Nurturing Life Giveaway – After Birth

Nurturing Life

These two words define and drive everything that Motherlove does, from their organic farm in Colorado, to their herbal care products, the educational classes taught by founder Kathryn Higgins, to the Nurturing Life Foundation, Motherlove’s non-profit which supports mothers and children all over the country.  So it’s no surprise that Motherlove has had such a beautiful, long-standing relationship with The Leaky Boob, extending their support of mothers and children to our Leakies and their breastfeeding journey with their babies.  The Motherlove website sums it up well:

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 11.06.13 AMWhat is Nurturing Life?
It is fostering an environment where development, growth, and health are encouraged, and doing so in each facet of our life, including each stage.  True beauty can emerge in your life and others’ as you nurture life in yourself, your friendships, romantic relationship, through pregnancy, birth, in your relationship with your children, and more, and yes, even your garden.

“At Motherlove, we use Nurturing Life as our mission statement because nurturing moms and babies together is essential for both to thrive.  During pregnancy, moms are reminded minute-by-minute of this relationship and we typically focus on our health and wellbeing because it’s tied to our child’s life.” (Nurturing Life – Self Care for Mothersby Motherlove Herbal Company)

Last week we focused on the stage of life that creates new mothers: pregnancy.  Ushering new life into the world is such a beautiful thing, but is often accompanied by challenges and changes.  With the many changes and new sensations that new mothers experience, it can be such a natural time for her to focus on her health and well-being.  But what happens once the baby is born?

It is so easy to think that, other than adjusting to caring for a new person in the family, everything else immediately returns to normal.  But that is often not the reality of new mothers.  The parts of their body involved in growing a baby do shift back toward the way they were, but some of them will remain forever altered.  Others require a little patience and eventually some hard work, such as toning ab muscles to tighten the postpartum abdominal gap.  But a new mother’s body isn’t done changing either: now that one set of hormones is subsiding, another floods her body as she produces milk to feed her new baby.  We often treat birth as the end of the journey, where changes end and all is back to normal.  But this far from the experience of most women.

Moreover, beyond stretch marks, curvier hips, extra baby weight, and lactating, there are other completely natural and normal challenges that new moms face.  But very few like to talk about them, and so many moms don’t have the support that they need to welcome and experience the postpartum changes as they come.  Instead, they are rushed back to work and/or housework, and they feel the unrealistic expectation that they just be “ok” because their beautiful new baby is there.

Postpartum depression doesn’t just go away because there is a new baby.  Traumatic birth experiences aren’t healed by adorable baby sounds.  Hemorrhoids don’t just disappear because a bundle of cuteness has been born.  These and many more issues are considered too embarrassing or shameful to discuss, and many new mothers feel that they don’t have permission to take the time to find help.  They must bounce back immediately, and so they hide their real struggles and end up struggling with self-loathing and depression much longer than necessary, if they ever recover at all.  Silence is no healer.  Stuffing feelings down and clamping a lid on them only serves to incubate them and grow them into much more serious issues.

Let’s talk about the empty womb, the sense of emptiness inside, the fears we have, the struggle to fall in love with our babies, the dislike of our bodies, the anger, the horrors of the birth experience, the dark thoughts, the painful hemorrhoids, along with the rest.  These are the realities of postpartum, just as much as baby cuteness, breastfeeding, dirty diapers, and sleepless nights.  You are not alone in dealing with these things.  Look for understanding and information from those around you, from trusted online resources, and if you just can’t find the support and information you need in those places, get in touch with a professional who can.

And partners, friends, family members, neighbors, and co-workers who think new mothers should just get over whatever is bothering them, they are the ones who need to get over themselves and provide helpful support for the new mother.  Nurture her so that she can feel free to nurture herself.  Self-care is deeply impacted by those around us, either for better, or for worse.  As a new mother adjusts to caring for another little person and her body heals from giving birth and keeps changing in the postpartum, how can we show her the kind of support that allows her to nurture life within herself so she can share that nurturing life with her baby and beyond from a place of health and well-being?

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Motherlove is giving away a Sitz Bath and Rhoids Balm to 3 lucky Leakies.


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Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from August 1, 2014 through August 8, 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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TLB Reviews: Push Pack

Let’s talk about packing your bag for your birth center or hospital birth. (And hey, even if you’re birthing at home…it’s a good idea to have a bag packed just in case!)

The Goods: Princess Push Pack by Push Pack, $78.95, in Tulip and Magnolia Pink

The Reviewers: Elise and Amy

The Good: 

Elise says… I had a breech position baby so I headed into the hospital for a planned c-section. I was a little nervous as I had never had surgery before. Having the Push Pack helped to make my journey feel like a fun adventure. It was comforting to know I had a package of everything I could possibly need. I packed some of my own things too, but it is nice to have some extras! I did not know how long I would be in the hospital and it was a great comfort to have the pack with me. Two months later I am still using items from the pack. My favorite items by far are the breast pads. I have tried many different kinds of breast pads both disposable and cloth and the cloth pads included in the pack are definitely my favorite.  I was impressed that the included items were all natural including Tom’s of Maine toothpaste and lanolin free nipple cream. I would definitely recommend getting this for someone as a gift. I know that people love to give baby clothes at baby showers, but it is so much nicer when someone gives you something fun and useful like this pack.

Elise received the Princess Push pack in Tulip.

Elise received the Princess Push pack in Tulip.

Amy says… I had a planned home water birth, so I’m writing from a slightly different perspective. This time around (my second birth) I did not want a repeat of my hospital birth. I didn’t want anything to do with packing any “emergency” or “just in case” bag. From that point of view, I love that this is a ready-to-go bag that’s all done for you (in a pretty case, to boot!). If something hit the fan, this pretty little case included everything I needed. Basically, it didn’t mess with my psyche AND I was still prepared. BOOM.
The bag it comes in is extremely high-quality and pretty (I’d expect it to retail for over $40, actually), I’ll get years of use out of it. (There’s a less expensive version that comes in a different bag that isn’t premium like the one we’re reviewing, too!)
The products are very consciously-chosen: organic, natural, good-for-your-body-and-the-earth stuff. That made the bag even more of a no-brainer for me. I didn’t need to think about packing stuff and this came with product selections that I would have chosen for myself. I can’t honestly think of what I would add, other than my own clothes, baby clothes, and my camera (and they actually include a tag on the bag with a suggested list of what to pack in addition to the Push Pack, which would be really helpful).  You really don’t need much more than what’s in this bag!
Here are some pictures of the goodies that came in the Push Pack:
Really pretty, right? It's an extremely high quality bag!

