The Best Nursing Bras for New Moms

The best nursing bras are the ones that will make you feel like you’re on top of the world. You just had a beautiful baby, you’re making the healthiest choices to nourish your new little one and you’re navigating your new life stage with grace, optimism and love. As you enjoy all that motherhood has to offer, you should feel great about yourself, starting with your nursing bras. When you nurse your baby and wear a comfortable, supportive, stylish nursing bra that fits you perfectly, you will, indeed, feel like you’re on top of the world.

Here are all the features you should look for in the best nursing bras:

The Best Nursing Bras for New MomsSuperior Support: During pregnancy and nursing your breasts go through many changes. As your body prepares for breastfeeding and you initiate the incredible journey of feeding your baby, your breasts will expand, enlarge and become heavier. Within a few days of giving birth your milk will come in and your breasts will continue to grow as they fill with that amazing breast milk you’re now producing in full force.

All of these breast changes call for some serious support from your nursing bras. The best nursing bras will lift your breasts and support their weight at every stage of pregnancy and breastfeeding. Depending on your level of activity, some nursing bras will provide extreme support from the sides, straps and band to reduce bounce including during light-to-moderate exercise. Sleep and leisure bras are designed for gentle support for light activity and positioning overnight.

Soft, Breathable Fabrics: Thanks to the swell of hormones in your body, your breasts will not only become larger, they also may be more sensitive. Sensitive breasts need supple, smooth fabrics to cradle and soothe them without causing irritation or discomfort. The best nursing bras will be made of soft materials to do just that. Plus, as your hormones swing during this special time, you may find yourself suddenly sweating, especially at night. Breathable fabrics will keep you cool and comfortable despite your raging hormones

Adjustability and Flexibility: With the ebb and flow of your milk supply – which can shift hourly, daily and weekly during different stages of breastfeeding – adjustability and flexibility features that help you find your custom fit are essential. Many of the best nursing bras have adjustable straps and multiple hook-and-eye closures that allow you to change the fit to meet your daily needs. For pullover sleep and leisure styles, the soft, breathable fabrics on the band, cups and comfort straps will provide this much needed flexibility to accommodate your changing breasts.

The Best Nursing Bras for New MomsEasy Access for Breastfeeding: Of course the best nursing bras should make breastfeeding simpler. Easy one-hand nursing clasps and drop-down cups make breastfeeding a cinch or slide-over cups on sleep and leisure bras help you remain ready to breastfeed at any time day or night. Fumbling to remove or lift regular bras can make the difference in a fussy baby and a happy baby. Keep your little one smiling and satisfied by wearing nursing bras for easy breastfeeding access.

Styles that Suit You:  Just like any bra in your wardrobe, the best nursing bras will be the ones that meet the needs of your lifestyle and are styles you enjoy wearing. From everyday nursing bras and nursing sports bras, to sleep and leisure styles for day or night, you should have a variety of styles for your dynamic lifestyle. And don’t forget to pick a few cute colors, prints and patterns that will spice up your nursing bra selection.

 

Loving Moments believes moms should have the knowledge, resources and power to make the healthiest choices for their babies, starting with breastfeeding. In celebration of World Breastfeeding Week and National Breastfeeding Month in August, we are sharing Breastfeeding Basics, our educational blog series that we hope will empower you with information, encouragement and inspiration to meet your breastfeeding goals.

 

The Do’s and Don’ts of Valentine’s Day while Breastfeeding

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. If you’re a new mom, the holiday may take new meaning as your love has expanded to welcome a new family member. This Valentine’s Day may be different from previous celebrations because taking care of a new baby is a full time labor of love. We’re sharing the do’s and don’ts of Valentine’s Day while breastfeeding to help you and your little one enjoy the holiday.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Valentine’s Day while BreastfeedingDO celebrate all kinds of love.

Romantic love may have started your family and now unconditional love is what you have for your baby. Celebrate all of the loves in your growing family this Valentine’s Day because there is no greater gift than that.

