Archives for August 2014

Fall Maternity-to-Nursing Wardrobe Essentials

As we head into Labor Day weekend, it’s time to think about fall.  In the past when the cooler weather sets in, you probably pulled out your storage bins of sweaters and long pants to transition your wardrobe.  But when you’re pregnant or nursing, you’ll need a different plan.  And with the change of a season, you have the opportunity to define your own style, whether you’re in maternity clothes or nursing-friendly attire.

Maternity Leggings During pregnancy, strutting around in maxi dresses and maternity shorts felt great in the sweltering summer heat, but now that fall is around the corner, you’ll need to cover up a bit more.  The number one fall wardrobe essential for expecting moms is maternity leggings.  Stretchy and comfortable, stylish and functional, maternity leggings are heaven to a moms-to-be’s body.  Loving Moments’ maternity leggings feature a unique adjustable waist band that grows with you as you progress through pregnancy and cinches back down after your little one arrives.

Maternity leggings are ideal for fall and winter because you can pair them with almost any top.  Perhaps a three-quarter length maternity blouse in the fall, or try them with an oversized sweater in the winter.  You can also dress up or dress down your maternity leggings.  Heading out to a prenatal yoga class?  Maternity leggings allow maximum flexibility and comfort.  Choose an equally stretchy active-wear top and you’ll arrive at Namaste in no time. Trying to look maternity chic at your college reunion?  Pop on your maternity leggings and some hot tall boots, along with a splashy blouse and trendy jewelry and classmates will be uber impressed.

L317-Gray-prod-pageFor pregnant and nursing moms, layering is crucial.  With hormonal fluctuations and everyone’s thermostat being set to different temperatures, you’ll want to layer your fall wardrobe to ensure you stay comfortable indoors and out.  The best way to start is with a maternity-to-nursing tank top.  Ours offers a very flattering silhouette, with an empire waist and a stretch lace neckline.  It’s made of soft, breathable cotton and has adjustable straps.  But the best part is the super-supportive inner bra with slings and nursing clasps.  When breasts are sensitive during pregnancy and early nursing days, a built-in bra is a dream come true.

Layer your maternity cami or nursing tank top under cardigans, button down blouses or other short or long sleeved shirts.  We know from experience, having this cooler option under your outerwear can be extremely helpful.  Plus, when you’re breastfeeding, a nursing cami will allow easy access for feedings.  With our fitted waist cami nursing tank, you can stay cool and comfortable during pregnancy and be ready to nurse once the baby arrives.  The cute style with lace detail makes it a fashionable choice for many occasions.

L347Our final wardrobe essential is a tip that we believe is true for all women everywhere, pregnant, nursing or not.  Be sure to wear comfortable bras that fit and support your body.  Unfortunately you’ve probably experienced the uncomfortable feeling of a bra that pinches in the back or slips off the shoulder.  When you’re pregnant you certainly don’t need one more thing to make you uncomfortable.  And when you’re nursing, you need extra support for your breasts.  It’s also important be prepared for size fluctuations as your milk production settles.  Expecting and new moms both may experience breast sensitivity so maternity bras and nursing bras made of soft, stretchy fabrics are ideal.  As you progress through pregnancy, your breasts will likely change and grow.  That’s a good time to fit yourself for new bras and nursing bras are the smartest choice so you’re ready for baby.

As you’re preparing your fall wardrobe, make sure you have the three maternity and nursing wardrobe essentials:  maternity leggings, a nursing tank top and comfortable bras.  With these three basic pieces you can build outfits to represent your personal fall style.

How to Handle an Oversupply of Breast Milk

Before you begin breastfeeding, your biggest concern might be whether you can do it at all.  You may worry about whether your body will produce enough milk to sustain your baby’s entire dietary existence.  Miraculously, almost every human mother can breast feed if she has the desire and perseverance to do it.  And believe it or not, sometimes oversupply of breast milk is a bigger issue than not enough.

