I Feel My Boobs- 8 Unglamorous Secrets About Breastfeeding

by Jessica Martin-Weber
I touch my boobs a lot. I’m not kidding, a lot a lot. I’ve known this but recently I’ve noticed it even more.
Which got me thinking…
Breastfeeding: when your breasts see more action in one day as a breastfeeding parent than they typically do in a month when you’re not lactating. And that’s with an active and fun sex life. (See 9 Tips to Having More and Better Sex After Baby)
The other morning I woke up to rock hard boobs at 6am and in spite of it being a day when I was supposed to be able to sleep in and my baby was sound asleep, I had to get up. With my breasts full of milk, I was way too uncomfortable to sleep. My boobs were demanding I empty them and so while everyone else slept I joyfully got up and pumped.

Just kidding. I was decidedly not joyful.

I had not-so-nice-words for my pump, even though I like my pump and even though it typically seems to whisper encouragement when I’m pumping, this particular morning I swear it was hissing “eff you, eff you, eff you…”

(Yes, I’m grateful I can breastfeed and that I have enough milk to pump and be a milk donor and meet my baby’s needs but no, I wasn’t joyful to be up at 6am when I otherwise did not need to be.)
There have been a number of articles claiming to expose what nobody ever tells you about breastfeeding or what breastfeeding parents wish they knew about breastfeeding before they breastfed or what surprised them about breastfeeding. So many such articles (I’ve written a few myself), you’d think there was pretty much nothing that anyone actually knew about breastfeeding going into it. As though everyone must experience breastfeeding like “WHOA! NEVER SAW THAT COMIN’!”

Which is, honestly, kind of exactly what it is like. You just can’t REALLY know until you’re in it. There’s no way I would have truly understood just how much I’d be feeling my boobs until I was actually living it.

 While pumping before the sun was up that morning, I stated thinking again of some of the surprising aspects of breastfeeding and put together a new list for you. No, it doesn’t encompass everything and certainly we all have different experiences, but these were some of the ones that even I forget about.
Feeling yourself up. I never knew how often I’d touch my breasts but with breastfeeding I’m regularly handling them and not just to get baby latched. From quick little taps to see which side I should start my baby on to hand expression to breast massage to holding them if I dare the stairs when I’m braless to readjusting things through out the day (hey, they change a lot from one moment to the next!), I’m handling my boobs far more than I ever expected. At this point I do it frequently enough I’m pretty sure I do it in public without even noticing which probably looks a little strange to someone that hasn’t breastfed.
Waking the baby. Who would wake a sleeping baby? A desperate breastfeeding parent, that’s who. Listen, when you wake up and your boob hurts and there’s milk leaking everywhere and you know baby is going to be hungry at some point anyway, waking them to empty a breast that feels like it’s about to explode is basic survival. Besides, it’s not like they’re going to be disappointed.
A critical eye for boob-out-fashion. That dress looked super cute but… I couldn’t get a boob out and frankly we all know what would happen if baby got hungry and boobs started leaking and I couldn’t get the boob out to feed her. Cute or not, I’d rip it to shreds to get her what she needs.
Getting excited about pretty, comfortable, and functional bras. Ridiculously excited. It doesn’t look like a piece of hardware AND you can unclasp each side or pull down easily to feed baby? It’s like Christmas and my birthday all in one! Multiple color options? A touch of lace? Works with even lower cut tops? What is this sorcery? I must have it!
Human scratching post. Babies have razor blades for nails and also have a penchant for gripping things tightly, digging those nails into whatever comes near enough to grasp. Including boobs. Maybe specially boobs. It takes a lot to help baby get latched correctly, positioned comfortably, your breast supported, and somehow defend chest and breasts from baby Wolverine. Having boundaries, keeping their nails trimmed, and doing things like holding their hand or giving them something else to grasp can help or can just turn into a wrestling match with your boobs and chest bearing the brunt featuring welts, scratches, and stab wounds.
Ode to sour milk. I need nursing pads thanks to how much I leak and it can be at any moment. The breast pads help but the truth is I regularly smell like sour milk anyway. My bras, my tops, my sheets. I try to take comfort in the fact that this helps my baby recognize my smell.
So. Much. Time. In many ways breastfeeding can save time and often it can save money too but I am still surprised at just how much time I spend breastfeeding, preparing to breastfeed, thinking about breastfeeding, talking about breastfeeding, and in general, aware of breastfeeding. It may be natural but it didn’t come naturally for me so I spent a LOT of time on it and even when it did get easier, I still spend a lot of time on it. It’s a huge part of my daily life from washing pump parts to storing milk to wondering if that whiff of sour milk came from me to drooling over pretty nursing bras to actually feeding my baby to talking with other breastfeeding parents and sharing stories and information. It takes a lot of time and energy.

