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They say that taking care of our bodies is 1/4 physical and 3/4 mental. Sometimes it’s the mental and emotional walls in our lives that stand between us and our wellness goals no matter how hard we try to make changes in our diets and physical activity. So Leakies, dive in to this week’s newsletter for some great articles on self-love and mental health and how they relate to fitness. Start here: go stand in the mirror and repeat after me, “I AM ENOUGH!” Then find the giveaway info, that can be quite the inspiration too!

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Hey Leakies,

The Olympics are over, we have enjoyed 2 weeks of sitting on our couches watching other people accomplish impressive physical feats. Now it’s time to get moving with our families.

July was #TLBmoves, a campaign all about inspiration to figure out and share what it looks like to get moving with our families but that isn’t just a one month goal, it’s a lifestyle. My kids are inspired by the Olympic athletes they watched and their enthusiasm is contagious. Now, more than ever, we’re all inspired to get moving.

Want to know more about the campaign and how you can participate? Read more about #TLBmoves here and find us in our closed #TLBmoves group dedicated just to community around getting active together! Read more about it in this week’s newsletter.

Jessica Martin-Weber
Founder, theleakyboob
Jessica Martin-Weber

 

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Keep Calm and Menstruate on with chocolate and more giveaway!

This Week’s edition is proudly sponsored by our friends at:

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This week in our edition of The Leaky Book Newsletter we are focusing on periods. And no, we aren’t talking punctuation! We are talking about menstruation, “that time of the month”, your ladies days, the Menzies! We are excited to focus on a topic that’s so important to women’s health and yet widely misunderstood. We also have a featured expert with some great information on the stages of Lochia. This week also, we are excited to have Lavinia Martin-Weber from A Girl With A View to join us for Period Week. Check out her video on YouTube and make sure you subscribe. Lastly, we have a great Period Week Care Package giveaway one special Leaky is sure you’d enjoy. Have a great weeks friend, and stay warm!
-TLB Team

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Menstruation. Period. That time of the month. On the rag. Aunt Flo. Menzies. The Dot. Crimson tide. Shark week. (That one is new to me.)

Whatever you call it, menses are a normal biological part of life for healthy women of child-bearing age. And yet there is a lot of shame associated with it. Girls both look forward to it and dread it, women groan when it shows up, and everyone is expected to hide that they ever have to deal with it.

But we do have our cycles and starting somewhere between the age of 11-14 on average, most women bleed from their uterus once a month or so.

We’re daring to talk about it. What’s normal, what’s not, our personal experiences, social experiences, attitudes, and information. Men and women of all ages are invited to the conversation. Shame is not. Read more here to help us begin normalizing and not shaming periods by joining the conversation.

– Jessica Martin-Weber
Founder, TheLeakyBoob.com

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The Letter We Know You Won’t Read- You’re not really gonna open this are you?

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This email is generously sponsored by our friends at

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Well, now you’ve done it. We warned you but here you are…GOOD cause you’re in for out most lighthearted newsletter yet, stocked full go hilarious videos, satire, and wit. We hope you have had a wonderful holiday season and we are so glad to have you apart of The Leaky Boob community. So sit back, relax, make a cup of Hot Momma Cocoa and get ready to laugh. Happy New Year!

-TLB Team

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Hey Leakies!

If you’re reading this, I’m surprised. Welcome to the irrelevant TLB email this week. We figured nobody would read it anyway, this week is like Tardis, transporting you through time with no real sense of how you got there. 

Hope your holidays have been great! And if they haven’t, welcome to the club. I took one of my tips here to heart about how not to gain 10 pounds this holiday season and got myself sick. Don’t get my wrong, I have enjoyed the holidays with my family, for the most part. I haven’t enjoyed the wrecked schedule, my nasty cold, and the unbelievable and unending pile of dishes. Starting to dream about kicking our Christmas tree to the curb. 

I’m getting through with some “cleaning” breaks AKA checking social media on my phone. Since my children seem to be allergic to cleaning, I’m left completely alone for as long as 10 minutes at a time! That’s a lot of Facebooking. 

I’m not one to pretend I’ve got this parenting thing figured out or that I’m perfect in any sense. The holiday just seem to highlight that reality for me. I’m really just winging all of it. 

