Dear Fellow Breastfeeding Mother
•By Nadine Bubeck, Guest Blogger for Momsense
Dear Fellow Breastfeeding Mother,
You’re probably reading this at 2am. Or maybe it’s 9 in the morning. Truth is, you’ve lost track of time…you’re always up. You’re exhausted. You just want to sleep. And you feel like no one- especially your husband- understands. But as cliché as it sounds, savor this time.
I know it’s hard. I’ve been there. Twice. And I wish every day I could go back to those sleepless nights snuggling my newborn. Holding his little body on my rocker playing Pandora or singing softly. (He’s the only person who ever liked my voice.) It’s the most intimate mother-child one-on-one time you’ll ever have. Such precious borrowed time, because before you know it, your midnight feeding sessions will be a mere memory.
Beautifully tiring. That’s what I call it.
Breastfeeding is a commitment. A selfless commitment. Whether you do it one months, three months, six months, or over a year, I want to personally applaud you for giving your child a piece of your body. And I say that literally. My boobs are forever lopsided- my right will always be bigger than the left.
Sometimes feedings last minutes. Other times, hours. And then, by occasion, your child will “use you” as a pacifier. Don’t pretend like you don’t know what I’m talking about it. You simply let them fall asleep at the boob so you can rejoice in some quiet, uninterrupted time somewhat alone.
Breastfeeding takes a lot out of you. I remember dozing off during many feedings. Plus, you’re on someone else’s clock. Want to take a shower? Too bad, baby needs to eat. Hungry? Put those snacks on hold until after a full nursing session. Yeah, it’s demanding, but so worth it. As moms, we naturally put our children before ourselves. That’s the amazing thing about motherhood. It teaches us the true meaning of love. Nursing is also stressful.
Like you, I’m sure, I worry day in and day out- is my newborn putting on enough pounds? The concern drove me crazy, that I fed him nearly all day (and all night) long. That’s why I am an advocate for Momsense, an innovative tool that measures how much baby is consuming. Check it out- it might give you sought after peace of mind.
To my fellow nursing moms, even though you’re drained- mentally and physically- remember you are giving your child a gift. You’re also gifting yourself. Did you know breastfeeding burns nearly 500 calories a day? Definitely the coolest diet ever, right?!
I got pregnant with my second son when my first was nine months old, so I quickly weaned before he turned one. Honestly, I cannot remember the very last time I breastfed him, and that really makes me sad. However, I have such memories of that beautiful phase of his life. When nothing else mattered. When it was just me and him. When life was put on hold because he had to eat. If I close my eyes, I can almost feel his preemie body against mine, nursing to the best of his strength and ability. And it’s bitter-sweet, because he’s going on three years old and I’ll never hold his newborn body again.
So hang in there. Tell yourself you are doing a good job, no mater what anyone else says. Take nursing selfies for your eyes only. One day, you’ll want them. And breathe. It’s stressful, but serene. It’s a peaceful experience. Everything else can wait. Savor it.
A mom of two breastfed babies
The Classiest Broad Around
•By Alli Bentz of The Classy Broad, Guest Blogger
Hello, WTF Community! This is Alli from The Classy Broad, where we style interiors and events for clients located anywhere, and with any budget. As a mom of two little ones myself, I know how much we as parents battle the desire to create memorable spaces and celebrations for our families while not putting in so much effort that we lose precious, quality time with our loved ones (we’ve all fallen down the Pinterest rabbit hole and want those hours back, right!?). That’s where I come in! Photo courtesy of Amira Gray Photography.
Whether clients are looking to update a room or plan a fun, memorable party, The Classy Broad offers a range of services from e-design to a la carte styling options to take the work out of your hands while still achieving your desired outcome.
One of my favorite parts in the process begins right away when I create a design board for my clients. This not only helps with seeing the vision, it also serves as a reference for color schemes, décor pieces, etc. I always tell my clients to keep an image of their board on their phone. That way, if they’re out and see something that they may want to purchase, they can always refer to the board. Recently I helped brainstorm, source and style various elements of Grant’s First Birthday celebration. It was such a fun project and I loved seeing the ideas for this celebration come to life. Here’s the board I created for Grant’s Dance Party.
But How? The question I get all the time from friends and clients – regardless of project type – is “How do I pull it all together?”. While putting the pieces together is my favorite thing to do, it’s not everyone’s. So, I’m sharing some of the gems of wisdom I find myself imparting all the time….
