Fairhaven Health Choose Your Own Prize Giveaway


As a Leaky Boob sponsor for a couple of years now, Fairhaven Health has offered Leakies several giveaways of their great nursing products, including the Milkies Milk-SaverNursing BlendNursing Time Tea, and Nipple Nurture Balm. But, in addition to creating products to help women meet their breastfeeding goals, Fairhaven Health also offers products that address the needs and concerns of women in every stage of reproductive health, starting with preconception and moving through pregnancy and nursing. So, in planning this giveaway, we decided to shake things up a bit, and give the power back to the Leakies!


Fairhaven Health is excited to offer a “Choose Your Own Prize” Giveaway. Two lucky winners will have the opportunity to choose any combination of Fairhaven Health’s fertility, pregnancy, or nursing products they want- worth $100.


Which Fairhaven Health products do you love, or which products are you dying to try?

Check out the full range of Fairhaven Health’s offerings at www.fairhavenhealth.com, and write a comment using the widget below that mentions the products you are hoping to win.  Once the two winners are selected, FH will contact winners to confirm which products they would like to receive.


Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered, and check out fairhavenhealth.com for more products related to fertility, pregnancy, and nursing.  The giveaway is open from April 25, 2014 through May 2, 2014.  A big thanks to Fairhaven Health for their ongoing support of TLB and all breastfeeding women, please be sure to visit their Facebook page and follow them on twitter and thank them for their support of TLB and this giveaway opportunity.  Be sure to follow them on Pinterest and Instagram (username: fairhaven_health) too!

This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents. 

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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.


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 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.



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


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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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.


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.


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



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.

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Fairhaven Health Fertility Giveaway

It is no surprise that most giveaways that we have here on The Leaky Boob are related to breastfeeding.  It is the subject around which this community has formed, after all.  But taking a step back, we have to face a screeching traffic-jamming reality: TLB wouldn’t exist if babies weren’t made.  I mean the stuff required for conception to happen.  It is a subject that merits its own support community, as fertility issues affect more couples than you or I can even imagine.  Fertility is the primary focus of TLB sponsor Fairhaven Health, and after a bit of dialogue, we decided together to offer some support and awareness about male fertility issues in the guise of a giveaway.  Suzanne offers some helpful information on the subject (below) and if you find yourself wanting to ask more questions about fertility for both men and women, that is Fairhaven Health‘s speciality!


Suzanne and her family

TLB:  Why should we be concerned about male fertility? 

Suzanne:   As a company that is focused on providing natural products to support fertility, pregnancy and nursing, it isn’t a surprise that most of the products we offer at Fairhaven Health are intended to be used by women. But, when it comes to fertility, it is important to understand that for nearly half of all couples that are struggling with infertility, it is actually the male partner with the fertility issue. The statistics related to declining sperm health are quite alarming – the average sperm count among adult men has decreased by 50% since 1938, and continues to decline by at least 2% every year.  Chronic stress, prolonged exposure to dangerous environmental chemicals, and poor diets certainly take a toll on male reproductive health.  As a result, many men suffer from low sperm count (defined as less than 20 million sperm per ml of semen), low sperm motility (defined as less than 50% of sperm showing good forward movement), and/or abnormal sperm morphology (the size and shape of sperm).  And, poor sperm health can lead to couples having difficulty becoming pregnant.

If a couple has been actively trying to conceive for 6 months or more with no success, we always recommend that the male partner make an appointment to have a semen analysis done. Or, as an alternative, we offer a sperm count test that can be used at home – if he is hesitant about going to the doctor for a comprehensive semen analysis. And, even if it is discovered that his sperm health is less than optimal, the good news is that there is sound research in the area of male fertility that shows that supplementation with key nutrients can promote sperm health. That’s why we have developed a line of male fertility products!

TLB: Let’s talk about the lifestyle factors that impact sperm health. For instance, is it true that biking and hot tubs cause low sperm count?

Suzanne: Yes, in theory, any activity that increases the temperature of the male reproductive organs can reduce sperm count, at least temporarily. If a man knows he has low sperm count, and if he and his partner are trying to conceive, it is probably best that he avoid competitive bike racing (involving lots of time on a bicycle), saunas, hot tubbing, and/or using a lap top computer directly on his lap. But, the reality is that other lifestyle factors probably have a bigger impact on the quantity and quality of sperm. Smoking cigarettes, using chewing tobacco, drinking large amounts of alcohol, and exercising excessively all decrease the quantity and quality of sperm. Quitting, or simply cutting back on, any of these activities will help improve sperm health.

