Category : Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding Motherhood Personal Posts

My “Not on the Growth Charts” Children

I wanted to write about my experiences with “underweight” (according to the CDC’s growth charts) kids, in hopes that it may help another mom. Lots of disclaimers are necessary!

First, I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on the internet. My experiences and opinions should not be taken as medical advice. The closest to medical advice that I will offer is this: if a doctor suggests that you should supplement/discontinue breastfeeding solely based on your child’s place on the growth chart, in the absence of any symptoms or medical conditions…seek help from a lactation consultant (or three) and get a second opinion.

Second, this post talks about babies not on the growth charts and how it can affect a breastfeeding relationship. I realize that formula fed babies aren’t necessarily “big” and can have growth chart issues too. However, this post is about my personal experiences.

Last, there’s no judgement from me if you switched to formula at your doctor’s advice (or for any reason.) Just like some c-sections are necessary, there are situations where formula is necessary too. (Hypoplastic breasts, prior breast surgery, chemotherapy etc.) However, so many women are “booby trapped” by being given inaccurate information by the medical providers they are supposed to be able to trust. The rate of women who are told “you’re not making enough milk, your milk isn’t enough, your milk isn’t fatty enough, your pelvis isn’t big enough” and so forth is far higher than the number of women for whom this is true! Finding out that your switch to formula wasn’t necessary is about as hard a pill to swallow as finding out your “emergency c-section” was because your OB wanted to go home. Just like I don’t assume all c-sections are unnecessary, I’m not assuming that all formula use is unnecessary. That said, I also respect a woman’s right to choose, even if that choice isn’t one I’d make. So if you had a scheduled c-section or formula fed from day 1 by choice, I am not judging you (not my biz-ness!), and that’s not what this post is about, ok?

I’ve remarked before that I don’t know how our mothers did it without the internet. I don’t mean listening to what some schmuck (me) says, but having actual medical journals and details of studies right at your fingertips. It’s amazing and I don’t know what I’d do without it! Back in 2005 when I had my daughter, I was a member of a breastfeeding group on I credit those women (along with my stubbornness) for my breastfeeding success. Without them, I would have failed, as I was set up to by pediatricians and hospital staff.

This story begins with my miserable first birth experience, which culminated in an epidural, and me so swollen, I was sure I would pop. IV fluids given during labor can artificially inflate baby’s birth weight, leading to “alarming” weight loss in the first 24 hours. A loss of 5-7% of birth weight is physiologically appropriate for a newborn, sometimes up to 10%. When my daughter had lost about 5% in that first day, I was immediately bullied to give formula. I was even told by a nurse that “the doctor would make” me if I didn’t. We tried, she wasn’t interested. The only photo I have of my husband with her in the hospital is the one where he is trying to feed her formula. I can’t stand to look at that picture to this day, 7 years later. Not because I think formula is “evil,” but because it represents my complete failure to stand up for myself and our daughter during that entire experience.

Whether the baby loses 1% or 10%, it’s important to use the lowest weight when assessing subsequent weight gain. Depending on the source, it’s expected that a breastfed baby will gain between 4 and 8 ounces per week in the first few months.

Dr. Jay Gordon urges parents and Doctors to “look at the baby, not the scale,” which I will talk about more in a bit. Even if your baby is gaining “enough” weight per week, he or she may not be on the CDC’s growth charts, as mine weren’t. Interestingly enough, even the CDC recommends that health care providers use the WHO growth standards for children up to age 2.

They state:

The WHO standards establish growth of the breastfed infant as the norm for growth.

Breastfeeding is the recommended standard for infant feeding. The WHO charts reflect growth patterns among children who were predominantly breastfed for at least 4 months and still breastfeeding at 12 months.

The WHO standards provide a better description of physiological growth in infancy.

Clinicians often use the CDC growth charts as standards on how young children should grow. However the CDC growth charts are references; they identify how typical children in the US did grow during a specific time period. Typical growth patterns may not be ideal growth patterns. The WHO growth charts are standards; they identify how children should grow when provided optimal conditions. [Emphasis mine. Imagine using the “typical” American as the benchmark for health.]

