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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#LeakyLooks: Fashion, Fireworks, Fabulous! (And a Giveaway!)

by Kileah McIlvain

 

Can you feel it?! Summer, Fireworks (okok. I know some of you don’t like it, but hear me out. You might like the outfit I put together for the 4th better than the actual BOOM BOOM. lol. That is OK!) and simple yet fabulous outfits that allow you the freedom to explore the outdoors, grill outside, neighborhood movie nights projected on an old white sheet, juicy popsicles running down your chin….yeah. I get a bit excited!

We’ve got such a great collection for you Leakies this week! (Plus….a FANTASTIC giveaway from Applecheeks!). Have fun! Pin, Post, Instagram- let me know how you like these looks and what YOUR favorite summer outfits are for #BoobOutFashion!

 

Saturday Farmer’s Market

Farmer's Market

Isn’t this look adorable? I’ve been enjoying this lightweight nursing infinity scarf from Applecheeks and I put together this look for some great fun at the local Saturday market! I even found purple apple earrings from Etsy! Chewbead bracelets are a must-have for that sweet squish as they ride around in an Uppababy stroller! Don’t forget a chic Namaste mini messenger diaper bag in Caribbean Blue from Luv My Bag and an easy, lightweight pair of bermuda shorts from Old Navy and an easy-to-nurse-in White Flutter Sleeve top from Seraphine! (Yes. I totally added in my favorite Birks…because SERIOUSLY. They are amazing. And I live in them come summertime!)

Fireworks and BBQ

Fireworks!

This one has got to be one of my favorite summer looks so far! I centered this whole look on the Tula baby carrier in Skipper! The striped nursing tank is one of my favorite tops from Figure 8 Maternity and I added in a simple red skirt from SheInside. Comfortable Ink Calf hair blue wedge Toms complete this patriotic look! And you’re probably wondering where that gorgeous striped diaper bag came from? Ikabags on Etsy makes them! Don’t forget an eco-friendly way to transport food and water!

Easygoing Boho Mama

The Easygoing Mama

This beautiful and easygoing look is based around the gorgeous BB Slen sling from Babylonia USA! Made ethically and from sustainable resources, this compliments the gorgeous breezy maxi dress from Maurices! I chose this gorgeous maxi for its range of sizes available and the gorgeous print (and easy nursing access!). Wooden and crocheted chew necklace from Etsy and an easy geometric wedges from Toms (as well as a gorgeous bag from Luv My Bag!)-you’re all set for an easygoing day that’s comfortable and functional AND lovely!

Ready to win a sweet bundle from Applecheeks?!

Here is what the winner gets:

Two Applecheeks Nursing Scarves, retail value = $64

ItzyRitzyAppleCheeks (5 of 6)ItzyRitzyAppleCheeks (4 of 6)

Applecheeks Swim Diaper, retail value = $19.50

apple-cheek-swim-diaper-mojito

Applecheeks Bamboo Little Bundle Diaper, retail value = $28.85

Product Details

Total value = $112.35!

Hurry! It ends Tuesday Night and is open to Leakies in the USA and Canada!

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Epic MiLK! The Leaky Times Newsletter Vol.8

by Kileah McIlvain

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Dear Leakies,

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

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

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

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

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

Feeding the baby isn’t failure.

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

READ MORE HERE!

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Leaky Looks: Let’s Welcome Summer Edition!

by Kileah McIlvain

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

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

 

To The Zoo We Go

day at the zoo!

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

Concert On The Lawn

Summer Concert On The Lawn

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

Summer In The City

Summer City mama

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

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

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#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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Leaky Looks: YOU Choose Edition!

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

 

To The Beach We Go!

To The Beach We Go!

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

Rockin’ That Gym Look!

Rockin' That Gym Look

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

Work That Bohemian Mama!

Earthy Mama

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

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

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

They’re almost here!