DON’T forget to pamper yourself too.

The best moms know when it’s time to relax and rejuvenate. As a new mom, you’re on the clock 24/7. Give yourself a little break for pampering this Valentine’s Day. De-stressing with a beauty treatment or simply taking a luxurious bath may be all you need to feel refreshed again.

DO get frisky if your doctor has given you the green light.

If your OBGYN says you’re cleared for intercourse, go for it on this most romantic day of the year. Otherwise, show your hubs some affection with lots of snuggles and kissing.

DON’T forget you can get pregnant while breastfeeding.

Exclusive breastfeeding usually means you have a very low chance of getting pregnant for the first six months after giving birth. However, even if you are not having regular menstrual cycles yet you may ovulate. In fact, if your period hasn’t returned by six months, you have an increased chance of ovulating before your first period. If you’re not ready for another baby, play it safe.

DO spend time as a family on Valentine’s Day

Spending time together as a family is a wonderful way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Do something the entire family can enjoy, such as visiting a park or museum, or having a family game afternoon.

DON’T neglect your hubby because you’re too tired.

Sleep is important but so is connecting with your partner. Carve out some romantic time to enjoy your husband once the baby is asleep. Keeping the spark alive in your marriage is important for couples with a new baby.

DO enjoy a sweet treat.

Valentine’s Day treats are abundant and when you’re breastfeeding you need some extra calories to make that amazing breast milk. So go ahead, indulge in a few desserts in the name of love.

DON’T overdo it on chocolate or alcohol.

Chocolate is decadent and delicious but it does have caffeine. Limit the amount you eat while you are breastfeeding if your baby is sensitive to caffeine. Also, avoid excessive drinking since some alcohol content does enter your breast milk. Some moms abstain from drinking alcohol altogether while nursing but the general agreed upon guideline is if you can safely drive a car, you can breastfeed. That’s probably no more than two drinks for most nursing moms.

DO have a very Happy Valentine’s Day while breastfeeding!

Holiday Gifts for New Moms

Holiday Gifts for New MomsIf you have a new mom on your gift list this year (or if you are a new mom or mom-to-be yourself) you may be mulling over holiday gifts for new moms. You can probably come up with so many things she may need for her baby but it’s harder to figure out what she would really enjoy herself.  Today we’re sharing our favorite holiday gifts for new moms to ensure that newbie on your list is beaming when she opens her present.

Photo Website Gift Certificate

As new moms cherish every moment with their babies they’re surely snapping a lot of photos along the way. Help a new mom by giving her a gift certificate to a photo website where she can order prints or create fun items with her baby’s photos such as calendars, coffee mugs or photo albums.

Essentials She Doesn’t Know She Needs

Veteran moms are the best at telling new moms what they really need for their babies. While the baby superstores may suggest some things, it’s moms who have “been there, done that” who are truly knowledgeable. Create a gift basket of items new moms really need even if she doesn’t know she needs them yet.

Nursing Clothes

Often new moms purchase a nursing bra or two before delivery but they seldom realize just how important and convenient nursing bras and nursing clothes really are. One of the best holiday gifts for new moms is helping her stock up on nursing clothes. Since she’ll probably be wearing nursing bras or nursing tank tops daily, give her a gift set of 5 to 7 items that will get her through her early days of nursing including sleep/leisure nursing bras and nursing tanks.

Pamper Product Delivery

It’s true that new moms often don’t have time or energy to get pampered but you can bring the pampering to her with a beauty products delivery service. These monthly subscriptions send samples of fun beauty items for her to try and enjoy from the convenience of her home. This will not only help her feel human again, but also offer her some femininity and fun as well.

Housekeeper Service

Cleaning the house when you have a baby is probably the farthest thing on your mind. Instead of giving a tangible gift, get a new mom housekeeper service to clean and tidy-up her home around the holidays. Not having to clean may be the best gift she receives all season.

Stroller Speaker

For active moms, a stroller speaker may make walking, jogging or just being out-and-about with her baby more fun. She can turn on her own tunes or music for the baby to keep both of them happy on-the-go.