Winging it meme- TLB

Winging it is so much less disappointing when I’m at least laughing all the way (Christmas carol reference right there- I’m winning some things, right?). To read more about some of the things that have made me snort and cough in laughter through this nasty cold that I’ve come across this week, click HERE.

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Jessica Martin-Weber
Founder, TheLeakyBoob.com

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Avoid Getting Punched in the Boob This Holiday Season

This email is generously sponsored by our friends at

 

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Hey moms, you need to take care of YOU!

Would a giveaway help?

I know, I know, you hear it all the time but you just can’t because laundry, work, laundry, demanding kids, laundry, dishes, parties, every. thing. else, mostly no time. 

Besides, moms are tough. Very tough. They do hard things every day, even just to get their babies. Moms push beings out their vagina or have their abdomen cut open, or stretch their emotions through adoption, allow their entire body chemistry to change, sacrificing sleep, hot meals, hot showers, and even have some of their brain invaded for their children. 

Moms are tough.

When it comes to breastfeeding, many moms tough it out through all kinds of challenges. Some may have an easy go of it but a rather significant mother of moms face challenges along the way. There are a few words that even the toughest of these women shudder at the thought of. Words such as:

They’re all hard and we could each probably add our own words but those 4 are universally understood. Bad news for breastfeeding moms. 

But did you know that your chance of developing the last one, mastitis, goes up during the holidays? According to the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine a predisposing risk factor is “Maternal Stress and Fatigue.”

To continue reading about mastitis with some tips to take care of you, VISIT HERE.

Peace,

Jessica Martin-Weber
Founder, TheLeakyBoob.com

View More: http://yourstreetphotography.pass.us/martinwebberfamily1

 

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Safety: Who To Listen To, Carseat Giveaway, And Pregnant Lady Talk

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Dear Leakies,Have you found confidence in yourself through the challenges you’ve faced in your parenting journey? Has feeding your baby taught you something about yourself?  You’re not alone and we want to hear all about it, email your story to us at [email protected] with the subject #ConfidentMoms.

The first time I drove after finding out I was pregnant I discovered 5 things:

  1. I had no confidence and was suddenly nervous about driving because my baby was an extra person to take care of and
  2. Driving safely was challenging with constantly needing to vomit.
  3. Safety was more important to me than it ever had been before.
  4. Keeping our babies safe starts before they’re even born.
  5. Everyone else in the whole world drives like they just don’t have they’re in a clown show! (I’m working on letting go of this one.)

It can be hard to tell what’s really a safety concern and what’s an old wives’ tale when you’re pregnant and so many well intended people will hurry to dispense even more confusing information that could just be a myth and not information at all. What practices are dangerous? What food should you really avoid and why? Are there any chemicals you should be worried about? Is your shampoo ok? What about your hair dye? Face wash? Sleeping on your back, yes or no? Is that thing about raising your arms about your head just something silly or is it a real thing? How to tell?

No really, how do you tell?

Four ways to figure out if the pregnancy warnings are real:

  • Talk to your health care provider. They’ve heard it all and if they don’t already know the answer, they know how to find the answer from a reliable, evidence based source. And if you aren’t sure about their answer, get a second opinion and of course…
  • Talk to your family and friends. We’re not alone in this life for a reason. Feel out your friends, ask their experience, and ask around. The answers may be diverse but that’s not a bad thing as you…
  • Do your own research. Use the CRAAP test to be sure the source and the information provided is something you should trust. But in the end…
  • Listen to your gut. If you can clear the noise around you, take some deep breaths, and just listen to yourself, that mom-sense is probably already starting to heighten. Listen to it. And don’t do something that makes you uncomfortable.

You’ve got this Leakies. You can keep your little ones safe when they’re inside and out.

#TLBsafeKids is coming to a close, we hope the information and support has been helpful to you. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a clek car seat, Newton Crib Mattress, Crane humidifier, California Baby gift set, CatBird baby carrier, and Rhoost home safety items. Also, we teamed up with Euphoric Herbals to offer all of you a special discount to use in their online store! (Organic, sustainably-resourced all-natural products for mama and family!) CLICK HERE for the exclusive coupon code!

Happy Parenting Leakies!

For more tips and resources, read the rest of our exclusive newsletter HERE.

