Avoid Getting Punched in the Boob This Holiday Season

This email is generously sponsored by our friends at

 

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Hey moms, you need to take care of YOU!

Would a giveaway help?

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

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

Moms are tough.

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

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

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

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

Peace,

Jessica Martin-Weber
Founder, TheLeakyBoob.com

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

 

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Bipolar Parenting- The Fear My Children Would Be Better Off Motherless

by Joni Edelman

In 2005, my oldest sons were five and seven years old. On a summer afternoon I found them in a hurricane of kicks and slaps, a disagreement over legos or hot wheels. I raised my voice, yelling, STOP. Unfazed by my clenched fists, my volume, the anger in my eyes and in my scowl, their fighting continued. My rage reached boiling. I scanned the room. My eyes landed on a wooden chair near the door and brought it down on the hardwood floor in a crash, splinters flying, the flooring scratched. The fighting stopped and their expressions told a story of terror.

I remember those faces — still. It’s been 10 years.

***

In the summer of 1983 my best friend ever in the entire universe came to my house for a sleepover. My house was the best house for sleepovers. We had Twinkies and microwave popcorn, fruit roll-ups and A&W Root Beer — and all the things 9 year old’s dreams are made of. The cabinets were organized alphabetically; Twinkies by the Triscuits, popcorn by the Pasta-roni.

I had a daisy comforter and three decorative pillows, my own TV, and eight Cabbage Patch dolls. My mom would sometimes be gone all night — which only added to the allure.

Me and my best friend forever ate the popcorn, and everything else, and watched whatever was on TV (which wasn’t much). And went to sleep.

When we woke up Saturday morning, the house was quiet, and I had a new stepfather. Steve worked construction and smelled like stale cigarettes and tequila and freshly milled 2X4s. He yelled a lot. I didn’t like him. He had three pesky, filthy children, who I also didn’t like.

Friday night, my mom and Steve went to Vegas. And Saturday morning I had a new family. The next week, in the middle of a school day, my mom picked me up. From school we went to Steve’s house, which was dirty, remotely located, and surrounded by flooded groves of walnut trees and fields of cotton. I didn’t like it either.

I never saw my school — or my desk full of Hello Kitty pencils — again.

This may seem like odd behavior, because it is, but it wasn’t for me. Sudden changes in locale, housing, men, stepsiblings, schools, all typical. I loathed it. I was accustomed to it.

***

Ten years later I was living on my own and helping my sixth stepfather raise my 4-year-old sister. My mom was living in some remote city in Northern California, with the addict who would ostensibly become my seventh stepfather. I was in college, married, pregnant, terrified.

In early adulthood the bipolar disorder that was my genetic destiny was pushed around — shuffled from doctor to doctor, city to city, misdiagnosis to misdiagnosis. Deeply distressed, consumed by sadness, it was just “postpartum depression.” If I had manic energy, it was “drive” or “passion” or “dedication.” Snap decisions, irresponsible, risky, promiscuous, it was just “life learning.” I never finished anything I started, something always got in the way. It was never Bipolar Disorder.

It was always Bipolar Disorder.

I wanted children, a family — stability to heal my wounds. And I knew the truth, I was very sick. I wanted desperately to be anyone but my mother, but, always suppressed, always explained away, I was exactly like my mother. All night sewing marathons, consuming obsession with fitness, organization, church, gardening, decor, 17 kinds of crafts. My magical thinking, my invincibility. The rage. The waves of crippling depression.

I had three children who were pushed aside, when I was sad, or busy, which was a lot of the time. I yelled. I cried. I retreated. I apologized. I did it all again — an infinite loop of dysfunction.

I wanted to be the best mother. The opposite of my mother. I wanted to do it all, and well. But  I wasn’t doing it well. I was doing what I could. But sometimes what you can do isn’t enough.

There was always fear, the fear of the unspoken truth, the elephant in the room — in my life, all around me —  as much as I didn’t want to be my mother, I was. I ignored it, ultimately medicating the long troughs of depression, celebrating the months of boundless energy, denying the dysfunctional behavior;  the out of control spending, the risk taking, the defiance, the promiscuity, the rage.

For 20 years.

***

When I was 40, I met my psychiatrist, a diminutive man, who drinks lattes and eats Sun Chips during my appointments. The man who mixed a complicated cocktail of psychiatric medications, and finally leveled my moods. The man that rose my depression, and stole my mania, and bridged the gap between crippling sadness and dangerous madness. The man who changed it all.

Despite the bridge, my moods still shift from time to time. Lately they’ve been low, I’ve planned my death seven different ways. And so we adjust my dosages. Three months ago they were high, high enough that I didn’t want to sleep. But I continued to swallow the usual pills, and the extra pills he prescribed to force the sleep I hate, to shut me down. We move my meds up and down, in spite of the sometimes crippling side effects. In the name of sanity. In the name of trying to be a safe place for my five children.

Bipolar Parenting, Joni Edelman

I’m still scared. I’m scared that the 10 years I lived in denial hurt my children, irreparably.  I’m scared that they will grow up and write something like this, recounting a childhood of fear and dysfunction. I’m scared that the cocktail that keeps me alive may stop working — that the depths of depression will take hold, and I won’t be able to shake it. And I will die. And leave them motherless.

I’m scared that they might be better off motherless.

I’m scared that one of them will have this cursed gift. I’m scared they will blame me, like I blamed her. I’m scared that someday I’ll be her, and not even know.

Every night I brush my teeth and I swallow five pills and I hope that I can be better, that I am better.

___________________________

IMG_0670 I’m Joni. I’m lucky enough to have 5 amazing kids (19, 16, 15, 4 and 2), one fantastic husband, an awesome sister and a yarn addiction. When I’m not raising up people I’m a freelance writer, RN, and the momma behind mommabare. Love is my religion. I like cake and crafty crap. And yoga. In that order. 
You can follow Joni on Instagram here and on Twitter here.
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Six Ways To Support Someone With Postpartum Depression/Postpartum Anxiety

by Jessica Martin-Weber, illustration by Jennie Bernstein

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I can’t tell you the number of times each day we receive messages or have posts in the community group or on The Leaky Boob Facebook page wall from women just beginning to wade into the waters of acknowledging their struggle with postpartum depression and anxiety. The numbers, if we tracked them, would be staggering.

But they aren’t surprising.

According to the American Psychological Association, it is estimated that 9-16 percent of women who have had a baby will experience postpartum depression. Of those, 41% will go on to have it again after subsequent babies.

Which means chances are strong you or someone you know is struggling with postpartum depression or has dealt with it in the past.

