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Pump Like a Pro – Washing Pump Parts

by Wendy Bell, CLE
Editor’s note: Be sure to check out the free wet bag special Snugabell has going on and you don’t want to miss the giveaway for Leakies at the end!

Breast pumping tips Snugabell PumpEase

Ask a Pumpin’ Mama and she’ll probably tell you how much space it takes up when you lay out a whole array of pump parts — bottles, lids and flanges — on the kitchen counter.  We all want to make sure everything stays clean and safe for our babies, but how much cleaning is enough? Let Snugabell help you pump like a pro!

Save the suds for the end of the day.  Especially if you’re at work all day or pumping multiple times, washing up after every use can turn into a drag pretty quickly.  Lucky for us, a quick rinse before storing in the fridge in between sessions is more than enough to keep everything clean and ready to go.  A good wash with hot, soapy water at the end of the day is all you need.

Don’t fret about sterilizing everything.  Unless your baby is brand new or has compromised immunity, a thorough washing with hot, soapy water should be all your pump parts require.  In fact, more severe cleaning — like boiling, for example — can even compromise and damage the plastic.  No need!

Pump like a pro with Snugabell PumpEase breast pumping tip for breastfeeding moms

Use a wet bag.  Whether you’re pumping at work during the day or just need a place to drop your wet pump parts between sessions at home, it’s hugely helpful to have a waterproof washable bag to get everything from point A to point B.  You won’t want those rogue milk droplets accumulating on the sofa cushion any more than you want them soaking into the nooks and crannies of your pump bag.  Solve the problem with a couple of handy, machine-washable wet bags to catch all your gear.

Speaking of wet bags, Snugabell is giving away a whole bunch of them right now!  To celebrate our SUPER exciting collaboration with Destination Maternity and A Pea in the Pod, we’re sending PumpEase customers one of our fabulous Wet Bag absolutely FREE.  Details here!

Breast pump

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Snugabell is giving away two PumpEase hands-free pumping bras with matching wet bags to 2 lucky Leakies.

Total Retail Value: $106

The PumpEase design will securely hold your pump in place and is guaranteed to accommodate any breast pump on the market. The PumpEase bra like the one shown above makes multi-tasking a breeze for busy moms.

Visit www.snugabell.com for more information about PumpEase

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Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from June 5, 2015 through June 12, 2015.  A big thanks to Snugabell for their support of TLB and all breastfeeding women; please be sure to take a moment to thank Snugabell on their Facebook page for their show of support! You can also follow Snugabell on Twitter and Instagram: username @snugabell

This giveaway is open to participants in the USA and Canada.

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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: Eat@Mom’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

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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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Snugabell giveaway

Being a mom herself, Snugabell’s Wendy Bell is all about supporting moms.  Designing products that help moms reach their breastfeeding goals with a flair for style, Wendy is a sincere supporter not just of breastfeeding but also of the moms and babies it matters to.  I’m privileged to call Wendy my friend and excited to have her share more about her company, her breastfeeding journey, and extend her support to all TLB readers.

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TLB:  Hi Wendy, I always love when we get to feature Snugabell and your brilliant PumpEase line here on TLB.  You’ve supported TLB for a while now and have seen first hand through your support of Best For Babes, TLB and virtual breastfeeding support, how moms can come together and the difference mom-to-mom support can make.  What are some of your favorite examples of mom-to-mom support?

Wendy:  I have to confess that I am a little bit envious of the support that moms have online today.  I had a few issues breastfeeding my daughters (nothing major, but it was worrisome nonetheless) and thus reached out to my GP and a dietician at my local health unit, and also scoured the internet for hours on end, however all I found was conflicting (mis)information.  Those were the days before Facebook and Twitter.  Heck, I hadn’t even heard of KellyMom.com back then.  I felt alone and frustrated.  So this is an example of what potentially can happen without mom-to-mom support, how far we’ve come and what a huge impact it has today for a mom to ‘hear’, “Oh that happened to me too when my DD was that age.  It’s just a nursing strike”.  That feeling that you’re not alone in your breastfeeding journey, especially for first-time moms, is extremely powerful.

TLB:  What kind of support did you have in your breastfeeding journey?  Did you have someone or someones that were instrumental in providing support for you?

