Love Beyond Moi TLB Giveaway

Presenting:

The Leaky Boob‘s

Valentine’s Day Giveaway:

“For the Love of… Love!”

 

Valentine’s Day may be our favorite commercial holiday.  Underneath the shiny red packaging, the chocolates, the flowers, and the expectations, it’s a celebration of Love.  And not just romantic love, important as that is.  On Valentine’s Day, we celebrate the love we have for our children and for our friends too, and the love our children have for each other and for us, and of course, our love of Love!

Once you become a parent you really understand love beyond yourself and beyond what you get out of it.  In the first year, breastfeeding often plays a vital role in developing that parent/child bond of love.  Moving first beyond yourself, and beyond your partner, taking them with you to new experiences together, beyond the known, and way beyond breastfeeding, where do you find information and support beyond TLB?  Jessica and I explore the challenges beyond breastfeeding on our other website: beyondmoi.com and to celebrate this Valentine’s Day we are bringing TLB and BeyondMoi together for the first time.  In honor of this event and our involvement in MommyCon (see below), we have each written an article about sex after baby, one on each website.  Jessica’s is here, and Jeremy’s (The Piano Man) is here.

This Valentine’s Day, we thought we would spread the love to The Leaky Boob community by facilitating a huge giveaway to demonstrate the love and appreciation we have for our sponsors and our followers.  The Leaky Boob community continues to be a place where breastfeeding support and encouragement can be offered for free, and where the normalization of breastfeeding feels like a real possibility through the sharing of information, experiences and the growing network we are all helping to create.  Perhaps this giveaway would be more aptly named: “For the Love of… Breastfeeding!”  But we know that breastfeeding itself is an act of love, so we’ll stick to a celebration of love.

Below is a list of some of our generous TLB sponsors, with information on what they are contributing to this giveaway, and links to other promotions they are having.  Below that, you will find instructions on how to enter the giveaway.  By the way, we’ve decided that it would be fun to lump all the prizes into one Grand Prize for a single winner!  Just wait until you see all the loot being offered.  We will also have a small, but charming, second place prize.  Before you scroll down to check it out, there is one more very important thing you need to know: due to the large number of sponsors participating in this giveaway, and each of their shipping restrictions, we have decided that this giveaway will be for people living in the U.S. only.  I apologize if this restricts you from possibly winning this giveaway.  The U.S. is simply the one single place for shipping that all of these sponsors have in common.  Please, U.S. entries only.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Jessica, The Piano Man, and our whole family of TLB sponsors

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oobr-snowberryClek

Giveaway entry:
Pink Oobr booster seat
(winner’s choice of Flamingo or Snowberry)

Oobr™ is Clek’s™ full back booster seat that provides superior protection for your child without sacrificing comfort, convenience or style.

Click here for more information.

Additionally, don’t miss our February 14th special on our shop.clekinc.com site: all pink seats are 10% off!  One day only!

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Arm's ReachArm’s Reach

Giveaway item:
Mini Co-Sleeper® Bassinet Toffee

The Mini Co-Sleeper® bassinet is a unique creation that allows you and your baby to sleep comfortably next to each other from the moment your baby arrives. This bassinet enables you to reach over and draw your baby close for comforting and bonding. The innovative design also makes breastfeeding easy.

The Mini Co-Sleeper® bassinet is the ideal sleep solution for any concerned parent.

Arm’s Reach is also the generous sponsor making it possible for Jeremy, aka: The Piano Man, to speak with Jessica at 4 different MommyCon events in 2014, presenting their “Sex After Baby” talk.  Jeremy will be speaking in Chicago, Denver, ??? , and ???  Look below for more MommyCon information.

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Motherlove adjusted Motherlove

Giveaway item:
Nurturing Life Giftbox.

Motherlove’s complete selection celebrating new motherhood! From pregnancy and labor, to breastfeeding and babies, these products nurture mother and baby with certified organic herbs and pure ingredients. These products do not contain any synthetic ingredients, fragrances or parabens commonly found in body care products. The perfect gift for the mother who is looking for only the highest quality, pure, natural products for herself and child. pregnant belly salve 4 oz., nipple cream 1 oz., birth & baby oil 2 oz., sitz bath spray 2 oz., diaper rash & thrush 1 oz., environmentally responsible Motherlove tote bag

Motherlove is also the generous sponsor making it possible for Jessica to speak at all MommyCon events in 2014!   See below for more information!

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MommyConMommyCon

Giveaway item:
Two general admission tickets to any MommyCon location in 2014

MommyCon is a natural parenting convention that travels around the United States bringing organic parenting practices to the masses. The event features seminars and workshops on topics such as; birth, breastfeeding, babywearing, car seat safety, essential oils and so much more. Guest speakers include; The Baby Guy NYC, Honest Toddler, The Badass Breastfeeder and The Leaky Boob.

Use promotional code “leakyboob” for 10% off at mommy-con.com

“We love leakies! Come leak at MommyCon!”

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SOLEIL ELLIE BECO BABY CARRIER adjustedBeco

Giveaway item:
Beco Soleil Baby Carrier (Ellie print)

With the Beco Soleil Baby Carrier, crossing your straps makes wearing your baby comfortable and easy!  Beco’s award-winning design is celebrated by parents around the world.  Combining proper ergonomics with versatile features provides you the best babywearing experience.

Wear Beco from birth through toddler years.

Wear Beco on your front, back or hip.

Wear Beco with love.

Click here for more information on the Beco Soleil.

“This one’s for the Leakies! Soleil makes breastfeeding possible anywhere you go! ♥ ”
- the Beco team

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Fairhaven HealthFairhaven Health

Giveaway items:
A jar of Dream Belly Stretch Mark Butter, a Milk-Saver and a Milkies Freeze, and one bag of Nursing Time Tea

DreamBelly Stretch Mark Butter: A luxurious butter with a gentle, refreshing scent – just what you need to tone and regenerate the skin on your belly after childbirth.

Milkies Milk-Saver: Save every drop of your precious breast milk with this one-of-a-kind product that collects leaking breast milk from your non-nursing side while you breast feed.

milkies-milk-saver-6

• Milkies Freeze: The answer to your breast milk storage hassles: A “first-in, first-out” breast milk storage container that protects your bags of frozen milk from damage and leaks, and fits nicely in  your freezer.

• Nursing Time Tea: A nutritive and refreshing tea with a light lemony flavor that contains several herbs helpful for promoting breast milk production.

Use promotional code ”LEAKYHEART” for a 10% discount on all of our nursing products through February.

Milkies-Freeze-Banner

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ErgoBabyErgoErgoBaby

Giveaway item:
ErgoBaby Wrap

The Ergobaby Wrap is the perfect companion in those first months & beyond. Made from soft stretchy cotton (our premium 4D Stretch™ material), our Ergobaby Wrap makes different carrying positions easy, comfortable & secure for you & your baby.

 

 

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RuminaRumina

Giveaway items:
Rumina’s Sweet Valentine set

Each set will include one Red Relaxed Hands-Free Pump & Nurse Bra plus an order of Sea Salted Caramels & Half Dozen Swizzled Strawberries by Shari’s Berries.

Rumina2

Plus, like Rumina’s Facebook Page to enter March’s Lucky Momma Giveaway! March Rumina will be giving away a $100.00 Amex card, a $50.00 Amazon card and one lucky winner will receive a Motorola MBP25-2 Digital 2.4-inch Video Monitor (retail value $199.99).

AND, shop www.ruminaformoms.com to receive 25% Off Plus Free Shipping on Rumina’s Red Relaxed Hands-Free Pump & Nurse Bra. *USPS Priority shipping only

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BamboobiesBamboobies

Giveaway item:
Bamboobies Prize Pack

The Prize Pack ($115.00 value) includes:

Multi-pack Bamboobies Nursing Pads (3 pair regular + 1 pair overnight)

Boob♥ease 100% Organic Natural Nipple Balm

Bamboobies Brahhh: Maternity, Sleep and Nursing Bra with Flower Accent (color berry)

Bamboobies Chic Nursing Shawl with Flower Accent (color black)

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Wean Cubes Garden Pack adjustedWean Green

Giveaway item:
A Garden Pack of Wean Cubes (4 oz pack of 4 – multicolor)

Wean Green is dedicated to providing parents with safe and environmental baby products that fit into every parent’s diaper bag!  Our Glass Cubes are the safest way to store your breast milk,  homemade baby food, and of course, those snacks that your little one can’t live without when you’re out and about!

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SnugabellSnugabell

Giveaway item:
PumpEase hands-free pumping bra, color rhubarb

PumpEase features patented, ‘no-stitch’ horn openings, guaranteed to accommodate any breast pump on the market.  Click here for more information.

Additionally, use promotional code “TLBOOB25″ for 25 percent off at Snugabell.com, Amazon.com, and Amazon.ca.
(minimum $38 order)

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Kangaroo CareKangaroo Care

Giveaway items:
An Aqua Rainbow Nursing Necklace and a Matching Teething Bracelet

 Kangaroo Care is also offering a 20% discount  from the 14th of February through the 15th of February!  No coupon codes need to be entered – the prices will already be discounted!

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Dairy Fairy

Giveaway item:
The Sadie All in One Tank
(valued at $75, in either Black or White)

The only nursing tank that multitasks as much as you do; nurse, handsfree pump and adjust to fit your fluctuating size. In or out, our new design is beautiful and discreet.  Click here for more information.

