WHAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT BREASTFEEDING? HER SMELL.

MH BLOG RealMomsHappySmell 2019 TOP v2I’ve been writing a lot about the emotional state that breastfeeding and pumping can leave you in, but it’s an emotional pendulum – which of course, swings both ways. I love nursing my babies. I yearn for the smell of my baby’s head. She smells like lavender.  

Both my babies smell like lavender… because I use a lavender lotion on them haha!  The smell is supposed to make you tired and calm. It enlivens me. I try to soak in lavender salts and bath bombs. None of it is relaxing because I often share my bath with BOTH a 3-year-old and 5-month-old, who I am nursing simultaneously while making sure no soap gets into the toddler’s eyes. But to me, that scent brings me back home.  

It is said that breastfeeding releases oxytocin (the love hormone) into your system during the let-down of the milk. So, you are quite literally being filled with love when you nurse. Yes, breastfeeding is draining; yes, pumping can be stressful, but it is also beautiful, wonderful and happy. Don’t just take my word for it… 

Kim and Sarah are married, and both have given birth. Wait until you read this amazing story that Kim shared: “My milk actually started coming in when he was born. We have lots of babies in our life and that has never happened with another child. It was an interesting experience to have that happen from the very beginning. I did the first skin-to-skin with Theo while Sarah was getting stitched up and recovering. I think it created an instant connection between us, not just spiritually and emotionally, but physically, which is why I think my body responded (like that).” 

Thara, a yoga studio owner and model fondly looks back on nursing and the way it calmed not only her, but her life and her family. “A few weeks after I stopped breastfeeding my husband and I were sitting on the couch and he looked across at me and said, ‘You know what? I miss you breastfeeding.’ I was shocked for my husband to say that me, but he enjoyed the stillness it gave me. It forced me to sit down; it forced me to stop. Whereas now I am always moving; I am always doing something. I have to go somewhere, I have to clean up, have dishes I have to wash, I have to organize a closet, whatever it is, every moment I get free I find something to do. So, he kind of missed the stillness that it brought into our house.” 

Lifestyle Influencer and CEO of @bloggerhousecurvycloset, Darlene, speaks about the way in which nursing gave her back the control that you sometimes lose when a tiny human comes into the world and knocks you off your axis. “As a new mom, with a new baby, you constantly wonder if she’s OK…but breastfeeding was the one thing I could control. I could give her everything of me, and that meant that she was satisfied, and she was happy, and she was well in that moment and that’s why it meant so much.” 

Audra, a Photo Editor said, “I wanted them to be breastfed. It gives them the best nutrients, it’s good for their immune system, and it’s a beautiful way to bond with my babies. I feel like it’s a gift that I was excited to experience” 

Now, of course, breastfeeding is not the end all, be all. It’s not always a given either. I feel really blessed I never had any trouble doing it. But my beautiful co-worker, Alex, had a hard time with keeping her supply up. “I’ve experienced both breastfeeding and bottle-feeding. I mean, it’s different for everybody. There definitely is a special bond when you can breastfeed, and when it’s great, it’s great – but when you’re anxious and stressing out about it, that stress transfers. So, at that point you’re just happy to see the baby eating.”   

I want to leave you with some words from my boss’ mom, Annie, because at the end of day, this is the real mom truth about not only breastfeeding but finding what is right for you: “Women should be able to make choices for themselves without any pressure whatsoever. In this day and age women work; women work simply to provide for the children they are giving birth to.”  

Make sure you see new episodes of our video series Real Mothers. Real Stories. Real Life.

Here’s to all the moms making it work!  -Daina  

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YOUR MONTHLY CRAVING: MAMA’S GOTTA EAT

Welcome to the first edition of YOUR MONTHLY CRAVING.

Get ready for some easy, healthy and delicious recipes – OH, and we’re bringing back Mocktail Mondays. I’m EXCITED for you to get to meet another copywriter who works for Motherhood®: Ray Peraino.

