Baby Bump, Baby Bed- Arm’s Reach Concepts Cosleeper Giveaway

Henna belly

For approximately 40 weeks your uterus is your baby’s playground, carrier, and bed. It’s a cushy and safe spot for them, rain or shine. If everything proceeds normally, a baby in the womb faces very little threat and though plenty of mothers will have scary dreams and anxieties about what could possibly happen, most will encounter nothing more worrisome than dealing with maternity clothes and figuring out the estimated due date. With all the protection they need, most babies usually grow in a secure environment. Plus, it’s attractive. There is something so special about seeing an obviously pregnant woman. Maybe it’s the glow from sweating thanks to the increase in hormones and body temperature. Maybe it’s that life is growing and a new person is expected. Maybe it’s the way the hormones have relaxed all the joints and there’s a waddle to her step. Maybe it’s the grimace of pain mistaken as a smile from the bowling ball pressing on her pelvic floor and nerves. Maybe it’s just how much everything is about to change. Whatever it is, it’s beautiful.

Then baby is born and that beautiful bundle is significantly way more exposed. Cute, but now there are safety concerns with how they are transported, what they’re wearing, how they’re held, and where they rest. Even when they are sleeping you have to be careful. There will be a lot of checking to be sure that little chest continues to rise and fall with each breath. It helps when there is another attractive safe place aside from mom’s arms for them to rest securely once they are outside of mom’s body.

Enter Arm’s Reach Concepts co-sleeper.

Arm’s Reach has been there for me and my babies so I was excited to see the new products coming from Arm’s Reach Concepts that I just had to lay down and try them out right on the show floor of the ABC Kids Expo in early September. They even had a weighted baby doll for me to get the full experience with. I may have tried to breastfeed it because that’s just what I expect to do when I lay down next to a baby. Then I wanted to take a nap because it was actually more quiet in that hall with thousands of people than it is at any given moment in my home with 6 kids. No joke.

Also not a joke is Arms Reach Concepts. ARC has been helping families sleep closer since 1997 and just continues to improve how they support families in getting the rest they need. Today they are bringing new designs and new innovative products to the market responding to the needs of the modern family. The designs are beautiful and stylish with a classic feel, I don’t know how many times I said how I wished they had something when my babies were tiny. It’s almost enough to make me think about having another. Almost.

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Trying out an Arm’s Reach Concepts Co-Sleeper at the ABC Kids Expo, September 2014. That’s not a real baby, that’s a doll.

But instead of me getting pregnant and having another baby (no, cool new baby products is not a good reason to have a baby…) we’re just going to send one of these new co-sleeper designs to a lucky Leaky. One of my favorite co-sleepers in the ARC booth this year was the Arm’s Reach® Co-Sleeper® bedside bassinet Clover Cambria:  beautifully curved ends are solid wood panels with built-in leg extensions, caster wheels for easy movement around the house, ample storage basket under a well-ventilated mesh sleeping nest, and an anchor plate attachment system for greater security. I didn’t get to lay down and try this one personally but I did get to ask a lot of questions, play with it a bit, and oooh-and-aahhh over the clean lines and elegant wood. There was no doubt in my mind that I needed a Leaky to try this out and let me know what they think. Here’s what it looks like:

Cambria-Clover-cs-2000x2000But this isn’t just for any Leaky. We want to get one of these stylish co-sleepers (a $249.99 retail value) to a Leaky with a bun in the oven, a baby bump, a list of baby names, crazy pregnancy dreams, a waddle in her step, and a due date November-Feburary. This giveaway is specifically for Leakies in the USA expecting a new bundle of joy sometimes in November 2014, December 2014, January 2015, or February 2015.* And we want to see your beautiful baby bumps, your baby’s current bed and home. Check out the widget below to enter. Good luck Leakies!