The WHO standards are based on a high-quality study designed explicitly for creating growth charts.

The WHO standards were constructed using longitudinal length and weight data measured at frequent intervals. For the CDC growth charts, weight data were not available between birth and 3 months of age and the sample sizes were small for sex and age groups during the first 6 months of age.

Imagine that.

Edit: about a week after I posted this, the AAP came out with a new, more strongly worded statement about breastfeeding, in which they say “infant growth should be monitored with the World Health Organization (WHO) Growth Curve Standards to avoid mislabeling infants as underweight or failing to thrive.” YAY!

So what happened to us was what happens to so many other families. My daughter was meeting all expected milestones, was healthy, nursing well, having tons of wet and dirty diapers, but fell off the CDC’s growth charts. We were going to one of those offices where a dozen or more pediatricians practiced, and you saw whomever was available, for the most part. If you needed a last minute appointment, you usually got the most rotten doctor, since they were the only one not booked solid. We saw a doctor who graduated med school in 1972 (I looked it up) and probably hasn’t read a study or paid attention at a seminar since then. He immediately told us to stop breastfeeding, give formula and oh, put some cereal in the bottle too. Believe it or not, DH & I both went to this same practice as kids & saw this doctor!

What did I do? Smile, nod and get the heck out of there. Over the next several months, though she had no symptoms aside from being genetically small (her dad is around 5′ 7″ max and I am not quite 5′ tall, hovering around 100 lbs or less when not pregnant/postpartum) she was put through a battery of blood and urine tests. All are normal. Surprise.

We eventually got an appointment with the doctor who is now our current pediatrician (he left the practice & we followed him…cue creepy stalker music.) Though he graduated med school in 1980, just 8 years after jerk-o/idiot doc, he has kept up on AAP guidelines (which are unfortunately usually behind) and reads studies and attends seminars regularly. He is pro-breastfeeding & conservative in treating patients.

With his help, we did additional testing for things that may have been causing slow weight gain, without showing symptoms, and fortunately she was fine. We did some extra weight checks and tracked her individual growth curve (you can do this too by creating an interactive growth chart.) Aside from one visit where she appeared to “dip,” she rode her own curve just under the growth chart. The doctor wasn’t too concerned about the dip, since a few ounces makes a big difference, and a few ounces is easy to gain or lose with drinking/urination.

All along, he told me he had the feeling it was simply genetic, but of course, he doesn’t want to miss something, hence the testing.

Finally, at age 2 1/2 she barely got on the growth chart & has been hanging around the 3% ever since. He has told me that he’d “take IQ over weight any day,” referring to my daughter’s impressive verbal/reading/writing skills. (Proud mama here.)

When my son was born around 8 pounds, we were hopeful that he would stay “big”, and we could avoid all the weight checks. Unfortunately, he followed exactly the same patterns. Fortunately the doctor was quite conservative in tests & weight checks and he finally got on the chart at age 2!

When I was still expecting baby #3, we discussed the issue and he said that at this point, with the history, he’s convinced it’s genetic. As nice as it would be to have a baby “on the chart,” he wasn’t expecting it. My son was born at 6 lb 12 oz, down to 6 lb 5 oz at 3 days old (we’re not completely sure on all this because of some scale issues!) then up to 7 lbs at a week, 8 lbs at a month and 9 lb 10 oz at 2 months, or…the 25%, yay! He told me that he doesn’t necessarily expect him to be a big baby, and I don’t think he’d be surprised if he started falling down on the charts, but for now it’s a victory.

Even though I eventually found a supportive doctor, the doubt always crept in, and as great as he is, he said several things that contributed to that. First, he often asked an open ended question along the lines of “how do you feel about your milk supply.” Uh, well I felt fine until you asked, now I’m paranoid! He mentioned pumping output (a baby extracts milk much more efficiently than a pump, and some women simply can’t let down for a pump at all.) He also asked about feeling letdown. Not all women feel their letdown, and it often becomes less pronounced as baby gets older. Even questions of “does baby seem satisfied” can be a slippery slope, since a baby may nurse constantly and get a bit fussy while working on increasing supply during a growth spurt.