Exposure to environmental toxins is also implicated as a cause for declining male (and female) reproductive health.  By limiting exposure to toxins in the workplace, at home, and from foods, men can help reduce the impact that these chemicals have on reproductive health.  And, supporting the body’s own detoxification systems (with specific nutrients and herbal medicines, like those found in FertileDetox) can help the body efficiently eliminate and/or metabolize toxins.


TLB: When you say “toxins,” I think antioxidants.  Can they play a part in improving sperm health?  

Yes!  It certainly looks that way.  For many decades, theories about how to prevent chronic diseases of all types have emphasized the importance of antioxidant nutrients in combating the damaging effects of free radicals. Simply put, free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules that are produced as the body breaks down toxins. These unstable oxygen molecules move around the body seeking to participate in biochemical reactions that make them more stable, which result in damage to fats and proteins that are found in the cells of our body, ultimately interfering with normal cellular function. The body utilizes a number of antioxidant strategies to neutralize free radicals, but if the free radical load exceeds the number of antioxidants available to the cell, a condition known as oxidative stress ensues.  As it turns out, sperm cells seem more susceptible to oxidative stress because they have less effective antioxidant mechanisms for neutralizing free radicals than other types of cells. Adding insult to injury, sperm cells are especially vulnerable to damage from free radicals due to the high amounts of fats contained in their cell membrane. As a result, oxidative stress takes a heavy toll on sperm, causing reduced sperm count, poor sperm motility and even DNA damage.  Experts are now saying that oxidative stress is to blame for the majority (up to 80%) of all cases of male infertility.

Supplementing with antioxidant nutrients can help reduce oxidative stress. Several antioxidants have been shown to especially helpful for sperm health, including Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Coenzyme Q10 and the polyphenolic compounds in grape seed extract. All of these nutrients are found in our best-selling product for men, FertilAid for Men.

TLB: What other nutrients and herbal products are helpful for male reproductive health? 

Suzanne: There is a handful of ingredients that have shown great promise in improving male reproductive health. Leading the charge are L-carnitine and zinc. Carnitine is a vitamin-like compound that helps to transport fatty acids into the energy powerhouse of the cell (called the mitochondria) where they can be “burned” for energy. Carnitine supplementation is useful for men with low sperm motility because it helps the sperm cells produce energy, increasing the ability of sperm to move quickly through the female reproductive tract. Research indicates that low zinc concentrations negatively affect serum testosterone levels and that infertile males tend to have lower concentration of seminal plasma zinc. And, supplementation with zinc increases sperm count, motility, and fertilizing capacity; and reduces the incidence of anti-sperm antibodies.  Vitamin B12 supplementation has been shown to increase sperm count and selenium supplementation is helpful for sperm motility.

The herbs Maca and Mucuna pruriens are often talked about related to male fertility. Maca is a traditional herb that has been used medicinally for years to enhance fertility and libido. Numerous studies have shown that supplementation with maca improves sperm count, as well as sperm motility, semen volume, and overall sperm quality. Mucuna pruriens is a tropical plant, commonly known as velvet bean and cowitch. The plant has many traditional uses, and is still considered to be an effective aphrodisiac. Research indicates that Mucuna pruriens increases sperm count and sperm motility.

TLB: Wow, that’s a lot of information.  Thank you for taking the time to educate our readers about this important subject.  People need to know that this kind of information and support is readily available. 



Fairhaven Health is giving away a collection of 5 Male Fertility Products to 5 lucky winners.

FertilAid for Men: A dietary supplement designed to enhance male fertility and improve overall reproductive wellness as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle.

CountBoost for Men: A dietary supplement designed to support optimal sperm count.

MotilityBoost for Men: A dietary supplement designed to support optimal sperm motility.

FertileDetox: A dietary supplement designed to support the body’s detoxification systems.

Virilitea: A loose-leaf, herbal tea designed to promote male fertility and sexual vitality.


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


Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from August 14, 2013 through August 21, 2013.  A big thanks to everyone 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.  You can also find Fairhaven Health on Pinterest!

This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents. 

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Fairhaven Health Fertility Giveaway

Fairhaven Health has been a TLB sponsor for quite some time now.  We have come to know them as a company that supports breastfeeding women by providing helpful information regarding the health and diet of expecting and nursing moms, and we’ve enjoyed a few giveaways on TLB of helpful products for breastfeeding moms.  But that’s not all there is to Fairhaven Health.  In the following interview, Suzanne answers questions related to the other side of the company: fertility.  And following the interview is your chance to enter a fertility related giveaway.

Munson Family

Suzanne of Fairhaven Health, and her family

TLB:  Tell us a bit about the fertility side of Fairhaven Health.

