TLB Reviews: Líllébaby All Seasons Carrier

The Goods: líllébaby Complete All Seasons Carrier in Stone

The Reviewers: Micah and Amy

The Good: 

Micah says…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

lillebaby lumbar

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

The Bad:

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

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

The Ugly: 

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

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

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Nurturing Life Giveaway – New Life

Nurturing Life

These two words define and drive everything that Motherlove does, from their organic farm in Colorado, to their herbal care products, the educational classes taught by founder Kathryn Higgins, to the Nurturing Life Foundation, Motherlove’s non-profit which supports mothers and children all over the country.  So it’s no surprise that Motherlove has had such a beautiful, long-standing relationship with The Leaky Boob, extending their support of mothers and children to our Leakies and their breastfeeding journey with their babies.  The Motherlove website sums it up well:

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 11.06.13 AMWhat is Nurturing Life?
It is fostering an environment where development, growth, and health are encouraged, and doing so in each facet of our life, including each stage.  True beauty can emerge in your life and others’ as you nurture life in yourself, your friendships, romantic relationship, through pregnancy, birth, in your relationship with your children, and more, and yes, even your garden.

“At Motherlove, we use Nurturing Life as our mission statement because nurturing moms and babies together is essential for both to thrive.  During pregnancy, moms are reminded minute-by-minute of this relationship and we typically focus on our health and wellbeing because it’s tied to our child’s life.” (Nurturing Life – Self Care for Mothers, by Motherlove Herbal Company)

Today’s giveaway is focused on that stage of motherhood where women’s bodies nurture new life within themselves.  As the miracle of new life so naturally models that environment where development, growth and health are encouraged, let’s all remember to take a moment to focus on the areas of our life where we can encourage that nurturing to grow.

Start with yourself.  If you’re in a place where your needs, or your health, have taken a backseat to others’ needs or other priorities, it can be a challenge to find a little space for “you.”  “Motherhood is the same way.  None of us are perfect and learning to nurture yourself is a journey.  Start with just five minutes a day and do something small.

  • Take a walk
  • Enjoy some silence (hard to find, but necessary!)
  • Eat a nutritious meal
  • Take a shower
  • Spend a few extra minutes applying Pregnant Belly Salve just for you
  • Phone a friend
  • Learn something new
  • Watch or listen to something funny and laugh!”

(Nurturing Life – Self Care for Mothersby Motherlove Herbal Company)

It isn’t selfish to do a little something for yourself, to nurture your soul, your body, and spirit.  Actually, nurturing yourself does everyone around you a whole lot of good; it models the importance of self-care to your children, and puts you in a much healthier place to nurture those around you.

Enter the giveaway below and leave a comment describing one or two ways that you intentionally nurture yourself.  They don’t have to be related to pregnancy, and by the way, the Pregnant Belly Salve would make a great “just because” gift for any of your expectant friends; so you don’t have to be pregnant to enter the giveaway.

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Motherlove is giving away a Pregnant Belly Salve to 3 lucky Leakies.

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Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from July 22, 2014 through July 29, 2014.  A big thanks to Motherlove for their ongoing support of TLB and all breastfeeding women; please be sure to visit their Facebook page or follow them on twitter and thank them for their support of TLB and this giveaway opportunity.

This giveaway is restricted to U.S. residents only.

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TLB Reviews: Cezara Belly Support Panty

The Goods: Cezara Belly Support Panty

The Reviewer: Elise

cezara

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

cezara drawing

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

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

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Tattoo risk while breastfeeding

We’re giving away some tattoo aftercare balm and a tattoo.  Seriously.  Keep reading.  But if you want to skip to the giveaway part, the short version is that if you’re using a safe, reputable shop, there is almost no risk to getting a tattoo while breastfeeding.  Which is good news if you’re breastfeeding and want to get a tattoo.  Woohoo!

open line work tree and bird arm tattoo

 

From time to time we’re asked on The Leaky Boob Facebook page about the safety of getting tattoos while breastfeeding.  While there isn’t a lot of information out there regarding studies done specifically on getting tattoos while breastfeeding, most health care professionals agree that as long as you are using a reputable shop that follows all the guidelines required for safe-handling and hygiene, there is no real risk to the breastfeeding relationship for the mother to get a tattoo.

