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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#LeakyLooks: Out And About With #TLBMoves

We’re wrapping a month of getting ACTIVE with #TLBMoves and #LeakyLooks and we thought we’d share one more collection of outfits that are boob-friendly, pumping friendly, and paired for YOUR lifestyle! Getting active can be so many different things. Dancing with your kids, hiking the new trail up the Gorge, swimming, playing hide-and-seek with your baby, hitting the gym, outdoor  yoga, a family walk after dinner-whatever gets you moving and making healthy choices for your family lifestyle-we want to be there cheering you on! Got a look you’d like to share with us? Head over to Instagram, take a #LeakySelfie and TAG us! We’d love to feature YOU and how you go about your day with your littles!

 

Day On The Lake

Boat Trip

We are really fortunate to have a ton of lakes, waterfalls, and creeks around the Pacific Northwest. This summer has been unusually HOT for us, and hitting any local natural watering hole is a MUST. And NOT getting seriously sunburned in the process. (No, really. Poor husband decided to NOT use our Thinkbaby sunscreen. Half a back of blisters and a call with our doctor later…NOT doing that again.). Pulling a simple look together with the essentials is what this look is about. Sunscreen, wide sunhat to keep the burn from getting you, staying hydrated, a good bag that organizes, a breathable mesh bra from Belabumbum (if you aren’t swimming. or, you could actually probably swim in this just wonderfully!), and a carrier like this Tula buckle carrier in “Fizz”  in lighter colors so you and baby can stay cool!

 

 

Seattle Saturday

Saturday City Stroll

We drove up to Seattle a couple of Saturdays ago and it was remarkably pleasant and cloudy for the whole day! (A welcome relief after the heat wave we’d been experiencing down in Portland!). I wore an outfit similar to this one. Lightweight, monochromatic, and chic. A simple pair of ankle-length jeans and this button-down sleeveless shirt (easy nursing access!),  a great teething necklace from The Vintage Honey Shop, A Ju-Ju-Be bag, Birks (how much do I love thee?!), the Lotus Nursing Bra from Belabumbum, and the exclusive Tekhni Wovens wrap in Nymphai available exclusively for the upcoming MiLK Conference in L.A. this weekend!

Easy Saturday

Easy Saturday

I put this look together to be lovely, simple and functional. A soft-cup nursing bra from Belabumbum paired with a great half-button tunic blouse (This one is from Old Navy!) and your favorite pair of jeans. Keen ballet flats (because seriously. Mamas need comfy feet. All that walking!). This beautiful Tula Migaloo Wrap Conversion Ring Sling in Passion is a GREAT choice for the end of summer (and a wonderful simple color that transitions really well into autumn.). Did you know that Eylas carries all-natural hand sanitizer spray? And it works? Let’s just say I’d like to have a few of these around my  house (and in my car. and my diaper bag. and my carrier. lol.) A great silicone chewbead necklace from The Vintage Honey Shop completes this effortless look.

PSSSSSST. Have you entered our huge #TLBMoves giveaway yet? No? Get over there and enter before your chance to win is gone!

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#LeakyLooks: Get Outside And GO!

This week with our #TLBMoves campaign we’re focusing on getting outside and I thought it’d be fun to show some creative ways to get moving outside! From Summer Vacations, Evening BBQ, to a beautiful morning of Yoga In the Park-these looks are designed for the breastfeeding mama in mind! Wherever you move, we want to make sure you are equipped with a put-together look that inspires you to live this summer to the fullest!

Like what you see? Got a boob-friendly outfit you want to share with us? Pin, RePost, share the looks or YOUR LOOK on Instagram or Pinterest and TAG us using our #LeakyLooks hashtag! We’d LOVE to inspire our fellow Leakies with fresh ideas and ways to put their best breast forward! :D

 

Yoga In The Park

Yoga In The Park

Yoga in the Park may be one of my most favorite things, ever. Now, trying to do it with 4 kids under 7 may not be quite so relaxing, so this is definitely a “by personal situation” advice ;) I centered this great layered look around the Belabumbum Hoodie Wrap (great for those cooler mornings outside!) and their bright pink Nursing Racerback Cami! The cami has a great hidden panel that sits right underneath your breasts and makes it easy to fold up and down wherever you are practicing your savasana. I had to include Eyla’s Eco Vessel Water Bottle in Lotus and some sunscreen. Because mornings tend to be a bit harsher in the UVA/UVB rays, you want to make sure you and your baby’s skin is protected!