So what should be asked? Initially, make sure the baby is latched well. Is there pain? Has the mother seen a lactation consultant? Once milk has come in, can you hear the baby swallowing? Is the baby having wet and dirty diapers appropriate for his/her age? Is baby alert (as appropriate for age) and meeting milestones?

I knew my daughter (and son too) was fine, but I was still paranoid and wanted to get her on those gosh darned charts!! We tried Pediasure when she was a toddler (just filled her belly so she didn’t want to eat and whew, made nasty diapers.) We tried high fat foods like avocado, cream cheese etc. It didn’t help. Dr. Sears saysActive babies with persistent, motor-driven personalities who always seem to be revved up usually burn more calories and tend to be leaner.” We have videos of our daughter at just a few weeks old, constantly moving as if she were swimming in an invisible pool. Even now at age 7, she does.not.stay.still.

He also saysVarious studies have shown that breastfed infants consume fewer calories and a lower volume of milk than formula-fed infants. This doesn’t mean that their mothers aren’t producing enough milk. Instead, it’s an indication that breastfed infants have an amazing ability to self-regulate their calorie intake according to their individual needs. This ability to determine for themselves how much they eat is probably one of the reasons that infants who are breastfed are less likely to have problems with obesity later in childhood.” (Emphasis mine.)

She weighs the perfect amount for her. She looks an awful lot like my husband did at that age; all knees and elbows! She has always been “tall for her weight,” which made her look even more slender. My son is more proportionate, so he looks chubbier.

For some reason, people think it’s OK, or appropriate to make rude remarks about a baby’s size. I’ve had strangers ask how much they weighed at birth, asked if they were preemies, implied that I was starving them and so forth. It’s so fun to hear “she’s so small” said with a look of disgust (not.) People still make remarks about my daughter being “so skinny” which infuriates me. It wouldn’t be OK to say something like that if she were overweight, so why is it OK to damage her self-esteem and body image with “too skinny” comments? She has always been a great eater, except when there was something more interesting going on. Therefore, any time we would have visitors (or visit someone) she would want to play, not eat. That meant more lovely comments about “no wonder she’s so skinny, she doesn’t eat.” I’d try to explain that she ate great at home blah, blah but no one believed me! (We also eat a diet that’s far healthier and more balanced than the average American diet. I’m sure I could fatten my kids up if I overfed them fatty ground beef, fast food, potato chips and Tastycakes instead of fruit, veggies, beans & lean meat!)

Though I’ve never had a “big” baby, I imagine people are similarly rude in that case. My daughter has been friends with a little girl since they were in 3-year preschool together. When I met her, she was a perfectly normal looking little girl, but her mom showed me a picture of her as a baby. No lie, she looked like the Michelin man. I have never seen a chubbier, more roly poly baby in my life. She was 100% breastfed, and slimmed down when she became mobile. She got equally rude comments when her daughter was “too big” and her milk must be “no good.” My BFF has “top of the charts” babies, but they look totally healthy & are proportionately tall. I thought it was ironic that she was stressing about her 90 whatever-th percentile breastfed baby gaining “too much”, while I was worrying about my <3% breastfed baby!

In conclusion, before you turn to formula, look at the whole picture, not just the chart. I wish I could clone my pediatrician and send him to all of you. He isn’t perfect, but he is fantastic. When he told us he was leaving the big practice, I was terrified that he was going to tell me he was retiring! (He’s not allowed until all my kids are grown up.) He is fairly supportive of breastfeeding (I keep extended bf’ing and night nursings to myself, LOL) and has made comments about how great breastfeeding is, that it’s the best thing I can do, keeps them healthy etc. He’s open to alternative vaccination schedules, was wonderful about my home birth, and continues to educate himself. When we were concerned about my son’s verbal skills, he suggested a baby sign language class, adding that 10 years ago, he would have told me that signing would hinder his verbal development, but recent studies show the opposite! He was even telling me about a seminar he attended about how they do the PKU testing.

