TLB’s First Newsletter! The Leaky Times News, Vol 1

Welcome to The Leaky Boob’s very first newsletter!

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This week’s newsletter generously sponsored by 
Hi, *|FNAME|*! Welcome to our first newsletter for The Leaky Boob group! Where we gather all of our best stories and inspiration and bring them to you each week. We’re so glad you’re here! We hope to inspire you just as much as you inspire us!

Xo -The TLB team

Highlights from theleakyboob.com 

#mystorymatters 

“…All of these women and thousands of others I have heard from felt that their story didn’t matter. They felt their stories weren’t happy enough, dramatic enough, perfect enough, difficult enough, strong enough, smart enough, right enough, important enough, painful enough, humble enough, promising enough, advocate enough, bold enough. Enough.”

YOU ARE ENOUGH.”

 Read more

Rumina’s Full Figure Bra Ambassador and Model Search and Giveaway!

The challenges that face full figured and large breasted women when it comes to breastfeeding can be overwhelming. We believe that quality support for breasts and for a woman’s personal goals in feeding her baby can make all the difference in the world. ALL body types are beautiful and we CELEBRATE you and your family with the shape you have and are striving to be the best support we can be. YOU ARE ENOUGH and #yourstorymatters! Read more HERE for support and for the giveaway!

It’s The Leaky Boob’s 5th Birthday Bash!

Latest TLB Review: Dairy FairyRead Here

Leaky Boob Looks With Ameda- Boob Out Fashion for Breastfeeding Moms  

Welcome to our all NEW feature:   Leaky Boob Looks

Every Wednesday, we will be featuring awesome fashions for the Leaky mom. YOU!Real life. Real options. Options that work for your lifestyle.

Because you’ve GOT to be able to get a boob out!

Check out our latest looks for you and where to find them

HERE

Wanna join in? Tag us with#booboutfashion #LBLWednesday

to show us how YOU get your Leaky fashion on!We may choose YOUR look to feature on our latest looks for the week!

Join The Leaky Boob Community on Facebook!

The Leaky Boob Community Facebook Group is an extension of TheLeakyBoob.com and The Leaky Boob Facebook page. The Leaky Boob Community is a breastfeeding community where we laugh, cry, share and provide information and support brought together around feeding our babies but talking about all facets of life. Respecting that what is best depends on individual circumstances, access to support, personal resources, and more. Encouraging everyone feeding their babies and people that support them everywhere!

Highlights from the web and social media



National Geographic: Could Mother’s Milk Nourish Mind-Manipulating Microbes? Read More

Facebook: A heart-wrenching story of beauty, love, and sacrifice. Read more

Buzzfeed: This illustrating Scottish mom captures life I’m sure a few of us can relate to! Read more



 Follow The Leaky Boob



Get to know Carrie Saum and her passion for empowered wellness through good food and a healthy lifestyle. 

Quinoa Fritters with Coconut Honey Butter

Our son Echo and 
FPIES: Food Protein Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome



Featured Recipe from Our Stable Table

Buttered Coffee12 oz. freshly brewed coffee1 Tbsp. Kerrygold butter1 Tbsp. organic coconut oil1 Tbsp. Great Lakes Gelatinsweeter (optional)
Directions:1. In a blender or Magic Bullet, add coffee, coconut oil, butter and sweetener.  Add gelatin just before you blend.2. Blend on high for 5 seconds. That’s all it takes to become emulsified and frothy and magical.3. Drink immediately. (or you could get a gelatinous goop instead of this deliciousness!)
Follow Our Stable Table

Beyond Moi

Beyond You, Beyond Them, Beyond Now, Beyond Stuff.

Sexual Abuse, Body Image, and the Healing Power of Dance

by Ophelia Martin-Weber

“You put on a leotard and tights that reveal your body shape and form completely, move around in front of others, and constantly have people tell how you are doing it wrong. Judgment, judgment, judgment. Rejection. Why would anyone put up with that?”

“But I know why. When I dance, I feel free.”

Read More

You can learn more about Ophelia’s future in dance and support her by going here!

Beyond Yelling

Yesterday I had a moment where I yelled, stomped around, and made a scene.

Wonderful, Messy, Children

Some kids are girls, and some kids are boys, but one thing is certain: if you let them, kids will be kids.     

Read More

 

Follow Beyond Moi

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TLB Reviews: Wrapsody

The Goods: Wrapsody Breeze wrap

The Reviewers: Micah, Kileah

The Good

Micah says…

This is definitely the most breathable wrap I have used to date. I tend to gravitate toward buckle carriers in the warmer months (for me, that’s anything over 55-60 degrees!), but I have had no issues with feeling overheated while using the Wrapsody in warmer weather. This means that the child I am carrying is also more comfortable, less fussy, and less likely to want out because he or she is too warm. This wrap in particular is a pretty cool-looking “tye- dyed” rainbow pattern- hard to miss, and the kids absolutely love it because it is so bright and lively.

