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Today marks the start of World Breastfeeding Week. I didn’t know much about breastfeeding until after I had Olive. I knew right away that I wanted to breastfeed her but even up until her birth I knew very little about why it’s so much better. To be honest I still probably have only scratched the surface. But in celebration of this wonderful week I wanted to share some reasons why I breastfeed Olive and why we’re still going strong.

I know some people can’t. I know some people think they can’t. Others lack support. Others are terribly miseducated. And others don’t just because they don’t want to. I’m not judging you or your choices but I do, wholeheartedly, believe that breastfeeding is, in fact, the best choice for mother and baby.

1. Breastfeeding is natural, the way it’s meant to be. Did you know that breast milk contains many many things that formula does not? Formula continues to try to match the benefits of breastmilk and their advertising makes it seem like its exactly the same but the truth is.. it’s not. Did you know that breastmilk grows along with baby to deliver exactly what baby needs at any given time? It’s amazing.

2. Breastfeeding is free. Maybe this seems silly to you but it’s true. As a work from home mom I don’t work that often. We live on a relatively strict budget. Canisters of formula are certainly not doable for us. It’s mind boggling to me how much is spent on formula. It’s also mind boggling to me that due to so much miseducation and completely absurd and overpowering advertising and coercion from formula companies many low income women formula feed. But just so I leave little to be argued there can be costs associated with breastfeeding – breast pads for the leaky mom, nursing bras, tanks, and/or shirts, a pump if you’re working or need one (I was luckily to be gifted a hand me down), bottles, breast milk storage bags, etc. But the cost of those things pails in comparison to formula. And formula needs bottles anyway.. many more than breastfeeding.

3. Breastfeeding allows for so much closeness between mom and baby. know some people can’t. I know some people think they can’t. Others lack support. Others are terribly miseducated. And others don’t just because they don’t want to. I’m not judging you or your choices. Do you have a wiggly baby? A little one who refuses to cuddle or lay down with you? Chances are if that’s the case and you breastfeed you can still enjoy relaxing cose time with your little one. It’s truly an amazing feeling.

4. Breastfeeding protects a baby from harmful things such as viruses and bacteria. Of course breastfed babies still get sick but they certainly get sick less often than formula fed babies. Olive has actually not really been sick yet. She’s had a night or two with a runny nose or minor fever but not a single full blow cold. I pass on my immunity to various things to her through my breast milk. It is recommended that babies who do not receive vaccinations be breastfed until at least the age of two. Why? Because breast milk protects them from so many things. Another reason that it so deeply saddens me to see low income mothers not breastfeeding as well as so many mothers in third world countries where diseases run rampant. Unfortunately things like witchcraft and absurd advertising strategies from companies like Nestle have screwed up the perception of breastfeeding in many places.

5. Breastfeeding is recommended until AT LEAST the age of two. The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding until at least 6 months of age and breastfeeding along with eating healthy foods until at least the age of two. The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends “extended” breastfeeding. So why do people think its so strange to breastfeed an “older” child. Why do we even call it “extended” breastfeeding?

6. Breast milk is all natural. You can probably call it local, too. Maybe even stretch it and call it organic? I suppose it depends on what mom consumes, but still, my point is that it is natural. Have you peeked at formula ingredients lately? You know what’s in there? Corn syrup, for one. I avoid that. I don’t let Olive eat that. Why would I have possibly let her consume that as a baby? In my opinion there is not a single positive thing to be said about corn syrup. Except that, I suppose, it’s an avenue for our country to use the extreme surplus of corn that we seem to have. It’s true, there are organic and more natural formulas out there, but that further complicates #2 from above.

7. Long term health benefits for baby. Breastfeeding has been proven to contribue to a lifetime of good health. Having been breastfed as a baby correlates directly to a lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, lower rates of obesity, and lower rates of type-2 diabetes in adulthood. It also seems that people who were breastfed have a higher IQ than those who were not.

8. Convenience. Save for the initial difficultly some women may face or simply getting use to it when starting to breastfeed your first baby, breastfeeding is pretty darn easy. No need to heat a bottle in the middle of the night, no need to pack bottles, and water, and formula for trips away from home or long vacations. Simply bring yourself and you’re set.

9. Peace of mind. Like most little ones Olive goes through ups and downs when it comes to food consumption. She is currently going through a phase of wanting to be fed by me (which is odd because we’ve never really spoon fed her… ever). That isn’t always easy or quite possible with what I’ve prepared for a meal. Or sometimes she doesn’t seem to like or be interested in anything I offer. Or I forgot to pack snacks for our day away from home. None of that matters because I know she is getting exactly what she needs via breast milk. I don’t need to be concerned about how much protein is on her plate, if she ate her vegetables, etc. Of course I like to see her eat a well rounded meal but I don’t have to be stressed about it. And I don’t have to be pushy or anxious about her food.. which contribues to a much better food relationship for her.