Please note: don’t tattoo babies or small children, that would just be mean.

Just a few weeks ago, following Camp MommyCon near Denver, Colorado, I had a what has been a long planned appointment for my very first tattoo.  And yes, I’m still breastfeeding 2 year old Sugarbaby.  This appointment with Colin Kolker at Chroma Collective Tattoo Co. was in the works for a long time, generously gifted to help me realize a healing dream I’ve had for over 2 years to reclaim a spot on my arm scarred along my motherhood journey.  Colin helped me express my healing, inner strength, and the beauty that I have found along the way with a symbolic and meaningful tattoo that represented all of that to me.  You can read about the story and meaning behind my tattoo here.

 

open line work delicate tree and birds tattoo

Before I even made the appointment, I answered all the questions I could on breastfeeding and getting a tattoo.  Personally I decided that the risk, while minimal, was enough for me to want to wait at least until Sugarbaby was over 12 months old simply because should something happen she would no longer be dependent on just breastmilk.  Even though I was confident nothing would happen.  Finances and opportunity pushed it back another year.  At that point I felt I was well informed on any potential risk and what I could do to all but eliminate even that.  Confident that it was safe, the only nervousness I had going into my appointment that evening was that it would hurt.

It did hurt.  I had tattoolas to help me though.  Because support makes all the difference, don’t you know.  Also, people, stop comparing tattoos to giving birth.  It’s totally different and just because I can handle pain when necessary (and I can’t actually stop it anyway) in order to push out a baby does not mean I’m not a wuss about other pain.  To be clear, I’m a total wimp.  Tattoos hurt.  About like you think it would hurt to be repeatedly stabbed and scratched with a needle.  Because that’s exactly what’s happening.  But the pain was totally worth it and in some spots it even felt good, kind of like a tens unit.  Other spots felt like torture.  Still, not like giving birth, the sensation is much less than that of giving birth.

mom tattoo Chroma Tattoo

Shout out to the MommyCon Tattoolas Laney, Xza, and Alyssa!

Here’s what I considered in making my decision to get a tattoo as a breastfeeding mother:

  1. Ink molecules are too large to get into the blood stream and milk.  Sugarbaby wouldn’t have ink flavored milk but I did love that Chroma Collective Tattoo Co. used nontoxic vegan ink they were happy to show me and explain.  This also meant I was less likely to have an allergic reaction to the ink as an immune response and made me feel more comfortable with my decision.
  2. The shop I chose meets all safety standards, sterilizing the equipment and practicing good hygiene.  Breastfeeding or not, seriously, this is a minimum.  Avoid infection by going to a clean, licensed, reputable shop.  They should have an autoclave, single-use inks, gloves, and needles.  Look them up on review sites and check with the local department of health to see if they comply with health code standards.
  3. My health was in my hands, if I followed the protocol for aftercare I would further reduce any risk of infection or possible harm to me and Sugarbaby.  I followed Colin’s directions exactly and not only did I not have any issues, using the Motherlove Tatto Care, I healed surprisingly fast and with almost no flaking or peeling.
  4. Tattoos have been a part of various cultures for a very long time and is legally supported.  Some tattoo artists may refuse to give a breastfeeding mother a tattoo but no major recognized medical body (such as the AAP or WHO) have issued warnings against the practice.  I felt history and science indicated that it was a safe choice for me.  The considerations put forth in this article were helpful.
  5. I don’t tend to have allergies so I wasn’t personally worried that I was likely to have an allergic reaction to the ink.

delicate tree and birds tattoo and breastfeeding

Tattoos aren’t for everyone and some who may want a tattoo may still feel more comfortable waiting until their nursling has weaned.  For me going through with my ink dream is something I’m incredibly glad I did knowing the risk was almost nothing.