Wendy:  My GP is very pro-breastfeeding.  I remember telling him that I was going to add cereal to my first daughter’s bottle (of pumped breastmilk) to help her sleep longer at night (yup, I didn’t know any better – I was listening to the aunts and grandmas!) and he pretty much told me NOT to do that.  The nurse at his office was so encouraging too.  When I brought my eldest daughter in for her first post-delivery check-up, she weighed her and proceeded to give me major kudos on her weight gain.  It made me feel so proud as I had no idea what I was doing (or so I thought).  My family were all very supportive as well; no one was freaked out by a nursing mama; it was all good!  I didn’t feel super confident nursing in public (like in a mall) however, as I didn’t know about baby wearing either back then and therefore was trying to use a receiving blanket.  I know I would have worn my baby had I been better informed.  (In fact, for a few years after DD#2 was born and I had already started Snugabell and learned so much, I often told my husband that I wished I could have another baby if only to put into practice all this amazing new information!)

TLB:  You have a couple of new products as part of this giveaway; could you tell us about them and how these products help support moms in their breastfeeding journey?

Wendy:  Our ‘Through a Child’s Eyes’’colouring book was designed to help further normalize breastfeeding and pumping and to discover the beauty of breastfeeding!  The warm, inviting drawings and likable characters make it easy to answer curious qustions and keep little hands busy while teaching helpful lessons.  I love colouring with my girls and hope other moms do too!  You can even design your own PumpEase and share it on our Facebook wall!

Our fabulous new, all-purpose, reusable PumpEase Wet Bag is designed to transport all brands of breast pump personal kits (bottles, flanges and tubes) ‘incognito’.  It features a snap-loop handle and looks so cute decked out in matching PumpEase prints that no one will ever guess what’s inside.  Lined with waterproof PUL (you cloth-diapering mamas know what that is!  For those that don’t, it stands for Polyurethane Laminate and is a compound fabric made by laminating fabric to a thin film of polyurethane, thus creating a water barrier), you will find plenty of uses for it even after you’ve hung up your pump flanges – diaper changes on-the-go, keeping electronics safe at the pool, potty training, snacks, travel, cosmetics and much, much more!

TLB:  How does Snugabell actively cultivate mom-to-mom support?  How can Leakies connect with Snugabell and what will they find for support with you?

Wendy:  When we first hired the amazing Amy West to manage our Facebook and Twitter, she asked me what my goal was for those spaces.  I told her I wanted to build a community; it had NOTHING to do with sales.  Amy (CLC) and Hillary (studying to be a doula and still nursing her 21-month old son) co-manage our social media now and I (CLE) jump in when I can.  We provide evidence-based information, support, encourage support from our community and refer to an IBCLC as appropriate.  Gosh, sometimes a mom just needs an ear!

I am super-duper proud of the fantastic communities that we have cultivated in both arenas and am continually inspired by the conversations that happen there.  Leakies can find us on Twitter @PumpEase and @snugabell (that’s me) as well as on our Snugabell Facebook page.  Be sure to say “Hi!” and that you are visiting from The Leaky Boob!  🙂

TLB:  Thank you so much for supporting TLB and your generous giveaway providing support to these moms.  What would you encourage moms to consider in offering mom-to-mom support?  Any tips for finding and giving such support?

Wendy: I believe the key is to refrain from judging other moms’ choices or circumstances that led them to (believe they) had no choice.  I was there.  Again, if I were to have my first baby tomorrow, I would change a LOT.  This is what keeps my judgy pants off and my compassion glasses on.  We’re all in this together (creating the next generation that is), so let’s lift mamas up rather than beat them down.  We’re all doing the best that we can with the knowledge that we have.  And if I were looking for support today, I would turn to the internet, no question.

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Wendy’s children

Wendy is giving away one PumpEase Prize Pack featuring:

  1. PumpEase hands-free pumping bra  Retail Value: $38.00
  2. Matching PumpEase Wet Bag  Retail Value: $14.00
  3. Through a Child’s Eyes – Colouring Book  Retail Value: $12.00

Total Value: $64.00 USD

PumpEase_WetBag_ColouringBook

Currently Leakies can find these and other maternity, nursing and hands-free pumping products on the snugabell.com website.

