Lactation Snack Station Biscuits

by Carrie Saum

Shortcake

When I pumped exclusively for eternity 21 months, I felt hungry pretty much all the time.  Rarely would a two hour window window pass without food needing to make it’s way into my mouth.   I often forgot to grab a snack before I sat down to pump because pumping and babies/toddlers just don’t mix.  Add the lactation fog that overtakes the mommy brain, and you have a recipe for a one hangry lactating lady.

I tried to get in the routine of filling my water and grabbing a snack. But I was forgetful and typically remembered exactly 30 seconds after hooking myself up to a pump for the next lifetime 20 minutes.  After only 8 months, I realized I could do something about this particular problem.  All I had to do was think ahead for a few days at a time and put some snacks at my pump spot and in my pump bag.

But that also meant I had to actually prepare a snack.  Because as much as I love trailmix and coffee, I needed a little more sustenance.  And to be honest, I needed something to look forward to because pumping exclusively is EFFING HARD.  That’s another post, though.

I tried a few different options to get a decent ratio of carbs:protein.  I also needed every single milk booster I could get because my body wanted to quit making milk right around month eight, but my son’s unique health required me to keep going.

I started tinkering with foods that would fit the bill, and could also be stored at my Lactation Station. (Yep, I named the place where I stored my extra water, snacks, nipple cream, coconut oil, homeopathic stress relief remedy, and positive thoughts.) The snack also had to be allergen-friendly because TED was my constant companion for over a year.  It wasn’t ideal. It was pretty awful actually.  But it helped my baby begin his long healing process to severe food allergies, and I discovered I’m gluten-intolerant in the process. (Damnit.)

One of my favorite foods to munch while pumping were these tasty biscuits.  One was totally satisfying and helped me lose the pumping hanger I fell prey to all too often. They were easy to transport, share, and eat on the go.  Plus, they tasted phenomenal with some strawberries and whipped cream.  I’M JUST SAYING.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 2 cups blanched almond flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2 eggs*
  • 3/4 cup butter, cold and cubed, or melted coconut or avocado oil
  • 1 scant cup tapioca or cassava flour (wheat flour can be substituted)
  • 2 Tbsp raw honey, or other sweetener
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar (omit if using egg replacer)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

*If you want to make this egg-free, go for it!  This can also boost your milk supply. To replace two eggs, I used 2 Tbsp ground flax seeds, 3 Tbsp water, 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar.

Directions:

  1. Combine the almond flour, tapioca flour, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg in a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Add butter to the flour mixture and cut into flour until the butter is in tiny pieces. Or go easy on yourself and whisk in oil.
  3. In a small bowl, combine eggs (or egg replacement), vanilla extract, apple cider vinegar, and honey.  Whisk until fully incorporated.
  4. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir until barely combined.
  5. Spoon mixture onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and smush with your hand, or bake in lined muffin tins.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and dust with a *tiny* bit of raw cane sugar. (optional)
  8. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before eating, and cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

ShortcakeBiscuits

Pile with strawberries and whipped topping of your choice for an extra special treat.  Dip them in chocolate or your hopes and dreams.  Or you can just eat them and keep the lactation hangries at bay. Your choice.  Either way, you lactating mamas are my heroes.  Keep on pumping!

Happy Milk Making,
Carrie

*Note: It’s important to point out that most women aren’t going to need to eat food with the intention of upping their milk supply, if everything is working the way it is supposed to, your baby will know how to up your supply just fine themselves. Skin-to-skin and feeding on demand are the best ways to increase breastmilk supply to meet your baby’s needs. (Concerned you have low supply? Read this to help figure out if it is something you need to be concerned about.) For those women, galactalogues just happen and they don’t need to think about it. But some women, like me, do need a boost. As a mom who ended up exclusively pumping and indeed having low supply such that I ended up on medication solely to increase my milk production, I know what it’s like to look for anything, anything at all that would help my body make even just a little more milk to help feed my baby. With the support of my health care providers, we tried everything. It becomes “I will eat all the cookies, I will drink all the shakes, I will eat all the parfaits!” if it even just makes me feel like I’m doing something to address the low supply struggle, it is worth it.

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If you love this smoothie recipe, you might like this recipe for Paleo Chocolate Chip Granola or these Gluten-Free Strawberry Shortcake on Our Stable Table. 