A few years back my wife taught the kids how to use a woven wrap to make a hammock under their beds or under the table, and the Wrapsody has become a favorite of theirs for that purpose. I regularly find our 6.5 year old son with it tied up under his loft bed so he can lay in it to read or play on the iPad.

This wrap has been super easy to use with our youngest, who is just over one year old. The fact that it is so light weight has made it really easy to adjust while wearing a child. My favorite feature of the Wrapsody, and something that definitely sets it apart from other wraps, is the fact that one of the tails is sewn in such a way that it forms a pocket- depending on how you tie it off. This makes it that much easier to be hands free while baby wearing with a wrap and is especially helpful for me as baby wearing tends to limit my access to things like pockets!

IMG_4890

Micah trying out the Wrapsody Breeze Iris. Shopping!

 

The pocket is more than deep enough to hold my phone, keys, and even wallet if necessary while keeping them all secure and easily reachable.

Here’s the wrap in hammock mode! I employed the youngest hobbit’s favorite monkey as a model since all of the hobbits were sound asleep- everyone knows you don’t wake a sleeping hobbit!

 

Kileah says…

This Wrapsody Breeze Iris wrap is soooo lightweight! It was nice to be able to do a quick rucksack wrap to go hiking and not feel like I was going to sweat myself into dehydration mode. It was also long enough so I was able to wrap comfortably without feeling like I was losing functionality. Baby Hobbit here is 25 lbs and 16 months. Though it took some adjusting and practice, I was able to breastfeed in the wrap from about 6 months old forward.

IMG_1533

Hiking in the Wrapsody Breeze Iris. She IS happy! Haha!

 

The Bad

Micah says…

I was really only able to use the Wrapsody with our youngest- I just couldn’t get a secure wrap with our 3 year old, who still really enjoys being carried. Carries that I can do with no problems at all using other wraps were difficult to do with our 3 year old. The Wrapsody just didn’t have enough grip to use while carrying her. This is really only problematic in that I prefer to use a carrier or wrap that works for any of the children I may need to carry. The Wrapsody fits the bill perfectly for an infant, but just doesn’t have the versatility I want when it comes to being able to carry a range of children.

Kileah says…

It does take a little bit of practice to make this wrap work well so that it doesn’t dig into your shoulders. It is a bit more difficult to ensure that the passes of fabric are spread out enough along the back and under the bum. This wrap is light weight enough that it wrinkles easily and ends up feeling a lot narrower than it actually is.

The Ugly

Micah says…

I don’t really have an ugly for this wrap, except to repeat what I already said- the Wrapsody is cool, but just doesn’t offer the versatility that I need for the stage of child rearing/ baby wearing/ toddler wearing that I am in.

Kileah says…

No ugly  here! The wrap was so very colorful and the price point is very accessible for a woven wrap.

 

________________

Do you have experience with one of these wraps? Leave us your review in the comments!

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TLB Reviews: Líllébaby All Seasons Carrier

The Goods: líllébaby Complete All Seasons Carrier in Stone

The Reviewers: Micah and Amy

The Good: 

Micah says…

photo (3)

On a hike with Baby Hobbit- this was our first outdoor excursion with the lillébaby All Seasons Carrier.

My  complaint with soft structure carriers has always been that I couldn’t wear them for very long without my back hurting. The lillébaby All Seasons Carrier is the first soft structure carrier to solve that problem for me with the lumbar support. Previously, I would find myself needing to adjust whatever carrier I was wearing in an attempt to stay comfortable. The lumbar support on the lillébaby All Seasons Carrier not only supports my lower back, it also helps me to get the carrier on right the first time because of the way it lays on my back. I’m a big fan of the extra long straps and the fact that they can be worn backpack style or criss-crossed as it allows for maximum comfort while baby wearing. Speaking of the straps- I love that they are placed in such a way that you pull them from the front when wearing baby on the front. Other soft structured carriers require you to reach around your back and pull the straps from your shoulders, which is no easy feat- especially with a baby strapped to you!

None of our children have cared to forward face when being carried, but the fact that this carrier is convertible and can be used both ways is pretty cool and adds value as you are really getting 2 carriers for the price of 1. The neck support is fantastic for providing support for a sleeping baby’s head without having to put the full hood up and in doing so make baby warmer and uncomfortable. Additionally, I love that the front panel unzips to allow baby’s body to be cooler, especially in warmer temperatures. Our children tend to be little heaters, so this carrier helps mommy and daddy to stay a bit cooler as well.

photo (2)

We took Baby Hobbit out on the town with us for our anniversary last month. As you can see, she was quite comfortable!

Amy says… Soft-structured carriers (SSC’s) tend to be a recipe for sweat in the humid summer heat where we live. Baby usually ends up too hot to stay in the carrier, which defeats the purpose of trying to use it (and means schlepping the carrier and baby separately). The mesh material used and zip-down front panel on this carrier live up to the “all seasons” name; it really is cooler! To that end, the neck support being there without needing the hood to support our little guy’s head was very appreciated in the summer heat!

