4moms 4 the win! *GIVEAWAY*

Ever turned 5 months a few days ago, and this just might be my favorite baby age (but don’t sue me if I say the same thing next month!) He is full of smiles, belly laughs, and starting to be playful with his sister and fursiblings. He is rolling up a storm and is the kind of baby that makes me want another (uh oh, sorry Dave). Some pearly whites are starting to peek out of that gummy smile though, and sometimes he just doesn’t want to be put down. It is of course in those moments that I REALLY need to pee, or help Rylie with something. Thank YOU mamaroo for helping a mama out.

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Everyone said it was their favorite rocker. The new mamaroo is just as good as the older version, but can link up with your phone so if my (ahem) wiping skills are being summoned, I can change up the settings from the bathroom if he’s wanting a change in speed or movement. Also, not sure what it is about that dang mobile, but he smiles at it like they are old buddies.

IMG_1090Hi cutest feet ever.

I teamed up with 4moms, to give one away to a mama who needs it. Click on over to instagram to let me know you want one and find out how to enter :) Giveaway closes 1/26/2015.

Good luck mamas!

xx

Yup.

I don’t really care who sponsored this commercial, because it speaks the truth. If you’re a mama or a papa, watch this.

Nourishing In Public

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I’ve wanted to write this post for awhile. When I was a first time mama, I barely left the house the first month. I was breastfeeding and could not imagine how in the world I would nurse my daughter out in the real world. Would I carry my boppy everywhere I went? Would I use a cover? I had some pretty painful nipple damage from a bad early-on latch and cringed every time she first latched on, how would that look? Would my overactive let-down spray some poor stranger in the face? Would she scream at my breast until she got sprayed in the face? Would people stare? They would definitely stare. Oy vay, better stay home.

So I did. For awhile. Eventually, slowly, I started to venture out. The boppy came on a couple of trips, and I soon realized that we could manage without it. I still smile at the thought of seeing myself sitting in the car, WITH a nursing cover on and boppy around my waist. I’m sure some of those stains still in my car are from nursing in it so frequently with my daughter. In those early months, I would dread it if I couldn’t find a bathroom stall or private place to nurse. Really though, I would sit on top of the toilet seat and nurse. That. Is. Disgusting. Would you ever eat in a bathroom stall? No? Well my kid did, more than once.

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I covered not because it made me more comfortable, but because I was afraid of making anyone else uncomfortable. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said “sorry” while unsnapping my nursing bra. Why? Why the hell does someone else’s shame regarding a woman’s breast mean that I have to apologize for feeding my baby? My baby is nourished from my body. Every little roll, every new pound, comes solely from me. It’s not easy. In fact, it’s really really hard at times. Why do we need to make it harder by making a mother feel uncomfortable?

You know what, those covers are pretty dang cute these days, and I still sometimes use a blanket or cover. Today though, it’s my choice. I will not be shamed into covering my breasts, which ARE USED TO NOURISH MY CHILD. Next time someone asks me to cover up, I’ll smile, and say “OH yes, I will bring one next time, and give it to you, to put over your face.”  ;)

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John Medina, PhD., a developmental molecular biologist and author of Brain Rules for Baby (one of my favorite baby books) says:

“I remember meeting up with an old friend who had just become a mother. Baby in tow, we entered a restaurant. She immediately insisted on sitting at a private booth, and after five minutes, I discovered why. Mom knew that her baby would soon be hungry. When he was, she discreetly unbuttoned her blouse, adjusted her bra, and began breast-feeding. The baby latched on for dear life. Mom had to go through all kinds of contortions to hide this activity. “I’ve been thrown out of other places because I did this,” she explained. Though shrouded in an oversize sweater, she was visibly nervous as the waiter took her order.

If America knew what breast milk can do for the brains of it’s youngest citizens, lactating mothers across the nation would be enshrined, not embarrassed. Though the topic is much debated, there’s little controversy about it in the scientific community…If we as a country wanted a smarter population, we would insist on lactation rooms in every public establishment. A sign would hang from the door of these rooms: ‘Quiet, please. Brain development in progress.’”

Lactation rooms would be fun, but not necessary, and not very realistic. So, let us breastfeed wherever we are without apology.

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Ok, so these days the message “breast is best” is pretty widespread. As a whole, the lactation community has grown larger and stronger and there are many loving and supportive communities who are willing to help you reach your breastfeeding goals. But, what if it doesn’t work out? I know many mothers who have had people comment on their bottle-feeding when out in public. “You know breastmilk is better.” “You know breastmilk is cheaper.” I know mothers who did everything possible to breastfeed their child, women who feel like they have failed every time they give their baby a bottle. I know a mama whose baby had a difficult time latching on, and she pumped FOR EVERY FEEDING, and gave her baby her breastmilk in a bottle. She kept introducing the breast, and eventually was able to breastfeed her daughter until she was 2. There are many reasons a mother will turn to formula, and thank goodness we live in a day where we have other great options when breastfeeding doesn’t work out.

Let’s reduce the shame that can come with nourishing our babies in public. Whether it’s bottle or breast, when you see a mama feeding her baby, smile at her. Give her a thumbs up. Or, just keep walking. This motherhood gig can be real tough, it’s the best promotion in life I have ever gotten, but it is kick-you-in-the-gut tough sometimes. The last thing a mama needs is to be afraid to go out, afraid to feed her child in public. Come on America, people would laugh at us for even talking about this in other countries. It’s a non-issue. It’s a boob, it’s a bottle, it’s nourishment for our babes.

I would love to see you feeding your babies out and about. I would love to see images of mothers nursing and giving their baby a bottle, without shame, side by side. If you are covering up because it makes you more comfortable, awesome! Post it! Let’s support each other, not shame each other. Use hashtag #nourishinpublic and/or #nourishwithoutshame on instagram and join me.

Rock on mamas.

Cassidy_40Thank you Taryn Kent, for once again being a genius behind the camera and capturing these images, I’ll always treasure them.