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CarrieHeadshot

Carrie 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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Relief for Those Summer Itches

This time of year our kids can’t spend enough time outdoors. From hopping into their kiddie pool to playing house in Sugarbaby’s Cottage (it’s a playhouse perfect for her size), and checking on how ripe our strawberries are to helping with yard work and gardening, they are outside as often as they can. Not to mention going to our local park. And a couple of them are begging almost daily for a walk up our butte, while it still seems impossible to me that they genuinely enjoy the 20 minute climb only to wander around a grassy area (with an awesome view, mind you) – yet, they ask, all the time.

They are positively itching to go outside. And so am I.

And then they’re often itching once they are back inside.

What do you about the frustrating itches that make us want to lose our mind? Well, there’s breastmilk, of course. And there’s the recommendation to rub, or slap, the itchy spot instead of scratching. NO SCRATCHING!!! When you’re ready to pull out your hair and you’re desperately looking for a safe product to slather onto your wailing kid, you may wish you had some of Motherlove’s Green Salve on hand.

Motherlove Green Salve

The Motherlove Green Salve is all natural and versatile, and quickly and effectively takes the itch out of insect bites, bee stings, and poison ivy. It soothers and eases the discomforts of rashes, chapped and irritated skin – including insect bites and poison ivy! It has zero toxins and is made with 100% certified organic ingredients.

The Green Salve is one of Motherlove’s original products and uses the same recipe that Kathryn made in her kitchen when she started Motherlove. It’s really special to Motherlove because it’s still handmade (albeit in much much larger batches) in their facility in Colorado.

Kathryn, creator of Motherlove, making Green Salve in her kitchen.

Kathryn, creator of Motherlove, making Green Salve in her kitchen.

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Motherlove is giving away 10 Green Salves, one each for 10 Leakies!
The odds are in your favor for this giveaway!
Retail Value: $9 each

Check out user reviews of Motherlove’s Green Salve here.

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Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from July 2, 2015 through July 9, 2015.  A big thanks to Motherlove for their long-standing support of TLB and all breastfeeding women; please be sure to take a moment to thank Motherlove on their Facebook page for their show of support! You can also follow Motherlove on Twitter and Instagram: username @motherloveherb

This giveaway is open to participants in the USA.

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When Life Hands You Lemons Make Leaky Lactation Lemonade

by Carrie Saum

Life handed me a truck full of lemons a couple of years ago when my son was born. Stroke, seizures, feeding issues, severe food allergies…the list goes on. It seemed we had challenges galore.

For the last two summers, anytime the mercury rose above 85 degrees, I started feeling like I wanted to crawl out of my skin. I attributed much of that to post partum hormones and unusually hot weather, but the other part was breastfeeding and pumping. Those activities exacerbated the feelings of feeling hot and bothered and honestly, a little rage-y. Hooking up to a pump several times a day and trying to work on breastfeeding with my infant who had special needs with the heat zapping me just wasn’t working

I had to work hard to keep my supply up and not lose my mind. I looked for as many ways to cool down as possible without affecting my supply. I don’t love the heat to begin with, and when it’s close to 100 degrees, my feelings actually get hurt. Why does it have to be so hot? Why does it affect me so badly? How can I take the weather so personally when it isn’t personal even a little bit at all?

{Clearly, living in a cooler climate is better for me. Rain and 75 degree summer days rarely hurt my feelings.}

With all of these lemons, there was only one solution to my needs:

Lemonade.

Lactation lemonade, to be exact.

Lactation Lemonade

I really don’t love tea. I drink tea. I enjoy it about once a month as a soothing, calming, self-care activity. But during the summer heat, hot tea seemed unbearable. So, I took all those lemons and made lemonade and used cold milk-boosting tea instead of water. Once I mixed up a big batch of it, I was able to easily grab a glass a few times a day. I put it in my water bottle and took it with us when we ran errands. A handful of roasted sunflower seeds and a glass of lemonade was the perfect snack to keep me cool and well fuelled while running errands, working, or just doing the day-to-day duties that seem to pile up when you have small babies.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 cups brewed mother’s milk tea, cooled
  • sweetener of your choice to taste (I prefer 1 teaspoon of powdered stevia to cut down on sugar, but you can choose conventional sugar, honey added to the tea when it is hot to help it dissolve, or a blend.)