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How to Wean Your Teenager

by Jessica Martin-Weber with Ophélia and Lavinia Martin-Weber

How to wean a teenager

It is a well known fact that if you don’t make sure you get a baby off the boob by the end of their first year or definitely by the time they are two, they will never, ever stop breastfeeding and you’ll have to go to college with them. This is a fact known by every Tom, Dick, and Harry, Cindy, Karen, and Amanda. If you’re not aware of this, don’t worry, any conversation about breastfeeding beyond infancy in person, on an online article, blog posts, and of course, social media, will eventually become about this very fact. It is an inescapable truth: if you breastfeed past infancy your child will never wean and you will find yourself breastfeeding a teenager or young adult some day. Once they can ask for it you have to cut them off or they will never stop. Clearly breastfeeding is more addictive than chocolate, alcohol, crack, speed, shopping, and independence.

Because everyone knows that 3 and 13 are pretty much the same thing, you just stick a one in front of that 3. Teens are, according to most people, really just toddlers in bigger bodies, with raging hormones, pimples, and a slightly larger vocabulary. The temper tantrums are pretty much the same. Childhood goes so fast, don’t blink because you’ll miss it if you do and the next thing you know your 6’ 1” teenage boy will be folding himself onto your lap and tugging at your shirt saying “nene please mama.” Fact.

*Disclaimer: I have teenagers, they were breastfed as babies and toddlers but they never breastfed beyond early childhood so I can’t say I have any experience with this fact myself, nor have I ever encountered a breastfeeding teenager and unless my friends are lying, neither have they. But thousands of people say it is true. I know, I read it online.

But let’s say you’ve done it, ignored all the warnings and breastfed your child after their 1st birthday and then even after their 2nd and 3rd and 4th birthdays, now what? If you haven’t already, you’re headed straight to meeting them at lunch in high school so they can have mama milk. And if you have more than one child, you really are in big trouble. Juggling all those schedules to get your kids their babas is going to get really challenging.

It’s true, I guess, you’re just going to HAVE to cut them off at some point unless you really are ok following them to college and then some day on their honeymoon. There could be bonding moments in the future as you breastfeed your grown son while his wife breastfeeds their son. If that just won’t work for you though, how are you ever going to get that teenager to stop breastfeeding? When is it really time to wean and how do you do it?

I turned to my resident experts on teens: Earth Baby, 16, and Storyteller, 13. They were a bit shocked when I initially brought it up to them:

Me: “How should a mom wean their teenager from breastfeeding?”

EB: “Wait, WHAT?”

Storyteller: “That’s a thing? I don’t think that’s a thing.”

Me: “It’s totes a thing, I read it online.”

*At this point I got “the look” from Storyteller.

Storyteller: “You should never say ‘totes again’ and now I know that’s not a thing.”

EB: “Wait, WHAT? Are you really asking what I think you are asking?”

Me: “What’s wrong with me saying ‘totes’? And yes, I’m really asking.”

EB: “I don’t think any of my friends have conversations like this with their moms…”

Storyteller: “OMG, I know mine don’t. They also don’t breastfeed. Or say ‘totes.’ People saying teenagers breastfeed are severely lacking in intelligence. You can’t say ‘totes’ because you’re too old.”

EB: “Our family is weird, isn’t it?”

Me: “They either don’t breastfeed because their mom weaned them when they were young enough or they do breastfeed in secret. Some of them have to because I read it on the internet. Why am I too old to say ‘totes’?”

Storyteller: “You do know you can’t believe everything you read on the internet, right? It’s just dumb to think that kids that don’t stop breastfeeding when they are little will end up wanting to breastfeed as teenagers. Saying ‘totes’ is dumb too. What is wrong with people?”

Me: “I write on the internet, of course you can believe everything you read on the internet!

Earth Baby: “This is ridiculous.”

Earth Baby and Storyteller how to wean teenagers

Storyteller (left) and Earth Baby (right).

It took a while to get them to just go with me on this but that was an excellent example of just how hard it could be to wean a teenager. They’re stubborn creatures and smart too, they can argue until you’re blue in the face and they’ll still continue. Weaning a breastfed teenager could be intensely difficult! I can see why there are so many warnings to wean while they are still young.

Besides, can you imagine breastfeeding through the dreaded wisdom teeth stage?