Head’s up – he’s a wordy one! Over to you Ray:

“I’m a copywriter with a background in fine dining who’s afflicted with an insatiable sense of curiosity. I’m impulsive and excitable like a newly rescued Pitbull pup. I carry around a comically small notebook full of half-baked ideas, quotes, recipes I’ll never make and ridiculous doodles.There’s a lot of similarities between the marketing world and the professional kitchen — the pressure to create, the stress, the camaraderie, the indescribable urge to cater to others. Serving creativity on a fork or on a page both take a lot of thought, consideration, and time — most of which goes unseen or unappreciated, but I blissfully carry on in service, because, well, it’s what I love.”

It was through Ray that we met his friend Lauren, one of the “real moms” from our video series. Lauren shared about being a new mom and how it made her realize that taking care of herself first is vital in order to take care of others.

Lauren said, “Being a working mother and breastfeeding and pumping and juggling everything is very difficult. For my first pregnancy with Maui, nursing with him, I lost a lot of weight. I was not taking care of myself because you’re just trying to provide and you kind of forget about yourself. With the new baby, I’m going to really take care of myself and my son, and really focus on our health and making sure we’re all good.”

Ray recently called Lauren to see how her second pregnancy is going. He asked about how she is now taking care of herself after experiencing that difficulty with her first son.  She used to buy bulk bags of granola to pick on all day because she was so exhausted. But this time around, she gets low-glycemic fruits and adds protein powder with different nut milks in a blender. She told him it changed her energy, which is good since as an optician she is on her feet all day!

In honor of Lauren, doing double-duty as a mom and a mama-in-the-making, Ray has provided us with a smoothie bowl [he’s so hip] topped with granola, because Lauren didn’t ditch the granola, she just knows that mama’s gotta eat more!  Make it; tag it; I want to see it. Take it away Ray Ray! – Daina

Berry Smoothie Bowl with Protein & Granola

This simple recipe was inspired by Lauren’s go-to pregnancy breakfast. I jazzed it up a bit to pack in a few extra nutritional benefits. Oats and oat milk are a great source or iron which is a must to increase milk supply in nursing mothers. The toasted walnuts on top add some omega-3 ALA and the berries are loaded with antioxidants, low in sugar and high in fiber. The Omega-3s are a great source of healthy fats and have been associated with many benefits for baby like brain health and development.

Serves: 4-5

Ingredients

2-3 overflowing cups of mixed frozen berries

A few ice-cubes

Some splashes of Oat Milk (Sub almond or coconut milk). Remember, this is going to be something you’re going to be eating with a spoon, not pulling through a straw, so you want it to be thick- be conservative with the milk here. Add it a splash at a time to get things moving.

2 tablespoons almond butter

1 cup of organic, plain instant oats/oatmeal (These blend better, you don’t have to cook them before hand, they’re easier to digest than whole rolled oats and they add fiber to your smoothie without a ton of calories.)

1 Fistful of spinach (You won’t even taste it, scout’s honor.)

1 Serving of the plant-based protein powder of your choice (I highly recommend vanilla here.)

Instructions

  • Place everything in your blender, mixing until smooth, adding oat milk as needed.
  • Pour into bowls, top with your favorite organic granola and some toasted walnuts.

EAT LOCAL – PHILADELPHIA

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A few co-workers and I did something BIG last Friday. We were a part of the Global Big Latch On Event hosted in Philadelphia! The goal was that at the same time across the globe breastfeeding moms feed their babies to unite, to raise awareness, and to normalize breastfeeding.

The Maternity Care Coalition hosted the Philadelphia meetup and said, “This was a true team effort and it all translated into a beautiful event with a total of 131 event participants, including community partners representing 21 organizations and companies. During the Big Latch On at 11:00am, synchronized with moms and babies all over the world, 28 moms latched their babies in Franklin Square. It was truly inspiring to see the room completely filled with mamas and babies! Breastfeeding families and partners alike expressed their enthusiasm and joy for this event.”