The American Psychological Association describes the symptoms of PPD thus:

For mothers, PPD can:

  • affect ability to function in everyday life and increase risk for anxiety, cognitive impairment, guilt, self blame, and fear;
  • lead to difficulty in providing developmentally appropriate care to infants;
  • lead to a loss of pleasure or interest in life, sleep disturbance, feelings of irritability or anxiety, withdrawal from family and friends, crying, and thoughts of hurting oneself or one’s child;
  • be particularly problematic because of the social role adjustments expected of new mothers, which include immediate and constant infant care, redefining spousal and familial relationships, and work role.

The day I knew something was wrong with me was when my second baby was 5 weeks old and I was standing at my kitchen counter, staring blankly into the chocolate milk I was stirring, wishing I could get caught in the whirlpool swirling in my glass. I realized that I was fantasizing about committing suicide in my chocolate milk. That’s nor normal and that’s probably not good, I thought, then I took a drink of the chocolate milk I had just imagined drowning in and numbly turned back to my two children. They needed me, I was the one that was so weak of a person in character that I couldn’t handle it and wanted to die. My thoughts were that I needed to buck up, develop stronger character, and just be a good mom who loved being a good mom.

But I couldn’t try my way out of it. I was certain I was inadequate in every way possible.

The day my husband knew I needed help (he knew something was wrong before then) was when he came home to find me hiding in our closet while the toddler was crying downstairs and the baby was screaming in her bassinet. I had put myself there because I was afraid I was going to hurt my children. Standing above my baby’s bassinet where she was once again screaming, I hadn’t felt sympathy or concern for her, all I had felt was overwhelmed, failure, and the desire to throw her against the wall. Feelings that were so foreign to me and so strong that I became afraid for my children, afraid of what I could be capable of. I hadn’t even known I was capable of feeling that way in the first place. My husband called my midwife and appointment was set that would lead to other appointments and some medications.

Coming through that time was like being caught in a whirlpool, fighting a rushing current that threatened to suck me down. Sometimes I didn’t have the fight for it. Sometimes I did. Sometimes I didn’t but found the fight inspired by my children, my husband, and my friends. In the beginning, that was often the only way I found the fight.

Telling the people around us was a game changer. We were in a transitional time of our life, having just started being a part of a new community a few months before. Our previous community had splintered, we had just moved, and we felt disconnected from friends and never had been very close with our families and I just lost one of the closest family members I had to dementia then death the very day my daughter was born. My family, so far away, was already dealing with a hurt and loss so big I didn’t want to be responsible for adding to it. Hundreds, even thousands of miles and relational fractures separated us from the people in our life that previously had been our people. We were just starting to find that again and I was terrified that this depression, this overwhelming, all consuming inner oppression would drive them away and destroy my family’s chance at having a place to belong and people who cared.

Then something amazing happened. Those people cared anyway.

A small group of friends who we played in a band with and did shared faith with dared to care. Without us even telling them at first, they began to push into our lives a bit, even when I pushed them away. Eventually, we opened up and shared our struggle.

It was then they all grabbed an oar and began paddling my lifeboat against the current of that whirlpool even when I couldn’t. They helped save me. They also helped me find my own paddle not only for myself but to jump in and help when I have friends in the same boat.

As a society we don’t talk enough about mental health and postpartum depression gets little more than a checklist run through with our care providers. So much shame, stigma, and fear comes with admitting struggles with mental health even when we know that it isn’t an issue of good vs bad character. For those of us in the midst depression it can be difficult to express what we need, we may not even know ourselves. For those of us loving someone in the midst of depression it can be difficult to know what our loved ones need, how to be there, or how to help. For those of us with friends and acquaintances we suspect may be floundering, it can be difficult to know. I’m still learning but here is what my friends have taught me in truly supporting someone dealing with mental illness:

  1. Acceptance. Don’t argue that they don’t feel the way they feel, don’t point out they seem to be ok. Accepting what I admitted was what I was experiencing helped me accept it as well. That is the first step for getting better.
  2. Listen. Even if they don’t have anything to say. Even if they do and it takes them a while to figure out how to get it out.
  3. Wait. You may think you know exactly what they need but jumping in with all your suggestions to fix it can be crippling for the one who is not well. Wait with them, along side them but don’t tell them every idea you have for how they can better. Please be quiet about your oils, the diet suggestions, your faith belief promises, your books, your conviction that if they just count their blessings everything will be better, your recommendations for fresh air, and to get moving. Just wait with them. Be with them.
  4. Be there. One of the many sucky parts of depression and anxiety is that it often tells the sufferer they aren’t worthy, aren’t good enough for love. Messages of inadequacy may flood their spirit and in attempting to avoid that pain, they may attempt to avoid the people that want to be there through it and beyond. Be there anyway. Gently, patiently, persistently. Respect your boundaries while you be there and don’t tolerate abuse, but if you can continue being there even when you are pushed away, you may very well help them anchor themselves enough to fight against the current of depression and anxiety that tells them they aren’t good enough.
  5. Share. Knowing others have gone and are going through similar struggles can help. Comfort that maybe they aren’t alone, that others may understand, and that they are not a freak can help those suffering with mental health issues find their own inner power. And to know that others have gone through and emerged able to talk about it and having found a path that worked for them is a message of hope.
  6. Help. Oh this one is hard. How do you help without being pushy? How do you help without trying to fix them? My husband explains it this way: fight along side them, not in front of them (they don’t need a knight in shinning armor), not against them (distracts from the real battle), not behind them (makes them feel they need to watch their back), along side them. My friends helped me most by coming over and playing with my children, holding my baby even when she was screaming (she had reflux, she was often screaming), by sharing their personal experiences with depression and anxiety, by asking me and really wanting to know how I was doing, and by celebrating my good moments when I wanted to celebrate them.

Have a friend or partner you are concerned about? You can help her and by helping her you are helping her children as well. The road to healing isn’t always easy but it’s better when we’re not alone.

Not sure if you or someone you love is experiencing normal baby blues or postpartum depression or postpartum anxiety? This list may help put things in perspective.

 

 

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Leaky Boob and Earth Mama Support with Integrity

Earth Mama Celebrates The Leaky Boob and My Story Matters.

 

#MyStoryMatters #TLBsupportForward

Was breastfeeding a piece of cake for you? Or were you a mama who struggled every day? Was your time so short you don’t think you have a story, or so long you’re reluctant to mention it? Did you have the support of everyone, or were you discouraged from your choices? Every story is important, and every story matters: every time a breastfeeding mama tells her story it helps others see themselves and find courage and support. There is not ONE model for breastfeeding, and it doesn’t matter what your story is, we all need to commit to supporting each other.