Additionally, use code “sadielaunch” at thedairyfairy.com for a $10 discount.

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LilleBabyLíllébaby

Giveaway item:
Líllébaby COMPLETE Organic Designer Baby Carrier 
(Green Meadow w/ Finch – Retail value $149.00)

Líllébaby is excited to offer one of their brand new designer prints for this giveaway: the Green Meadow with Finch!

Why COMPLETE?
“Compare the líllébaby® COMPLETE™ with any baby carrier and you will see why it deserves its name – it includes every carrying position and ensures your baby is correctly and  ergonomically positioned in every setting.”

Click here for more information.

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Muslin isla-nc-package-1000pxBébé Au Lait

Giveaway item:
Bébé au Lait Muslin Nursing Cover

“New for 2014! Bebe au Lait’s Muslin Collection pairs the softness and breathability of premium Muslin with the stylish patterns that have made their products must-haves for modern families.”

Click here for more information.

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MomzelleMomzelle

Giveaway item:
Maria criss-cross nursing dress

New from their winter collection, this graceful nursing dress will make you feel beautiful and comfortable at the same time. The criss-cross nursing opening is very practical and can be used both sides simultaneously. Made with cotton modale (95% cotton modale, 5% spandex), this fabric has a fresh and soft feeling on the skin, plus gives a nice drape to the dress.

Made with love and care.

“This eye-catching dress can easily be your new breastfeeding essential. For everyday and any occasion, you deserve to feel beautiful and confident while breastfeeding!
Thank you and happy nursing” :)

- The Momzelle team

Additionally, use code “LKYF14” at momzelle.com for a $5 discount.

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My Baby's Heartbeat Bear adjustedMy Baby’s Heartbeat Bear

Giveaway item:
Angel Bear

The My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear Angel Kit includes an adorable stuffed Angel Bear and special heart shaped recorder.  The Angel Bear is a very soft fleece-like material, with a velcro closure opening on the back where you can place the recorded heartbeat. My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear kits make the perfect baby shower gift or pregnancy keepsake!  Click here for more information.

Additionally, use code “FEB20” at mybabysheartbeatbear.com for a 20% discount.

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ShowerHugShowerHug

Giveaway item:
a ShowerHug

The Shower Hug is a therapeutic breast wrap designed to make showers a time of serenity and renewal for pregnant and breastfeeding moms who experience breast tenderness.

A “Certified Miracle,” The Shower Hug is Mommy’s patented Essential for Breast Pain Relief during pregnancy, postpartum and breastfeeding.  This multifunctional and affordable alternative to traditional nursing bras eliminates the most frustrating and painful obstacles to breastfeeding success. The Shower Hug can be worn in or out of the shower.

Click here for more information.

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KKBrwn-LR-CLKoalaKin

Giveaway item:
A KoalaKin, Hands-Free Nursing Pouch

The KoalaKin® nursing pouch helps you bond with your nursing baby by freeing your hands for extra snuggles, diaper checks, and even reading.  Click here for more information.

“Love is in the air… Free your hands for more loving touches with the KoalaKin, Hands Free Nursing Pouch.”  

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MobyWrapMobyWrap

Giveaway item:
Organic Moby Wrap in our new Garnet color

Wrap baby in our 100% OE certified organic cotton carrier.  Softness and Support.  Click here for more information.

Additionally, use code “TLBbaby” amobywrap.com for a 10% discount.

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Naked Nursing TankNaked Tank Logo 1Naked Nursing Tank

Giveaway item:
White Luxury Bamboo Naked Nursing Tank

Click here for more information.

Additionally, use code “LEAKYSHIP” awww.thenakedtank.com for free shipping.

Happy Valentine’s Day Leakies!!  Hope you love your new tank as much as you love your special Valentine!!” – Carrie and Jen

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Freja Toys necklaceFreja Toys

Giveaway items:
a nursing necklace (any color for winner’s choice)
and a baby rattles fruit set.
Total value: $54.00

 We have been creating our toys and moms jewelry in the Ukraine (East Europe) since 2007.  All of our products are unique and full of warmth and love.  They are made from natural materials and are absolutely safe for your kids!

Freja Toys fruits-set-01

Our main goal is to give joy to kids and their moms and to make the world around happier and kinder!

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sloomb diapersloomb basewooliesSloomb

Giveaway items:
a Camper VHLC and a Sparrow Basewoolies

“The Velour HLCs are soft, trim, and super absorbent cloth diapers – extra soft fluff for your little hipsters! Just pair the VHLC with Sparrow Basewoolies to keep your kids warm on the inside and out!”

Click here for more information about VHLCs and here for more information about Basewoolies.

PS: HLC stands for “Happy Little Clouds”

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MrsPatels adjustedMrs Patel’s

Giveaway item:
Gluten-free Vegan Chocolate Fenugreek Bars

Our mission is to help nursing mothers. We believe our products can help women heal faster after giving birth as well as increase their milk supply.

Additionally, use code “FIRSTORDER” amrsmilk.com for 20% off your first order.

“Treat yourself and your baby this Valentine’s with a box of our delicious gluten-free and vegan milk-making Fenugreek Bars!” – Anhoni

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NuRooNüRoo

Giveaway item:
one NüRoo Nursing Scarf

The NüRoo Nursing Scarf provides endless options for coverage and style. Learn more at nuroobaby.com.

NüRoo® fabric is super soft, breathable, wrinkle free, and not distracting for baby. As an added bonus, you’ll love this fashionable scarf long after your breastfeeding days!

Customize your coverage: wrapped or draped, front and back, over the shoulder or around your neck.

Learn more here.

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GoosieGoosie Organics

Giveaway item:
an Organic Nursing and Babywearing Jewelry piece of your choice

Check out the Goosie Organics Etsy shop here!

We create beautiful organic nursing and babywearing necklaces and bracelets. All of our products are handmade with natural materials including our unique 100% organic yarn. Each wooden bead and necklace chain are hand crocheted with this beautiful organic yarn. The wood buttons, coconut rings & buckles and wood beads are handcrafted locally and polished with organic beeswax and olive oil.

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Giveaway item:

An Assortment of Breastfeeding Products

 

The Assortment includes:

- MilkMakers Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies (10pk)
- Balm Baby Nipple Soother/Nursing Aid (1.25 fl oz)
- Milk Trays Breast Milk Freezing System
- Dry Mama Reusable Nursing Pads (1 pair)
- Our Lady of Leche – Birds & Bees Teas Lactatin Tea – 2.5 oz tin with loose leaf tea

Basic Baby is both a physical store in Upstate New York, as well as an online retailer, offering helpful products for parents in all beginning stages of parenting, such as maternity, cloth diapering, babywearing, nursing, potty training, and more.  Get to know them at basicbabyshop.com

Additionally, use code “leakylove” for 10% off regular priced items store wide with free shipping on orders over $15 – not to be combined with any other offer – 1 use per customer – offer ends 2/28/14

“Thank you for all the love!” – the Basic Baby shop team

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JetPackRainbow Souffle

Giveaway item:
a JetPack toy and a printable JetPack Valentine’s Day card

The JetPack toy is a unique soft fabric toy that engages children’s natural tendency to make anything into an adventure.  Show someone you love them to the moon and back with a toy JetPack!
The printable paper JetPack card also doubles as a toy! It’s whimsical and fun for kids of all ages.  It’s easy to assemble and you have the option to print a Valentine’s message on the reverse side.

Click here for more information.

Additionally, use Coupon Code “ROCKETBLAST” in our shop for 20% off their order through February 20th.

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View More: http://christinacampbell.pass.us/vintaghoneyThe Vintage Honey Shop

Giveaway item:
A nursing necklace with teething ring ($25 value)

The Vintage Honey Shop is a place to buy handcrafted paper & fabric items.  Jennifer & Melissa make every handcrafted item with love and care!

The Vintage Honey Shop: Where paper & fabric stick!

Additionally, use code “LEAKIESWIN” athevintagehoneyshop.etsy.com for a 10% discount.

“All of our products are handmade to help mama feel beautiful while helping baby be happy!  Happy Valentines Day, Leakies….we {heart} y’all!!”
- Jen & Mel

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A Mother's BoutiqueA Mother’s Boutique

Giveaway item:
a nursing top of her choice from our Annee Matthew collection  (value up to $75)

Annee Matthew maternity and nursing clothes are unique, exquisitely designed pieces of modern maternity and nursing clothing that will make any new mother or mother-to-be feel beautiful.  Click here for more information.

Additionally, there is a special coupon for Leakies to treat themselves to something else in our store, at mothersboutique.com.  Just use coupon code “TLB” and you will save $5 off any purchase of $20 or more.

“We support breastfeeding moms and nursing in public is so much easier in one our cute, stylish nursing tops!”

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UM.AdQuartPgShortUndercover Mama

Giveaway item:
a $30 giftcard to Undercover Mama

Mom Invented, Mom Owned, Mom Operated.