Skipping sleeping in. I wanted to sleep in that morning, desperately. There was no way. My breasts were killing me and I didn’t want to risk a clogged duct or possibly hurting my supply by not emptying them when they were full because my baby slept through a feeding. I skipped sleeping in to hook up to a machine that would empty my breasts. Naturally, when I was done putting everything away and laid back down hoping to catch a little more shut-eye, my baby woke up and was ready to feed and play.

It may be unglamorous but that’s a parenting fact, very little of bringing up tiny humans results in feeling put together and ready for the red carpet. But you can’t beat the smiles and snuggles that come with it!

Drawing from a diverse background in the performing arts and midwifery, Jessica Martin-Weber supports women and families, creating spaces for open dialogue. Writer and speaker, Jessica is the creator of TheLeakyBoob.com, co-creator of BeyondMoi.com, freelance writer, and co-founder of Milk: An Infant Feeding Conference. Jessica lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest and co-parents her 7 daughters with her husband of 21 years.
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#LeakyLooks: Valentine’s Date Night

by Shannon Streger

Been to the store lately? Pharmacy, hobby store, ANYWHERE? Then you know what’s coming this weekend..Valentine’s Day! The smell of chocolate and candy hearts has permeated the air.  How do you plan to celebrate (or not) with your partner? Whether you are a sucker for the cheesy hype, or a nice “night in” snuggling on the couch sounds perfect, we have the looks for you to enjoy your weekend.

Kid-Free Night Out

 

Ahh, a night out, and kid-free at that! What a fun excuse to get dressed up and wear those heels that have been hiding way in the back of your closet behind your yoga pants stash and flip-flops. This gorgeous maxi dress from Figure 8 will provide all the glam along with comfort and accessibility for pumping on the go. Feel your sexy self with this hot nursing bra and panty set from Figleaves.  

1.Figleaves  2.Figure 8 Necklace  3.Figure 8 Dress 4.Sara Wells Pump Bag  5.Bamboobies  6.French Girl Organics Lip Tint  7.Target Pumps  

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Valentine’s Date Night In

 

Opting for a date night-in this weekend? Maybe you are planning a cozy night on the couch, or you could be in the mood for something a little more physical (or both!).  Perhaps a soak in the tub with some bath herbs from Earth Mama Angel Baby with your partner, followed by a round of (strip?) “Rotten Apples.” Slip into something comfortable (or not so comfortable later) like this soft pajama set from Figure 8, or you could opt for some lingerie from Mommylicious Maternity.  

1.Vintage Pearl Necklace 2.Mommylicious Maternity lingerie 3.Target board games  4.Fredrick’s of Hollywood Robe  5.Figure 8 Majamas 6.Alma Caramel Sauce  7.Earth Mama Angel Baby Bath Herbs  8. Uberlube

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Whatever your plans may be this Valentine’s Day we hope you get to enjoy it with someone you love, and feeling loved in return. How will YOU be celebrating this weekend?

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#LeakyLooks : Holiday Family Photo Ideas

by Shannon Streger
This week’s Leaky Looks was put together by an experienced photographer, Shannon Streger. As she recommends options for family photo ideas with a traditional look, a more modern feel, and a weekend at the campfire, she offers some helpful tips to think outside the box.