Summer Party BBQ

Summer BBQ

Summer BBQs can be so much fun! A game of horseshoes, drinks on the lawn, conversations under a giant awning, and the best grilled kabobs to celebrate high summer! This dress from Modcloth is a great “breast-friendly” dress as it buttons down the front AND is lightweight and can be dressed up OR down! Pair this dress with a pair of floral wedges (sturdy, ties your outfit together, and comfy!) and a fantastic Amy Michele diaper bag to pull your look together. Need some lightweight and breathable support? I found this delicious Belabumbum Tallulah Lace Nursing Bra that perfectly fits the criteria! Don’t forget the sunscreen for you and baby-and finish this look off with a GORGEOUS wrap or ring sling like this exclusive Tekhni woven wrap for The Leaky Boob designed after Jessica’s tattoo sleeve! This wrap will ONLY be available for purchase at the MiLK conference in LA!

Summer Jet Setter Mama

Summer Jet Setter Mama

Some of us have some summer vacations planned this summer-that may or may not involve airline travel! I immediately wanted to put together a look that was simple, travel-able, comfortable, and willing to stand up to easy flight transfers and baby or toddler needs, and still feel fabulous and not weighed down with too much “stuff.” This look is put together using a lightweight button-down Chambray shirtdress from Maurices, an easy camel wedge from Toms, and this gorgeous NEW Tula carrier called “enDEERing”! Belabumbum has a GREAT cotton-based bra called the Lotus Nursing Bra that I had to include. One of the softest and most breathable bras out there. You’ll need to stay well-hydrated on the plane and going to and fro, so Eyla’s Eco Vessel water bottles are a great choice! Ju-Ju-Be’s Be Prepared diaper bags are one of the BEST ways to organize all of your must-brings for you and baby!

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#LeakyLooks: Where Do YOU Move?

We have the privilege of crossing paths with so many unique Leakies as we join together in community! This month as we celebrate #TLBMoves and get moving, I wanted to have a little more fun with some of the diversity we encounter when we go about our days! As some of you may know, I’m a nerd…like, Comic Con Nerd. (Nerd heaven for those of you who don’t speak geek!).  My little family also likes to trek around the great outdoors (ahem…though I’d like to go glamping one of these days. Feather bed out in the sticks? With a wood stove? In a canvas tent? Don’t judge. I’m serious. :P). I’ve also begun officially working out with my partner of 10 years and we’re seeing such good results in being intentionally active! I think you guys are gonna LOVE these #LeakyLooks!

So: Wanna do something AWESOME? Head on over to Instagram, use #TLBMoves and #LeakyLooks and post a picture of how YOU like to jam! We’d LOVE to feature you! Is it a breastfeeding-friendly Cosplay? Your FAVORITE camping get-up? Your newest Yoga ensemble? Show us! Let’s inspire our Leakies!!!! #BoobOutFashion #TLBMoves #LeakyLooks #MyLeakyFashion

Comic Con Mom

ComicCon Mama

SDCC2015 has come and gone, but us nerd mamas are still proudly wearing our geeked-out faves! Who says we can’t breastfeed and wear our babies in our Nerd finery? We say you CAN! I centered this look around passing on our nerd-genes with the new Tula “Sidekick” carrierBelabumbum’s Lena Peek-A-Boo Nursing Bra keeps you comfortable and fantastic walking those aisles of Con-exclusive merch, and pairing a ThinkGeek vintage Wonderwoman t-shirt with a vintage Marvel Comic shoulder bag completes this Cool mama look ready to conquer even the esteemed Hall H!

Hit The Barre

Hit the Barre

Every mama could use some more balance and strength in their life! This look is featuring our MiLK Conference Tekhni Wovens EXCLUSIVE wrap in “Tuxedo” designed from Jessica Martin-Weber’s beautiful tattoo artwork on her skin to honor her fight with Hyperemesis Gravidarum. I added in the extremely comfy Belabumbum Yoga Jogger Pant along with their NEW Sporty Mesh Nursing Bra! (seriously. no one needs boob sweat crampin’ their Barre style!) Some soft, disposable bamboo-based nursing pads from Bamboobies help with any potential nursing leakage, and a strong recycled glass water bottle from Eylas is going to help you stay hydrated as you work towards getting strong and balanced!

Camp Your Heart Out

Camp Your Heart Out

Who says you can’t be CUTE and prepared while you camp with your baby? Get ready to rock the great outdoors with Tula “Campy” and all of the chemical-free ThinkBaby Sunscreen you can slather on! Mountain Mama crafts well-made outdoor gear specifically for the hiking and camping mama! And no trip into nature is quite complete without a triple-insulated Eco-Vessel Boulder Bottle from Eylas-keeping hot OR cold liquids/soups at their temps for HOURS.