Additionally, enjoy Free Shipping on orders of 2 shirts or more at undercovermama.com/shop (no coupon required)

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nursing-bra-express-giveaway adjustedNursing Bra Express

Giveaway item:
Molded Cotton Nursing Bra
(winner’s choice of nude, white, or black)

Our best selling nursing bra is comfortable, supportive, soft and has a pretty trim.  Wear this nursing bra every day – it is perfect for all occasions and will keep you comfortable and cool with breathable cotton and quick-release one-hand nursing clasps on each cup.  Larger cup sizes have foam support in cup and wider straps.  Sizes available: 32-36A, 32-40B, 32-44C/D, 32-44DD/E, 34-42DDD/F.

Additionally, use promotional code “LOVE” to save 10% on your entire order at nursingbraexpress.com, and free shipping on orders of $99 or more!

“Happy Valentine’s Day to all the Leakies!  We hope you think of us for all of your nursing bra needs.  We have a great selection of bras at affordable prices!”

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Petite BisouPetite Bisou

Giveaway item:
a set of our Bebe Nacre Breast Shells (a$49.95 AUD value)

Hand-polished in Paris, these natural shells soothe sore and cracked nipples and provide nourishment and protection while nursing.  Find out more about this age old Scandinavian tradition for breast care here.

Enjoy Motherhood and your new baby in a beautiful way! 

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One Creative MamaOne Creative Mama

Giveaway item:
a mommy-baby matching shirt set

Mommy Is My Dairy Queen shirt for babies: http://onecreativemama.com/dairyqueen.html – Value $13.99

Dairy Queen shirt for moms (moms can nurse through the sleeve!): http://onecreativemama.com/dqmom1.html – Value $33.98-36.98

Winner can choose size and color for both items

Total Value: $47.97-$50.97

Additionally, use code “TLB” at onecreativemama.com for a 15% discount on any purchase.

“Hey leakies, One Creative Mama supports breastfeeding and we want to share our cute designs with all of you!”

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DSC_9766_09.psdMelinda G™

Giveaway item:
A Smoothly Divine™ nursing bra in nude 

Win the new Melinda G™ very pretty, very comfortable nursing bra with removable pads – wear with the pads for discretion and added OOOOMPH! or without the pads for natural contours – either way, you’ll look great!  Click here for sizing information.

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CezaraT Belly Support Panty #4000 after delivery with pink backgroundCezara™ 

Giveaway item:
A Cezara™ belly support panty   

Cezara™ provides comfy belly lift and back support during pregnancy, after delivery and especially after Cesarean delivery, when the internal pad compresses and protects the scar, for more relaxed nursing without the concerns of baby resting on the scar.

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And finally, a special, sexy guest sponsor for this Valentine’s Day giveaway:

Blossom Organics

Giveaway item:
A Pleasurable Gift Basket

“Let Your pure Pleasure Blossom Naturally with Blossom Organics”

The basket includes:

Natural Moisturizing Lubricant (4 oz and 1 oz)
Warm Sensation Lubricant (4 oz and 1 oz)
Pure Pleasure Arousal Gel (0.5 oz and 5 ml)
Warm Sensation Massage Oil (3 oz)
Revitalizing Breast Exam Cream (1.7 oz.)

Our goal is to create safe, all-natural intimate care products that help you achieve healthy well-being, beautiful intimacy and blissful pleasure.  Click here for more information.

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WOW!  That’s a whole lot of TLB sponsor love!

Below is the widget for the giveaway.  Remember, this is for U.S. entries only.  

Here’s to hoping you get lucky!

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9 Tips to Having More and Better Sex After Baby

by Jeremy Martin-Weber
This post is a partner post to one Jessica wrote, 16 points about sex after baby, on beyondmoi.com as part of a giveaway celebrating Valentine’s Day and expressing love beyond one day.  Find the giveaway information and widget to enter at the end of this post.

Running the risk of sounding like Cosmo, or Marie Claire, in honor of Valentine’s Day and all the men out there making strategic plans, hoping that their romantic equations will guarantee that they’ll get lucky, I’d like to offer a list of my own.  I don’t claim to be an expert, but my list is the product of 17 years of trial and error with my wife, and I can personally attest that as long as I stick to it, she simply can’t get enough of me.  Seventeen years and six children, and sex just keeps getting better, and we both want it more than we ever did before.

#LoveBeyondMoi The Leaky Boob Beyond Moi Valentine's Day giveaway

You too can have a better sex life; it’s not over just because you’re parents.  If you’re looking for ways to make her (or him) want to drag you to the bedroom, rip your clothes off, and have hot, steamy, sex with you all night long (that’s how those magazine covers read, right?), then this list is for you.

1. Help around the house… but not for sex

Everyone loves a partner who is involved, who takes time to help out with household duties.  Way back when we were first married, I first heard the notion that if I took the trash out, my wife would find that act so sexy she wouldn’t be able to help herself and would have to have me right then and there.  I thought that sounded rather strange and hadn’t noticed that effect on her before, but I really started paying attention the next few times I took the trash out, and here is what I noticed: she appreciated my help, but didn’t think it was anything extraordinary.  And that made sense.  But I also noticed that when we were both paying attention to the ways the other was helping out, we both appreciated the other person for doing so, and we felt closer for noticing, and feeling closer can easily lead to sexual feelings.  See how it works?  But it won’t work if you help around the house just to have sex.  There is no magic there.  My advice: do the dishes, help out with your kids, fold and put away the laundry, by all means take the trash out, and for extra credit, thank your partner for those same things and all the other tasks they do.  They may argue that they don’t do it for you, and don’t need to be thanked, but they’ll still appreciate you noticing.  Noticing is sexy.

That first tip isn’t just for parents, I admit, but it may be more relevant to parents because prolonged lack of sleep so effectively scrambles your brains that even very simple relational things can get sucked into that black hole (or driving your children to all of their extracurricular activities – that can scramble your brain too over time).  It’s very much the same for this second tip.

2. Get physical… but not for sex

Touch your partner.  Often.  Every day.  We can get so determined to get it on that we forget the thrill of simple touches.  You know how physical relationships are compared to a baseball diamond, each base representing more intimate acts of physical expression, ultimately culminating in sexual intercourse when you get to home base?  We can be so goal-oriented, or sexually frustrated, that all we focus on is getting to that home plate.  When Jessica and I were first dating, even the simplest of touches was thrilling because it carried so much meaning.  Caressing each other’s hands communicated love and care, romantic intention, and sexual desire all rolled into one.  A kiss was a gesture of commitment, a desire to be close, to be real and vulnerable.  Sure, at other times, a kiss was an expression of sexual desire, full of passion and wild abandon. But that’s exactly the point.  Physical expressions weren’t all just a means to a steamy, naked end.  Because of their variety, their commonality was clear: a communication of love.  And when I feel loved by my wife, I feel safe, trusting and sexy.  And I know she feels the same way.  And do you know what that leads to?  Great sex.  My advice: kiss your partner at least every morning and evening, wrap your arms around her, hold hands, maybe even take a few dance steps together, and savor each of those physical moments for their simplicity.  Because touching to communicate love is sexy.

3. Distance makes for sexier reconnection

Now that we’re all ready to touch our partners more, I offer a word of caution: it has to be the right moment.  Unfortunately, most of us have to find out through trial and error; that’s for both partners.  Jessica and I have both had to learn about ourselves how and when we like to be touched, let alone what our spouse likes.  If you try to touch your partner and you are rebuffed, don’t jump to the conclusion that they just don’t like your touch or don’t want sex (touching just for that end is already a big libido killer anyway).  Pluck up your courage, control your urge to scream and cry (if you actually have feelings, of course), and ask your partner about it.  The way our schedule works, one of us is often home with children most of the day while the other goes out and works at a coffeeshop.  It doesn’t matter which one of us it is, some days at home leave us wanting to find a dark, quiet, corner where we can hug our own knees and twitch for awhile as our brain tries to reboot, and our body relaxes from being touched all day long.  It’s not that we don’t love being home with our children, it’s that it’s not the easiest job in the world.  If you walk in the door and see a frazzled, bleary-eyed partner with a blank expression on their face, that is probably not the time for dipping your partner and a fervent I-missed-you-so-much-wasn’t-today-great kind of kiss.  If ever you’re unsure, I have the simplest solution: ask.  And follow it up with an offer to give them some space.  Ask how you can help before jumping in.  And then, by all means, jump in!  Find ways to give your partner a break on a regular basis.  Sometimes 20 minutes is all it takes to center ourselves.  Sometimes it may take a whole morning, or an entire day, but trust me on this: sex is way better with a centered partner.  Because getting time away is sexy.

4. flirt more… but not for sex

I think that every healthy, sexually mature human being likes to feel sexy.  One way to feel sexy is to get a good idea of what real sexy people look like by gazing at magazines, watching music videos, or checking out the latest blockbuster film, then looking in the mirror and saying to yourself: “Damn I look good!”  If I just described you, then this whole post probably isn’t for you at all.  For most of the rest of us, feeling sexy is deeply tied to feeling desired.  When Jessica gives me a sultry “Hey sexy” I feel a boost in confidence, my day gets brighter, and I feel sexy.  Granted, I have to fight off the destructive voice in my head giving me a 5 reasons why you’re not on the sexy list, and just trust that my wife is calling it likes she sees it.  This takes practice, but when I do it regularly, that vile voice in my head gives up and must go into hibernation or something.  I’m sure I don’t have to tell anyone that when you feel sexy, you’re more inclined to have sexy thoughts, and… you know.  So my advice to you is to give your partner a reason to silence that voice in their head.  All the time.  Okay, don’t be obnoxious about it, or you’ll come across as pushy.  Flirt, wink, do the Magnum P.I. eyebrow thing (if you don’t know what that is, well, then, never mind), make subtle suggestive comments; whatever communicates to your partner that they are desired, and desirable.  But don’t have your heart set on sex.  Because flirting is sexy and is an end in and of itself.