Peace,

Jessica Martin-Weber
Founder, TheLeakyBoob.com

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#TLBsafeKids: Home Safety Tips

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Dear parents,

One of our primary concerns as parents is the safety of our children. They depend on us for nutrition first, but also for everything from diaper changes, the clothes they wear, the place where they sleep, cuddles and kisses, a clean house, bandaids, car seats, child-proofing, to owning kid-friendly products, teaching them safe practices while out and about, and more, all of which are connected to keeping our little bundles of joy safe.

And nothing brings out the mama and papa bear in us than hearing, or just fearing, that our children may not be safe. 

For this edition of #TLBsafeKids newsletter, we are zooming in on safety in our homes. There is a balance that all parents need to strike between creating a bubble-wrap world for their kids and letting them have an all-access pass to everything in the house. One extreme leads to kids – and then adults – with limited problem-solving skills and a stunted understanding of their own limits. The other is more or less a test of survival with the real possibility of severe and lasting consequences. 

Some of the safety precautions that we have chosen for our home have come straight out of our own near-tragic experiences.

For example, we have never had much aesthetic appreciation for blinds, but every home that we have lived in has had some for us to enjoy. When EarthBaby, our first child, started toddling around, we found ways to make sure the pull-strings were safely out of reach of her little hands. We tied them up in knots, we hung them up over the blinds, we were creative. Fast-forward a number of years and a few children, and Jessica and I went on a trip, entrusting our children to some dear, trusted friends with children of their own. While we were away, one of our children ended up getting tangled up in the strings of their blinds, with one section of string pulled up tight around her neck. Fortunately, our friends got her untangled right away, with no more serious injury than a slight rope burn on our child’s neck. They relayed the story to us, horrified, and explained that it has been a while since they had small children in the house and didn’t think of all the ways they needed to child-proof their house. In our current house, we simply took the blinds down, preferring to risk someone taking a peek into our open lives than to keep the ugly things up. If we were ever to choose to put them back up, we would most likely invest in a cord winder like the ones Rhoost makes for home safety.  

I won’t go into as much detail with other examples… read more here.

#TLBsafeKids, Home Safety Tips, newsletter

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Jeremy Martin-Weber, headshot, The Piano Man

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Car Seat Safety: The Mistakes I Made So You Don’t Have To

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Dear Leakies,

I’m not even going to tell you all the things I did wrong with my older kids when it comes to car seat safety but suffice it to say it was bad. Really bad. There was much I didn’t know considering I thought all that was involved in keeping kids safe in a vehicle was getting a car seat (might have used one purchased at a thrift store- ack!), buckling it in a car (this was before LATCH), and strapping them in.

Now, I could argue that my parents weren’t even in car seats and they turned out fine but I know that statistically the whole reason car seats were introduced by my generation was because they absolutely do save lives. My parents turned out fine but many other children of their generation died in car accidents. And my generation also turned out fine with seats that wouldn’t even come close to passing today’s safety standards but again, I understand that those standards are in place now because statistically they make a difference. Maybe not for me, but for some they have. Maybe those different standards have made a difference for my very own children.

Selecting, installing, and properly using a car seat can be a huge pain, literally and figuratively. I have a scar on my shin from installing one of our car seats a few years ago. I’d gladly take another one, that was the car seat my now 7 year old was in when we were in a hit and run when she was a toddler. She was the only one in the car that day that didn’t require medical care.

I’ve learned a lot even since then and I had learned a lot with her 3 sisters before her. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Clek for #TLBsafeKids, to help us all learn together. Sharing information, personal stories, and asking questions, Clek is helping us through #TLBsafeKids to keep our little ones safe. All through the year Clek is sharing information and support for families through our Ask the CPST feature on theleakyboob.com and on their Facebook page and Instagram.

Few topics are as explosive as child passenger safety on parenting social media sites, it can be right up there with breastfeeding in public, formula feeding, and circumcision. There are a lot of feelings tied to how we keep our kids safe and passion can easily turn information sharing into a bludgeon. Even though I sometimes disagree with what I may see on social media and in real life when it comes to child passenger safety there are a few points I have seen come from even the most heated debates.

  1. Parents love their children and want to keep them safe.
  2. Attacking people isn’t a teaching tool.
  3. Information can be overwhelming.
  4. Sometimes the minimum is the best someone can do.
  5. Judging doesn’t help anyone but the judger and even then only with a false sense of superiority.