I promised a giveaway.

nontoxic tattoo aftercare

And now… you can get a tattoo and take care of it too!  Motherlove Herbal Company is giving away their Tattoo Care to 3 lucky Leakies.  I used Motherlove Tattoo Care from the very beginning as part of my aftercare regimen.  Colin had instructed me to keep the area moist, not letting it dry out by rubbing in Motherlove Tattoo Care several times a day.  It worked like a charm.  Motherlove Tattoo Care is made with certified organic ingredients, handcrafted in Colorado using the same tried and true organic ingredients that have been trusted in other Motherlove products for over 20 years. This thoughtful formulation of herbs provides optimal moisturizing and healing properties, yet retains a consistency that is comfortable to apply. Unlike petroleum based products, Motherlove Tattoo Care allows the skin to breathe, promotes quicker healing, and allows ink to fully penetrate the skin.

Chroma Collective Tattoo Co. Giveaway

Tattoo in progress selfie!

 

We’re also giving away a 2 hour session with Colin Kolker at Chroma Collective Tattoo Co. in Parker, Colorado (outside Denver).  One lucky Leaky will win a  2-hour custom tattoo session at Chroma Collective Tattoo Co. in Parker, Colorado with artist Colin Kolker. Value: $300 but no cash value. Gift Certificate will be mailed to winner or can be picked up at the shop.  Some restrictions apply.  If the piece is more detailed/larger, the winner will be responsible to pay any remaining difference. If the tattoo takes less than 2 hours, the remaining balance cannot be rolled over into a second tattoo/session- good for one session only. Colin is booked pretty solid but has a few availabilities in Sept/Oct and on so there could be a wait time for an appointment.  Must be 18+ and the winner is responsible for their own transportation to and from the Parker, Colorado shop location.

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TLB Reviews: Bamboobies Nursing Bra & Nursing Shawl

The Goods: Bamboobies Brahhh & Chic Nursing Shawl

The Reviewers: Kileah and Amy

The Good: 

bamboobies braKileah says…Really was suprised with how much I liked the Bamboobies Brahhh. I am ever the skeptic of anything that might resemble “restricting”…for workout or yoga or anything. This bra did not disappoint! So soft, supportive, forgiving to the ever-changing amazing post-partum  breastfeeding breasts…I loved it! No weird seams to dig into my skin (ladies, I am VERY sensitive to seams/rough edges in clothing!). I was so comfortable in it that I wore it to bed. WIN.

As far as the Chic Nursing Shawl goes-I have to tell you a cool sunburn story. So I was silly and got myself a niiiiice sunburn (read: YEOWCH MY SKIN IS ON FIRE.). I couldn’t bear to have anything on my skin but a loose-fitting tank…and this shawl! It was soooo incredibly soft, chic, and gentle on my skin. It was like this soft cool fabric that KEPT COOL even on the 93F day we had. It also served as a genius fashion choice when my 2 year old hobbit wanted to play “yank-the-nipple” with me while breastfeeding at our community gatherings. Plus? Makes an AMAZING jedi cape on the fly. Just saying.

bamboobies shawlAmy says… I start wearing different bras about .02 seconds into my pregnancies, because my boobs are the first thing to change (and scream, “Hi! PREGNANT!”). At that point, stretchy is best for me. I’d say this is a great maternity-through-breastfeeding bra. I love the lotus flower design (hey, it’s the little things!). As far as nursing goes, it pulls to the side easily. It’s a cotton-based material (organic, actually!) and I thought it would lose its shape. Even in the early days of nursing (when I was pulling it to the side practically hourly), it stayed supportive .

And the shawl? Maybe it’s just me, but my body went through major size changes between the last few months of my pregnancy and the first two months postpartum. After I had my baby, nothing fit; not my maternity stuff, not my pre-pregnancy stuff. I wasn’t about to go buy a new wardrobe, so adding this shawl in over a stretchy nursing tank was my move. (It’s very pretty over a maternity tank, too!) It gave me some fabric to work with for privacy while the baby latched (it was a bit of an all-hands-on-deck experience and while I’m A-ok with nursing in public, having a little coverage to get the tongue-tied baby on was nice). It also made me look a little more put together than I would have, otherwise.