5. Spend quality time together… but not for sex. 

Developing togetherness has been foundational to our relationship and affects every part of it, including our sex life.  I realize that this concept may definitively put me in the hapless romantic category, but I don’t care, I am an unabashed hapless romantic who has great sex with his wife of 17 years so there.  We have this notion that relationships are living things, and they are constantly evolving, just as each person in the relationship is growing and changing daily.  This means that being static (not changing) is not possible.  You are either growing closer together and developing stronger bonds, or you are slowly drifting apart – unless you are a stone statue of a couple, and even then erosion does take its plodding toll.  So we intentionally find ways that bring us closer together.  There is no reason why you can’t still be as into each other as when you first got together.  Actually, we believe that you should cultivate your relationship keeping being into each other as a worthwhile goal.  Find common interests, and/or try new experiences together.  Play games together.  Make music together.  No, those aren’t references to sexual activities.  Cook together.  Hike or bike together.  Visit museums.  Go out for coffee or a fancy dinner.  Any activity that you will enjoy together, preferably with lots of eye contact, and with no electronic devices or screens (after you’re done reading this you should try it).  Because when you spend time being into each other, you end up wanting to explore all the ways you could be into each other.  (that was a sexual reference, by the way…).

6. Talk more… and I don’t mean about sex (and I don’t mean talk dirty more)

Spending time together, being more and more into each other, involves a lot of communication, and most of that will be through actual conversations.  With words and sentences and all that.  If you’re really getting into each other, developing that sense of togetherness that I mentioned in the previous point, then you’re going to want to communicate that you care about your partner’s life, about their day, every day, and that you’re interested in the details, the little experiences that you missed out on.  This may seem obvious, but you’re going to want to communicate that you missed your partner.  Because being missed is sexy.  And giving a damn is really sexy.

7. Help get the kids to bed, and again after midnight. 

So finally a practical tip!  I suggest that you don’t gloss over the relational mushy-gushy stuff that I took nearly 2,000 words to write about.  That’s the stuff that really leads to more, and great, sex.  The practical logistics of making sex happen won’t cut it by themselves.  Getting obnoxious distractions (i.e. children- only obnoxious when you’re hoping to make some whoopie) out of the way is essential to hooking up with your partner.  Bed time can be exhausting and time-consuming, and, depending on the age of your children, can burn a parent out and render them huddled in a dark, quiet, corner, hugging their knees, etc.  Or fast asleep before the kids.  It’s much better with two parents.  That way you communicate that you give a damn, that you want to do this together, that you’re willing to help, not to mention demonstrating to your children that you are there for them and their other parent.  Ways to make it more fun: text each other once the bedtime routine is finished but your haven’t extricated yourself from your children’s arms and legs.  A fun texting game we’ve played is where one of us sends the other a random emoticon, and the other has to guess what it’s supposed to mean.  Oops, now everyone knows: we’re dorks.  Dorks that flirt and have great sex.   This may or may not lead to sexting, by the way, which is always fun but possibly awkward and ill-advised if you’re still helping kids settle.  Getting kids to bed once may not be enough.  You may have to commit to moving a sleeping baby, 1 or 2 or even 3 yr old back to their bed after they have sweetly sought out your comforting cuddles around midnight and fallen asleep in the bed where, damn it, you were hoping to have sex (or just cuddle with your partner, or sleep on separate sides of the bed, depending on how grueling the bedtime routine was and how long you each need to huddle by yourselves in the dark, etc.).  Because a kidless bed with just you and your partner is sexy.  (This isn’t to say cosleeping damages sex lives, it doesn’t and we do cosleep, we just also have a “bed” for the cosleepers that they visit for us to have alone time in our bed.  And, if you don’t have teenagers around, there are plenty of other, though less comfortable, places in a house to utilize.)

8. Change the sheets!

Those of you who have known us for a little while know what this means, so feel free to skip this tip.  For those of you who don’t, I’ll let you in on our little secret: clean sheets are sexy.  Clean sheets are so sexy that my wife has this irresistible urge to sleep naked in them.  If it weren’t for the sheer logistics of children seeking cuddles, 8 of us in a house with one washing machine, and having to work and feed our family, I would probably wash our sheets every day.  Quick disclaimer: I have learned that just because my wife is naked in bed does not guarantee that we will have sex, or that she is logically interested in having sex.  You would do well to heed these words.  That being said, clean sheets may increase your odds; they certainly increase mine!  Also, mind-blowing as this may sound: sleeping naked together is sexy, and an end in and of itself.

And finally, if you’re still with me, the #1 thing you can do to have more sex as parents:

9. Stop asking for it.  

There is nothing quite like a whiner to kill a mood, or destroy any chance of there even being a mood to get into in the first place.  Asking for sex, or demanding it, damages your relationship with your partner.  Asking for it communicates only one thing: you think you have to have sex, that you deserve it, or that it is some kind of need.  It is not a form of flirting, it is not flattering, it is not sexy, it doesn’t communicate that your partner is desirable, it does not bring you closer together, it does not communicate that you care, or give a damn about anyone but yourself, and most of all, it communicates a lack of love and respect.  It is gross.  Even if the sheets are clean.  And if you helped around the house, and you flirted, and did your part in getting kids to bed, and spent time listening to every little detail of your partner’s day, and watched whatever stupid movie they wanted to, and this somehow means that you deserve sex, that they owe you sex, then you know nothing about what a healthy relationship looks like, and I would further venture to say that this is exactly the kind of thinking that leads to an abusive relationship.  Talk about it but in a carefully, respectful, and concerned conversation.  “I miss having sex with you” means a lot more than “We never have sex any more.”  And if you mention your sexual needs, like it’s some kind of basic human need, you should be slapped.  A basic human need is one where the human is at risk of dying if that need isn’t met.  Like eating, or drinking water.  Are you at risk of dying if you can’t have sex?  No.  And if you’re that horny and you feel like you just can’t keep it together without a release, then I’m sure your partner would appreciate you using your capable hands, rather than pressuring them or guilting them into letting you use their body for your own pleasurable end.  Because guilting your partner into sex is NOT sexy.  And pressuring your partner into sex will not lead to more and better sex, before or after baby.  Also, consider getting therapy.  Therapy can be sexy too.

There is one thing that effectively sums up my 8 tips to having more sex after baby (because that last one wasn’t really a tip, was it?): focus on your relationship with your partner.  All the rest will take care of itself.  And no, that’s not a sexual reference.

~ The Piano Man (aka: Jeremy from BeyondMoi)

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Happy Valentine’s Day!  

If you are looking for the widget to enter our huge Valentine’s Day giveaway, then look no further.  The widget is right below this text.  A couple of reminders before you go crazy with the widget:

1. Due to the varied shipping restrictions of our many, generous, sponsors, this giveaway is for US participants only.  We apologize for having to leave out our international followers.  We just can’t figure out how to better manage a giveaway of this magnitude.

2. Don’t forget that these same sponsors are also offering discounts and promotional codes just for TLB followers.  Don’t miss out!  Check them out at the giveaway post.

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Ergobaby Postpartum FB Chat and Giveaway

“Ergobaby follows a personal mission to keep children close and comforted, and parents strong and able.”
From Ergobaby’s About page

Born out of a desire to keep children close and comfortable as their parents go about their daily lives, Ergobaby is committed to supporting parents navigate those beautiful and challenging postpartum waters.  A perfect example of this is the Live Chat that they are sponsoring on The Leaky Boob Facebook page today.  Its focus is on the surprises and difficulties that a mother experiences postpartum.  They are bringing Abigail Morgan, L.Ac, MTOM, to the discussion, and are offering some of their baby wearing products in support of new moms as well!
Ergo mom cuddle

Ergobaby is giving away:

- 3 Wraps
- 2 Swaddlers
- 1 Organic Baby Carrier

6 lucky winners for this generous giveaway!

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Fairhaven Health Presents: A Milkies Giveaway

Fairhaven Health’s commitment to supporting couples through the ups and downs of trying-to-conceive, pregnancy, and becoming new parents, is apparent through their own products and outstanding customer service, through their sponsorship of communities such as The Leaky Boob, and now extends through their newest addition: Milkies, specializing in breastmilk collection and storage, to the very last drop!  Fairhaven Health is sponsoring a conversation on Facebook about storing breastmilk and has brought Helen Anderson, the creator of Milkies, as the expert to answer your questions.  She also took a few minutes to speak with us about her products and her passion for donating milk.  This is also your opportunity to enter a giveaway to win Milkies’ products below.  To find the archived chat threads full of information supporting storing your breastmilk and pumping, see here for info on hand expression, we talked about spilling our milk here, heating milk and bottle-feeding a breastfed baby, proper temperatures and safe handling practices, and tips for storing breastmilk here. Through January 10th, 2014, there is also a 15% off discount for all breastfeeding related products including Milkies Milk Savers on fairhavenhealth.com when you use the code LEAKIES in the coupon code section of the checkout process.      

