Exploring Solids With Baby and Giveaway Codes!

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Dear Leakies,

 

I love this issue! Secret newsletter exclusive giveaway codes, tips on feeding, recipes, and a special word from our friends at Paxbaby. Go all the way down to the end to see it all!

Feeding our babies is a big deal from the very beginning and oddly enough, causes a lot of controversy (did you see that FB rejected our money for an ad claiming “nudity” and “adult content?” We just see babies being fed.
Every milestone is an exciting experience with and for our little ones and introducing solids is one of the biggest. What to introduce and when to introduce it are important considerations many of parents agonize over. In many ways the introduction of solids is an emotional time, bittersweet and significant as it signifies our babies growing up and the first step away from the feeding of their infancy. It can be easy to rush it or even hold back delaying the inevitable, but whenever and however it happens, it can be such a fun stage and it’s time to join us at Our Stable Table where we talk about nourishing our families beyond the breast or bottle and including everything from recipes to conversations that happen around the table.

 

Making the decisions for starting your baby on solids can be overwhelming. Between conflicting information, personal opinions, and outdated recommendations, navigating those decisions becomes particularly difficult when you factor in concerns about allergies, readiness, and your mother-in-law’s insisting that starting rice cereal at 4 weeks was the best thing ever.

 

Whatever you choose to do, The Leaky Boob wants to offer you information and support, respecting your responsibility in making informed decisions for your family. While some will feel it is important to wait until 6 months or more to introduce any solids, some will feel that their child is showing signs of readiness between 4-6 months and with the support of their child’s doctor will start giving their baby first foods.
And if you do have a child with allergies, it is an entirely different ballgame and getting friends and family to respect those boundaries is no small challenge. We talk about that here.
Some resources to help you get started or just for curiosity’s sake: American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations on introducing solids, recent research on introducing solids and allergies, exploring baby-led solids, information on puree solids, and making your own baby food.

 

Whatever you do with introducing solids, and I’ve done just about all the options with my children, I hope you enjoy the process.

Ready to read more?! GO HERE to hunt for the codes and get the best information on transitioning your little one to solids! 

 

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Stars and Stripes Forever Edition! (and a HUGE giveaway bundle!)

by Kileah McIlvain

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

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

Grand Ol’ Flag Neighborhood BBQ

BBQ

 

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

Patriotic Pool Party!

Patriotic Pool Party!

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

Stars and Stripes Evening Gala

Stars And Stripes Evening Gala

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

Ready for our giveaway? Scroll down!!!

 

LeakyLook Summer Magic Bundle

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

AppleCheeks

2 AppleCheeks Infinity Nursing Scarves – Retail Value: $64

1 AppleCheeks Swim Diaper – Retail Value: $19.50

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

Bebe Au Lait

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

For more information visit www.bebeaulait.com

 

 Naked Tank

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

Total Retail Value of Bundle: $251.45

 

 

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

 

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Babywearing, Connection, Partner Support: The Leaky Times Newsletter Vol. 9

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This TLB Newsletter generously sponsored by  LOGO.cdr

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Dear Leakies,

This summer as you get outside to explore, keeping your baby close and on you can be a big help with feeding your baby. With so many different types of carriers available, there’s almost certainly an option that will work for you. Between the different brands of carriers (and some brands having more than one style, such as Tula), online support and information (such as babywearing and breastfeedingthis online chat with Paxbaby and The Leaky Boob) and retailers (where you can find many different brands in one place!), babywearing libraries, babywearing educators, and ways to purchase used; more and more families have access to figuring out what babywearing can be for them.

And that’s good news. The skin to skin contact of babywearing sends signals to your body that helps you produce milk even as you’re busy keeping up with older kids and vacation plans. There are so many benefits of babywearing, even including neurological and physical development, see more on that here. Even better, for moms feeding directly at the breast, learning how to breastfeed in a carrier can be a total game changer, making it possible to feed on the go. We think this is so Ula babywearingimportant, we have a whole workshop at the Milk Conference to teach moms and support providers more about breastfeeding in the carrier. While not everybody will be comfortable breastfeeding in the carrier, having the option to do so can help remove just one more breastfeeding obstacle. Carry all the babies, feed all the babies! (On your front, just to be clear, unless you have a sense of humor and flexible breasts like this.)