Learning happens in stages, even as adults. Finding out there is something to learn, figuring out where to get the information and who to trust (Your mom? Your friend? Do you have to go to car seat school?), and fitting all that in with your life reality is a process. We need to be gentle with ourselves and with others through that.

So what do we really need to know when it comes to car seats?

There’s more than can be contained in a newsletter or a single article, in fact, there is car seat school. People can go to car seat school (not really called that) and become Child Passenger Safety Technicians. That’s just how much information there is.

You can find a CPST to help you install your seats (they have lots of bruises and scars from doing this so often) and that’s probably a good idea. It takes some time but often you can find places that offer that service for free and that time buys you peace of mind.

The rules from one seat may not apply to another. Manufacturers are the experts on their seats and your #1 resource for support. Have a question about your seat? Check your manual and if you still aren’t sure, call a manufacturer.

Be open to learning as you go. Get as much information as you can, but standards and even laws are changing all the time so being open to learning as you go can make a difference in how you’re keeping your child safe.

We’re here for you, sharing the journey and it’s ok if you don’t know something, we won’t judge. And there’s no way it could be as bad as what I did with my older girls- I’m just grateful they have lived to tell about it. We won’t judge but we will point out if we see something dangerous because of stories like this heartbreaking one of loss due to unknown car seat misuse.

Join us this Thursday, September 17th at 9 EST/8 Central/7 Mountain/6 PST for a live chat on The Leaky Boob Facebook page with Diono and Allana Pinkerton, CPST (she went to car seat school). We’ll have a giveaway and lots of information to share responding to your questions about car seat safety. Hope to see you there!

If you’d like to read more exclusive tips and articles on real life parenting, up-to-date carseat safety research and wholesome recipes with your health in mind, visit our latest newsletter HERE.

Happy Child Passenger Safety Week!

Jessica Martin-Weber

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SAFE SLEEP: What it IS. What it ISN’T.

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Bonus giveaway code for the Baby Guy Box hidden in this week’s email, don’t miss out! 
Sleep. It’s on the brain. What is enough? How do we get more of it? Can you actually MAKE little people sleep? (HA! Trick question.) What is safe? What works for me? We’re talking about Safe Sleep for all ages this week with our TLB family. Want to get more advice on parenting or connecting with your family? Jump down to Our Stable Table and Beyond Moi or get connected on our NEW Facebook Group for more tips on #TLBsafeKids

                This Newsletter and #TLBsafeKids brought to you by the generous support of                     
                               
Hey Leakies,How ya sleepin’? One of the most common questions new parents get is if their baby is a “good” sleeper or if they’re sleeping through the night “yet” (asked as soon as day 2). As if sleep is some determiner of quality parenting, these questions are poised with utmost concern, as if the number of hours an infant sleeping being the ultimate in parenting success.But nobody is asking if our babies are sleeping safely.

Well, we are. This month we’re focusing on safety with #TLBsafeKids with our sponsors with clek car seatsCalifornia Baby skin careNewton crib mattressesCatBirth Baby CarriersCrane USA humidifiers, and Rhoost and we’re talking about it all, including safe sleep. It is a controversial topic, not everyone agrees on what constitutes safe sleep arrangements for infants. Not even public health officials. Campaigns focused on completely different ends of the spectrum abound. We’re not here to tell you one right way, we’re here to engage in a conversation and share information together. We respect you to make the best, informed decision that is right for your family according to the resources, circumstances, and information that are a part of your reality.

So, is your baby sleeping safely?

Safe sleep can look several different ways. Here are some of my favorite resources for safe sleep information. Pick what works for you.