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Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from May 24, 2013 through May 30, 2013.  A big thanks to Wendy and Snugabell for their ongoing support of TLB and all breastfeeding women; please be sure to visit their Facebook page, follow Wendy on Twitter and follow PumpEase on Twitter and thank them for their support of TLB and this giveaway opportunity.

Snugabell will ship worldwide.

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Snugabell giveaway

From the fiery age of twelve, Wendy has designed, cut, sewn, and created clothes for herself, inspired by her mother, who made clothes for her and her sisters.  Wendy has always been particular about the way fabric feels, and with her keen eye for color and sense of style, it just made sense for her to start sharing her creations with the world.  Today, she does just that through Snugabell, where she first presented us with this idea that a hands-free pumping bra can not only be practical, but stylish and fun as well.  She can’t help it; creative people just won’t be satisfied with merely functional.  Get to know Wendy a bit better by reading on, and discover the Toni Dress; maternity, nursing, pumping and beyond, this beauty may just be your new favorite garment.  Enter for your chance to win one below.  

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TLB: Wendy, you have superb taste in fashion..  Has this always been the case or was it something you developed over time?

Wendy:  Wow.  Superb?  Not sure about that, but I’ll take it!  My mom sewed a lot of my sisters’ and my clothes growing up.  I was always pretty particular about fabric, colour and style, even from a young age.  I remember standing at my closet (albeit a very small closet) each school day “wondering what to wear”.  I was not allowed to use my mom’s sewing machine until I took Home Ec in Grade 8, at 12 years old.  After that I spent a lot of the money earned at my first job buying fabric and patterns and sewing my own clothes for hours and hours on the weekend.  So long story short, I think I was born with it.  Every person in my family is creative.

TLB:  
Are either of your girls showing interest in fashion yet, themselves?

Wendy:  
Antonia, my eldest (she just turned eight years old in November) both loves clothes and shopping for them.  What I enjoy the most is watching her draw and colour people and then ‘dressing’ them in original outfits.  They are always quite detailed and her work is apparently very advanced for her age.  She is a true artist in that she has to be inspired to produce her best work.  One of my sisters is an artist, so I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!

TLB:  Tell us about the Toni line; inspiration, fabric choice, and design details.

Wendy:  When I had my girls, I didn’t buy much, if any, maternity or nursing clothing.  I did have some maternity clothing given to me by friends, and honestly, as soon as I gave birth, I couldn’t WAIT to give it away.  I *hated* the unsightly maternity panels that are commonly found on jeans and skirts.  I also disliked the “industrial-feeling” nursing bras (that seemed to be the norm at that time, especially for women that need a supportive bra like me) that were cut in a way that wasn’t compatible with the necklines of many of my favourite tops, so I switched to nursing camis with my second baby.  But honestly, the camis didn’t give me the support that I needed (but it was better than wearing that “armour”).

When it came time to diversify our product line, I was inspired to create clothing that works for maternity, nursing AND hands-free pumping that could also be worn after your child weaned (and that you WANTED to wear after your child weaned because it was gorgeous!).  We chose the modal fabric, which is essentially a rayon made from beechwood fibre, because it is luxurious, easy-care and lightweight (as we know how pregnant and nursing mamas tend to feel on the warm side).  The wrap panels are the cornerstone of the design, providing discreet nursing access as well as support for hands-free pumping all while flattering mom’s’ figure!

TLB:  When you were a new mother, what would make you feel pretty?

Wendy:  
Having a shower.  😉

TLB:  Moms are busy and may neglect themselves, happy to have their children just so.  What are some of your favorite fashion and beauty tips for moms?  After getting the kids ready, what can she do to look stunning in minutes?

Wendy:  Every woman has that outfit that she always gets compliments on – wear that and wear it often.  As for a five-minute makeover, I don’t leave the house without undereye concealer, blush and lip balm.  If I have five more minutes, a little bit of eyeliner and mascara and I’m golden.  My hair is naturally wavy/curly, so I kind of let it do its own thing.  If your hair tends to misbehave, grab your favourite hat and go for it!  And the easiest thing to don to look gorgeous is a smile!