After bribing them, they came up with some ideas. I shot down a few, such as the suggestion that you just tell them no, that it’s all done. Oh puh-lease, teenagers and “no” go about as well together as oil and water. I’m not so great at taking a direct “no” either so I know it’s best to save them for the big things such as “no, you absolutely can not surf on the hood of a truck going down the highway.” They agreed that “no” wouldn’t work given our family’s own personal experience with how well “no” is an effective strategy for a teenager. #itsnoteffectiveatall

Here are the ones we all thought might be most effective though, all approved by the teenagers in my house:

Gentle conversation. According to my 13 year old, teenagers are reasonable.

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Moving on.

Bribe them with cake. That’s right, offer cake and tell them if they give up “bobbies” they can have cake. Also acceptable would be cake pops, frappuccinos, mini doughnuts, and iTunes gift cards.

Wean to drive. They can’t drive or get a drivers license until they give up the mama milks for good. No exceptions. It would be so important for mom to hold strong when the whining starts after they’ve started driving and start whining about how badly they need their nene.

Entertainment options. If you’re trying to wean a younger teen or maybe a tween, you could try saying no PG 13 movies because those movies are for big kids and big kids don’t get to breastfeed any more. This will work because all their friends will be talking about the next Pitch Perfect movie and they’ll totally be left out which would even be worse than weaning.

Smart phone. Like breastfeeding, all the teens are smartphoning these days. It’s simple though, mom will have to get another job to afford the bill so she can’t breastfeed any more. If they want a smartphone to fit in with their friends, they’ll be more than willing for mom to hang up her nursing bras and go to work.

Dating. Explain that any possible dates will be a little horrified if they found out they were still breastfeeding. It could really hurt their chances of finding a date… ever. But since embarrassment is worse than death for teens, simply posting a breastfeeding selfie and tagging them on social media would possibly do it. Also, would take care of the whole talking to you thing.

Prom. There’s just no way you could find an on trend yet age appropriate prom dress that has easy boob access. Show them what you’d have to wear to prom so they had mama milks when they needed it. They’ll never want to breastfeed again.

Charge. Teenagers are the largest demographic with a disposable income. Use it to your advantage, my 13yo thought that $1/1 minute sounded about fair if a teen wanted to continue breastfeeding. That would encourage them to wean real quick: buy a new outfit or get some “bob bob” and the decision would be pretty simple.

Just say no. My teenagers maintain that saying “my body, my choice” would be a firm boundary no teenager would cross. Specially if you’re already teaching them to respect themselves and others.

So, tell us, what are your tips for weaning teenagers?

 

*Please note: this is intended to be humorous with a bit of satire.
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Tips From The Leakies for Breastfeeding and Babywearing

by Jessica Martin-Weber

Breastfeeding in a Beco Baby Carrier Soliel video demonstrating how to position and adjust the carrier, baby, and breast for hands-free breastfeeding:

The Leakies on the Facebook page had some tips to share for breastfeeding and babywearing, no matter your breast size:

  • Don’t wait for baby to be super hungry and upset, it’s easier when everyone is calm.
  • If your carrier has a hood, put the hood up for privacy.
  • Use a lightweight baby blanket rolled up under your breast for support and positioning help.
  • For small breasts, be sure not to drop the waist band too low and don’t be afraid to tighten the straps for better support.
  • If you need baby higher, a rolled up baby blanket under their bum can help.
  • Practice at home before trying to do it in public.
  • Talk to your baby while you position them to help you both keep calm.
  • Stretchy necklines are your friend!
  • It’s important to get comfortable, don’t end up sore or awkward, practice positioning until it works for both of you.
  • Try to have babies head tilted a bit so nose is clear to breath safely.
  • Hip carry options can be easier for large breasts.
  • Baby’s mouth height should be just at/above nipple.
  • Hold your breast for the latch.

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What tips would you add?

_______________________

 

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We’re In Public and My Breastfed Baby is Hungry, Now What?!

by Jessica Martin-Weber
This post made possible by the generous sponsorship of Bebe au Lait.