It’s that time of year when we gather with our dearest family and friends to celebrate another year spent together. What better time than now to commemorate the season with a family portrait in this year’s holiday card. As a former professional photographer, I know there are a lot of things that can make a family portrait go from mess to success! Here are three great looks for you this week, put together to give you some great ideas as you prepare for that perfect holiday card snapshot.  

Some great pro tips: Instead of a matching theme, use colors that coordinate. The varying textures will add depth to your portrait. Decide on a casual look in an outdoor setting, or go formal with an elegant shoot in the studio with the typical holiday props.  


LL- Under the Mistletoe

Look 1:  

Looking for a formal style to wrap that classic holiday family photo? This essential little black dress (from Figure8) is perfect for an elegant maternity look or breastfeeding Momma. Collaborate it with a comfortable pair of pumps and a simple yet stylish pendant. Your partner can coordinate in a fitted black blazer with a red pocket square. Dress up the kids in some red and gold formal wear and keep the accessories simple.  

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LL-Happy Holidays2

Look 2: 

If you want to go for a non-traditional look, make it a theme focusing on jewel tones. It will provide the rich colors of Winter while allowing you to stray from the traditional reds and greens.  You can do this look up casual or dressy, and you can mix up the textures a bit like throwing in an adorable lacy dress (BTW it’s from Target!).  Chunky jewelry and hats are great ways to add depth to your portrait. Pair this soft, stripped nursing dress (from Figure8) with some modern rain boots and chew beads from Chompy Chic.  

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LL-Into the Woods2

Look 3:

If you want a more organic feel for your family photo, head outside! Ambient light and natural landscapes provide a great look. Mix up a few posed shots with some fun candid ones. Perhaps hire a photographer to capture the family trip to the Christmas Tree farm. This cozy mustard yellow coat (from ModCloth) will look great accented against some warm flannel plaid prints. The trapper hat (from Target) is essential for the baby with this cute “Baby’s 1st Christmas” bodysuit. Think layers!  Now would be a good time for your partner to grow out that facial hair for that woodsmen look. 😉 And don’t forget the NoseFrida! Nothing ruins a great photograph quite as well as a drippy nose. (Pro tip: wet wipes will only make it worse.) Now pull up those fuzzy boots and head into the woods. 

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#LeakyLooks: Of Turkeys and Taking Care

by Kileah McIlvain

As these days get shorter and the nights get longer, our little family looks forward to the “turning in” of our home. The reveling in the warm light of candles, the pile of fluffy blankets just waiting to be nested in, the warm smells of fresh banana bread baking in the kitchen.

Reveling in the small, slow, intentional things can help us slow down, especially during the holiday season when schedules and nights can fill up quickly with events or extra work. By the time that crazy 4 PM rolls around, the thought of running away sounds much more enjoyable than mustering that last squeeze of energy to last to the end of the day (or bedtime!). So? I put together a few looks this week that highlight some of my favorite “seek simple pleasures” moments throughout the day…whether that’s working, a family get-together, or taking a night to yourself (or maybe a date night in!). My hope is that you transition into this holiday season with peace, armed with some essentials that can help you along the way!

Of Working and Pumping 

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I loved the classy style of this dress that is specifically for the working or jetsetting mama who needs to pump or breastfeed on the go! It’s easy to layer with a great jacket, blazer, or poncho wrap. Unique accessories are a great way to change the look of your main wardrobe pieces. Juno Blu wins the day again with their stylish pumpgear-toting handbags.

1.Hadley Stilwell Jet Set Dress  2.Etsy  3.Brit.co  4.Modcloth  5.Matraea Soothing Nipple Fix  6.Simple Wishes Pumping Bra  7.Born  8.Juno Blu “Nepenthe” Pumping bag 

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Mama’s Night In

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A Mama’s Night In? Date Night In? This look features some of my go-to pieces for a cozy night in snuggled up under my favorite blanket. Drinking chocolate is one of my favorite late treats I’ve discovered…and wearing my favorite pair of socks while I do my nails (a true indulgence! absolutely love SOPHi’s line…and seriously. the stuff wears like nail armor. I went 5 days without chipping! It’s basically a mama miracle). Rubbing on some gentle lotion…or taking turns with my partner massaging aching shoulders with our favorite massage bar really helps my body and mind relax after a stressful day.

