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Little Spruce Organics Giveaway

Organic, natural, fibers, nurturing, soothing, cloth, beauty, simplicity, inspiration, creativity, imagination, relationship, nature, play: these are some of the key elements that Bethany weaves into the very fabric of her home life.  She offers these same elements in the various toys, clothes, diapers, and more that she has in her store, Little Spruce Organics.  Bethany shares a bit about her home life, work, and breastfeeding journey, and would like to offer The Leaky Boob community a chance to win 3 different, organic and natural prizes.  Read on to get better acquainted with Bethany and TLB sponsor Little Spruce Organics.

TLB:  What would you like readers to know about your company?

Bethany:  We offer a unique selection of organic baby apparel, organic cloth diapering products, organic nursing apparel, and natural toys.   We specialize in woolens for babies and are committed to carrying only apparel & cloth diapering products that are made from organic and natural fibers.  We are a small, family-run business, and we love what we do!

TLB:  How did Little Spruce Organics come about?

Bethany:  Becoming a mother was the inspiration for opening this shop, and has also been the driving force behind the overall philosophy of my store.  The products I choose to carry in my store are all a result of my experience as a mother and my strong desire not only to select the most nurturing, natural products for my own children, but to spark the same passion in other mothers who are committed to providing their children with a childhood that is as close to nature as possible.  I wanted to create a place where parents could come to find children’s apparel that soothes and nurtures the senses and also discover the beauty and simplicity of toys that inspire creative, imaginative play that can so easily be overlooked in our modern world.

TLB:  How do you balance family and work?

Bethany:  My life is a delicate balance between motherhood and work, and while I love my job dearly, finding the right balance is one of the most challenging aspects of what I do.  Late nights in front of my computer, a messy house, and trying to pull meals together at the last minute are all daily struggles for me, but these are all sacrifices worth making for the incredible opportunity I have been blessed with to stay home with my babies while working.  I typically work only when my son is asleep, in order to spend as much quality time with him as possible while he’s awake, but there are certainly moments when I’m trying frantically to multi-task, standing in the kitchen while typing an email on my laptop, on the phone with a customer, with tiny arms tugging at me from below.  Breastfeeding has been a lifesaver for me when working from home…any time I need a quick distraction to make a phone call, a nursing session always guarantees at least a few minutes of quiet time

TLB:  What are your favorite breastfeeding memories as a mom?

Bethany:  I have been breastfeeding my son for over two years now and have continued throughout my current pregnancy, so those memories are still taking place on a daily basis.  I adore the relationship I have built with my son through breastfeeding, and I could not imagine motherhood any other way.  From those precious newborn days when it felt like all we did was sit and nurse and stare lovingly at one another to the chaos of nursing an active toddler who manages to nurse in positions I never thought possible, breastfeeding has truly and unquestionably been the most important aspect of my relationship with my son.  I look forward to the very special experience of nursing a newborn baby again soon!

TLB:  What is one tip that helped you in your breastfeeding journey that you’d like to pass on to other moms?

Bethany:  There will always be challenges… but if breastfeeding is important to you, you will always find a way to overcome these challenges in order to continue your breastfeeding relationship.  That being said, try not to be too hard on yourself if things don’t go the way you planned!  I found that it was best not to set any unrealistic expectations for myself, or any expectations at all, for that matter, and to just do the very best that I could.  I never had any specific goals as far as any length of time I would breastfeed.  There was simply never any doubt in my mind as to whether or not I would breastfeed, and despite some challenges at the beginning, it became such a natural part of motherhood that it soon became impossible to even consider giving it up.  During the very initial stages of breastfeeding, I remember wondering if nursing my baby would ever just feel “natural” instead of something we had to work hard at every time… and after some weeks passed, I realized it had become the most natural feeling I had ever experienced.  It’s an incredible, empowering journey that I wish for every mother.