 

In honor of The Leaky Boob’s Fifth Anniversary and My Story Matters, Earth Mama is renewing the Support With Integrity Pledge. The Leaky Boob’s open, supportive, non-judgmental environment is a perfect example of criticism-free breastfeeding help, with acknowledgment that there are as many ways to get your baby fed as there are types of nursing pillows. The Leaky Boob encourages “acceptance no matter if you use a pillow from the bed or one that’s branded – if one kind of pump works better for you then hallelujah! Nobody lives this life exactly the same way. That includes different breastfeeding “methods”. If the mama is happy and the baby is healthy that’s perfect. And we can encourage a community of people who are there to support, not criticize or judge.” Sing it, Leaky!

 

The Support with Integrity Pledge gives props to women who choose to lift each other up, and not tear each other down. There are so many opinions and choices when it comes to breastfeeding: whether or not you should even be using a nursing pillow, which brand, how often, on a schedule not on a schedule, a nipple shield or not, and don’t get us started on position! Football, side laying, upside down yoga baby… there is so much overwhelming information, and everyone has a different experience.

 

Instead of judging choices that are different from ours, let’s choose to be each other’s cheerleaders. Let’s choose to acknowledge that breastfeeding can be hard, or easy, or both, and it can be different for different children of the same mama. Let’s stand down from judgment, and jump toward supporting every mama’s personal decision. Let’s strengthen and unite the efforts of breastfeeding supporters, who focus on getting the baby fed, and not take sides about how it’s done, or being right.

 

So often when you find an exhausted mama, a crying baby, and frustration at trying to make this breastfeeding thing work, you also find people wanting to help. And help is wonderful, of course, but sometimes it comes with an edge. Some who are very invested in a certain way of doing things can sometimes forget to, first and most important, be kind and supportive. Maybe you’ve been the mama, maybe you’ve been the supportive friend, maybe you’ve even been the one pushing an agenda a little too hard. We’ve all been there, and we all mean well.

Need some help trying to figure out what’s helpful and what’s not? Here are some ways to support mamas who may not be making the same choices as you:

 

Helpful

 

  • “You are doing great, mama.” This little phrase can mean so much, especially when a mama is feeling confused and exhausted.

 

  • Suggest she find a support site or Facebook page similar to HER values, not yours. The Leaky Boob is a welcoming breastfeeding community that offers judgment-free support and helpful resources.

 

  • “How can I help? I will keep my opinions to myself and do whatever you need!” And then button your lip and do it!

 

  • Help defuse aggressive questioning or pointed comments with a, “I’m so glad your nursing choices have been beneficial to you and your baby, but my friend has chosen a different way and she could really use our support!”

 

 

Not Helpful

 

  • Piles of research on the “right” way to breastfeed – we can find all sorts of conflicting information on the Internet. Respect that your friend has chosen a way that works for her, even if you disagree with it.

 

  • Scary stories information about other people’s bad experiences.

 

  • “It was easy for you before, why can’t you do it this time?” Remember, different babies have different breastfeeding experiences.

 

  • Any unsolicited opinion about method, equipment, position, or schedule – you don’t know the whole story, and if the baby’s being fed, just smile and admire that there are lots of ways to get the job done!

 

 

And now, go take the pledge! “I agree to hold hands and help mamas get what they need to make breastfeeding work for them, no matter how they choose to do it. If a mama and baby are making it work, I’ll stand and cheer them on from the sidelines.”

 

Sign on now here!

____________________

Share with us what you find to be helpful and respectful support and what you have found not to be helpful nor respectful support in the comments below.

____________________

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Party Like A Leaky – Final Bundle

 This is it Leakies, the last of our biggest birthday bash yet. The Leaky Boob is turning 5 years old and we’re celebrating ALL MONTH LONG! 

It’s been five years of sharing our stories, joys, frustrations, challenges, experience, information, and community together. To celebrate we’re collecting some of our favorite maternity, breastfeeding, and baby products to give as gifts to YOU Leakies. Each week our celebration includes a different birthday bash bundle of prizes from our favorite brands, presents for Leakies. 

AND we’re growing! 

Some of us aren’t breastfeeding or bottle-feeding any more (and you thought it was going to last forever) but you’re still a part of our community and you’re still nourishing and loving your family so we’ve grown to expand two more communities where we can talk about our highs and lows of that journey in a safe, judgment-free environment. Over on BeyondMoi.com we talk a lot about, well, everything, specially about parenting and relationships. OurStableTable.com invites everyone to find a seat at the table embracing that sometimes there’s a little wobble in one of our legs, making room for allergies, and creatively nourishing our whole selves with recipes and a lot of honest conversation. 

Last, but not least, we have launched our newsletter which brings together TLB, Beyond Moi, and OST, with exclusive special features not available anywhere else, giveaways, round ups, and more from the community. See our current newsletter and sign ups here

Our family is growing and we’re happy to share it with you!


Let’s party like a Leaky this month and #TLBsupportForward!

Bundle #5

Here is what’s included in TLB’s Birthday Bash Bundle #5:

Ameda: Nursing Cami and Bra – Retail Value: $73
The Ameda Intimates Nursing Camisole and Nursing Bra are made with flexible fabric to adapt to mother’s changing shape and provide comfortable support without underwire, minimizing the risk of plugged ducts or mastitis.

Bonus from Ameda: [email protected]’s T-Shirt! – Retail Value: $15
All proceeds from the sale of the shirt go to Mother & Child Health Coalition in St Louis.

ErgoBaby: Original Carrier in Red – Retail Value: $120
This patented design supports baby in a natural sitting position to encourage healthy hip development and evenly distributes baby’s weight between hips and shoulders. The Red Carrier brings along a vibrant yet classic pop of color to embark on your everyday adventures.

Arm’s Reach ConceptsMini Arc Co-Sleeper – Retail Value: $180
The Mini Arc 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 Arc Co-Sleeper® bassinet is the ideal sleep solution for any concerned parent.

StrollAirMy Duo Stroller – Retail Value: $800
The perfect twin / double stroller. StrollAir My Duo stroller has ability to reverse each seat independently of each other. Great for twins as well as two children of different ages. It is lightweight (29 lbs with seats) and has a narrow 29 inch wide frame. Lightweight aluminum chassis, two independent, reversible seats, two separate hoods with sun protection extension, two flip open, removable front bars, large shopping basket with 3 pockets, diaper bag, two mosquit nets, two rain covers, two foot muffs. It takes two infant car seats (with optional High and Low Adapters) and two Bassinettes. My Duo also be used in combination of one seat with one adapter or one seat with one bassinette.