Directions:

  1. In a large pitcher, combine water and tea then stir.
  2. Add sweetner slowly, stirring and tasting often. Sweeten to taste.
  3. If the lemonade is too strong, you can add a little bit of water.
  4. Refrigerate for up to one week.

I hope this summer doesn’t make me cry. But if it does, at least I’ll have some refreshing lemonade to make it better.

Loving that Lemonade,

Carrie

*Note: It’s important to point out that most women aren’t going to need to eat food with the intention of upping their milk supply, if everything is working the way it is supposed to, your baby will know how to up your supply just fine themselves. Skin-to-skin and feeding on demand are the best ways to increase breastmilk supply to meet your baby’s needs. (Concerned you have low supply? Read this to help figure out if it is something you need to be concerned about.) For those women, galactalogues just happen and they don’t need to think about it. But some women, like me, do need a boost. As a mom who ended up exclusively pumping and indeed having low supply such that I ended up on medication solely to increase my milk production, I know what it’s like to look for anything, anything at all that would help my body make even just a little more milk to help feed my baby. With the support of my health care providers, we tried everything. It becomes “I will eat all the cookies, I will drink all the shakes, I will eat all the parfaits!” if it even just makes me feel like I’m doing something to address the low supply struggle, it is worth it.

If you like this recipe, check out this recipe for homemade Almond Joy Bars or Creamy Avocado Zoodles over on our sister site, 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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Nine Naturals Beautiful Giveaway

Nine Naturals group

Nine Naturals just became a sponsor of The Leaky Boob, and to help celebrate we’re offering you this beautiful giveaway opportunity.  Why “beautiful” you may ask?  Because Nine Naturals is all about offering beauty products that are safe for moms – especially expectant mothers.  Natural, organic, simple, smart, and safe: these are the qualities that go into each of their beauty products.  After using them ourselves, we agree!  Luxuriously simple and a list of wholesome ingredients so expertly combined, not only did we feel pampered in our quick shower, we felt safe knowing there was nothing we were putting on our bodies that could harm us or our children. We’ve invited Grace, co-founder and CEO of Nine Naturals, to tell us a little more about their company and products:

Grace Lee_headshot

Grace Lee, Co-Founder and CEO of Nine Naturals

TLB: What was the inspiration that led to the birth of Nine Naturals?

Grace: We were inspired (and continue to be inspired!) by pregnant and breastfeeding women who are choosing safer beauty routines for themselves and their babies.

It’s not easy! When my friends and I were looking for safe beauty products to use during pregnancy, we kept running into two problems –1) most products that claimed to be natural still contained harmful ingredients and 2) many natural products simply didn’t perform well! The shampoos didn’t lather well or the body products didn’t do much for their skin.

When I started developing Nine Naturals products, I focused on using natural, pure ingredients safe for pregnancy while maintaining a high standard for beauty and performance.

 

TLB: Were you surprised by any of the research you discovered when developing your products?

Grace: Yes! I was shocked to learn how prevalent certain toxins are in beauty products, despite research that links these chemicals to negative health effects – particularly on babies.

Have you ever read the ingredient labels of the products you use? The average woman uses 12 beauty products a day –a routine that exposes her to as many about 168 different ingredients! Some of these ingredients, like parabens and phthalates, are toxic and can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Many synthetic chemicals have been associated with diseases and health problems like cancer, endocrine disruption and behavioral disorders.

With pregnancy being the stage when babies are most vulnerable to environmental toxin exposure, it is imperative that we act on the mounting research. Unfortunately, given the prevalence of toxins in commercial products, the onus is on us parents to minimize our babies’ prenatal exposure.

 

TLB: What are the values that go into the products you make?

Grace: We believe that pregnancy and breastfeeding are periods in a woman’s life when she should feel peaceful and safe but also a time she can indulge and feel amazing about herself. We believe that every pregnant and breastfeeding woman deserves to feel pampered.

We believe in the inherent quality and effectiveness of natural ingredients. We believe in handpicking all of our ingredients; diligent research and scrupulous sourcing are critical parts of product development, from ideation to formulation to production.

 

TLB: What is your favorite breastfeeding tip?

Grace: Don’t be afraid to get help. Breastfeeding can be difficult in the beginning. Hire a lactation consultant to come to your house or look for a local meeting of La Leche League to get help from a lactation expert. No woman should feel alone in their breastfeeding journey. That’s why I love the Leaky Boob!