We’ve used it with our newborn for the first few months of his life and both my husband and I have been really happy with this one.  I was able to breastfeed in it just by lowering the waist band a bit. I got some looks, but they were mostly in awe that I could wear him, feed him, and have the use of both of my hands! (The stone color also meant that we can switch this one back and forth and both be happy wearing it. My husband is totally fine wearing my cutesy patterned babywearing stuff, but he prefers this one over the rest!)

My absolute favorite thing about this carrier is the lumbar support! We have a few other soft-structured buckle carriers and a narrow waist belt will compress exactly the wrong part of my lower back and make it really sore. The little lumbar support panel on the líllébaby All Seasons makes a HUGE difference, both distributing baby’s weight more evenly and making the carrier WAY more comfortable to wear, especially for longer stretches. Lumbar support in action: (excuse the crappy picture!)

lillebaby lumbar

Really, I just love that little panel! I think all SSC’s should be designed this way, it’s *awesome!*

The Bad:

Micah says…The only bad thing I have to say about this carrier is that none of the accessories are included. I don’t expect manufacturers to include every accessory imaginable with their carrier, but I would love it if they included things that most parents would appreciate, like teething pads, with the carrier instead of selling them separately.

Amy says… After the first few times we adjusted the seat, it was easier, but the snap system  for the seat can be a little tricky at first. (Do not attempt to change the seat from wide to narrow for the first time if your baby is already unhappy…not that I’d know, or anything!) The way the seat on this carrier adjusts is really clever, I actually like it a lot.

The Ugly: 

Micah says… At the risk of sounding a bit picky, I will say that I don’t really like that the neck support doesn’t stay in place when not in use. there are snaps to hold it in place when folded down, but the weight of the baby prevents them from staying snapped. In future models I think it would be great if lillébaby addressed this. While it isn’t an issue of functionality, I feel like this does detract a bit from the overall look of the carrier.

Amy says… To use this carrier for a newborn, they recommend rolling up a hand towel or blanket and using it as a seat. We had trouble finding a blanket that was the right size to create the seat height we needed for our newborn. Even once we did, it’s a pain to be rolling up a seat and having to tote an extra blanket for that purpose. I’d much prefer an integral newborn seat or insert that just does the job without any guess work. (That might sound a little stupid, but a 30×30 receiving blanket rolls up differently than a hand towel or a big muslin swaddling blanket, know what I mean? A minor issue, but still a point of potential improvement in what is otherwise an awesome SSC. My husband’s favorite, in fact!)

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TLB Reviews: Cezara Belly Support Panty

The Goods: Cezara Belly Support Panty

The Reviewer: Elise

cezara

The Good: Elise says . . . This panty is a great option for those looking for belly and back support. It can be worn on its own or over your regular underwear. It is a nice 90% cotton and 10% spandex fabric that is very soft. For those who feel that their belly is pulling their weight forward and straining their lower back this would be a great choice for supporting the belly weight and relieving back pain. The velcro closure helps to adjust the waist size as you expand during pregnancy and then shrink after birth. I had a belly support band that had the tendency to move around or scrunch up. The nice thing about the Cezara panty is that it will not move around since it is a belly support and panty in one.

cezara drawing

The Bad: Elise says . . . I don’t believe that there is a “normal” pregnancy. Everyone’s body grows and changes in different ways. However there are some common physical issues that occur during pregnancy. One of them is low back pain. I had a back ache for about a week early on during my pregnancy and then for the rest of the time I did not have any back issues, which is a rarity. Therefore I found myself not needing belly and back support. I preferred to wear light-weight bikini underwear that sat below my belly. I was feeling so physically good that I was able to teach dance classes up until the day I went in for my cesarean! This panty would have been great had I had back pain issues, but for my fitness level I did not find that it was necessary.

The Ugly: Elise says . . . The fabric is very soft, but due to my sensitive skin I did not like the thick elastic band. I was lucky to have a fairly painless cesarean recovery. I did experience some tender skin issues with my stretched belly. I found my stretched belly skin to be more tender than my cesarean scar! So for me this supportive underwear with the thick elastic band was not a good option. However for those in need of back support and incision protection these panties would be a great choice to look into.