Really pretty, right? It’s an extremely high quality bag!

push pack personal care

Everything you need to be fresh & clean! If you walk out the door with only this, you’re covered.

Mama care: pads, disposable underwear (there were 3 in the pack, 2 are shown), Earth Mama Angel Baby's Mama Bottom Balm, Motherlove nipple cream, and breast pads. You're literally taken care of from top to bottom.

Mama care: pads, disposable underwear (there were 3 in the pack, 2 are shown), Earth Mama Angel Baby’s Mama Bottom Balm, Motherlove nipple cream, and breast pads. You’re literally taken care of from top to bottom.

The inclusion of a notepad, pen, and thank-you notes? I think that's brilliant. So helpful.

The inclusion of a notepad, pen, and thank-you notes? I think that’s brilliant. So helpful.

The pack of playing cards is great! It's very possible you're going to have to pass some time, so they might come in handy.  There were more snacks, but, uh...pregnancy. I ate them before photos were taken. ::hangs head in shame::

The pack of playing cards is great! It’s very possible you’re going to have to pass some time, so they might come in handy.
There were more snacks, but, uh…pregnancy. I ate them before photos were taken. ::hangs head in shame::

I was reaching for the nipple cream and breast pads within hours of birthing my son at home, so this isn’t a product that needs to be exclusive to moms birthing at hospitals or birth centers. I’ve found most everything to be useful and this was great to have at home for my peace of mind, should a transfer have been necessary. Price-wise, I think you’d come pretty close to what this costs if you tried to DIY it. Once you add in the convenience of someone else thinking through what goes in it and packing it, I’d buy one if I were birthing again. I also think this would make a fantastic gift for any mama-to-be!

 

The Bad:

Elise says… Honestly I did not end up using anything in the pack while I was in the hospital. To my surprise my c-section went amazingly smooth and I was only in the hospital for 2 nights. The hospital was great in providing everything I needed for those two nights. However when I got home I found myself going back to the bag over and over again to get needed items. When I ran out of those ugly disposable underwear that are oh so necessary I found an extra pair in the pack. When I ran out of pads I had extra in the pack. When I ran out of shower gel and nipple balm, there were some in the pack. So while it was merely a comfort to know I had it in the hospital it really became useful during my postpartum recovery at home.

Amy says…  It comes with a packet instant oatmeal that says it helps promote milk production, and it’s my understanding that you need old-fashioned rolled oats if you’re aiming for a galactagogue effect. (Though hey, it’s just nice to have an option that isn’t hospital food, I guess! And it comes with a spoon, which is really thoughtful.)

 

The Ugly: 

Elise says…  I ran out of thank you notes and I was hopeful I could use the ones in the pack, but they were too small to fit my standard size birth announcement. I am not a gum chewer or candy eater so while the lollipop and gum were fun ideas they were not useful to me (but probably great for others!).

Amy says… The razor that comes in it is probably not one I’d use (single blade, disposable, I’d probably cut myself). Same goes for the undies; even though they’re individually wrapped and labeled as disposable, they weren’t going to be comfy enough for me to wear. (Though admittedly, I’m very particular.)

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We’re super excited to be giving away a $40 gift code to one lucky Leaky to help them select their own Push Pack.  This giveaway is open to US mailing addresses only.  Good luck!

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Love Beyond Moi TLB Giveaway

Presenting:

The Leaky Boob‘s

Valentine’s Day Giveaway:

“For the Love of… Love!”

 

Valentine’s Day may be our favorite commercial holiday.  Underneath the shiny red packaging, the chocolates, the flowers, and the expectations, it’s a celebration of Love.  And not just romantic love, important as that is.  On Valentine’s Day, we celebrate the love we have for our children and for our friends too, and the love our children have for each other and for us, and of course, our love of Love!

Once you become a parent you really understand love beyond yourself and beyond what you get out of it.  In the first year, breastfeeding often plays a vital role in developing that parent/child bond of love.  Moving first beyond yourself, and beyond your partner, taking them with you to new experiences together, beyond the known, and way beyond breastfeeding, where do you find information and support beyond TLB?  Jessica and I explore the challenges beyond breastfeeding on our other website: beyondmoi.com and to celebrate this Valentine’s Day we are bringing TLB and BeyondMoi together for the first time.  In honor of this event and our involvement in MommyCon (see below), we have each written an article about sex after baby, one on each website.  Jessica’s is here, and Jeremy’s (The Piano Man) is here.

This Valentine’s Day, we thought we would spread the love to The Leaky Boob community by facilitating a huge giveaway to demonstrate the love and appreciation we have for our sponsors and our followers.  The Leaky Boob community continues to be a place where breastfeeding support and encouragement can be offered for free, and where the normalization of breastfeeding feels like a real possibility through the sharing of information, experiences and the growing network we are all helping to create.  Perhaps this giveaway would be more aptly named: “For the Love of… Breastfeeding!”  But we know that breastfeeding itself is an act of love, so we’ll stick to a celebration of love.

Below is a list of some of our generous TLB sponsors, with information on what they are contributing to this giveaway, and links to other promotions they are having.  Below that, you will find instructions on how to enter the giveaway.  By the way, we’ve decided that it would be fun to lump all the prizes into one Grand Prize for a single winner!  Just wait until you see all the loot being offered.  We will also have a small, but charming, second place prize.  Before you scroll down to check it out, there is one more very important thing you need to know: due to the large number of sponsors participating in this giveaway, and each of their shipping restrictions, we have decided that this giveaway will be for people living in the U.S. only.  I apologize if this restricts you from possibly winning this giveaway.  The U.S. is simply the one single place for shipping that all of these sponsors have in common.  Please, U.S. entries only.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Jessica, The Piano Man, and our whole family of TLB sponsors

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oobr-snowberryClek

Giveaway entry:
Pink Oobr booster seat
(winner’s choice of Flamingo or Snowberry)

Oobr™ is Clek’s™ full back booster seat that provides superior protection for your child without sacrificing comfort, convenience or style.