Personalized Mom Necklace

As a new mom, her baby has stolen her heart. Keep her baby’s name close to her heart with a necklace featuring her baby’s name. If you select a design where names hang on charms, she can add the names of additional children in the future.

Food Delivery

Much like housekeeping services, providing food delivery service will take chores off a new mom’s plate. Give her a night off food prep with a gourmet dinner of her choice delivered right to her door.

Give the new mom on your list something she will love with our ideas of holiday gifts for new moms!

 

Pregnancy Hacks

When you get into the “thick” of your pregnancy, things get pretty real. At first you may feel blissfully bump-a-licious, but then one day you wake up and wonder what happened to that amazing feeling you had when you found out you were expecting. All you feel right now is tired, a backache and nauseous – oh, and don’t forget a hot mess. It’s not that pregnancy is all bad, but it may take creative solutions to avoid discomfort, embarrassment and wardrobe issues. That’s why we’re sharing pregnancy hacks to help you navigate this special time in your life.

Find your Fit

It is fun to dress your bump in adorable maternity clothes but they can be expensive and are useful for only such a short time. Here are some hacks to avoid the money suck of an entire new wardrobe:

  • Pregnancy HacksBuy maternity nursing tops that will stretch with your belly throughout pregnancy but then continue to be useful for breastfeeding once your baby arrives.
  • Use a rubber band or hair tie to wear your regular pants. Simply wrap it around the button and loop it through the buttonhole to add some stretch to the waist. With a long shirt, your pants can remain unbuttoned and unzipped and no one will know the difference.
  • If you’re having hot flashes or are just hot all the time, put your bra in the freezer for a few minutes before wearing it. This will cool you down nicely.
  • Buy a few pairs of sweatpants or other casual clothes towards the beginning of your pregnancy when you’re just starting to show. These will come in handy once you’ve given birth and need something comfy to wear when you’re in-between sizes.

Curb Nausea

Nausea can be debilitating at times. While most pregnancy nausea subsides by the end of the first trimester, some moms-to-be experience it throughout pregnancy. Try these hacks for curbing nausea:

  • Pregnancy HacksDo pregnancy yoga. Some poses actually help put the kibosh on nausea, plus they get your blood flowing and help you stretch.
  • Ginger, watermelon and lemon are all flavors that help curb nausea. Try them fresh or in candy form.
  • Have supplies available if you do vomit while outside your house. These should include some wipes or a towel to clean the mess, a plastic bag for soiled items, a change a clothes, a toothbrush and some perfume.

Get Comfortable

With the added weight of your belly putting pressure EVERYWHERE, on top of other potential issues such as edema, back pain and heartburn, pregnancy can be pretty uncomfortable at times. Try these hacks to find moments of comfort:

  • Lie in a recliner rather than a bed. The chair can prop you up to help avoid heartburn and reflux, and it can better conform to your body so you can get comfortable.
  • If you must be on your belly, use a large inner tube so your bump has a place to go and is supported on all sides.
  • The dietary supplement Cal-Mag is great during pregnancy to help with leg cramps and high blood pressure. It may even help you sleep better.
  • Ease some anxiety by delegating. If someone asks what they can buy you or how they can help, assign them something specific that will help you check that item or task off your to-do list.

Forty weeks may feel like forever when you’re trudging through pregnancy, but with these pregnancy hacks you’ll make it through as graceful as a swan.

 

Sources: BuzzFeed and The Stir

How to Truly Help a Friend with a Newborn

How to Truly Help a Friend with a NewbornWhether you have kids or not, being truly helpful to a friend with a newborn is the best gift a new mom could receive.  Even those with kids often don’t think about what it means to be truly helpful because we often get caught up in outdated etiquette that is actually beyond unhelpful to new mothers.  We’re here to show you how to truly help a friend with a newborn.