Bamboobies BrahhhThe Bad:

Kileah says…I don’t have enough of the Brahhh. I need more. MORE!

I think I’d love to see a grey option in the shawl as sometimes black/plum can be a bit limiting to some wardrobes.

Amy says… I’d like a tiny bit more cleavage coverage on the bra (it dips in the middle), but that’s just me.  I had a little trouble learning how to wear the shawl. That sounds kind of stupid, but I’d put it on and I wasn’t sure how it was supposed to go or be styled or look once it was on.

The Ugly: 

Kileah says…Nothing ugly here. Two hobbit thumbs up!

Amy says… A couple times, the straps let the front of the bra ride down and end up pretty scrunched in the under-boob area (that’s the technical term). It may have been from wearing it for a couple days straight, so your mileage may vary.

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Bamboobies wants to hear from you!  And so they are offering  a giveaway featuring their Nursing Brahhh and Nursing Shawl to 3 lucky Leaky winners (winner’s choice of either the bra or the shawl).  We hope the winner will come and add their two cents in the comment section and on our Facebook page.  Good luck!  Due to shipping and customs constraints, this giveaway is open to USA residents only.

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TLB Reviews: Push Pack

Let’s talk about packing your bag for your birth center or hospital birth. (And hey, even if you’re birthing at home…it’s a good idea to have a bag packed just in case!)

The Goods: Princess Push Pack by Push Pack, $78.95, in Tulip and Magnolia Pink

The Reviewers: Elise and Amy

The Good: 

Elise says… I had a breech position baby so I headed into the hospital for a planned c-section. I was a little nervous as I had never had surgery before. Having the Push Pack helped to make my journey feel like a fun adventure. It was comforting to know I had a package of everything I could possibly need. I packed some of my own things too, but it is nice to have some extras! I did not know how long I would be in the hospital and it was a great comfort to have the pack with me. Two months later I am still using items from the pack. My favorite items by far are the breast pads. I have tried many different kinds of breast pads both disposable and cloth and the cloth pads included in the pack are definitely my favorite.  I was impressed that the included items were all natural including Tom’s of Maine toothpaste and lanolin free nipple cream. I would definitely recommend getting this for someone as a gift. I know that people love to give baby clothes at baby showers, but it is so much nicer when someone gives you something fun and useful like this pack.

Elise received the Princess Push pack in Tulip.

Elise received the Princess Push pack in Tulip.

Amy says… I had a planned home water birth, so I’m writing from a slightly different perspective. This time around (my second birth) I did not want a repeat of my hospital birth. I didn’t want anything to do with packing any “emergency” or “just in case” bag. From that point of view, I love that this is a ready-to-go bag that’s all done for you (in a pretty case, to boot!). If something hit the fan, this pretty little case included everything I needed. Basically, it didn’t mess with my psyche AND I was still prepared. BOOM.
The bag it comes in is extremely high-quality and pretty (I’d expect it to retail for over $40, actually), I’ll get years of use out of it. (There’s a less expensive version that comes in a different bag that isn’t premium like the one we’re reviewing, too!)
The products are very consciously-chosen: organic, natural, good-for-your-body-and-the-earth stuff. That made the bag even more of a no-brainer for me. I didn’t need to think about packing stuff and this came with product selections that I would have chosen for myself. I can’t honestly think of what I would add, other than my own clothes, baby clothes, and my camera (and they actually include a tag on the bag with a suggested list of what to pack in addition to the Push Pack, which would be really helpful).  You really don’t need much more than what’s in this bag!
Here are some pictures of the goodies that came in the Push Pack:
Really pretty, right? It's an extremely high quality bag!

Really pretty, right? It’s an extremely high quality bag!

push pack personal care

Everything you need to be fresh & clean! If you walk out the door with only this, you’re covered.