DionoRainier Convertible + Travel Bag – Retail Value: $430
The New Diono Rainier is the ultimate in car seat safety with new extra deep side walls providing enhanced side impact protection taking Diono car seats to a whole new level. With its extended rear-facing capabilities, it can comfortably seat rear-facing children from 5 to 50 lbs. and forward-facing children from 20 to 90 lbs. in 5-point harness mode (up to 57″ in height). Additionally it converts to a booster for children between 50 and 120 lbs. or up to 57″ in height. This limited edition hounds tooth print will have your little one traveling in still as well as comfort and safety.

Mamma-Kin LCCKoalaKin, Hands Free Nursing Pouch – Retail Value: $90
Breastfeeding may be natural, but it’s not always intuitive. That’s why we created the KoalaKin, Hands Free Nursing Pouch®… a unique sling that allows moms to perfectly position babies for nursing, giving them easy and inconspicuous access to the breast with minimal strain on the body, and freeing up your hands so you could stay active with older children and other interests.

Nova Naturals Toys & CraftsBaby Toy Sampler – Retail Value: $139
Nova Natural Toys & Crafts core mission is to provide wholesome products that encourage every child’s individual and beautiful spirit to flourish. Our focus is on toys and crafts made from natural materials to inspire creativity and last for generations. Included in this Baby Toy Sampler:
Cuddle Doll – $36 Our soft Cuddle Doll is perfect for babies and toddlers. Large enough to cuddle close, but light enough to easily tote around, kids love to hug and hold them!
Rolling Hedgehog – $30 This critter has easy to grasp ridges, smoothly rolling wheels and a beautiful rainbow ball that moves while the hedgehog rolls, but won’t fall out or get lost.
Doll Sling – $28 Perfect for big brother or sister to wear their baby while you wear yours!
Rainbow Grasper – $20 These vibrantly colored wooden balls are attached by an elastic, allowing them to roll against each other in a way you and baby will love. Maple wood and non-toxic stains.
Little Chick Rattle – $24 This soft organic rattle is perfect for shaking or snuggling!

MobyWrap: Moby Wrap by Lotta – Retail Value: $60
Parents love the smart, simple design that accommodates a wide range of body shapes and adjusts easily as baby grows. Babies love the closeness of being wrapped safely and securely, next to a familiar heartbeat. And now we offer the comfort and security of the original Moby Wrap, with the beautiful designs of Lotta Jansdotter. 

Cake Lingerie: Cotton Candy Luxury Seamless Nursing Bra – Retail Value: $53
The Luxury Seamless Maternity/ Nursing Bra is silky soft & built for comfort. Its carefully positioned double-layered side sling, strength panels and T-back structure are designed to maximise lift and support. It is ideal during initial stages of pregnancy, immediately post childbirth and as a sleep-bra, when your breasts are rapidly changing in size & shape. This bra will grow to accommodate your changing bust without restriction.

BooksTo.Me: 3 Month Subscription – Retail Value: $72
The easiest way to get your photos off of Instagram and into your hands: BooksTo.Me is a subscription service (quarterly or monthly) that automatically pulls every image you post to Instagram from that period. The images are then automatically laid out and printed in a hardbound press-printed book which is shipped directly to you.

Eyla’sEyla’s Starter Package – Retail Value: $140
With this package you receive:
1 x 4oz bottle of Momma Nature Clean Hand Spritz which is all Natural, Vegan and edible. The main ingredient is Tea Tree Oil which is naturally antibacterial.
1 x Baby Comfy Nose Nasal Aspirator. Baby Comfy Nose uses your own suction, so it is much more effective than bulb and battery type aspirators. The design protects you from any contact with mucus and germs, but use a tissue in the body of the aspirator as an effective and disposable filter.
1 x Zen Rocks Infinity Heart Silicone Jewelry. The Infinity Heart design represents never-ending possibilities and no limitations on love.
2 x Baltic Amber Necklace one for baby and one for mom. Amber is associated with sunlight and warmth and reputed to boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, accelerates the healing of wounds, reduce inflammation of the throat, ear and stomach infections and respiratory disease. There are no tablets, medications or pastes that can compete with this amber, the necklace is unique and has amazing results which are all natural.
1 x Aqua Vessel Insulated Stainless Steel Filtration Bottle. The Aqua Vessel Insulated Filter Bottle is the first of its kind – a bottle that not only keeps your water cold, but also filters as you drink. Our sustainable plant-based filter attaches easily to the straw top, so every sip you take is cleaned on its way to your mouth. The Stainless Steel design will also allow you to keep cold liquids cold for 36+ hours.

Nurse Purse: Stylish Breast Pump Bag – Retail Value: $129
With room to carry a pump, cooler, laptop and more, the Nurse Purse truly is a better breast pump bag. Designed by a working mom, the Nurse Purse is a stylish step up for breastfeeding Moms on the go. With a sturdy removable insert that holds your breast pump securely in place, water and stain resistant fabrics, and room for all your essentials, the Nurse Purse is the only bag you’ll need.

Melinda GSmoothly Divine Nursing Bra – Retail value: $49
The Smoothly Divine nursing bra features removable pads – mom wears the bra with the pads for discretion and added OOOOMPH! or without the pads for natural contours – either way, she looks great!
We will send the winner a nude Smoothly Divine nursing bra, in a size chosen by her from the range of sizes on our website. Enjoy your baby!

Undercover MamaBasic Essentials Nursing Shirt – Retail value: $25
The Undercover Mama attaches to any nursing bra to make any shirt a nursing shirt. Keep your back, sides and stomach covered while you nurse in style and comfort.

PebbleRainbow Bunny Rattle – Retail value: $22
This cheerful Bunny Rattle from Pebble is handmade and is bringing smiles to faces around the world. This fair trade product provides much-needed employment to mothers providing for their children in rural Bangladesh. Machine washable. 

Total Value of this bundle: $2,397

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Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from April 29, 2015 through May 6, 2015.  A big thanks to all of the sponsors of this birthday giveaway bundle for their support of TLB and all breastfeeding women; please be sure to take a moment to thank them on their Facebook pages for their show of support!

This giveaway bundle is open to participants in the USA. 

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Tension and Breastfeeding, How Relaxing Save Her Breastfeeding Relationship

by Vivian Muehlen
this post made possible by the generous support of KoalaKin.
Vivian & Luc KoalaKin

The author and her son.

 

I still wince when I think that I had to give up breastfeeding 5 months after my son was born, due to a myriad of issues ranging from low milk supply, tendonitis, mastitis and lower back pain. And that was almost 12 years ago!

