Relatable Moments for Breastfeeding Moms

Relatable Moments for Breastfeeding MomsThere is so much that happens to your body during pregnancy and postpartum. In fact, there are gobs of books, websites, articles and social media posts dedicated to the miraculous and sometimes ridiculous things that happen to women who are expecting, birthing and lactating. Today we’re sharing the lighter side of breastfeeding with relatable moments for breastfeeding moms.

The Milk Squirt: It has surely happened to moms for centuries. You are mid let-down and your baby pulls off the breast. The milk, however, didn’t get the memo so it squirts in every direction including your eye, your baby’s face and your hubby who’s halfway across the room. After the initial shock wears off, everyone laughs and tells the story for years to come.

Atten Hut: You feel like your nipples have joined the military and stand at attention day and night, ready to defend, ready to feed.

What is Modesty?: Once upon a time your breasts were very private. Now, when your baby says it’s time to eat, your breasts are an open buffet. Friends and family members will be no strangers to your breasts. And you become very comfortable with just about anyone touching your breasts if it means they are helping you and your baby get better at breastfeeding.

Spit Happens: You’ve just taken a shower – the first one you’ve had in days. You smell good, you look good and it’s time to breastfeed. You are proud that your baby is eating nicely, more than usual in fact. Then, as you’re burping as you always do, your baby spews more spit-up than you’ve ever seen in your life. You can’t imagine that your baby even drank the amount of milk you see puddled on the floor, in your shoes and dripping down your clothes. How is that even possible?

Doorbell Feeding: You asked the repair guy to come before 1 p.m. when you know your baby will want to eat. But he’s not there by 1:05 p.m. so you start your feeding. At 1:07 p.m. the guy shows up and your baby is happily nursing. You know if you stop the feeding your baby will go ballistic. So you scoop up your baby still wearing your nursing pillow and answer the door. That’ll teach the repair guy to be on time!

Check Out My Stash: When friends come over to see your baby, you also show your stash of frozen milk. It’s your newest prized possession, besides your baby of course.

Who Turned on the Faucet?:  You desperately need to go to the grocery store because your pantry is down to cracker crumbs and your emergency can of soup. Daddy stays home with baby so you can run to the store. Of course your luxurious hour away to do the grocery shopping is met with everyone else’s baby crying in the store. And then suddenly you look down and you shirt is soaked with breast milk. So you push your card with your belly while keeping your hands folded across your chest.

What Not to Wear: Your wardrobe is all about functionality. Your first and foremost consideration is, “how long will it take me to get my breast out of this shirt.” If it has clasps (thank you nursing tanks!), buttons, zippers or wraps around your chest, it is acceptable. All other wardrobe options are dead to you.

Cry Over Spilt Milk: It always happens in slow motion and you literally cry about it for half an hour. Then you call everyone you know to tell them of your tragedy.

Babe or Baby’s Mom: Breastfeeding may be the first time in your life that you’ve had ample bosom. Your friends comment on your new curves and you can’t help but notice a few extra glances from men too. Take the compliment while you’ve got ‘em!

The Mommy Dream Feed: Your baby is up for the fourth feeding of the night and all you want to do is sleep. You close your eyes, just for a second, just to get one wink of satisfying sleep. Fifteen minutes later you are awakened because your baby is ready for the other breast. Wow, that was a great power nap at 3 a.m.!

Can I Borrow your Baby?: Your breast pump is broken or you left it at home and you’re in desperate need of relief. You wonder if someone will let you borrow their baby to feed.

Can you relate?

Thankful for #LovingMoments Nursling Photos

At #LovingMoments we’re thankful for so many blessings this time of year and always. Health and happiness top our gratitude list, two goals that breastfeeding can help moms and babies achieve. We celebrate and give thanks for that special, natural bond that breastfeeding creates between mothers and babies.

As moms you are surely thankful for many things, most of all your children and family. We’re thankful to you for sharing photos of your nurslings during our Thankful for #LovingMoments Photo Contest.  Your nurslings are beautiful, sweet and adorable! It’s hard not to “gobble” them up!

Our five Thankful for #LovingMoments Photo Contest winners are:

#LovingMoments

Submitted by Ronika C @FireMama_x3 on Twitter

#LovingMoments

Submitted by Carrie Richmond on Facebook

#LovingMoments

Submitted by Meaghan Flanagan Angle on Facebook

#LovingMoments

Submitted by Ashley Keinath on Facebook

#LovingMoments

Submitted by Kayla Sheehan @thescrunchybabywearer on Instagram

But honestly, everyone should feel like a winner because you get #LovingMoments with your nurslings all day, every day!  We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and wish you much joy during the holiday season!

