A LITTLE Q&A WITH A LACTATION CONSULTANT

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For National Breastfeeding Month we wanted to hear stories from real moms and real professionals. I sat down with lactation consultant and owner of Blissed Out Mamas, Lisa Broderick-Cohen, to discuss all things breastfeeding. Check out her tips and info’ for getting help when nursing and pumping, and the personal journey that comes with both.

Make sure you share your stories with us too! [@motherhoodmaternity #mymomtruths] All of us at Motherhood® love being inspired from other real mamas out there. Enjoy!

  1. Tell us how you became a lactation consultant.

I really got into breastfeeding after I got pregnant with my daughter, now 16 years ago. I had difficulty getting her to latch and it was 5 weeks until I found our rhythm. At the time, I felt that there was very little to no support for women from hospitals, doctors or even older generations. It was truly my own experience that inspired me to pursue lactation consultancy. I found La Leche League where I have been a member and leader for over 15 years and studied at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. It took me 4 ½ years to become a lactation consultant. With my experience and years working with pregnant women and new moms, I wanted to create a safe place for everyone to meet and get answers or help. In 2015 I opened Blissed Out Mamas!

  1. How do you find your clients?

Mainly word of mouth. There are really great resources to finding lactation consultants. A lot of women find me through zipmilk.org. What I do want people to know is that I do accept insurance (and many other lactation consultants do too)!

  1. What is the first thing you do to ease new moms into breastfeeding?

Almost everyone who calls the first time is looking for help on feeding. A lot of times women are defensive and defeated, but I let them find that fear, so we can get to the root of the problem. Then we work together on a creating a goal and then reaching that goal.

  1. What is something you would tell a pregnant woman who may not be considering breastfeeding due to different personal reasons?

I would want to know what is exactly making them uncomfortable. In my experience, it is usually a lack of support, education on breastfeeding and past trauma. I believe, personally, that breastfeeding is a public health issue.

  1. Do you have any advice for milk production supply, especially for women who are returning to work and have to pump?

I like to have a back-to-work consultation to discuss meditation and relaxation techniques to reduce that underlying stress. Together we would need to be honest about how difficult that transition may be. I also encourage after work cuddle sessions with baby and a lot of them! Nursing as much as you can while you’re home helps to keep that natural supply up.

  1. Do you have any bra or clothing suggestions that help make nursing/pumping a little easier?

I recommend seamless/wireless styles to keep ducts from getting clogged. I love nursing camisoles; I tell all my clients to keep them in their closets. And when I was pregnant, I lived in those pants with that band that covers your whole belly! [Editor’s Note: Lisa means the Secret Fit Belly®.]

  1. What are the best practices for storing frozen breast milk?

Fresh pumped milk is okay at room temperature for 4 to 6 hours. It can stay in the refrigerator for 4-6 days and can remain frozen for 4-6 months.

  1. What are some suggestions for easing sore, aching nipples and breasts due to nursing?

Pain is common, but it needs to be addressed. If you have another common issue, like a closed duct, try a warm compress and massage to release the milk and soothe irritation. Nipple balms are not used to necessarily heal pain, but rather as a band aid to keep the nipple healthy.

  1. How do you help women who want to throw in the towel on breastfeeding after a couple days/weeks/months?

I let my clients know this is a safe, judge-free zone. I let them know that the goal is for baby to eat. We work on trying to preserve milk. I use empathy; I ensure her she is a good mother and that breastfeeding, or formula feeding is not an either/or. Formula can be used as a tool to help her reach her nursing goal. I encourage the bonding aspect of breastfeeding. I also let everyone know that you, as the mom, are the #1 expert on your body and your baby, so listen to your gut.

  1. How can our followers reach you?

My website is blissedoutmamas.com. My Instagram @blissedoutmamas; I am also on Facebook and Pinterest.

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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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

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

WRAPPING UP COZY

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October started out a little too warm for our liking. The leaves didn’t know what to do and the bees were still buzzing. Of course, we are speaking from the East Coast, since our headquarters and distribution center are in New Jersey. However, as the weeks went on we went from endless summer to welcoming winter! It’s like fall didn’t, well, fall. Lately the chill has been strong, and our cozy campaign finally has come to life.