Suzanne:  Fairhaven Health has been in the “fertility” business for more than a decade, and has helped thousands of couples achieve pregnancy naturally by providing scientifically-validated dietary supplements for enhancing female and male fertility, along with ovulation prediction tools to help couples identify the fertile days in a woman’s menstrual cycle. If you are trying to become pregnant naturally (or avoid pregnancy, for that matter), accurate ovulation prediction is vital. It is important for couples to understand that there are actually only a few days during each menstrual cycle that intercourse will result in conception – the so-called fertile window. If couples are not having intercourse during the fertile window, in the few days before and on the day of ovulation, they will not get pregnant.

Many women chart their basal body temperatures as a way to track ovulation. This giveaway features Fairhaven Health’s  ibasal – a computerized digital basal thermometer.

TLB:  How do you predict ovulation by tracking your basal body temperature (BBT)?

Suzanne:  Basal body temperature (known as BBT in the acronym-laden TTC world) is the temperature at which your body rests. Charting BBT is one of the tried and true methods for determining when during your cycle ovulation occurs. By taking your BBT accurately and consistently first thing every morning throughout your menstrual cycle, you will be able to detect the natural, yet very subtle, rise in your basal body temperature that occurs just after ovulation. This thermal shift is caused by the hormone progesterone, sometimes referred to as the “warming hormone”.  Immediately following ovulation, the corpus luteum (the remnants of the ovarian follicle that released the egg) begins to produce progesterone. The increased amount of progesterone is necessary to help ensure a fertilized egg can implant successfully into the wall of the uterus, and it also causes the body to warm up, which is reflected in an increase in the BBT.

But, like with other fertility charting methods, there is some variability in the way that women experience the thermal shift. In general, many women will notice a “biphasic” pattern to their chart, with relatively low temperatures before ovulation and slightly higher temperatures after ovulation. It is important to note that this BBT shift is actually quite subtle, with temperatures typically rising by only .4 degrees F (.2 degrees C) after ovulation, and sometimes even less. Some women will see a rapid rise in their BBT, and others will see an incremental rise. Due to this variability, it is important for you to chart for several cycles to understand the specific way in which you experience this BBT shift. But, once you have a good understanding of your own BBT chart, you will be able to accurately predict your fertile days and time intercourse accordingly.

TLB:  How is the ibasal different than other BBT thermometers out there?

Suzanne:  Unlike other digital (or glass) BBT thermometers, the ibasal is an “intelligent” thermometer. In addition to accurately recording and storing your BBT data, the ibasal contains a proprietary algorithm that allows it to analyze and interpret BBT data in order to make a fertility prediction. The ibasal also allows you to record additional information about her menstrual cycle, including bleeding, cramping, and cervical mucus consistency. After a couple cycles of consistent use, the ibasal will use all of the data it receives (BBT and any other fertility data) to determine your daily fertility status.

TLB:  What are some of the features of the ibasal that make charting BBT convenient?

Suzanne:  For BBT charting to be a reliable and accurate ovulation prediction tool, it is essential that you take your BBT at the same time every morning. For this reason, the ibasal requires that you set the internal alarm clock, and once set, it will only allow you to take a temperature reading at that set time. Like any other annoying alarm clock, the ibasal alarm will sound continuously (for 10 minutes!) until you take her temperature – a guarantee that you will be collecting accurate BBT data.

TLB:  Tell us about OvaGraph.com.

Suzanne:  A couple of years ago, Fairhaven Health launched OvaGraph.com, a FREE online fertility charting community. At OvaGraph.com, you can store and view (in graphs and calendars) your BBT data, as well as data from electronic fertility monitors (such as the OvaCue) and other menstrual cycle data (including results from urine test sticks and cervical mucus changes). And, your FREE membership at OvaGraph.com provides you with the opportunity to interact with a supportive and knowledgeable community of women on all topics related to fertility and pregnancy.


Fairhaven Health is giving away 1 ibasal computerized digital basal thermometer to 2 lucky Leakies.

The ibasal is a computerized digital basal thermometer and fertility monitor that helps you maximize your chances of conceiving by accurately measuring your BBT and interpreting this data to produce a fertility prediction in advance of ovulation.

Retail Value: $59.95

ibasalbox-lowrez Currently Leakies can find the ibasal and other helpful “trying-to-conceive” products at FairhavenHealth.com.


Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from May 22, 2013 through May 28, 2013.  A big thanks to 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.

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Mom Power

this post made possible in part by the generous support of Fairhaven Health.

Mom Power Confidence meme

I am a strong mom.

I am a powerful mom.

I help support moms.  Strong moms.  Which is a bit redundant.  Because moms are strong.

I help support powerful moms.