NN_Partnership Logos_030313-01

TLB: If a parent is concerned, what can they do to limit exposure without having to drastically change their lifestyle?

Grace: Synthetic chemicals are found in the everyday products we use in our homes, on our bodies and on our children. Water bottles, beauty products, soap, toothpaste –we are literally inundated.

Limiting exposure might feel overwhelming, but small, simple changes make a difference. Start by switching out the products you use most frequently. Imagine if you substituted the shampoo you use everyday for a toxin-free alternative. With no major effort, expense or sacrifice, you’ve just eliminated one regular source of exposure.

We created Nine Naturals to facilitate these simple, high-impact changes. Our products were developed to be natural, safe replacements for the products you use everyday, and designed with performance as well as purity in mind. All of our formulations are 100% plant-based. We never, ever use sulfates, phthalates, parabens, petrochemicals, BPA, triclosan, DEA, synthetic fragrance or artificial preservatives.

 

TLB : What specific steps would you suggest moms take to reduce toxin exposures?

Grace: First and foremost, make sure your personal care products are safe and natural. Switch out your products that contain harmful chemicals to products that do not.

Do a sweep of your existing personal care products. Read all of the labels and verify that those products that claim to be natural actually are natural! If you don’t understand the label, that’s a good sign that there might be some chemicals in that product you want to avoid. The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) features great, safe alternatives in their Skin Deep Cosmetics Guide.

Avoid salons that are not well-ventilated! At the salon, avoid chemical-heavy hair processes, especially at the roots. At the spa, opt for treatments that use natural and organic products. For manicures, look for polish that is “three-free”, meaning free of dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde and toluene. And last but not lease, use Nine Naturals!

You should also be changing other areas of your life! Nearly all of our tips about detoxifying your beauty care routine apply to your cleaning products! Use glass where possible; avoid plastics, which often contain Bisphenol-A (BPA) and phthalates, industrial compounds linked with breast cancer and infertility. Eat organic and fresh! And, finally, open a window! Improving ventilation and air circulation will help deter unwanted particles from settling in your furniture, clothes and the rest of your home.

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This Nine Naturals Beautiful Giveaway is offering a Grand Prize and 5 Runner-Up Prizes for a total of 6 lucky Leakies!

Grand Prize: Complete Nine Naturals Product Line! ($285 in value)

5 Runners Up will Get a Nine Naturals Repairing Body Balm! ($15 value!)

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Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from November 7, 2014 through November 14, 2014.  A big thanks to Grace and Nine Naturals for their 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 restricted to U.S. and Canadian residents only.

The Leaky Boob + Nine Naturals

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Motherlove Giveaway: Organic or non-GMO?

Motherlove is dedicated to providing the healthiest products to the world, their standard of quality being such that only the purest ingredients are acceptable in their formulations.  What does this mean?  How is this achieved?

By using only USDA Certified Organic ingredients, and wild crafted herbs when those aren’t available.  Sounds pretty earthy, doesn’t it?  And this means that Motherlove products possess the richness of dirt itself (dirt from the wild in a place like Colorado, not the dirt in your urban backyard).

You may be wondering if this means that their ingredients are also non GMO (Generically Modified Organisms).  The answer is simple: according to the USDA definition of “organic,” if the product is USDA Certified Organic, it is non GMO, by definition (more details from USDA here).  A product cannot bear the label “USDA Certified Organic” if it is GMO or has been in contact with GMOs or has anyone in their family tree with a history of GMOs; and all this, from seed to full-grown plant, to the grocery store, and to your kitchen (or at least check-out at the store).  And since Motherlove only uses USDA Certified Organic ingredients or wild crafted herbs (which means that they are organic, but so wild that they don’t bear the rubber-stamp of certification), then all of Motherlove’s products are non-GMO (to read more about this, click here).

Here is a simple way to visualize it:

USDA Certified Organic = non-GMO (absolutely)
non-organic = could contain GMO

Just how wholesome are Motherlove products?  Here is a list of NOs:

NO GMOs
NO synthetic ingredients
NO artificial ingredients
NO toxins

And when you think of applying something to your skin, isn’t that the way it should be?

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Motherlove is giving away a Pregnant Belly Salve to 3 lucky Leakies.  

