Nourishing Our Children and Ourselves – #TLBnourish 2017

#TLBnourish 2017 is made possible thanks to Title Sponsor: My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear

 

#TLBnourish is a time to celebrate nourishing our families, ourselves, and even our community. From sharing recipes to sharing stories to sharing our photos, #TLBnourish is about feeding our whole selves well.

Nourishment is so much more than just nutrition for our bodies; our spirits find nourishment in connection, our relationships find nourishment in each other, our children find nourishment in our arms (our little Lucky reminds my family of this daily), our minds are nourished through learning and conversation, and our hearts are nourished by being with the people we love.

#TLBNourish brings us all together as we hold space for each other in what this may look like in our lives, embracing the bravery required to open up about what and how we nourish ourselves and our families. With so much pressure to be a certain way with an expectation of perfection it can feel risky to say what we really do, but that’s exactly what we’re going to do together, supporting how our journeys are diverse and meaningful. Feeding our very souls.

Also, sometimes we’re just plain ol’ surviving! And we can laugh, cry, and joke about that reality. Nourishment isn’t always the stuff of cooking shows and feel-good-TV. It’s more of a buffet of hasty snacks, complex dishes, and some total flops- like the time my brother used garlic oil on accident to make brownies and it was the laughter that nourished us.

We are excited to share #TLBnourish 2017 with you, The Leaky Boob community, and also our Beyond Moi community, that focuses first on strengthening the connection we have with our families and ourselves to key aspects that deeply impact relationships of all sorts. Join us on The Leaky Boob Facebook page, here; The Leaky Boob Community Facebook group, hereBeyondMoi.com and the Beyond Moi Facebook Page, here; and the Beyond Moi Community Facebook group (where we talk about just about anything and everything- particularly relationships), here.

#TLBnourish 2017 launched a few days ago with our campaign ambassadors sharing their daily nourishing experiences on Instagram, and introducing our campaign giveaway. It will run for the next couple of weeks though a meaningful focus on how we nourish ourselves and our families is never really limited to a set of dates. It’s what TLB does every day! We will be focusing on what nourishes us with good food, meaningful experiences, opening up, and a lot of humor. All of this through the sharing of information, support, and most importantly, The Leaky Boob and Beyond Moi communities in action teaming up with you, our communities, and brands we trust including Title Sponsoring Brand My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear, maker of the cuddliest keepsake to celebrate and/or honor our new family members.

Be on the lookout for the hashtag: #TLBnourish (and start using it too!), Leaky guest posts, a vocal presence across social media (Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook), posts from our campaign ambassadors, relevant information and interactions on our sister site, BeyondMoi.com, inspiring support within our community, involvement from our campaign sponsors, giveaways, and informative articles.

Let’s explore the many ways we nourish ourselves and our relationships together, with #TLBnourish 2017.

Check out and follow our team of brave campaign ambassadors below on social, and show some love to the wonderful campaign sponsors below who understand the importance of nourishment within our families and intimate relationships.

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Meet Our Campaign Ambassadors 

We’ve assembled a small team to provide a little daily inspiration and some real-life experiences as they focus on the nourishment present in their relationships. Here are the six mamas (apart from myself) that will be sharing their #TLBnourish experiences with us:

Hi everyone! My name is Aley, and I am a 26 year old mother of three – ages 12, 3), and 5 weeks. I nursed my 3 yr old until he was 3.5 and he self weaned when I was about 30 weeks pregnant with his brother. So far, my baby and I are also going stong with nursing. I did disposables with for my other babies but am looking forward to starting cloth soon with my newest little one. I am a stay at home mom so keeping up on housework and keeping the kids alive are my usual daily battles.

You can find Aley on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 

Hi, I’m Angela  Mom of three kids (ages 6, 3, and 8 months), I’m a Navy spouse, and registered nurse (pediatrics). We have been moving every two years and we just recently moved to Nevada in July, so still trying to get settled and starting to think about going back to work!

You can find Angela on Instagram.