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Girl’s Night In

Why worry about trying to fit in a girl’s night out around different work schedules, kid’s sporting events, baby sitter availability, or your husband’s game night when you can enjoy just as much fun with the girls in the comfort of your own home!

Some of the best memories come from not planning and just going with the flow. Instead of stressing yourself out about where to go or what to do, plan something simple. As a mom it can be difficult to plan time to be with your girls when you have a million and one other things to get done at home. Forget about all the planning and invite your friends over for a great evening of enjoying each other’s company.

 

Cooking, Painting, Pottery, Wine

Have you ever taken a cooking class before? Or what about one of those new up and coming painting classes where you can drink wine while you paint? Instead of spending a bunch of money on a class try it out at home with your friends! You won’t have to follow an instructor, but instead have some fun with the girls messing around in the kitchen or showing off your beautiful artwork you made together. The best part about this is you can wear whatever you want! Yes, comfy clothes are optional, and you can drink wine.

 Fondue Night

Come on, who doesn’t love cheese? Fondue parties are the best way to invite the girls over, eat delicious foods, and have a great time! Pick out your favorite cheeses and your sides, and get to melting and dipping!

 Movie Night in the Living Room

Have a movie night! Snuggle up in the comfy clothes, grab your favorite margarita mix, call the girls over, and put on one of your favorite movies. This is a great way to kick back and relax while laughing and having a good time with friends.

 At-Home Spa

Pamper yourself and your friends with an at-home spa! Although this may seem like something you would do when you were younger, an at-home spa with your girls can still be a blast. What’s better than having the chance to spoil yourself and have a laugh or two with some friends? Paint your toes, take turns giving each other massages, indulge in a fancy facial mask, and of course, don’t forget the wine!

 Sleepover with the Kids

When was the last time you had a sleepover with your friends? High school? Middle School? It’s never too late to reclaim your inner child and plan a sleepover with the girls! If you want to have a little more fun, bring the kids along! While the kids play you’ll have your time with the girls. When the night is over, pull out the sleeping bags and watch a fun movie with the kids. Then in the morning let the fun continue by making breakfast!

 

 

The Healthy Way to Gain Weight during Pregnancy

The Healthy Way to Gain Weight during PregnancyMost women have no problem at all gaining weight during their pregnancies. Yet, there are those who struggle to put on the pounds they need in order for their baby to be healthy and strong at delivery. On average, normal weight women need to gain 25-35 pounds, overweight women should only gain 15-25, and women who are underweight should gain around 28-40 pounds. Women who are not able to gain the appropriate weight are putting their babies at high risk of many problems, including being born prematurely or suffering growth restriction in the uterus. To keep moms on track during their pregnancy doctors say they should be consuming an extra 300 calories a day. However, this does not mean junk food and other processed foods are the way to go. Today we are going to discuss three ways to gain healthy weight during your pregnancy to secure yours and your baby’s wellbeing:

 

  1. Eat More and More Often

If you’re struggling to eat those extra 300 calories, a great way to help is by eating five to six small meals a day rather than 3 large meals. You might think you’re eating all the time, but in fact, eating more meals a day can actually help you eat more and help you gain the necessary weight you need for pregnancy. Pre-pack your meals once a week to help keep your organized and prepared. Make sure to keep snacks on hand, especially at work, or in the car. Eating six small meals a day will boost your calorie intake and keep you at a healthy weight.

  1. Eat High Calorie Foods

Eat foods that pack a punch. You want to find foods that are healthy and nutritional for your body, and if you’re underweight, look for foods high in calorie intake. Foods high in protein, such as cheese, nuts, and hard boiled eggs are great snack options, and easy to prepare. Protein shakes are another great option when you’d rather drink your food rather than eat. They are perfect in the morning when you’re getting ready for work or for a meal when you get home. They are quick and easy to make, and their effective. However, don’t put too much emphasis on liquid shakes because your body needs wholefoods to digest and process. Another idea, if approved by your doctor, is to try supplements. Adding protein powder or carb powder to your cereal or yogurt is tasty and will give you the calories you need.

  1. Find a Diet that Works for You

It’s always great to try new and healthy foods, but make sure you consult your doctor before trying something you’re unsure of, especially while you’re pregnant. Talk to your doctor if you’re having trouble gaining the appropriate weight. They will know just how you can put on the calories, and which foods to eat and stay away from.

 

 

Welcome World Breastfeeding Week!

Welcome World Breastfeeding Week!

WIC counselor from Tawas City, MI sharing a precious, breastfeeding moment with her baby.