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TLB Reviews: My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear

The Goods: Heartbeat Bunny from  My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear

The Reviewer: Elise

The Good: Elise says . . . Stuffed animals are fun toys for your baby. The stuffed animals from My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear are not only fun, they are incredibly special. I never would have thought to record my baby’s prenatal heartbeat, but I am so glad I did. The site has many different animals to choose from. I received the bunny and it is a high quality stuffed animal and so soft! It may sound silly, but in the days before I had my baby I would hug the heartbeat bunny and listen to my baby’s heartbeat and feel so comforted. My birthing instructor had just told us to find sensory objects to bring to the hospital to help during the birthing process. The heartbeat bear is a perfect object to bring as it fulfills both hearing and touch. The directions for recording are simple and easy to follow. It is a great keepsake and I know it will be neat to show to my son when he can understand that he is listening to his heartbeat when he was in my belly!

heartbeat bear

The Bad: Elise says . . . This may not be on your list of necessary items. When I was preparing for my baby’s arrival I tried to weed out all the unnecessary items. This stuffed animal probably would not have made the cut. However I am so glad I have it! Although it may not be necessary for the care of your baby, I think all mothers should have one. I thought it might be awkward to ask my ob-gyn to help me record the heartbeat. I thought I might interfere with the important elements of the check up, but she was very supportive and helpful. Although this was the first time someone had asked to record the heartbeat during a check up she was more than willing to help. I cannot think of a better way to record your baby’s heartbeat. It will be treasured for many years!

The Ugly: Elise says . . . There is a little switch that you have to tape over on the recording device that goes in the bear. If it accidentally gets switched back it will delete the heartbeat recording! This is a little nerve wracking. Luckily they have a way to store the recording online so if it gets deleted it can be retrieved. Make sure not to skip that step!

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TLB Reviews: Bamboobies Nursing Bra & Nursing Shawl

The Goods: Bamboobies Brahhh & Chic Nursing Shawl

The Reviewers: Kileah and Amy

The Good: 

bamboobies braKileah says…Really was suprised with how much I liked the Bamboobies Brahhh. I am ever the skeptic of anything that might resemble “restricting”…for workout or yoga or anything. This bra did not disappoint! So soft, supportive, forgiving to the ever-changing amazing post-partum  breastfeeding breasts…I loved it! No weird seams to dig into my skin (ladies, I am VERY sensitive to seams/rough edges in clothing!). I was so comfortable in it that I wore it to bed. WIN.

As far as the Chic Nursing Shawl goes-I have to tell you a cool sunburn story. So I was silly and got myself a niiiiice sunburn (read: YEOWCH MY SKIN IS ON FIRE.). I couldn’t bear to have anything on my skin but a loose-fitting tank…and this shawl! It was soooo incredibly soft, chic, and gentle on my skin. It was like this soft cool fabric that KEPT COOL even on the 93F day we had. It also served as a genius fashion choice when my 2 year old hobbit wanted to play “yank-the-nipple” with me while breastfeeding at our community gatherings. Plus? Makes an AMAZING jedi cape on the fly. Just saying.

bamboobies shawlAmy says… I start wearing different bras about .02 seconds into my pregnancies, because my boobs are the first thing to change (and scream, “Hi! PREGNANT!”). At that point, stretchy is best for me. I’d say this is a great maternity-through-breastfeeding bra. I love the lotus flower design (hey, it’s the little things!). As far as nursing goes, it pulls to the side easily. It’s a cotton-based material (organic, actually!) and I thought it would lose its shape. Even in the early days of nursing (when I was pulling it to the side practically hourly), it stayed supportive .

And the shawl? Maybe it’s just me, but my body went through major size changes between the last few months of my pregnancy and the first two months postpartum. After I had my baby, nothing fit; not my maternity stuff, not my pre-pregnancy stuff. I wasn’t about to go buy a new wardrobe, so adding this shawl in over a stretchy nursing tank was my move. (It’s very pretty over a maternity tank, too!) It gave me some fabric to work with for privacy while the baby latched (it was a bit of an all-hands-on-deck experience and while I’m A-ok with nursing in public, having a little coverage to get the tongue-tied baby on was nice). It also made me look a little more put together than I would have, otherwise.

Bamboobies BrahhhThe Bad:

Kileah says…I don’t have enough of the Brahhh. I need more. MORE!

I think I’d love to see a grey option in the shawl as sometimes black/plum can be a bit limiting to some wardrobes.

Amy says… I’d like a tiny bit more cleavage coverage on the bra (it dips in the middle), but that’s just me.  I had a little trouble learning how to wear the shawl. That sounds kind of stupid, but I’d put it on and I wasn’t sure how it was supposed to go or be styled or look once it was on.

The Ugly: 

Kileah says…Nothing ugly here. Two hobbit thumbs up!

Amy says… A couple times, the straps let the front of the bra ride down and end up pretty scrunched in the under-boob area (that’s the technical term). It may have been from wearing it for a couple days straight, so your mileage may vary.

__________________

Bamboobies wants to hear from you!  And so they are offering  a giveaway featuring their Nursing Brahhh and Nursing Shawl to 3 lucky Leaky winners (winner’s choice of either the bra or the shawl).  We hope the winner will come and add their two cents in the comment section and on our Facebook page.  Good luck!  Due to shipping and customs constraints, this giveaway is open to USA residents only.