With our friends at Tula, we want to help. You can read a helpful article they’ve recently posted about the HOW and WHY of breastfeeding and babywearing!

Dad babywearingEven if breastfeeding in the carrier isn’t for you or if you’re not breastfeeding directly at the breast, babywearing can be a fun and special way to care for your little one… and your toddler! (I share all about why you might want to wear your toddler and preschooler here.) Babywearing is an excellent way for non-breastfeeding partner parents to connect as well, (older siblings too, see this article for more on sibling-wearing) fostering connections and closeness in shared experience and constant snuggles. For tips on what to consider in looking for a carrier that works for you and/or your partner, check out this link to get you started.

The conversation and education about babywearing has increased, and with good reason. There are a lot of benefits of babywearing but it is important it’s done safely. This is why we are talking about it, anyone could make a mistake (including this celebrity) and babywearing safety is important. Together we can support each other in caring for our little ones.

Want to read more? Check out the rest of our latest news on breastfeeding, partner and babywearing resources, and EXCLUSIVE giveaways in our latest newsletter

 RIGHT HERE !!

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Epic MiLK! The Leaky Times Newsletter Vol.8

by Kileah McIlvain

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Dear Leakies,

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

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

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

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

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

Feeding the baby isn’t failure.

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

READ MORE HERE!

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Leaky Looks: Let’s Welcome Summer Edition!

by Kileah McIlvain

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

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

 

To The Zoo We Go

day at the zoo!

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

Concert On The Lawn

Summer Concert On The Lawn

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

Summer In The City

Summer City mama

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

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

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#LeakyLooks: Epic MiLK Edition!

by Kileah McIlvain

Around here at the TLB hub, we’ve been getting super excited about the MiLK Conference coming up in LA! Why? Because it’s about infant feeding. About supporting all moms…in every feeding journey…for all stages. So this week I curated three looks that highlight some aspects of our feeding journeys. What accessories or wardrobe choices empower YOU to be the best YOU for YOUR moment? YOUR journey? Let us know!

#BoobOutFashion #LBLWednesdays #LeakyLooks

 

Postpartum Staycation

Postpartum Staycation

Ok ok. I’m sure you snickered at the title. Postpartum-land isn’t exactly a vacation. It’s major recovery time and bonding time. But you know what? Who says you shouldn’t be pampered and loved and supported to help ease recovery and rest? I centered this look around a Belabumbum nursing gown that is loose, lightweight and cotton. You can wear with or without a soft wireless bra like this Bravado Silk Seamless nursing bra and some cushy slippers like these great Kiltie Moccasins from L.L. Bean! One of my besties gave me the Earth Mama Angel Baby Postpartum Recovery essentials bundle…the bottom balm? And the cooling mist for hemmorhoids? Yes. Just do it. I have 4 hobbits. I know these things. My wee lambs always come earthside with super-sensitive skin so we quickly learned that certain brands like Weleda continue to deliver in terms of clean chemical-free body products for the whole family! You and baby will be needing tons of skin-to-skin time so I collected a Swaddle Designs muslin blanket, Kate Quinn newborn hat, and a Cotton Babies Flip diaper (brownie points if you can guess which one!). Milk coming in can mean VERY tender breasts. The Cariwell breast soothers work magic and sooth those inflamed tissues working hard to make some milk! And don’t forget this beautiful Tula Migaloo Sorbet ring sling!

 

 

Don’t Stress Just Go!

Don't Stress Just Go! We all need those options for days where we have to hit the ground running. I wanted to center this look based on the colors of the AppleCheeks infinity nursing scarf! Hues of Blue and Plum really work well for most skin tones and a skirt like this blue cotton skirt from Old Navy really elongates the legs without being too short for comfort! I paired it with the cotton H&M nursing shirt and a soft wireless Lamaze Intimates nursing bra in soft pink. One of my FAVORITE comfy yet functional shoes that are crafted to last is Born. Finished off the look with some lovely plum-colored earrings from Poshmark and the Timi & Leslie Charlie diaper bag and you’ve got a comfortable yet effortless ensemble that is going to last you through a whole day of post-school playdates and summer camps!