The annual World Breastfeeding Week started this past Saturday, August 1st! The world celebration of breastfeeding has occurred every year since 1991, when the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) was formed. This week long event encourages women to embrace their motherly attributes and praise their abilities to give their children the essential nutrients they need to grow up healthy and strong!

We’ve all heard about the benefits breastfeeding has for both mom and baby, but did you know breast milk is constantly changing to meet the needs of our children? Researchers and moms are continuously finding ways breastfeeding is better and better, and how it out wins formula every single time. Breast milk gives our children the best possible nutrients and protection. Moms who breastfeed are shown to have lower risks of cancers, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, etc., and babies who drink breast milk are given immediate and long term protection and have a lower risk of infections, obesity, and cancers. What’s even more amazing about the power of breast milk is it can alter its self to meet a baby’s needs. When a baby breastfeeds their saliva communicates with the mother’s body and their breast milk can give the baby anything they need at that time. If they are sick the milk will produce extra antibodies and antioxidants to help them recover and feel better. Same goes if the mother is sick!

During this week, August 1st to the 7th, organizations such as, La Leche League and WIC (Women, Infant, and Children) are hosting special events for breastfeeding moms and their babies. This year’s theme: Breastfeeding at Work: Let’s Make it Work! will be all about women who want to continue breastfeeding while they pursue their careers. A few spotlighted events are Camden County, NJ, who will be hosting their “Big Latch On” affair where global counts of mothers simultaneously nurse their babies for one minute, and in Caldwell, ID where the Southwest District Health WIC has their “Latch On” event, which this year will be a full day of giving breastfeeding mom’s tips on how to tie both breastfeeding and work together!

 

Find your local chapter near you and checkout all the excitement going on this week and celebrate breastfeeding as it should be: loving, nurturing, and supportive!

 

 

Swimwear for New Moms

Swimwear for New Moms

All new moms know the feeling of being overwhelmed when bikini season comes along. It seems it was a lot less stressful when you had your baby bump to cover up, and when everyone told you how cute you looked all the time. Just because they are saying it about your new baby now doesn’t mean you should be embarrassed by your post-baby figure. And you might not be back to your pre-baby shape just yet, but you don’t have to hide under a sweater at the pool or skip the family vacation this summer. Have a little confidence in yourself and just remember you’re a mom and human!

When it comes to swimwear, there are always two options that come to mind: a one piece or a two piece, considering a tankini fits in the category of a two piece. With those two options you may seem like you’re out of luck because you either don’t want to show off your post-baby belly or you think a one piece just isn’t fashionable. However, there are styles that slip in between these two categories and go unnoticed. Have you ever heard of a swim dress? A blouson tankini? You may have or might have not. It doesn’t take extreme online searching to find suitable selections for your summer swimwear. In fact it’s a lot easier than you think.

Whatever your style you will be able to dress comfortably this summer in a swimsuit that will look great on your body. Here are a few styles to consider:

Swim Dress

A swim dress is super cute and really looks great on just about any body figure. Whether you’re trying to cover up your belly or show off your curves it’s a wonderful pick. The swim dress falls just below the hips and gives you the coverage you’re looking for to feel comfortable and sexy. Look for a swim dress with ruffles or a ruffled texture. These are great to hide any bumps or lumps and will make your figure look slim without losing your curves. If you’re looking for some extra coverage around the bottom you can find a swim dress with a skirted bottom that adds a little more length to your bathing suit.

Blouson Tankini

The blouson tankini is such a great idea we don’t know why it hasn’t been around longer! If you’re looking for the durability of a swimsuit but the fit of a tee, the blouson tankini is what you need. You can either find the blouson in a tankini or as a one piece. They are both loose fitting and will give you the comfort you’ve been waiting for this summer.

The Vintage High Rise Swim Bottom

If you’re style is more urban and chic you will love this high rise swim bottom look! High waisted shorts and pants have been such a hit these past few years there is no wonder you can now find this classic look in swimwear. The high rise bottom is great for covering up your post-baby belly and giving you a flat and thinner appearance. This swimsuit can be worn as a two piece with a bikini or tankini top, and you can find it as a one piece as well.

Wrapped Top

The wrapped top is perfect for hiding bumps. You can find it in either a one piece or in a tankini, and you will have the smooth figure you’ve been dreaming of. The wrapped swimsuit has a double layer around the belly which works almost like shapewear. It’s not as tight and constricting, but it will give you the look of having a smaller waist.

 

Other options that work great for new moms are swim shorts and a swimsuit cover. If you’re the type that likes to spend your time lounging by the pool instead of swimming the cover is great. There are tons of different styles so whether you’re into dresses or skirts you’ll have no problem finding something. The swim shorts are more of a sportier choice. If you want to cover up your stomach and legs a little more try the shorts.