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Wendy is giving away a stunning Toni™ Dress in Flame Red that you may just have to try on for your Valentine this year !

Retail value $86.00

The Toni Dress is designed for all stages of a busy mom or mom-to-be’s life – from pregnancy to nursing and beyond weaning. It even works for hands-free pumping! You can wear the Toni Dress with a jean jacket and boots for an everyday look or add some heels and fabulous jewelry and you’re out on the town for the evening.  When you wear the Toni Dress – you feel A-MAZE-ING. You know those garments that once you put them on, you are constantly stroking the fabric? Uh-huh, THAT’S the Toni Dress. It will quickly become one of THE favourite pieces in your closet.

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Currently Leakies can find this and other Toni “bump, breast & beyond™” maternity, nursing and hands-free pumping clothing on the Snugabell website at:  http://www.snugabell.com/products/toni-top.

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Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from February 11, 2013 through February 14, 2013.  A big thanks to Wendy and Snugabell for their ongoing support of TLB and all breastfeeding women; please be sure to visit their Facebook page  or follow them on twitter  (@snugabell) and thank them for their support of TLB and this giveaway opportunity.

This giveaway is open to international entries.

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Snugabell Triple Prize Giveaway: Pumping, Style, and Care

Drawing from her own personal experience as a pumping mom, PumpEase™ and Snugabell creator/owner Wendy Bell has developed a product and company that offers quality support to pumping moms and now has a new line of maternity/nursing wear, the Toni Top line.  She brings together quality products that combine ingenuity with quality and fashion.  Along with a beautiful giveaway opportunity for Leakies, Wendy answers a few questions, sharing her passion, mothering wisdom, and her favorite pumping while traveling tip.  I’m so grateful for the support of PumpEase™ for TLB and all Leakies and hope you enjoy the interview and giveaway.

TLB:  What was the inspiration behind the name of your company and your products?

Wendy:  The name Snugabell comes from our last name (Bell) and the fact that our girls – Antonia and Michaela – used to ask for “snugs” when they were little, rather than “hugs”.  Actually, come to think of it, they still do!  The Toni Top is named after our daughter Antonia (Toni for short) and PumpEase is a made-up name that we came up with via focus groups and surveys.
TLB:  Where have you breastfed or pumped while traveling?
Wendy:  I am very inspired by moms that take their pumps “on the road”.  Although Snugabell didn’t officially start until my youngest was almost one, I’ve been a freelance patternmaker for over 13 years now so was always “working” even when my babies were tiny.  As a result, we didn’t travel much in those early years and thus most, if not all of my pumping was done at home.  As for breastfeeding – I did it everywhere:  at family’s homes, the mall, friends’ houses, wherever I was when my baby was hungry.
TLB:  What is your favorite travel/vacation tip for breastfeeding/pumping moms?
Wendy:  Bring extra parts for your breastpump:  membranes, flanges/tubes (in your carry-on in case your luggage is delayed or lost), extra batteries and a plug adapter if you are traveling overseas.

 

 

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Wendy is giving away 3 fabulous prize packs:

Pumping Pretty Prize pack:  PumpEase in size and print of winner’s choice and Nursing Mother Goddess Necklace.  $63.00 USD
Breastfeeding in Style Prize pack:  Toni top 3/4-Sleeve Top in size and colour of winner’s choice and Breastfeeding With Comfort and Joy by Laura Keegan.  $101.00 USD
Soothing Care Prize pack:  Bamboobies Value Pack and Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter.  $57.00 USD

Currently Leakies can find these and other great products on the Snugabell website.

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 Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered and have fun browsing snugabell.com.  The giveaway is open from July 7, 2012 to July 15, 2012.  A big thanks to Wendy for her ongoing support of TLB and all breastfeeding women, please be sure to visit their Facebook page or follow them on twitter (PumpEase on Twitter) and thank them for their support of TLB and this giveaway opportunity.

This giveaway is open to international entries.