 

Breastfeeding in public, at once a basic concept (feed the baby when the baby is hungry and no, moms can’t and shouldn’t just never leave the house) and somehow a complex and controversial issue. As mammals who happen to be higher thinking and social creatures, it’s also unavoidable. Often I am asked by moms how to breastfeed in public or how I became comfortable with doing so. At the time I wasn’t really aware of my journey, I just had to feed my baby. Initially I went some place private and covered (just in case someone came in) but as time went on that not only became impractical for my life realities, the isolation I experienced with a frequently feeding baby made me decide I didn’t care what other people thought. With my second baby I ditched my cover as well and just went about my business of feeding her after a male nurse that played in the worship band I was leading told me that I should just feed my baby and stop fighting with her to keep the cover on because “it’s just boobs, we’ll all live. Just feed her.” It was a progression and with each of my children I became more comfortable and more skilled with feeding in general, feeding in public in particular. What do you do when your breastfed baby gets hungry and you’re out in public? Is there anything that can make this easier for anxious breastfeeding moms? If I had to break it down into the most important tips though, it would be something like this:

Don’t rush yourself. If you’re worried or anxious it may be best to wait until you’re really ready.  Your baby picks up on your stress and you both deserve a relaxed feeding time. 

Get familiar with what breastfeeding actually looks like. Look at images of other moms Breastfeeding.  If you’ve never seen anyone else breastfeed it can be intimidating to feel like a pioneer in your area. But you’re not alone, millions of women all around the world breastfeed in public. Check out the hashtag #BeautifulBfing on Instagram for a stream of breastfeeding photos.

A Leaky breastfeeding in public at a beach.

A Leaky breastfeeding in public at a beach.

There is no should. Whatever makes you and your baby comfortable and helps you accomplish your breastfeeding goals and not being stuck at home is what you should do.  Covered with a pretty Bébé au Lait or a lightweight baby blanket, without a cover at all, finding a private spot, using a bottles of expressed milk, or mixing up a bottle of formula; this isn’t a pass/fail in mothering, it’s just another progression in the parenting journey. Do what works for you and your baby and helps you reach the goals you’ve established for yourself.

Breastfeeding in public with a breastfeeding cover. When you're a model family at an adorable cafe. Thanks to Bebe au Lait for this image.

Breastfeeding in public with a breastfeeding cover. When you’re a model family at an adorable cafe. Thanks to Bebe au Lait for this image.


Dress for success. If you find yourself needing to practically strip to feed your baby, your breastfeeding in public experience could be greatly inhibited not to mention stressful. A form fitting dress with a high neckline, non stretchy fabric, and a zipper up the back isn’t going to work out so well when your baby is hungry. Dress how you are comfortable but make sure you can get a boob out when necessary. Breastfeeding tops or dresses specially designed to make it simple are super easy (see Amamante, A Mother’s Boutique) or try layering a tank- either a regular one with a stretchy neckline or some kind of nursing tank (I’m a fan of Undercover Mama, the Naked Nursing Tank, Rumina, The Dairy Fairy nursing tank, and Melinda G‘s nursing tank) so you can pull your top up and the bottom layer down (demo video here), and necklines that stretch enough to pull a breast out are all good options. If you’re not sure then check and try it at home before you head out the door. 

Practice makes easier.  Like everything else about parenting, there is no “perfect” in breastfeeding so practice won’t make anything perfect but it will make it easier. If you’re uneasy about breastfeeding in public but really want to, practice with a cover in front if a mirror, then without a cover in front of a mirror. See what it really looks like and how much of your body actually shows. Then branch out and take a few selfies of you breastfeeding from several different angles and don’t worry about posting them on social media unless you want to. After that, try breastfeeding while attending your local breastfeeding support group or other gathering where there will be other breastfeeding pairs. From there expand to Breastfeeding in front of trusted friends within your own home, their home, and finally in the general public.

Be informed. Know your legal rights. Find out for sure what the law is where you will be and have it written down and with you. It’s highly unlikely you will be approached but it can help you relax to know your rights and be prepared with that information. And as silly as it may seem, understand the difference between feeding a baby in public vs. taking a dump in public, urinating in public, or sex acts in public.