We hope you loved this week’s #LeakyLooks! Make sure to tag us on Instagram and show us what you’re dressed in today! We may just feature you and inspire all of our mamas! Let’s get our #TLBMoves on!

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What I Want My Daughters To Know About Motherhood- Feeding Babies

by Jessica Martin-Weber
Recently I was reflecting on why I started Milk: An Infant Feeding Conference and I thought back on my different feeding journeys with my daughters, looking back and wishing there were things I knew when I first started out that I know now. I considered writing a post to my young self but then I realized that the ones I really want to know now what I wish I knew then about infant feeding are my daughters. Before they embark on their own motherhood journey, before they begin feeding their own babies (yes, I’m assuming that out of 6 girls at least one of them will have children and I will get to be a grandparent), there are so many things I want them to know, I could write a book and not just on infant feeding. Respecting that their journey will be their own, not some version or extension of mine, what I want to share isn’t a how to nor is it a manual, it is more just… my heart. Why am I starting an infant feeding conference? My daughters are why.

View More: http://yourstreetphotography.pass.us/martinwebberfamily2

Dear Daughter,

From time to time I reflect on the days when you were new to the world, newer than you are now, which is still pretty new. Those days when you were tiny and fit snuggled on my chest with your arms and legs tucked under you, my hand supporting your little bum. I think about the smell of your head, the feel of your skin, the depth of your eyes. I smile as I remember arguing with your father and sometimes others that it wasn’t gas, you were actually really smiling in your sleep. Like precious family heirlooms, from time to time I reverently unpack the memories of your daddy gently swinging you on his arm during fussy periods of the day, how one of your big sisters would interact with you, the way you calmed when I held you, the seriousness with which you would watch light dancing on the wall, and other fragments of the time when you were the smallest big thing in my world.

Some of those cherished mental keepsakes have little barbs on them. They sting when I unpack them, no matter how careful I am. How you were taken away from me just after I had the first chance to hold you because I was hemorrhaging, the time I screwed up and dropped you due to careless use of an infant carrier (Oh sweetie, I tried to call Child Protective Services on myself), hours and hours of screaming that nothing would soothe and the obvious pain you were in (heads up, colic is hell), the stint in the hospital with RSV, and so many more. I could keep these painful memories locked up and forgotten but I don’t, though I don’t linger over them too long, they are an important part of the story we share.

A good number of those treasured memories so carefully packed in my mind are around feeding you. You, as babies do, ate often. Satiated is but a temporary state of being and babies stay there only for brief moment of visitation. Some of these memory gems are truly sublime, shining moments that reflect the light of my love, your beauty, and our connection in sparkling bursts of color from ever angel and with every turn. Some of them are more like clunky chunks of rough rock, the weight and texture of which can make me raw. There is beauty there, beauty only appreciated when the whole topography is viewed. I cherish them all.

My baby feeding story journey isn’t isolated to just feeding you. All 6 of my children have impacted me and feeding each of them has had a hand in shaping me as a mother and directly impacting how I parented. And so, there are a few things I really want you to know about feeding babies. This won’t give you everything you need to know but these, my strong, intelligent, and courageous daughter, are the things what I want you to know from my heart about feeding babies and I hope sharing this now feeds you in a new way.

Feeding is important. Very important. Feeding our babies is the most basic, most essential, most immediate, and most elemental aspect of parenting. It can be said, without fail, that not feeding your baby is parenting failure. Neglect. Abuse. This may seem obvious and it is, but it is also important in ways you wouldn’t first see.  In my experience, how our children come to us is a journey that shapes us much like rushing water can shape rock. Babies aren’t the only ones birthed, mothers are birthed through the arrival of their children into their lives. Likewise, how we feed our babies can lay a foundation for how we parent. Feeding can shore up our confidence as parents and it can tear it down.

But not that important. For as deeply as it can impact us, you’ll feed your babies so many times each day that it can become mundane. That’s ok. You don’t have to experience each moment feeding your baby as a super special time of bonding. That would be like expecting every meal with your significant other to be a candlelight dinner that you poured yourself into preparing and spent looking deeply into each other’s eyes. In the end, as long as the feeding happens, the important part is done. And because it has to be done so frequently, letting go of expectations as to how it happens can be freeing to enjoy each experience as much as possible without the stress.

