray inside of new cars, new baby smell has a serious purpose — a biological one!

Picking up on your baby’s unique smell can actually help you let down and get that mama milk flowing.  It’s all part of the biological response mechanisms that have been ingrained in us to help make this whole breastfeeding thing work.  But what happens when it’s time to fire up the pump but your little one isn’t close by?

Trick yourself!  (Or at least trick your boobs.)

Take a deep whiff of some recently-worn baby clothing for a similar letdown response to the one you get from soaking in your baby directly.  You may also notice an accompanying feeling of general peace and relaxation, which isn’t too shabby in the middle of a long day either.

Toss a gently worn onsie or other article of baby’s clothing in with your pump supplies and always have it handy.  Rotate the item from time to time to keep that new baby smell nice and fresh!

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

 

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#LeakyLooks: Work And Transitions! Celebrating World Breastfeeding Week 2015

by Kileah McIlvain

It’s the end of summer! We can all feel it. The anticipation of cooler days, school supplies, hot tea, and ALL OF THE FLANNEL (okok. I’m from Portland. Like THAT wasn’t obvious! Ha.). But – it’s August. Which means, for a lot of us, it’s still fairly warm and dry outside. We’re getting some of our older kids ready for a new school year, all of the extra errands we’re running to sign our kids up for fall sports, physicals, dentist appointments, end-of-summer-getaways, considering more versatile clothing to facilitate pumping at work….August fills up pretty fast when you think about it!

To kick off #WorldBreastfeedingMonth, I asked our Leakies in our Facebook Community to share with us what they wanted to see in our latest pics-and here they are! Be sure to tell us what you liked and what you’d like to see! Want to submit your own ideas for us to feature? Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram and use #LeakyLooks! xoxo -Kileah

Leaky At Work

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This look features a great neutral-themed collection of “transition pieces” that are pumping-friendly and versatile. I started with some great ankle trousers from Gap that can be paired with a boot, heel, or ballet flat. This particular trouser style and print are really versatile, fashion forward and can be dressed up or down while remaining uber comfy in various work environments – even at home! This great light-blue cotton button-down tunic top from H&M+ works really well for pumping in a Hot Milk Chic Ivory Nursing Bra without a lot of fuss and looks classy paired with a minimalist color pop of jewelry like this teething necklace from Vintage Honey Shop! When transitioning to autumn, it’s a great idea to combine both layers and texture – so pairing a lightweight structured shirt with a woven blazer like this one really keeps the outfit alive and functions to keep you warm if you need it! Don’t forget to complete the outfit with a chic durable pumping handbag like this Juno Blu Esalen bag in “Steel Snake”!

Boutique Business Owner

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This look captures such a chic and comfortable vibe in tones of stone, deep plum and blushed peach! I wanted to highlight the nursing mama who may be a small business owner. This beautiful viscose navy tie-back nursing dress from Seraphine is incredibly soft and really works well with a variety of body shapes and is easily adjustable to celebrate your beautiful mama body! Long hours means every piece you wear needs to work to your advantage and comfort, which is why I chose this Leading Lady Molded Sport Nursing Bra from Herroom. It provides breathable, comfortable all-day support in a GREAT range of sizes, and is a great price as well! I couldn’t resist these great stylish flats from Modcloth (oh, Modcloth: Let me sing the ways I love thee!). Who doesn’t want a cute bag that doesn’t cost you your firstborn? This Skip Hop diaper bag is a chic, cost-conscious option for carrying essentials for both you and baby. Building relationships with local shop owners and your little one wants to explore with you? This beautiful Wildbird.co 100% Linen ring sling in Cockatoo is a beautiful and inexpensive option for keeping your sweetling close! (Plus, I have this thing for bees and honeycombs! Again, Modcloth accessories are GENIUS. And adorable!)