Mama care: pads, disposable underwear (there were 3 in the pack, 2 are shown), Earth Mama Angel Baby's Mama Bottom Balm, Motherlove nipple cream, and breast pads. You're literally taken care of from top to bottom.

Mama care: pads, disposable underwear (there were 3 in the pack, 2 are shown), Earth Mama Angel Baby’s Mama Bottom Balm, Motherlove nipple cream, and breast pads. You’re literally taken care of from top to bottom.

The inclusion of a notepad, pen, and thank-you notes? I think that's brilliant. So helpful.

The inclusion of a notepad, pen, and thank-you notes? I think that’s brilliant. So helpful.

The pack of playing cards is great! It's very possible you're going to have to pass some time, so they might come in handy.  There were more snacks, but, uh...pregnancy. I ate them before photos were taken. ::hangs head in shame::

The pack of playing cards is great! It’s very possible you’re going to have to pass some time, so they might come in handy.
There were more snacks, but, uh…pregnancy. I ate them before photos were taken. ::hangs head in shame::

I was reaching for the nipple cream and breast pads within hours of birthing my son at home, so this isn’t a product that needs to be exclusive to moms birthing at hospitals or birth centers. I’ve found most everything to be useful and this was great to have at home for my peace of mind, should a transfer have been necessary. Price-wise, I think you’d come pretty close to what this costs if you tried to DIY it. Once you add in the convenience of someone else thinking through what goes in it and packing it, I’d buy one if I were birthing again. I also think this would make a fantastic gift for any mama-to-be!

 

The Bad:

Elise says… Honestly I did not end up using anything in the pack while I was in the hospital. To my surprise my c-section went amazingly smooth and I was only in the hospital for 2 nights. The hospital was great in providing everything I needed for those two nights. However when I got home I found myself going back to the bag over and over again to get needed items. When I ran out of those ugly disposable underwear that are oh so necessary I found an extra pair in the pack. When I ran out of pads I had extra in the pack. When I ran out of shower gel and nipple balm, there were some in the pack. So while it was merely a comfort to know I had it in the hospital it really became useful during my postpartum recovery at home.

Amy says…  It comes with a packet instant oatmeal that says it helps promote milk production, and it’s my understanding that you need old-fashioned rolled oats if you’re aiming for a galactagogue effect. (Though hey, it’s just nice to have an option that isn’t hospital food, I guess! And it comes with a spoon, which is really thoughtful.)

 

The Ugly: 

Elise says…  I ran out of thank you notes and I was hopeful I could use the ones in the pack, but they were too small to fit my standard size birth announcement. I am not a gum chewer or candy eater so while the lollipop and gum were fun ideas they were not useful to me (but probably great for others!).

Amy says… The razor that comes in it is probably not one I’d use (single blade, disposable, I’d probably cut myself). Same goes for the undies; even though they’re individually wrapped and labeled as disposable, they weren’t going to be comfy enough for me to wear. (Though admittedly, I’m very particular.)

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We’re super excited to be giving away a $40 gift code to one lucky Leaky to help them select their own Push Pack.  This giveaway is open to US mailing addresses only.  Good luck!

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Nurse Purse Giveaway

Who says you can’t have beauty and function in the same bag?  That’s the idea behind Adrienne’s design of her Nurse Purse diaper bags.  But way more than diapers bags, Nurse Purse bags are a purse, diaper bag, pumping bag, and computer bag all rolled into one. So you can go to work with your laptop, breast pump, and anything else you need in the same purse, and look really cute doing it too!  Beauty and function.  Welcome new TLB sponsor Nurse Purse by reading the following Q & A we had with Adrienne, make sure to enter the giveaway (for you or a friend!) and take advantage of the 20% discount available to Leakies!

Adrienne

Adrienne and her children. Photography by Hillary Harvey – http://hillaryharveyphotography.com

TLB:  What would you like TLB readers to know about Nurse Purse?

Adrienne:  I think every new mom has that moment when they think “I wish this existed!” or “Someone should invent this.” For me that moment was about trying to continue successfully breastfeeding my son after my maternity leave ended – it was just so challenging for so many reasons, and the logistics of lugging my pump around did not help!