 

 

Hey Everyone! I’m Ashley, mom of two (ages 2 & 2 months). Currently, I’m a breastfeeding peer counselor. I also volunteer and lead a breastfeeding support group at a local women’s center! I cloth diaper and I’m trying get the hang of babywearing haha!

You can find Ashley on Instagram.

 

 

 

Hello! My name is Diamond and I’m the mom of 4 girls (ages 11, 9, 4, and 8 months)! I’m the founder of Carry On-Newark, (we give free education and natural parenting supplies to low income families in Newark) ,I blog for Smitten Wovens, I’m a chapter leader for World On My Shoulders and occasionally assist my husband on his page (The Babywearing Dad). I am a Babywearing educator, cloth diaper expert and a breastfeeding advocate in Newark NJ. I’m so excited to be here!!

You can find Diamond on Instagram.

 

Hello, my name is Iola. I’m a social media consultant, birth/breastfeeding advocate, hiker, climber, kayaker, doula and mom. I have five wonderful kids ages 6, 5, 2, 1, and 7 weeks. I am a single, co-parenting mom, by choice. We live in Minnesota, twin cities area, my second home is Duluth, MN. We are avid campers. Pretty much an open book.

You can find Iola on Instagram.

 

 

Hey guys! My name is Jess and I’m 31. I have a 2.5 year old boy and am 33 weeks pregnant with a little girl.

I’m a pediatric cardiology nurse at Seattle Children’s in their central Washington clinic but in late February, my family is moving to the east coast. I’m really looking forward to getting the heck out of Washington and starting fresh!

You can find Jess on Instagram.

 

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#TLBnourish 2017 Sponsors

 

Title Sponsor: My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear

Looking for a unique pregnancy keepsake? There is nothing more precious to an expectant mother than the sound of her baby’s heartbeat. My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear provides everything you need to capture the sound of your baby’s heartbeat and create a keepsake that will be cherished forever. Our kit includes an adorable stuffed animal, and a 20 second red heart recorder that will easily preserve the sound of your baby’s heartbeat. My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear Kits also make fantastic baby shower gifts! Find out more here

 

Pure Spoon

Pure Spoon’s organic HPP baby food use 100% fresh, certified organic fruits and veggies that are cold-pressed, cold-packed and delivered right to your door. Find out more here

 

BeliBea

An innovative maternity bra line for both breastfeeding and hands-free pumping convenience. Find our more here

 

Motif Pumps, presented by Aeroflow Breastpumps

Supporting new and expecting moms by providing breast pumps through insurance. Find out more about Aeroflow here and more about Motif here
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To participate in the #TLBnourish 2017 Sponsors’ giveaway, click here
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Focusing on the Safety of Our Children – #TLBsafekids 2017

#TLBsafekids 2017 is made possible thanks to Title Sponsor: Diono

Every parent’s first job is to tend to their child’s health. Every parent is aware of all the ways that they could let their children down. All the ways that they could fail at protecting their children’s health. All the ways that they are likely to screw up their kid(s).

As a mother to 6, almost 7, here are a few things that I wish I had known when I first became a mother:

First off, it’s normal to worry about the safety of our children. Yes, there are unhealthy levels of worry that can lead us to thinking that maybe the best thing to do is to move to a remote area of Montana and never leave the homestead – which is why we need people around us to help us stay within a healthy level of worry. But being concerned for the wellbeing of our children is a good thing. It means we care about them, and we want good things for them.

Second, we will screw up our kid(s). My kids like to point out how everyone is unique in their own way – that weird isn’t bad because we’re all weird in our own way. And while I agree with them and nod my head, in my mind that translates to “we’re all screwed up in our own way.” And the most likely people to have screwed us up? Family. Namely, our parents. But not exclusively. Siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins, all have the honor of being in the position of screwing us up too. Moving to Montana is probably sounding even better right about now isn’t it? Except that if I’m the only one left to influence my child, guess who’s the only one left to screw them up? That’s right. I am. You are. Time will tell just how much time our children will end up needing to spend in therapy – and I’m not joking about that, so far 2 of ours have needed it and we’re big believers in therapy – but in the meantime, all of us parents are just trying to do our best to not screw up our children too much.