Also redundant.  All moms are powerful.

And we don’t need a company to tell us so.

Nor do we need others to tell us so.

But it can help to hear it from others, it can be encouraging and it can even reveal the inner power we already have but maybe lacked the confidence to recognize and engage.  It doesn’t give us power though because we already have it, just like we’re already strong.  We’re moms

We have Mom Power.


The power to hope.

The power to dream.

The power to speak up for the oppressed.

The power to love with nothing in return.

The power to face fear and continue on.

The power to know when to use our strength.

The power to know when to use our gentleness.

The power to see beyond themselves.

The power to cry.

The power to celebrate.

The power to be fun.

The power to deserve trust.


I know this power well but I haven’t always been aware of it in myself.  Insecurities and certain messages had me doubting my own power, denying it, and hiding it.  Sometimes that insecurity led to me judging and belittling others.  Shame.  Such an ugly thing, shame.  It’s a perverted power, one that controls instead of frees.  Because of my own shame I have had times of allowing my filters interpret information as attacking.  With shame, I’ve put down others if I felt they didn’t try hard enough at something I thought was important.  *cough* breastfeeding *cough*  But real Mom Power doesn’t need gimmicks like shame or pretend mommy wars to own it’s strength.  Real Mom Power doesn’t resort to unsupportive support.  It has nothing to sell.  Mom Power can see through ‘all that and get straight to the heart of things.  I see it every single day in the community of The Leaky Boob Facebook page and twitter.


The power to let go of shame.

The power to forgive.

The power to listen.

The power to be understanding.

The power to learn from mistakes.

The power to care for others.

The power to share experiences.

The power to offer support.

The power to disagree with respect.

The power to stand for our convictions.

The power to resist fighting when it won’t help gain ground.

The power to make peace.

The power to own our feelings.

The power to see through marketing.


Perhaps the most important parenting tool we can have is confidence.  Confidence isn’t arrogantly proceeding as though one is always right.  Confidence is believing in yourself and your ability to handle what comes your way.  Insecurity can lead to rejecting learning opportunities, fear can diminish our willingness to grow, but confidence inspires constant adjusting according to new concepts and ideas.  With confidence it is easier to acknowledge mistakes, reduce stress, and not internalize information and the choices of others that we may disagree with.  A confident parent isn’t perfect and doesn’t have it all figured out but they are well equipped to do so.


The power to learn.

The power to grow.

The power to adjust.

The power to have compassion.

The power to teach compassion

The power to be humble

The power to make difficult decisions.

The power to evaluate our circumstances.

The power to analyze information.

The power to take responsibility.


Most of us don’t need to be “empowered” we just need to not be afraid of the power we already have.  As my friend Amber McCann, IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) from the Breastfeeding Center of Pittsburg put it “Power is being able, in whatever moment you are facing, to do whatever it is you’d like to do. That you feel as though you can jump over the obstacles. It is also in recognizing what the right choice is for you even when one of those barriers is in your way.”

And according to my 12 year old Storyteller: “When I think of Mom Power I think of a phoenix, pretty and strong and enduring.  Moms don’t give up.  That’s Mom Power.”

Moms, I believe in you, I hope you can believe in yourself and in each other.  Whatever your journey and wherever you are, whatever circumstances you’ve had to navigate, you are strong and have Mom Power.  Mom Power is an indisputable force if we can have the confidence to tap into it.  It’s not a product, it’s not a company, not an organization, not a campaign, not a marketing strategy… it’s moms.  A dear, dear friend of mine, Kathy, a local IBCLC and labor and delivery RN, once told me that the reason she’s involved in birth and breastfeeding is because that’s where the foundation of confident parenting is laid.  She wants to be on the front end of making the world a better place.  Which is what I’m all about.  If I want to change the world and make it a better place then start with helping make better people.  And there is nothing, no product, no organization, no campaign, no marketing strategy that can do that like pure, good ol’ Mom Power.


Fairhaven Health’s Supplemental Giveaway

What makes a business more than just a company trying to sell you something?  The people behind the brand.  Suzanne, Director of Product Development for Fairhaven Health, is a mother of two and she is passionate about raising healthy families.  She has taken the time to answer a few interview questions about her life in the Pacific Northwest, her role at Fairhaven Health, and her views on nutrition and breastfeeding.  Take a moment to get to know her and this great TLB sponsor.  Then, enter the giveaway below for your chance to win some supplements designed to help breastfeeding moms maintain a balanced nutritional diet.  

Munson Family Lake Padden

TLB:  Hello Suzanne!  To start off this interview, what kinds of activities do you particularly enjoy doing this time of year?