I certainly didn’t set out to become an entrepreneur, but it was something I felt so passionately about, and still do. I saw a need for something that would make life easier for myself, and other pumping moms out there, and I couldn’t rest until I saw it through.

TLB:  What inspired you to start Nurse Purse?

Adrienne:  The Nurse Purse truly was born out of necessity – as a working, commuting mom, I could not manage lugging at least 3 separate bags around the city. It was hard enough going back to work after a terribly short maternity leave, but carrying that black bag was the icing on the cake. It made me feel terrible!  I knew there had to be a better way – and when all my searching came up short – I knew I had to create the solution myself. After I had solved the problem for myself, I heard from so many other women who had the same issues – I spoke with so many moms to come up with something that would make people’s lives easier. I wanted to make something functional but also something that would people would actually look forward to carrying around. The moms I have met and continue to meet have been an amazing inspiration.

TLB:  What is your favorite feature of the bags you make?

Adrienne: From a functional perspective I love that there is room to keep everything including the plug and tubes, all set up so you are ready to go each time – it used to drive me CRAZY that I would have to fish around for the plug (that was always tangled !) every single time.

From a design perspective, I love the photo sleeve so you can always have a photo of your baby close at hand for some ‘pumping inspiration’, and I love that the bright, cheerful prints are actually fun to carry.

TLB:  It’s tough running your own business.  How do you balance your work and family lives?  

Adrienne:  It’s a constant challenge. The hardest thing is resisting the temptation to sneak in a little work here and there, because technology makes it so easy! So you just need to relax and know that those phone calls are not going to get made, and those emails will have to wait – enjoy the moment you’re in.

TLB:  What is your favorite breastfeeding tip?

Adrienne:  Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Your friendly local LC is an amazing resource! I thought I was doing ‘ok’ – but had no idea how much I didn’t know until I met with a wonderful lactation consultant who I credit with my success both with early breastfeeding and then when I had challenges after returning to work. I also had some challenges with my younger son that I didn’t have the first time around, and my LC helped me get back on track – and still going strong :)

on a walk

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Adrienne is giving away a Nurse Purse Breast Pump Bag to one lucky Leaky.
(Winner’s choice of our 4 stylish prints)
Retail Value: $129.00

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Print 1Print 2

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Currently Leakies can find the Nurse Purse in the www.nursepurse.com website, and on Amazon.

Use promotional code LEAKIES20 for 20% off your purchase through July 20!  Happy Shopping!

nurse purse logo photo

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Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from July 3, 2014 through July 10, 2014.  A big thanks to Adrienne and Nurse Purse for their ongoing support of TLB and all breastfeeding women; please be sure to visit their Facebook page or follow them on twitter and thank them for their support of TLB and this giveaway opportunity.  Find them on Pinterest and follow them on Instagram too!

This giveaway is restricted to U.S. residents only.

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TLB Reviews: A Mother’s Boutique Annee Matthew Maternity Wear

We’re talking maternity and nursing clothes today on TLB Reviews!

The Goods: Nursing tops and maternity bottoms. We reviewed the Keyhole Tunic and Maternity Leggings from the Annee Matthew line at A Mother’s Boutique.

The Reviewers: Amy and Kileah

Kileah rocking the Keyhole Tunic in Indigo!

Kileah rocking the Keyhole Tunic in Indigo!

A very-much-over-being-pregnant Amy in the Keyhole Tunic (fuschia) and leggings.

A very pregnant Amy in the Keyhole Tunic (fuchsia) and leggings.

The Good: 

Amy says… I have to talk about the leggings first. I had a HUGE pregnant belly and anything cutting into it, especially on the underside, wasn’t going to fly. I absolutely loved these leggings (they can be worn below or pulled over the belly). They’re like being able to legitimately wear PJs outside the house! They’re incredibly comfy, even over the course of a 12 hour day. Paired with the Keyhole Tunic and a light sweater, they made for a put-together outfit that wore well even through the very end of my pregnancy (when most other tops didn’t cover the length of my belly). Now that I’m breastfeeding, the Keyhole Tunic is an easy go-to, since it looks nice (and conceals my postpartum belly a bit) and I know I can nurse in it. (Note: If you’re in the Pittsburgh, PA area, I highly recommend stopping into Judy’s boutique! She has an area where little kids can play and the personalized bra fitting and shopping service is great!)