Helen with kids

TLB:  Necessity is often the mother of invention, and this seems to ring true with the Milkies’ products. How did you come up with the idea for the Milk-Saver and the Freeze?

Helen:  I would make such a mess of my son and I when I nursed him – I was going through a box of nursing pads in a few days and still soaking my shirt!  I knew I was leaking a lot of milk so I held a bottle under the other side to collect the dripping milk – I discovered I was wasting about 2 ounces every time I breastfed!

I planned to go back to work in the same busy ER and I needed to store enough milk for my 12 hour shift.  I wanted to collect and store the milk instead of wasting it into pads, but there was nothing out there.  So I created the Milk-Saver.

The Freeze was developed because I needed to store and organize a large volume of milk in our family freezer.  I also needed to protect the milk storage bags from being damaged in the freezer and make it easy for my husband or mother-in-law to use the oldest milk first.  The Freeze does all these tasks very simply.  I am very proud of the final product!

TLB:  Can you describe how to use the Milk-Saver?

Helen:  Before nursing your baby, simply slip the Milk-Saver into your bra or snug tank.  When your baby begins to nurse and the leaking starts, the Milk-Saver collects it.  When you are ready to switch sides, remove the Milk-Saver and stand it up in the case so the milk doesn’t spill.  When you are all finished with the nursing session, pour your milk into another container to refrigerate or freeze.

TLB:  Tell us why you love the Freeze.

Helen:  I know from my own experience that freezing and organizing breast milk in the freezer is challenging.  I heard the same complaint from my friends so I knew it wasn’t just me!  My storage bags leaked, milk would be lost under a bag of peas and my husband was always guessing which milk was the oldest and should be used first.  I wanted to solve this problem with a simple and space saving product – the Freeze.  It freezes your milk flat on a quick freeze tray, then helps you organize it with a first-in, first-out system.  My storage bags stay safe and protected from the typical bumps and bruises of freezer containers so my hard earned milk doesn’t leak out when thawed.

TLB:  What do you want Leakies to know about how the Milkies products are constructed and the quality of the materials that are used to make them?

Helen:  Milkies products are made out of the safest and most durable material I could find.  I decided to manufacture the products in the Pacific Northwest, near the Milkies offices.  The factory I chose is very environmentally aware – they recycle, and produce very little waste.

TLB:  The Milk-Saver has been on the market for several years now, right?  What are some of your favorite comments you have heard from moms that have used this product?

Helen:  There are several favorites!  A mom in Seattle saved almost 400 ounces using a Milk-Saver and donated her milk to a milk bank.  I have heard from many moms that struggle with supply and storing enough for returning to work.  Saving a half an ounce each nursing session with a Milk-Saver gave them the freezer stash to return to work and leave breast milk instead of switching to formula.

TLB:  You seem to have a special interest in milk banking.  Tell us more about your experience as a milk donor, and why you feel so strongly about breast milk donation.

Helen:  I have donated over 200 ounces of breast milk to a bank and I am planning to donate more.  Human milk has around 200,000 components, it cannot be replicated in a lab.  Donor milk is processed then sent to a hospital and used to nourish infants in a NICU setting or full term infants requiring supplementation.  Donating breast milk can save the lives of our most vulnerable babies, it is very important and easy to do.

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Fairhaven Health is giving away a Milkies Milk-Saver and a Milkies Freeze to 3 lucky Leakies.

Milkies Milk-Saver: The patented Milk-Saver collects your leaking breast milk as you nurse – allowing you to store extra breast milk effortlessly with each feeding.  A comprehensive dietary supplement that provides essential vitamins and minerals for nursing moms, along with a blend of herbal ingredients to support breast milk production, including a concentrated Fenugreek extract.

milkies-milk-saver-6

Milkies Freeze: The Milkies Freeze is a “first in, first out” breast milk storage system that fits in your freezer, and conveniently and safely stores up to 60 ounces of breast milk.

milkies-freeze-18

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Currently Leakies can find these and other natural products for fertility, pregnancy and nursing at www.FairhavenHealth.com.

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Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from January 9, 2014 through January 15, 2014.  A big thanks to Helen Anderson (inventor of the Milkies Milk Saver and Milkies Freeze) and the team at Fairhaven Health 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 open to US and Canadian residents.

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6 lessons our 6 kids have taught us in fostering sibling bonds + 6 #BecoSiblingLove carrier packs

by Jessica Martin-Weber
This post made possible by the generous support of Beco Baby Carriers.

E and C together outside

When I was pregnant with our second child, I was pretty good at keeping a journal for our first born with regular entries sharing not only what she had done and milestones she had reached but also my feelings along the way.  First child/new parent kind of thing, I’m not even kind of keeping up with journals for the girls now, they get about two entries a year.  A few of my entries from those early days record both my excitement and concern about adding a child to the family, all normal thoughts when adding a new baby.  Worried about how I would love another child as much as my first born, wondering how I would be able to give both the attention they deserved and I thought required, anxious about possible jealousy as a result, and afraid that my children wouldn’t get along.  That last one was one of my greatest concerns.  My own relationship with my siblings up to that point had been tenuous at best and I wasn’t sure how to foster a bond between my own children that would invite them to have a meaningful relationship with each other beyond “hey, we’re family, you’re supposed to love each other so get along.”

Today our 6 girls share a bond I could never have imagined and my relationships with my siblings is improving.  Though they have their share of squabbles, necessary interactions for learning how to manage conflict and establish boundaries (we utilize the Peace Path for helping our children develop conflict management skills), all six of our children have a connection they each treasure and actively cultivate which for all of them began before the new sibling was even born.  It hasn’t always been easy and there was a period of regression with our first when our second was born and we all laugh at how when our third came along her big sister regularly asked if the new baby could go back in my tummy for a few months.  But these minor hiccups have only served to strengthen their relationships, not weaken them.  As Erica E. Goode said:

Sibling relationships – and 80 percent of Americans have at least one – outlast marriages, survive the death of parents, resurface after quarrels that would sink any friendship. They flourish in a thousand incarnations of closeness and distance, warmth, loyalty and distrust.

Our eldest, 15yo Earth Baby, babywearing our youngest, 20 month old Sugarbaby in a Beco Soleil with our second youngest, 4yo Smunchie, babywearing her own baby in a Beco Mini.

Our eldest, 15yo Earth Baby, babywearing our youngest, 20 month old Sugarbaby in a Beco Soleil with our second youngest, 4yo Smunchie, babywearing her own baby in a Beco Mini.

Encouraging their connection has been intentional on our part.  As their parents, we have learned how us valuing their relationship helps them to value it as well, and truly valuing it, not having expectations of simply getting along to keep the peace.  Respecting their individual yet communal needs to develop their ties based on their own personalities and interactions in order to have authentic relationships because they want to, not just to make us happy, has given us all the space needed to know not only ourselves but each other.  We’re still learning but here are 6 of the lessons we have learned as we journey this path together.

  • Positive talk.  Before our children are even born we talk them up to their older siblings and their older siblings up to them.  It’s not fake either, we honestly believe that they are incredibly lucky to have the others in their life and that our children are some outstanding people, we can’t wait for them to meet each other.  Hearing us not only talk positively about their siblings but of them to their siblings is inspiring and confidence building.  We continue this long after birth.  I will never forget when our then 5 year old lovingly whispered to our 4th baby at a few months old as they were on the bed together while I cleaned up after a diaper change where she had assisted me as I talked her up to her baby sister: “mommy is right, I DO love you lots and lots.  I will never stop loving you.”  Cue happy mommy tears.

    Sibling love, Beco Sibling love #becosiblinglove

    The Storyteller and Lollie

  • Play Games together.  From the earliest age with rhymes, massage, peek-a-boo, and finger plays, connecting through play bridges age gaps and interests.  This Little Piggy, the Itsy Bitsy Spider, and other repetitive rhymes are perfect, even toddlers and preschoolers can enjoy sharing those with a younger sibling and may spare you some repetitions.  Don’t let siblings replace your own play time with baby, but involving older siblings and giving them one on one time to play together will have a lasting impact on their relationship.  Try some other creative activities as well, older siblings will love sharing these experiences of play together.  Our bigger girls always love making the newest baby laugh, it’s a treasure to share and games are an active way of connecting.  As they get older they build their game playing repertoire from recognized free-style games (hide and seek) to structured games (Candy Land) to made-up games that become family favorites.  Games can be a family affair but some of the deepest connecting times happen with one on one games.  Which brings me to my next point…

    We were missing one that day but that didn't stop their games.

    We were missing one that day but that didn’t stop their games.

  • Get out of the way.  It can be so easy and in many ways necessary to never leave your children to interact on their own together, particularly with a very young baby.  While it is important to supervise young children with an infant, giving them the space with you present to touch, play with, and connect with a new young sibling will have lifetime pay off.  Sitting on the couch well supported by pillows and mommy and daddy’s trusting encouragement at as young as weeks before turning 2 years old, each of our 5 big girls have glowed with love as they held their newborn baby sister.  As the get older, trusting them with their younger siblings even more, letting them do caregiving that we typically assume such as diaper changing and babywearing develops their own confidence and connection.  When the youngest is old enough we begin encouraging quiet times and naps with a sibling.  Our 20 month old and newly turned 4 year old share a room together now and one recent evening I heard the toddler cry out and by the time I got to their room they were cuddled up together in one bed sleeping peacefully.  They still join us in our room early every morning for a few hours but they have the giggles of going to bed together and the comfort of each other through the night.  Getting out of the way can be hard, finding a balance between safety and providing opportunity can be challenging (and do make sure everyone is safe) but more than likely it will be letting go of your own desire to control that will be the most difficult to overcome.  Though it may mean things won’t be done exactly how you would do them or there may be a bigger mess as a result, getting out of the way will allow your children to develop their own experiences together and define their relationship together outside of their parents.  Worth any cleanup required.