*Due to production timing, the Clover Cambria Co-sleeper won’t be available to ship until mid November.
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Ten Reasons to go to MommyCon

You know the Coke song? “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony… I’d like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company.” I’m not going to buy the world (or anyone) a Coke but I wish I could buy the world a ticket to MommyCon. I’ve shared before that it used to be I would avoid any event targeted to women. The idea of spending lots of time with women kind of made me anxious. Ok, really made me anxious. Mom-specific events were even more scary. But then I found myself attending women in birth and I loved it. Gradually I became more comfortable with hanging out with women-only in small groups. And somehow 4 years ago The Leaky Boob happened and now I hang out with mostly women all day, every day. Oh, and I have 6 daughters. And now one of my favorite things I get to do these days is speak at MommyCon which, while dads do attend, is certainly a mom-focused event if ever there was one. I love it so much, that my motto now is ALL. THE. MOMS.*

Motherlove #MeetandLeak

All the moms I got to meet at MommyCon Memphis

So here it is, 10 reasons I wish every mom (and dad) could go to MommyCon:

  1. It’s real. There’s no sugarcoating or pretending. The event organizers, moms in attendance, and the speakers are down to earth and realistic and no matter what your journey there are people there that can relate. Laugh, cry, you’ll connect with people who’ve been there and know all about the ups and downs without pretending parenting is always rainbow farting unicorns.
  2. Fun. Chances are strong you’re going to laugh a lot at MommyCon. It’s real and it’s real fun. Stories and games, humor runs through out the event because we all know just what it’s like to have a kid spit up in your mouth and all we can do is laugh about it together.
  3. Education. Even if you happen to not learn something new at MommyCon (but there is SO much information and education happening, it’s hard not to learn something!) you can’t help but learn from the experience. I’ve been to about a dozen MommyCons and every time I’ve learned something new and am pushed to grow. Be it about babywearing, sex after baby, breastfeeding, formula feeding, birth, health care options, car seat safety, yoga, discipline, you name it, there is so much information and personal story connections to learn from.
  4. Babywearing Lounge. It’s exactly what it sounds like. The Beco Baby Ergo Baby babywearing lounge is an amazing collection of baby carriers staffed with babywearing educators and you can try them all! Not sure how to do a back carry in a woven wrap? They’re there to help. Considering investing in a soft structure carrier? Try them all and see what you like before you buy.
  5. Children are welcome. It can be noisy and a little chaotic with all the babies and toddlers around but there’s something incredibly beautiful about being in a place where families are valued in such a way that children aren’t simply brushed aside.
  6. Shopping. Seriously, the shopping is amazing (so many awesome products!) and the brands present truly are invested not only in the event but in supporting the families in attendance. I’ve seen vendors help moms trouble shoot cloth diaper troubles, talk about infant feeding options, and car seat companies CPSTs help troubleshoot issues attendees are having with another brand’s seat just because they want to be sure those kids are safe.
  7. Breastfeeding is normalized. For one day you can see what it would truly look like if breastfeeding was normalized in society today. Moms and babies everywhere feeding as needed and, because this is MommyCon, no shaming for breastfeeding or bottle feeding because when breastfeeding is normalized how someone feeds their baby is simply accepted with support extended.
  8. Interesting speakers. This one is awkward for me to list because it sounds like I’m patting myself on the back since when I’m attending MommyCon it is as a speaker. But my talks aside, the speakers I’ve been privileged to hear are not only interesting and full of information, they’re funny, smart, and moving. Bunmi Laditan from The Honest Toddler, Jamie Grayson from The Baby Guy NYC, Jennifer Labit from Cotton Babies, Alyssa Ruben MommyCon’s CPST, and so many more share their stories, experience, and wisdom. Not only do I leave with new information, I leave inspired and uplifted.
  9. Options. There is no one right way to do just about anything in parenting and MommyCon highlights the many different options available from prenatal care choices to product options. Access to a variety of products for hands-on experience as well as the different local retailers, birth professionals, and parenting support means a chance to get your questions answered.
  10. You! Ok, this is for me, but for the next two MommyCon events (Philly and Newport Beach), Motherlove Herbal has made it possible for me to be there and if you go, I’ll get to meet you! There is the Motherlove Herbal #MeetandLeak VIP session (sold out for Philly) and I’ll be at the Motherlove table following my main session presentation to get to meet you.