 

You WORK That Pump!

You WORK that Pump!

 

With this look I was just itching to feature a dress from Leche Libre’s collection! This designer is phenomenal and her subtle, utlitarian-yet-classic style really set her pieces apart. I found this Mermaid coral necklace from Humble Chic and used a Juno Blu pumping bag to compliment the Ardo Pump that I love so much (quietest pump EVER. And soooo easy to clean!). I just HAD to put in a Simple Wishes pumping bra because they WORK. And they work WELL! A simple lightweight cotton cardigan from Zara and some Crown Born vintage heels complete this versatile work look!

 

Show us how YOU rock your #LeakyLooks this week and tag us on Instagram or show us on Pinterest!

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Boob Out Fashion: Spectactular Summer Edition!

by Kileah McIlvain

Last week when we released our Special Occasion Edition,  a leaky on our Instagram feed asked me about nursing SWIMWEAR. I couldn’t stop thinking about it! What IF there WAS such a thing as beautiful, functional swimwear for nursing mamas…or outdoor gear that is breastfeeding-friendly…or workout wear that made it easy to access the milk…what IF?!

Well, @megfyfewatkins ….THANK you for the idea that wouldn’t leave me. I FOUND the droids…err…clothing…you were looking for! (Yes. I’m a Star Wars nerd. More on that, later!)

 

By the Poolside

Swimwear

 

This gorgeous look is centered around the beautiful Pez D’Or La Mer 3-piece tankini set! Provides extra support for your lactating breasts, easily makes milk accessible and really compliments a wide range of figures! I added a Dotti Lazer-cut Kimono cover-up and a simple Sanuk white sandal (so dang comfy. seriously.) In the summer, chances are you’re going to want both you AND baby to cool off in the nearest cool water, so what better way to carry your squish than in a Beachfront Baby Water Ring Sling! Lightweight, dries super-fast, is easily adjustable for comfort and weight of baby and looks effortless. Add in a beautiful and functional Jelly Strands chewbead necklace, a Storksak diaper bag and some EWG-approved Badger Sunscreen and you are good to go for a beautiful day at the beach or by the poolside!

 

Yoga For Two

Workout

This was such a fun look to put together! I pulled this look together based on this Old Navy Burnout Tank I JUST purchased last week! It’s really easy to breastfeed in and pairs really well with the Melinda G Sports Nursing Bra that I picked out (Yes. there ARE actually sports bras that are made for the breastfeeding and pumping mama!). I love the easy cuteness of a good Bolder Band to keep sweat out of my face as I’m working out. REI has Hugger Mugger Batik yoga bags that I seriously want like…all of. I added an Echo Vessel water bottle and a great gym bag. My first carrier I ever had was an Ergobaby Original carrier. They still remain one of my go-to carriers and after birthing 4 hobbits, it has always held up to our busy lifestyle!

Take A Hike

Hiking

Living in the Pacific Northwest is kind of like saying “I live in a mecca for all things lush and outdoors.” An hour to the misty mountains. An hour to the soft-sanded coast. Deep lakes, temperate rainforests, and internationally-acclaimed hiking trails are one of our trademarks in these parts. Imagine my HAPPINESS when I discovered there is an actual clothing line designed for the active, pregnant/breastfeeding mom! Mountain Mama has an impressive line of great outdoorwear for the active outdoors mom! Crafted well from durable material and versatile for just about any wardrobe. I included the Salomon Ellipse GTX women’s hiking shoes (top-rated by Outdoor Gear Lab!) and the Lillebaby All-Seasons carrier in Stone as it’s incredibly breathable and the dimensions work so very well for both mums and dads! (see a GREAT review my husband did on them HERE!). Throw in a GORGEOUS Tekhni Pax Delta Hip Sack, some chemical-free thinksport sunscreen, and a double-insulated Kleen Kanteen stainless-steel bottle and you are set to explore the great outdoors with your family!

