Monday, June 29, 2009

Review & Sweepstakes: Bravado Nursing Bra

Check out my review of the gorgeous Bravado! Body Silk Seamless nursing bra over at Blacktating Reviews. Bravado! is even hosting a sweepstakes for my readers, where you can enter to win $160 worth of nursing clothing & bras from Bravado!

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Product Review: Shower Hug

I was recently sent a Shower Hug to review by the company that produces them, Bel Mama & Cherub. The Shower Hug is a piece of terry velour cloth with a velcro strip that is meant to be wrapped around your chest to protect engorged breasts and sensitive nipples in the shower. Remember the first shower you took after your milk came in? How the water beating down on your chest was so painful? How you tried to wash up without getting any soap on your nipples because they were already cracked and dry, and maybe even scabbed over and bloody? Even though those days are long behind me, I remember them well and I'm now wishing I had heard of the Shower Hug then! This little piece of cloth is so versatile and really works. I wore it in the shower last night. Here I am posing before jumpin' in.

I ordered my Shower Hug in size M/L (it also comes in size S and "Goddess" it!) and you want to be sure the fit is snug, so that it can provide support for your breasts. Because the material is so soft and stretchy you don't have to worry about it rubbing up against your nipples in a painful way. If you are between sizes, order a size down.

Although my milk supply has adjusted nicely to my toddler's needs, I found myself with a bleb (milk blister) the other day and the Shower Hug arrived just in time. I wore it in the shower and it really did support my breasts and protect my nipples. I was worried that as soon as the water hit it, it would sag and start to feel heavy and fall off, but it's ridiculously absorbent and stayed right in place! Afterwards I rung it out and hung it up in the bathroom on the towel bar.

PROS of the Shower Hug:
-TONS of uses, including as an alternative to a nursing bra for nighttime use, as a wrap to hold in your post-partum belly, to hold cooling gel inserts in place near your breasts, to provide moist heat for healing plugged ducts & mastitis, as breast pads to catch leaking milk and more.
- Reusable & "green," organic material options available.
- Can take the place of several nursing accessories.
- Makes a unique gift for mom-to-be.

- At $30, it definitely falls into the "splurge" category, but if you think of it as a replacement for traditional nursing pads and nighttime nursing bras, it doesn't seem as bad.
- Takes a long time to air dry, so you'd need to pop it in the dryer to ensure it was dry for your shower the next day (hahaha, I made a funny! A new mom getting to take a shower every day? Yeah, right!)

So would I recommend the Shower Hug? A resounding "yes!" This is one of those products you don't realize you need until you try it! After I was done testing it out all I could think was, "This thing is awesome, why didn't I think of it?"

Want to try the Shower Hug? You can order it online or see if it's available at a retailer near you.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Question of the Day: Sour Milk

Here is a question I received from a reader:

My newborn is currently being breastfed. I was unable to breastfeed my baby for two days. Has my milk gone sour?

I'm not sure where this myth about breast milk "going sour" in the breast started, but it's patently false. Your breast milk in your breast is always fresh and even if you have to stop nursing for a day or two because of surgery or medication or separation from your baby, your milk is still as good as it ever was. If you cannot nurse your baby for an extended period of time, regardless of the reason, you want to make sure to pump so that your supply doesn't diminish. Ideally you would be able to pump for every missed feeding, but this is not always possible. Try to pump about every 3 hours until you can get your baby back to the breast.

Milk that is expressed from your breast and is in a bottle or breast milk storage bag, CAN go sour.

You want to be sure you follow the guidelines closely for breast milk storage which you can find on this LLLI Fact Sheet. Washing your hands, sterilizing your pump parts and bottles and immediately storing your milk will all help to keep it fresh.

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Thank You for Nursing in Public

Welcome, Carnival of Breastfeeding readers! Here is my contribution to the June Carnival, Nursing in Public.

When was the last time you saw a woman breastfeeding in public? When was the last time you saw a woman feeding a baby in public with a bottle? Do you find yourself wondering, whenever you see a woman with a baby, "If she breastfeeding?" Are you a bit let down when you notice the formula in the shopping cart or the prepared bottle sitting in the stroller cup holder? Do you wonder if that mom is a breastfeeding mom, too, just not in public? Is she scared, embarrassed, ashamed to nurse in public?