I can think of more reasons to go to MommyCon but I’ll leave you with these ten reasons for now and a giveaway for two tickets to MommyCon Philly and a link to information on MommyCon 2015 event locations so you can start planning for next year.

Giveaway: Two general admission tickets for MommyCon Philly on October 5th, 2014. Must be present to claim. Winners will be announced Tuesday, September 30, 2014. Use the widget below to enter.

*All the moms of preschool and younger. While moms with older children could really enjoy MommyCon, the event is focused primarily on parenting through pregnancy, birth, infancy, toddlerhood, and preschool stages.
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Motivation to Get Moving: #TLBmoves Prizes!

Are you moving yet, Leakies?! We’ve been getting our move on during the month of August. Breastfeeding here, there, and everywhere, and making sure we get outside and get active while we’re at it. We’re rounding the bases into the homestretch of World Breastfeeding Month. We’re SO proud of all the Leakies (and their families) that have gotten more active with #TLBmoves! In fact, we think you deserve a reward. How about some #TLBmoves swag?!  Our brand partners – Joovy, Thinkbaby/Thinksport, and Tula Baby Carriers – have been amazingly supportive of our efforts (and yours!) and they’ve also been generous with their products! We’ve got some fantastic prize packs to give away. (US residents only; winners drawn at random during the first week of September.) GRAND PRIZE: (up to $699.00 total value) tlbmoves grand prize

$350.00 to put toward the stroller of your choice from Joovy! Tula’s limited edition Star carrier (your choice of standard or toddler)! (Yes, really!) $150.00 in Thinkbaby/Thinksport sports bottles and sunscreen!

Yeah, it’s pretty awesome! First runner up: (up to $269.00 total value) tlbmoves first runner up

The Gray Zig Zag Tula Baby Carrier (your choice of standard or toddler)! $100.00 to spend any way you’d like on Thinkbaby/Thinksport sports bottles and sunscreen!

Second runner up: (up to $219 total value) tlbmoves second runner up

Tula’s Chloe carrier (standard or toddler) $50 to spend on Thinkbaby/Thinksport sports bottles & safe sunscreen!

Our brand partners have been amazing throughout #TLBmoves. They’ve been as excited as we are about families getting healthy, every step of the way! A huge thanks to each of them for their support. (And for making such awesome products that support us in reaching our #TLBmoves goals!) Joovy’s Qool, Zoom 360, TooFold, and Caboose VaryLight have logged a lot of miles so far this month, with a lot more to come! We’ve worn our babies while walking, dancing, doing chores – you name it – thanks to Tula’s carriers and woven wraps. Thinkbaby/Thinksport has kept us in sunscreen and water bottles, and speaking of… Here’s **20% off Thinkbaby/Thinksport** that you can use right now! (These water bottles are amazing. AH-mazing. No freaky metallic taste in the water and they have kept ice solid overnight!) Print PLUS! WAIT! We’ve got Thinkbaby/Thinksport sports bottles and sunscreen to give away through the end of August! Just post on the #TLBmoves hashtag on Instagram. We’ll be choosing TEN winners at random. All you have to do is share a pic! We’ll choose ten people who’ve shared pics on the #TLBmoves hashtag to win sunscreen and water bottles. (US only) ENTER to win one of the three prize packages above!

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“Oh the Places You Go!” Giveaway

For World Breastfeeding Month we’re celebrating just how normal infant feeding is by taking a look at all the places you go!  With brands that support families in their parenting journey, we’re all teaming up for our adventures Up High, Outdoors, Off The Beaten Path, With Water, and Close To Home (pregnancy focused!).  Each week features a theme because we’re feeding our babies and toddlers here, there, and everywhere.  Oh!  The Places You Go!  The prize packs vary every week totaling over $5,000 in value for the whole month.  And we’re going even further, each week there is one winner AND they get to pick a friend to receive a Beco Gemini.  Oh!  The Places You Go together!

But we’re not stopping there, check out how you can be a part of #TLBmoves, on step at a time.