You matter too. Before baby comes, everyone is all about the mother-to-be. After baby comes, everyone is all about the baby and the mom is little more than the easel holding up the masterpiece. With that comes all the opinions on how to care for, and certainly how to feed, the masterpiece. But you matter too. According to many, you’ll be doing it wrong. Even those who support the method you are using will find ways to tell you are doing it wrong. Everything is subject to such “support” when it comes to feeding your baby. Bottle feeding? You’re holding that bottle wrong, using the wrong bottle, giving a bottle at all… all wrong. Breastfeeding? You’re using the wrong position, the wrong pillows, the wrong place, the wrong timing, doing it at all… all wrong. Pumping? You’re using the wrong pump, the wrong setting, the wrong method, doing it at all… all wrong. With everyone focused on the adorable masterpiece, they will want to “help” you care for it “right.” In the process, some will forget about caring for you. Mothering may change how you see your body and how you feel about it, aspects you may not love may be the most wonderful to your child. Mothering will change your heart and how you feel about it, aspects you may not love about yourself may be the most wonderful to your child. Take care of you, your children will need you to, they need and love you. It may feel selfish but taking care of you is important in taking care of your baby. You matter. Find those that can genuinely support you and your goals in caring for your baby. Those who believe you matter too.

The system is broken. It is improving and I hope by the time you are embarking on this journey, the system will be in a much better place. Right now though, it’s broken. From uninformed health care providers to uninformed store managers, from predatory marketing to pushy breastfeeding supporters, from poor insurance coverage to poor maternity leave, from ignorant judgmental strangers on the internet to ignorant judgmental friends in person, the system of infant feeding support in our society is failing moms. It is imbedded in our culture and it is hurting people. That can change but only by addressing the system rather than individual parents. They, you, just need someone willing to support them as a person, not a conquest. There is a lot of hurt, anger, guilt, shame, fear, arrogance, and hope surrounding this and you will hear it but it isn’t really about you.

Science is cool. There’s a lot of it and you’ll want to take the time to be familiar with it before you head into feeding your babies. Not everyone agrees on the science, it’s worth hearing the various view points. Being informed and personally conscientious can help you tap into your own powerful confidence. Decide what makes sense to you, what works for you according to the information, resources, and support available to you within your personal context and individual circumstances.

But feeding babies isn’t science, it’s a relationship. At some point, all the information in the world, all the evidence, all the support, all the goals aren’t important any more. Because it is a relationship. You and your baby. You are the one who knows what that relationship needs, you are the expert, you are the one most qualified. Even when you feel like you aren’t. You taught me that what a baby really needs is a fully invested parent who lovingly cares for them. Listen to yourself and your baby and don’t let anyone else define your relationship, feeding or otherwise.

There is more, so much more about feeding I want to tell you but for now I’ll stop here. Except for this:

I believe in you. I support you. Whatever you need, I am here for you and plan to be there for you. Unless you ask me not to. But most of all, I love you. You’ve got this.

Love,

Mom

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What would you say to your children about infant feeding? How will you tell them the story of feeding them? What do you want them to know?

Milk BLO event graphic

I started Milk with MommyCon founder, Xza Higgins, with the goal to bring together health care providers, parenting advocates, infant feeding influencers, and parents for workshops, seminars, and connecting centered around conversation supporting feeding our babies.

Founded on the belief that infant feeding support makes a difference and can directly influence confidence levels in parents, MiLK focuses on information sharing and mindful support that builds parents up without tearing down, respecting the unique journey of each of us. MiLK aims to actively educate and support infant feeding by connecting health care providers and the families they care for discussing breastfeeding, formula feeding, breastmilk pumping, at the breast supplementing, bottle feeding, cup feeding, spoon feeding… FEEDING. This is not, to be clear, a breastfeeding conference. It is an infant feeding conference with a goal of bringing together health care providers and parents where we can learn from each other.

Most importantly, I hope we learn how to really listen and what support can really looks like.

I hope you can me join me in Los Angeles, California, July 31st and August 1st. The speakers and panelists are all people I greatly respect, people that inspire me not only in my infant feeding journeys but in supporting others in their journeys as well. Offering 9.25 CERPs (IBCLC) and 11.1 Contact Hours (BRN), MiLK is for the lay parent and the health care professional.

I would love to see you there.

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We have a MiLK giveaway!
3 prizes:

Grand prize: 2 tickets for one winner with the VIP option and a set of general admission to the local breastfeeding support group of their choice, 1 Arm’s Reach Mini-CoSleeper in Santa Fe, 1 tekhni Nymphai wrap, 1 Ergobaby nursing pillow, 1 Ameda Purely Yours Breast Pump, 1 Eat@Moms shirt, 1 box Earth Mama Angel Baby Organic Milkmaid Tea, 1 Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter, 1 pair Earth Mama Angel Baby Booby Tubes.
Prize pack 1: 2 general admission tickets to milk, 1 tekhni Nymphai wrap, 1 Ergobaby nursing pillow, 1 manual pump, 1 Ameda nursing tank, 1 Eat@moms shirt.