At the same time, he’s very diplomatic. If you formula feed by choice, he won’t make you feel inferior. We didn’t even know his stance on circumcision until we asked. (We’d already researched & made our choice, but thought it was important to have a doctor on the same page.) He passed along the AAP’s stance on vitamin D supplementation in breastfed babies, but tells us not to sweat it if we choose not to. He doesn’t think babies or children with balanced diets need multivitamins, but will support you if you decide to use them.

So, phew. This ended up a mile long but I sincerely help it helps someone! I’m not a “militant” lactivist, but I do wish that women had all the information about breastfeeding and formula and had the support to succeed.

Has anyone else dealt with a top or bottom of the charts baby? How did your doctor handle it?

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Baby Products Breastfeeding Giveaway Review

Comfort & Harmony Mombo Deluxe Nursing Pillow Review & Giveaway (CLOSED 2/2)


I had the pleasure of being one of the first to try the Comfort & Harmony (by Bright Starts) mombo nursing pillow & infant positioner.

Mombo 1 in pkg Mombo 2 out of pkg

I’ve been using mine since my son was born last month, and now they are available or purchase exclusively at Babies R Us.

Mombo 3 close up of soft side Mombo 4 firm side

The mombo has a soft, plush side for lounging, and a flat, firm side for feeding. I received the Pinehurst, which is a beautiful green print.

Mombo 5 zipper opens Mombo 6 vibrates
Mombo 7 instructions

Optionally, you can press a button through the pillow to activate soothing vibrations.

Mombo 8 hubby Mombo 9 hubby

The mombo works for all sizes and body shapes. My husband thought it would be too small for him, but it easily conformed to him.

Mombo 10 other pillow and gap Mombo 11 no support

My almost 7 year old is petite, and “the other pillow” sits too far from her body (even when she tries to shove it behind her back like she did here) and essentially gives her no support to hold her brother. He just sits in the “hole.”

Mombo 12 mombo works for 6 yo

The mombo works great for her! It works better when she takes a second to make sure it’s snugly against her body.

Mombo 13 nursing

I like the mombo for nursing because it has a firm, flat side, and sits close to my body.

The pillow is available with several covers, and costs $39.99-$49.99. A coverless pillow is $29.99 and covers are $12.99-$25.99 separately.

7157_hr_b[1] 7157_hr_c[1]

Giveaway: One reader will receive his or her choice of Comfort & Harmony mombo Deluxe Pillow in the Taggies™ Fashion (ARV $49.99.) Entries go in the Rafflecopter form.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This giveaway is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by, nor associated with Facebook. By entering, you release Facebook from any responsibility and understand that the information entered on this form will not be disclosed to Facebook.

FTC compliance: Although I received an item for review purposes, I was not otherwise compensated for this post, and all opinions are my own.

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Apparel & Accessories Breastfeeding Review

Bamboo Belly Bandit & Mother Tucker Compression Nursing Tank Review

Belly Bandit 1

As you know, I had baby #3 on December 7th. Belly Bandit sent me their Bamboo version to review. I won’t keep you in suspense, I love my Belly Bandit. So much so that I bought another bamboo Belly Bandit, and also a Mother Tucker Compression Nursing Tank. It’s no secret that I’m cheap frugal, and Belly Bandit products are really not inexpensive. So I think it says a lot that I spent the money on them!

Belly Bandit 2 Belly Bandit 3 height
Belly Bandit 4 closure

If you’ve never heard of a Belly Bandit, they are basically abdominal binders that support your core muscles and help flatten your belly postpartum. Abdominal binding has a long history, and in my opinion it works! The original Belly Bandit retails for $45.95, and the Bamboo is considerably higher at $65.95. The fabric is silky soft, naturally microbial etc. All the same reasons why I love it in diapers.

Belly Bandit 5 4 wks preg Belly Bandit 6 40 wks preg

There I am above in my first “belly pic” at 4 weeks, and at 40 weeks! I started wearing the Belly Bandit about 2 hours after my son was born. I chose the size when I was around 8 months along, using their sizing tips. Wearing the Belly Bandit was instant relief for me since I felt “held together” instead of having that floppy, jello “hey, where’d my abs go?” feeling.