Suzanne:  Spring is a great time of year in the Pacific Northwest.  After many months of short days, the extended daylight is always so welcome and I love getting outside in the evenings.  One of our favorite things to do this time of year is to meet up with friends for a walk or bike ride around the lake near our house, and have a picnic afterwards.  (The above photo was taken at that lake.)

TLB:  Could you tell us a bit about what you do with Fairhaven Health?

Suzanne:  I came to Fairhaven Health a number of years ago, after earning a Master’s degree in Nutrition from Bastyr University and working in the natural products industry for more than a decade. As a nutritionist and a mom of two kids, I can’t help but be passionate about raising healthy families. As Director of Product Development at Fairhaven Health, I get to spend my work day talking to women about how they can improve their reproductive health naturally, and I get to work with a team of medical professionals to dream up new products that help couples optimize their fertility and that keep women healthy during pregnancy and nursing.  What an awesome job!

TLB:  As a nutritionist, what would you like to share with our Leakies about how their food intake impacts their health?

Suzanne:   As a whole foods nutritionist, I definitely believe in the health benefits of eating “real” food! By real food, I mean anything that is minimally processed . . .fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and fresh meats, fish and poultry. And, the more you can avoid highly processed junk foods, the more room you will have in your diet for the good stuff.

Of course, eating well is important during all stages of life, but is especially vital during pregnancy and while you are breastfeeding.  It goes without saying that taking care of a newborn is demanding and tiresome (and wonderful!). And, producing breast milk requires extra calories and nutrients. So, eating real food, and plenty of it, is important to ensure that you have the energy and stamina you need to meet the demands of new motherhood.

TLB: Do you have any tips to help nursing moms get the nourishment they need?

Suzanne: The reality is that most us don’t really eat all that well, even under the best of circumstances. So, with the time constraints that accompany new motherhood, cooking, meal planning, even eating, might be some of the first activities to go.  Here are some tips that might be helpful:

  • Have fresh fruit handy
  • Buy vegetables in a ready-to-eat package to cut down on chopping time
  • Snack often on nutrient dense foods, like nuts (and nut butters) and seeds
  • Cook in big batches and freeze extra portions
  • Ask family and friends to bring meals

TLB: Fairhaven Health is giving away Nursing Postnatal. Why do you think it is important for nursing mothers to take a multivitamin?

Suzanne: While women don’t bat an eye about being told to take a prenatal vitamin before and during pregnancy, some women are surprised to hear that taking a multivitamin while breastfeeding could be helpful. As we touched on above, eating enough of the right kinds of foods is a challenge for most of us under normal circumstances, and is certainly no easier when you are breastfeeding. So, taking a daily multivitamin simply allows a mom to bump up her nutrient intake. This is important for her health, and it helps ensure that her breast milk is nutrient dense.

Breast milk is an amazing food, and perfect for your baby. It contains approximately 4 grams of fat, 1 gram of protein and 7 grams of carbohydrates per milliliter, and these proportions do not change even when the mother’s diet changes.  But, it is also true that a mother’s diet (and her overall nutritional status) can influence the vitamin, mineral, and the essential fatty acid (EPA and DHA) composition of her breast milk, all of which impacts the overall nutritional quality of the breast milk, and ultimately the overall health of the baby. Because of this, it is my humble opinion, that we need to encourage nursing moms to both eat as many real foods as possible and take a multivitamin.

TLB:  Did you personally take multivitamins after the birth of your children?

Suzanne:  Yes, I continued to take a multivitamin while breastfeeding with both my kids, and try to remember to still take one every day.  I actually have a bottle of Nursing Postnatal on my desk at work.  Even though I am definitely a “food first” person, my life is busy and hectic and I don’t always eat the way I know I should.  So, taking a multivitamin just helps to ensure I am getting enough nutrients.


Fairhaven Health is giving 5 lucky Leakies one bottle each of Nursing Postnatal and Fenugreek.

Nursing Postnatal is a vitamin and mineral supplement designed specifically for breastfeeding moms, with extra amounts of Vitamin D and the B vitamins.

Nursing Postnatal

Fenugreek is often used to help support breast milk production. Fairhaven Health’s Fenugreek contains a unique blend of organic Fenugreek Seed Powder, along with a concentrated Fenugreek Seed Powder extract (8:1), delivering a dose equivalent to 2000 mg of standard fenugreek seed powder in just 2 vegetarian capsules each day.


Currently Leakies can find these and other pregnancy and nursing products at www.FairhavenHealth.com.


Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from April 1, 2013 through April 8, 2013.  A big thanks to Fairhaven Health for their ongoing support of TLB and all breastfeeding women; please be sure to visit BellytoBreast on Facebook or follow them on Twitter and/or Pinterest and thank them for their support of TLB and this giveaway opportunity.