Make it Your Own
When it comes to a thoughtful, meaningful celebration, personalization is key. The first thing Grant’s Mama shared with me as we brainstormed Grant’s First was that he loves to dance. That lead to designing a dance party musical theme. This was not only so cute, but it made the party personal and never lost sight of the guest of honor, i.e. the purpose for the celebration! I always get to know my clients before we start a project so that I can be sure we include personal touches.
Here, a client celebrated her twins’ first birthday with an adorable circus theme because, well, life with twins is truly a circus! Photo courtesy of Amy Anderson of Nicole Paulson Photography.
Before planning anything, I ask clients what they want to get out of their project. Do they need to cater to families with little ones? Are they planning an adults-only intimate dinner party outdoors? We then discuss function. A kid-heavy guest list means there better be something to keep those rugrats entertained. The dinner party should be set up in such a way that guests are encouraged to be outdoors so the host may need to play music and set up drinks and appetizers outside as well. Once functionality is determined, the rest falls into place.
In both the event planning and design world, there are some go-to’s or no-brainers that stand the test of time. When it comes to parties for little ones, I always recommend a bounce house or other entertainment (music, face painting, balloon animals). The cost is usually not too high and it always ends up being worth it.
Little ones love music. Hiring someone to sing is always a great option, especially for a first birthday when some of the guests may be too young for other types of activities. Photo Courtesy of Amira Gray Photography.
The devil truly is in the details. However, I also constantly remind clients to focus on quality over quantity. Sometimes having one special statement area or visual moment is enough. It can be as simple as a well-styled dessert table, a decked out bar cart or themed photobooth. Some other small details that go a long way without breaking the bank are personalized cocktail napkins, tissue paper tassels, cake toppers or something as simple as using a printed wrapping paper that matches the theme as a table runner.
A recent client and I crafted up a bright and cheery first birthday that was equal parts boho and preppy. She used a paper-flower decorated tee pee as the photo booth backdrop which made for fantastic photos. Photo Courtesy of Amira Gray Photography.
This dessert table you see behind these sweethearts was no doubt the pièce de résistance of the entire bash. It not only made a statement but it served as a fantastic backdrop as the guests of honor dove into their smash cakes. Photo Courtesy of Amy Anderson of Nicole Paulson Photography
A party is only as good as its guests and a home is just a house when it’s empty. Remember that always. If you have fun and make sure the others involved are happy and enjoying themselves, the memories will make themselves!
Like what you see? Check out more at The Classy Broad or follow my daily musings on Instagram. I’d love to work together on your next project!
Protecting The Family Jewels
- By Henry Gardiner, Guest Blogger
Infertility is a struggle no-one should have to go through but sadly it is one that is on the rise. Across the world fertility rates are falling as more and more people fail to conceive.
The physical and emotional strain is felt most often by the woman. But in reality the causes of infertility can be very unclear. It is thought that the reasons behind failing to conceive are actually split evenly between the male and female partners with another 40% being just completely unknown.
There is a big difference between the reproductive system in a man versus a woman. Women are born with all their eggs – about two million – and won’t make any more during their life. Whereas men are constantly producing sperm, millions a day that take three to four months to mature. Both systems have their vulnerabilities.
You might think it is better to be consistently producing sperm than having to rely on a single deposit of eggs from birth. But this leaves sperm and male fertility at the mercy of changes that can cause a real problem.
Some dangers to sperm include lifestyle factors. Men need to take as much care of their bodies as women when trying for a baby. Abstaining from caffeine, alcohol, smoking and other drugs are important, as is keeping physically fit and healthy and avoiding stress. This helps a man’s fertility be in the best condition by maintaining good testosterone levels and healthy sperm.
That might seem like common sense but there are other factors you might not realise that pose a threat to male fertility with its greater sensitivity to the environment. One of these threats occupies a central role in our busy modern day lives and is often kept on us or at least within arm’s reach – our cell phones.
This is especially a problem for men, who often keep their cell in their front pocket or clipped on a belt – right next to where sperm are trying to develop. More and more research is coming out showing how cell phone radiation disrupts the production of sperm , causing damage to its DNA and affecting important factors like sperm motility and viability. Experts have described the effect as being like “cooking” sperm.
So in addition to healthy living and all the other trials of a fertility journey there are new threats to take account of. This one however needs just a bit of education and nifty gadgetry. Education about the risks of cell phones is important and something most people are not aware of. From this awareness came WaveWall, an innovative cell phone case designed to protect a man’s fertility that blocks 85% of cell phone radiation from reaching the body.