Click here for more information.

Additionally, don’t miss our February 14th special on our shop.clekinc.com site: all pink seats are 10% off!  One day only!

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Arm's ReachArm’s Reach

Giveaway item:
Mini Co-Sleeper® Bassinet Toffee

The Mini Co-Sleeper® bassinet is a unique creation that allows you and your baby to sleep comfortably next to each other from the moment your baby arrives. This bassinet enables you to reach over and draw your baby close for comforting and bonding. The innovative design also makes breastfeeding easy.

The Mini Co-Sleeper® bassinet is the ideal sleep solution for any concerned parent.

Arm’s Reach is also the generous sponsor making it possible for Jeremy, aka: The Piano Man, to speak with Jessica at 4 different MommyCon events in 2014, presenting their “Sex After Baby” talk.  Jeremy will be speaking in Chicago, Denver, ??? , and ???  Look below for more MommyCon information.

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Motherlove adjusted Motherlove

Giveaway item:
Nurturing Life Giftbox.

Motherlove’s complete selection celebrating new motherhood! From pregnancy and labor, to breastfeeding and babies, these products nurture mother and baby with certified organic herbs and pure ingredients. These products do not contain any synthetic ingredients, fragrances or parabens commonly found in body care products. The perfect gift for the mother who is looking for only the highest quality, pure, natural products for herself and child. pregnant belly salve 4 oz., nipple cream 1 oz., birth & baby oil 2 oz., sitz bath spray 2 oz., diaper rash & thrush 1 oz., environmentally responsible Motherlove tote bag

Motherlove is also the generous sponsor making it possible for Jessica to speak at all MommyCon events in 2014!   See below for more information!

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MommyConMommyCon

Giveaway item:
Two general admission tickets to any MommyCon location in 2014

MommyCon is a natural parenting convention that travels around the United States bringing organic parenting practices to the masses. The event features seminars and workshops on topics such as; birth, breastfeeding, babywearing, car seat safety, essential oils and so much more. Guest speakers include; The Baby Guy NYC, Honest Toddler, The Badass Breastfeeder and The Leaky Boob.

Use promotional code “leakyboob” for 10% off at mommy-con.com

“We love leakies! Come leak at MommyCon!”

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SOLEIL ELLIE BECO BABY CARRIER adjustedBeco

Giveaway item:
Beco Soleil Baby Carrier (Ellie print)

With the Beco Soleil Baby Carrier, crossing your straps makes wearing your baby comfortable and easy!  Beco’s award-winning design is celebrated by parents around the world.  Combining proper ergonomics with versatile features provides you the best babywearing experience.

Wear Beco from birth through toddler years.

Wear Beco on your front, back or hip.

Wear Beco with love.

Click here for more information on the Beco Soleil.

“This one’s for the Leakies! Soleil makes breastfeeding possible anywhere you go! ♥ ”
– the Beco team

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Fairhaven HealthFairhaven Health

Giveaway items:
A jar of Dream Belly Stretch Mark Butter, a Milk-Saver and a Milkies Freeze, and one bag of Nursing Time Tea

DreamBelly Stretch Mark Butter: A luxurious butter with a gentle, refreshing scent – just what you need to tone and regenerate the skin on your belly after childbirth.

Milkies Milk-Saver: Save every drop of your precious breast milk with this one-of-a-kind product that collects leaking breast milk from your non-nursing side while you breast feed.

milkies-milk-saver-6

• Milkies Freeze: The answer to your breast milk storage hassles: A “first-in, first-out” breast milk storage container that protects your bags of frozen milk from damage and leaks, and fits nicely in  your freezer.

• Nursing Time Tea: A nutritive and refreshing tea with a light lemony flavor that contains several herbs helpful for promoting breast milk production.

Use promotional code “LEAKYHEART” for a 10% discount on all of our nursing products through February.

Milkies-Freeze-Banner

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ErgoBabyErgoErgoBaby

Giveaway item:
ErgoBaby Wrap

The Ergobaby Wrap is the perfect companion in those first months & beyond. Made from soft stretchy cotton (our premium 4D Stretch™ material), our Ergobaby Wrap makes different carrying positions easy, comfortable & secure for you & your baby.

 

 

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RuminaRumina

Giveaway items:
Rumina’s Sweet Valentine set

Each set will include one Red Relaxed Hands-Free Pump & Nurse Bra plus an order of Sea Salted Caramels & Half Dozen Swizzled Strawberries by Shari’s Berries.

Rumina2

Plus, like Rumina’s Facebook Page to enter March’s Lucky Momma Giveaway! March Rumina will be giving away a $100.00 Amex card, a $50.00 Amazon card and one lucky winner will receive a Motorola MBP25-2 Digital 2.4-inch Video Monitor (retail value $199.99).

AND, shop www.ruminaformoms.com to receive 25% Off Plus Free Shipping on Rumina’s Red Relaxed Hands-Free Pump & Nurse Bra. *USPS Priority shipping only

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BamboobiesBamboobies

Giveaway item:
Bamboobies Prize Pack

The Prize Pack ($115.00 value) includes:

Multi-pack Bamboobies Nursing Pads (3 pair regular + 1 pair overnight)

Boob♥ease 100% Organic Natural Nipple Balm

Bamboobies Brahhh: Maternity, Sleep and Nursing Bra with Flower Accent (color berry)

Bamboobies Chic Nursing Shawl with Flower Accent (color black)

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Wean Cubes Garden Pack adjustedWean Green

Giveaway item:
A Garden Pack of Wean Cubes (4 oz pack of 4 – multicolor)

Wean Green is dedicated to providing parents with safe and environmental baby products that fit into every parent’s diaper bag!  Our Glass Cubes are the safest way to store your breast milk,  homemade baby food, and of course, those snacks that your little one can’t live without when you’re out and about!

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SnugabellSnugabell

Giveaway item:
PumpEase hands-free pumping bra, color rhubarb

PumpEase features patented, ‘no-stitch’ horn openings, guaranteed to accommodate any breast pump on the market.  Click here for more information.