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We set up right in front of the carousel. Fun fact, Philly apparently has a rich history in carousel making. Anyway, we were there to support the mamas, nursing and not, by providing bra fittings from our in-house specialist Alicia, gifting a free seamless maternity bra (not to brag, but it’s a best-selling, 5-star rated, award-winning bra), handing out our new “All Boobs Are Good Boobs” totes, and making sure everyone was hydrated for the latch on! The totes are an in-store only gift with purchase, so make sure you head to your local store this month if you want to snatch one up.

I was super excited because I got to try out the Willow Pump that was gifted to us for a shoot. I just slipped that baby into my own seamless bra and went about my business. Thank you very much to the hidden zippers on my shirt! I also munched on lactation cookies, because why not? Oats are healthy, and mama must eat! [Keep tuning in because one of our weekly Real Mom videos is all about making sure breastfeeding and postpartum women in general are continuing to take care of themselves.] How was that for a segue?

The pictures speak louder than any word I can write, so I leave you with some of our favorite images from the day. That is our team wearing our new boob shirts, me in the Eat Local nursing top, and some of the mamas we were so happy to meet. A lot of these women took the day off from work to be there with their kids. It was a hot one, so the 28 nursing moms were able to sit and do the latch on in an air-conditioned pavilion. This was really helpful for those who needed to store their milk [like me], so that it didn’t spoil in the sun. So many of the women were local and just wanted to see what their neighborhood had to offer, from healthcare, to mom groups, to nursing merchandise. Moms were encouraged to breastfeed in the park; there was food to keep everyone healthy and happy, and lots of support. We watched a couple little ones while their mamas got measured! There are such amazing communities out there with people who understand you; I was thrilled to know I am so close to one.

Throughout the rest of August, besides the videos, you can expect a new segment called Monthly Cravings, which will cover recipes, mocktails and style suggestions. There will be an interview with a lactation consultant and so much more that we hope resonates with you!  Let us know if you went to a Latch On Event or how you celebrated, acknowledged or even just posted about World Breastfeeding Week. @motherhoodmaternity #mymomtruths – See you there! – Daina

BACK TO LIFE. BACK TO REALITY.

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Let’s kick off the week by taking a look at Motherhood Maternity’s latest campaign: Real Moms. Real Stories. Real Life. It may sound a little strange to say, “real moms”, because what is a fake mom? I’m talking no prosthetic bellies or models with kids they never met before. Our “models” are actually pregnant, the babies and kids belong to them, and we, as a company are influenced primarily by real women wearing our clothes.

To honor National Breastfeeding Month, we sat down with new families, friends, and co-workers – even a pregnant model (who has since given birth), to start a conversation on breastfeeding, pumping, and using formula.

These are their successes and struggles that begin and end with the boob.

I’ll start. The thing no one tells you is how connected your emotions are to nursing. Who knew breasts hold that much power? Okay, we all knew – but did you know that once your milk supply dwindles you feel tired – like first trimester, ran 9 miles, worked a double shift, haven’t slept in a week, hit by a train tired… Honestly, I think my body is trying to navigate its way back to before the baby was in the belly and it is on complete overdrive.

I also, selfishly (vainly), don’t want to gain weight. This is a topic that we all as smart, strong, worthy women try to glance right over. However, it is known that breastfeeding helps you lose weight or at the very least burn calories. I am ashamed to admit it, but I can already see myself stressing out about what I eat once my milk completely dries up. Being pregnant already is emotional, but the changes in your physical form can be shocking, even if you have done it before. I do not want to feel this way, but I do – and that’s okay.

I gained 60 pounds with my first daughter Val and did not lose it all by the time I was pregnant again with Roni. I did have Polyhydramnios the first time (excess of amniotic fluid) which caused some of the weight gain, but let’s be frank, it was the ice cream.

This past pregnancy I gained 40 pounds, but I have since lost 50, leaving me 10 above my pre-pregnant weight. I despise math, yet I can rattle these stats off effortlessly. This is where my underlying issues lie: My relationship with food and the numbers on the scale. I am working to work through caring so much. I have 2 daughters and I need to let it go. Give me some time and until then I will pump until I pump air. This is my truth.