Oversupply of breast milk is definitely a better problem than too little, however it be painful for mom and can cause difficulty for baby as well.  Oversupply is usually a result of overactive letdown, meaning that the release and ejection of milk happens quite forcefully all at once and more often than the baby needs.

Mom_nursingIn mothers, too much milk causes engorgement and sometimes plugged ducts and mastitis.  Each of these can be quite excruciating, not only in the breast, but also throughout the body.  Mastitis, for example, can present as a flu-like fever, achiness and lethargy in moms.

For babies, the pressure of forceful let-downs may cause a gagging reflex, inability to latch, pulling off the breast, clamping down during feedings, or require the baby to drink so fast that she swallows too much air and is gassy, spits up or gets the hiccups.  All of these issues lead to fussiness and that is no fun for anyone.  Of course the goal is to ensure your baby is getting all the right nutrients from your breast milk, which is hard to achieve if she’s not nursing properly.

Additionally, not all breast milk is created equal.  There’s the foremilk, which is sweeter and high in lactose, and the hindmilk, which is thick and richer in fat and calories.  When a baby is only nursing for a short time on each breast, she will get a disproportionate amount of foremilk and hindmilk, which is not ideal for growth and development.

Luckily there are some ways you can curb the issue.  We recommend trying several of these solutions until you find the combination that works best for you.

First, try nursing only one side per feeding.  This will ensure that your baby gets the full cycle of foremilk and hindmilk that she needs per feeding.  If she pulls off before you feel she’s had enough, offer the same breast again after taking a short break.  If your other breast is too full, pump out just enough to make yourself comfortable.  You want to ensure you have enough milk in the second breast for the next feeding.

Never restrict your baby from nursing if she is hungry, but do try to stay on one side within the 2-3 hour window before the next feeding.  Sometimes nursing more frequently is helpful.

You may want to express a bit of milk before you encourage your baby to latch.  If you can bottle some of the overactive letdown, your baby will be able to enjoy a more steady flow and you’ll have some breast milk stored for a rainy day.

When you notice your baby gagging or choking, take her off the breast immediately and express the forceful spray into a towel.  If you can nip the problem early, your baby won’t be afraid to latch in the future.  Also, burp your baby often throughout the feeding to get the gas out immediately.

Change your nursing position to give your baby more control of sucking and swallowing.  For example, if your baby is sitting on your leg and latching straight forward into your breast or you are lying down next to your baby, she’ll be in better position to handle the milk.

L377-Nude-prod-pageTry not to stimulate your breasts between feedings by pumping or taking a warm shower.  Cool compresses on your breasts can discourage blood flow and milk production.  Use a nursing bra that has slits for removable modesty pads and insert the compresses inside.  Do not discourage milk within the first 4-6 weeks of giving birth.  That is the time when you need to build a healthy supply and ensure you and your baby get into a good breastfeeding rhythm.

If your oversupply is so great that you must pump, it is always nice to have extra milk available when you cannot feed your baby.  If you have an over abundance of frozen milk, donate it to a human breast milk bank.  You’ll be helping another baby get a great start too.

Finally, remember to be patient.  Your supply may level off as your hormones rebalance after pregnancy.  Plus, babies grow and develop rapidly.  Your baby may adjust to your milk supply over time, and may even thrive on having a plentiful supply.  The important thing to gauge is whether your baby is gaining weight at a healthy pace.

Baby Finger & Toe Nails: When and How to Trim

Baby fingers and toes are some of the cutest parts of your newborn’s body.  You probably spend time every day admiring and caressing them.  But if your little one has started scratching her face or cutting into adjacent toes, it may be time for a mini manicure and pedicure.

Those ten teeny fingers and toes can be difficult to trim, however.  Most babies won’t sit still for very long and certainly don’t like to be held down, making it tricky – and slightly unnerving – to attempt the task of going near them with clippers or a scissors.

Baby Finger & Toe Nails:  When and How to TrimThere are a few moments in the day, however, when baby is relaxed enough for a nail clipping: Naptime and while breastfeeding are two perfect opportunities.