Additionally, use promotional code “TLBOOB25” for 25 percent off at Snugabell.com, Amazon.com, and Amazon.ca.
(minimum $38 order)

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Kangaroo CareKangaroo Care

Giveaway items:
An Aqua Rainbow Nursing Necklace and a Matching Teething Bracelet

 Kangaroo Care is also offering a 20% discount  from the 14th of February through the 15th of February!  No coupon codes need to be entered – the prices will already be discounted!

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Dairy Fairy

Giveaway item:
The Sadie All in One Tank
(valued at $75, in either Black or White)

The only nursing tank that multitasks as much as you do; nurse, handsfree pump and adjust to fit your fluctuating size. In or out, our new design is beautiful and discreet.  Click here for more information.

Additionally, use code “sadielaunch” at thedairyfairy.com for a $10 discount.

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LilleBabyLíllébaby

Giveaway item:
Líllébaby COMPLETE Organic Designer Baby Carrier 
(Green Meadow w/ Finch – Retail value $149.00)

Líllébaby is excited to offer one of their brand new designer prints for this giveaway: the Green Meadow with Finch!

Why COMPLETE?
“Compare the líllébaby® COMPLETE™ with any baby carrier and you will see why it deserves its name – it includes every carrying position and ensures your baby is correctly and  ergonomically positioned in every setting.”

Click here for more information.

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Muslin isla-nc-package-1000pxBébé Au Lait

Giveaway item:
Bébé au Lait Muslin Nursing Cover

“New for 2014! Bebe au Lait’s Muslin Collection pairs the softness and breathability of premium Muslin with the stylish patterns that have made their products must-haves for modern families.”

Click here for more information.

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MomzelleMomzelle

Giveaway item:
Maria criss-cross nursing dress

New from their winter collection, this graceful nursing dress will make you feel beautiful and comfortable at the same time. The criss-cross nursing opening is very practical and can be used both sides simultaneously. Made with cotton modale (95% cotton modale, 5% spandex), this fabric has a fresh and soft feeling on the skin, plus gives a nice drape to the dress.

Made with love and care.

“This eye-catching dress can easily be your new breastfeeding essential. For everyday and any occasion, you deserve to feel beautiful and confident while breastfeeding!
Thank you and happy nursing” 🙂

– The Momzelle team

Additionally, use code “LKYF14” at momzelle.com for a $5 discount.

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My Baby's Heartbeat Bear adjustedMy Baby’s Heartbeat Bear

Giveaway item:
Angel Bear

The My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear Angel Kit includes an adorable stuffed Angel Bear and special heart shaped recorder.  The Angel Bear is a very soft fleece-like material, with a velcro closure opening on the back where you can place the recorded heartbeat. My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear kits make the perfect baby shower gift or pregnancy keepsake!  Click here for more information.

Additionally, use code “FEB20” at mybabysheartbeatbear.com for a 20% discount.

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ShowerHugShowerHug

Giveaway item:
a ShowerHug

The Shower Hug is a therapeutic breast wrap designed to make showers a time of serenity and renewal for pregnant and breastfeeding moms who experience breast tenderness.

A “Certified Miracle,” The Shower Hug is Mommy’s patented Essential for Breast Pain Relief during pregnancy, postpartum and breastfeeding.  This multifunctional and affordable alternative to traditional nursing bras eliminates the most frustrating and painful obstacles to breastfeeding success. The Shower Hug can be worn in or out of the shower.

Click here for more information.

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KKBrwn-LR-CLKoalaKin

Giveaway item:
A KoalaKin, Hands-Free Nursing Pouch

The KoalaKin® nursing pouch helps you bond with your nursing baby by freeing your hands for extra snuggles, diaper checks, and even reading.  Click here for more information.

“Love is in the air… Free your hands for more loving touches with the KoalaKin, Hands Free Nursing Pouch.”  

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MobyWrapMobyWrap

Giveaway item:
Organic Moby Wrap in our new Garnet color

Wrap baby in our 100% OE certified organic cotton carrier.  Softness and Support.  Click here for more information.

Additionally, use code “TLBbaby” amobywrap.com for a 10% discount.

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Naked Nursing TankNaked Tank Logo 1Naked Nursing Tank

Giveaway item:
White Luxury Bamboo Naked Nursing Tank

Click here for more information.

Additionally, use code “LEAKYSHIP” awww.thenakedtank.com for free shipping.

Happy Valentine’s Day Leakies!!  Hope you love your new tank as much as you love your special Valentine!!” – Carrie and Jen

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Freja Toys necklaceFreja Toys

Giveaway items:
a nursing necklace (any color for winner’s choice)
and a baby rattles fruit set.
Total value: $54.00

 We have been creating our toys and moms jewelry in the Ukraine (East Europe) since 2007.  All of our products are unique and full of warmth and love.  They are made from natural materials and are absolutely safe for your kids!

Freja Toys fruits-set-01

Our main goal is to give joy to kids and their moms and to make the world around happier and kinder!

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sloomb diapersloomb basewooliesSloomb

Giveaway items:
a Camper VHLC and a Sparrow Basewoolies

“The Velour HLCs are soft, trim, and super absorbent cloth diapers – extra soft fluff for your little hipsters! Just pair the VHLC with Sparrow Basewoolies to keep your kids warm on the inside and out!”

Click here for more information about VHLCs and here for more information about Basewoolies.

PS: HLC stands for “Happy Little Clouds”

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MrsPatels adjustedMrs Patel’s

Giveaway item:
Gluten-free Vegan Chocolate Fenugreek Bars

Our mission is to help nursing mothers. We believe our products can help women heal faster after giving birth as well as increase their milk supply.

Additionally, use code “FIRSTORDER” amrsmilk.com for 20% off your first order.

“Treat yourself and your baby this Valentine’s with a box of our delicious gluten-free and vegan milk-making Fenugreek Bars!” – Anhoni

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NuRooNüRoo

Giveaway item:
one NüRoo Nursing Scarf

The NüRoo Nursing Scarf provides endless options for coverage and style. Learn more at nuroobaby.com.

NüRoo® fabric is super soft, breathable, wrinkle free, and not distracting for baby. As an added bonus, you’ll love this fashionable scarf long after your breastfeeding days!