Prize pack 2: 2 general admission tickets to milk, 1 tekhni Nymphai ring sling, 1 Ergobaby nursing pillow, 1 Eat@Moms shirt.

milkgrandprizegiveaway

Open to USA residents only.

Please use the widget below to enter.

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The Real Problem With Breastfeeding is How We Are Talking About Breastfeeding.

By Kimberly Seals Allers

Spoiler Alert: We are Losing the Story War

The Story War Changing the Narrative and Winning the Story War on Breastfeeding

Lately, when my Google alerts on “Breastfeeding” appears in my Inbox, I literally hold my breath as I click to open the email and glance at its contents. If it’s not another mother being kicked out of a public place where she was breastfeeding, there are mothers staging nurse-ins in protests, or twitter wars in response to mistreatment of a nursing mother—words like “banned” “fight back” “lashes out”, “demand” “forced to apologize” are everywhere in the breastfeeding media narrative. Increasingly the language of breastfeeding is the language of battle. Sides are taken. Fights ensue. Women resort to resistance protest measures on social media and in real life. And so it has me thinking, whether the real problem of our continued embarrassingly low-for-a-world-leader breastfeeding rates is not about breastfeeding at all. After all no one can deny its immunological benefits and unparalleled preventative health properties. But perhaps, the problem of lackluster duration rates is directly related to how we are talking about breastfeeding. There is no question that we are in a story war when it comes infant feeding norms, but the language of the war we are in is all about fighting.

In this environment, everyone loses.

Perhaps in our zealousness to “defend” breastfeeding we are actually turning people away, creating more divisions and essentially shooting ourselves in the foot. After all, who wants to take up an activity that requires battle techniques or civil rights era tactics? Or may cause you to be kicked out of a public place and in the middle of a media maelstrom? And so I’m forced to ask, whether the language of breastfeeding which includes scientific terms like “evidence-based” and overly simplistic slogans like “breast is best” combined with a protest background is actually inflicting more harm than good. Is this how we win? And by win, I mean, increase breastfeeding initiation and duration rates and thereby improve the health outcomes of mothers and babies.

In the breastfeeding world we often see the “enemy” as the deep-pocketed infant formula marketers who peddle misinformation and insidious ideas masquerading as mother empowerment. With such a formidable competitor we see no way to battle such a behemoth and actually be victorious, and our frustration with their deceptive tactics often leads to anger. And rightly so. And while this may be a valid human response, it may not be the best tactical response. The biblical story of David and Goliath comes to mind. David did not attempt to battle Goliath on his strengths, but he exploited his weakness and his arrogance.

In The Art of War, Sun Tzu says “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” Truth is, we can win the breastfeeding story war without engaging in the language of battle. We have a more powerful tool at our disposal and historically it has won wars time after time. I know you’re asking yourself right now, well, what is it? That brings me to my excitement over the July 13th debut of my dynamic, new live stream presentation, Be The Shift: Changing the Narrative & Winning the Story War in Breastfeeding and my not-to-be-missed keynote at the upcoming MILK: An Infant Feeding Conference in Los Angeles on July 31 & August 1. In both presentations, I will be drawing on my decades of experience as a media professional, expert story teller and communications strategist and applying that knowledge to one of the greatest public health issues of our time—breastfeeding. For months, I’ve been intrigued by this topic and I have been studying the art of war, the phenomenon of story wars and combining it with what I know as a media professional and a big ideas person with a passion for breastfeeding. One thing is clear, today’s story wars are not the story wars of yore because frankly our oral tradition has changed—today it is more digitally powered. And that can’t be ignored. But winning the war means the strategy needs to work on the policy, professional and people level—I’ll detail how.

On July 13th, I’ll be streaming live from the uber chic Neuehouse NYC and it is going to be an eye-opening game changer for anyone who cares about infant health. I can’t wait to share these new learnings with you. You can get more information and register here. And then on July 31 and August 1st, I’ll bring the essence of that presentation to the west coast, along with exclusive worksheets and interactive exercises to the MILK conference. I hope to see you there where we can work IRL and one-on-one in shifting your personal or organizational story to improve our breastfeeding outcomes.

Aristotle said “It is not enough to win a war; it is more important to organize the peace.” By shifting our language and understanding the elements of a winning story narrative we can organize and maintain the kind of peace that improves maternal and infant health outcomes for generations.

Now, there’s a battle, I’m willing to get behind. Please join me.