Have fun this summer with all your swimwear options for new moms! Forget the boring, classic styles and jump into something bold and different. You won’t be disappointed and your comfort level will be sky high in paradise!

 

 

 

World Breastfeeding Week 2015: Let’s Make it Work!

How are you spending your week of August 1st through the 7th? Join us in celebrating World Breastfeeding Week, an annual week-long event that engages women from all around the world with breastfeeding news, support, and community building. This year marks the 24th year for the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, the founding group and champions of moms and babies across the globe. This year’s initiative is “Breastfeeding at Work: Let’s Make it Work!” in remembrance of the 1993 theme: “Mother-Friendly Workplace Initiative.”World Breastfeeding Week 2015: Let's Make it Work!

 

In 1992, The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action founded World Breastfeeding Week to bring awareness to deadly infant diseases, fight world hunger, and overall promote breastfeeding worldwide. The World Health Organization and UNICEF joined as partners with the WABA and together they formed the WBW celebration as way to remind mothers, doctors, and family members that breastfeeding an infant yields the best, most cost-effective nutritional diet available. Mothers receive countless health benefits from breastfeeding as well. In 2007, the CDC reported that only 11.3 percent of new mothers exclusively breastfed their child for the first 6 months. In an effort to raise awareness and extend breastfeeding beyond a week or two, the WABA and partners tirelessly champion breastfeeding support so mothers and babies can benefit from the guidance they need for successful nursing.

This year as we follow the 1993 theme, “Mother-Friendly Workplace Initiative,” which sadly is still a struggle many women face today, we spread the word and encourage employers and the general public to stop criticizing women for nursing in public but instead embrace the healthy and natural process of breastfeeding. If you would like to help spread the word you can find countless La Leche chapters across the nation hosting Latch On events, and WIC offices are always opening their doors to new mothers facing breastfeeding troubles. Look at your local chapters and see how you can volunteer or participate. Leading Lady/ Loving Moments by Leading Lady is donating nursing bras to WIC offices around the country so nursing moms get the support they need for successful, comfortable breastfeeding. Join the conversation on our Facebook page and share your stories with moms just like you!

 

 

Benefits of Coconut Oil

Benefits of Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is becoming the new must-have for moms and babies! Due to its unique richness of fatty acids it’s proven to be one of the best superfoods. Just like breast milk, coconut oil contains lauric acid, a healthy saturated fat, and with that comes many positive health benefits including better brain function, weight loss, and protection against harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi. People who eat a lot of coconut during their lives are considered to be some of the healthiest people on the planet!

Coconut oil has even better benefits for breastfeeding moms and their babies. Feeding your child coconut oil can help their bodies grow up healthy and strong. It can help get rid of lice, ease the pain and itching of bug bites, it’s great for controlling wild hair, particularly curly hair, and it’s perfect to put in the tub for calming bath time. Here are five different ways moms and their babies can benefit from using coconut oil on a daily basis:

For Moms

  1. Breastfeeding Moms: Coconut oil is the best solution for mom’s cracked or sore nipples from breastfeeding. It can be used as a lubricant during breast pumping, and as an anti-itch cream while your belly grows during pregnancy. You can also increase your milk supply by ingesting coconut oil a few times a day.
  2. Beauty: Coconut oil will be your new best friend! Not only can it get rid of your unwanted acne, it’s the perfect moisturizer for your hair and body, a great makeup remover, and it can also help with the appearance of wrinkles! Plus, you can use it as a substitute for regular shaving cream and make your legs feel extra soft and sexy.
  3. Skin: Coconut oil has deep moisturizing abilities so it’s great for eczema and psoriasis along with reducing the appearance of stretch marks and cellulite.
  4. Cooking: Not only can cooking with coconut oil give you amazing nutrients, but it also brings a delicious Mediterranean style. And because coconut oil is a natural energizer you will feel fuller longer and will always be ready to take on the day!
  5. Immune System: Consuming coconut oil helps your body numerously. It’s great for people with digestive problems, and it helps control bad bacteria to help women who struggle from yeast infections. Coconut oil also relieves heartburn, acid reflux, indigestion, and it has anti-viral properties so it’s great for healing scrapes, bruises, and burns without contracting infections.