 

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Week 1: “Up High”, Total Value: $1091

16 Minute Club: a box of helpful goodies for the breastfeeding mother, $35 value

Bamboobies: a Chic Nursing Shawl, $30 value

Beco: a Beco Soleil baby carrier, $140 value

Belmama and Cherub: a Shower Hug, $30 value

Clek: A brand new Fllo carseat, $380 value

Freja Toys: a Rainbow Bird Nursing/Teething Necklace, $20 value

Gracie & Sam: a Half Buckle Cotton Mei Tai with Harry Potter Spells Cotton-Linen Canvas print, $102 value

KoalaKin: a Koalakin nursing pouch, $90 value

Little Spruce Organics: Two sets of organic cotton nursing pads (flannel & knitted), $14 value

Melinda G: a Dreamy Sleep Bra in black, $25 value

Momzelle: $25 Gift Certificate for momzelle.com, $25 value

Motherlove: Nipple Cream, $10 value

A Mother’s Boutique: winner’s choice of a nursing top from the Annee Matthew collection, up to a $75 value

My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear: a Lil’ Octopus, a $35 value

Naked Nursing Tank: Platinum Light Grey Classic Cotton Edition, $30 value

NuRoo: a Nursing Scarf, $30 value

The Vintage Honey Shop: $20 shop credit, $20 value

 Week 1 prizes final 2

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Week 2: “Outdoors”, Total Value: $1012

16 Minute Club: a box of helpful goodies for the breastfeeding mother, $35 value

Bamboobies: a Bamboobies Brahhh, $32 value

Bebe Au Lait: a BAL-ASTORIA nursing cover, $36 value

Beco: a Beco Soleil baby carrier, $140 value

Belmama and Cherub: a Shower Hug, $30 value

Ergobaby: a Performance Baby Carrier, $140 value

Freja Toys: an Organic Cotton Nursing/Teething Necklace, $22 value

Juno Blu: A stylish Ventana breast pump satchel in Mushroom, $185 Value

Little Spruce Organics: a Wooden Sun Puzzle, $34 value

Melinda G: a tee-shirt soft-cup nursing bra style #2115 in nude, $45 value

Momzelle: $25 Gift Certificate for momzelle.com, $25 value

Motherlove: Green Salve, $9 value

A Mother’s Boutique: winner’s choice of a nursing top from the Annee Matthew collection, up to a $75 value

My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear: a Lil’ Octopus, a $35 value

Naked Nursing Tank: Lily White Luxury Bamboo Edition, $40 Value

NuRoo: a Nursing Scarf, $30 value

Nursing Bra Express: Baby Nip Nipple Hat, $20 value

Rumina: a Hands-Free Pump&Nurse Classic Crossover Bra, a $34 value

Undercover Mama: one Undercover Mama, $25 value

The Vintage Honey Shop$20 shop credit, $20 value

Week 2 prizes done 2

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Week 3 logos updated cropped

Week 3: “Off the Beaten Path”, Total Value: $1053

16 Minute Club: a box of helpful goodies for the breastfeeding mother, $35 value

Beco: a Beco Soleil baby carrier, $140 value

Belmama and Cherub: a Shower Hug, $30 value

The Dairy Fairy: an Arden bra, $68 value

Freja Toys: a Petite Linen Nursing/Teething Necklace, $20 value

Gracie & Sam: a Full Tie Linen Luxe Sci-Fi Lover Mei Tai, $130 value

KangarooCare: a Fun Stripes Nursing Necklace in Pink, Oak Wood, $26 value

Little Spruce Organics: an Organic Cotton Nursing Bra, $48 value

Melinda G: a Cami Sutra nursing cami in black, $50 value

Momzelle: $25 Gift Certificate for momzelle.com, $25 value

Motherlove: Rhoid Balm, $10 value

A Mother’s Boutique: winner’s choice of a nursing top from the Annee Matthew collection, up to a $75 value

Mrs Patel’s: a box of Gluten-free Vegan Chocolate Fenugreek Bars, a $26 value

My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear: a Lil’ Octopus, a $35 value