1.Belabumbum Nursing Dress “Eva”  2.Lush Massage bar “Soft Coeur” (the honeymooner!)  3.Creo Brewing Cacao drinking chocolate  4.Ikea Ursula knit throw  5.SOPHi non-toxic nail polish “Skinny Dip & Chips”  6.Earth Mama Angel Baby Lotion  7.Smart Wool socks

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The Leaky’s Essentials To Surviving Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving here in the states is one of my favorite times to get together with our friends and family. Over the years as we’ve added to our family, I’ve discovered a few (though not all are listed here!) essentials to not only surviving, but thriving at a holiday get-together. Taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of those around you! Also, we just featured the Innobaby AquaHeat in our comprehensive Infant Feeding Guide! Check it out for more details and why we recommend it!

1.Bamboobies  2.Ergobaby Original in “Black Twill” (NEW!) 3.ThinkSport Insulated coffee mug/coffee  4.Calm-a-mama Calm Drops  5.Etsy  6.AquaHeat by InnoBaby  7.JuiceBeauty Authentically Pink Makeup Kit

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Do you have some good holiday survival tips? Shoot them my way! I’m going to be featuring some more looks and holiday-themed articles designed with every mama in mind! xoxo

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#LeakyLooks: Oh Autumn, Let Me Count The Ways!

by Kileah McIlvain

Autumn is by far my favorite season. All of the layering possibilities, cozy colors, soft knitted things and all of the scarves a mama could want (yes…they cover up the crusty nut butter and toddler teething drool quite nicely when I need to make a run to the post office!).

Here’s a great collection of cozy-inspired looks featuring some great names I got the chance to meet up with at ABC Kids Expo last month! So sit back with that yummy chai, and get ready to celebrate the start of November with some functional, comfy, versatile outfit and multi-use accessory options!

Easy Chic

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I loved putting this look together to highlight the range of great sizing that some brands have! Also, check out the cool scarf that is actually a cotton swaddle blanket. (Get it? Put a bird on it? Portlandia? 🙂 )

1.H&M  2.Little Unicorn  3.Modcloth  4.Old Navy  5.MelindaG  6.Happ  7.DSW

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Cozy Always Wins

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This look practically screamed “WEAR ME AND BE COZY” when I put it together! Featuring a great super-soft jumper, cozy knit sweater, versatile diaper bag (right?! doesn’t even LOOK like a diaper bag!) and all of the soft knitted things…this look can go from daytime function to funky date downtown. Plus? it’s absolutely maternity and nursing-friendly!

1.Belabumbum  2.Modcloth  3.Toms  4.Modcloth  5.Target  6.Lily Jade

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Peaches n’ Plaid

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Who says powder blue and peach can’t be worn in the fall? Adding in some touches of soft greys and blacks are a great way to transition some of those traditionally “summer” shades and adapt them to your autumn wardrobe!

1.Modcloth  2.Tula  3.H&M  4.OiOi  5.cloth diaper  6.Wooly Baby  7.Mama Owl Shop  8.Old Navy

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#LeakyLooks: Final Costume Call!

by Kileah McIlvain

Whew! I can’t believe it’s been over a week since the Leaky Boob Team came home from Vegas! What a week we had together. We have so many exciting things planned for all of  you!

For our final week of our #LeakyLooks costume series for October, I picked out 3 new looks to highlight some great fun (and breastfeeding friendly!) options for the harvest parties and trick-or-treating you’re bound to be celebrating! Let me know what you think! I wanna see YOUR awesome babywearing and boob-friendly costume ideas!

Mom’s Bakery

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Sweet as can be with one of parents’ best-loved carriers. Now you can take your cupcake and take on a night of sweets and treats!