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Throughout the month and starting this Thursday the women featured in the images on this post (that’s me rocking our new All Boobs Are Good Boobs tee) will be telling their stories through episodic videos. Make sure you check them out! We also interviewed two women for our sister store, A Pea in the Pod. These are their stories:

I met Narelle when her daughter Frankie was 4 months old and I was 8 months pregnant. She was in our studio shooting for a real moms wear-to-work campaign. She has 3 children and is currently nursing 2 at the same time! She said the last thing she wants to do is pump at the end of the day after nursing 2 babies. She told us, “Breastfeeding takes a lot out of you; it’s exhausting. And to sit there and be hooked up to a machine is… well I gave up on it at some point.” This is her truth.

Lauren is a friend of one of our copywriters; she has a toddler and is pregnant now! At first, she was shy and self-conscious about breastfeeding in public. But juggling the covers and the wraps and the shawls became an ordeal for her. So, she decided feeding her baby without covering up was more natural and best for her and her son. One day at work, she was in the bathroom pumping when an electrician walked in. She was mortified; he was mortified. She will never pump in a public place again. This is her truth.

Make sure you head over the Motherhood.com on Thursday to watch the full video featuring these fabulous women discussing Breastfeeding: The Good, The Bad & The Bizarre.

Oh, and tell us your stories @motherhoodmaternity #mymomtruths

‘Til next time!

Daina

WE’RE BACK: FOR REAL

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Motherhood’s blog is back and we’re keeping it real: Real Mothers, Real Stories, Real Life!

Hi, I’m Daina and I work for Motherhood® as an editor and copywriter. I also reside in the real hood of motherhood.

I have two daughters: Val is a little over 3 and Roni is fairly new at only 5 months.

I came back to work this summer after giving birth and have been doing that crazy balancing act of nursing in the morning, pumping at the office and trying not to cry about the reduction in my breast milk. [Editor’s Note: I’ve cried.]

At the moment I am an exclusive breastfeeding mom. I was able to get my first daughter to 7 months with nursing. I would pump at work, wake up in the middle of the night to pump [by hand so no one would wake up from that oh-so-soothing noise] and yet by 9 months I would produce a total of 3 ounces a day.

With the change in my hormones, the loss of my milk and the day-to-day life of being a person I never was before with responsibilities I didn’t even know existed… I was drowning, unfortunately not in breast milk.

You see, with Val, I felt it was my sole job to provide every last drop of breast milk. When she was born, she was not a peachy pink or even a plucky red. This kid was purply-blue. Having what the doctors thought was a seizure, she was immediately taken to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to be put on a cooling bed.

Now despite me watching the first 6 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy, before Denny came back from the dead, I am not a true medical expert. But I believe the cold was to slow down any brain damage that may have happened when she didn’t get that first breath of life.

While I was left alone, my mind kind of went numb. The only thing I asked for was a pump, because I had to do something, anything.

It was not until day 5 that she was able to eat. She was being sustained with sugar water via a feeding tube through her belly button. I blame my now toddler’s need for fruit snacks and chocolate milk on her introduction to life. Jokes aside, she latched, and I was in awe. I was warned by the lactation specialist that she may not because she took a bottle and pacifier prior to a nipple. I think she was just starving. And despite her traumatic entrance into this world, she is a normal little girl. She remains a drama queen, but the apple doesn’t fall too far, ya know?

So, this time around I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t allow nursing and pumping to cause any heartbreak for me. But, at month 5 Ron hardly wants much to do with these boobs. I had an oversupply early on, so luckily, I have enough frozen bags to thaw for the babysitter and at night. I must put my pride aside and succumb to the adage that fed is best.

I still pump at work. What began as 3 times, quickly became 2, because meetings are scheduled, deadlines approach and work is due. Drinking water has taken the backburner to forgetfulness, and I am left with producing 4-6 ounces a day. I am refusing to set an alarm for 2 a.m. pumping, but lucky me my baby doesn’t sleep all the way through the night, so I feed her then. She isn’t as picky in those wee hours; bottle be damned.