    #becosiblinglove, sisters

    Struck down with a nasty virus, sisters offer each other comfort.

  • Nurture their nurturing side.  Children, at least young children, like to emulate their parents and caregivers.  This aspect of their development is crucial to their learning life skills.  Helping with household chores, copying parents leisure activities (i.e. reading), and mimicking caring for babies and small children.  Dolls and plush toys can help meet this need but don’t limit it to pretend.  Even very young children can help with caring for their younger siblings in simple ways.  Toddlers can give kisses, help with bathing (wash baby’s toes with the wash cloth!), fetch toys and other items, perform to entertain baby (my toddlers love to dance for their baby sisters, not sure the littlest was ever impressed but the big sister felt important in that moment), offer comfort, and participate in snuggles.  There is something about a toddler gently patting a baby saying “it’s ok baby” that makes me melt.  Preschoolers can do these same activities plus play games with the baby, listen for baby to wake from a nap (hopefully not wake baby from the nap…), assist with feeding times*, distract a slightly older baby when upset or a parent needs to go to the bathroom, and many more activities based on their capabilities.  We have even let our preschoolers babywear their new siblings briefly with us right there to support.  It can take more time and it isn’t always exactly helpful but it is special.  School aged children can step it up even more including watching younger siblings for a parent to take a shower, introduce new games, babywear, respond to the baby’s cries (my bigger girls will actually call dibs on getting a crying little one), cuddle them when sick or tired, take them for walks, and more.  Be respectful of their capabilities and don’t expect them to take your place, our children know they can always refuse opportunities to take on these responsibilities and sometimes they do but overall they enjoy the chance to be the one extending care.

    2yo Squiggle Bug watching over 5 month old Smunchie while I observed from the sink doing dishes.

    2yo Squiggle Bug watching over 5 month old Smunchie while I observed from the sink doing dishes.

  • Gifts to share.  We don’t expect our children to share their personal belongings out of obligation but we do intentional have quite a few play things that don’t specifically belong to any one person.  Be it a bottle of bubbles to share together or a kitchen set, having playthings that belong to all of them and are more fun when shared with others encourages interactions together which goes a long way to securing those sibling bonds.

    #becosiblinglove

    3yo Squiggle Bug and 1yo Smunchie making felt food together.

  • Dolls and plush toys.  Copying mom and dad in caregiving helps little ones recognize the dependency of infants and toddlers as they care for their own “babies.”  My children have used their dolls to work through their own issues with their siblings, creating scenarios of jealousy or frustration that they coach their “children” through.  This important play helps them with their own feelings.  Transitioning the youngest to being a big sibling when a new baby is on the way is supported by encouraging them to care for their own babies and when they don’t get to be worn as often as before the new baby, having a carrier for their own baby makes that transition so much easier.
    #becosiblinglove, Siblings, Frejay dolls

    Sugarbaby isn’t a big sister but she loves taking care of her dolls too.

    Sugarbaby caring for her Frejay mom and baby doll even while she gets néné.

    Sugarbaby caring for her Frejay mom and baby doll even while she gets néné.

I love watching our children together.  My heart nearly bursts as I see the love they share.  So strong is their connection sometimes I feel like I’m intruding.  They will have conflict and at times jealousy but with empathy and conflict management skills the basis of their relationship will remain strong and true.  Our children are blessed to have each other and we are, in turn, blessed that they have each other.  Having multiple children may not be for everyone, certainly having a large family like ours is not right for all parents, but the friendships our children have built in through each other is one of the best things we’ve ever done for our children.

To see more of our 6 daughters’ interactions, follow me on Instagram at jmartinweber.

I don’t believe an accident of birth makes people sisters or brothers. It makes them siblings, gives them mutuality of parentage. Sisterhood and brotherhood is a condition people have to work at. – Maya Angelou

*Breastfeeding assistance can include helping mom get anything she needs, keep mommy company with a story, share a snack with mommy, etc.  Those that bottle feed can include preschoolers and older children in the feeding times by helping them give a bottle and instructing them how to do so and sharing the experience with them.  My babies have all received bottles at times when I had to be away from them for work reasons, left in the care of daddy or another trusted caregiver, their big sisters have loved getting to give them a bottle when I was away.  Once solids are introduced, be it baby-led solids or baby food, sharing the adventure of new tastes and textures can be a lot of fun for everyone.

To celebrate fostering sibling bonds, Beco Baby is giving away 6 sets of carriers in honor of our 6 girls and the connection they share.  Each prize pack includes a Soleil ($140 value) and a Beco Mini ($30 value) to encourage your bigger littles to practice their nurturing and copying mommy and daddy.  Use the widget below to enter the giveaway and happy bonding, happy babywearing to your family!  Open to USA residents only.

#becosiblinglove

#becosiblinglove
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Rumina’s Holiday Giveaway

Our last giveaway with TLB sponsor Rumina, Amanda told us about the process they go through in order to create their products up to the point of production.  Today, she tells the rest of the tale: what happens after the initial production run?  She and her sister, Dawn, are committed to making their products work for real moms.  Because of this, they value and invite moms’ questions, comments, concerns and ideas regarding their line of products so that they can design the best nursing products to help as many moms as possible.  Amanda is offering a giveaway prize that will give 2 winners a taste of their entire product line!  Happy Holidays!

Amanda&Ry

Amanda with son Ryland age 4 months

TLB:  Your last giveaway with TLB, we discussed what all went in the production of a new product, from design to production.  This time, let’s talk a bit about what happens after that!  Once you’re through producing an item, what happens then? 

Amanda:  The production process is a beast, but after you get through all the steps and consistent double checking and you actually have the product, it’s then that we have the chance to really verify the product is what we anticipate it being. Before we put in our production order, we always have samples made to give to our test moms to try but it’s not the same as releasing the product to the market and having 100’s of moms with different shapes and sizes using the product. As soon as we release the product we keep a close watch on customer feedback and returns. We reach out to moms to get feedback on their experience with the garment and what they think should be adjusted.  We also rely on the feedback from partners/retail buyers for not only current production feedback but also future designs.

TLB:  How much product adjustment happens after the initial run?  How many production runs do you expect to have with changes? 

Amanda:  In the beginning as we were learning the engineering behind our Pump&Nurse tanks (yes, engineering, we almost needed a degree in engineering to design our product!), we went through four test runs and three full production releases. The first full production run was sized too small and was a little too short through the torso, so we adjusted the size and we added the length in the torso to better accommodate our moms. The second and third versions’ fabric composition wasn’t exactly what we wanted, it’s a very delicate  balance between the comfort and flexibility for all day wear and the need to hold the pumps in place hands-free. The Pump&Nurse Tank you purchase now, is our fourth version of the tank and we are absolutely thrilled with it. Now it’s a matter of working with our factories and suppliers to maintain consistency throughout the production process!

It was at moms’ requests that our products be available in a bra for hot weather, different layering and their last trimester. So the Pump&Nurse Bra was born. The Crossover Bra recently released won’t necessarily go through that same evolution that the tank did since we know what works and doesn’t for our garments but we did make some changes to the first version of the bra. We’re excited to release the Relaxed Bra which was designed to be a great light to moderate support, ideal for sleepwear, maternity, and the newly postpartum mom. This Bump to Baby bra is perfect for the transitions due to its soft jersey knit fabric that stretches nicely for engorgement. Since we are pumping and nursing moms as well, we wanted to also have a more moderate to firm support. Our soft jersey knit wouldn’t give that level of firmness for moms who like more support and/or long past engorgement. We will soon have our Classic Bra made with the same material as our Tanks. The Classic will provide wonderful all day support for busy moms and if all goes well in production, we will be releasing the Classic Bra in early 2014.

TLB:  What are the best ways to get a hold of Rumina with questions and concerns about your products? 

Amanda:  Along with my marketing and sales roles, I lead our customer support! So if customers call Rumina’s phone number 425.466.4408, email at info@ruminaformoms.com or message Rumina on our Facebook Page, it will usually be me who helps them with their questions. I try to answer calls or respond to emails right away but in a small company where we wear so many hats sometimes there’s a slight delay. We really do take customer feedback and interaction seriously and we strive to go above and beyond to make our customers’ experience exceptional. One of the main things that will make Rumina a success is the support and word of mouth recommendation from moms and that all happens with the customers experience.

TLB:  I hear we’re in for a colorful new year with Rumina! Could you tell us a bit about that?