In motherhood,

Kimberly Seals Allers

Changing the narrative and winning the story war on breastfeeding

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KSA Hi resKimberly Seals Allers is an award-winning journalist, author and a nationally recognized media commentator, consultant and advocate for breastfeeding and infant health. A former writer at FORTUNE and senior editor at Essence magazine, Kimberly is widely considered a leading voice in the counterculture movement in infant feeding. Last year, her online commentaries on the social, structural and racial complexities of maternal and child health issues received over 2 million page views. Kimberly’s fifth book, a groundbreaking analysis of the social, political and economic influences on the American breastfeeding landscape will be published by St. Martin’s Press next year.
 As a consultant, Kimberly has led innovative community-based projects in the southeast and Philadelphia that explore the impact of “first food deserts”—communities that severely lack or have inaccessible resources to support mothers who choose to breastfeed—and examining how to transform these areas into more breastfeeding supportive environments. Kimberly is currently the project director of the First Food Friendly Community Initiative (3FCI), an innovative pilot project funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, designed to understand the impact of “place” as a social determinant of breastfeeding success and to create multi-pronged community support for breastfeeding. Her advocacy work has also centered on connecting breast milk as the most healthful first food to the broader “good food” movement and rethinking childhood nutrition and preventative health as beginning at birth.   
In addition, Kimberly specializes in issues related to African American motherhood and breastfeeding and is the former editorial director of The Black Maternal Health Project of Women’s eNews. In 2011, Kimberly was named an IATP Food and Community Fellow, funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and works to increase awareness of the first food—breast milk, in vulnerable communities. She currently leads nationwide workshops for health care professionals on cultural competency and breastfeeding and is a prominent speaker on community-based strategies to reduce the racial disparities in breastfeeding and infant mortality rates. 
 Kimberly has appeared on Good Morning America, CNN, Anderson Cooper, the Tom Joyner Morning Show, Fox News and featured in various international and national media outlets, including The Guardian (U.K.), U.S. News & World Report, Essence, Black Enterprise, Pregnancy and in various online media properties.
Kimberly is a graduate of New York University and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. A divorced mother of two, she lives in Queens, New York, with her children and two turtles. Follow her on Twitter @iamKSealsAllers
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Stars and Stripes Forever Edition! (and a HUGE giveaway bundle!)

by Kileah McIlvain

We’re gearing up for some HOT Independence Day celebrations this weekend here in the States! (Also, a shout-out to our Canadian Leakies today-July 1st! Happy Canada Day!) So much excitement going on around here that we decided to do a super patriotic #LeakyLooks theme as well as celebrate with Summer Magic Giveaway Bundle just for YOU! (Also, if you’ve joined our TLB Community on Facebook, I gave a super awesome hint about our Newsletter-exclusive secret code words for FIVE EXTRA ENTRIES for all running giveaways! Yeah. If you haven’t signed up for our Newsletter yet, you may just want to if you want to increase your chances of winning this super sweet bundle!)

This week we’re all about the patriotic stars and stripes and the good ol’ red, white, blue for our #BoobOutFashion! Take a look, see what we put together for you. Share, comment, repost on Instagram and Pinterest and show us YOUR patriotic #LeakyLooks this week! (and seriously. go sign up for the Newsletter. You won’t wanna miss this!). Scroll down to the bottom and enter that giveaway! Ready? Set? GO!

Grand Ol’ Flag Neighborhood BBQ

BBQ

 

Here’s a great collection to help you feel put-together as you attend that neighborhood BBQ to celebrate the 4th festivities! I paired this GREAT Milk Nursingwear Contemporary Knot Top with a pair of cropped trousers from Old Navy! A beautiful Tula ring sling in Eclipse to show off your patriotic stars and a Bebe Au Lait nursing cover to give some shade for you and baby in that great July sun! A You!Lingerie bra and Babymel ‘Cara’ diaper bag complete this great red, white, and blue ensemble!

Patriotic Pool Party!

Patriotic Pool Party!

It’s ALL about the vintage and pinup bathing suits this year! Why? Because they’re so complimentary for YOU and they show how FABULOUS you are! I immediately went to Modcloth for this gorgeous pinup suit (and it’s easy boob access!) and paired it with a lightweight wrap skirt from Peace Love World for when you want some poolside sunbathing options! And since I’m a huge babywearing fan, I had to put TWO different carriers in-A great version of another Tula ring sling and one of the newest polkadot Ergobaby carriers! Pair these with some patriotic-themed chewbeads, some sunnnies, and a great Orla Kiely bag from Target, and you’re ready for a fantastic day on the lake, river or backyard pool!