Pregnant or not, this salve is good for your skin, especially in this season of dry skin.  

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Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from October 23, 2014 through October 30, 2014.  A big thanks to Motherlove 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 restricted to U.S. residents only.

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Natulo Giveaway

So many businesses get started from an idea based on a need, whether it be a lack of availability, a completely new product, or improving on something that’s already out there.  Natulo is no different.  Created by work-at-home-mom Katrin, Natulo is still a very small business, but Katrin believes her products can benefit moms and little ones everywhere, especially when they need relief from everyday ouchies. Get to know Kartin and Natulo in the following interview, and then enter their Dr. Seuss-inspired giveaway!

Katrin's pic

TLB:  What would you like TLB readers to know about Natulo?

Katrin:  Natulo was inspired after my daughter was born. One of those sleepless teething nights inspired me to create our Natulo IceTeethers. Initially we started off with the plastic teethers in the freezer. But as I grew crunchier, with time, and started traveling more, we needed something which stayed cold longer and was not made of plastic. After the birth of my son, I created the OuchEase bags. With nursing challenges and an active toddler, we had our share of ouchies which needed warmth and cooling. Everyday life inspired our products which we use on a regular basis at our house.

TLB:  What is the inspiration behind your name? 

Katrin:  Ha, we spent one afternoon looking for a name which sounded natural. A pound of Nature, some Nautical and a pinch of “natural.”  As a little SAHM startup I wanted to have a website and Natulo was still available, so, my little home business had a name.

TLB:  What would you say are some of Natulo’s key values in making products for mommies and babies?

Katrin:  The products we create need to be non plastic, natural and/or organic, easy to use and  practical; solve an everyday problem for mommies and/or babies.

TLB:  Could you tell us a bit more about the OuchEase bags?

Katrin:  The OuchEase bags are made from organic cotton fabric with fun prints, mostly Dr. Seuss themed. Inside the bags is organic jasmin rice. These bags can be put in the freezer (we always have one frozen), but they can also be heated up in either the Microwave or the oven. The rice will hold the temperature, weather cold or warm, so that the bag then can be applied to whatever ouchy there might be, from Mommy’s engorged Boob to little one’s bee sting or twisted ankle or bumped head. And believe me, the fun prints make all the difference to get the kiddos thinking about something other than how much they are hurting.

TLB:  What is your favorite breastfeeding tip?

Katrin:  Stick with it! With my first, nursing came natural and easy – with my second the first two months were very hard with lots of tears. I’m happy I remembered the time nursing with my first and I knew I would just stick with it, we (baby and I) would work together and  find our way ..which we finally did.:)

natulo logo

Natulo is giving away one OuchEase bag to two lucky Leakies.
(winner’s choice of print)

OuchEase Bag: 100% colorful organic Dr. Seuss Cotton – filled with organic rice – your choice of the Dr. Seuss theme (make sure to comment which one you’d like to win) – Retail Value: $25.00

Natulo - OuchEase - The LoraxNatulo - OuchEase - Lorax Flowers

Currently Leakies can find these and other practical mommy and baby items on the Natulo website www.natulo.com.

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Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from June, 10th, 2014 through June 17th, 2014.  A big thanks to Katrin and Natulo this show of support to our breastfeeding community; please be sure to visit their Facebook page and thank them for this giveaway opportunity.

This giveaway is restricted to U.S. residents only.

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Earth Mama Angel Baby Sudsy Giveaway

You may know Earth Mama Angel Baby as a company dedicated to producing natural, organic, zero toxin products for mama and baby, such as their Milkmaid Tea, or Nipple Butter, but you may not be aware that they also offer a variety of soaps made with the same standards.  In the following interview, Melinda, creator of Earth Mama Angel Baby, offers TLB readers a mini lesson about the difference between soaps and detergents, and a chance to enter a soapy giveaway.

 

Melinda

TLB:  So far, you’ve presented The Leaky Boob community with your breastfeeding related and baby health/pampering products, which we happen to love.  For this giveaway, you are interested in focusing on your line of soaps.  What prompted you to start making soaps?

Melinda:  I have always made herb-infused soap for myself, and to me it remains the simplest, purest way to clean your body. It seemed like a logical step for Earth Mama to give people pure, safe options so they don’t have to use toxin-laced detergents on fragile baby skin, or on their pregnant bodies, or for anyone in the family!