When my second son was born, I was again 100% committed to breastfeeding, but now I also had a preschooler running around the house. Not only that, but I was again afflicted with mastitis (caused by a poor latch) and arm, neck and shoulder pain from breastfeeding my little guy 8-12 times a day. Wait! Wasn’t breastfeeding supposed to be natural? It was then that I realized that breastfeeding may be natural, but its not instinctual. I needed help ASAP!

I tried slings and wraps, but they didn’t work for me. They weren’t supportive enough and my son’s face always ended up not perfectly aligned with my breast, or his latch would slip as soon as I moved.

I was at my wits end, almost giving up, when I decided to create my own solution. As soon as I developed a halfway functioning prototype of the KoalaKin and began using it with my son, a flood of relief ran through me as I was finally able to relax a little bit. My son was supported, his latch was firm and I had not one, but two free hands. Not longer feeling any strain, I was able to give my boy all my attention. I noticed his teeny, tiny fingernails, his fine hair, and the insane cuteness of his little feet… Words cannot explain the feeling of empowerment, confidence and GRATITUDE I felt when I realized that after all these years of struggle, I was finally able to effortlessly breastfeed my child.

And best of all: I now loved just staring at him breastfeed, knowing I was giving him the absolute best. There’s no feeling like it. No pain, all gain.

One of the best pieces of advice I received in my breastfeeding journey, was that it was important to minimize stress as much as possible. When moms are stressed, their breast milk supply usually decreases dramatically. Also, some studies even show that elevated levels of stress also cause a defective let down reflex.

Paradoxically, breastfeeding in itself is actually calming. The hormone prolactin is released during breastfeeding, which gives mom a feeling of peace and tranquility. That being said, the worry ABOUT breastfeeding (is my baby getting enough, what, he’s hungry again?, when is the laundry going to get done?), causes stress amongst moms and may interfere with a mom’s ability to establish a good milk supply.

KK Jade Comp LR KoalaKin

Vivian created the KoalaKin to offer other women the kind of support she found she needed to help her relax during breastfeeding and reach her breastfeeding goals. To learn more about how the KoalaKin could support you and to determine if it is right for you, click here.

 

What I wish I had known on how to relax during this special time:

Don’t wait until your baby is crying. Nothing stresses out a mom more than hearing her baby cry. Fussiness is the first cue that a baby is hungry. This is the time a mom should calmly sit or lay down with her baby and nurse. Not waiting until the baby cries will greatly reduce feelings of stress and overwhelm.

Listen to calming music. Take a moment to pop in your favorite calming tunes. Don’t focus on what kind of music you listen to, focus on how the music makes you feel. Classical music may be relaxing to some, and annoying to others. I personally liked to listen to yoga music, which always drove my husband crazy!

Create a favorite breastfeeding spot. Be it a bright space by a window in your living room or a dimly lit corner in your child’s nursery, creating a favorite breastfeeding spot can immediately relax and calm a tired, overwhelmed mom. Again, choose a spot that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. That’s the feeling you want over and over again when you breastfeed.

Make sure you are seated in an ergonomic way. There is virtually no way a mom can relax if her body is feeling any level of discomfort. Back or arm strain can make a nursing session torturous, and therefore it is very important to ensure mom is comfortable, and can stay that way for the next 20-40 minutes. A chair with excellent back support and an armrest is a must. Breastfeeding pillows, slings or a KoalaKin can help support the baby’s weight, allowing mom to relax any areas of strain and enabling a more ergonomic breastfeeding position.

Prepare a light snack to eat while breastfeeding. Don’t they say “sleep when the baby sleeps”? Well, I’ll add to that and say “eat when the baby eats!” Keep a stash of healthy, convenient snacks, like trail mix, pretzels and hummus, healthy energy bars and fruits where you can just grab and go. Once the baby is latched on and contently nursing away, treat yourself to these delicious snacks. Since nursing sessions can take up to 40 minutes, moms can take their time and really enjoy nourishing themselves!

Read a good book or watch TV. After a good snack, there’s nothing better than indulging in a good book or favorite TV show. As much as breastfeeding can be bonding, it’s not practical to expect to stare into your little one’s eyes through every session any more than every meal with your romantic partner should be a candlelit dinner. Getting comfortable and enjoying something that has you looking straight ahead can also help relieve tension in the neck and shoulders when you have good support.

While breastfeeding is something we do for our babies, with a little bit of organization and practice, this can also be a time that moms can use to take care of and nourish themselves.

Thanks to the KoalaKin, I was able to bond more with my son, and most importantly, I was able to breastfeed longer than I would’ve been able to, because the KoalaKin helped ease the strain I was feeling.

I’m a big believer that a mom should use any tool she thinks might help her successfully nurse her baby. After all, breastfeeding is one of the most beautiful, healthy and natural things a mother can do with her baby. There isn’t any one tool that work for every mom or even with every baby for the same mom. Be flexible and willing to try new things and take care of yourself to better be able to take care of your baby. Relax, you’ve got this!

___________________________

The KoalaKin Hands-Free Nursing Pouch was created by Vivian in 2009 after she suffered through several very frustrating breastfeeding attempts, where a poor latch coupled with arm, neck and shoulder pain from holding her baby in the same position for 30-40 minutes several times a day, took away from the wonderful experience that breastfeeding should be.
Tired of the pain and frustration, Vivian decided she needed help fast and turned to products such as slings and wraps.  However, she quickly realized there was nothing in the market that addressed her needs … so the first prototype of the KoalaKin was born!  With the goal of becoming the product that provides the best possible breastfeeding experience, Vivian worked tirelessly with lactation consultants and other birthing professionals, and turned her early prototypes into the KoalaKin that is available today. 
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Party Like a Leaky Part 4 – International Edition

 The Leaky Boob is turning 5 years old and we’re celebrating ALL MONTH LONG! And this week the party is going international to include all the readers in the 173 countries where TheLeakyBoob.com is read.

To celebrate we’re collecting and sharing your stories along with collecting some of our favorite maternity, breastfeeding, and baby products to give as gifts to YOU Leakies. Each week our celebration includes a different birthday bash bundle of prizes from our favorite brands, presents for Leakies. AND we’re growing!

Some of us aren’t breastfeeding or bottle-feeding any more (and you thought it was going to last forever) but you’re still a part of our community and you’re still nourishing and loving your family so we’ve grown to expand two more communities where we can talk about our highs and lows of that journey in a safe, judgment-free environment. Over on BeyondMoi.com we talk a lot about, well, everything, specially about parenting and relationships. OurStableTable.com invites everyone to find a seat at the table embracing that sometimes there’s a little wobble in one of our legs, making room for allergies, and creatively nourishing our whole selves with recipes and a lot of honest conversation.