Be confident. Feeding your child and meeting their needs is not wrong. Even if you have to pretend to overcome nervousness, having a confident air can go a long way in developing your own confidence and could just make anyone that would think twice before messing with you. Don’t be looking for trouble, be all eyes for your baby or cheerfully smile at people you see notice you. If you seem comfortable and relaxed then it’s likely the people around you will be as well.

Get comfortable. Remember that to take care of someone else you have to be taken care of too. If you need support for your arms or your breast while breastfeeding at home, you’ll be more comfortable in public with that too. A diaper bag can double as a pillow, so can a baby blanket or baby carrier and there are some neat portable nursing pillows on the market. Have a bottle of water and a little snack for you and if possible, find a spot with some back support. If you use a nipple shield or must hold your breast as you feed your baby, the more you focus on getting you and your baby comfortable, the quicker you will be through any awkward stage of the latch so try not to worry about what others may see.

If you're comfortable like this at home, you may want to take the pillow with you for out in public.

If you’re comfortable like this at home, you may want to take the pillow with you for out in public.

Focus on what is important. Look at your baby, see how much they need and enjoy being fed. Taking a moment to remember why you’re doing this can help take the pressure of on how to do it and everyone else will think and puts it on why. Your baby is the best reason there is. 

Just do it. While you don’t need to rush and force yourself, at some point you just need to jump in and do it. You may be surprised at the confidence boost you have when you realize it’s no big deal. 

Share the experience. You’re not alone and most people want to see you reach your goals, even goals for breastfeeding and being comfortable feeding your baby while out and about. Talk about it, in person and online, maybe even with photos. You’ll end up getting cheered on, hearing support, and probably encouraging someone else who has been anxious about leaving the house with their baby too. Yes, there may be nay-sayers but they aren’t as common or as loud as it seems, specially not when you can remember all you’ve gone through to get this far for your baby.

Happy breastfeeding wherever you feed your baby!

This and other breastfeeding support and information can be found at theleakyboob.com

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Why I breastfed my 2 year old on a crowded public transit train

by Jessica Martin-Weber

This isn’t a statement, it’s not even as significant as a photo op. It’s just a moment. An average, regular, normal moment for my daughter and me. In 2 years of breastfeeding, she and I have had thousands like it. Taking public transportation on our way for a day downtown with the family, she got tired, wanted a cuddle, and a little mama milk. And I snapped a few breastfeeding selfies because this regular, normal moment is important to me and a big part of my life. A life I share with my online community and when something is important pretending it doesn’t exist and never happens is lonely.

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Would you, could you, on a train?

At first I distracted her and put her off. I didn’t want to breastfeed my 2 year old in public and face possible harassment for doing so. Though I know the law protects me, I also know many people are uncomfortable with breastfeeding babies in public let alone toddlers. I didn’t want to be the source of the discomfort of others or worse, possible conflict. At 2 she’s old enough to wait and can have other food and drink for snack.

But I had just returned that morning from a three day trip and my littlest missed her mama. Being close, having mama milk, was all a part of our reconnecting. Could I really place the possible discomfort of others above the need my little girl had for comfort and closeness? Yes, we could have comfort, connectedness, and closeness in other ways but breastfeeding was still her favorite, should my 2 year old forgo what she enjoyed the most because some strangers may not understand what a woman’s breasts are really for?

I decided no, I would not do that to her and my daughter would come first. And I breastfed her. On a packed train headed downtown on a Sunday afternoon. There was no agenda, no ulterior motive. In that normal moment with my daughter, though I had a pinch of anxiety that someone may take issue with me feeding and comforting my daughter at my breast, my focus was on her, not normalizing breastfeeding. Because that’s not why I breastfeed.

It isn’t normal to see breastfeeding still in most western societies. Though breastfeeding is elevated and preached, it’s hardly visible enough to be considered normal. We’ve allowed ourselves to accept a definition of the female breasts limited to just the sexual nature the mature mammary glands can have. With that we’ve lost sight of the biological and anthropological norm. Something I write and speak about often. Working to change such perceptions is part of why I do The Leaky Boob at all.

But still, that’s not why I breastfed my daughter that day. Or any day. I fed her because she needed it. Because I’m her mommy and feeding and comforting our children is just what moms do.

And that’s just… Normal.

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