For Babies

  1. Pain Reliever: Teething can be a very painful process for your baby. Wipe some coconut oil on their gums to relieve the pain.
  2. Skin: Coconut oil is really great for cradle cap and strengthening your baby’s soft spot. It also will warm and turn into a liquid when rubbing it together with your hands so it’s perfect for infant massages, sunscreen, and works well with baby acne.
  3. Immune System: Coconut oil has anti-bacterial, anti-itch, and anti-inflammatory properties and can help with baby allergies, reducing fever, soothing chicken pox, constipation, and getting rid of Thrush.
  4. Diaper Changing: Coconut oil is great for soothing diaper rash and getting rid of stubborn meconium your baby might have during the first few days.
  5. Cooking: Feeding your baby coconut oil will broaden their tasting experience by trying new flavors. It’s also rich in lauric acid just like breast milk so it’s super healthy!

You will love the health benefits coconut oil will give you and your baby! If you’re concerned about allergies or your baby ingesting coconut oil, or other products, make sure to always speak with your doctor or lactation consultant before trying new foods. Also, before you go out and buy coconut oil make sure you are educated on what kind to purchase. Extra virgin coconut oil is all natural and contains no preservatives or harmful ingredients; therefore it’s the best one to buy!

 

 

 

DIY to Save Money with Your Baby

Budgeting for a baby can be difficult, especially if it’s for your first. Many parents, and with the help of family and friends, believe buying everything “baby” they see in the store will make them feel more prepared. In the end, you’re actually not doing yourself any favors, and could be wasting a lot of money on things you don’t really need or might not even use. Yes, it’s important to keep your baby healthy and happy, and many of the things you’re worried about not having could be very beneficial at some point, but you don’t need to spend a whole down payment for a house on them. There are ways to spoil your baby without buying the softest, most expensive and all-natural baby pillow.

DIY crafts are great solutions for effective ways to save your money while also pampering your baby with charming and adorable things! Studies have shown a baby can cost anywhere from $12,000 to $26,000 in just the first year. You can cut that price down more than half by making your own products at home. Plus, your baby will look cuter in their handmade cloth diaper than in any regular diaper you could have bought at the store. Here are a few fun DIY ideas you can easily do at home to save money with your baby:

 

How to Deal with Separation AnxietyMake you Own Cloth Diapers

Cloth diapers are not only cute; they are also cost effective and safer for your baby’s skin. Compared to regular disposable diapers you can save more than $1,000 in the first year by making your own. Additionally, some brand name disposable diapers can contain chemicals and can cause diaper rash or other skin irritations to your baby’s skin. While cloth diapers may need to be changed and washed more often, they do not contain any chemicals. However, due to the fact the wetness will be more noticeable to your baby and you’ll have to endure in the hassle of washing and changing more often, it can actually promote faster potty training and in the long run you will save even more money! They are also easy to make and you can find help with the thousands of online tutorials. Here are step by step instructions from a cloth diapering blog I found useful: http://homespunaesthetic.com/2012/04/easy-pocket-cloth-diaper-tutorial.html

 

Make your Own Bibs

Baby bibs are just another thing that can easily save you money! Many bibs are expensive, and after one or two uses they could already be ruined by food or spit up. A good idea is to buy cheap t-shirts that are too big for your baby to use as their messy “food t-shirt.” They can dirty the t-shirt as much as they want, and then later on you can use it as a play shirt for when they are toddlers. Another idea is to use hand towels or cheap microfiber cloths you can buy at any dollar store and make them into bibs. Making your own handmade baby bibs are one of the easiest DIY crafts! If you plan to use an old hand towel you can find a bunch of videos on YouTube or online to follow. Here is a link of a blog I found helpful: http://www.nancyzieman.com/blog/sewing-general/sew-pullover-bibs-sew-for-kids/

 

Make your Own Wipes

Believe it or not, baby wipes can actually contain harmful ingredients that can harm our babies. Many of the wipes you can buy at the store have been linked to causing allergies, developmental problems, organ dysfunction and even serious diseases like cancer. Many moms don’t know the harmful effects of store bought baby wipes. All natural wipes can be very expensive, and it’s why most moms lean towards the less expensive ones. However, you can actually save more money making your own rather than buying regular wipes, and they are just as effective and safe as the all-natural wipes. Making your own baby wipes is fast and simple, and they can last for about a week at a time. You can save over $200 making your own wipes, and most of the products you need are already in your home. All you need is a roll of paper towels, your choice of baby soap and baby oil, and a plastic container to put them in. This is a simple ingredient list and you can find more online with step by step instructions.

No matter what you choose to do the most important thing to remember is your baby will love you no matter what! If it’s more effective for you to buy regular disposable diapers or store made baby bibs that’s fine. But if you love to craft and have time to get creative then try out these fun ideas and savor in their benefits! You don’t need to be a professional when it comes to crafting; all you need is a go-for-it attitude and wait to see what you can accomplish.