Trimming those nails during a nap may seem risky.  After all, many people believe in the adage, “Never wake a sleeping baby.”  So select a time when you know your baby to be deep in sleep, not when she’s only in a light twilight sleep.  Also remember, trimming won’t be possible if you swaddle your babe or if she’s wearing a footed pajamas or socks.  And if you typically nap during baby’s naptime (which we highly recommend), you’ll miss out on some zzzs yourself.

The other simple option is to “nail it” while you’re breastfeeding – pun intended.  While your little one is happily chowing down and distracted, break out your baby nail scissors or clippers and trim away.

The best way to cut is with a really great light source while your baby is lying down.  Push back the finger pad to increase the ledge of the nail and hold your baby tightly before clipping.  Follow the finger curve when cutting finger nails, but cut toe nails straight across.

If you’re worried about slicing those teeny digits, try a file.  This is actually the pediatrician’s recommended way to trim nails for the first few weeks of life.  Some baby files can be hard to handle, so one of your regular emery board may be a better bet.  For the mamas who love gadgets, the Zoli Buzz B is a baby buffer which makes is even simpler to get those little nails down to the perfect length.

Another option if you are skittish with the clippers or scissors is to peel off your baby’s nails.  They are usually pretty thin and if they are long enough, you can get good leverage to peel them easily.  Never bite off your baby’s nails.  This can introduce germs into the cuticles and nail beds that your baby’s brand new immune system cannot yet fend off.

So next time you’re wondering what to do during naptime or where to put your hands while your little one is comfortably breastfeeding, multi-task!  Give those fingers and tootsies a once over and check that off your list.

Good luck and happy trimming!

My Baby Registry is Driving Me Crazy

Registering for baby gear can give a mom-to-be as much heartburn as, well, anything she eats! But, it doesn’t have to. Take a step back and eliminate the stress with a few easy steps.

First, ask the experts: other new moms. They’ll know of the best simple, yet essential must haves – such as hooks to attach your diaper bag & shopping bags to the stroller – and those items you can do without – wipe warmers, for example.  If your mom friends are too busy changing diapers to weigh in, sites like WeeSpring and Criket’s Cirlce give feedback from lots of moms.  Or turn to those in your Facebook network for advice.

My Baby Registry is Driving Me Crazy   When you’re ready to build your registry list, divide it into the items you need now and those you can wait to receive or purchase later. High chairs are great, but they just take up space for a baby who can’t yet hold her head up. Crib sheets, a diaper bag & a baby bathtub on the other hand, you’ll use right away.

Next, stock up on nursing essentials. A boppy pillow or BreastFriend help mom & baby get into an ideal breastfeeding position, while a great selection of nursing bras and nursing tank tops keep mom comfy & supported. If you’re planning to pump in addition to nurse, don’t forget bottles, a bottle brush and an all-natural, baby-friendly dish soap.

Clothes, clothes, clothes. Adding select layette items to your registry is a great idea, but remember that you’re not the only one who will be buying those adorable teeny clothes. You’re sure to get many onesies, blankets and hooded towels as gifts.  Stick to scanning the items people may not think to buy but you really need like a diaper pail and changing table staples including diapers, wipes and a grooming kit.

Lastly, keep it simple. You may be tempted to register for ever gizmo, swing, bouncy seat & swaddle you see, but wait a beat. Every baby likes different things an you won’t know what yours fancies right away. See if you can borrow or “test drive” the big ticket items from friends before you add them to your list.

Happy registering & happy mommying!

Baby Brain is Real and it is Making You a Better Mom

We can all feel vindicated – baby brain is real!  But it may not mean exactly what you think it does.  Two new studies indicate that our brains are changing during pregnancy to prepare us to be better moms.  And while that alone does not cause forgetfulness and the sluggish mind that we often associate with baby brain, they are symptoms of the hubbub of activity happening inside and outside your body.