Customize your coverage: wrapped or draped, front and back, over the shoulder or around your neck.

Learn more here.

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GoosieGoosie Organics

Giveaway item:
an Organic Nursing and Babywearing Jewelry piece of your choice

Check out the Goosie Organics Etsy shop here!

We create beautiful organic nursing and babywearing necklaces and bracelets. All of our products are handmade with natural materials including our unique 100% organic yarn. Each wooden bead and necklace chain are hand crocheted with this beautiful organic yarn. The wood buttons, coconut rings & buckles and wood beads are handcrafted locally and polished with organic beeswax and olive oil.

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Giveaway item:

An Assortment of Breastfeeding Products

 

The Assortment includes:

MilkMakers Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies (10pk)
Balm Baby Nipple Soother/Nursing Aid (1.25 fl oz)
Milk Trays Breast Milk Freezing System
Dry Mama Reusable Nursing Pads (1 pair)
Our Lady of Leche – Birds & Bees Teas Lactatin Tea – 2.5 oz tin with loose leaf tea

Basic Baby is both a physical store in Upstate New York, as well as an online retailer, offering helpful products for parents in all beginning stages of parenting, such as maternity, cloth diapering, babywearing, nursing, potty training, and more.  Get to know them at basicbabyshop.com

Additionally, use code “leakylove” for 10% off regular priced items store wide with free shipping on orders over $15 – not to be combined with any other offer – 1 use per customer – offer ends 2/28/14

“Thank you for all the love!” – the Basic Baby shop team

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JetPackRainbow Souffle

Giveaway item:
a JetPack toy and a printable JetPack Valentine’s Day card

The JetPack toy is a unique soft fabric toy that engages children’s natural tendency to make anything into an adventure.  Show someone you love them to the moon and back with a toy JetPack!
The printable paper JetPack card also doubles as a toy! It’s whimsical and fun for kids of all ages.  It’s easy to assemble and you have the option to print a Valentine’s message on the reverse side.

Click here for more information.

Additionally, use Coupon Code “ROCKETBLAST” in our shop for 20% off their order through February 20th.

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View More: http://christinacampbell.pass.us/vintaghoneyThe Vintage Honey Shop

Giveaway item:
A nursing necklace with teething ring ($25 value)

The Vintage Honey Shop is a place to buy handcrafted paper & fabric items.  Jennifer & Melissa make every handcrafted item with love and care!

The Vintage Honey Shop: Where paper & fabric stick!

Additionally, use code “LEAKIESWIN” athevintagehoneyshop.etsy.com for a 10% discount.

“All of our products are handmade to help mama feel beautiful while helping baby be happy!  Happy Valentines Day, Leakies….we {heart} y’all!!”
– Jen & Mel

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A Mother's BoutiqueA Mother’s Boutique

Giveaway item:
a nursing top of her choice from our Annee Matthew collection  (value up to $75)

Annee Matthew maternity and nursing clothes are unique, exquisitely designed pieces of modern maternity and nursing clothing that will make any new mother or mother-to-be feel beautiful.  Click here for more information.

Additionally, there is a special coupon for Leakies to treat themselves to something else in our store, at mothersboutique.com.  Just use coupon code “TLB” and you will save $5 off any purchase of $20 or more.

“We support breastfeeding moms and nursing in public is so much easier in one our cute, stylish nursing tops!”

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UM.AdQuartPgShortUndercover Mama

Giveaway item:
a $30 giftcard to Undercover Mama

Mom Invented, Mom Owned, Mom Operated.

Additionally, enjoy Free Shipping on orders of 2 shirts or more at undercovermama.com/shop (no coupon required)

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nursing-bra-express-giveaway adjustedNursing Bra Express

Giveaway item:
Molded Cotton Nursing Bra
(winner’s choice of nude, white, or black)

Our best selling nursing bra is comfortable, supportive, soft and has a pretty trim.  Wear this nursing bra every day – it is perfect for all occasions and will keep you comfortable and cool with breathable cotton and quick-release one-hand nursing clasps on each cup.  Larger cup sizes have foam support in cup and wider straps.  Sizes available: 32-36A, 32-40B, 32-44C/D, 32-44DD/E, 34-42DDD/F.

Additionally, use promotional code “LOVE” to save 10% on your entire order at nursingbraexpress.com, and free shipping on orders of $99 or more!

“Happy Valentine’s Day to all the Leakies!  We hope you think of us for all of your nursing bra needs.  We have a great selection of bras at affordable prices!”

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Petite BisouPetite Bisou

Giveaway item:
a set of our Bebe Nacre Breast Shells (a$49.95 AUD value)

Hand-polished in Paris, these natural shells soothe sore and cracked nipples and provide nourishment and protection while nursing.  Find out more about this age old Scandinavian tradition for breast care here.

Enjoy Motherhood and your new baby in a beautiful way! 

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One Creative MamaOne Creative Mama

Giveaway item:
a mommy-baby matching shirt set

Mommy Is My Dairy Queen shirt for babies: http://onecreativemama.com/dairyqueen.html – Value $13.99

Dairy Queen shirt for moms (moms can nurse through the sleeve!): http://onecreativemama.com/dqmom1.html – Value $33.98-36.98

Winner can choose size and color for both items

Total Value: $47.97-$50.97

Additionally, use code “TLB” at onecreativemama.com for a 15% discount on any purchase.

“Hey leakies, One Creative Mama supports breastfeeding and we want to share our cute designs with all of you!”

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DSC_9766_09.psdMelinda G™

Giveaway item:
A Smoothly Divine™ nursing bra in nude 

Win the new Melinda G™ very pretty, very comfortable nursing bra with removable pads – wear with the pads for discretion and added OOOOMPH! or without the pads for natural contours – either way, you’ll look great!  Click here for sizing information.

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CezaraT Belly Support Panty #4000 after delivery with pink backgroundCezara™ 

Giveaway item:
A Cezara™ belly support panty   

Cezara™ provides comfy belly lift and back support during pregnancy, after delivery and especially after Cesarean delivery, when the internal pad compresses and protects the scar, for more relaxed nursing without the concerns of baby resting on the scar.

