La Leche League Leader Thanks Brave Breastfeeders

La Leche League Leader Thanks Brave Breastfeeders

When I first found out I would be having my oldest child I knew I’d breastfeed. My mother and sister had both breastfed their children so it was normal. Even with that pre-made decision I found myself stocking up on bottles ahead of his birth, because it was the culturally expected thing to do.  Who doesn’t need bottles?   I have memories of my mother breastfeeding her youngest and my sister nursing a wiggly baby.  But I never saw any one else breastfeed in the community.  Bottles were the feeding implement of choice, so I stocked up expecting to need them.  I didn’t think breastfeeding would fail, but it felt like bottles were required with having a baby.

Until my son arrived I had no idea how much that affected me.  I found myself pumping my breasts to allow family to bottle feed, which led to oversupply and mastitis.  Within weeks of birth I was getting questions about when I’d be weaning.  He wasn’t even out of his newborn clothes before the questions began. My husband’s family called regularly to ask, and well meaning friends and family would provide “facts” about when the breastfeeding benefits would run out. My own father was horrified that I breastfed in public without a cover.  I found breastfeeding impossible with one. I knew no one else breastfeeding at the time, and I was beginning to feel like a foreigner in my hometown.

It was after my second child was born that I found my support network at La Leche League meetings and the community. I ultimately decided my calling was to help others. For 10 years I’ve worked with many families to help them find support and, hopefully provide a tiny bit of a network for them while they cultivate their own. Awareness campaigns like World Breastfeeding Week are important in so many ways that it is hard to list them all. The one most important to me is visibility.  Because this week is when others, that may not be so visible the rest of the year, come out and bond over a shared interest to create that support network.

I owe my success in breastfeeding to those who came before me and instilled the desire to nurture my children through breastfeeding. Families who are willing to brave the world by breastfeeding their children in stores, cars, libraries, with or without covers all provide what we all need: a culture that views breastfeeding as normal.

For these reasons I want to say to these families:

You helped me feel comfortable enough to meet my goals, because I knew you had been there.

You helped me see that breastfeeding didn’t mean never leaving my home or always being the one hiding in the back room at get togethers.

You helped me, even if we didn’t speak. You helped me by being visible.

 

Cathy Heinz – La Leche League USA Council Member and Leader, IBCLC

Breastfeeding in Public + Loving Moments Nursing Cover Donations for World Breastfeeding Week

Breastfeeding in Public + Loving Moments Nursing Cover Donations for World Breastfeeding WeekBreastfeeding in public is one of the hottest breastfeeding topics covered in the media – and we don’t mean that in a good way.  Sadly, public breastfeeding is still, in 2016, very controversial with a social stigma attached.  Moms are all-too-often subject to nasty looks, heckling and sadly asked to leave or cover up.

Yes, breastfeeding is a personal choice, but one that sometimes has to be carried out in public because babies don’t care where they are when they get hungry.  So it seems that when a personal gesture of love, nutrition and health is carried out in a public place, the public feels this is a forum for commentary.

Perhaps commentary would be OK if it were positive and encouraging.  Smiling or offering an “atta girl” to a mother who is breastfeeding in public would be welcomed by most moms.  Unfortunately that is not the typical response.  And thus, the judging begins.

The obvious issue that most public breastfeeding antagonists have is that a mother’s breasts are being exposed.  To them, this may be viewed as lewd, overtly sexual, inappropriate for younger audiences or gross. Much like breastfeeding, that’s a personal choice or opinion, but one that these naysayers should keep to themselves.

Breastfeeding is a natural act and in fact, is the most natural form of nourishment on the planet.  Beyond the fact that it is the best possible nutrition for infants (and toddlers and beyond), it has a wealth of health benefits for babies and mothers, it is better for the environment and it helps the economy, breastfeeding is a mother’s prerogative.  It’s a simple as that.  And if the need arises when moms are shopping at a store, eating at a restaurant, watching a little league game or on any other occasion, she should feed her baby as openly or discreetly as she wishes.

Even among exclusive breastfeeders, mothers have different comfort levels when it comes to public breastfeeding.  While some moms are extremely open and up for breastfeeding anywhere, other moms choose to be more private about breastfeeding.  There is a broad spectrum of comfortability and every decision is a right one.

Breastfeeding in Public + Loving Moments Nursing Cover Donations for World Breastfeeding WeekAt Loving Moments we know that breastfeeding in public can be challenging.  Besides the unfortunate social aspect, logistically it can be difficult to find a comfy place to stop during a busy day.  And babies can easily get distracted while breastfeeding in public.  The change of scenery may be all-too-stimulating to stay focused on eating.  A nursing cover lends a helping hand by offering a bit of solitude.  With Loving Moments’ nursing cover, moms get the privacy they desire with an easy-to-use cover that can even be worn as a fashionable scarf.  And babies are not encumbered with a breezy soft, breathable fabric cover and can stay more attentive to eating and snuggling with mommy.