Are you inspired, yet?! Want to show us your summer-friendly #LeakyLooks outfits? Inspire the Leakies and tag us using our hastags on instagram or facebook! Now get outside and enjoy life in all of its summer beauty in all of your #booboutfashion awesomness!

PSSSSST: we have some super-awesome exclusive stuff coming soon (As in, next week!). (a giveaway? a Leaky feature? What could it be?!)…so keep watching our #LeakyLooks space and get your share-button ready! It’s going to be GOOD.

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Leaky Looks: Special Occasions Edition!

by kileah mcilvain

It’s heeeeeere! You know what I’m talking about. You get that beautifully-embossed invitation…followed by another one…and another one…and another one. Graduations, Weddings, Soirees… I don’t know about you but my mind immediately starts racing on just WHAT I’m going to wear to all of these functions. And then I start thinking about FUNCTION. Breastfeeding, without melting into a puddle of lycra and mascara and sweat, feeling comfortable and fabulous….is it even possible?! To that I say YES.

Are you ready for The Leaky Boob to help you take the guesswork out of finding such requirements?! Buckle your nursing bras, Leakies, here are our looks!

Summer Wedding Set:

Wedding Set

This look I centered around a gorgeous wrapped floral dress from Modcloth. The shades of green and cut of the dress compliment a wide range of skin tones and body curves and the lightweight stretch jersey on top provides easy access to breastfeeding (and is comfortable for all-day wear!). I absolutely LOVED the hat (hello shade!) and gold leafed necklace from H&M. Adding a classy white leather diaper bag from Storksak gives you a fashionable way to carry all of your essentials and baby gear and a simple silk Sakura Bloom ring sling pulls out the lighter yellowish green leaves in the dress and provides a simple in-and-out option for your little nursling! I chose a HerRoom Cotton nursing bra (breathable, comfortable with JUST the right amount of support and flexibility!). Finish this look off with a pair of wonderful heeled sandals and you’ve got yourself a look that will keep you cool, comfortable and gorgeously put-together for a day of festivities!

 

Graduation Set

Graduation SetThis look was my (and Jessica’s!) FAVORITE. I went with a gorgeous tulip dress from Modcloth that provides easy pumping/feeding access with a You!Lingerie bra. The floral heels (yes, they’re hard to find but we just COULDN’T resist putting them in!) pull the mint green and pink coral together. Whether you’re in line to receive your diploma or watching a loved one’s big day to turn the tassle, simplicity is KEY-so instead of putting a diaper bag or pumping bag with this look we opted for a simple clutch to carry only the essentials! A lot of graduations end up being outside (HOT) or in a giant stadium with a LOT of people (again, HOT). Things can get loud and long so we added the wonderful lightweight muslin cover in Isla from Bebe au Lait that can provide some breathable privacy and shade for you and baby! We finished this look with a lovely green glass floral necklace and the Tula Naida (mermaids!) wrap and this look is set to both STUN and FUNCTION for such a big day!

 

Evening Set

Evening Soirée

 

We wanted to pull this look together for the Leaky who needs something classy, evening event-appropriate, boob-friendly and absolutely stunning! This look is using a chiffon asymmetrical dress from Torrid with a red lace nursing bra. I added in some Milkies Milk-savers (because sometimes these evening events can go long and Leaky Boobs can happen! #operationSaveLiquidGold can NOW happen! I added in a simple and chic pumping bag from Sarah Wells and some Earth Mama Morning Wellness Spray to keep you feeling fresh, alive and collected throughout the evening (bet you didn’t know it wasn’t JUST for morning sickness! This stuff is amazing). I found this gorgeous “dragonscale” jewelry and just HAD to add it in. Because I am a mama who wants to feel kind of like a badass in social functions…and even a simple statement like jewelry can totally do that for me!

 

There you have it, Leakies! Some inspiration to keep you functioning through the special events of the season! Now-it’s YOUR turn to show us what you’re rocking!

Tag us and use #LeakyLooks and #BoobOutFashion and you could get picked to be featured on our Instagram feed. And STAY TUNED…we’ve got some super exciting extras coming your way…any guesses?!