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TLB Reviews: A Mother’s Boutique Annee Matthew Maternity Wear

We’re talking maternity and nursing clothes today on TLB Reviews!

The Goods: Nursing tops and maternity bottoms. We reviewed the Keyhole Tunic and Maternity Leggings from the Annee Matthew line at A Mother’s Boutique.

The Reviewers: Amy and Kileah

Kileah rocking the Keyhole Tunic in Indigo!

Kileah rocking the Keyhole Tunic in Indigo!

A very-much-over-being-pregnant Amy in the Keyhole Tunic (fuschia) and leggings.

A very pregnant Amy in the Keyhole Tunic (fuchsia) and leggings.

The Good: 

Amy says… I have to talk about the leggings first. I had a HUGE pregnant belly and anything cutting into it, especially on the underside, wasn’t going to fly. I absolutely loved these leggings (they can be worn below or pulled over the belly). They’re like being able to legitimately wear PJs outside the house! They’re incredibly comfy, even over the course of a 12 hour day. Paired with the Keyhole Tunic and a light sweater, they made for a put-together outfit that wore well even through the very end of my pregnancy (when most other tops didn’t cover the length of my belly). Now that I’m breastfeeding, the Keyhole Tunic is an easy go-to, since it looks nice (and conceals my postpartum belly a bit) and I know I can nurse in it. (Note: If you’re in the Pittsburgh, PA area, I highly recommend stopping into Judy’s boutique! She has an area where little kids can play and the personalized bra fitting and shopping service is great!)

Kileah says… Have you ever gotten that twang of inner anxiety over purchasing a NICE item of clothing on the internet? Will I get the size right? What if I think the colour makes me look like a circus clown? Yeah. Online purchasing anxiety was set to rest when the keyhole tunic arrived in the mail. I had chosen the jewel-toned purple color and WOW.  The moment I slipped it on I noticed how gracefully it flattered my soft 4 months post partum midsection! It gave me the perfect fit in the shoulders, the fabric seams didn’t creep me out, the fabric itself was so soft and lightweight, and the length. OH THE LENGTH! I have paired it with printed leggings, or dark wash skinny jeans, a silk scarf, have thrown a light sweater over it, put some fantastic jewelry with it and creatively breastfed from nearly EVERY DIRECTION in this lovely top. Bonus: this top is well suited for pregnancy, post partum and breastfeeding.  I’d say that’s a win, people.

The Bad:

Amy says… Some people will balk at the price, especially for the top. I get that. I love a good deal and dropping almost $60 on one top can seem crazy to me, too. But (but!)…the quality is good and I know I’m going to breastfeed this kid for the next 2+ years. Having a few staples that I know are passable at most social events and are breastfeeding-friendly is worth a premium to me. The price tag may well be someone else’s “good” and still someone else’s “ugly.” It’s all relative.

Kileah says… Yeah. The price might create a bit of sticker shock for some, but in comparison to something you’d be getting at a premium store that would probably only get used during pregnancy, this is such a quality well-made piece and well worth the investment. A good wardrobe can go a long way for us, mamas!

The Ugly: 

Amy says… I put the leggings through regular machine washing and drying (is there any other way?!). The elastic in the waistband ended up twisting such that I couldn’t really get it to flatten out again. (I probably could have, but I didn’t care to fight with it that much.) Other than that, no complaints.

Kileah says… I am not a pearl button kind of gal. My tunic came with a pearl button at the apex of the keyhole on the front and sometimes I think it clashes with certain styles of jewelry/looks. But it IS tiny…and if I really want to be a snob over such a great piece of clothing, I can always switch it out for something else. Definitely worth it!

Editors note: anyone else kind of wish Micah was reviewing these too?  I’d love to hear what he thinks about the fit and the little pearl button.  😉

As we get our review program kicked off, we wanted to include the chance for someone else to get to review something as well with a giveaway.  A Mother’s boutique is offering one $50 gift certificate to a lucky Leaky winner. We hope the winner will come and add their two cents in the comment section and on our Facebook page.  Good luck!  Due to shipping and customs constraints, this giveaway is open to USA residents only.
~Jessica

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Maternity and Breastfeeding Tops Review for A Mother’s Boutique

Way back in July I agreed to do a review for A Mother’s Boutique, on a nursing top. Smunchie was still at the breast frequently and I was certain I’d get plenty of mileage out of a nursing top even at 20 months. What I didn’t count on was getting pregnant that next cycle and sick before I even peed on a stick. Enter not wearing much of anything but pajamas for the next 6 months and a gradual decline in interest in breastfeeding by Smunchie. My most common fashion accessory became an IV line and when not one but two tops arrived from Judy, the most I could tell you about them was “you can access my port easily enough.” Figured you smart ladies wouldn’t find that so helpful.