Third, we need information. Which means that we need to be able to ask the questions that we have. Which means that we also need to feel safe in asking those questions. That has been one of my primary goals in shaping The Leaky Boob community: to make it a safe place for moms to find information, encouragement, and support, in a judgment-free space. There are no stupid questions. There are only questions needing answers. And a safe space to admit the mistakes we’ve made.

And as first-time parents, we have a LOT of questions needing answers. Second-time parents too! And even seventh-time parents.

As a mom of 6, soon to be 7, you might think that I have it all figured out! But I don’t. There are some things that I’ve learned, sure, but each of my children has proven to me that what makes them unique requires me to adapt my parenting to fit their mould, and not the other way around. Just because one of my kids thought it was a good idea to stuff peas in their nose doesn’t mean that they all will. Just because one of my children seemed to understood the theory of relativity at 12 months doesn’t mean that they all will. And I’m joking about my 12 month old being a super genius. The point is, even I’m still learning, things are changing, new information is regularly becoming available, and I still need a safe space to ask my questions too.

So for the next 3 weeks, The Leaky Boob community is going to have a special focus on safety in a campaign that I like to call #TLBsafekids. And we’re going to talk about all the things that could potentially threaten the health of our little ones. I’ll spare you a list because it basically includes pretty much everything. Which is why we really need a space to be able to talk about it all.

 

Join our private Facebook group #TLBsafekids, check out and follow our team of brave campaign ambassadors below on social, and show some love to the wonderful campaign sponsors below who care very much about the safety of our kids.

 

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#TLBsafekids 2017 Campaign Ambassadors

 

Hello Everyone! My name is Amber. I have 3 beautiful girls: 4, 2 and 4 months. My husband is an over the road truck driver and I am a registered nurse. I am currently not working but am a stay at home mom. My oldest just started preschool, so we are trying to get used to a more structured schedule. I am very excited to be a part of this opportunity!

I live in a small town called Glencoe, in Minnesota. I am originally from Colorado.

You can find Amber on Instagram.

 

Hey everyone! I’m Brianda and I LOVE The Leaky Boob – it’s been a huge resource as a mom. We live in Woodstock, GA, a small suburb of Atlanta. My husband Reid and I have three littles… Olivia (2 years old), Owen (7 months old) and Benjamin (7 months old). Life with a toddler and twins is absolute chaos but I truly love it.

You can find Brianda on Instagram.

 

 

 

Hello Everyone, I’m D’Andra from the great state of Texas and the best city, Dallas, lol !!!!

I have only my 9 month Old Princess, Miss. Emorie Dakota, 3 fur babies, and a Man Child I call Husband  😂 😂 😂

I’m obsessed with natural parenting and learning about different things for my baby to try.

You can find D’Andra on Instagram.

 

 

I’m Leah. I have a 3yr old daughter, HER (Hannah Elizabeth), a 1yr old son, SIR (Saul Isaiah), 2 babies in heaven and I’m currently a little over 14 weeks pregnant! I’m the head Nurse of a missionary organization, but from July to January/Feburary I’m a SAHM. My husband is a part of the Ministry as well. I look forward to connecting with you all on social! I am from NJ but currently live in Lancaster county PA.

You can find Leah on Instagram.

 

 

Hi! I’m Micah. I live in So Cal with my 4 kids (10, 5, 3, 20 months) and boyfriend.

I’ve been a SAHM since the baby was born but I will be going back to work starting Monday at one of our local coffee shops. I’m super excited about it because I’ll still have a pretty flexible schedule for kid stuff.

You can find Micah on Instagram and Twitter.

 

 

 

Hey guys, I am Ophelia. I am a SAHM to my two little guys. Noah is 3, and Joseph is 20 months old. We are from Alabama, and we LOVE being outside. Both boys love getting dirty, as do I. #boymom

You can find Ophelia on Instagram.