Naked Nursing Tank: Hot Pink Luxury Bamboo Edition, $40 Value

NuRoo: a Nursing Scarf, $30 value

Nurse Purse: Winner’s Choice of style for one Nurse Purse bag, $129 value

Nursing Bra Express: a Satin Trim Cotton Sleep Bra, $20 value

Snugabell: a PumpEase Prize Pack including a hands-free pumping bra, a Wet Bag, a ”Through a Child’s Eyes” Keepsake Colouring Book, a Do Not Disturb door hanger, and a Breastmilk Storage Guidelines fridge magnet, $71 Value

Undercover Mama: one Undercover Mama, $25 value

The Vintage Honey Shop$20 shop credit, $20 value

Week 3 prizes done 2

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Week 4: “With Water”, Total Value: $832

16 Minute Club: a box of helpful goodies for the breastfeeding mother, $35 value Bamboobies: Bellease Organic Belly & Baby Butter, $17 value Bebe Au Lait: a BAL-NEST Nursing Cover, $36 value Beco: a Beco Soleil baby carrier, $140 value Belmama and Cherub: a Shower Hug, $30 value Crane USA: a drop or adorable humidifier, and a belly glo night light, $65 value Freja Toys: a Babywearing Mommy Doll, $42 value KangarooCare: a Wooden Teething Bracelet, winner’s choice of color, $19 value Little Spruce Organics: Organic Wool/ Silk Nursing Pads, $21 value Luv My Bag: a LillyBit UpTown Diaper Clutch in Chevron, $35 value Melinda G: a Dreamy Sleep Bra in black, $25 value Momzelle: $25 Gift Certificate for momzelle.com , $25 value Motherlove: Diaper Rash and Thrush, $10 value A Mother’s Boutique: winner’s choice of a nursing top from the Annee Matthew collection, up to a $75 value Mrs Patel’s: a bag of Chai Spice Milk Water Tea, a $12 value My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear: a Lil’ Octopus, a $35 value Naked Nursing Tank: Midnight Black Luxury Bamboo Edition, $40 value NuRoo: a NuRoo Pocket, $60 value Nursing Bra Express: a Medela Sleep Bra, $20 value One Creative Mama: winner’s choice of a mom/baby shirt set, up to $55 value Undercover Mama: one Undercover Mama, $25 value The Vintage Honey Shop$20 shop credit, $20 value

Week 4 prizes final2

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Week 5 logos final

Week 5: “Close to Home”, Total Value: $1370

16 Minute Club: a box of helpful goodies for the breastfeeding mother, $35 value

Arm’s Reacha Toffee Stripe Mini Arc Co-Sleeper, a $175 value

Bamboobies: Two pairs of Bamboobies Regular Nursing Pads, $15 value

Bebe Au Lait: a BAL-NEST essentials set, $50 value

Beco: a Beco Soleil baby carrier, $140 value

Belmama and Cherub: a Shower Hug, $30 value

Cezara: a belly support panty, $49 value

The Dairy Fairy: a Rose handsfree pumping bra, $34 value

Freja Toys: a Crocheted baby rattles set, $32 value

Juno Blu: A stylish Juno Blu Esalen breast pump tote in Multi-Snake, $185 value

KangarooCare: a Black Gradient Nursing Necklace of Apple Wood, $28 value

KoalaKin: a Koalakin nursing pouch, $90 value

LilleBaby: a Complete All-Season baby carrier, $135 value

Little Spruce Organics: Organic Cotton Receiving Blanket, $18 value

Milk and Joy: an Organic Cotton Teething Necklace (winner’s choice of color). $35 value

Momzelle: $25 Gift Certificate for momzelle.com, $25 value

Motherlove: NL Gift Box, $60 value

A Mother’s Boutique: winner’s choice of a nursing top from the Annee Matthew collection, up to a $75 value

My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear: a Lil’ Octopus, a $35 value