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And finally, a special, sexy guest sponsor for this Valentine’s Day giveaway:

Blossom Organics

Giveaway item:
A Pleasurable Gift Basket

“Let Your pure Pleasure Blossom Naturally with Blossom Organics”

The basket includes:

Natural Moisturizing Lubricant (4 oz and 1 oz)
Warm Sensation Lubricant (4 oz and 1 oz)
Pure Pleasure Arousal Gel (0.5 oz and 5 ml)
Warm Sensation Massage Oil (3 oz)
Revitalizing Breast Exam Cream (1.7 oz.)

Our goal is to create safe, all-natural intimate care products that help you achieve healthy well-being, beautiful intimacy and blissful pleasure.  Click here for more information.

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WOW!  That’s a whole lot of TLB sponsor love!

Below is the widget for the giveaway.  Remember, this is for U.S. entries only.  

Here’s to hoping you get lucky!

And don’t forget to use the discount codes from our sponsors listed above!

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Ergobaby Postpartum FB Chat and Giveaway

“Ergobaby follows a personal mission to keep children close and comforted, and parents strong and able.”
From Ergobaby’s About page

Born out of a desire to keep children close and comfortable as their parents go about their daily lives, Ergobaby is committed to supporting parents navigate those beautiful and challenging postpartum waters.  A perfect example of this is the Live Chat that they are sponsoring on The Leaky Boob Facebook page today.  Its focus is on the surprises and difficulties that a mother experiences postpartum.  They are bringing Abigail Morgan, L.Ac, MTOM, to the discussion, and are offering some of their baby wearing products in support of new moms as well!
Ergo mom cuddle

Ergobaby is giving away:

– 3 Wraps
– 2 Swaddlers
– 1 Organic Baby Carrier

6 lucky winners for this generous giveaway!

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Ergobaby Postpartum and Newborn care chat and giveaway

Ergobaby knows the importance of those first few days, weeks, and months with a new baby and that taking good care of mom is part of taking good care of baby.  That’s why they are sponsoring a live chat on The Leaky Boob Facebook page with postpartum doula and IBCLC Marcy Sauter.  That’s also why they are giving away some carriers and their new Ergobaby swaddlers (designed to allow freedom of movement while still providing a safe, snuggly swaddle), because supporting families from day one is what they’re all about.

Ergo mom cuddle

To check out our chat and the wealth of information and support shared there, check out these links:

Introduction

Preparing for the postpartum and newborn period

Postpartum depression and mom care with breastfeeding

Postpartum and newborn care with older children and family

Postpartum mom and newborn care in special circumstances

What postpartum physical changes moms found surprising

Baby care essentials

Crazy new mom

The importance of rest postpartum and societal support

Moving beyond the postpartum and newborn phase

 

To be entered into the giveaways, click on the widgets below:
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Baby Weight Workout

I hear often from moms wanting to get back in shape after having a baby but concerned that exercise and dieting could harm their milk supply.  IBCLC Star Rodriguez helped clarify the questions we see frequently from moms on breastfeeding and fitness in this article here.  Be sure to check that out and don’t forget that it is always best to work with your health care provider in determining a healthy activity level and nutritional plan.  

Once you are certain that adding working out and increased physical activity is a healthy choice for you (and evidence supports that it’s healthy for most of us!) the challenge many parents face is when to find the time, space, and right activity.  Having children around it can be difficult to make some space for yourself and your health.  You are worth it though and your children deserve to have healthy parents, plus, when your children see you making physical activity and your own health a priority, you are modeling how important it is for them as well.  The best way for your children to develop healthy habits is for you to demonstrate healthy habits yourself.  Happy health to you and your family!  ~Jessica

 

Jennifer from Fit For Expecting has offered up a workout to help make it easier to find some time to take care of you.  Check out this Baby Weight Workout that you can enjoy WITH your baby.  I think it’s a great springboard for customizing and creating your own workout that fits your family’s unique makeup.  For more support, be sure to check out Jennifer’s website and like the Fit For Expecting Facebook page.  ~Jessica

Most moms know that exercise is good for them physically, mentally and emotionally. But, when life gets busy, exercise often gets put on the back burner. I designed a workout specifically for Leakies, that’s quick (5 minutes total) and incorporates baby into each exercise. I’m calling it the “Baby Weight Workout” because, that’s right, baby functions as the weight.
A few general exercise tips to keep in mind:
  • For your comfort and for a content baby, you might want to breastfeed before exercising.
  • Stay hydrated – drink water before, during and after exercising.
  • Eat a snack 1 1/2 – 2 hours before exercising.
Enjoy!
TLB Workout - Exercising with Baby
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Supporting the Breastfeeding Family as a Whole

by Amber McCann, IBCLC
supporting the breastfeeding family as a whole
Recently, I was collaborating with a colleague as we worked through the nitty-gritty details of a challenging situation one of my clients was having. As an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), I work with families to support their breastfeeding and, while my job is incredibly rewarding, it also requires a LOT of “detective” work. This case was challenging my skills and knowledge and I reached out for help. As we sorted through the facts and brainstormed ideas, my colleague said to me, “I’m realizing that you alway lean towards  the side of the mom and I lean towards the side of the baby.”

The comment caught me off guard. I wasn’t offended because I make no apologies for the fact that connecting with mothers is my “sweet spot”. I also don’t believe that I nor my colleagues ever sacrifice one member of the breastfeeding relationship to the exclusion of the other. But it did cause me to think and reflect on how, as a professional, I approach the work I do. Do I miss critical pieces of the puzzle because I’m so focused on the mother’s well being? Do I forget the important role that dads and partners play in the family? Do I miss the most vulnerable person in the whole dynamic…the tiny baby herself? (*Cue dramatic soul searching)

 

I came to this realization:

Breastfeeding support that doesn’t recognize the family as a whole FAILS.

Breastfeeding is much more than one breast, one baby, one mother, and one belly that needs nutrition. It is also getting to know each other, communicating, finding balance between all parties, and connecting on an intimate and vulnerable level. While I certainly do not claim that these experiences happen only in breastfeeding families, I do believe that breastfeeding imparts benefits that go far beyond calories and weight gain.