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PumpEase Hands-Free Nursing Bra gift pack giveaway

Drawing from her own personal experience as a pumping mom, PumpEase™ and Snugabell creator/owner Wendy Bell has developed a product and company that offers quality support to pumping moms and now has a new line of maternity/nursing wear, the Toni Top line.  Along with a beautiful giveaway opportunity for Leakies, Wendy answers a few questions, sharing her passion, mothering wisdom, and how she overcame a breastfeeding challenge in her own journey.  I’m so grateful for the support of PumpEase™ for TLB and all Leakies and hope you enjoy the interview and giveaway.

TLB:  What’s your favorite part about working with pumping/breastfeeding moms?

 

Wendy:  By far the best thing is hearing from a mom that tells us that without our products she would have given up on breastfeeding.

 

TLB:  What’s in the future for Snugabell/PumpEase?

 

Wendy:  We will continue to develop and improve the Toni Top line and further penetrate the market for PumpEase.  We have other projects up our sleeves however they are in their infancy stages so mums the word! 😉

 

TLB:  How has being a mothered impacted your career?

 

Wendy:  It changed the direction of my career entirely.  If I hadn’t had a baby (and there was a time that I thought it might not be in the cards for me), then Snugabell would definitely not exist.

 

TLB:  When you were a pumping mom, where would you set up your pumping station?

 

Wendy:  At my computer.  Always.  🙂

 

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Wendy is giving away a PumpEase hands-free pumping bra (winner’s choice excluding organic); a Do Not Disturb door hanger for pumping moms of their choice; a Breastmilk Storage Guideline fridge magnet, and Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy by Laura Keegan.  Retail Value: $80 USD.

 

Currently Leakies can find these and other great products on the Snugabell website.

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 Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered and have fun browsing snugabell.com.  The giveaway is open from April 24, 2012 to June 1, 2012.  A big thanks to Wendy for her ongoing support of TLB and all breastfeeding women, please be sure to visit their Facebook page and thank them for their support of TLB and this giveaway opportunity.

This giveaway is open to international entries.

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Snugabell Toni Top and Pencil Skirt giveaway

Drawing from her own personal experience as a pumping mom, PumpEase™ and Snugabell creator/owner Wendy Bell has developed a product and company that offers quality support to pumping moms and now has a new line of maternity/nursing wear, the Toni Top line.  Along with a beautiful giveaway opportunity for Leakies, Wendy answers a few questions, sharing her passion, mothering wisdom, and how she overcame a breastfeeding challenge in her own journey.  I’m so grateful for the support of PumpEase™ for TLB and all Leakies and hope you enjoy the interview and giveaway.

Wendy with hubby Mike

TLB:  What should TLB readers know about Snugabell?

Wendy:  Snugabell designs and manufactures maternity, nursing and pumping products for moms that are not willing to sacrifice fashion for function.  Our products include PumpEase, the world’s ONLY fashionable hands-free pumping bra, PumpEase Organic, the world’s ONLY organic hands-free pumping bra and the Toni Top “bump, breast & beyond” clothing line.  Our mission is “to support moms’ decision to breastfeed through education, community and beauty”.  Alongside The Best for Babes Foundation, whom we have proudly supported since 2009, we work hard to help beat The Booby Traps – the cultural and institutional barriers that prevent moms from achieving their personal breastfeeding goals.

 

TLB:  What inspired you to start your company and as you’ve added the Toni Top and pencil skirt to your product line, what are your plans to continue growing

Wendy: When I was pregnant with my first daughter, a friend of mine asked me if I was going to pump.  I asked her why I would need to (we get a full year of maternity leave here in Canada).  She said that she pumped so that her husband could also feed the baby.  I discussed it with my husband, and we decided this would work well for our new family.  I didn’t have too many pumping sessions under my belt before I was online searching for something to hold the pump flanges for me.  Not only was I bored silly sitting on the couch unable to do ANYthing else, as soon as my daughter was born I developed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome which made it painful to hold the flanges for any more than a few minutes.  I found a few products, all of which were ugly and none of which I was willing to part with my hard-earned money for.  With my (at the time) nine years experience in the apparel industry, I considered what would make a “better” hands-free pumping bra and sewed the first PumpEase prototype.  After encouragement from family and friends, I decided to do a small manufacturing run and build a website.  It was a no-brainer to produce the PumpEase in pretty prints – women like pretty things whether she is seen in them or not!  I naively thought this product-based business would provide some “passive income” and compliment my service-based CAD Pattern Management business nicely.  Little did I know it would grow to where it has in four short years.