Naked Nursing Tank: Charcoal Classic Cotton Edition, $30 Value

NuRoo: a NuRoo Pocket, $60 value

Nursing Bra Express: Molded Seamless Washable Nursing Pads by Baby Nip, $14 value

The Vintage Honey Shop$20 shop credit, $20 value

Week 5 prizes done

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Nurturing Life Giveaway – Breastfeeding

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 Mothersby Motherlove Herbal Company)

To wrap up this series of Motherlove giveaways that has touched on the ways mothers can intentionally nurture life through pregnancy and postpartum, through the ups and downs and aches and pains, we now focus on breastfeeding.  It is only fitting as we are celebrating World Breastfeeding Month right now.

Every new mother’s story is her own, whether it is very similar to other mothers’ experiences or appears to be completely opposite.  Every relationship between a mother and her baby should be free to develop in their own particular way, at their own particular speed.  There is no template that will fit every mother-baby relationship.  The Leaky Boob recognizes this and welcomes every mother, whether they bottle-feed, use SNS, breastfeed for a day or for years, whether their baby-days are in the distant past, or even if they never had a baby.  All are welcome.  And Motherlove also recognizes this reality, ready to meet mothers and babies where they are, encouraging them to pursue the Nurturing Life, and providing quality and safe products for whenever a need arises for them.

To help celebrate World Breastfeeding Month, Motherlove is collaborating with two other TLB sponsors, specializing in nursing necklaces, so that Mom and baby both get a prize this week!  Freja Toys and KangarooCare are each offering 3 beautiful necklaces, which means you could be one of the 6 prize winners for this giveaway.  Varja from KangarooCare wanted to share this heart-warming message about her breastfeeding journey with all of us:

“I knew I would breastfeed since the moment I found out that I was going to have a baby.  And I did it.  I nursed my first child for 4 and a half years, and the second for 2 and a half.  I breastfed during pregnancy and then 2 kids at the same time.  My breasts produced milk for 5 years non-stop.  Some might say this is too much, and others that this is nothing special.  But to me, breastfeeding is a real miracle.  I am a vegetarian and I was told that I would never be able to give birth to a healthy baby and then breastfeed.  But it was not so.  I am convinced that breast milk is not just clear liquid with a specific chemical composition; it is love.  Liquid love.”

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Motherlove, KangarooCare and Freja Toys are coming together to offer 6 prizes for 6 lucky Leakies!

 All six prizes start with a Motherlove Nipple Cream salve.  

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Then the breakdown is as follows:

Prize 1: a KangarooCare Fox Nursing Necklace, from Apple Wood

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Prize 2: a KangarooCare Organic Nursing Necklace in Cream & Oatmeal, from Juniper Wood

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Prize 3: a KangarooCare Simple Rainbow Nursing Necklace, from Oak Wood

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Prizes 4-6: a Freja Toys Organic Cotton Nursing Necklace, winner’s choice of color.

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Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from August 13, 2014 through August 20, 2014.  A big thanks to Motherlove for their ongoing support of TLB and all breastfeeding women; and thanks also to KangarooCare and Freja Toys for making this giveaway a whole lot more fun!  Please be sure to visit their Facebook pages (Motherlove, KangarooCare, Freja Toys), follow Motherlove 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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Nurturing Life Giveaway – When Cute Hurts

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 Mothersby Motherlove Herbal Company)

This Motherlove series of giveaways started out by focusing on maintaining your wellbeing during pregnancy in week 1.  We then moved on to the challenges of postpartum and the importance of acknowledging  and talking about “unmentionable” things like hemorrhoids and postpartum depression as the best path to recovery and healing.

The focus for this week is the painful subject of, well, pain.  Because, let’s face it, a mom’s relationship with Little Miss Cute or Little Mister Bundle of Joy often includes times of discomfort and pain, such as mastitis, thrush, and diaper rash, not to mention teeth (pain for mom and baby) among many others.  Most people tend to share the happy moments they have with their children on social media, and it can seem like they never have any difficulties in life.  In general I think it’s a very helpful thing to focus on the positive things in your life, but if that’s all anyone ever does it can be very alienating to those of us who are going through a tough time.