1.Ergobaby (Indigo Mint Dots) 2.Etsy  3.Baby Leggings  4.Amazon  5.Target

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A Princess & Her Ewok

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I am such a Star Wars fan. I know. Big shocker there 😉 This is a pretty easy outfit to put together with a bit of creative skill! What’s cuter than a fuzzy little Ewok baby?!

1.Endor Rebel helmet (make your own here!)  2.Etsy (or search pinterest for easy how-to!)  3.Amazon  4.H&M  5.Tekhni Nymphai (Tuxedo)  6.Payless Shoes  7.Petco Ewok Costume

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Mama & Her Chicks

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My main reason for this adorable get-up? The TwinGo Carrier! I got to see this carrier in action at the ABC Kids Expo in Vegas and it looked extremely comfortable.

1.Old Navy  2.Target  3.Walmart  4.Target  5.TwinGo Carrier  6.Amazon

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#LeakyLooks: Best of October!

by Kileah McIlvain

This week we’re rounding up our top 3 most-LOVED #LeakyLooks on our Instagram page for October! Also, if you like surprises, keep looking for new content. I have some fantastic stuff I wanna share with you Leakies. Trust me. You’re gonna LOVE it 😉

Ready for our top 3 most-loved looks? Read on, get your Leaky Fashion on!

 

Favorite Look #1: Welcome To Hogwarts

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I will fully admit: I am a total Potterhead! Would you believe that most Hogwarts-themed costumes can be totally breastfeeding-friendly?! (Plus, check out my FAVORITE wands from Woodland Wandolier!) Now you and your little witch or wizard can sport your favorite Hogwarts House in style!

1.Etsy  2.LookHuman.com  3.Buy Costumes  4.Costume Express  5.Ebay  6.Kohl’s  7.Woodland Wandolier  8.Walmart

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Favorite Look #2: Steampunk Cosplay

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Yeah. I totally went there. I’m pretty sure one of my secret fantasies is getting to go full-on steampunk! I’ve always wanted to wear some Victorian gothic-inspired outfit with goggles and a top hat. This look features some fun ideas (and a GREAT breastfeeding-friendly dress!) and the beautiful Tekhni Nymphai woven wrap in Tuxedo! (it’s not out yet, so consider this a great preview and get your ordering fingers ready!)

1.Leche Libre  2.CafePress  3.Silver Bird Treasures  4.Etsy  5.Ebay  6.Tekhni Nymphai  7.Steampunk Parasol

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Favorite Look #3: Pumpkin Patch Party!

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I look forward to Pumpkin Patch parties all year long! I chose this outfit to highlight some GREAT sizing options for some great autumn wardrobe pieces. My favorite piece in this collection? The Tekhni Nymphai Clover woven wrap. It’s heaven. <3

1.Modcloth  2.Bebe Au Lait  3.Torrid  4.Tekhni Nymphai  5.Target (great deal!)

 

What do you think of the favorites for October? Was there another look that you absolutely loved? What would you like to see us roll out in November? Comment below or give us a shout-out on Facebook or Instagram! We’d love to get your ideas.

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#LeakyLooks: Autumn For Everyone (With A Twist!)

by Kileah McIlvain

I remember the first time I had my partner watch Nightmare Before Christmas. He kind of had this blank stare on his face…and probably fell asleep 15 minutes in (to be fair, he’d worked a 12-hour day and well…sometimes my weird is just a lot to take in after all that.). 😉 I’ve always had a love of Jack Skellington and his Sally! One of my favorite outfits this year (Paxmommy Jillian ROCKS a great Disneybounding Sally!)

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1.Hot Topic  2.Tula (custom-made from Kokadi “Sally”)  3.Ebay  4.Spencers  5.Classic White pumpkin (because you need one to carve Jack’s face properly!)

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I was just talking to some fellow Leakies today about our very different Pumpkin Patch experiences this year. It’s currently pushing almost 100 Degrees in southern California and here in Portland we’re enjoying cooler temps and foggy mornings! This might mean some very different wardrobe choices for the both of us! So I chose to highlight some wardrobe choices that might accompany some of our different experiences. I hope you enjoy!