Amanda:  Yes we are! We’re so excited to be able to start offering colors coming up in 2014! Both our tanks and bras will have new colors added to their line. Nude, Chocolate and Heather Grey will be additions to the Pump&Nurse Tanks but the Pump&Nurse Relaxed Crossover Bra will be the bra of color! We just released the Relaxed Bra in Holiday Red, on sale now and will be adding a new fun color every 3 months!  That means that each color will be available for a limited amount of time and in a limited quantity. The best part is moms will help us decide which colors to release this year! In early January we’re going to ask moms via Facebook what colors they want to see in the Relaxed Bra. We hope to create a fun lineup for this year as well as get moms involved in helping us decide what to produce first for this year.

TLB:  What kinds of colorful experiences do you look forward to with your family this Holiday season?

Amanda:  Since it’s my first holiday season with my lil guy, I’m excited to create new holiday traditions. My son Ryland is only 6 ½ months so he’s not at the point of understanding what the holidays are all about but it’s still fun to start new traditions with my family. Check out the different holiday festivals, attempt to make yummy treats I find on Pinterest, strive to capture that perfect holiday picture, all of it I love! I just wish I lived closer to my sister and her family so we could take a quick step away from Rumina and enjoy the holidays together.

Hall_Pic

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Amanda is giving away two prizes to two lucky Leakies.

Each winner will receive the New Holiday Red Relaxed Hands-Free Pump&Nurse Bra, their color of choice of the Hands-Free Pump&Nurse Relaxed Crossover Bra and their style and color of choice of one of the Hands-Free Pump&Nurse Tanks.
A total retail value of $116.00.

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BraRelaxed_HR_rumina

Rumina’s Holiday Red

Hands-Free Pump&Nurse Relaxed Crossover Bra

Hands-Free Pump&Nurse Relaxed Crossover Bra

Classic Coverage and Full Coverage Pump&Nurse Tanks shown

Classic Coverage and Full Coverage Pump&Nurse Tanks shown

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Currently Leakies can find the Pump&Nurse Collection items on Rumina’s website.

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Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from December 23, 2013 through December 30, 2013.  A big thanks to Amanda and Rumina Nursingwear for their ongoing support of TLB and all breastfeeding women; please be sure to visit Rumina’s Facebook Page or follow them on twitter and thank them for their support of TLB and this giveaway opportunity.  You can also find Rumina on Pinterest!

Open to U.S. and Canadian residents only.

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KoalaKin Giveaway

KoalaKin is committed to helping moms reach their breastfeeding goals. Whether it’s because of a poor latch, arm, back or shoulder pain, other kids to look after, or overall lack of support, too many moms are giving up breastfeeding before they are ready.  Vivian, creator of KoalaKin, was one of those moms and it is her sincere hope that the KoalaKin would be a helpful tool that assists nursing mothers everywhere as they strive to give their babies the absolute best.

 Vivian LR

TLB:  Hello Vivian.  It’s been a little while since we’ve had a KoalaKin giveaway – what would you like TLB readers to know about KoalaKin?

Vivian: I created the KoalaKin because of the difficulties I had when nursing both of my sons. I had everything, ranging from arm pain, poor latch, sore back and with my second son, another child to look after during the day. I tried nursing in slings and carriers, but I couldn’t get them to work for me, so I decided to create my own “sling”. I was so relieved and happy that I finally had something that allowed me to breastfeed without pain, that I showed it to lactation consultants at two local hospitals. They loved it! In fact, they made excellent suggestions for improvements and encouraged me to make more because they saw moms on a daily basis that were going through the same challenges I was, and therefore could benefit from my invention. And thus, the KoalaKin was born!

Koalakin Hands Free Nursing Pouch (1)

TLB:  What is the inspiration behind your brand name?

Vivian:  Babies love to be carried and moms love to carry their babies. It’s instinctual, which made me think of the animals that also carry their young. I realized that my nursing pouch mimics the way a marsupial carries their young. I then consulted with an Australian friend of mine on what would be a good name for my product. We realized several baby products have kangaroos in their names already. A wombat didn’t feel super warm and fuzzy. Plus, who would buy a product called “wombat kin”? And then we thought of koalas and I immediately knew that was the right name. Koalas are so sweet and they look adorable, I just knew it was the perfect name for my product.

TLB:  I understand that you have some exciting news to share!  Something about safety testing and a new product line?

Vivian:  Yes! We are very proud to have passed the ASTM standard for slings. This is a very stringent test that is conducted on the product to ensure moms and babies are safe when using it correctly. The KoalaKin has been tested for up to 35lbs, so we are confident even those moms with bigger babies can safely and comfortably nurse in the KoalaKin.

Over the last couple of years, we also heard from our plus sized mamas asking us to create a vest that would fit them too, and I am very excited to announce that since October, we have come out with a plus sized vest that fits moms sizes 16 and up.

TLB:  Where can our Leakies go to purchase this new Plus Size vest (and your other products too!)?

Vivian: The best place to purchase is on my website at www.koalakin.com. Alternatively, customers can also find the KoalaKin at www.babiesrus.com

TLB:  Christmas is right around the corner, and many of us are anticipating spending more time with family, which can either be wonderful or extremely difficult.  What kind of advice would you give a new mom who is having to face breastfeeding with their extended family for the first time?

Vivian: I know exactly how that feels, as I was breastfeeding a two month old incessantly during Christmas the year he was born.

I have 3 main advices for new moms during this festive, but potentially challenging time:

1) don’t hesitate asking for help. Many moms just try to do everything themselves, but it’s ok to relax and let someone else take the reins once in a while. And the important thing here is to let go of expectations, because other people will never do things the way we would, so don’t try to control the outcome of any situation. Just appreciate that you’re being given time to focus and bond with your little one.

2) don’t take too much on. This is not the time to have 20 people over for a formal sit down dinner. This is a recipe for failure and frustration. Let the grandparents host Christmas, or if you’re like me and don’t have any family in town, chose a simpler menu, something you know how to cook (this is not the time to experiment!) and you know the family will approve. I made a cheese fondue, salad and bought some smoked salmon and it was a huge hit. In fact, we’ve had it almost every Christmas ever since. You can keep it simple and still have a festive meal that everyone will love.

3) don’t be too hard on yourself. OK, so dinner got served 30min later than expected, or the mashed potatoes are now cold, or your baby is fussing and extended family is giving you all sorts of well-intentioned, but unwanted advice. I have this exercise that I do when I find myself in a potentially stressful situation called “What Am I Aware Of Now?”. I ask myself this question over an over and the answers go something like this: I’m aware of my heart pounding, I’m aware of a wonderful smell coming from the kitchen, I’m aware of my baby’s soft skin, I’m aware I’m irritated with Uncle Pat’s boring office party story, etc… This exercise helps me come back to myself when I feel like I’m being pulled in 10 different directions, and it really calms me down.

KKBrwn-LR-CR

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 Vivian is giving away a KoalaKin, Hands Free Nursing Pouch of your choice.  Retail Value: $89.99

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 Koalakin Hands Free Nursing Pouch

Currently Leakies can find all KoalaKin items on the KoalaKin website.

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Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from December 10, 2013 through December 16, 2013.  A big thanks to Vivian and KoalaKin 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.  You can also find KoalaKin on Pinterest!  Happy Holidays!

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

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Freja Toys Giveaway

If you aren’t familiar with Freja Toys, drop everything and go check them out here!  We are long-time fans of their charming Ukrainian crocheted toys, and would have their complete collection if we could.  Freja Toys has been a sponsor of The Leaky Boob for quite a while, and we’re excited to bring you this opportunity to get to know them a bit better, and offer you a chance to win some adorable toys too!

tanya_frejatoys

TLB: We were thrilled to have Freja Toys join The Leaky Boob community as a sponsor earlier this year! We own a couple of your dolls already, and just love all the precious toys you make. What is the main thing that you would like our Leakies to know about Freja Toys? 

Tanya: Our toys are very popular among kids and adults. All our products are unique and full of warmth and love. They are made from natural materials and are absolutely safe for your kid’s health! And our main goal is to give joy to kids and their moms and to make the world around happier and kinder! We often receive words of gratitude from our customers. They are a great source of our inspiration!
IMG_0362_08b18ae1-ecd7-4964-8cab-e72d670d2307_1024x1024TLB: What is the inspiration behind your name? 

Tanya: My great-grandmother’s name was Freyja Amundsen. She was originally from Scandinavia. She was a marvelous needlewoman and had a talent in knitting! I’m sure I inherited a great deal of her genes in this respect. I took a great interest in knitting since I was 7 years old. And this passion still hasn’t passed! So I decided to name my brand in honor of my great-grandmother :)

TLB: Could you tell us a bit about how your toys are made? 

Tanya: Primarily we produce a stockinet (machine knit) of wool yarn and cotton thread. Thus we get a base of our dolls. Then we make the dolls’ body and clothes. The dolls’ body is knitted with the multicolored stripes which imitate a t-shirt, lingerie and shoes. The dolls’ skirt, dress or pants are removable.  The dolls’ hair of cotton thread is completely handmade and each doll’s face is embroidered by hand. Handwork is our key distinction and advantage, particularly at the stage of the toy’s design and decoration.
Our nursing jewelry, teething toys and crochet baby rattles are also made completely by hand.
FrejaToys_1

TLB: Since this is The Leaky Boob after all, do you have a favorite breastfeeding tip you could share with us?

Tanya: Trust your baby! Don’t look for answers outside, just listen to your little one. 