This giveaway is restricted to U.S. (including Puerto Rico and APO) and Canadian residents only.

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Fairhaven Health Giveaway

“For more than a decade, Fairhaven Health has been helping couples “make” and raise children naturally. Our passion is to develop products designed to safely and naturally promote fertility, pregnancy wellness, and breastfeeding success. And for years now, we’ve been achieving that important goal. From preconception through pregnancy and nursing, Fairhaven Health is there – every step of the way – to provide clinically-proven products to help you along your journey to parenthood.” ~Suzanne, on staff at Fairhaven Health.
TLB has asked Suzanne, to share her thoughts and resource ideas for new moms in the following interview. You’ll find your opportunity to enter the Fairhaven Health giveaway below the interview; enter for your chance to win a collection of great nursing products!

Munson Family

TLB:  What is your funniest story of what surprised you when you had a newborn?

Suzanne:  I will never forget the look on my husband’s face after we buckled our brand-new baby daughter into her car seat for the very first time as we prepared to head home from the birthing center where she was born less than 24 hours before. The discharge nurse looked on as we got her settled, then did a quick security check of the car seat and told us we were free to go. My husband stared at her in disbelief, his eyes big as saucers.  “Are you sure we should go?” he asked. The nurse smiled knowingly, hugged us both, and said, “You will all be fine”. We must have sat in the car for at least 15 minutes before my husband started the engine, staring at each other and our beautiful little girl, surprised and overwhelmed by the immensity of gratitude and responsibility we suddenly felt.

TLB:  What is the best advice you can think of to give a new mom?

Suzanne:  Use your people!  Everyone loves babies, so let your friends and family hold your baby, change your baby, and bathe your baby. And, while they are caring for the baby, make sure to take time to rest. Also, don’t be shy about asking your friends and family for help with chores around the house. Your friends will be happy to fold cute little baby clothes while you chat and drink the Fairhaven Health Nursing Time Tea you win in this giveaway!

TLB:  How is Fairhaven Health supporting breastfeeding not only in product but also in resources?

Suzanne: At Fairhaven Health, we support breastfeeding as the optimal feeding choice for moms and babies. We also understand that for some women, “choosing” breastfeeding isn’t always easy. Pregnant woman are constantly bombarded with confusing messages about breastfeeding vs. formula feeding, and even when new moms want to breastfeed, they often lack the information and support (from peers and professionals) they need to breastfeed successfully. In addition to offering a variety of natural products to support breastfeeding moms (including dietary supplements and teas that offer nutritional support and promote breast milk production, as well as a natural, lanolin-free nipple balm), Fairhaven Health is proud to sponsor the following organizations that are actively working to normalize breastfeeding and support nursing moms in our communities. If you don’t already know about Cottonwood Kids and Best for Babes, be sure to check out these awesome organizations. And, of course, we all love The Leaky Boob!

In addition to supporting the organizations above, we are always looking for ways to serve as a resource for nursing moms needing information and support. Our BellytoBreast Facebook page is dedicated to issues and information pertinent to pregnant and breastfeeding women, and we offer several ways for nursing moms to interact with our customer service team, including email, phone and live chat.

TLB:  When moms have a new baby, what are your favorite ways to suggest she takes care of herself to recover well, have energy, and be set up to reach her breastfeeding goals?

Suzanne:  This is a tough question! Let’s face it, as wonderful as being a new mom is, it is also very demanding and, at times, quite stressful. And, all of the things that you “should” do to take care of yourself (like rest, eat well, exercise, etc.) take time, which is, of course, in short supply. So, I definitely don’t have the secret to restoring and maintaining energy levels while breastfeeding, but I will share with you what helped me when my kids were babies: yoga (as infrequent as it was!), playing the piano,  getting some fresh air (even if I just sat on the front porch for 15 minutes as I nursed), and napping.


Fairhaven Health is giving away a collection of their nursing products to 10 (ten) lucky Leakies.  The retail value of the collection is: $62.00

The 4 items in the collection are:

1 bottle of Nursing Blend 

NursingBlend image

1 package of Nursing Time Tea 


1 Nipple Nurture Balm 


And, just for the fun of it, 1 DreamBelly Stretch Mark Butter!


Currently Leakies can find these and other items at FairhavenHealth.com.


Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from February 19, 2013 through February 25, 2013.  A big thanks to Fairhaven Health for their ongoing support of TLB and all breastfeeding women; please be sure to visit BellytoBreast on Facebook or follow them on Twitter and/or Pinterest and thank them for their support of TLB and this giveaway opportunity.