I could also tell you they are pretty, check out the Shawl Tunic/Mini Dress and the Front Rouche Top in Bamboo which I now have in black and purple (or eggplant) respectively. Smunchie did breastfeed a few times in each top but they seemed too nice for my no-showering self and spending all day on the couch with my puke bucket so they got little wear. Then I lost 16 pounds and it looked like I was a little girl playing dress-up in my mom’s clothes. What I could tell you in those first few months: both tops were incredibly comfortable and I could easily breastfeed in them. Which was of course the point. Now that I’m starting to get my feet under me a bit more and actually pay attention to what I put on myself, I can tell you even more and Smunchie still breastfeeds here and there so I’ve been able to try them as both maternity tops and breastfeeding tops.  (Sorry for the crummy pics, self portraits with my phone while breastfeeding and hooked up to an IV.)

The first time I really wore the shawl collar tunic top and actually had the energy to care about what I was wearing was to go see Earth Baby, The Storyteller, Lolie, and The Piano Man in The Nutcracker. Loaded up with my drug cocktail to get me through the evening I gussied myself up in the top. By then my PICC line was placed and the stretchy fabric of the top made it easy to hide the somewhat bulky port on the inside of my arm without drawing attention to the site. Feeling a bit adventurous and excited to actually be leaving the house (hey, I was excited to lift my head off the pillow!) let alone with lipstick on, I went with the mini dress style and high heel black boots. The simple detail of the dress lent itself well to a wide range of accessory options and I went for my grandmother’s Korean War era garnets and a scarlet made-by-me cashmere cloche decorated with an art-deco black mother of pearl button, a treasure acquired during a visit to Paris.  (Another bad self portrait!)

I must have looked hot in real life. The Piano Man was playing piano when I walked into the intimate setting for the show and he got a little, um, distracted, when he saw me. After 5 months of feeling and looking like death it felt really nice to distract my husband. Through the dinner, the performance, the fundraising talk, and the post-show excitement I was comfortable in the top. My nursling wasn’t with me so I didn’t get to give the breastfeeding function of the top into use but the top was already a favorite just in comfort and style alone.

Blurry pic but the only one I have of me and my ballerinas from The Nutcracker.

Since that evening I’ve worn both the shawl collar top and the front rouche top several times and not just on my couch. Both have held up well to washing, line drying, machine drying, and the inevitable spills. They still look and feel like new. Soft, comfortable, and beautiful, they are both tops I reach for when I need to be really comfortable and look put together. I packed both these tops for a month long training with my job where I had long days and couldn’t exactly go around in my pajamas all day. The rich purple of the front rouche top hasn’t faded a bit even with line drying and to my amazement the top gladly released the tiny bit of white acrylic paint I accidentally got smack dab in the middle of my Sugarbaby bump and though I’ve dropped all kinds of food on it (baby bellies make the perfect crumb ledge) there are no stains.

 

Some details:

The Front Rouche Bamboo Top- The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.  Because I swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

30 weeks pregnant, eggplant front rouche bamboo top

Dreamy soft and with a perfect amount of stretch so it returns to it’s shape well. The front rouching is perfect for a post-baby belly and even way beyond, I can see wearing this long after pregnancy and weaning are over. Easy to dress up (I like it with a simple black skirt) and just as comfortable more casual. The access for breastfeeding is simple to use and can be done one handed even with undoing a nursing bra. I don’t have anything bad to say about the top, it’s so versatile and comfortable. Living in Houston often fabrics that would be comfortable elsewhere are too hot here but the bamboo rayon breathes well and I have been fine in 80+ degree weather in the the 3/4 length sleeve top and was just as comfortable wearing it in Illinois in the middle of January. This will be an all seasons top for me, particularly since Houston has a thing for over air conditioning everything in the middle of the summer. The ugly for me is the price. I’m admittedly a make my own or thrift store/bargain kind of girl so the $89 seems really steep for me. However, I recognize that not everyone has the fear of spending money that I do and more and more lately I’ve been seeing my wardrobe as more expensive than I realize because things don’t last all that long and I have to replace pieces, meaning I spend more than I think. Now I haven’t had or used/abused the top long enough to say for sure (though a good amount of time already and it looks amazing), but it seems like this top will hold up well and for a long time. If that’s the case, then for a specialty top (maternity AND breastfeeding top) that can be worn all year long and features style versatility, it’s a worthwhile investment. If, let’s say, you get the top mid pregnancy and continue to wear it for the next 2 years while breastfeeding (hopefully longer) the top averages out to $3/month. If you keep the top as a permanent stylish option in your wardrobe it’s even less. As a specialty item that can extend far beyond it’s specially this is completely worth the upfront cost for the long term investment.