Do you nurse in public? If you do, I thank you. Every time you nurse in public you help to normalize breastfeeding. Every time you nurse in public, you remind people that not everyone chooses formula. Every time you nurse in public, you have the potential to encourage another woman to breastfeed. Every time you nurse in public, you might convince a mom that she doesn't have to pump or feed her baby formula when out and about. Maybe your nursing in public will let a mama know she doesn't need to retreat to the bathroom/backseat of the car/back bedroom/nursing mother's room. Simply by breastfeeding your baby in public, you are standing up for yourself, your baby and nursing mother's everywhere. Thank you.

Want to thank a woman for nursing in public? Download this "Thank You for Nursing in Public" Card created by Amanda at Kind Over Matter.

Check out the other wonderful Carnival participants listed below.
Lucy & Ethel Have a Baby: Nursing In Public (Boobs) Out and Proud
Chronicles of A Nursing Mom: Why Worry About NIP?
PhD in Parenting: Would You, Could You Nurse in Public?
Dirty Diaper Laundry: Breastfeeding in Public Talent - I Haz It
Kim through the Looking Glass: Here? At the Restaurant?
GrudgeMom: Nursing in a Room Full of People You Know
MumUnplugged: Aww, Is He Sleeping?
Massachusetts Friends of Midwives: Nursing in Public: Chinatown, the Subway, the Vatican, and More
Mother Mary’s Soapbox: Breastfeeding My Newborn in Public
Tiny Grass: Nursing in Public as an Immigrant
Breastfeeding 1-2-3: To Cover or Not to Cover
Mommy News and Views: Tips for Nursing in Public
Stork Stories: Little Old Men...& Nursing in PublicWarm Hearts Happy Family: Breastfeeding and the Summertime
Musings on Mamahood: NIP, No Tuck
Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog: Get Kicked Off A Bus for Nursing? Here's How to Respond
babyReady: A Wee Nip in the Park!
Mama Knows Breast: Products That Can Help You Breastfeed in Public
Tales of Life With A Girl on the Go: Planes, Trains & Automobiles...We've Breastfed In Them All
Breastfeeding Moms Unite: Nursing in Public: A Fresh Perspective on Nurse-Ins
Never A Dull Moment: Breastfeeding Hats? Yes! Covers? Not So Much....
Breastfeeding Mums Blog: Nursing in Public --What's A Breastfeeding Mother to Do?
Hobo Mama: Easy, Discreet Way to Breastfeed A Toddler in Public

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Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day everyone! To all the wonderful dads (and the single moms who are both mom AND dad), I hope you have a great day. If you're lucky, your kids have a dad as great as my son's!

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday 5

If money were no object, what would your breastfeeding-related splurges be? Here are my Top 5.

1. Medela Freestyle Pump
I am one of those moms who doesn't respond well to the pump, so when I returned to work after having my son, it was a struggle to keep up with his demands. I was renting a hospital-grade pump and had to pump at least 6 times per day in order to make enough milk for my son the following day. It was a lot of pressure. I have heard good things about the Freestyle, but the best part for me would be the ability to be completely hands-free as well as mobile while pumping.

2. Condessa Nursing Bras & Underwear
I was a big cheapskate when it came to buying nursing bras. My nighttime bras were from Target and I got all of my daytime bras from an outlet store in my area that sold Playtex bras for around $9 each. The nursing bras from Condessa are truly lingerie--gorgeous, sexy, silky--but also completely functional and, most importantly, underwire-free! I mean, how beautiful is this? Hot, hot, hot!

3. Ergo Baby Carrier
I love my sling and I used it on my son until he was about a year old, but I REALLY love the look of the Ergo and how easy it seems to use. I always wanted to carry my son on my back, plus hands-free nursing is always a bonus. I don't think I've ever heard a bad thing about the Ergo and I've heard raves from other breastfeeding moms.

4. Japanese Weekend nursing nightgown
I never bought myself a real nursing nightgown, I just wore a huge gown and kept the top buttons open for easy access in the middle of the night. But the nightgowns from Japanese Weekend are so purty and since they're made of soft jersey, look so comfy.