This giveaway is restricted to U.S. (including Puerto Rico and APO) and Canadian residents only.

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Weaning the Breastfed Baby

by Star Rodriguez, IBCLC for The Leaky Boob
this post made possible by the generous support of Fairhaven Health.

breastfeeding latch

In my practice, I do prenatal consults.  During these, almost 100% of the time, people ask me, “So, how long am I supposed to do this, anyway?”  I typically tell pregnant moms and their families that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you exclusively nurse for 6 months, continuing until at least a year once complimentary foods are introduced.  The World Health Organization recommends nursing until two years of age.  However, I always caution my families that breastfeeding is a very personal thing between a mother and baby dyad and that people typically have an idea of when they are done nursing.  This may vary from what you thought it would be while pregnant, or what it was during other breastfeeding relationships.

There are two different types of weaning.  Baby initiated weaning and mother initiated weaning.  Baby initiated weaning is probably the easiest way to do it.  The baby generally gradually starts nursing less and less until baby just eventually stops.  It’s easy for baby and easy for mom.  Well, mostly.  With either baby initiated weaning or mother initiated, there can be some sad feelings when the breastfeeding relationship ends.  Check out the post on weaning ceremonies to find ways to celebrate the nursing relationship.

A word of caution: some babies exhibit behaviors that we call nursing strikes.  Nursing strikes are not cues to wean.  They are when a baby who is normally fine with breastfeeding, or happy at the breast, will suddenly refuse it and become fussy, often in the first year.  This is typically not a baby signaling intent to wean.  It is usually linked to something like illness, teething, an increase in social behavior, or something like that.  True baby initiated weaning is not usually accompanied by an unhappy baby.

With mother initiated weaning the mother decides, for some reason, to cease breastfeeding.  This is a little harder on most babies, because typical breastfed babies like to nurse.  It is not, however, as hard as some people make it out to be.  I have had patients tell me that they cannot possibly nurse their babies because it will be a very difficult endeavor to wean them.  Trust that if you decide you are done breastfeeding, at any age you can stop, and you will probably not have to spend millions in therapy because of it.

I rarely recommend weaning cold turkey (where you just stop weaning, with no gradual step down.)    There are a few reasons why this is a bad plan in most circumstances.  First, babies don’t often take well to this.  If you suddenly stop breastfeeding and give babies just bottles, most of them will be a little confused and a lot upset.  Secondly, it’s not great for Mom, either.  Moms that wean suddenly often experience engorgement (again!) and can experience plugged ducts and infections.  It’s just not a lot of fun.

There are, however, some medical reasons that you may need to wean cold turkey.  First, make sure that this isn’t something that will only interrupt breastfeeding short term.  If it is, you may be able to pump and dump during that time and resume nursing after if you would like.  If it is a long term thing, though, try not to feel guilty or upset.  Many of these reasons for needing to wean are serious emergencies to one’s mental or physical health, and in those circumstances, do not worry about the short term effects to your baby.  No, it is not ideal.  But your baby will not benefit as much from gradual diminishment of breastfeeding as they will from a healthy parent.  If you are in pain from sudden weaning, you can express a little milk when you are uncomfortable until your milk begins to dry up.  You may be able to use other things to help your milk dry up faster, but if you have weaned for a medical reason, you should always check with your medical provider first.

In lieu of needing to wean immediately, most in the breastfeeding community favor the gradual approach.  In this, you replace one feeding, beginning with the least favorite, with something else.  For a baby that is nursing as a form of primary nourishment, such as those that are under a year, you will have to replace that feeding with an equal source of nourishment.  For most babies, this will be formula or expressed breastmilk.  Hopefully, your baby will accept another method of feeding already, but, if not, be sure to keep an open mind.  You may offer the new type of feeding; someone else may offer it; and you can think of various different ways to give your baby nourishment (bottle, cup, sippy cup, syringe, etc., depending on age.)  If you have an older child who is receiving her primary nourishment from other foods, like most nursing toddlers, you can offer things like water (or another liquid) from a cup, a snack, or some kind of redirection.  You can also explain to your child – “We aren’t going to nurse right now, so we’re going to do (whatever) instead.”  Older children may not ask for it, and, if that happens, it is probably better to just not say anything at all.

After you have taken out that first, least important feeding, wait a few days or weeks (base this on the comfort of you and your baby – if your breasts are feeling overfull, or your child is not handling the transition well, you should wait a little longer until you adjust) and remove the next feeding.  That should be the new least important one.  (When I discuss the least important feedings, I mean the one the baby is the least attached to.  For example, often, the most important feeding is right before bedtime, and the least is during the day at some point.  Your mileage may vary, though.)  Again, wait until your breasts and baby have adjusted, and then repeat as needed.  You may find that partial weaning, where you remove some feedings while still allowing others, may be an option, too, if you are weaning for non-medical reasons.