There are too many pain-laden challenges that come with a new baby to name them all in one post, so here are a few of the big ones with a link so that you hopefully feel less alone, conversations get rolling, and you can see that there are many resources at your fingertips, though some ailments do require professional help.  Now that baby is born, you are nurturing life for two people, but you don’t have to go it alone.

Mastitis – read about Jessica’s journey with the red-eyed breastfeeding monster.

ThrushThis Motherlove-sponsored post is your guide to determining if you have it.

Diaper Rashthis post isn’t about diaper rash, but it is about The Piano Man’s explosive and humorous first encounter with baby poop.  And this Motherlove article is about diaper care.

Of course you can always search Motherlove’s blog or The Leaky Boob’s blog for helpful information on whatever is ailing you.

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Motherlove is giving away a Diaper Rash and Thrush salve to help ease the pain of 3 lucky Leakies.

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Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from August 7, 2014 through August 14, 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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Nurturing Life Giveaway – After Birth

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 Mothersby Motherlove Herbal Company)

Last week we focused on the stage of life that creates new mothers: pregnancy.  Ushering new life into the world is such a beautiful thing, but is often accompanied by challenges and changes.  With the many changes and new sensations that new mothers experience, it can be such a natural time for her to focus on her health and well-being.  But what happens once the baby is born?

It is so easy to think that, other than adjusting to caring for a new person in the family, everything else immediately returns to normal.  But that is often not the reality of new mothers.  The parts of their body involved in growing a baby do shift back toward the way they were, but some of them will remain forever altered.  Others require a little patience and eventually some hard work, such as toning ab muscles to tighten the postpartum abdominal gap.  But a new mother’s body isn’t done changing either: now that one set of hormones is subsiding, another floods her body as she produces milk to feed her new baby.  We often treat birth as the end of the journey, where changes end and all is back to normal.  But this far from the experience of most women.

Moreover, beyond stretch marks, curvier hips, extra baby weight, and lactating, there are other completely natural and normal challenges that new moms face.  But very few like to talk about them, and so many moms don’t have the support that they need to welcome and experience the postpartum changes as they come.  Instead, they are rushed back to work and/or housework, and they feel the unrealistic expectation that they just be “ok” because their beautiful new baby is there.

Postpartum depression doesn’t just go away because there is a new baby.  Traumatic birth experiences aren’t healed by adorable baby sounds.  Hemorrhoids don’t just disappear because a bundle of cuteness has been born.  These and many more issues are considered too embarrassing or shameful to discuss, and many new mothers feel that they don’t have permission to take the time to find help.  They must bounce back immediately, and so they hide their real struggles and end up struggling with self-loathing and depression much longer than necessary, if they ever recover at all.  Silence is no healer.  Stuffing feelings down and clamping a lid on them only serves to incubate them and grow them into much more serious issues.

Let’s talk about the empty womb, the sense of emptiness inside, the fears we have, the struggle to fall in love with our babies, the dislike of our bodies, the anger, the horrors of the birth experience, the dark thoughts, the painful hemorrhoids, along with the rest.  These are the realities of postpartum, just as much as baby cuteness, breastfeeding, dirty diapers, and sleepless nights.  You are not alone in dealing with these things.  Look for understanding and information from those around you, from trusted online resources, and if you just can’t find the support and information you need in those places, get in touch with a professional who can.

And partners, friends, family members, neighbors, and co-workers who think new mothers should just get over whatever is bothering them, they are the ones who need to get over themselves and provide helpful support for the new mother.  Nurture her so that she can feel free to nurture herself.  Self-care is deeply impacted by those around us, either for better, or for worse.  As a new mother adjusts to caring for another little person and her body heals from giving birth and keeps changing in the postpartum, how can we show her the kind of support that allows her to nurture life within herself so she can share that nurturing life with her baby and beyond from a place of health and well-being?

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Motherlove is giving away a Sitz Bath and Rhoids Balm 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 August 1, 2014 through August 8, 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: 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.

pbs-4-759160-11044-8

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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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