What we love most about the change in the seasons is the different activities that follow suit. Spring is amazing for the re-awaking of the earth. We love switching up clothing, the flowers blooming, and outdoor activities are back on the table. Summer is great for swimming and vacationing. Autumn is so fashion-forward and there is no shortage of apple to pumpkin picking adventures. But what we are doing now is bearing down for winter. And with winter comes cuddling. You’re going to need some outfits that help you get your snuggle on.

We of course recommend maternity sweaters, maternity leggings, the comfiest maternity sleepwear, our stretchy side-ruched maternity tees, a really good maternity sleep bra or the best-selling seamless bra… both which become nursing bras, and then nursing styles in general for our new mamas. The effortless outfits make having cabin fever more fun. And we’re totally okay with staying home in style!

EARLY STOCKING STUFFERS: gifts for your little gift

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We know, we know… the baby IS THE GIFT! But that doesn’t mean he or she shouldn’t have some special presents in the stocking and underneath the tree. We compiled some little gifts for your little gift all in one little guide!

First you need to show off the baby in the bump. We love sonogram picture frames, like any of our Pearhead for Motherhood ornaments and keepsakes. Then, you need to make sure you have the best diaper bags to keep all these goodies in! Now that you’ve got those on the list, let’s get to the cute stuff.

Let’s talk toys. We’ve got your baby’s sidekick… the stuffed animal is attached to a silicone and no-splinter wooden ring for teething tots. Plus, feel good putting this on your wishlist because for every product sold, Bella Tunno donates 1 meal to 1 child in America. The always favorite Wubbanub is another must. Part paci, part plush… it’s going to be your baby’s biggest obsession. And although the last one may not be an actual toy, your child is going to love it like a prized possession: the Pop Pacifier! It can fall, and you can relax. It will fold into itself so the nipple part never hits the floor!

Let’s get practical. Baby is going to teeth and dirty hands are going to be in his or her mouth. Enter the Munch Mitt! The gum-soothing mitten can be used from 3 months to 12 months. It’s interchangeable between hands, is washable and features 100% silicone for endless chewing and chomping. And go ahead and throw an adorable baby bodysuit into your cart. You wouldn’t want your cutie to be cold, right?

Let’s make memories. Our milestone markers from Mudpie for Motherhood feature the muslin blanket with felt frame and 3-piece month/week wooden block set. We will start and finish our gift guide with a frame: the baby prints photo frame is also by Pearhead for Motherhood.

Happy shopping mamas…

SO MUCH TO CELEBRATE

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We know, we know… Halloween JUST happened, and Thanksgiving isn’t even here yet! That’s why we aren’t going straight to Christmas. We are taking a little detour and ever so slightly getting you in the spirit. Look past the gold confetti and red font. When we say there is so much to celebrate, that means Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, the end of another year and the beginning of a great adventure with baby. In other words, we are celebrating style and celebrating YOU!

To start, we are all about maternity denim. It’s America, and it’s kind of our signature. So, begin with your choice of blue and then work your way up. This is our second year selling the maternity overalls and they remain one of the top loved styles. We see them having a “third times the charm” moment in 2019 too! But there is no wrong way to wear jeans. Shop the featured skinny ankle pair here.

Sweater weather has of course come, but we are really living for plaid season. The featured red and blue plaid maternity top is actually a button front with convertible sleeves; so when those pregnancy hormones [or office heat] kick in, you can roll them all the way up! [Editor’s Note: this shirt comes in 8 different colors!]

You need your choice of maternity blouses particularly for this time of year. Between the parties, get-togethers and family fun… you should opt for a top that is pretty and practical. Shop the shown ruffle detail, tie sleeve maternity blouse in cherry or black! How do you dress for the busy season? Show us with #thisisgoingtobefun @motherhoodmaternity!

THE SLEEP SHOP

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Wake up and smell the roses… or better yet – go to sleep and smell the roses. Our new sleep set and nursing gown comes in the prettiest shade, Slate Rose.