Breastfeeding in public is a choice and so is how a mom decides to do it.  We believe every mom has the right to decide if and when to breastfeed and we’re making it a little easier by donating thousands of nursing covers to breastfeeding moms this World Breastfeeding Week.  As part of our landmark $250,000 donation of nursing apparel, we’re giving moms who want privacy while breastfeeding in public an option.  We’re partnering with healthy infant feeding advocacy group Best for Babes to share this incredible donation with moms nationwide through breastfeeding support groups like WIC, La Leche League, ROSE, BMBFA and others.  We’re hoping to encourage more mothers to breastfeed and support every mother’s right to make the healthiest choices for their babies.

Regardless of the way a mom breastfeeds in public – openly, in a private space or using a nursing cover – moms should be unapologetic about breastfeeding their babies when they are hungry.  It’s what nature intended, it’s what’s best for her baby and it’s a mom’s choice.

Join us on social media for the Ultimate World Breastfeeding Week celebration!

Capturing Your Baby’s First Year with Breastfeeding Photography

Capturing Your Baby's First Year with Breastfeeding PhotographyAlthough some women may feel uncomfortable in this situation, breastfeeding photography is beginning to be a big trend in today’s world. Campaigns, such as “Free the Nipple,” are emerging and getting much public attention. More and more women are embracing their bodies and their motherly abilities to feed their children, and while it might have been something labeled as “inappropriate” before, you will now find many women not being ashamed of breastfeeding out in public.

Artistically, breastfeeding photography can be such a beautiful thing which captures the act of love, and a precious moment shared between a mother and her baby. Today, we are going to focus on how to capture there moments during your baby’s first year:

There are many things to consider before trying to take photos of yourself breastfeeding your new little one. Because your baby is still so small and fairly new to your world, they might not be able to catch on to the whole art of breastfeeding. Before you try snapping a photo, remember to be patient and not try and force your baby onto your nipple. Time will come when they become pros. Other things to consider are your poses, clothing options, and what you believe to be explicit. Many women might be a little uncomfortable showing off their entire breast, where others don’t. Clothing and appearance is entirely up to you. A cute idea is to match a color scheme with your baby. An example of this could be a white onesie for your baby and a simple white tee for you.

If you’re choosing to hire a photographer you might be thinking about going somewhere to take the photos. You might choose a park as a location for a nice outdoor setting, or maybe you want to be a little more personal and have them take place in the comfort of your own home. For newborn photos you might find it easier to take them in your home. It gives you a little more privacy and comfortability, especially for your baby. If you are having someone else take your photos don’t forget to have fun! If you’re nervous try focusing solely on your baby and let the photographer get their best shots. Rocking, singing, and smiling are great ways to engage both you and your baby into the photos.

A great way to tell if breastfeeding photography is right for you is to first test it out. Practice in the mirror by posing with your baby. Documenting your breastfeeding experience with your little one is a beautiful thing and if you feel comfortable embracing then do it!

 

 

Loving Moments’ Breastfeeding Must-Haves

You’re going to be a new mom and you’ve decided to breastfeed your baby. We love your decision, and we’re here to help! Here are a few items from our Loving Moment’s Nursing Collection we think will be essential for your breastfeeding wardrobe:

 

Loving Moments' Breastfeeding Must-Haves

Maternity to Nursing Sleep Bra

Style L316

Every mom needs a sleep/leisure bra. While you breastfeed your breasts will become engorged with your baby’s milk supply and sometimes this can create soreness and make you feel uncomfortable. Our Loving Moments Sleep Bra is perfect when you need to relax, while the cool, cotton fabric is soft against your sore breasts making you feel comfortable again. It’s also great because the cups and can be simply pulled aside for easy breastfeeding access. There is no fuss, and no matter if its day or night your hungry baby will be feed without any trouble!

 

Nursing Pads

Style L12

Nursing pads are always something you should have while you breastfeed. Because your breasts are producing milk you will sometimes have the occasional leaking. While you are at work or on the go nursing pads will ensure you do not leak throw your clothing and keep you comfortable and dry. Our Loving Moments Washable Nursing Pads are great because you wash them and reuse them more than a couple times. They are also made from extra soft cotton and are designed to conform to every breast size while fitting perfecting in every bra. Nursing pads will help protect your clothing, but make sure to avoid wearing wet pads for an extended amount of time, and when you wash them never used a liquid fabric softener because they will absorb it and may irritate your skin!