 

The Shawl Tunic/mini dress- The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.  Because I swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

20 weeks, black shawl tunic/mini dress

Side detail of black shawl tunic/mini dress

31 weeks, black shawl tunic/mini dress

Not quite as soft as the bamboo top (something I wouldn’t have noticed if I didn’t have the two to compare so it doesn’t really matter), the Shawl Collar Top has a beautiful silhouette that looks great with or without a baby bump. The wrap detail of the shawl collar give it more style than a simple stretchy tunic top or dress without overpowering the classic lines and it looks great as a mini dress, or a tunic top over leggings, jeans, or long pants. Combining both comfort and style, the stretch and drape of the cut and fabric makes it easy to dress up or down and you never have to sacrifice feeling good for looking good. Breastfeeding access is easy, the shawl panels providing coverage if you want it and again, I was able to get my breast out one handed even with a squirmy toddler impatient for her “bobbies.” I have long arms and am often frustrated with the length of my long sleeves. This top actually had long enough sleeves for me arms but with the stretch in the fabric I don’t think the sleeves would be too long for those with more normal length arms. This top is the perfect go-to, able to be the little black dress (or other color) staple for your closet. Whether with grandma’s garnets or blue jeans, I get compliments whenever I wear it out. With just enough gathering on the sides, it will be comfortable and forgiving at any stage of pregnancy and postpartum. It goes back to it’s shape well and I know I will be wearing this top frequently when I have a new nursling going with me to events and have lost the baby bump. The bad was minimal, the shawl collar doesn’t always lay smooth over the breasts, particularly after sitting with a baby bump but a little adjustment and smoothing was all that was required to unruffled the look. The ugly is the same, a costly upfront investment but I have actually paid around $79 for a little black dress option and that one doesn’t work for maternity or breastfeeding like this one does and there’s no way it could be paired with blue jeans. For many people $79 wouldn’t be much to drop but for our family budget it’s high so I’d have to make sure I’d be able to get my money’s worth in a top like this. Thanks to the versatility, the fact that it’s a great non-maternity/non-breastfeeding option as well as being functional during those times, and it’s comfort, I would consider that a $79 well spent if I could bring myself to get over the initial sticker shock. I’ve been wearing it regularly for the last 3 months and occasionally a couple of months before that and it looks brand new still. Regular wash and wear, it has taken me from an evening out to a day in blue jeans with ease. So assuming I can wear it through the entire pregnancy and for 2 years breastfeeding (likely more) it would average out to $2.55 per month, going down if I continued wearing it long after pregnancy and weaning. As both a dress and a tunic top it has a long life. Last, but not least, I would wear it primarily during colder months, however it would still be a go-to piece for special indoor events in the summer as the AC always makes me freeze inside during the summer.

Beyond the tops themselves though, I know that great customer service can make or break a shopping experience. Whether getting to shop her brick and mortar store in person in Wexford, Pennsylvania or shopping online, Judy Masucci, the owner of A Mother’s Boutique, is known for her fantastic customer service. Offering virtual fittings, you can send her your measurements and get bra fittings and size suggestions as well as specific articles that would work well for your body type. Patient and helpful, Judy aims to go above and beyond in helping her customers make great investments in garments that last, provide comfort, and flatter. Poor Judy has had to wait forever for this review, understandably impatient for me to share about the products she so carefully selects for her store. I spent some time the other day browsing her shop and encourage you to check it out. She has some fantastic sale prices right now and is celebrating her birthday and sharing Cake! Be sure to visit A Mother’s Boutique’s FB page and take advantage of the celebration.  You can get there by clicking the button on the right and take advantage of the discount for Leakies while you shop.

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It’s a nursing cover! It’s a poncho! It’s a skirt! It’s a Bamboobies Butterfly Wrap!

I sit here writing this in my Bamboobies Butterfly Wrap.  It is, quite possibly, the most comfortable article of clothing I own.

Kerry of Bamboobies, sent me the wrap to review ages and ages ago.  I’m not the fastest reviewer in part because I’m just really busy and finding the time and can be difficult.  But that’s not the only reason why I’m a slow reviewer, I take my time so I feel I can give an honest review and a time tested review.

I had some hesitation about the wrap at first.  Not because I thought it wasn’t pretty (it is) but more because I thought I wouldn’t really use it since I don’t cover to breastfeed.  But I decided to try it anyway.

There was a touch of disappointed when I took it out of it’s package, even though I knew it wasn’t bamboo, I was hoping for bamboo velour anyway.  Just because I love that stuff.  I completely and totally love my Bamboobies breast pads and so I’m afraid I’ve developed an unhealthy obsession with bamboo velour.  You can read about my experience with their breast pads here.

I got over my disappointment though and while it’s not bamboo velour (I hear angels sing every time I say that phrase) it is an incredibly soft, lightweight jersey.  So angels may not sing by I like to pet it anyway.  Throwing it on as a poncho I couldn’t help but think “I’ve never actually worn a poncho.”  Which is true.  I’m not sure why and I can’t say that any more.  It’s very easy to put on and arrange and look fabulously stylish.  The construction of the Butterfly Wrap is simple and when I examined it I thought “hey, I bet I could make this.”  And then I quickly realized two things: 1) Maybe I could but I never would, let’s be honest and 2) I probably couldn’t because it probably wasn’t as easy as I thought- nothing in sewing/crafting world is.  This simple construction, however, doesn’t mean frumpy and blah, nope.  It means sleek with an artistic flair.  I love flair.