For that reason, I think it is critically important that, as those who support breastfeeding, we see the breastfeeding family as a whole. Much of the conversation in breastfeeding support centers around whether someone is doing it the “right way”: no supplements, pacifiers, bottles, cribs, you have to wear your baby, don’t you dare give cereals before 6 months, breastfeed until they are two, breastfeed while you are pregnant, breastfeed, breastfeed, breastfeed, breastfeed…and if you don’t do it this way, you are a failure. It simply breaks my heart because, while each of these recommendations has value and impact in the broader issue of public health, these black and white messages often forget that, when it comes down to it, there are real people making real decisions for real families. We must move away from support that sees only the mother, only the baby, or only the breastfeeding.

Decision Making is Up to the Family

As a clinician, I must take a full health history of both the mother and baby in my care. Inevitably, this becomes what is, for many women, the first telling of their birth story to someone outside of their family. It is an incredibly raw and vulnerable experience. I learn of relationships, of history, of fears and of disappointment. I also hear of how she was proud of herself, of her strength and her tenacity. Every woman’s experience, both before and after birth, is wildly different. Each family is to be respected in their decision making. What is the right decision in birth, in breastfeeding…heck, even in what to do with their Saturday afternoon, is up to them, filtered through the lens of their experience, their history and their knowledge. There are things about the way I live my life that I believe deeply in, but this I believe more: Mothers are smart and incredibly capable of making the decisions that are best for their families. My job is to provide information, help them sort through their options and allow them to space to figure out what is best for them…even if what is best for them is not what I would have chosen.

She is About More than her Breasts

As advocates, sometimes we work so hard on the big picture ideas in regards to improving breastfeeding rates and cultural acceptance that we make the mistake of seeing each woman as one to be “conqured”…wishing only to “win her to our side”. Supporting breastfeeding on a macro level is tough work which takes huge volumes of energy, but what a disservice when we think of women as only check marks in the “initiated breastfeeding” or “exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months” columns.

Often, in an attempt to support breastfeeding, we forget that there is much more going on in this relationship than milk ejections and swallowing. The community supporting those with Insufficient Glandular Tissue and Low Milk Supply do this beautifully. Inspired by Diana West’s groundbreaking book Defining Your Own Success, these women champion the idea that THEY get to be the ones who decide what breastfeeding will look like for them, in light of significant challenges. We must look at breastfeeding women not as simply milk makers, but life makers and relationship makers and confidence makers as well.

Empower Parents for Long Term Impact

I’m absolutely convinced that the early days of of a baby’s life are critical to the formation of parenting confidence. What if, instead of throwing checklists full of things that not even well-rested people could handle, we instill confidence and a “we were made for this” kind of attitude. I’ve long maintained that birth and breastfeeding are the only two biological processes that we, as a culture, assume won’t work the way they were designed to. From the moment we announce our pregnancies, we are bombarded with messages that tell us that we simply aren’t up for the task, that out bodies will fail us, that we won’t be good enough, smart enough, mom enough. Why then are we surprised when those messages continue on into parenthood? For those we encounter as breastfeeding supporters, we can have a significant impact at a critical moment. Reminding a woman that her body was made for breastfeeding, encouraging her to follow her “gut”, and listening closely to her ideas about what could improve her outlook can all be vitally important.  Moments like that set her up for future success. Feeling like “I am the most qualified person to care for my child” on Day 3 can often translate into the same feeling on day 5 and month 5 and year 5. Treating parents with respect and care and with the belief that they are wildly capable is critical.

The great Dr. Seuss was quite the philosopher when he penned, “A person’s a person, no matter how small” and I would echo with “A family is a family no matter how young.”  As we seek to pour our professional and volunteer lives into these brand new families, we must remember that communicating about their value and worth are important building blocks to their long term confidence as parents. I’m privileged to be able to be one of the first professionals to look them in brand new parent (bleary and bloodshot) eyes and say “You’ve Got This!”

Mothers are capable breastfeeding nourish breastfeeding support

 

 Amber McCann, IBCLC is a board certified lactation consultant in private practice  with Nourish Breastfeeding Support, just outside of Washington, DC and the co-editor  of Lactation Matters, the official blog of the International Lactation Consultant Association  (ILCA). She is particularly interested in connecting with mothers through social media  channels and teaching others in her profession to do the same. In addition, she has written  for a number of breastfeeding support blogs including Hygeia and Best for Babes. She also  serves as the Social Media Coordinator for GOLD Conferences Internationaland is a regular  contributor to The Boob Group, a weekly online radio program for breastfeeding moms. When she’s not furiously composing tweets (follow her at @iamambermccann) or updating her Facebook page, she probably snuggling with one of her three children or watching terrible reality TV.
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Help them help you- new baby sign with ways for visitors to help

Sugarbaby, minutes old. Photo by Debra Parker

For my last 2 babies, my midwife had a piece of paper she taped to my front door before she left after the birth.  Announcing to visitors that there was a new baby in the house, it shared birth facts such as weight, length, name, date, etc.  That part was nice but what I really loved was the part about what visitors could do.  Informing them that a new baby means help is needed and that their visit should be brief, this little piece of paper taped to my front door encouraged those that loved us and wanted to celebrate with us to keep their voices low, limit their time, understand if we needed to be alone, and give them ideas of how to help such as offering to do the dishes, sweep a floor, run the vacuum, or take the bigger kids to the park.  In short, it helped our visitors figure out how to be the best kind of visitors and I discovered that I didn’t mind having people stop by as much as I did with my older kids simply because they helped more and were more understanding of our needs.  Knowing they already saw a notice of sorts on the front door before they came in made it easier for me to respect my own boundaries, excusing myself to rest or not feeling awkward about them asking if they could help with something around the house.

There are far too many expectations on families when they have a new baby.  Respecting the postpartum recovery and the important bonding that needs to happen with the new family member sets up families to continue on well for the long haul.  If you’re breastfeeding, this time is crucial to establishing your breastfeeding relationship and focusing on that will have a long term pay off.  Pushing for too much too soon, other people interfering with the bonding, can leave moms feeling burnt out and unwell months, maybe even years later.  Having true support and help to take the time to really heal leads to endurance in the parenting journey.  That, and knowing we’re not alone along the way.