Belly Bandit 7 2 days pp belly
Belly Bandit 9 on 2 days pp Belly Bandit 10 on under clothes 2 days pp

I didn’t take a photo immediately postpartum, but I think we all know what that looks like. Pregnant, only slightly smaller and squishier. 😉 I did take a photo at 2 days postpartum, and I’m also showing you what the small Belly Bandit looked on me then, and also what it looked like under clothes. It is a wee bit bulky, but I don’t think it’s terribly noticeable under looser fitting clothes, and I don’t know many brand new moms who are wearing tight clothing!

Belly Bandit 11 on under clothes5 days pp Belly Bandit 12 after 5 days use

By 5 days postpartum (above) I had the small all the way closed. It did start to crease a bit at the waist, but nothing terrible. The rep at Belly Bandit thought maybe I needed the XS to start, but I’m not sure I would have gotten it closed that first day! It’s pretty common to need more than one size as you shrink, but your first size will usually last more than 5 days, so don’t let that scare you! I do wish there was a bit more Velcro on the band so it would last a little longer.

Belly Bandit 13 after 2.5 wks use

I waffled for a week about ordering another one, since they really are a little pricey for someone on a tight budget. In the end, I did order, and I went ahead and splurged on the Bamboo! I continued to use the small on and off while I waited for the XS to arrive. Above is what it looked like after 2.5 weeks of use. It really started to crease quite a bit and worked it’s way up into the small of my back (the front stayed flat.) Belly Bandit says it is normal for this to happen, kind of like a band aid conforming to your body. It doesn’t affect the functioning of the band!

Belly Bandit 14 pkg Belly Bandit 15

My only complaint is that my package shipped via Fed Ex smart post, so it took seemingly forever (about 10 days, which does seem like forever when you’re waiting for something!) I really don’t understand the whole smart post thing. I guess it’s cheaper somehow? It was about 20 minutes away from me nearly a week before it got to me, then went to another state before it came back here. Weird. But it did get here!

Belly Bandit 16 mother tucker

As I said, in addition to the XS Belly Bandit, I also ordered the Mother Tucker Compression Nursing Tank. This made my hubby do a double take, since it’s one teeny, tiny line away from something very different than mother “tucker.” LOL

Belly Bandit 17 pkg Belly Bandit 18 size

I was kind of worried about the sizing. As is typical for me, my band size falls into a small, but my cup size would fall into a Large or XL (if they had it.) I went with a small.

Belly Bandit 19 instructions
Belly Bandit 20 pks Belly Bandit 21 size

The helpful hint made me laugh. I love the use of humor on product packaging! They are right though. Stepping into it was snug enough, I can’t imagine trying to get it over my head!!

Belly Bandit 22 tag Belly Bandit 23 tag
Belly Bandit 24 inside cupsBelly Bandit 25 strap adjustment

The cups just slide to the side to nurse, there are no clips or contraptions. It’s supportive without anything uncomfortable digging in, and the straps are adjustable. Since I’m petite, I’m used to things not adjusting quite as tightly as I need, but I was able to make it work anyway.

Belly Bandit 26 mother tucker Belly Bandit 27 bottom panel

The nursing tank has a wide band on the bottom that keeps it from rolling up, and it really does work.

Belly Bandit 28 3 wks pp

I can’t believe I’m doing this (LOL) but above is a pic of me at 3 weeks postpartum. I intentionally chose a shirt that was unflatteringly snug. I look less pudgy in clothes that fit better, but that wouldn’t make for a good before/after shot, now would it? 😉

Belly Bandit 29 xs 3 wks pp Belly Bandit 30 xs on 3 wks pp

Here I am in the XS Belly Bandit. This one almost immediately started creasing at my lower back. I think that’s because my waist is smaller than my hips. That may sound like a big “duh” statement, but think about your body shape immediately postpartum. I was able to prevent this a bit by closing it kind of at an angle…tighter up top and looser down towards my hips. I didn’t initially wear the Belly Bandit to bed because with my foggy brain I missed that part of the instructions. The bamboo was very comfortable at night, and wearing it to bed really helped my comfort since it supported my back and waist. The more I wear it, the bigger difference I see when I take it off. After just a few days of wearing the XS, I look far thinner than I do in my “before” shot above.