The fact that the start of National Breastfeeding Month is not lost on me. I clearly support breastfeeding and pumping and understand the frustrations of feeling embarrassed when in public. In 2019 women should not feel that shame, but it still happens. Every time I am out, and my baby gets hungry I get that hot body, cold sweat hoping no one will notice me doing something so natural. But again, it happens.

If I am away from my baby, but need to pump to keep my supply up, I am frantically searching for a private room or bathroom stall with a plug as to not cause a scene. It’s rough. It’s still taboo and it shouldn’t be. I am fortunate to have access to nursing bras and nursing clothing, as well as a workplace that provides an actual pumping room. But, women all over the country are still in dark offices and repurposed supply closets.

The easiest and quickest thing we can do is be real about the struggles and successes that come with breastfeeding and pumping. This is National Breastfeeding Week and as a company we really wanted to get people’s truths about this topic.

I am attending a Global Big Latch On event in Philadelphia. We also sat down with 10 moms to talk about their experiences, including the good the bad and the ugly beautiful.

Whether you have been here before, or you are new to us and motherhood – welcome to this crazy new life of yours. Learn more by visiting us at motherhood.com.

With Understanding – Daina

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HOLIDAY WORK PARTIES

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This is for our corporate mamas, the ones who hold down the nine to fives and then some. The holiday work party comes but once a year. However, it doesn’t look the same for everyone, of course! There are the “parties” that happen on your lunch break, in the company kitchen with homemade cupcakes and sparkling cider when you are still #clockedin. That’s okay. Don’t feel blue; dress in blue.

We have the outfit you need to add some light and life: the tie waist maternity top with a gathered cuff design in teal blue. [This also comes in a burgundy floral print.] Add a black pair of maternity pants, or if your office leans on the casual side, a nice pair of black maternity jeans.

Is your work party #outofoffice? Okay, so this is your chance to dress up. The featured puff sleeve velvet maternity dress is the epitome of LBD, which can also stand for luxurious black dress. Put your bump on display, grab a mocktini and get ready for all the compliments. Your boss may even give you one. Unless, of course, you are the boss.

GLOWING GRAPHICS

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Finally, we have your maternity tees and sweatshirts that bring on the good cheer.

To start, the best-selling holiday graphics are back and better than ever. There are more sayings to choose from, so pick the one that speaks to you… literally!

Shop our shining shoot in order from left to right:

Snowflake Ornament Maternity Graphic Tee

Oy to the World Hanukkah Maternity Graphic Tee

Dear Santa I Can Explain Maternity Graphic Tee – this style also comes in plus sizes 1X-3X

We’re Trading in Our Silent Nights for a Bundle of Joy Maternity Graphic Tee

Tis the Season to be Pregnant Maternity Graphic Tee

Or, do you want something a little cozier to help bundle up the bump? Style out loud with maternity sweatshirts. Shop the styles with the links below.

Oh Deer I’m Pregnant! Maternity Graphic Sweatshirt – this style also comes in plus sizes 1X-3X

Guess Who’s Coming to Town Maternity Graphic Sweatshirt – this style also comes in plus sizes 1X-3X

No More Silent Nights Maternity Graphic Sweatshirt

Just make sure you order yours by December 14th or before to get in time for Christmas with standard ground shipping. And, also make sure to tag us @motherhoodmaternity with #thisisgoingtobefun #somuchtocelebrate and of course if it’s a Tuesday… #graphicteetuesday

SO MUCH (MORE) TO CELEBRATE

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Sometimes we forget just how incredible being pregnant is. The daily stressors of life get in the way of taking a much-needed moment to sit back and think about how wonderful you really are. You are creating life. What in the world can possibly be more astonishing than that? Whether this is your first time being pregnant, or you’re expecting a fifth child… the human body never ceases to amaze. At the end of the day, you are the reason to celebrate.