 

Pine State Mama

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If you know me AT ALL, Leakies, you know I have a love for Leyton Doc Marten boots, Portlandia, and all things Plaid. This look came to me after contemplating how much I love a local haunt called Pine State Biscuits. Because giant biscuits. And gravy. Just….google it. I know it isn’t the same as stuffing your face with them, but maybe you should start planning a foodcation here? Asap? I thought so ;) The Your My Lumber One dress from Modcloth passes the #boobouttest worn with a comfortable pair of boyfriend jeans and this GREAT Elomi nursing bra! I just recently bought this great black wool hat at H&M (seriously. it goes with EVERYTHING. Even sweatshirts!). And basically Beco baby carriers WINS with Herman. Because vintage octopuses? Yeah. Be still my beating heart! Plus, with my growing little ones, I’ve been needing to upgrade to a more toddler-supportive carrier option. Beco really takes the cake with comfort in my book-for both parents AND kids!

I hope you love these looks! Remember! Tag @TheLeakyBoob on Instagram with #LeakyLooks to show us how YOU rock your workwear, boobwear, and anything in between! WE want to feature YOU! #LeakyLooks #FashionForAll #YOUmatter #BoobOutFashion #MaternityWear #NursingWear

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Are We Getting It Wrong? TLB’s Latest Newsletter

Dear Leakies,

962543b9-ef8a-4e3a-bd8b-cbc3a5a5bfcbI’ve pondered what to write here for World Breastfeeding Week but the truth is for TLB every single day is World Breastfeeding Day so I find myself coming up with all the same things to say. Not to mention that after MiLK last week (a huge success!) I’m exhausted and focusing on my family. But every year as World Breastfeeding Week rolls around I find myself wondering if we’re getting it all wrong? Are we asking the wrong questions? Speaking (YELLING?) at the wrong people? Considering the wrong issues?

This year it seems like maybe not, we’re talking about breastfeeding and the work place, important matters to discuss. But who is doing the talking?

But my family needs me and so does yours.

So I don’t have much to say. It really just boils down to these bullet points:

Feed your baby.

Shut out the haters.

Push for positive change including work place policies.

Cheer on companies that support breastfeeding and go against the grain.

Spread love, grace, and understanding.

People before feeding methodology.

Feed your baby.

Read these posts for inspiration: breastfeeding friendly work place; breastfeeding passion and TLB mission; and the breastfeeding family. Scroll down through the newsletter for more on how we maybe need to change the conversation.

To read MORE on our latest newsletter, and to watch an exclusive video I wanted to share with you on this subject, WATCH HERE.

Happy Breastfeeding! Happy Bottle-feeding too.

Peace,

Jessica Martin-Weber

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TLB Reviews: Virtual Bra Fitting

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

The Reviewers: Elise and Kileah

The Good: 

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

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

The Bad:

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

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

The Ugly: 

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

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

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

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

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I WAS WRONG: Supporting FEEDING CHOICES-Why It Matters To Us

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Dear Leakies,

First, don’t miss out on the big giveaway featuring TWO Tula Baby carriers (a wrap and a soft structure carrier), a set of 4 Eco Vessel water bottles from Eyla’s, 4 tubes of Thinkbaby sunblock, and a Belabumbum sporty mesh nursing bra and nursing racerback cami. Find more info further down in this issue including the secret entry code.

Secondly, I was wrong, so wrong. For a long time I thought there had to be one right way to do anything. That there was a script for life that if you just followed it, everything would turn out how it should.

Only when I tried it I discovered 2 things: 1) I couldn’t always follow the script either because lack of skill, opportunity, or burn out and 2) even when I did stick to the script others didn’t or it didn’t matter anyway.

So it is that I’ve learned there are many ways to mother, many ways to define success, many ways to be healthy, many ways to be active, many ways to be educated, many ways to love, many ways to dream, many ways to have a baby, many ways to feed that baby, many ways to care for that baby, and many ways to bring up that baby. And on and on and on.

In most areas in life, there is no one right way, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

Let’s get moving, let’s feed our babies, let’s live and enjoy life, and let’s have grace for the ourselves in the journey.

Let’s do it together.

Find community on our Facebook page, our Facebook community group, our #TLBmoves community group, and relational resources on The Leaky boob website, Beyond Moi website talking about relationships and life, and OurStableTable.com bringing the whole family around the table with recipes and conversation. TO ENTER GIVEAWAYS and find out more, READ HERE.

-Jessica

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