Belly Bandit 31 mother tucker on 3 wks pp

Above, I’m wearing the Mother Tucker nursing tank! I was worried about how it would feel since it sure was tight trying to wrestle myself into it! I was really surprised that once I got it on, I really couldn’t even tell I was wearing it. It was very comfortable, but really smoothed the lumps and bumps. The no-roll band comes down low on my hips, so it also serves as a tummy cover if my shirt lifts, which I love. I could really use some extra cup space though. I wouldn’t wear the tank under a snug fitting shirt since I end up with a quad-boob look if I don’t keep tucking myself back in, LOL. I do wish they would make a small-plus (medium-plus, large-plus etc.) option for those of us who get disproportionately large in the milk-factory area while nursing. 🙂

The Mother Tucker is expensive at $79.95, but it’s not too much more than a decent nursing bra in my size. Unfortunately I can’t buy my nursing bras at a local store thanks to the unusual size, so I have to spend a fortune to order them online. I do wish I could get a second one so I didn’t have to be without it on laundry day, but there’s no way I can squeak another one out of our budget!

I love, love love Belly Bandit products. They have made a huge difference in how I look (everyone who has seen me has said I look great!) as well as how I feel. Not just physically, but emotionally. Gaining 40 pounds that are nicely hidden by maternity clothes, then having to face the flab and “real” clothes isn’t exactly easy, you know? Belly Bandit sure does ease the sting!

You can buy Belly Bandit products directly from the company online, or find a retailer near you. Be sure to follow Belly Bandit on Twitter, “like” Belly Bandit on Facebook and check out Belly Bandit on YouTube.

Although there are no affiliate links within this post, I love Belly Bandit products so much, that I signed up as an affiliate. Please see the banner in the footer, or on my affiliates page if you would like to support this blog while making a purchase. 🙂

FTC compliance: I received one Belly Bandit at no charge for review purposes. The other two items were purchased by me at normal retail prices. I was not compensated for this post and all opinions are my own.

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Baby Products Breastfeeding Giveaway Pregnancy Review

My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow/Products Review & $150 Giveaway (CLOSED 1/10)

My Brest Friend 1 package

My Brest Friend has tons of fabulous products, but they are probably most well known for their original nursing pillow. If you have ever watched a certain TLC show about a mega-sized family, you have probably seen one! 🙂 (Do note that My Brest Friend does not recommend using the pillow while walking around like you will see on this show!) Anyhoo, My Brest Friend sent me a ton of fabulous products to try, and you have the chance to win some too.

3-in-1-body 3-in-1-body-2

The 3-in-1 body pillow ($55.95 retail) is a streamlined pregnancy body pillow designed to provide maximum support without hogging all the bed space!

My Brest Friend 2 body pillow My Brest Friend 3 length

It has a built in wedge for your belly and a comfy spot to rest your head.

My Brest Friend 4 belly wedge My Brest Friend 5 top

It also has a removable cover so you can keep the pillow clean!

My Brest Friend 6 cover

The pillow will help keep your head, belly and knees/hips supported and keep you comfy all night!

pregnancy-wedge My Brest Friend 7 pregnancy wedge

If you don’t want the whole body pillow, consider the pregnancy wedge instead!

My Brest Friend 8 side My Brest Friend 9 cover

The pregnancy wedge can be used behind your lower back for lumbar support, or at bedtime under your belly for or between your legs for better hip, leg and back alignment at night. The 100% cotton cover zips off for easy cleaning. The wedge retails for $15.95.

mixed-burp-cloths My Brest Friend 10 burp cloths

The extra large burp cloths sell for $19.95/3 pack, and are available in pink, blue and mixed colors.