TLB: One more question: if someone in the U.S. wanted to order some toys for Christmas, how soon would they need to put an order in for it to arrive on time? :)

Tanya: Last date for Christmas orders is Dec 5th. Unfortunately we can’t guarantee that your package will come on time for holidays if you place your order after that date. The shipping time to US takes 2 – 3 weeks.
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IMG_9516_large
Tanya is giving away 3 Babywearing Dolls and 3 nursing necklaces to 3 lucky Leakies. Every winner will get a babywearing mommy/daddy doll with a baby doll of their own choosing and one of the petite nursing necklaces (our bestseller!)
Retail Value: Dolls $42.00 - $45.00, Nursing Necklaces $20.
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nn_mommyIMG_2064_79b4b803-e93a-4aa1-81f7-b7eb24ed0b63_1024x1024
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Currently Leakies can find these and other knitted dolls and nursing/breastfeeding necklaces FrejaToys items in the www.frejatoys.etsy.com website.
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 veggies_set-03

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Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from December 3, 2013 through December 10, 2013.  A big thanks to Tanya and FrejaToys for their ongoing support of TLB and all breastfeeding women; please be sure to visit them on Facebook and thank them for their support of TLB and this giveaway opportunity.  You can also find them on Pinterest!
This giveaway is open to international entries.

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Arm’s Reach Concepts Cocoon giveaway!

Arm’s Reach Concepts is a committed TLB sponsor and has actively supported breastfeeding families since 1997.  Getting to know the ARC family has been a real pleasure, their values and character are ones I’m happy to connect with our community of Leakies.  Stephanie manages ARC’s social media and has become a good friend, someone I trust and enjoy working with and I love how she cares about families.  This week I’m excited to introduce you Leakies to this member of the ARC family and share a giveaway for a product that’s on my baby gear list, the cocoon.

 

Co-sleeper

I got to hang out with Stephanie and Sharon from the Arm’s Reach Concepts team at MommyCon LA this past fall.

TLB:  Hi Stephanie, it has been a pleasure getting to meet and work with you and I’m so happy to have the Leakies get to know you and the support you offer.   Tell us a little about yourself, your role at ARC, and your family.

Stephanie:  Hello Leakies! it’s been my pleasure as well, I love the community you have built Jessica and am glad that we are able to be apart of it.  I’m a creative & social person by nature, at ARC I started with general Customer Service as I love to help and inform people this came naturally to me.  My past work was in an internet/technical background and I’m also a photographer so picking up the Social Media roles at ARC also fell in naturally.  I’m a Mama to 3 children, William is 13, Tyler is 12 and Jillian just turned 11 last week.

TLB:  Arms Reach obviously is committed to helping families get off to the best start possible and providing quality products to do so, tell us about how that commitment translates to the ARC family in how they take care of each other.

Stephanie:  At ARC we truly are a family.  We have a close knit staff who cares about each other and their families. We are all Moms, and with that often comes those “emergency” calls.  We pitch in and help each other out, no questions asked.

TLB:  I just love that ARC uses breastfeeding in promotional materials, such exposure helps normalize breastfeeding and gets more people comfortable with this biologically normal way to feed our young.  Why does ARC have such a commitment to supporting breastfeeding?

breastfeeding and cosleeping

Stephanie:  We believe that Breastfeeding creates the best start in life for babies and mothers and want to help each mother (espeically first time Moms) obtain the goals they have.  We believe that our product does just that.

TLB:  Stephanie, one of your roles at ARC is to manage the social media, how do you see moms connecting and using social media and why do you think that is?

Stephanie:  We now live in a very digital worl.  When I was pregnant I didn’t have the resources that are now available at my fingertips.  This can also be a catch 22, there is SO much info out there for Moms and Dads that it can become overwhelming.  We believe it to be our responsibility to share with our Co-Sleeper community safe sleep practices and offer support to those who need it.  When I see a response to one of our posts that says “Thanks, that’s exactly what I needed to hear today” or “I thought I was the only one who had this concern” it brings a smile to my face, helping Mothers and Fathers, it’s what we do. :)

TLB:  As a mom yourself, what is your favorite ARC product and why?

Stephanie:  I would say the Cocoon! (Too bad we don’t have them for us Mamas!) We’ve seen babies be able to soothe themselves with the gentle movements so quickly, I really wish I had one when mine were infants.

TLB:  Heading into the holiday season, share your favorite holiday  parenting survival tip for our readers.

Stephanie:  Don’t overthink it.  Remember the true meaning, we have long standing Holiday traditions in our family going back to my Father’s childhood, those are the things I remember from our Holidays.  Being around family and friends.  There are actually very few Christmas that I can remember specific gifts.  Cherish your family and the time you have with them.

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Stephanie is giving away 1 prizes to 1 lucky Leaky.  The prize is:

The Arm’s Reach Cocoon in Toffee.  Retail Value: $139.99

Currently Leakies can find this and other cosleeping items on the The Arm’s Reach website.

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Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from [month day, 20--] through [month day, 20--].  A big thanks to [your first name] and [business name] for their ongoing support of TLB and all breastfeeding women; please be sure to visit their Facebook page  or follow them on twitter  (@theleakyboob 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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Fairhaven Health Fall Giveaway

Fairhaven Health is dedicated to being there for couples that are ready to be parents.  From trying to conceive through pregnancy and breastfeeding, Fairhaven Health offers a range of products to help you along your parenting journey.  But beyond the products they sell, Fairhaven Health is there for you.  They understand and value the power of people encouraging people, and so they offer a customer service experience that connects you to people with experience and knowledge that genuinely care.  Fairhaven Health invites you to get to know them better through this giveaway opportunity, and Sarah, Director of Customer Service and Social Marketing, answers a few of our questions regarding their customer care.

FH Customer Service

Back row, from left to right: Suzanne, Tally, Sam
Front row, from left to right: Whitney, Sarah

TLB:  What are the underlying values that inspire Fairhaven Health’s customer service?  Does Fairhaven Health have a mission statement regarding their customer service?

Sarah:   A huge focus for us at Fairhaven Health is customer service. Making great products is important, of course, but we also feel strongly that we need to be present and available for our customers. In talking with many, many women every day who are struggling with, or curious about, reproductive health issues, we are constantly reminded that lots of women are not getting the information they need within the medical community, or in some cases, they simply don’t know what questions to ask.  And, while we are not doctors, we can offer a very compassionate listening ear, and we can point women to lots of resources where they can find the information and support they are looking for.  So, while we don’t have an “official” mission statement regarding our customer service, our entire team shares a genuine desire to support women (by providing encouragement and information) before and during pregnancy, and while they are breastfeeding.

TLB:  What are the different ways that someone could get in contact with someone at Fairhaven Health?

Sarah:  We try to make it as easy as possible for our customers to get in contact with us. If you call our office during the regular work day, you are almost guaranteed to get a live person on the 1st or 2nd ring. We also have a Live Chat feature on our website, which is a quick way for customers to inquire about products and orders. Customers can also email our customer service team or post comments and questions on Facebook. We work hard to respond to every voice message, email, and Facebook post that we receive within 24 hours. And, another cool thing . . . Ovagraph.com, our FREE fertility charting website and forum. We currently have over 50,000 members at OvaGraph.com – an awesome and supportive community of women charting their fertility and interacting in forums (with experienced moderators) on a variety of reproductive health topics.

TLB:  What should someone expect to experience when they get in contact with Fairhaven Health?

Sarah: The things we hope to convey through our customer service are honesty, sincerity, and compassion. Is the customer concerned about her husband’s fertility? If so, then she deserves to know what options are available for assessing his fertility status, and what natural products are available to help promote male reproductive health. Is the customer returning to work and worried about how she will maintain her breast milk supply? She deserves a compassionate listening ear, and a few tips and recommendations about pumping. Did we ship the wrong product? If so, then the customer deserves an honest apology and a sincere effort to get the correct product shipped out immediately. Simply put, we hope to create a customer service environment where women feel safe asking questions and sharing their struggles.

TLB:  What have you learned through your interactions with people calling in for help or information?

Sarah: Making babies and taking care of babies is hard work! And, even though pregnancy and breastfeeding are normal physiological processes, fertility, pregnancy wellness, and breastfeeding success are not guaranteed. When issues arise, women crave information, support and encouragement . . . which is why the phones at Fairhaven Health keep ringing and why the community at The Leaky Boob continue to thrive.

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Fairhaven Health is giving away a collection of their most popular nursing products (Nursing Blend, Nursing Time Tea, and Nipple Nuture Balm) to 5 lucky Leakies. 

  • Nursing Blend: A comprehensive dietary supplement that provides essential vitamins and minerals for nursing moms, along with a blend of herbal ingredients to support breast milk production, including a concentrated Fenugreek extract.
  • Nursing Time Tea: A refreshing, mild-tasting loose leaf tea designed to help nursing mothers increase milk flow and soothe digestive unease in baby.
  • Nipple Nurture Balm: A lanolin-free nipple balm made with organic herbal ingredients and natural moisturizers to help provide soothing relief and healing for cracked and sore nipples.

nursing-giveaway

Currently Leakies can find these and other natural products for fertility, pregnancy and nursing at www.FairhavenHealth.com.

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Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from November 19, 2013 through November 25, 2013.  A big thanks to Sarah and the team at Fairhaven Health 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 open to US and Canadian residents.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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