  • Co-sleeping: room-sharing. Setting up the space to work for your family is key. If the baby’s sleep space is attached to the parental bed or not depends on your needs. Room sharing could be a bassinet by your bed, a co-sleeper (such as Arm’s Reach) attached to your bed to facilitate breastfeeding, a converted crib set up to side-car with the parental bed, a free-standing crib (safe crib set-up here), or a safe mattress on the floor. There are options and it is likely you’ll need to adapt as your child grows. There’s a good amount of evidence that room-sharing can be a great thing!
  • Co-sleeping: bed sharing. Anthropologist and leading infant sleep expert, Dr. James McKenna from the University of Notre Dame has many resources for co-sleeping families here. Detailed safe co-sleeping arrangements describedhere. This WikiHow has a thorough step-by-step guide for setting up your bed sharing space safely and Rebecca Michi shares how to safely figure out what works for your family with bed-sharing here.  Why the normal infant wants to be at your chest– one of my favorite articles on normal, healthy, term infants sleep and feeding behavior.
  • Separated sleep: own room. Be it in a crib or a Montessori bed (what’s that and why?), setting your baby up in their own room also requires intentional safe set-up. I love this in-depth check-list for safe crib set-up. And here are some tips for when it is time to transition your child from a crib to a bed.
  • Separated sleep: shared room with other child. As a mom of 6, whenever our babies have transitioned out of our room, they’ve pretty much transitioned into sharing a room with a big sister. There are some special considerations to make when setting up space for siblings sharing a room together at a young age. You’ll need to check for additional safety concerns for room sharing with siblings such as checking that choking hazards haven’t been introduced to your younger child’s bed (*cough* Legos *cough*) or that the sleep space has otherwise been compromised. The same safe sleep standards for cribs apply if you’re using one and it isn’t recommended for infants to co-sleep alone with siblings. Here’s what a Montessori bed set up for twins looks like and the mom shares what she has learned along the way.

As a family we have also made some other arrangements for our sleep space safety. For our basement bedrooms, we use air purifiers (we’re in an old musty house) and during the winter when we’re running the heat, we have humidifiers running in all of our sleep spaces. Babies in particular benefit from having a humidifier running when they are sleeping (tiny nasal passages mean tiny pathways for their air!) see here for info and ideas, (but make sure you’re avoiding potential problems by caring for your humidifier correctly!) so we make sure to have a humidifier set up where our babies are sleeping.

However you and your littles ones are sleeping at night may it be safe and eventually, enough.

To read more in our newsletter and find the bonus code for The Baby Guys Box inside, VISIT HERE 

Peace,

Jessica Martin-Weber
Founder, TheLeakyBoob.com

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Newsletter: Babywearing Gone Wrong and Three Safety Tips with #TLBsafeKids

 

#TLBsafeKids and this newsletter generously sponsored by:

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Dear Leakies,

What is your biggest fear for your children’s safety? Does it keep you up at night or creep up on you when you’re relaxing? Does it make it hard to enjoy life sometimes?

I have a few. Some I don’t even want to write down here because it makes it seem more real, more possible as a threat. How do we cope with that worry?

Worrying is kind of part of the job description for parents. With all the warnings we receive about keeping our kids safe, it can be easy to be overwhelmed with all the could happen. We’re ditching fear and choosing to confidently inform and equip ourselves instead. Because our children can be in danger even when they are literally tied onto our bodies. Babywearing safety is a thing, and for good reason (check here to see if you are making these common babywearing mistakes).

For the month of September, #TLBsafeKids is a campaign (read about it here) with clek car seats, California Baby skin care, Newton crib mattresses, Catbird Baby Carriers, Crane USA humidifiers, and Rhoost home safety, to support parents in learning and implementing safety practices that don’t bog us down in worry but give us the tools to feel confident even as we’re aware of the risks around our families.

I don’t have all the answers but I have learned a few things about IMG_4122keeping children safe and not being controlled by worry. They aren’t feel good tips, in fact, they’re rather unsettling but if you can embrace them if can be incredibly freeing. My top 3 tips for protecting our children without stifling and crippling them or ourselves:

Recognize that you can’t protect them from all danger. If you think you can, you’re more likely to miss danger when it sneaks up on you. Accepting that they will be hurt, they will experience scary situations lets you put your energy into recognizing which ones pose the biggest threat and equipping them to recognize that as well. Instead of trying to eliminate all risk (which will greatly increase the risk that your children will resent you some day), aim to reduce real risk and learning how to manage lower risks concerns.