There are so many factors with infertility, and even with the wonders of modern medicine many of them are unknown. Male fertility is a delicate balancing act that is unfortunately increasingly under threat so we need to pay more attention and take action that could make all the difference.
Win a WaveWall phone case of your choice by commenting below!
We LOVE Heartbeat
Hey Mamas! I hope you all had a very special Thanksgiving weekend with family and loved ones! I want to let you all know about a new company called Heartbeat that rewards ALL moms for posting on Instagram no matter how many followers you have. Right now they are running an Amazon sweepstakes with $1,000 in gift cards just for posting a pic like this and using a few hashtags. I mean who couldn’t use the extra cash this time of year? Share this with fellow moms looking to make extra money and click HERE to learn more and sign up for Amazon sweepstakes today! Happy Holidays friends!
We LOVE Ruffle Butts
Just like every one else in California, we’re over here waiting for Fall to arrive! At the moment we’re hiding indoors with the AC cranked on high, but it won’t be long now…evening walks in the crisp Autumn air, way too many Salted Caramel Mochas and dinny warming in the crockpot!
And of course best of all-Fall clothing!!! Grant and Gigi are all suited up for the season in their darling Ruffle Butts and and Rugged Butts outfits. I mean…can you even handle the adorableness?! Grant lookin’ all cozy in his plaid button up and the big bow on her booty!!? I can’t! I’m pretty sure there’s nothing cuter than little ones sporting plaid…and so on-trend too! Shop this look and other darling Fall styles HERE! So until the weather can actually cooperate with what the calendar reads, the babes will just be getting a head start on the season and looking as darling as can be.
Links to Grant and Gigi’s clothes:
We LOVE BUMPstyle Box
One of my favorite parts of pregnancy has been dressing up my bump! To me it’s the most beautiful accessory a woman could ever hope for and I’m so proud to show mine off. So if you’ve got a growing bump you MUST check out BUMPstyle Box! It’s a fabulous service that will send maternity clothes to you based on your style preferences. I’ve felt that at times it can be difficult, not to mention frustrating, to find the perfect maternity clothes especially when you’re shopping online. Honestly I love the idea behind BUMPstyle because it’s such a great way to treat yourself and your beautiful bod! Plus, who really has the energy to fight crowds at the mall anyway when you’re big bumpin’?!
The process is so simple and personalized…it’s like having your very own personal shopper! First, you fill out a style profile, which includes questions about your preferences, lifestyle & budget. Then you get matched up with a personal stylist who handpicks 4-6 items just for you. She’ll even include a handwritten note on how to style each item. My stylist, Hannah, was the absolute sweetest and so thorough in her selection process. Once you get your very own box you try on all the fun, new looks in your own home when you have the time. AND you don’t get charged for anything until you receive the box and chose the clothes you want to keep. Then all you have to do is put the remaining items that didn’t work in the prepaid box and send them back. Super fun and super easy!
Check out my BUMPstyle Box looks below and then hurry, hurry and order your very own Box!
We LOVE Fabulously Fertile
Sarah Clark’s struggle with infertility is all too familiar. She was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure at 28. Fortunately Sarah was able to build her family using donor eggs. Several years later, Sarah discovered that a food intolerance was the cause of her infertility. Now as a Health Coach, she’s on a mission to share her findings with other couples trying to conceive. WTF sat down with Sarah to learn more about Fabulously Fertile – Supercharge Your Fertility Naturally. Keep reading to find out how you can win a free of the book!
WTF: How did you discover food was the root of your infertility?
SC: Not until years later – when I was 40 – when I suffered from other health issues such as sinus, bladder and yeast infections did I realize that I had an intolerance to dairy and gluten which stirred up candida in my system which lead to my infertility.
WTF: How can women struggling with infertility use food to help them conceive?
SC: Many women and men are eating the standard western diet (which is filled with processed food), we can approach it two ways either we eliminate the top food allergens such as dairy, gluten, refined sugar or we can crowd them out with healthy foods – such as drinking water before a soda or coffee, having a salad before a meal, or a big one for most people reducing the amount of cheese they eat.
WTF: What are the top 3 foods you suggest women with infertility add to their diets?
SC: Drink more water, eat more greens (salads, steamed greens such as kale, spinach), don’t eat anything from a box (yes it takes longer to prepare but food made from scratch is the best) and no it doesn’t have to take a long time – I show my clients how to eat healthy food that is easy to prepare.
WTF: What’s the number 1 food women with infertility should give up?
SC: It depends because everyone is different – suggestion is usually gluten or dairy as they are some of the top allergens- my 10 day meal plan gets you started.