TLB:  Okay, you are obviously very knowledgeable when it comes to the sudsy stuff!  How about if we have a mini lesson about soap and detergents? To start us off, what’s the difference between soap and detergent? Aren’t they basically the same thing?

Melinda:  What a great question! Nope, they aren’t the same! True soap is very simple stuff, and very simply made. Soap is the end product of blending pure fats or oils (acids) with an alkaline base (like potassium or sodium hydroxide) solution. Allow this acid/base solution to sit and stew while the acids and bases neutralize each other. The oils are saponified, the scary-sounding stuff no longer exists, and you are left with a balanced, naturally sudsy soap, with a natural pH high enough that it doesn’t require the addition of synthetic surfactants or preservatives.

TLB:  OK, so what is detergent?

Melinda:  Detergents were originally manufactured to be effective cleaners for clothes, dishes and countertops. They are synthetic blends of surfactants (surface acting agents) intended to reduce the surface tension of water to penetrate and strip away the grease from your pork chops and leave your dishes sparkling clean. They cut through the mud on the knees of your kid’s jeans and wash it away in the laundry. Because they are a liquid, that means they also require an emulsifier to keep the ingredients evenly blended, and preservatives to keep them from going bad. Detergents also often contain artificial fragrances to keep your clothes and countertops smelling “clean and fresh.” And in order for it to kill germs they need to add an antibacterial pesticide like Triclosan. As you can see, detergents can be a very toxic stew!

TLB:  Does soap have any of that stuff?

Melinda:  Nope, true soaps require none of these additives. True soap is naturally foamy so it doesn’t need an added surfactant. It is naturally preserved, so it needs no added emulsifiers or preservatives. It kills germs naturally, so it doesn’t need an antimicrobial pesticide. Especially if you get a castile soap made from organic oils, true soap is one of the safest, purest, most economical and versatile cleaners out there. You can use it for safe household cleaning and for your kids too!

TLB:  So how did detergents get into my soap?

Melinda:  Detergents started being used in some personal care products, like shampoos and body washes, because the blend of synthetic chemicals is a less costly way to achieve lathering and cleaning/stripping properties. But we don’t want any of those other dubious side “benefits” that come along for the ride in our baby’s tub! So we manufacture pure, organic, liquid castile soap. If you really add it up, a pure, organic castile soap gives you a lot of safe, worry-free cleaning in a little squirt.

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Earth Mama Angel Baby is giving away one Castile Soap Bundle to 3 lucky Leakies.  
Winners’ choice of flavor: Angel Baby, Calming Lavender, Happy Mama, Non-scents.
Retail Value: $43.88

calming-lavender-bundle_3natural-non-scents-bundle_2

Currently Leakies can find safe, pure castile soap and other organic skincare items on the Earth Mama Angel Baby website

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Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from July 17, 2013 through July 23, 2013.  A big thanks to Earth Mama Angel Baby 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 Earth Mama Angel Baby on Pinterest and Instagram.

This giveaway is restricted to U.S. residents only.

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A Crunchy Mama Giveaway

Ashley and Katie are stay at home Moms in a small town just outside of Salem, Oregon.  Together they started a little business making organic beauty and wellness products they call, Crunchy Mamas.  They produce cleverly named products such as Menth Head, Smelly Face, Nipstick, and Achy Breaky.  Their mission is to provide you with chemical free alternatives to commercial products.  They avoid everything artificial:  NO dyes, NO GMO’s, NO fragrances, and NO preservatives.  Their love for all things organic is what excited them about the opportunity to sponsor TLB.  After all, what is more natural than leaky boobs?

 Read on to get to know the goofy ladies behind Crunchy Mamas and enter to win one of four awesome prizes!

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TLB:  What should TLB readers know about Crunchy Mamas?

Katie:  Crunchy Mamas was born one year ago to two stay at home Moms that prefer a more natural and simple approach to life.  This business started out with a batch of 50 lip balms and now it has expanded beyond our expectations.  We hope that we can help raise awareness about the dangers of commercial products and help people feel confident about the products they are using for their families.  But please know, we aren’t perfect.  We have been known to drink Diet Pepsi and eat Little Caesar’s while making batches of Crusty Foot!

TLB:  How did this venture into handmade organic products start?