Two important changes are occurring in your brain during pregnancy.  First, you are becoming more emotional.  That may sound like a “no-brainer” to you – with all the hormones swirling through your blood, you are probably quite emotional these days.  Along with your mood swings comes a shift in your brain to be more emotionally sensitive and ready to recognize your baby’s needs.  This is especially important for bonding with your baby, learning to interpret the cries of a newborn and trying to get into a breastfeeding rhythm.

Baby Brain is Real and it is Making You a Better Mom

Additionally, a neurobiologist recently reported that during pregnancy the brain is remapping to prepare for motherhood.  Cells, neurons and dendrites are growing and you are constantly forming new connections in the brain.  While you may not feel this way during pregnancy, the new construction of your brain is believed to make you more alert and have better memory, two pertinent skills for moms.  But the side-effect during pregnancy is roadblock due to tons of activity and only so many pathways for your brain to handle all of it.

On top of these neurological changes, you’ve probably got a lot of your plate that contributes to the feeling of pregnancy brain.  Your hormones are a flutter, you may not be getting the ideal amount of sleep and you have a lot to do before your little one arrives.  Beyond putting together a nursery, ensuring you have all the right clothes and supplies for your baby and keeping track of your OB appointments, you are preparing to navigate new relationships with your partner, employer and friends and family too.  These things weigh on your mind, leaving less space for remembering to change out of your flip flops before going into work or returning last week’s phone call from your granny.

We live in hectic times and pregnancy makes things even livelier.  Try to cut yourself some slack when you do make mistakes.  Stress is not good for you or your baby.  Find humor in the situation and move on; usually the people around you will understand.  Also try to make things easier on yourself by writing things down, taking action immediately when something pops into your mind and sticking to routines, even ones as basic as putting your keys in a certain spot every day.

The chaos you feel in your brain is really a good thing.  You are being neurologically hard-wired with some essential mom skills to use right out of the gate.  You and your baby will appreciate the emotional connection your baby brain is developing.  Hang in there, mamas.  You’re getting smarter by the minute!

Olivia Wilde Takes Her Baby to Work

olvia wilde_glamourGlamour Magazine’s September cover girl is none other than chic and stylish new mom Olivia Wilde.  Not only does she look stunning in her cover image and throughout the issue, but she also poses while breastfeeding her 3-month old baby Otis.  And we just had to share this beautiful Loving Moment between mother and son.

Otis is Olivia’s first child with her fiancé Jason Sudeikis.  Olivia says she loves every moment of being a mom and motherhood has quickly become an important part of her who she is.

Like many other working moms, Olivia took time out during her shoot to feed baby Otis.  During her interview she said, “Being shot with Otis is so perfect because any portrait of me right now isn’t complete without my identity as a mother…Breastfeeding is the most natural thing…now it feels like Otis should always be on my breast.”

In her interview she talks about her decision to start a family and encourages women not to bow to the pressure of their age and other external factors.  Motherhood has been a natural evolution for her as a woman and a professional.  As someone in the public eye, she wondered if the media industry would hinder her image as she made personal changes in her life.  But ultimately she has no regrets about her past and is thrilled to add a new role to her repertoire: mom.

We champion moms like Olivia who are doing what comes natural for them and their babies, and providing the best nutrition through breast milk.  We may not all do it in Robert Cavalli dresses and Prada shoes (admittedly that is not how she usually looks either), but we can all make excellent choices for the health of our babies and ourselves.

Loving Moments Says, “We’ve Got Your Back Babe”

World Breastfeeding Week and National Breastfeeding Month are well underway and we’re celebrating big time here at Loving Moments.  We love breastfeeding and we love fitness, so we’re combining the two as a Presenting Sponsor of the second annual “We’ve Got Your Back Babe” (#WGYBB) campaign.

“We’ve Got Your Back Babe” is a nationwide personal fitness challenge that encourages participants to work out and work towards fundraising goals that support the breastfeeding cause.  Beginning now during World Breastfeeding Week and National Breastfeeding Month, and running through October to coincide with Breast Cancer Month, anyone who wants to promote and support breastfeeding and improve their own physical fitness can create a team or virtual team for “We’ve Got Your Back Babe.”