So my gift to you is my version of this life-saving piece of paper.  Ask your care provider to sign it complete with the appropriate initials behind their name then stick it on your front door when your little one arrives and leave it there for at least 6 weeks (8 if you birth via c-section).  Be a good friend and print it off to give others that are expecting for them to put on their front door.  Don’t hesitate to point out the note, referring to it by asking if they saw how much baby weighed or how long she was and if they didn’t notice, encourage them to go check out the info posted on the front door.  It can be hard to ask for help yet not allowing others to help ends up creating isolation and robbing others of the joy of offering support and encouragement by helping. This little bit of guidance can help not only the new mom and family but the friends and family that want to offer quality support but just aren’t sure what is needed.  Take the guess work out of the picture and everyone wins.

new baby help sign for front door

 new baby sign and help list for front door

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10 signs that your newborn is super smart

 

Photo by Kelli Elizabeth Photography

It seems that parents start worrying about their kids being super geniuses earlier and earlier.  Programs for teaching your baby to read, your preschooler how to work complicated math in their heads, and your kindergardener how to engineer the world’s next tallest building are marketed to parents all the time as though their child’s future happiness depends on having some kind of early academic advantage over all the other kids.

But it turns out they usually are born with just the right amount of smarts to have their needs met, grow well, and find all the happiness they could ask for at that moment.  It’s just that us adults sometimes don’t realize how incredibly smart our tiny bundles really are.

10 signs that your newborn is already super smart

1. She wants to ditch the pretty crib with the adorable bedding set and prefers to sleep as close to you as possible.  On your chest, snuggled by your side, in a carrier, where ever as long as she’s touching you.  Food, warmth, help regulating her breathing and heart rate, and you’re right there to snatch her to safety should a lion show up looking for a tasty baby snack.  Hey, you never know!

2.  Pooping just as soon as you changed him and put him to the breast- gotta make room!

3.  Her answer to every possible distress (including her own sneeze) is to breastfeed… again.  Just making sure you’re going to have all the milk she needs!

4.  Screams bloody murder if you try to put clothes on him but is most content in nothing but a diaper cuddled up to your bare chest.  Skin to skin contact promotes maternal-infant interactions,  encourages the breastfeeding relationship, improved bonding, maintaining body temperature, keeps him calm, breathing more naturally, allows mom (or other care taker) to respond faster to early cues of distress or hunger, boosts immune system development, and is just plain nice, way better than even the softest pajamas.  You can read more about how this all works here.

5.  Aims to get poop on her outfit at least once a day, more often 5.  She knows you have too many newborn outfits, she’ll never get to wear them all if she doesn’t have multiple outfit changes a day!

6.  You feel stressed about something and he suddenly needs to eat, timing couldn’t be worse!  But that glorious release of oxytocin means you relax while he’s feeding and though you get a bit drowsy, you’re able to think more clearly and focus on what’s really important.

7.  She’ll let you set her down or permit someone else to hold her just long enough for you to pee and if you’re lucky, maybe get a shower.  Anything longer is unacceptable though, everything in her says to stay close to your smell, your breasts, you.  Good thing too, she spent most of her life inside you so far and she knows you as safe which helps her identify her food source and keeps her bonded to you.  Her life depends on it.

8.  Cluster feeding: feed, doze, feed, doze, poop, feed, poop, feed, doze, feed doze… repeat.  You may think you have more to do such as house cleaning, keeping up with an older child, work, shower, or change out of your pajamas but when cluster feeding hits it means some serious growing time ahead and your baby doesn’t have anything more important to do.  Make a safe area for your older child and let your baby get his work done.

9.  Car seat = torture device.  Or best friend.  Either she hates not being with you or she loves the motion.  Whatever it is, she’d rather be snuggled against your chest, best to just stay home and take your time recovering from giving birth anyway.

10.  He can’t fall asleep without you and likes it best when he gets to breastfeed his way to the land of dreams. Once again, because of that lovely release of oxytocin, you get sleepy.  Baby’s sleeping, you’re sleepy… just give in and surrender.  That super smart baby of yours just wants you to catch a few Z’s!

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Babymooning- 12 signs you are the mother of a breastfeeding newborn

I’m babymooning.  Sugarbaby and I are doing very well, now 12 days postpartum.  I’ve been trying very hard to take it easy and respect this postpartum time for myself and it has been paying off.  Over the last almost 2 weeks I’ve been simply enjoying my baby, my family, and resting.  Cherishing this newborn time that goes too fast has been my priority.
I wanted to share some observations I’ve made during my babymoon, maybe you can relate and I’m sure you can add some of your own.
You know you’re the mom of a breastfeeding newborn when…
  1. You finally get to take a shower and within 10 minute of getting out you already have leaked milk all over your clean shirt.
  2. As much as you like the longer, thicker hair you grew during pregnancy, hacking it off with a dull pair of scissors is starting to sound like a good plan between the frequency of showers you get, the death-like grip of a tiny handful of hair your baby is capable of, cleaning spit up out of it several times a day, and the nagging fear of a hair tourniquet.
  3. You wonder why you didn’t invest in more yoga pants and are certain you will never wear blue jeans again.
  4. Your favorite food is: “anything someone else made.”
  5. Any time someone hugs you any way but with a side hug you wince.
  6. The old adage “never wake a sleeping baby” doesn’t apply when your boobs are rock hard boulders crushing your chest.  Yes, you will wake your baby for some relief.
  7. You wish you had jedi powers for every time you forget to grab a drink of water before you sit down to breastfeed… again.
  8. “Sleep when baby sleeps” seems like a good plan but you wonder when you’d get to pee or brush your teeth or eat.  Then you realize that sleep trumps everything else and decide you’ll pee, brush your teeth, and eat while holding your baby.
  9. Something seems really funny and you laugh hysterically only to forget what was so funny 5 minutes later.
  10. Shirts are “clean” unless the smell is too bad or there is obvious spit-up or poop on them, dried milk leaks don’t count as “dirty.”
  11. The stash of reusable breastpads that seemed so impressive before giving birth is used up in one day after your milk comes in.
  12. You’d rather sniff your baby’s head snuggled on your chest than even your favorite flower any day.

The Leakies on The Leaky Boob Facebook page had plenty more here and I hope you’ll add your own in the comments below.  Now back to my baby head sniffing!

 

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