Stars and Stripes Evening Gala

Stars And Stripes Evening Gala

I couldn’t help but put this gorgeous evening look together for a beautiful evening dance set to the patriotic tunes of the night with fireworks booming in the background! I put this look together using this gorgeous navy dress from Modcloth paired with a fantastic pair of peeptoe vintage red pumps from them as well! A beautiful navy nursing bra from Cake and a small metallic clutch for the essentials. And I couldn’t resist finishing off the look with a beautiful silk ring sling from Sakura Bloom! Now you’re ready for an evening that is feeding-friendly and fashionably gorgeous!

Ready for our giveaway? Scroll down!!!

 

LeakyLook Summer Magic Bundle

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#Leaky Looks Summer Magic Giveaway Bundle includes items from AppleCheeks, Bebe Au Lait, and Naked Tank!!!

AppleCheeks

2 AppleCheeks Infinity Nursing Scarves – Retail Value: $64

1 AppleCheeks Swim Diaper – Retail Value: $19.50

1 AppleCheeks Little Bundle Bamboo Diaper – Retail Value: $28.95
For more information visit www.applecheeks.com

Bebe Au Lait

1 Muslin Bedtime Sleeper – Retail Value: $32.00
 1 Muslin Carseat Cover – Retail Value:  $35.00
 1 Muslin Swaddle Blanket (set of 2) – Retail Value:  $32.00
 

For more information visit www.bebeaulait.com

 

 Naked Tank

 1 Black Luxury Bamboo Naked Nursing Tank – Retail Value: $40.00
For more information visit www.nakedtank.com 

Total Retail Value of Bundle: $251.45

 

 

Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to enter. The giveaway is open from July 1, 2015 through July 5, 2015. A big thanks to AppleCheeks, Bebe Au Lait, and Naked Tank for their support of TLB and all breastfeeding women.This giveaway is open to participants in the USA and Canada.

 

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Epic MiLK! The Leaky Times Newsletter Vol.8

by Kileah McIlvain

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Dear Leakies,

This may come as a shock, but I’m not passionate about breastfeeding.

Which is why I hope you all can join me at Milk: An Infant Feeding Conference on August 1st in Los Angelas, CA. This conference is all about bringing together everyone involved in infant feeding conversations to learn how to listen, share information, and offer true support. Support that isn’t possible when we’re judging and shaming individuals.

Nearly every day we hear from moms they concern about how they are feeding their baby. Guilt weaves through their words. With heartbreak they share their story, aching at what they perceive to be failure and hoping we can offer some magic fix. We tell them all the same thing.

Feed the baby. That’s the first rule of infant feeding care, FEED THE BABY. Because no matter what methodology, the baby must be fed. Not feeding the baby IS failure.

If there were a first rule of infant feeding support, it should be “DON’T BE A JERK.” Followed closely by “SUPPORT THE PERSON OVER THE METHODOLOGY.” Being a jerk and supporting a methodology over people IS failure.

Feeding the baby isn’t failure.

Sometimes, the people that should be the most supportive, end up offering unsupportive support.

READ MORE HERE!

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Leaky Looks: Let’s Welcome Summer Edition!

by Kileah McIlvain

Hey Leakies! Summer is HERE (ok. ok. It officially starts on Sunday…but around here all of the schools have just gotten out for the summer and you can literally smell the sunscreen and freedom wafting in on the warm breezes we’ve been getting here in the Pacific Northwest!

This week we’re giving you some beautiful looks celebrating the beginning of summer in STYLE! pssssst…..Don’t forget to stay tuned for our Applecheeks Nursing Infinity Scarf giveaway!

 

To The Zoo We Go

day at the zoo!

This look I had to put together as we’re planning a zoo trip soon! Keeping it light and layered with an Applecheeks Infinity Nursing Scarf, a Yummielife.com nursing tank, and a Target.com pleated maxi skirt completed with a J. Crew summer hat andSalt Water Sandals from Modcloth! It’s important to have a simple but capable bag like this beautiful plum colored Juno Blu Pumping Bag and keep hydrated with a Sigg water bottle and I also added in some California Baby suncreen (great for kids AND adults!) and one of my favorite lightweight strollers: the Joovy Groove UltraLight! Set for a day of primate watching and exploring the animal kingdom!

Concert On The Lawn

Summer Concert On The Lawn

This look was one of my favorites as here in Portland we get the treat of sooo many wonderful summer concerts outside! I centered this look around the Floressa Ayana Maxi Dress from Queen Bee, a Chambray jacket from Lulus.com, and Kokoro wrap in Mon Cheri. Our delicate grass around here can get a bit dry after the hot weather we’ve been having so I added in a soft blanket from Urban OutFitters. Best part about this ensemble? The Custom wrap conversion bag from Smiling Octopus. Isn’t it just amazing?!