Katie:  Having kids changed everything.  Not only was I responsible for myself, but I was in charge of two little humans and they depended on me to make the best choices possible on their behalf.  I began learning about dangerous chemicals in various commercial household products and that really fired me up.  I promptly packed up my baby shampoos, deodorants, toothpastes, and household cleaners and tossed them in the trash.  This led to me researching essential oils and various recipes for homemade goods.  It is very empowering to know exactly what the ingredients are that I’m using on my babies and why they are beneficial.  You can get to know us better by reading our blog post on our mission to be Crunchy.

TLB:  What is it like, working together with your sister-in-law?

Ashley:  Let’s be honest, I feel like a fraud calling it “work.”  Katie is one of my best friends and I have so much fun getting to do this with her.  We both have different weaknesses that are made up for by our different strengths.  I’m in the running for the most impatient person on the planet, where Katie could sit contently and watch paint dry.  This adventure is enjoyable because we are getting to do it together.

TLB:  How do you balance work and family life?

Ashley:  Most importantly, I try not to separate my family from my work.  My kids play a big role in Crunchy Mamas.  They help me label products (this explains why you may receive a bottle of hand sanitizer with the label upside down), pack up boxes, and keep me company when we sell our products at our local farmers market.  I love that they are getting to see how much hard work and care goes into operating a small business.  Also, my husband helps with whatever he can.  In fact, he and Katie’s husband are appropriately referred to as the “Crunchy MAN-mas.”  We couldn’t do it without their tremendous amount of support!

TLB:  What is your favorite breastfeeding tip?

Ashley:  Oh boy, how do I pick just one?  Breastfeeding was very difficult for me in the beginning, so I’d like to target all the newbies with this tidbit of advice.  DON’T GIVE UP!  No one ever told me that breastfeeding could be painful, uncomfortable, and bloody.  I had a 9 pound baby with a really strong sucker.  I tell ya, that kid could have sucked a nail right out of a wall.  (It was this experience that prompted me to start making Nipstick.)  Fortunately, in the moment, I had cheerleaders around me encouraging me not to give up.  They assured me it would get better and it did.  If you’re new to nursing and are on the verge of reaching for that bottle, please don’t give up and seek a strong support system if you don’t already have one.

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Ashley and Katie are giving away four different prizes to four lucky Leakies.  The prizes are:

1.  An expecting Mamas gift set.  One tube of our pregnant belly relief – About to Pop.  A tube of our Baby Butt Balm.  Lastly, a tube of our fabulous nursing nipple relief – Nipstick.  Retail Value:  $25

2.  One of each of our amazing Lip Balms.  Flavors included are: Naked, Grapefruit, Honey lemon, Sweet Orange, Lime, and Mint.  Retail Value:  $18

3.  A bottle of our all in one facial moisturizer – Smelly Face.  Retail Value:  $19

4.  A collection of products perfectly suited for your all-natural first aid kit.  One tube of our cuts and scrapes healer –  Scab Stick.  A tube of our all natural vapor rub – Menth Head.  Finally, a bottle of our Lavender-Lemon Hand Sanitizer.  Retail Value:  $15

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Currently Leakies can find these and other all-natural wellness products on the Crunchy Mamas website, www.crunchymamasgoods.com.

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Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from April 29, 2013 through May 6, 2013.  A big thanks to Ashley and Katie and Crunchy Mamas 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 restricted to U.S. residents only.

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Earth Mama Angel Baby Giveaway

Started by Melinda, a mother who believes in the natural healing power of herbs, Earth Mama Angel Baby offers organic products for expectant and new mothers, and their babies.  Their dedication to supporting mothers and babies makes them such an easy fit with The Leaky Boob.  Read below as Melinda shares more about Earth Mama Angel Baby and some of her own experience as a new mother. And then enter for your chance to win a Breastfeeding Essentials Bundle!

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TLB:  What should readers know about Earth Mama Angel Baby and the values you hold to for your company?

Melinda:  The one most important thing I’d love people to really understand is this: these products were formulated for pregnant women to use. If it’s going ON and IN a pregnant woman, it is literally being given to her unborn baby. The herbs used in Earth Mama products have stood the test of generations, and have been historically, safely used on the most fragile population on the planet. If it’s truly safe enough for a pregnant woman, it’s safe. But how do you know what’s safe?