Help around the house:  When you come over to a new mom’s house while her baby is sleeping, don’t make her sit and talk to you.  That is her time.  Instead, let her take a nap or a shower while you tidy up, fold laundry, run to the grocery store for her or put together the four new baby items that are still in their boxes.  Be useful, don’t eat up her time.

Organize a meal train:  What’s better than bringing your friend’s family a meal?  Getting all of her friends to provide meals for the first month after the baby arrives.  There are online sign-up programs that make organizing meal trains simple and streamlined.  Be sure to ask the mom the types of foods she wants for her family and be mindful of food allergies and dietary restrictions, especially if mom is breastfeeding.

Get her a gift she really wants:  It’s nice to get adorable outfits, burp clothes and blankets, but new moms usually get tons of these generic gifts from people who don’t know her very well.  Ask the new mom what she wants and actually get it for her, even if it is a box of diapers, breast shields for her pump or housecleaning service.

Arrange playdates for older siblings:  Pick up her older kids and let them play with your kids or others outside of their home to allow mom time to bond with her baby or get some chores done.  This is a gift to the whole family.

Listen to her without judging:  Being a new mom can be very hard for even experienced mothers.  Ask your friend how she is doing and actually listen to her without negating her feelings or imparting your personal judgment.  Sometimes just expressing herself will make her feel better.

Sit with her while she breastfeeds:  When mothers exclusively breastfeed, they can get lonely day-in and day-out.  Spend your lunch break sitting with her while she breastfeeds so she has some company that can actually talk back and doesn’t spit up on her.

Take her out:  Make your new mom friend get out of the house when she’s capable so she’ll remember that life is not the bubble she’s been living in with a newborn.  Even if you just take a walk in the park to get fresh air or have a quick girls’ night dinner, remembering what the outside world is like will do her some good.

Tell her all the mistakes you made as a new mom:  New mothers often feel they are the only ones struggling and constantly making mistakes.  Share your blunders with her to help her feel better about her own.  It will probably give both of you a good laugh too.

Give her space:  If your friend says she wants to be left alone, give her that space for the first little while.  She may want to soak up all the time she and her partner have with their newborn before returning to work.  Do be cautious though that your friend isn’t avoiding you because she is depressed.  Intervene if you think she needs help.  Also, if others are constantly bothering her by dropping by to see the baby, be on hand to “manage the door” and let visitors talk your ear off instead of hers.

Be an awesome friend and think about how to truly help a friend with a newborn!

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!

 

 

 

Breastfeeding Report Card Update and New Mom Nursing Concerns

Breastfeeding Report Card Update and New Mom Nursing ConcernsAccording to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), only 37.7% of new moms are exclusively breastfeeding 3 months after giving birth. At 6 months after birth, the percentage drops to 16.4. What drives so many first time mothers to supplement with formula or abandon breastfeeding altogether? Even though the CDC’s 2013 Breastfeeding Report Card shows marked improvement in on-site hospital support systems, women are continuing to not breastfeeding for a full year.

A September 2013 Time article notes that women who worry about their breastfeeding abilities (including issues like proper latch and sufficient breast milk production) before their baby is born are more likely to switch to formula sooner than women who did not express similar concerns. Even though lactation and breastfeeding are often touted as “natural” actions a mother instinctively knows, there are facets about latching and breastfeeding that so often a new mom is not taught while in the hospital. Small, correctible issues might seem like larger deficiencies when a new mom is struggling with feeding her baby. If a new mom’s anxieties are not addressed by a medical professional (especially if there is no lactation consultant available) it is unsurprising that she would feel as though breastfeeding were a task too difficult to handle.

What can you do to help a new mom struggling to nurse? Volunteer your own experiences and any breastfeeding information that you picked up along the way. Anxiety grows in the absence of information, so by sharing your take on breastfeeding, you are helping to foster another mom’s confidence. Sore nipples, frequent feedings—these elements of the breastfeeding routine are draining on a first-time mom, so any advice and encouragement will go a long way in boosting her confidence!

Do you have any important breastfeeding advice you’d like to share? Leave us a note in the comments!