Last, but not least, we have launched our newsletter which brings together TLB, Beyond Moi, and OST, with exclusive special features not available anywhere else, giveaways, round ups, and more from the community. Our first newsletter and sign-ups available here

Our family is growing and we’re happy to share it with you!


Let’s party like a Leaky this month and #TLBsupportForward!

giveaway, The Leaky Boob, international, baby products, nursing, breastfeeding

Here is what’s included in TLB’s Birthday Bash Bundle #4:

Ameda: Purely Yours Double Electric Breast Pump – Retail Value: $194
Whether you are returning to work or want a fast and easy pumping experience, the Ameda Purely Yours double electric breast pump, designed for daily use, is the ideal breast pump. The Purely Yours breast pumps combine hospital recommended technology with mom friendly features.  Offering the same great pump through retail locations (on-line and brick-and-mortar), insurance benefits, and WIC you can depend on Ameda to provide moms with the tools they need to feed their baby.

Bonus from Ameda: [email protected]’s T-Shirt! – Retail Value: $15
All proceeds from the sale of the shirt go to Mother & Child Health Coalition in St Louis.

Tula Baby CarriersErgonomic Baby Carrier – Retail Value: $149
Tula Carriers, Ring Slings, and Wraps, known for comfort, quality, and style, are the top choice in handmade ergonomic baby carriers to be used from birth through toddlerhood and beyond.

MommyCon2 General Admission Tickets to MommyCon – Retail Value: $80
Two general admission tickets to any MommyCon in 2015. MommyCon is you chance to hear Jessica, founder and owner of The Leaky Boob, speak along with a collection of other gifted speakers. Check out when MommyCon will be in a city near you!

Rebecca Michi – Children’s Sleep Consultant: a Copy of Her Book: Sleep and Your Child’s Temperament and a 45 minute telephone sleep consultation – Retail Value: $166
In ‘Sleep and Your Child’s Temperament’, discover how important your child’s personality is in achieving the rest they need. Whether baby sleep, toddler sleep or the sleep of preschool children, learn how to help your child – and you – get a good night’s sleep.

A 45 minute telephone sleep consultation with award winning author and no cry sleep consultant Rebecca Michi. We can work on schedules, routines, gently encouraging more independent sleep, dropping night feeds (when age appropriate) and creating a perfect sleep space if that be bedsharing or crib sleeping.

Spray PalSpray Pal splatter shield – Retail Value: $25
The Spray Pal Splatter Shield was invented by parents to make pre-rinsing cloth diapers easy and mess-free! Just clip your diaper in, grab your diaper sprayer and spray clean at full pressure without worrying about any backsplash on you or the bathroom floor. Easy to clean and folds flat for easy storage.

Goumikids: Goumikids Newborn Set – Retail Value: $40
Goumikids products feature innovative, smart design so that mitts, boots and hats stay put, comfortably. The newborn set is the perfect accompaniment to baby’s arrival with mitts to keep baby from scratching, a hat to regulate body temperature, and boots to keep toes cozy. Organic cotton/bamboo blend.

Beyond the Willow Tree: $50 Gift Voucher – Retail Value: $50
Keepsake jewelry store specializing in unique breast milk jewellery, hair jewellery, placenta and umbilical jewellery, wedding and special keepsakes from a loved ones ashes.

Eyla’s: Eyla’s Starter Package – Retail Value: $140
With this package you receive:
1 x 4oz bottle of Momma Nature Clean Hand Spritz which is all Natural, Vegan and edible. The main ingredient is Tea Tree Oil which is naturally antibacterial.
1 x Baby Comfy Nose Nasal Aspirator. Baby Comfy Nose uses your own suction, so it is much more effective than bulb and battery type aspirators. The design protects you from any contact with mucus and germs, but use a tissue in the body of the aspirator as an effective and disposable filter.
1 x Zen Rocks Infinity Heart Silicone Jewelry. The Infinity Heart design represents never-ending possibilities and no limitations on love.
2 x Baltic Amber Necklace one for baby and one for mom. Amber is associated with sunlight and warmth and reputed to boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, accelerates the healing of wounds, reduce inflammation of the throat, ear and stomach infections and respiratory disease. There are no tablets, medications or pastes that can compete with this amber, the necklace is unique and has amazing results which are all natural.
1 x Aqua Vessel Insulated Stainless Steel Filtration Bottle. The Aqua Vessel Insulated Filter Bottle is the first of its kind – a bottle that not only keeps your water cold, but also filters as you drink. Our sustainable plant-based filter attaches easily to the straw top, so every sip you take is cleaned on its way to your mouth. The Stainless Steel design will also allow you to keep cold liquids cold for 36+ hours.

PebbleRainbow Bunny Rattle – Retail value: $22
This cheerful Bunny Rattle from Pebble is handmade and is bringing smiles to faces around the world. This fair trade product provides much-needed employment to mothers providing for their children in rural Bangladesh. Machine washable. 

Total Value of this bundle: $857

__________________

Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from April 22, 2015 through April 29, 2015.  A big thanks to all of the sponsors of this birthday giveaway bundle for their support of TLB and all breastfeeding women; please be sure to take a moment to thank them on their Facebook pages for their show of support!

This giveaway bundle is open to international participants. 

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In Search of Answers on Breastfeeding

by Elizabeth Grattan
I found the Leaky Boob after a long while of going it alone in my nursing journey. I lurked silently for months. I watched women come for support. I listened and I learned. And I am so thankful and grateful for the resource. We are three plus years and going strong, my lad and I. And so, in the spirit of forward support, the following is my contribution to celebrate five wonderful years of encouragement for women and men. Thank you Jessica and your admins and the entire family of TLB. All those in this community who make the difference. — Elizabeth
The Leaky Boob #SupportForward #MyStoryMatters Breastfeeding support

The author and her son.

So many questions. So many answers. Information at our fingertips as we crowd source for support and scour the internet to validate our choices. And still, with all the resources in the world, so much still unknown.

Until we figure out we’re answering the wrong questions. We’re framing our dialogues wrong. We’re talking, but we’re not really saying anything. We’re hearing, but we aren’t really listening. We’re trying to reach, without teaching the things that equip and empower women.

So stop for minute. And consider a better lesson….

The reproductive right that belongs to women. The informed choice she can make when taught all the information. The answer to every single question:

Teach children about anatomy. Equip and educate on reproductive choice early and often. Teach the history of breastfeeding. That autonomy always mattered. That milk is custom to species. That women weaned. That nursing a child is part of the reproductive journey.