WGYBB_Banner

Here’s how it works:  Teams can consist of any group you’d like and you can set your own fitness goals.  For some, a team may be your Monday morning moms’ group neighborhood stroll; for others it may be organizing your kickboxing class to rally around the cause; still others may choose to bike, hike, swim, run or cross fit for breastfeeding.  Wherever your interests and fitness level may be, “We’ve Got Your Back Babe” is a challenge you can achieve.

Proceeds of the campaign benefit three of the most respected and effective breastfeeding support and advocacy organizations in the country:  the Best for Babes® Foundation, Breastfeeding USA and the United Stations Lactation Consultant Association (USLCA.)  Loving Moments is proudly sponsoring this event for the second year because we believe that the breastfeeding cause requires organizations that promote and raise awareness year round.  These groups work tirelessly to identify and remove breastfeeding roadblocks that deter many expecting and new moms, spread positive messages about the benefits of breastfeeding and work directly with women striving to give their babies the best start in life.

The event is co-chaired by Jenna Elfman, who devotes much of her time and energy to causes that support breastfeeding and natural parenting for healthier babies and children.  She is joined by other celebrity moms that believe breast is best, including Dr. Wendy Walsh, formerly of “The Doctors,” Kailyn Lowry from MTV’s “Teen Mom 2,” and winner of the Marine Corps Marathon 2013 and active duty solider, Kelly Calway.  The campaign is also being promoted by the leading parenting and breastfeeding website, Kellymom.com.

To show that “we’ve got your back,” Loving Moments is giving away two nursing bra wardrobes to make nursing simple and comfortable for every occasion.  Everyone who finishes the challenge is eligible to win and will also receive a discount coupon from us.

Come join the challenge by registering a team at the Best for Babes Foundation website.  You’ll get to track your team’s progress on a customized profile page.  We hope you’ll join us, Best for Babes, Breastfeeding USA, USLCA, Kellymom.com and the celebrity chairs to raise awareness and funds with this fun fitness event.

Happy World Breastfeeding Week and National World Breastfeeding Month!

World Breastfeeding Week: Our Celebration Begins with a Donation of $15,000 Worth of Nursing Bras!

It’s World Breastfeeding Week, our favorite time of year!  We’re celebrating in big ways that support moms and raise awareness for the breastfeeding cause.

World Breastfeeding Week is an annual week-long event beginning August 1 that unites women across the globe in supporting breastfeeding awareness.  This year’s theme is “Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal in Life!” which we couldn’t agree with more.  Breastfeeding is a truly win-win partnership for babies and mothers.  Breastfeeding and human milk is one of the best preventative measures for babies against many infections and illnesses, not only during infancy, but for a lifetime.  Breast milk also offers the very best nutrition for babies, is a brain-boosting superfood and promotes a healthy bond between mother and baby.  For moms, breastfeeding is associated with lowered risk of many types of cancer, as well as less reports of postpartum depression and an easier return to her pre-baby figure.

World Breastfeeding Week: Our Celebration Begins with a Donation of $15,000 Worth of Nursing Bras!   This year we’ve teamed up with Women, Infants and Children (WIC) to donate $15,000 worth of nursing bras.  Yup, we’ve pledged to give deserving moms 1,100 bras to help make breastfeeding easier and to show our upmost respect and encouragement for their dedication to give their babies the best start in life.  Not every mom can afford a nursing bra, but we believe every mom can achieve her own breastfeeding goals.

We reached out to the nationwide WIC offices and asked for personal stories about the clients they support in their communities.  Based on their feedback, 50 offices were chosen to receive and distribute our donation of nursing bras.  We’re sharing their powerful stories on our Facebook page this week.  We hope they inspire you like they inspired us.

Join us in supporting moms everywhere on their mission to breastfeed.  Happy World Breastfeeding Week!