Our plans for the future include continuing to expand the Toni Top “bump, breast & beyond” maternity, nursing and hands-free pumping clothing line beyond our current six styles (3/4-Sleeve Top, Tunic, Dress, Pencil Skirt, Maxi Skirt and Palazzo Pant) and continue to build our international business via distributors.

 

TLB:  How do you balance family and growing your business?

Wendy:  Actually, I don’t strive for balance anymore.  I don’t believe it exists and in fact believe the term “life balance” is yet another dangling carrot designed to make women feel inadequate .  You never hear a man that works 40, 60 or 80 hours a week pining for “life balance”.  My husband and my girls know that I have a business and that it is busy.  Sometimes one or the other gets more or less attention than it deserves and so be it!

 

TLB:  What was the most challenging experience you faced in your own breastfeeding journey and how did you get through?

Wendy:  I had amazing pregnancies, births and breastfeeding relationships with both my girls.  Not to say that I wouldn’t do anything different if I could do it all over again, as I would – I’ve learned *so* much since I’ve started the business.  If I had to choose the biggest challenge I guess it would be the misdiagnosed thrush that I had with my second daughter.  I found out only last year, when I took my CLE training, that it was most likely actually a staph infection (the stats are that 75% of staph infections are misdiagnosed as thrush).  The doctor didn’t take a culture and thus we were treating something that we didn’t have and it took forever to clear it up.

Wendy with her family

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Wendy is giving away a Toni Top and pencil skirt to one very lucky winner.  The Toni 3/4 Sleeve Top retail value = $66.00; Made in Canada; 95% modal, 5% spandex jersey knit.  Toni Top Pencil Skirt, retail value $56.00; Made in Canada; 95% modal, 5% spandex jersey knit, 66% rayon, 28% cotton, 6% spandex rib knit.

The Toni Top is designed for all stages of a busy mom or mom-to-be’s life – from pregnancy to nursing and beyond weaning. It even works for hands-free pumping! When you wear the Toni Top – you feel A-MAZE-ING. You know those garments that once you put them on, you are constantly stroking the fabric? THAT”S the Toni Top. It will quickly become one of THE favourite pieces in your closet.

 

  • get triple bang for your buck – wear the Toni Top during pregnancy, nursing and beyond weaning
  • it features a shaped front hemline that will provide coverage for your growing belly
  • it has no special openings for nursing – just good design – a hallmark of our products
  • it features easy nursing access, providing ample coverage as you gain confidence nursing in public
  • it has a flattering wide-set sweetheart neckline which broadens your shoulders and thus slims your waist
  • it features 3/4 length sleeves to keep you comfortable
  • it’s made from a luxurious modal/spandex fabric that feels heavenly against your skin
  • it features a heat transfer care label thus eliminating irritation to your neck
  • it was designed by an expert – a nursing mom that has over 17 years experience in the apparel industry

The Toni Top Pencil Skirt can be worn with the waistband rolled up to cover your belly or rolled down part or all the way. Rolling the waistband can also be used to control the length of the skirt a few inches – perhaps exposing a little more leg for a night out on the town? Wear the Pencil Skirt with the 3/4 Sleeve Top for a 2-piece dress – so versatile! It will quickly become a staple of your wardrobe.

  • get double bang for your buck – wear the Toni Top Pencil Skirt during pregnancy and beyond
  • it has no unflattering maternity panels – just good design – a hallmark of our products
  • it’s made from a luxurious modal/spandex fabric that feels heavenly against your skin
  • it features a heat transfer care label thus eliminating irritation to your skin
  • it was designed by an expert – a mom that has over 17 years experience in the apparel industry

Currently Leakies can find the Toni Top and Toni Top Pencil Skirt website http://www.snugabell.com/products/toni-top (soon to be on Amazon.com and in retailers this fall).

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 Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered and have fun browsing snugabell.com.  The giveaway is open from April 12, 2012 to April 19, 2012.  A big thanks to Wendy for her ongoing support of TLB and all breastfeeding women, please be sure to visit their Facebook page and thank them for their support of TLB and this giveaway opportunity.

This giveaway is open to international entries.

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