We love mamas with lots of questions, because we have them too. What makes a product truly organic? Why do some companies use questionable ingredients but still use the word organic? What’s all that information on the label, and is it important? We think it is, and we think mamas have a right to know what they are putting on their babies. We don’t think that’s too much to ask, so we are happy to tell them!

TLB: Do you think parents really care about reading labels and knowing what organic really means?

Melinda: The reason we do this is because it’s safer. And safer is better. I couldn’t do it any other way, because I need to sleep at night knowing I’ve done my best to keep mamas and babies safe. One of our missions is education. People know to do better once they know that there is better to do. And we think that once mamas know about what’s really safe, they start to see how difficult it can be as a consumer to know what you are really putting on your baby. Mamas shouldn’t have to be chemists to know if something is safe. If something is safe it should say on the label. Sadly, there are a lot of words – like safe, natural, honest, organic – that are used on product labels that are anything but.

TLB:  What was the inspiration behind the name Earth Mama Angel Baby?

Melinda: It’s about using traditional plant medicine for our most precious populations: pregnant mamas and brand new babies. Our tag line is “Gifts from the earth, for your gift from heaven” and that’s not just cute, it’s true.

TLB: What is your role in Earth Mama Angel Baby and what do you enjoy most about it?

Melinda: Earth Mama Angel Baby was born in my garage, after I spent an intensive period studying herbs and plant medicine. I knew instinctively that the herbs that are abundant on this earth are here to heal and nurture, safely, and I wanted to pass that on to people. Women especially, because women go through pregnancy with a lot of thought for their growing baby, but with not as much thought for their stretching, itchy skin, bottom problems and tummy troubles. I enjoy helping mamas who are feeling so exhausted or discouraged from the normal discomforts of pregnancy. Or hearing that Angel Baby Bottom Balm soothed a particularly terrible diaper rash. I love getting feedback from mamas, whether they are needing help or saying thanks, it’s a joy to connect with them. And the baby pictures are great too!

TLB:  We all know that all that’s really essential to breastfeeding are a pair of lactating breasts and a hungry baby, but aside from those basics, what did you find invaluable in your breastfeeding journey?

Melinda: On day two after my first child was born I was home alone. I didn’t have support or models of breastfeeding, but I also didn’t have any expectations of problems. I didn’t know there could be problems, so any difficulty that came up I just figured out! Although I think the resources mamas have now are invaluable, with breastfeeding support and lactation consultants and sites like The Leaky Boob, there was something important for me in just sticking it out because I had to. I think I’d say to breastfeeding mamas, when you’re going to dig a trench you’re gonna get blisters, but by the time you’ve dug 5 trenches you’ll have some calluses and you’ll know that holding the spade a certain way works better for you than another way. By the time you’ve dug 10 you won’t even think about any of that. There’s a break-in period for breastfeeding, and it comes from sticking it out. In the end there is an amazing reward, not just the best nutrition for your baby, and the bond you’ll have for life, but the knowledge that you did this amazing, miraculous thing. It’s like boot camp, you asked your body to do something difficult, and it responded with exhaustion and confusion and then showing you that it was capable of doing it.

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Earth Mama Angel Baby is giving away 3 Breastfeeding Essentials Bundle to 3 lucky Leakies! 

The Breastfeeding Essentials Bundle has a retail value of $44.09 and its purpose is to offer soothing comfort to nourish a new mama’s breasts, so she can nourish her angel baby, naturally.

It includes all-natural necessities for every breastfeeding mama. Organic Milkmaid Tea is a USDA Certified 100% Organic nursing tea that helps support healthy breast milk production. Lanolin-free Natural Nipple Butter (2 fl. Oz.) is a naturally safe nipple cream that helps soothe and prevent sore, cracked nipples. Booby Tubes® are gel-free breast packs to use warm or cold to ease breasts sore from engorgement or mastitis. Safe and natural, with no toxins ever.

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Currently Leakies can find these and other wonderful organic products at www.earthmamaangelbaby.com

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Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from March 21, 2013 through March 27, 2013.  A big thanks to Melinda and Earth Mama Angel Baby for their ongoing support of TLB and all breastfeeding women; please be sure to visit their Facebook page and Twitter (@earthmamahq) and thank them for their support of TLB and this giveaway opportunity.

This giveaway open to U.S. entries only. 

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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.

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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.

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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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