Everything may seem to get bigger when you are pregnant, from of course your belly, to your boobs, your butt… all body parts apparently starting with a B.  However, just like the Grinch himself, your heart grows too. It is said that your blood volume can increase by 30 to 50 percent when pregnant, helping your heart rate increase to pump more blood. So, with your bump and heart growing, it’s time to treat your closet to the same. Make your wardrobe grow with help from these celebratory maternity styles.

Shop our holiday shoot from left to right:

Guess Who’s Coming to Town Maternity Sweater and Over the Belly Fleece Maternity Leggings

Oh Deer I’m Pregnant Christmas Maternity Sweatshirt

White Side Ruched Maternity T-Shirt and the Fleece Maternity Leggings with CuddleDuds Sherpa Lined Red Snowflake Socks

Puff Sleeve Velvet Maternity Dress

Jessica Simpson Grey Tie Side Maternity Sweater and Jessica Simpson Skinny Ankle Destructed Maternity Jeans in Light Wash

Navy Fair Isle Maternity Sweater and Stretch Ankle Maternity Jeggings in Dark Wash

The Oh Deer I’m Pregnant Maternity Sweatshirt and the Fleece Maternity Leggings

Red Plaid Button Front Maternity Top and Side-Panel Denim Maternity Overalls

Black Floral Ruffled Lined Maternity Dress

Cherry Red Ruffle Sleeve Tie Detail Maternity Top and Shadow Hem Stretch Ankle Maternity Jeggings

Teal Tie Waist Maternity Top and Ponte Skinny Leg Maternity Ankle Pants

The Red Plaid Button Front Top and Super Stretch Skinny Maternity Jeans in Medium Wash

The White Side-Ruched Maternity T-Shirt and Straight Leg Destructed Ankle Maternity Jeans

Black and Grey Double Layer Maternity Hoodie and Cupro Maternity Pants (Coming soon!)

MORE EARLY STOCKING STUFFERS

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These stockings were certainly hung with care. We know that Christmas and Hanukkah are next month, but is it ever really too early to get ahead of the shopping game? We think not, which is why our early stocking stuffers suggestions are here for you NOW!

Our first early stocking stuffers post was all about little gifts for your little gift, aka the baby! And although we still love the Wubbanub, these stocking stuffers are really more for mama. To begin, we shall start at the bottom… and by that we mean your feet. Pregnancy makes you achy and a lot of times your swollen ankles need a break. Give your toes something cozy to slip into with our newest faux fur slide slippers (shown in blush pink and grey) or any of our hospital socks that feature sayings like, “If you can read this, I’m about to be a mom.”

Now work your way up and give your legs super soft maternity leggings, which pair so well with any of the graphic maternity tees and our holiday maternity sweaters. We’ve literally pinned two for you: the mama and baby polar bear sweater and the Santa Baby red sweater. Oh, and that red, green, gold-bowed gem our model is wearing? That’s our Christmas present bow maternity sweater. Because let’s be honest, you and your beautiful bump are the present!

Happy shopping. Stay tuned all month long for more posts featuring gift ideas.

THE BRA WISH LIST

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They are the foundations of fashion. They are your support system. They are the beautiful basics. They are the first layer of lovely. They are here to lift you up. Has the point been driven home yet? Bras may not always be at the top of your wish list, but we are here to help remind you that they should be!

We have brought you a shopping guide for baby, and now we bring you lingerie for days. To make this easier for you, see below to shop our top categories of maternity bras. Oh, and in case you didn’t realize: our maternity bras ARE nursing bras. Whether they feature clip-down straps, pullover fronts, or lift-up access… they were made to go maternity to eternity.

To learn more about our 6 most popular styles of support: full coverage, strapless, racerback, seamless, sleep and sport click here. To read even more about the best-selling, award-winning, 5-star rated seamless bra click here. And to shop all styles, see below.

Wireless Maternity/Nursing Bras

Sleep Maternity/Nursing Bras

Seamless Maternity/Nursing Bras

Full Coverage Maternity/Nursing Bras

Demi Maternity/Nursing Bras

Sport Maternity/Nursing Bras

Strapless Maternity/Nursing Bras

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