 

 

 

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#TLBsafekids 2017 Sponsors

 

Title Sponsor: Diono

Here at Diono we’ve made it our passion to lovingly engineer ideas that are all about safety and smiles. So, whether it’s a big day out or a little trip around the corner, we’ve thought of all the things you’ll need. Find out more here

 

Pura Stainless

100% plastic-free, NonToxic Certified stainless steel bottles that grow with your child from infancy through grade school. Find out more here

 

Crane

Here at Crane, we put “Design for Better Living” into everything we do. We started with a few designs in 2005 and continued to grow each year, working towards solving your indoor needs. Crane products are designed with efficiency, function and style in mind. We love to be creative with colors, designs and we know our products will bring comfort and smiles to your home!

Crane humidifiers help add humidity to any room in your home and will help relieve congestion to keep your family healthy. Any room in your home can be warm and cozy when you have a Crane space heater at your side. Air pollutants are everywhere; Crane air purifiers help eliminate dust, pollen, pet dander and smoke, leaving germ free air in your home. Sometimes you just need a cool breeze, and Crane fans let you direct fresh air into any room you need, whenever you need it.

Find out more here

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More Than Mommy Exhaustion: How I recovered my energy and health

by Carrie Saum

Mommy exhaustion.

I know you’ve felt it. Too many nights waking up with your tiny baby, fussy toddler, or insomniac older children. Feeding on demand, pumping around the clock, midnight and 2am boob snacks that stretch to 4am. School projects, sleep regressions, a few minutes of Me Time between 11:31-11:57 pm after all the dishes are done, lunches are made, and housework is sort of caught up.

You pour another cup of coffee at noon, after reheating your first cup approximately six times in the microwave. You try an energy drink mix that your friend is selling. And still. You are so worn out, you can barely string five words together to create a coherent thought.

You resolve to take walks, get outside, or try that pilates DVD you’ve had for ages. You feel good about your choice, but you are wiped out for the rest of the afternoon, trying to recover your shaking muscles and push through the exhaustion until you can climb into bed.

You resolve to eat better, cut out the junk and convenience foods, and maybe that will help you feel more energetic, too. After a few weeks, you see a marginal improvement, but it’s not enough of a pay-off for the sacrifice you are making.

And let’s not even talk about the weight gain.

You wonder if maybe you’re missing something but chalk it up to this season in life where sleep is scarce, demands are abundant, and time for self-care is at a high premium. Of course you’re depleted. Who wouldn’t be?

A few months ago, I brought up my debilitating exhaustion to my doctor. Being a mom herself, she’s familiar with all that goes along with it. She encouraged me to see if there might be an underlying problem in addition to this season of life. She told me about a blood panel called The Boston Heart. The Boston Heart tests multiple vitamins, nutrients, and hormones using a fast blood test. Many insurance plans cover it 100%, even if you have high deductibles. I checked into my insurance coverage, and sure enough, it was covered. No money out of my pocket to get some information about unidentified issues I might have which would paint a bigger picture of my health, instead of just chalking it up to parenthood.

When my results came back, I was shocked. Even though my thyroid was in surprisingly good shape, (which I thought was the culprit), my niacin levels were incredibly low. And you know what happens when your body doesn’t have enough niacin? Your muscles shake when you exert them. Daily tasks wear you out. Do you know what makes it worse? Not getting enough sleep, too much stress, and eating processed foods.

Magnesium, Omega 3, Vitamin D3, and my progesterone were also very low, all of which are easily depleted during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Hello, depression! So, no matter how much sleep, good food, or exercise I was getting, I still felt like crap because I was drawing from a dry well.