During the time that you are weaning your baby, remember to be gentle on them – and you!  As I stated before, weaning can be an emotional experience for everyone, and the emotions may vary, a lot.  Some people feel happy and disappointed all at once.  Whatever you feel is ok.  Give your child lots of cuddles and kisses during this time.  You will both benefit from this and it will ease the transition.  When it is time to wean, whenever that is for you and your child, many moms discover that the relationship they have with their child changes some and while it is normal to miss what you had, new ways of bonding and sharing time together will emerge for you both to enjoy.


How old was your baby when you weaned?  How did you feel?








Fairhaven Health Giveaway

The breastfeeding journey rarely happens without challenges.  Suzanne, from TLB sponsor Fairhaven Health, knows this personally, especially when it comes to dealing with low supply.  Today, Fairhaven Health is offering our TLB community a giveaway for those concerned about low supply.  Read on for details about this opportunity, to hear what Suzanne has to share about some of her own experience with low supply and answers some questions about Fairhaven Health.   


TLB: What kind of personal breastfeeding experience is behind the breastfeeding related products in your product line?

Suzanne: At Fairhaven Health, we support breastfeeding as the optimal feeding choice for mom and baby, and are honored to be able to support moms in reaching their breastfeeding goals. And, from personal experience, I know that even with lots of effort and intention, it is sometimes very difficult (but never impossible) to achieve the breastfeeding goals we set for ourselves. With my first born (Abigail, now 9 years old – see attached photo), I had high hopes of breastfeeding exclusively for six months or so, and then continuing  for as long as she wanted to, but at least until she turned 1 year. How hard could that be? But, during delivery, a few complications arose, and I ended up having a very late epidural. And, perhaps as a result of this late epidural (or for some other unknown reason), Abby had difficulty breastfeeding from the get go. Even after several visits with the lactation consultant and weeks of trying to establish a breastfeeding routine, Abby and I were unsuccessful. Because Abby never nursed successfully at the breast, I pumped exclusively and we fed her my breast milk from a bottle for nine months. As many women know, it is often difficult to maintain your supply when you are only pumping, and it was no different for me. I needed every herbal galactogogue available to help maintain my supply!  I am so grateful that these products existed when I was breastfeeding, and I love that Fairhaven Health is committed to providing such high quality products, like Fenugreek, Nursing Time Tea and Nursing Blend, to support today’s breastfeeding moms in reaching their breastfeeding goals.

TLB: What should we know about the new fenugreek tablets?

Suzanne: One of the inconveniences associated with taking Fenugreek and other herbal galactogogues (as if having supply issues is not inconvenient enough), is that research shows that these herbs are most effective when taken in large quantities. As a result, most brands of Fenugreek require many capsules each day. Fairhaven Health’s new Fenugreek product is a unique combination of organic Fenugreek seed powder and a concentrated Fenugreek seed powder extract (8:1), providing an equivalent dose of 2 grams of standard Fenugreek seed powder in just two capsules. This product is also great for what it doesn’t contain: no gluten, yeast, wheat, soy, dairy, animal products, artificial colors or artificial preservatives.

TLB: What do you think is most important for moms that are concerned about supply to know?

Suzanne: I think the most important thing for moms with supply issues to know is that it is actually quite rare for a nursing mom to not be able to eventually produce enough milk to feed her baby. Instead, it is often the case that supply issues are temporary, only present as mom and baby work to establish a routine in the first days, if the baby has trouble latching, or when mom or baby is ill. Once these kinks get worked out, supply typically increases. And, moms may see a decline in supply when they transition to work, when regular feedings are interrupted due to extended absences from the baby, or when exclusively pumping. It is during all of these times that moms can really benefit from natural galactogogues, such as Fenugreek, to boost their milk supply.


Fairhaven Health is giving away this helpful prize to 5 lucky winners:

Three (3) bottles of Fenugreek dietary supplement  Retail value $45.00



Currently Leakies can find these and other great pregnancy and nursing products on the Fairhaven Health website.


Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered, and check out fairhavenhealth.com for more products related to fertility, pregnancy, and nursing .  The giveaway is open from September 20, 2012 to September 27, 2012.  A big thanks to Suzanne and Fairhaven Health for their ongoing support of TLB and all breastfeeding women, please be sure to visit their Facebook page and thank them for their support of TLB and this giveaway opportunity.

This giveaway is open to US entries only.

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