 

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Leaky Boob and Earth Mama Support with Integrity

Earth Mama Celebrates The Leaky Boob and My Story Matters.

 

#MyStoryMatters #TLBsupportForward

Was breastfeeding a piece of cake for you? Or were you a mama who struggled every day? Was your time so short you don’t think you have a story, or so long you’re reluctant to mention it? Did you have the support of everyone, or were you discouraged from your choices? Every story is important, and every story matters: every time a breastfeeding mama tells her story it helps others see themselves and find courage and support. There is not ONE model for breastfeeding, and it doesn’t matter what your story is, we all need to commit to supporting each other.

 

In honor of The Leaky Boob’s Fifth Anniversary and My Story Matters, Earth Mama is renewing the Support With Integrity Pledge. The Leaky Boob’s open, supportive, non-judgmental environment is a perfect example of criticism-free breastfeeding help, with acknowledgment that there are as many ways to get your baby fed as there are types of nursing pillows. The Leaky Boob encourages “acceptance no matter if you use a pillow from the bed or one that’s branded – if one kind of pump works better for you then hallelujah! Nobody lives this life exactly the same way. That includes different breastfeeding “methods”. If the mama is happy and the baby is healthy that’s perfect. And we can encourage a community of people who are there to support, not criticize or judge.” Sing it, Leaky!

 

The Support with Integrity Pledge gives props to women who choose to lift each other up, and not tear each other down. There are so many opinions and choices when it comes to breastfeeding: whether or not you should even be using a nursing pillow, which brand, how often, on a schedule not on a schedule, a nipple shield or not, and don’t get us started on position! Football, side laying, upside down yoga baby… there is so much overwhelming information, and everyone has a different experience.

 

Instead of judging choices that are different from ours, let’s choose to be each other’s cheerleaders. Let’s choose to acknowledge that breastfeeding can be hard, or easy, or both, and it can be different for different children of the same mama. Let’s stand down from judgment, and jump toward supporting every mama’s personal decision. Let’s strengthen and unite the efforts of breastfeeding supporters, who focus on getting the baby fed, and not take sides about how it’s done, or being right.

 

So often when you find an exhausted mama, a crying baby, and frustration at trying to make this breastfeeding thing work, you also find people wanting to help. And help is wonderful, of course, but sometimes it comes with an edge. Some who are very invested in a certain way of doing things can sometimes forget to, first and most important, be kind and supportive. Maybe you’ve been the mama, maybe you’ve been the supportive friend, maybe you’ve even been the one pushing an agenda a little too hard. We’ve all been there, and we all mean well.

Need some help trying to figure out what’s helpful and what’s not? Here are some ways to support mamas who may not be making the same choices as you:

 

Helpful

 

  • “You are doing great, mama.” This little phrase can mean so much, especially when a mama is feeling confused and exhausted.

 

  • Suggest she find a support site or Facebook page similar to HER values, not yours. The Leaky Boob is a welcoming breastfeeding community that offers judgment-free support and helpful resources.

 

  • “How can I help? I will keep my opinions to myself and do whatever you need!” And then button your lip and do it!

 

  • Help defuse aggressive questioning or pointed comments with a, “I’m so glad your nursing choices have been beneficial to you and your baby, but my friend has chosen a different way and she could really use our support!”

 

 

Not Helpful

 

  • Piles of research on the “right” way to breastfeed – we can find all sorts of conflicting information on the Internet. Respect that your friend has chosen a way that works for her, even if you disagree with it.

 

  • Scary stories information about other people’s bad experiences.

 

  • “It was easy for you before, why can’t you do it this time?” Remember, different babies have different breastfeeding experiences.

 

  • Any unsolicited opinion about method, equipment, position, or schedule – you don’t know the whole story, and if the baby’s being fed, just smile and admire that there are lots of ways to get the job done!

 

 

And now, go take the pledge! “I agree to hold hands and help mamas get what they need to make breastfeeding work for them, no matter how they choose to do it. If a mama and baby are making it work, I’ll stand and cheer them on from the sidelines.”

 

Sign on now here!