10. Breastfeeding is comforting. A fussy baby, a sick baby, a tired baby, a teething baby, an overstimulated baby… can all find comfort in breastfeeding. The close contact with mom, smelling her, touching her skin, feeling her warmth, is often exactly what a baby needs. Baby may fight it, it may not always be the answer, but often it is. In the very first hours of life baby’s body learns so much from mom’s during their first breastfeeding experiences. Baby’s body learns to regulated it’s temperature and breathing and begins building a close and trusting relationship with mom. It truly is beautiful.

I think I’ll stop there.. that’s 10 things. 10 reasons that I breastfeed Olive and plan to continue until she is done.

Again, I don’t mean to offend… I simply want to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week and possibly share some information with you that maybe you didn’t already know. I think it’s perfectly capable for people to turn out just fine without breastfeeding – in fact I wasn’t breastfed.

If you’re a new mom or a mom to be do your research and find some support. Breastfeeding came easily to me but that isn’t the case for everyone. Seek out help if you need it and don’t be afraid. Find the right sources. Some doctors will push formula. It’s amazing and so discouraging but true. Others will make you feel like you’re failing because your baby is gaining weight slowly or your baby is taking a long time to learn to latch. Push through it – your body was meant to breastfeed.

If you’re already a mom and you feel like you failed in the past or didn’t have the right information or didn’t care to breastfeed.. don’t look back on the past and get discouraged. Breastfeed your next child. Done having children? Think about what you can do for your children today that will help them excel as amazing people today and tomorrow. And support other women in their choice to breastfeed.

Still don’t want to breastfeed? That’s okay, too.

I’ll leave you with a photo of Olive appearing to latch on to my leg.

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Why don’t you link up your story?  And go read some more!  :)

world breastfeeding week blog round-up

Last week I received new nursing pads from a shop on etsy called Young Blood for the purpose of this review!
I received the two patterns pictured below.



Let me tell you a little bit about Young Blood nursing pads:
– They’re constructed of 4 layers of super soft 100% cotton flannel, 1 layer of polyurethane laminate so you don’t leak, and a pretty 100% cotton outer layer.
– They’re about 4.25″ in diameter.
– They’re pretty! There are many different patterns offered.
– They’re machine washable.
– They’re only $3.50 a pair!!!

And let me tell you a little bit about Jenny, from Young Blood:
Jenny has a BFA in fibers/textile design from the Savannah College of Art & Design (I wish I had one of those!) and she’s at work at home momma to a little baby girl (yay!). Like me, she knew right away that she wanted to cloth diaper and started making her own so her little babe could have a cute bum! She’s been working on her diaper design ever since and now sells them, along with these nursing pads, bibs, and more, at her etsy shop, Young Blood, at craft shows, and in boutiques. Make sure you check out her shop – she’s also trade friendly! :)

I began my trial of these nursing pads after trying the Bamboobies nursing pads for one week.  I immediately noticed the difference in size.  Young Blood nursing pads are much thicker then the regular Bamboobies but still thinner than the common store bought types I have tried previously (both reusable and disposable).

I used them immediately after opening the package because I was really excited!  The nursing pads were very rigid and looked really silly through my shirt so I proceeded to wash them in hopes of softening them a bit.  It worked!  I wear pretty thin nursing bras and it was pretty easy to see the shape of the pads as well as wrinkles in the pads through my shirt if it were a form fitting shirt.  The pads seem to become softer each time I wash them and the shape seen through my shirt decreases each time.

Over the past week of wearing these nursing pads I have not leaked through or around them.  They stay in place really well and are a great size.  The flannel layers are super soft and the stitching along the edges seems to be of good quality, but I have only had them for about a week.  And I can’t forget.. they’re such a great deal!

Overall, I would suggest these nursing pads be used in thicker bras than I wear so as to avoid the weird shape and the bumps.  Personally I will be using these nursing pads at night due to their thickness and absorbency.  I suggest you pick up a pair – you can’t go wrong for $3.50!

In conclusion…

Do I recommend Young Blood nursing pads for leaky boobies?

Yes!

If you wear a regular (not sleep) bra these would be great! They are perfect for overnight use!  And they’re very affordable!

I was provided a free sample from Young Blood in exchange for this review.
I was under no obligation to write a positive review of this product!!  I promise!


Look for review #3 in the nursing pad series coming next Wednesday! I hope you find this information as useful as I do! :)

Last week I received a very tiny but very powerful package.  Inside the package were two pairs of Bamboobies.

What’s a “Bamboobie” you ask?