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Bethany is giving away 3 different natural and organic prizes:

1. Organic Cotton “Lena” Soft Nursing Bra Retail value $47.88

2. Organic Cotton Cuddle Baby Waldorf Doll Retail value $35.70

3. Wooden Toy package:  Wooden People Pull Toy + Wooden Cement Truck Retail value $27.70

Currently Leakies can find these and other great products on the Little Spruce Organics website.

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Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered, and have fun browsing littlespruceorganics.com.  The giveaway is open from September 8, 2012 to September 15, 2012.  A big thanks to Bethany for her ongoing support of TLB and all breastfeeding women, please be sure to visit their Facebook page or follow them on twitter (@littlespruce on Twitter) and thank them for their support of TLB and this giveaway opportunity.

This giveaway is open to US entries only.

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Breastfeeding and Support: The Snowball Effect

by Nancy Massotto, Ph.D. 

photo credit: flickr user redjar

 

When I had my first child, I was determined to breastfeed for at least six months.  Even with that modest goal in mind, I had friends and family members question my decision, ask why we weren’t using formula, and nag us about when we would start solids and stop nursing.  Along the way, breastfeeding led to co-sleeping, babywearing, and a whole host of “alternative” choices on my parenting journey.  In a blink, my son was 3 and we were still nursing.  And the questions were coming with even more intensity.

As our parenting journey evolved so, too, did our commitment to more holistic choices.  I now refer to it as a sort of “snowball” effect.  Breastfeeding brought an even deeper awareness and concern about what I was putting in my body, for health and nutritional reasons, but also as we discovered that our child had a number of food allergies.  The more I investigated, the more concerned I became about what toxins our food might contain and how genetic modification or artificial ingredients would impact our health.  That awareness quickly spread to the presence of toxins in our home – in personal care products, toys, and cleaning products.  And the snowball grew.

The bigger the snowball, the larger the pressure seemed to grow from those who didn’t agree with my now “crunchy” parenting style.  I became the wacky extremist and felt more and more alienated.  If it were not for the amazing support I found with other women, my journey would have been very different.  I could not imagine nursing a three year old when my son was first born, but seeing other moms nursing toddlers, having the voices of encouragement and support, and knowing that I was not alone made all the difference.  Surrounding myself with a community of moms was essential not only for my journey, but for my sanity.  My fellow mamas could laugh with me at the critics, brainstorm on ways to stick to my principles, and sympathize with the struggles – even when they did not agree with my choices.  That empathy, that understanding was empowering.  Being connected opened up a space to embrace my instincts and to build the parenting relationship that I wanted.  And it brought me to a place of tolerance and understanding for others’ choices, even when I did not agree with them.

Another child later and my snowball is now a mountain of holistic choices.  From homebirth and breastfeeding to sustainable and simple living, my lifestyle and my parenting continue to evolve.  My community of moms continues to inspire me to follow my own path and laughs with me at the many critics who find fault with my choices.  I have found my personal comfort zone because of that support and know that my tribe has many different members, but a common purpose and shared support.

What parenting doors has breastfeeding opened for you?  Has it forged a new journey?  And how do you deal with the naysayers?

 

 Holistic Parenting Expert and Executive Director of the Holistic Moms Network,  Dr. Nancy Massotto, Ph.D is a dedicated advocate for holistic medicine and green  living. She is the mother of two boys, both born at home. Before embarking on her  journey into motherhood, Dr. Massotto earned her Ph.D. in political science from  the University of Maryland, specializing in gender studies, women’s issues, and  international affairs. She also holds Master’s degrees from George Washington  University, Elliot School of International Affairs, and the University of Maryland.  Dr. Massotto has lectured at several universities on gender studies, international relations, and women’s issues, including at American University and George Washington University. She conducted research on women’s issues while working for non-profit research institutes and organizations in the Washington, D.C. area, including the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and the Women’s Research and Education Institute (WREI), authoring and co-authoring publications during her tenure.  Motherhood renewed her interest in community building and strengthened her commitment to natural living, from which the Holistic Moms Network was born.