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1.Destination Maternity  2.NYX “Cherry Skies” here or here  3.Modcloth  4.Toms  5.Walmart  6.Beco Toddler Carrier “Benjamin”

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1.Elomi 2.Destination Maternity  3.H&M  4.Tim & Leslie “Rachel” Diaper bag  5.Target  6.H&M  7.Old Navy

Do you have some great #LeakyLooks costume ideas for you and baby this year? Tag us on Instagram! We’d love to feature you!

xoxo

 

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#LeakyLooks: Of Pumpkins and Steampunks

by Kileah McIlvain

I know it may come as a shock to some of you, but I am a nerd. Major nerd. October (besides being my birth month!) is just a 31-day-long reason to dress up and get away with it in public. 😉

Here are a few awesome additions to our #LeakyLooks dress-up-October edition! Have a costume you’re putting together for you and baby? Want to share? Tag us on Instagram or Facebook so we can feature you!

Steampunk Cosplay 

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Yeah. I totally went there. I’m pretty sure one of my secret fantasies is getting to go full-on steampunk! I’ve always wanted to wear some Victorian gothic-inspired outfit with goggles and a top hat. This look features some fun ideas (and a GREAT breastfeeding-friendly dress!) and the beautiful Tekhni Nymphai woven wrap in Tuxedo! (it’s not out yet, so consider this a great preview and get your ordering fingers ready!)

1.Leche Libre  2.CafePress  3.Silver Bird Treasures  4.Etsy  5.Ebay  6.Tekhni Nymphai  7.Steampunk Parasol

Mermaid & Merbaby

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Remember when we did an awesome PaxBaby themed-look called “Under The Sea”? Well this one is an updated version for all of your trick-or-treating fun! My favorite part? All of these items are great deals!

1.Etsy  2.PaxBaby  3.ASOS  4.PaxBaby  5.AliExpress  6.ecrater mermaid wig

Pumpkin Patch Party!

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I look forward to Pumpkin Patch parties all year long! I chose this outfit to highlight some GREAT sizing options for some great autumn wardrobe pieces. My favorite piece in this collection? The Tekhni Nymphai Clover woven wrap. It’s heaven. <3

1.Modcloth  2.Bebe Au Lait  3.Torrid  4.Tekhni Nymphai  5.Target (great deal!)

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#LeakyLooks: Breastfeeding Friendly Costumes!

by Kileah McIlvain

I know. It’s September 29th. I couldn’t resist! I’m planning my costume already and (No. Not gonna reveal it just yet! Unless you’re a big MLP fan…then I just might tell you!)

So? This edition is about having fun, and giving some creative ideas for dressing up with your kids (and pssst! They’re also breastfeeding-friendly!).

Have some great ideas to share with our Leakies?

Tag us on Instagram and use #LeakyCostumes to show us some great breastfeeding-friendly costumes for October! 

Forest Creatures

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When I saw this great carrier from Tula I just couldn’t resist coming up with a great “Mommy Tree and Baby Raccoon” theme! I even found some great eco-friendly facepaint sticks! What would you add to this one?

1.Tula “Campy”   2.Raccoon Mask/Tail/Ears set  3.Milk Nursingwear brown top  4.Tree Branch headband   5.Gerson Red Lantern  6.Luna Star Naturals facepaint stick

Welcome To Hogwarts

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I will fully admit: I am a total Potterhead! Would you believe that most Hogwarts-themed costumes can be totally breastfeeding-friendly?! (Plus…check out my FAVORITE wands from Woodland Wandolier!) Now you and your little witch or wizard can sport your favorite Hogwarts House in style!

1.Etsy  2.LookHuman.com  3.Buy Costumes  4.Costume Express  5.Ebay  6.Kohl’s  7.Woodland Wandolier  8.Walmart

Kanga & Roo

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One of my favorite Mum-and-Baby costume ideas is Kanga & Roo from Winnie The Pooh! Easy to put together, simple, and so darn cute.

1.Forever21  2.Tula   3.Oriental Trading Company   4.Pinterest  5.Target.com  6.Under The Nile

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