 

Great Nursing Tank

Style L317

Nursing Cami’s are great for when you’re ready to get out of the house and you have nothing to wear because your pre-baby clothing doesn’t exactly fit you quiet the same yet. They are also helpful for breastfeeding because they have nursing clasps that can easily be unhooked and hooked for access. Our Loving Moments Nursing Cami is soft and sweet and essential for all breastfeeding moms. With both convenient breastfeeding necessities our cami is cute and stylish and has a delicate lace neckline to add a bit of flare. It can be worn just like any other tank under your favorite sweaters, tunics, and alone during the warmer months. The empire waistline gives you the appropriate feminine look that is flattering and modest, but it’s also loose fitting and can hide your after-baby belly.

 

Active Nursing Bra

L388

While you might wait awhile to be active again you should still have your basic active, t-shirt bra for your busy new mom schedule. Every mom needs their basic every day bra they can just slip on and off and that looks great under a simple t-shirt. Our Loving Moments Active Wirefree Nursing Bra is just what you’re looking for. It’s simple, soft, made out of a breathable, cotton blend, and it’s perfect for low impact activities when you’re trying to get back to your pre-baby shape.

 

Nursing Cover

L422

Loving Moments' Breastfeeding Must-Haves

For public breastfeeding it’s essential to have a nursing cover to help you feel modest and unexposed. Being a new mom, breastfeeding in public may be something you are a little uneasy about. Don’t be! Breastfeeding is a beautiful and natural thing every women should experience with their baby. While you’re running around, going out to dinner with family, or lounging around at the park you will feel comfortable knowing you have a nursing cover that will hide your nerves. Our Loving Moments Nursing Cover provides discreet, on-the-go privacy during breastfeeding and pumping. It’s breathable and light weight, but it will also keep you and your little one warm during the colder months. Our Nursing Cover comes in a bunch of cute and stylish prints, and it can even be worn as a fashion scarf too!

 

 

Checkout and download our free Leading Lady Breastfeeding Handbook to learn more about breastfeeding, nursing bras, and more! http://www.leadinglady.com/pdf/Brstfdbook_web.pdf

 

 

 

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.

Breastfeeding in Public: Eliminating the Stigma + Tips for Avoiding Uncomfortable Moments

Without fail, every year around the holidays, we hear news of discrimination against breastfeeding in public.  Whether it is a major retailer or restaurant that asks a mother to leave or cover up, or harassments from an unknowledgeable public, it will inevitably happen again this year.  Why the ignorance?  Why the obsession with how someone else nurtures their baby?  Why the intolerance?

We may never know the answer to those questions but the truth is, breastfeeding in public is not against the law in any U.S. state so you cannot get into legal trouble for doing it.  In fact, it is one of the most natural things a mother can do for her baby.  But still, many moms face criticism, ostracism and are made to feel uncomfortable.

Breastfeeding in PublicAs more people learn about the benefits of breastfeeding, our society will hopefully become more tolerant.  Global and national educational initiatives such as World Breastfeeding Week and National Breastfeeding Month are designed not only to assist mothers in getting more information about feeding their children, but also to enlighten the public and inspire acceptance.  You, too can play a part by spreading the word about the positive effects of breastfeeding.

If breastfeeding in public is not part of your daily routine, you may be reluctant to do it.  But when your baby is hungry and you’re out-and-about with your family during the holidays, necessity may require a feeding in public.  Obviously exposing yourself publicly is not a common practice, but when your breasts are a source of food for your baby, it may be impossible to avoid.  Remind yourself of just that: your breasts are a source of nutrients for your baby, the best source in fact.  It may help alleviate some of the embarrassment.

You can always bring a nursing cover or find a private lounge to breastfeed, whenever possible.  Dress for simple nursing by wearing easy-to-lift or button-down tops, many of which can act as a cover-up as well.  A nursing bra or nursing cami always comes in handy, too!  Many people find that bringing a friend along, perhaps an experienced mom, can boost their confidence.  Chat and make eye contact while nursing to draw attention away from the feeding.  Chances are, most people won’t even notice what you are doing.

If you do get some unwelcome comments, make a choice to be the bigger person.  Ignore them, smile or caress your baby instead.  And if you are asked to leave an establishment, look into informing corporate headquarters.  As in most cases when breastfeeding moms are harassed, companies and the media side with the mother.  It’s important for companies to know what is happening at a local level so they can correct it and help inform their employees to support moms and babies.

On the flip side, if people smile at you or give you encouragement, thank them for their kindness.  Moms and breastfeeding advocates should support one another on their mission for healthy babies, healthy mommies and healthy families.

Happy holidays and happy breastfeeding!