I began supplementing with food-grade vitamins immediately, on the recommendation from my doctor. My trusty pre-natal vitamins weren’t enough for my specific needs, and I sealed them up tight and put them in my refrigerator for future use. I strategized to get veggies in every meal, and keep seasonal fruit on hand for when the sugar cravings were too much. I added as many healthy, unadulterated fats as I could. I whipped up a salad dressing using hemp seed oil, which is full of Omega 3, and a little apple cider vinegar. Buttered coffee was always on hand. We stocked our refrigerator with grass-fed meats and veggies to lightly sauté or roast as the main course for all three meals.

OvereasyFriedEggSalad

My go-to meal for quick, easy nutrition: Two sunnyside up fried eggs over greens with hemp seed oil, ACV, and dried herbs. Perfection.

Oh, and I put a total moratorium on strenuous exercise, eating out, and plans with friends before noon and after 5pm on the days I wasn’t working. I also went to bed at 9:30. It meant less Me Time. It meant I often went to bed with dirty dishes in the sink, my floors unswept, and wore the same pair of jeans six times before washing. But it was only for a few weeks and it was vital for my recovery.

I found that watering and weeding my garden while my toddler played close by was enough exertion for me. I also found that I relaxed on a deeper level than I have in years because I gave myself permission to stop trying to do it all. I just did some, accepted what I was capable of in that time frame, and waited until I felt replenished to rejoin the world.

GardenPlay

We happily kept it low key in the community garden.

After the three week moratorium was over, (and believe me, it was hard saying no to things), I started slow. I worked hard to begin refilling my very limited well. Being gentle with my body and my psyche was my number one priority. This is how I came back to the world:

  • A walk in the park.
  • Running up and down the stairs to the basement doing laundry.
  • Vigorous weeding and replanting in my garden.
  • A pilates DVD, increasing by 5 minutes at time.
  • Doing something fun before doing work. On purpose.
  • Saying yes only if it felt 100% doable and okay.

These little things added up quickly. But I want to be clear: I stopped when I was tired. Not exhausted. Not beyond my limit. Not when I was shaking and close to dry heaving. Maybe that works for some people, but it doesn’t work in recovery mode.

Last week, I took a very long walk, pushing my two year old in a stroller the whole way up and down hills that would have had me shaking with exertion after 10 minutes a few months ago. I walked at a pace I felt comfortable with. I stopped and pushed my son on a swing and then stopped again a little later to get an iced decaf coffee at one of my favorite neighborhood places. As I pushed my son up the final, excruciatingly steep hill, I huffed and puffed but I did NOT slow down. My brain wanted to quit but my body was up for the challenge. I spent the rest of the afternoon working, cooking, and playing with my son. I’m not joking when I say that has never happened before on the days I worked out.

And later that week when we braved a trip to the beach, I chased my toddler all over the beach, splashed with him in the water, and played soccer on the hard packed sand without getting winded.

MommyandEHugPoint

Playing hard at the beach with my little boy, feeling super energetic, happy, and proudly rockin’ my bikini.

These bodies of ours are amazing. We are resilient. We are tough. But being exhausted all the time is not normal. Even for you, mama. Be gentle with that body. Be kind to your skin and your bones and your blood and your squishy places and your soul. And find what works for you to feel like yourself again.

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If you like this article, check out Peace In The Passing: Why My Early Miscarriage Was A Relief and her series on #TinyTriumphs over on Our Stable Table.


IMG_2895Carrie Saum brings a passion for wellness and over a decade of experience in health care to her clients. A certified Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor (AWC) from the Kerala Ayurveda Academy, she empowers individuals and families to achieve health and balance through time-honored practices and health knowledge. Carrie has extensive first-hand experience in vast array of medical and service fields.
With background in paramedic medicine, Carrie spent ten years serving in the non-profit sector managing organizations, programs, and orchestrating resources to meet health needs of people across the United States and abroad in countries such as Guatemala, Mexico, Kenya, and Zambia. As an AWC, Carrie currently coaches her clients and their families about topics including nutrition, weight loss, and stress management. In addition to her work as a wellness counselor, Carrie is a passionate “foodie” and the voice behind OurStableTable.com. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and young son.

 

 

 

 

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