Teach what alternatives were used besides the mother’s breast to nourish the offspring. Animals, meat stocks, slaves —  hundreds of options that tested our humanity along the way. Teach the history. The good, the bad, the ugly. Teach the injustice. Teach the risk they carried. Teach that babies died early. That infant mortality was horrifying. That we used and exploited women’s bodies.

Teach that we wanted to breastfeed. That we wanted to wean. That we wanted to dry up our milk completely. That we were once unknowingly stripped of a choice. That a pill and a shot were just par for the course. That women and children were at risk. That our options were hit or miss.

Teach the advancements in our journey. How far we have come. How we’re still not done. How amazing that is. That women and children live. But that for some, those same horrors still exist. Teach that we are still working on it.

Teach the socio-economics. Teach the privilege. Teach the realities and the limits on women. Teach the strides we’re making. Teach the change in legislation. Teach that we can and have and will succeed in decisions.

Teach that nursing is a learning process. That seeing breastfeeding matters. That we need observation and exposure. Teach that qualifications have no place. That normalizing keeps women and children from hiding under cover in shame.

Teach about the imperfection in reproduction. So no one is taken aback because a myth told them it was for everyone. Teach how to handle the griefs and losses for women who had their reproductive choices stripped from them.

Teach how to dry the milk. Teach how to wean. Teach how to latch a baby. Teach the laws on breastfeeding. Teach people everything.

And don’t assume a woman will decide to nurse and don’t assume she won’t. Ask her. Trust her answer. Trust her answer might change. And empower her along the way.

So if she says: “I do not want to use my reproductive system this way,” you say: “Okay, here is information on all your options. From drying your milk to stopping engorgement to offering your child their developmental requirement. Here is what’s safe. Here is what isn’t.”

So if she says: “I want to use my reproductive system this way,” you say: “Okay, here is information on all you’re offering. From latching your child to expressing your milk to never forgetting to be kind to yourself. Here is what’s safe. Here is what isn’t.”

But don’t battle about if a reproductive process has benefits. Don’t project your personal preference. Don’t ignore the anecdotes. Don’t ignore the evidence. Don’t tell. Listen. And ask the only relevant question:

“What do you want to do? Because it’s your body, it’s your call. And I want you to know I’m here to help you. Through it all.”

_______________

How would you answer the above question? How have you asked it in support of other women? How are you giving support forward?

_______________

Elizabeth Grattan bio headshot
Elizabeth Grattan is a broadcast talent and writer who has covered current events, human interest and social justice for over twenty-five years. Her loves are the strong, gentle arms of her best friend, reasonably priced blended reds and obviously her dream come true little man. Find & friend Elizabeth on FB or follow along on Twitter.
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It’s TLB’s 5th Birthday! Time to Party Like a Leaky Part 2!

 The Leaky Boob is turning 5 years old and we’re celebrating ALL MONTH LONG! To celebrate we’re collecting and sharing your stories along with collecting some of our favorite maternity, breastfeeding, and baby products to give as gifts to YOU Leakies. Each week our celebration includes a different birthday bash bundle of prizes from our favorite brands, presents for Leakies. AND we’re growing! Some of us aren’t breastfeeding or bottle-feeding any more (and you thought it was going to last forever) but you’re still a part of our community and you’re still nourishing and loving your family so we’ve grown to expand two more communities where we can talk about our highs and lows of that journey in a safe, judgment-free environment. Over on BeyondMoi.com we talk a lot about, well, everything, specially about parenting and relationships. OurStableTable.com invites everyone to find a seat at the table embracing that sometimes there’s a little wobble in one of our legs, making room for allergies, and creatively nourishing our whole selves with recipes and a lot of honest conversation. Our family is growing and we’re happy to share it with you!


Let’s party like a Leaky this month and #TLBsupportForward!

Bundle #2

Here is what’s included in TLB’s Birthday Bash Bundle #2:

Tula Baby Carriers: Ring Sling – Retail Value: $135
Tula Carriers, Ring Slings, and Wraps, known for comfort, quality, and style, are the top choice in handmade ergonomic baby carriers to be used from birth through toddlerhood and beyond.

GladRagsCloth Pad Sampler Kit – Retail Value: $95
An excellent start to any cloth pad user’s collection available in a variety of fun and colorful styles. The Pad Sampler Kit contains 3 GladRags Day Pads, 3 GladRags Pantyliners, 1 GladRags Night Pad, 1 GladRags Carry Bag, 1 Mesh Laundry Bag. New to cloth pads? The Cloth Pad Sampler Kit is a great place to start! For most women, this kit contains enough pads to cover you for part of your cycle. You’ll get to try our Day Pads, Pantyliners, and Night Pads and discover which ones are the best fit for your body and your flow. Tote them on the go in your Carry Bag, and make sure nothing gets lost in the wash with the Mesh Laundry Bag!

Bamboobiesa Multi-pack Bamboobies Nursing Pads (3 Pairs Regular + 1 Pair Overnight), Boob♥ease 100% Organic Nipple Balm and our Bamboobies Chic Nursing Shawl – Retail Value: $68

Snugabell Mom & Baby GearPumpEase – Retail Value: $38
PumpEase is the only hands-free pumping bra that’s as stylish as it is functional. Free up both hands while you pump!

Baby K’tan, LLC: ACTIVE Baby Carrier – Retail Value: $60
The Baby K’tan ACTIVE Baby Carrier is an innovative “ready to wear” wrap. Made of hi-tech performance fabric, it provides a unique temperature control, wicks away moisture, and blocks over 90% of UVA and UVB rays. The carrier’s unique double-loop design functions as an all-in-one sling, wrap and baby carrier, yet does not require any wrapping or buckling. Simply slip it on like a t-shirt! The Baby K’tan is sized like clothing for the perfect fit (XS, S, M, L, XL) and offers multiple positions from 8-35 lb. Chemical free, azo dye free. No hardware, plastic or metal.

Naked Nursing Tank: Nursing Tank – Retail Value: $40
100% Canadian made Luxury Bamboo Naked Nursing Tank – A midsection cover-up for breastfeeding moms worn underneath regular wardrobe. Allows moms to lift their shirt to nurse their babies while their midriff stays covered at the same time. The Naked Tank is the only nursing tank on the market that can be worn with any bra, and fits every body type (sizes XS – 5X), turning every shirt into a nursing shirt -saving Mom’s money!!