Summer In The City

Summer City mama

This look I curated around this beautiful lightweight button-down blouse (easy to nurse in!) fromAshleyStewart.com, the Anita Stretch microfiber nursing bra Bare Necessities and distressed jeans from Torrid.com. The cute summer hat is from Forever21.com and my current favorite suede wedges from Toms.com. When you’re trecking the concrete jungle in warmer weather, you don’t want a big bulky diaper bag to clunk around your midsection! I added in this gray canvas leather tote from Pottery Barn Kids as a sleek and understated option for carrying your essentials. Beco Soleil in Steps is one of the best lightweight carriers to explore the best haunts and food carts in with your baby!

Have a great week, Leakies! Don’t forget to enter our Applecheeks giveaway when I give the signal! Watch for it!!

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Leaky Looks: YOU Choose Edition!

You spoke, and I delivered! This week to kick off the month of June, AppleCheeks, Naked Tank, and Bebe Au Lait teamed up with me to give you our freshest and latest #LeakyLooks!  I asked all of our Leakies on Instagram and Facebook  the #BoobOutFashion they wanted to see MOST on our picks this week.  The top 3 came in as Boho/Hippie Mama, Beach/Daytrip Mama, and Workout Mama.  Have fun looking through your looks! Pin, share, repost, tag us and tell us what you would choose!

 

To The Beach We Go!

To The Beach We Go!

I think most, if not all of us, want that perfect summer dress. Light, flowing, flattering and breathable (and #BoobOut -able!). I started out with this gorgeous all-cotton Torrid maxi dress that hits loosely at the natural waist and flows comfy and loose over all of our beautiful mama shapes! I saw the AppleCheeks nursing infinity scarf and fell in love with the colors immediately! As a scarf-lover myself, this lightweight item works as a no-fuss fashion statement, nursing cover, and beach hair protector all in one! I added in a soft pink bra, a silver footbed sandal, teal leather diaper bag, and a wide-brimmed sunhat from LL Bean (and let’s not forget the chewbead bracelets! I love wearing a TON of these in the summer!). I chose to include one of EWG’s highest-rated sunscreens (and gentle on sensitive skin!) and an adorable AppleCheeks diaper. Toss in a Mastitis Patrol tee for your little, sunglasses, and your favorite soft-soled sandals and you’ve got the makings of a fantastic day in the sand and surf!

Rockin’ That Gym Look!

Rockin' That Gym Look

I got so many awesome requests to do another workout look this week! I had done a couple of looks here and there, but this has got to be my favorite collection so far! I centered this look around one of the BEST Leaky wardrobe pieces in my closet-the Naked Tank! It’s breathable, lightweight, comes in white or black, and means I don’t have to put on 3 layers to function comfortably (can we say NO OVERHEATING OR SWAMP BOOBS?! Plus, free shipping for orders over $50? Yeah. Just Do It. No pun intended. Ha.) I LOVE these Belabumbum yoga jogger pants that fit loosely in the hip and thigh and hug the ankle! The rebound racer sports bra that I chose isn’t actually a “nursing” bra, but it might as well be! the front two straps are high-quality velcro that allow you to undo a side and adjust after you empty a breast! The HydroFlask insulated water bottle has always been one of my favorite go-to’s for keeping liquids cold OR hot, depending on my needs. Add in a durable gym bag, a lightweight top to cool down in when you leave the gym and some great Asics trainers and you’ve got yourself a no-fuss, all-function workout ensemble!

Work That Bohemian Mama!

Earthy Mama

I fell in love with this cotton wrap boho skirt from oOlives on etsy and just HAD to use it to create this bohemian hippie look! A wrap skirt is such a great option for both pregnant and nursing mamas as it’s easily adjustable and comfortable (and cool!). I added in a peasant top from Walmart (inexpensive!) and a lovely bralette from Aerie.com. Now…the piece that I’m MOST excited about in this look is the Bebe au Lait muslin nursing cover in Botanica! This lightweight premium cotton muslin is the PERFECT match for a hot day, whether you need it to shield baby from sun or distraction while eating or you can drape it over a low branch to give baby extra shade! I’m pretty sure I want every print they have. Ha! I added in the Ergo carrier in Dandelion because it’s all cotton and a lighter color which means it’ll be reflecting heat more than absorbing it.  I finished off this look with a fun diaper bag, Born gladiator sandals, and an awesome multi-colored necklace from Modcloth!

So there you have it, Leakies! YOUR CHOICE. And I absolutely LOVED your ideas! I hope you like what I picked! Tag me on instagram (@theleakyboob or @abitofearth) and show me how you rock YOUR #BoobOutFashion!

PSSSSST. Remember to keep an eye out for our upcoming giveaways!

They’re almost here!

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