WTF: What inspired you to share your knowledge with other women?
SC: When I was diagnosed with POF not one person suggested to change my diet and incorporate daily practices to manage my stress, this stuff was not even on my radar, even though a lot has changed since I was diagnosed this is still the case today for many couples. They head straight to the infertility clinic, don’t get me wrong without science (my kids are from donor eggs) I would not be blessed with my children, but if I had of looked at what I was putting on my fork everyday my health and fertility would have been restored. I am on a mission to share this with couples. It seems almost too simple – change what you eat – but it can be quite difficult to changes habits. That’s where I come in as a certified life and health coach.
Want to supercharge your fertility and win a FREE copy of Fabulously Fertile! Simply comment below to be eligible.
We LOVE Mobile Acu
Your RE recommends that you try acupuncture. “It’ll enhance your IVF treatments, ” he says knowingly. Sounds great, but who has time for yet another appointment? Infertility has already taken over your life. Is it even possible to squeeze in one more obligation all while “staying calm.” Don’t move a muscle. Los Angeles Mobile Acupuncture will come to you! Yes, you can actually relax in the comfort of your home while getting acupuncture treatments. WTF talked to LA Mobile Acu about de-stressing, get comfy with needles and a treatment called moxibustion.
WTF: What inspired you to start a “mobile” acupuncture business?
LAMA: I found that the need and want of the house call never left. With my desire to help and enjoyment of travel, it just seemed right. I heard quite a few stories of people almost having a car accident after acupuncture because they were spacey. If you come out to a parking ticket after an amazing treatment, it might feel like you just wasted a treatment. If you’ve ever been hurt before, you know how hard it can be to get around. I found more and more reasons why it made sense to help you at your location.
WTF: Does the decreased stress (from rushing to get to the appointment, driving etc) actually enhance the treatments?
LAMA: When was the last time driving in traffic made you feel really good? Your body functions and heals the best when you are relaxed and feel safe. Being an aggressive or defensive driver is not relaxing or healing. If you worry about being on time, finding parking or how much time and effort everything takes, you aren’t healing like you should. You are in stress mode and stress mode is about fighting and escaping danger. Los Angeles Mobile Acupuncture destresses your day and maximizes your you time.
WTF: How can acupuncture help in the fertility department?
LAMA: Acupuncture has been administered for reproductive problems since about 1500 BCE. For the Women, acupuncture and herbal medicine can increase sexual desire and regulate each of the four phases of ovulation. A consistent cycle improves your chances of pregnancy. Treatment also helps with threatened miscarriage, timely labor, and malposition before birthing. For the Man, treatment can increase sexual desire, improve function, and maximize sperm quality and motility.
WTF: What do you say to first timers who are scared of the “big needles?”
LAMA: I don’t like big needles either; they hurt. That’s why I do acupuncture. These are small enough to put at least 10 in one big needle. You have nothing to worry about. Many people barely feel a thing and those that do, report pressure not pain. I like to practice feel good medicine.
WTF: How often do clients trying to conceive need treatments for it to be effective?
LAMA: Cultivating your fertility health and womb wellness could take 3-6 months. It takes time to properly regulate your ovulation cycle, increase follicular output, and improve uterine lining. Maximum benefits of acupuncture can last 72 hours. For best results, I recommend acupuncture fertility treatments two times a week and within a day of IVF transfer.
Herbal medicine is prescribed 2-3 times a day and comes in capsules, pills, powder (for tea), or raw herb packets (for tea). Formulas can change every week.
WTF: What is moxibusiton and how does it help with fertility?
LAMA: You may have used a heat pad during period cramps. Moxibustion is like an herbal heat pad and keeps the “guest palace” warm and inviting. The main herb of moxa is mugwort, which is used for coldness, difficult menstruation, or bleeding with threatened miscarriage. It boosts core temperature, reduces cramps, improves circulation, and nourishes the uterus.
WTF: Is there anything clients can do on their own to make acu treatments more effective?
LAMA: Make sure you breathe and try to keep it fun. The uterus is called the “guest palace” in Chinese medicine. You should cultivate a warm, overly pampered womb of peace, nourishment, and love; somewhere that would feel safe. Eat a little bit at least 2 hours before treatment. Keep your belly, low back and knees covered to improve regular core temperature. I recommend sticking to a schedule that allows for proper rest of 8-9 hours. You should be eating healthy and balanced meals at the same time every day. I recommend meditation to help deal with stress, set your intention, and relax. And don’t forget to Love.