Kileah says… Have you ever gotten that twang of inner anxiety over purchasing a NICE item of clothing on the internet? Will I get the size right? What if I think the colour makes me look like a circus clown? Yeah. Online purchasing anxiety was set to rest when the keyhole tunic arrived in the mail. I had chosen the jewel-toned purple color and WOW.  The moment I slipped it on I noticed how gracefully it flattered my soft 4 months post partum midsection! It gave me the perfect fit in the shoulders, the fabric seams didn’t creep me out, the fabric itself was so soft and lightweight, and the length. OH THE LENGTH! I have paired it with printed leggings, or dark wash skinny jeans, a silk scarf, have thrown a light sweater over it, put some fantastic jewelry with it and creatively breastfed from nearly EVERY DIRECTION in this lovely top. Bonus: this top is well suited for pregnancy, post partum and breastfeeding.  I’d say that’s a win, people.

The Bad:

Amy says… Some people will balk at the price, especially for the top. I get that. I love a good deal and dropping almost $60 on one top can seem crazy to me, too. But (but!)…the quality is good and I know I’m going to breastfeed this kid for the next 2+ years. Having a few staples that I know are passable at most social events and are breastfeeding-friendly is worth a premium to me. The price tag may well be someone else’s “good” and still someone else’s “ugly.” It’s all relative.

Kileah says… Yeah. The price might create a bit of sticker shock for some, but in comparison to something you’d be getting at a premium store that would probably only get used during pregnancy, this is such a quality well-made piece and well worth the investment. A good wardrobe can go a long way for us, mamas!

The Ugly: 

Amy says… I put the leggings through regular machine washing and drying (is there any other way?!). The elastic in the waistband ended up twisting such that I couldn’t really get it to flatten out again. (I probably could have, but I didn’t care to fight with it that much.) Other than that, no complaints.

Kileah says… I am not a pearl button kind of gal. My tunic came with a pearl button at the apex of the keyhole on the front and sometimes I think it clashes with certain styles of jewelry/looks. But it IS tiny…and if I really want to be a snob over such a great piece of clothing, I can always switch it out for something else. Definitely worth it!

Editors note: anyone else kind of wish Micah was reviewing these too?  I’d love to hear what he thinks about the fit and the little pearl button.  ;)

As we get our review program kicked off, we wanted to include the chance for someone else to get to review something as well with a giveaway.  A Mother’s boutique is offering one $50 gift certificate to a lucky Leaky winner. We hope the winner will come and add their two cents in the comment section and on our Facebook page.  Good luck!  Due to shipping and customs constraints, this giveaway is open to USA residents only.
~Jessica

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The Dairy Fairy Extended Father’s Day Giveaway

father

FATHER’S DAY SHOULD BE MORE THAN “JUST A DAY”.

by Emily Ironi of The Dairy Fairy

 

The unsung hero, the “rock” in our lives.

This year, father’s day took on an even more special meaning to me as it landed on my dad’s birthday.  Sadly, he is no longer here for us to honor and celebrate him.

My father represented so much to me….  he was my idol and my mentor.

He taught me how to play fair, and how to get what I wanted.  He instilled a love for travel and discovery, and an unparalleled work ethic, that I can now say it at the root of The Dairy Fairy.  He is responsible for everything I do, from being an entrepreneur, to having my daughter on my own, so that I don’t miss out on the chance to be as amazing of a parent as he was.

So, I’ve decided to extend Father’s Day – at least for the week ; )

And a chance for your husband/partner to enjoy a little sexy something – on you!