Well let me tell you! Bamboobies are nursing pads made of organic bamboo and hemp! I was extra excited to try these because Olive’s gDiaper inserts are bamboo so I thought we could maybe.. match.. kind of. I was also extra excited because I know how absorbent bamboo can be. And I was maybe also a little excited that they’re called Bamboobies. Say it with me – Bamboobies!!! ha! Oh, and they’re in the shape of hearts!

But let’s be serious. Bamboobies claim the following:
1. Simply the Softest Nursing Pads on the market!
2. Heart-shaped pads cup without wrinkling… Fewer Wrinkles = Less Visibility
3. Ultra-thin, High performance Eco-fabrics

1. I agree. In my experience with four other brands of nursing pads I have never felt pads this soft! They’re actually softer than Olive’s bamboo gDiaper inserts and those are so soft that I considered wearing them myself, just for comfort.
2. The regular Bamboobies are heart shaped which does reduce wrinkling though I still had a few visible wrinkles. I bet this is a little different for everyone though, depending on the size of your girlie parts and the bra you’re wearing. While a little wrinkle was present it was by far less of a wrinkle than with most reusable nursing pads I have used. The overnights are round and therefore get wrinkly but if you and your significant other don’t mind then it shouldn’t be a problem!
3. The regular Bamboobies are extremely thin – I’m really surprised! The overnights are quite thick but not any thicker than other brand’s regular pads. And they’re for overnight… so that’s kind of the point.

“Bamboobies were born out of my frustration with wrinkly, plastic disposables and thick, rough cotton
washable pads that showed through my shirt and still leaked!” says Kerry Gilmartin, mother of three in
Boulder, CO and creator of Bamboobies.

I’ve had a leaky start to breastfeeding Olive. The leaking varies day to day so I’m never sure what to expect. I worry when out in public or when having visitors because I never know if a big dark dot is going to show up and how long it’s going to take me to realize it. After a few days using Bamboobies I have not experienced a single wet spot despite finding the pads wet. Honestly I was a little skeptical at first because I have leaked through everything else – how could these work? I thought the leaking had possibly slowed.. but wouldn’t that be ironic timing? After a little investigation I decided that I was in fact leaking just the same but the regular Bamboobies held in all of the moisture and my shirt stayed dry! I even went out of the house this evening for a meeting and didn’t feel nervous or stressed out about my shirt. What a relief! I did notice that the regular pads move around a little bit but not enough to cause a problem. I think they slide a bit because they’re so soft. But with how many times I need to be messing with my bra when feeding Olive there is ample opportunity to adjust them. My only complaint is that I don’t have enough!

The reason for the superb protection is in the construction. Below is a diagram of the regular pads.

And the overnight pads..

There is a lot of interesting information on the Bamboobies website about pad comparisons. For example did you know that a nine month supply of disposable pads costs approximately $360 while a pack of four Bamboobies costs less than $30? I don’t use disposable pads and this reminds me why! (In addition to the environmental impact.) This is also one of the many reasons we cloth diaper.

In addition to being extremely effective at preventing leaks and reducing wrinkles, as well as being cost effective, Bamboobies are eco-friendly. Bamboobies fabric producers meet the Global Organic Textile Standards or are certified annually by OEKO Tex 100, OCIA or USDA and the fibers are not treated with toxic chemicals and only water-based dyes are used.

I encourage you to stop by Bamboobies and place an order for yourself or for a friend.  I am certainly going to order more regular Bamboobies and will most likely give these as a gift to expectant moms in the future.

In conclusion…

Do I recommend Bamboobies for leaky boobies?

Yes!

Use coupon code OWL20 for 20% off your purchase!!!

I was provided a free sample of Bamboobies in exchange for this review. I was under no obligation to write a positive review of this product. But I did! Because I like ’em! So go get some!

Look for review #2 in the nursing pad series coming next Wednesday! I hope you find this information as useful as I do! :)

Hi everyone! I’m writing to give you a heads up about a new series I’ll soon be starting. But I want to caution you that if you’re not into breastfeeding talk read no further!

I’m going to be reviewing various types of nursing pads because, well, I’m having some problems. I am leaky. I’ve been known to leak through multiple layers of clothing and am terrified of this happening while out in public. For that reason I typically wear a thick button up sweater when I’m out so I can button the top button or so. The first time I noticed a big wet spot on my shirt I literally screamed. Occasionally I laugh. But mostly I say eww.

I have tried disposable pads and two types of store bought fabric pads. These were all given to me and I will be reviewing how they have worked for me in the past two months. In the coming weeks I will be receiving at least two more nursing pads in the mail courtesy of their markers, for the purpose of this review series.

I’m excited to be trying various types of nursing pads and, believe me, they will be put through some pretty vigorous testing! Personally, as always, I’m rooting for the handmade but we’ll see what happens! For the next few weeks you’ll be seeing an update from me on Wednesdays with the first starting next week.

Yay!

Are you leaky? What nursing pads or other remedies do you use?

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