These maternity pajamas are also a nursing sleep set. The gorgeously soft hacci knit is comfortable and breathable. It features a long sleeve top and stretchy waistband shorts. Wear them below the bump, then allow them to rebound with you after baby. The top is made with slits on the sides to allow for easy lift-up nursing and pumping access. With a little flutter on the sleeve, you’ll be wearing these for morning snuggles, mid-day guests, and nighttime cuddles.

Why stop with one pretty pajama, when you can have the same soft material in a really feminine silhouette? Give beauty sleep a different meaning and slip on the hacci knit maternity and nursing gown. It’s super soft, has a relaxed fit, complete with snaps for no-hassle feeding. Try one of our pregnancy panties (also amazing post-baby) underneath! This is how you sleep in style.

THE BRA SHOP

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Here at Motherhood® Maternity we suggest always having at least four maternity bras in your rotation, which is why we have our running promotion of buy 3, get the 4th free style. This way, you have different comfort options, always on hand if the rest are in the hamper, and then one to sleep in too. Above are our six styles of support that will you get through the next nine months and beyond, because our maternity bras ARE nursing bras.

We always get the question of when to start bra shopping. The answer is as early as you see your breasts change, which can be as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. Breasts are usually the first body part to grow… even before the belly! Our bras are designed to grow as you do.

Our full coverage style is the made for maternity tees and tops. Featuring an underwire, it does provide lift and support, while giving you the coverage you crave as the girls continue to grow! Similar in lift and support, the strapless maternity bra makes dressing easy and without worry. It will stay put and comes with detachable/re-attachable bra straps that can be made into a cross-back style too.

Our racerback maternity bras are one of the most loved styles. They are stretchy and super comfortable, plus they feature the slimmer cross back that looks amazing with workout wear. We love (and our customers love) the lacy ones, especially under a loose tee for a daringly cute look. Need something a little stronger and supportive for working out? We have maternity sport bras that keep you feeling secure as you get your sweat sesh on.

And now for our two most popular bras: the seamless bra and the maternity sleep bra! The seamless bra is award-winning, has over 500 5-star reviews and is top-rated across the board. Why? Well, it is truly wireless and of course seamless, so it looks and feels amazing under any top or dress. The ruching in the middle doesn’t allow for the dreaded uni-boob, providing separation and light support. It comes in two silhouettes: demi/regular coverage and full coverage, as well as in plus sizing 1X-3X.

The sleep bra, also known as our wrap bra, is the one dreams are made of. Super soft and slightly supportive, you won’t feel constrained in the middle of the night… or day. Unlike our clip-down nursing feature, our sleep bra effortlessly pulls over for feeding and pumping. Don’t sleep on this style; it’s a favorite for a reason!

 

LEGGINGS FOR LOUNGING

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We bet if you take a poll of the MUST HAVE STYLES for pregnancy, our customers are bound to have leggings on their list. They are one of our Five FUNdamental pieces, plus they are our most popular pants. Yes… pants! From classic black to patterned and colored, we have your maternity leggings for lounging – or really for anything and for anywhere.

Let’s begin with our Secret Fit Belly® black leggings. Obviously black goes with everything! This maternity pair is crafted from super soft cotton and stretchy spandex to ensure a comfortable feel and fit all three trimesters.

We encourage our mamas to love them post bump too, since they will help ease you back into your pre-pregnancy body and are soft on c-section cuts/scars and overworked abdomens. You’ll love these so much, that you’ll want them in every color including grey, navy and burgundy, which is also shown above.

Now let’s get fun with these style staples. Try a legging with personality and pattern. The black and white fairisle maternity leggings are what your sweaters need. They take an easy outfit up a notch. They remind us of warm and cozy moments around a fire, on the couch, cuddling with loved ones, a good book and a cup of tea. They are what your winter wardrobe wants.

And our last featured maternity legging is textured and while the other print makes fashion fun, this one makes your outfit elevated. They have an elegance to them that we can see in the office and out on the town. Add a maternity button up or blouse for that perfect blend of professional and comfortable.

 

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