5.Milkies Milk Savers
I was never a huge leaker, but when I did leak, I always HATED that all of that milk was going to waste. Enter the Milkies Milk Saver, a slim pouch that slips into your bra and catches leaking milk. It's not exactly cheap at about $50 for a pair, but if it helps to keep you from having to buy formula, it's worth every penny!

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Twinsies!

Left, my son, 8 months
Right, me, 8 months

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Family-friendly Senator is Breastfeeding Mom

Kirsten Gillibrand is the current junior Senator from New York (she replaced Hillary Clinton when she left the Senate and became Secretary of State.) Gillibrand has the distinction of being only the 6th woman to give birth while serving as a member of Congress and the first to be breastfeeding while in office. Her son Henry was born in May 2008 and Gillibrand is still nursing him. How does a member of Congress manage to breastfeed with such a busy schedule? According to this article:

Nursing her 1-year-old son, Henry, has been a logistical challenge for the 42-year-old lawmaker, who sometimes rushes home to an apartment in northern Virginia between weekday votes in the Capitol.

On weekends, it's even more difficult because she must travel around New York to get acquainted with local officials and constituents, most of whom knew little about Gillibrand when she was a House member, before her appointment by Gov. David Paterson.

Gillibrand said a support group that includes her mother, sister and girlfriends played a key role in her decision to continue nursing. She nursed her older son, Theo, until he was 9 months old.

Gillibrand is not only a breastfeeding mother, but a supporter of nursing and family-friendly policies in general. She is sponsoring a House bill that would require insurance providers to cover infertility treatments, she is asking the FDA to investigate the use of chemicals in personal care products, and she also wrote President Barack Obama asking for his support for a nurse visitation program to provide low-income women with parenting help and to encourage them to breastfeed.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

This Is How You Do It

Like many businesses, the Chicago Children's Museum caters to kids and by extension, women and families. Unlike most businesses, they've taken a proactive stance to show their support of breastfeeding and the women who choose to nurse their babies. When you go to the Chicago Children's Museum you don't have to worry about an ignorant staffer harassing you if you have to nurse your baby. You don't have to wonder if there's a space for nursing moms if you prefer some privacy. Why? Because this sign is posted throughout the museum.

It is the international symbol for breastfeeding and the text below the picture reads "Please feel free to breastfeed or pump anywhere in this museum. If you would like some privacy, we do have a caregiver center, located in KidsTown on the 3rd floor."

I don't think I've ever seen anything like this and I have to give major props to the museum for being so welcoming to breastfeeding mothers. I know many of you who read this blog will be attending the BlogHer Conference in Chicago in July and bringing your kids with you. If you do, I hope you visit the museum and support them with your dollars. You can also send them a tweet of thanks. We're planning on visiting some family in the Windy City this summer and we'll definitely be stopping at the Chicago Children's Museum!

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday 5

Happy Friday, everyone. Here are some interesting stories on breast milk that were in the news this week.

David Sedaris is looking for stories about breast milk. David Sedaris & breast milk: two great things that go better together!

A South Carolina mom donated 106 ounces of breast milk to the International Breast Milk Project, which provides breast milk to infants in Africa.

Meanwhile, mothers in Australia have to get breast milk on the black market.

A Swedish study shows that mother's milk may have less toxins in it than in the 90s.

Scientists are milking mice for all of the human milk protein they've got.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Formula feeding is the longest lasting uncontrolled experiment lacking informed consent in the history of medicine."

— Frank Oski, MD
retired Editor, Journal of Pediatrics

I found this quote on Dr. Jenny Thomas' website, drjen4kids. Dr. Thomas is a pediatrician and IBCLC who practices in Racine, WI. Her website is chock full of wonderful information on breastfeeding, normal infant behaviors, immunizations and more. She also did a wonderful interview with Tanya at the Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog.

You may have seen this quote elsewhere. I know it has appeared on many websites, including KellyMom & La Leche League, but it was new to me. Dr. Oski's New York Times obit describes him as "[an] expert in childhood... nutritional deficiencies" who "campaigned against commercial promotions of cow's milk as an alternative to mother's milk for babies."

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Lesbian, Transgender & Breastfeeding, Oh My!