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Share with us what you find to be helpful and respectful support and what you have found not to be helpful nor respectful support in the comments below.

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In Search of Answers on Breastfeeding

by Elizabeth Grattan
I found the Leaky Boob after a long while of going it alone in my nursing journey. I lurked silently for months. I watched women come for support. I listened and I learned. And I am so thankful and grateful for the resource. We are three plus years and going strong, my lad and I. And so, in the spirit of forward support, the following is my contribution to celebrate five wonderful years of encouragement for women and men. Thank you Jessica and your admins and the entire family of TLB. All those in this community who make the difference. — Elizabeth
The Leaky Boob #SupportForward #MyStoryMatters Breastfeeding support

The author and her son.

So many questions. So many answers. Information at our fingertips as we crowd source for support and scour the internet to validate our choices. And still, with all the resources in the world, so much still unknown.

Until we figure out we’re answering the wrong questions. We’re framing our dialogues wrong. We’re talking, but we’re not really saying anything. We’re hearing, but we aren’t really listening. We’re trying to reach, without teaching the things that equip and empower women.

So stop for minute. And consider a better lesson….

The reproductive right that belongs to women. The informed choice she can make when taught all the information. The answer to every single question:

Teach children about anatomy. Equip and educate on reproductive choice early and often. Teach the history of breastfeeding. That autonomy always mattered. That milk is custom to species. That women weaned. That nursing a child is part of the reproductive journey.

Teach what alternatives were used besides the mother’s breast to nourish the offspring. Animals, meat stocks, slaves —  hundreds of options that tested our humanity along the way. Teach the history. The good, the bad, the ugly. Teach the injustice. Teach the risk they carried. Teach that babies died early. That infant mortality was horrifying. That we used and exploited women’s bodies.

Teach that we wanted to breastfeed. That we wanted to wean. That we wanted to dry up our milk completely. That we were once unknowingly stripped of a choice. That a pill and a shot were just par for the course. That women and children were at risk. That our options were hit or miss.

Teach the advancements in our journey. How far we have come. How we’re still not done. How amazing that is. That women and children live. But that for some, those same horrors still exist. Teach that we are still working on it.

Teach the socio-economics. Teach the privilege. Teach the realities and the limits on women. Teach the strides we’re making. Teach the change in legislation. Teach that we can and have and will succeed in decisions.

Teach that nursing is a learning process. That seeing breastfeeding matters. That we need observation and exposure. Teach that qualifications have no place. That normalizing keeps women and children from hiding under cover in shame.

Teach about the imperfection in reproduction. So no one is taken aback because a myth told them it was for everyone. Teach how to handle the griefs and losses for women who had their reproductive choices stripped from them.

Teach how to dry the milk. Teach how to wean. Teach how to latch a baby. Teach the laws on breastfeeding. Teach people everything.

And don’t assume a woman will decide to nurse and don’t assume she won’t. Ask her. Trust her answer. Trust her answer might change. And empower her along the way.

So if she says: “I do not want to use my reproductive system this way,” you say: “Okay, here is information on all your options. From drying your milk to stopping engorgement to offering your child their developmental requirement. Here is what’s safe. Here is what isn’t.”

So if she says: “I want to use my reproductive system this way,” you say: “Okay, here is information on all you’re offering. From latching your child to expressing your milk to never forgetting to be kind to yourself. Here is what’s safe. Here is what isn’t.”

But don’t battle about if a reproductive process has benefits. Don’t project your personal preference. Don’t ignore the anecdotes. Don’t ignore the evidence. Don’t tell. Listen. And ask the only relevant question:

“What do you want to do? Because it’s your body, it’s your call. And I want you to know I’m here to help you. Through it all.”

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How would you answer the above question? How have you asked it in support of other women? How are you giving support forward?

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Elizabeth Grattan bio headshot
Elizabeth Grattan is a broadcast talent and writer who has covered current events, human interest and social justice for over twenty-five years. Her loves are the strong, gentle arms of her best friend, reasonably priced blended reds and obviously her dream come true little man. Find & friend Elizabeth on FB or follow along on Twitter.
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