Inform yourself and be open to being educated by others. If you can’t receive safety advice or warnings from others without getting offended, you’re going to end up out of touch and out of date on the most current recommendations. That will increase your risk of making a potentially dangerous mistake. We should always be learning and just because you’ve always done it one way doesn’t mean you should keep doing it that way. So much of our safety concerns have increased because many of us feel less connected to community. Sharing together, looking out for each other, admitting our concerns and our mistakes, and passing along information can go a long way in protecting all of our families. Looking out for each other is safer. If you’re looking for a judgment-free support community talking about all aspects of safety, join the Facebook group #TLBsafeKids.

Learn to listen to your gut. I know, it sounds so vague, but being out of touch with ourselves and that sense when things are right or wrong can cause us to tune out when we should be tuning in. Teaching our children to listen to that sense can make a difference between them trusting the wrong person because they feel it is more important that they be nice, and coming you with their concern that something isn’t right. And a child who learns how to listen to that part of them that sometimes just knows will also be more confident in making friends and moving in society as they won’t see everyone as a potential threat.

The good news is we’re not in this alone. Though it is easy to judge other parents from a distance, if we come together to support each other, we can be that much stronger.

Here’s to growing daily and finding the confidence to be safe while living freely.

For more information on babywearing safety and more resources in parenting and living holistically, CLICK HERE

Peace,

Jessica Martin-Weber

Founder, TheLeakyBoob.com

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Newsletter: I Was Doing It Wrong-Size DOES Matter!

 

 

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Dear Leakies,

Size matters! See a HUGE difference! You can improve your satisfaction by 100%! See immediate results!

(Size matters unless we’re talking the bellies of women, then what matters is knowing when it’s appropriate to ask a woman if she’s pregnant. Carrie explains here.)

I know what you’re thinking… but no, I’m not talking about some little blue pill or new performance enhancing product (though you can read about exploding penises on Beyond Moi this week and more further down in the newsletter). This is way more fun than sex: we’re talking about breast pump flanges.

My definition of fun has a direct link to lactation about 90% of the time. I don’t understand why this is not normal for everyone.

(Next week we kick off a month in September talking about keeping our kids safe with #TLBsafeKids.)

Five years ago I learned that for my previous 4 babies I had been using the wrong size flanges for my breasts when I was pumping. Years of pumping that was painful all because I didn’t know I needed a different size flange! Then, when I did get the right size for me, not only did pumping NOT hurt, I got way more milk.

My mistake had cost me and my baby precious milk.

All that time I had no idea!

Whatever your reason for pumping your breastmilk, be it for your baby while you’re away from them at work, for the occasional date night, or for another baby through milk donation (if you’re a donor, this letter is for you), the right size flanges matter and can make a huge difference.

Not sure if you are using the right sizes? See this video from Shari Criso, IBCLC made available from our friends at Evenflo Feeding. And if that is helpful, be sure to check out Evenflo’s Facebook page and Shari’s Youtube channel. They’re going out of their way to support every family in reaching their feeding goals and to do so comfortably and confidently in their journey. If you’re looking for products that aid you in that journey, Evenflo may have just what you’re looking for here.

(Also, don’t miss out on this collection of pumping tips from Snugabell with The Leaky Boob family.)

Giveaway time! This is the last week of World Breastfeeding Month and while over here in TLB land we’re going “woohoo! World Breastfeeding Month! Wait… it’s always World Breastfeeding Month here…”, it is exciting to see so many voices talking about supporting women in reaching their breastfeeding goals one month of the year. Thankfully, there are those who continue supporting such efforts the other 11 months of the year. TLB has teamed up with several of those brands to bring you the WBW2015 Wrap Up Giveaway with over $2,200 in prizes. Find the secret code word entry option lower in our newsletter (you’ll have to really read closely to find it!) and spread the word because while every month is World Breastfeeding Month to us, it only captivates the world’s attention one month a year.

Happy Breastfeeding and Happiest of Pumping! Thanks to Evenflo Feeding for supporting The Leaky Boob and our community with their sponsorship. The information and community they provide as every baby’s advocate and every parents ally is invaluable. We’re grateful for their participation in our community.

I leave you with this: the funniest breastfeeding-related post on the internet this week is in the private TLB community group on Facebook. Be prepared to cry laughing when you read this.

Check out the rest of our Newsletter HERE. Not a subscriber? Click HERE and join to receive the newest advice, support and encouragement every week for EVERY stage of parenting and lifestyle.

Peace,

Jessica Martin-Weber
Founder, TheLeakyBoob.com

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