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On top of the chance you have to win a sexy Arden Bra in the giveaway below, I’m throwing in a special Father’s Day discount, good through June 22:
$20 off on our Arden All in One bra in Ocean Color, using code ‘fathersday’.

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The Dairy Fairy is giving away an Arden All in One Handsfree Pumping and Nursing Bra in Ocean Color to one lucky Leaky (and her significant other!).

The Arden is the only bra that multitasks as much as mom does! Pump, nurse, adjust, beautifully.  Available in sizes XS-XL (32B-42G).

Ocean closed.nurse.pump

The Arden Bra and the Sadie Tank are available at www.thedairyfairy.com

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Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from 6/16 through 6/21.  A big thanks to Emily Ironi and The Dairy Fairy for their ongoing support of TLB and all breastfeeding women; please be sure to visit their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter and thank them for their support of TLB and this giveaway opportunity.

This giveaway is restricted to U.S. residents only.
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Natulo Giveaway

So many businesses get started from an idea based on a need, whether it be a lack of availability, a completely new product, or improving on something that’s already out there.  Natulo is no different.  Created by work-at-home-mom Katrin, Natulo is still a very small business, but Katrin believes her products can benefit moms and little ones everywhere, especially when they need relief from everyday ouchies. Get to know Kartin and Natulo in the following interview, and then enter their Dr. Seuss-inspired giveaway!

Katrin's pic

TLB:  What would you like TLB readers to know about Natulo?

Katrin:  Natulo was inspired after my daughter was born. One of those sleepless teething nights inspired me to create our Natulo IceTeethers. Initially we started off with the plastic teethers in the freezer. But as I grew crunchier, with time, and started traveling more, we needed something which stayed cold longer and was not made of plastic. After the birth of my son, I created the OuchEase bags. With nursing challenges and an active toddler, we had our share of ouchies which needed warmth and cooling. Everyday life inspired our products which we use on a regular basis at our house.

TLB:  What is the inspiration behind your name? 

Katrin:  Ha, we spent one afternoon looking for a name which sounded natural. A pound of Nature, some Nautical and a pinch of “natural.”  As a little SAHM startup I wanted to have a website and Natulo was still available, so, my little home business had a name.

TLB:  What would you say are some of Natulo’s key values in making products for mommies and babies?

Katrin:  The products we create need to be non plastic, natural and/or organic, easy to use and  practical; solve an everyday problem for mommies and/or babies.

TLB:  Could you tell us a bit more about the OuchEase bags?

Katrin:  The OuchEase bags are made from organic cotton fabric with fun prints, mostly Dr. Seuss themed. Inside the bags is organic jasmin rice. These bags can be put in the freezer (we always have one frozen), but they can also be heated up in either the Microwave or the oven. The rice will hold the temperature, weather cold or warm, so that the bag then can be applied to whatever ouchy there might be, from Mommy’s engorged Boob to little one’s bee sting or twisted ankle or bumped head. And believe me, the fun prints make all the difference to get the kiddos thinking about something other than how much they are hurting.

TLB:  What is your favorite breastfeeding tip?

Katrin:  Stick with it! With my first, nursing came natural and easy – with my second the first two months were very hard with lots of tears. I’m happy I remembered the time nursing with my first and I knew I would just stick with it, we (baby and I) would work together and  find our way ..which we finally did.:)

natulo logo

Natulo is giving away one OuchEase bag to two lucky Leakies.
(winner’s choice of print)

OuchEase Bag: 100% colorful organic Dr. Seuss Cotton – filled with organic rice – your choice of the Dr. Seuss theme (make sure to comment which one you’d like to win) - Retail Value: $25.00

Natulo - OuchEase - The LoraxNatulo - OuchEase - Lorax Flowers

Currently Leakies can find these and other practical mommy and baby items on the Natulo website www.natulo.com.

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Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from June, 10th, 2014 through June 17th, 2014.  A big thanks to Katrin and Natulo this show of support to our breastfeeding community; please be sure to visit their Facebook page and thank them for this giveaway opportunity.

This giveaway is restricted to U.S. residents only.

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