By the way, it looks cool even without a baby bump.  Or at least I think so.

Grabbing Smunchie I talked her into wanting to breastfeed.  It took some convincing.  Ok, no it didn’t, she’s always willing and ready to breastfeed.  I was certain she was not going to like having something over her head and I was a little concerned that it would seem stifling since it doesn’t have any boning to keep it out.  Didn’t bother Smunchie one little bit and I realized I could pull the neck out a little and her head could hold the fabric taught enough so I could see her just fine.

So if I were a covering breastfeeding mom I would like the Butterfly Wrap as a nursing cover.  For starters just because I could wear it like it was part of my outfit and not have to put something special on to feed my baby.  Secondly because it’s cute but not cutesy.  More like stylish and nice.  Thirdly, because if I didn’t want to wear it and just throw it on to feed it’s super compact and thin and fits into a bag easily, I can carry mine in my purse.  We will not discuss the size of my purse.

But I’m not a covering mom and I still like it.  It’s a nice poncho and Bamboobies has some lovely photos of it as a maternity poncho, it looks stunning.  I’ve never worn it that way though and I still like it.

Why?

Because it is the most stylish, comfortable skirt on the planet.  It’s like wearing yoga pants but not pants and with way more flair.  Did I mention I like flair?  Funky flair at that.  An asymmetrical hem line, a bit of a slit without being too high, super comfortable fabric (sometimes I feel to make sure my skirt is still covering in the back- it’s that comfortable!) and a waist line I can barely feel but isn’t elastic makes it one of my favorite skirts to wear.  The zoo, a date, shopping, hanging out at home, or working at a coffee shop, meeting a friend for lunch, this skirt is ready for just about anything.  I’ve even worn it to an art gallery opening with a sparkly camisole and peep-toe heels.  Wish I had taken a picture because I looked really great that night and I was comfortable.  Well, mostly, Bamboobies needs to come out with something like the Butterfly Wrap but in footwear.  This skirt is perfect for postpartum.  For probably like 20 years postpartum.

The skirt did not improve my photography skills, my very dead, dry Texas drought yard, the laundry on my line or my chipped nail polish.  Also, I dare to bare my belly in one of these photos so you can see the waist line.  Consider yourself warned.  The afternoon light washed the black out a bit, it’s darker than this in real life.


The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: because I swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

What I liked:

Comfort.  The fabric is thin enough but opaque to have all areas of comfort covered.  The best part though is how soft it is.  I love soft.

Style.  I also like style and to me the Butterfly Wrap is very stylish however you’re going to be using it.  As a poncho, nursing cover or skirt it’s mom-wear with flair. (Ok, it’s killing me, every time I say “flair” I think of Jennifer Aniston in Office Space and smirk a little.)

Durable.  I’ve been wearing the Butterfly Wrap for more than 6 months now and it gets washed about once a week, depending.  It still looks good, the fabric isn’t balling up and it doesn’t show signs of wear.  Even after it’s endured some abuse it holds it’s shape well after every washing.

You know what else I liked?  I could not only nurse in it as a cover but the neckline is stretchy enough that I could also pull it down and pull my boob out and nurse with it on without covering.  Since I don’t cover but I like the look of the poncho in cooler weather, that works for me.  Covering is a personal choice, I’m in favor of a mom feeding her nursling however she’s most comfortable, covered or not.  I think the Butterfly Wrap is a great fashion choice regardless.

What I didn’t like:

I always promise fair reviews and there are a few things I’m not crazy about in the wrap.  If it’s cool enough that I feel I really need the coverage of the poncho I get irritated at the opening in the fabric letting in cool air.  However, I found I could reposition the poncho with the slit more in front and it wasn’t as much of a problem and I still liked how it looked.

Since my favorite way to wear it is as a skirt I have noticed that when I’ve been wearing it for a long time any given day it starts to sag and stretch in the waist.  I wear my shirts long so it really isn’t a problem for me but I don’t like starting to worry that it will fall down and I do wonder if that would be more of a problem with a big pregnant belly.  However, it never has fallen down, I’ve just worried that it will.  So I make sure to wear super cute panties just in case that does happen.  Really, you could say the wrap has encouraged stylish choices even in my undergarments.

Also, I was extremely disappointed that the skirt did not rehydrate my crunchy, drought stricken lawn, take down the laundry or paint my toenails.  But pedicures, lawn care and laundry maid were never promised so I guess I can’t be too disappointed.

Overall:

The wrap is staying as an essential part of my wardrobe.  It has it’s flaws but they are things I can live with.  In fact, I’d like to live with those problems in a few other colors.  There’s room from brown and purple in my closet I think.


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