Momzelle Breastfeeding Apparel: Momzelle Gift Card – Retail Value: $50 USD
Shop our online store for the nursing top of your choice. We have a full line of stylish and practical clothes all designed with easy to use nursing openings. From nursing tanks and tees to beautiful nursing dresses, breastfeed your baby anywhere and everywhere with comfort and ease.

A Mother’s BoutiqueVirtual Bra Fitting(R) – Retail Value: $25
Most Moms don’t know what size bra they should be wearing. Our service helps them to figure it out and make recommendations for bras that will meet their needs. It also includes a $25 discount toward one bra of their choice.

Ameda: Store’N Pour Breastmilk Storage Bags – Retail Value :$13
The Store‘N Pour Breast Milk Storage Bags feature everything a mother could want including easy-close zip seal so bags won’t leak, unique tear-and-pour spout helps prevent spills during milk transfer and a gusseted bottom allows filled bag to stand on its own. 50 bags plus 2 adapters.

Bonus from Ameda: [email protected]’s T-Shirt! – Retail Value: $15
All proceeds from the sale of the shirt go to Mother & Child Health Coalition in St Louis.

Total Value of this bundle: $539

__________________

Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from April 7, 2015 through April 15, 2015.  A big thanks to all of the sponsors of this birthday giveaway bundle for their support of TLB and all breastfeeding women; please be sure to take a moment to thank them on their Facebook pages for their show of support!

This giveaway bundle is for U.S. and Canada Residents only. That’s right, Canadian Leakies: This giveaway is for you too! 🙂

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Congratulations TLB, You’re 5! Presents For Leakies!

 

The Leaky Boob is turning 5 years old and we’re celebrating ALL MONTH LONG! To celebrate we’re collecting and sharing your stories along with collecting some of our favorite maternity, breastfeeding, and baby products to give as gifts to YOU Leakies. AND we’re growing! Some of us aren’t breastfeeding or bottle-feeding any more (and you thought it was going to last forever) but you’re still a part of our community and you’re still nourishing and loving your family so we’ve grown to expand two more communities where we can talk about our highs and lows of that journey in a safe, judgment-free environment. Over on BeyondMoi.com we talk a lot about, well, everything, specially about parenting and relationships. OurStableTable.com invites everyone to find a seat at the table embracing that sometimes there’s a little wobble in one of our legs, making room for allergies, and creatively nourishing our whole selves with recipes and a lot of honest conversation. Our family is growing and we’re happy to share it with you!


Let’s party like a Leaky this month and #TLBsupportForward!

Bundle #1 better

Beco Baby Carrier: Gemini 10-Year Anniversary Baby Carrier (LIMITED EDITION), made with Repreve – Value: $130
Keep your little one close while you dash around town, breezing through mommy/daddy duties hands-free. Suitable for all-day use, Beco Gemini allows you to carry baby in a seat that’s comfortable and safe for both of you.
 Every Repreve Blend Beco Gemini Baby Carrier is made from 5 recycled bottles

Bebe au LaitComfort by Design Nursing Pillow, Retail Value: $55
Created by a nursing mom, the Bébé au Lait Comfort by Design Nursing Pillow is Lactation Consultant and Focus Group approved. The pillow has an open shape for a flexible fit, designed to fit all moms. With an optimum height to promote a better latch and a more comfortable experience for Mom and baby The reversible, dual-sided design offers Mom the choice of a soft or flat lying surface for baby, providing the support mom and baby need for breastfeeding success. The Nursing Pillow is also designed with a convenient, two-sided pocket to keep burp cloths, breast pads and other essentials within easy reach and a padded, adjustable positioning strap that can also be tucked away if so desired. Both the pillow and removable slip cover are machine washable. Experience true support from the the Bébé au Lait Comfort by Design Nursing Pillow

Mrs Patel’sGluten-free Vegan Chocolate Fenugreek Bars – Retail Value: $26
Gluten-free and Vegan Chocolate Fenugreek Bars for breastfeeding mothers that help increase milk supply. (cannot be taken while pregnant)

The Dairy FairyThe Rose Handsfree Pumping Bra – Retail Value: $68
The Rose handsfree pumping bra reflects the goddess that you are. No more bands, velcro, zippers, hooks or pullies. Just a beautiful and feminine bra so you can quickly and efficiently pump, and maybe even have a second to check emails.

SloombOvernight Bamboo Fitted Diaper – Retail Value: $28
Sustainablebabyish overnight bamboo fitteds are soft and beautiful, made entirely of super absorbent bamboo|organic cotton fleece. perfect for day time use & the answer for nights. each OBF includes a shell with a double-length 3-layer snap-in fleece soaker that can be folded for customizable absorption. an extra lay in 3-layer fleece doubler is included to boost absorbency when and where you need it most. pair with sustainablebabyish wool covers for a leak free combination.

Cezara: Belly Support Panty – Retail value: $48.99
Cezara provides comfort and support during pregnancy, after delivery and especially after Cesarean delivery. The integrated support band lifts the belly and supports the back while the internal padding compresses the lower abdomen and, after a Cesarean, compresses and protects the scar. Mom is supported and nurses, babywears and cares for her baby more comfortably. Cezara is worn over a panty or as the panty and is panty sized from small (fits panty size 5) through 5-X (fits panty size 13) – the winner chooses the size. 

PebbleRainbow Bunny Rattle – Retail value: $21.95
This cheerful Bunny Rattle from Pebble is handmade and is bringing smiles to faces around the world. This fair trade product provides much-needed employment to mothers providing for their children in rural Bangladesh. Machine washable. 

Total Value of this bundle: $378

__________________

BUT WAIT! 

We have a last minute addition to this giveaway! 

Ameda wants to party with us too! Be sure to check the new giveaway entry options in the Rafflecopter widget below! Here is what Ameda is adding to our first giveaway bundle:

IMG_1745

Store’N Pour – Retail Value :$12.99
The Store‘N Pour Breast Milk Storage Bags feature everything a mother could want including easy-close zip seal so bags won’t leak, unique tear-and-pour spout helps prevent spills during milk transfer and a gusseted bottom allows filled bag to stand on its own. 50 bags plus 2 adapters.

T-Shirt – Retail Value: $15
[email protected]’s t-shirt! All proceeds from the sale of the shirt go to Mother & Child Health Coalition in St Louis.

This boosts the total value of this bundle to $406!

__________________

Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from April 2, 2015 through April 6, 2015.  A big thanks to all of the sponsors of this birthday giveaway bundle for their support of TLB and all breastfeeding women; please be sure to take a moment to thank them on their Facebook pages for their show of support!

This giveaway bundle is for U.S. Residents only. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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