I was reading an article about Iron Chef regular Cat Cora the other day on the Celebrity Baby Blog. Cat is 8 months pregnant and her wife, Jennifer, gave birth to a baby boy in April (Jennifer also gave birth to their first two kids, ages 5 and 2). Like many successful career women, Cat doesn't plan on quitting her job after the birth of her baby. In fact, she and Jennifer planned their babies to be born so close together so they could be sort of like twins and Cat could return to work shortly after their birth and Jennifer can breastfeed them both!

Is this not the ultimate set-up? How many of us in hetero relationships wished our husbands or boyfriends could take over some of the breastfeeding? What if you could be like Cat and bypass pumping and storing milk and know your baby could still have breast milk? I know there are milk banks and friends who cross-nurse, but this arrangement is so easy and beneficial to all. Has anyone ever heard of another lesbian couple who has done this?

Cat is living the dream of successful business women the world over who are always wishing they had a wife. Most men who are successful and wealthy and have kids have a wife at home who is holdin' it down, cooking, cleaning and raising the kids. Women at the top of their games either don't have kids or have a husband who is a stay-at-home dad. Cat is seriously getting the best of both worlds. (Although imagine your partner pregnant at the same time as you...who is going to bring you ice cream and rub your feet when your partner is just as tired and swollen as you are?)

Anyway, I also read that the "Pregnant Man" Thomas Beatie gave birth to his second baby today. His wife Nancy is breastfeeding the baby boy, just as she breastfed their first baby who was born last June. Not the same situation as Thomas had his breasts removed and can't breastfeed, so his wife is taking on all of the nursing duties, but it's wonderful that they obviously believe breastfeeding is important. Nancy had to have gone through induced lactation to nurse originally, but she may still be breastfeeding their first baby and tandem nursing.

I think both of these situations are incredibly cool. I love the idea of people creating non-traditional families on their own terms. Perhaps because I was raised in a non-traditional home, I like the idea of kids in the future not having to feel weird or get picked on because they have two moms or their parents are different colors or their dad was born a woman. It makes me optimistic when I see stories like this treated with respect on mainstream sites like Celebrity Baby Blog that we're moving in the right direction. And of course any plug for breastfeeding is always a bonus in my book!

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Blogiversary Winners & Discount Codes!

Thank you to everyone who entered my huge giveaway to help me celebrate my Blogiversary! Thanks also to my sponsors for the wonderful gifts! Here are the winners for the fabulous prizes.

WHOZAT won The Complete Book of Breastfeeding

Talina won 25 Things Every Nursing Mother Needs to Know

Sweeps Mommy won The MilkBank breast milk storage system by Dex Baby

Mama Seoul won the $50 Gift Certificate to One Hot Mama

Xenia won The Wonders of Mother's Milk

Execumama won The Black Woman's Guide to Breastfeeding

Paula H won the 2-pack of organic velour diapers from sloom

Congratulations, everyone! Look out for an email from me with further instructions.

And because my sponsors are so generous and wonderful, they want to offer some special discounts to my readers. Mishawn Purnell-O'Neal is offering FREE shipping & handling on any purchase of The Wonders of Mother's Milk. Simply email your order to and you'll receive the book for $14.99. Buying the book directly from Mishawn allows you to support a mom who is a lactation consultant working hard to increase breastfeeding rates in the black community.

Roxanne from One Hot Mama has also offered a discount code for my readers. Receive 10% off ANY order at by entering "blogmom " in the box that says customer code during check out.

You can also get 10% off any order at sustainablebabyish/sloomb with coupon code BLACKTATING.

Pass along these discount offers to as many friends & family as you'd like!

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

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Monday, June 1, 2009

June Carnival of Breastfeeding: Nursing in Public

It's time for the June Carnival of Breastfeeding! This month's theme is "Nursing in Public." Please share with the Carnival readers any great stories you have related to nursing in public. It can be about how you incorporate your baby into outdoor activities, your favorite outdoor locale where you've breastfed, or any experience, good or bad, you've had while nursing out and about. Please send your submissions by June 15th. The Carnival will go live on June 22nd. As always, we are looking for posts that are:

– Well-written and grammatically correct

– Thoughtful and directly on point for the carnival subject
– Submitted by blogs that pertain to subjects of interest to our readers (breastfeeding, parenting, etc.)

If your post is selected for inclusion, you will be asked on the day of the carnival to edit your post to link back to each of the other participants in the carnival. Examples of past carnivals can be found here.

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