My Brest Friend 11 size My Brest Friend 12 much larger than others

They are super absorbent, 100% cotton and are far larger than the leading burp cloths!


The original nursing pillow is perfect for pretending you are swimming, tee-hee!

My Brest Friend 28 original My Brest Friend 29 open

The pillow is available in loads of different slipcover colors/patterns, and retails for $44. The pillow is firm and flat, and adjust to fit any mom or Dad. The “big name” u-shaped nursing pillow doesn’t work for me because the ends hit the couch back and leave a huge gap between by belly and the pillow. That, combined with the squishy, lumpi-ness of the pillow leads to the baby rolling into the gap! Not so with the My Brest Friend. My husband and even my 6 1/2 year old daughter can use it.

My Brest Friend 30 pocket My Brest Friend 31 removable cover

The wrap around design gives you back support and ensures the pillow supports you and baby without shifting. The buckle is a quiet release, and the pillow even has a pocket (for the remote, your phone, a bottle of water etc.) and removable cover!

My Brest Friend 32 with stuffed animal My Brest Friend 33 stuffed animal 2

Even at 9 months pregnant, I was able to get the pillow to fit with plenty of room!

My Brest Friend 35 cream My Brest Friend 36 cream pjg

My Brest Friend’s All Natural Nipple Cream is a brand new product made with all natural and organic ingredients, with no preservatives or additives!

My Brest Friend 37 cream tube My Brest Friend 38 cream ingreds

It is lanolin free, non-greasy, and doesn’t need to be removed prior to feeding.

My Brest Friend 39 cream squeezed My Brest Friend 40 cream texture

The MSRP of a tube of the nipple cream is $14.95.

The above products are what is up for grabs in the giveaway! My Brest Friend is SO AWESOME, that they sent me a Twins Plus Pillow for my BFF, who is expecting twins in May (baby #3 was a surprise which turned out to be double the surprise. 😉 ) I asked on my Facebook page what twin moms suggested I could do/get for her, and the My Brest Friend twins plus pillow was mentioned more than once. I chatted with MBF about it and they sent one for her! She was really excited since she didn’t know how the “other pillow” could possibly work with twins. You will see a real review in June-ish (whenever she gets the time!) but I played with it myself so I could show you a bit about it now!

Twin-mom-2 features_and_benefits

I just want to say that this pillow is super awesome, whether or not you have twins. Don’t let the name make you think it’s not for you. Though it’s a little pricey at $78, and only available in 2 colors, it is really nice, and I honestly don’t think it would be overkill for a singleton if you want maximum support & comfort!

My Brest Friend 13 twin pillow My Brest Friend 14 features

The Twins Pillow has a lot of the same features as the original like the quiet buckle and storage pocket.

My Brest Friend 21 pocket My Brest Friend 16 adjustable quiet buckle

It also has customizable back support.

My Brest Friend 15 customizable back support

You can also adjust both sides of the Twins Plus Pillow.

My Brest Friend 17 other side adjusts My Brest Friend 18 expanded
My Brest Friend 19 pillow adjusted

It’s perfectly shaped for the best comfort and support.

My Brest Friend 20 incline

I was amazed by how darn comfy it was. I was able to “nurse twins” and still have support for my arms!

My Brest Friend 22 nursing twins

There’s simply no contest between the Twins Plus and “the other pillow.”

My Brest Friend 23 vs the other pillow My Brest Friend 24 vs other pillow top

This is absolutely the best pillow for twins!!

My Brest Friend 25 vs other pillow front My Brest Friend 26 vs other pillow side

Here’s how the Twins Plus stacks up to the original:

My Brest Friend 27 std vs twin

While I’m not giving away a twins pillow, I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about it! Come back in about 6 months to see/hear what my BFF thinks of it!

Giveaway: One reader will receive an awesome My Brest Friend prize package worth over $150! Includes: 3-in-1 body pillow (ARV $55.95), pregnancy wedge (ARV $15.95), 3-pack burp cloths (ARV $19.95), original nursing pillow (ARV $44.00) and nipple cream (ARV $14.95.) Combined ARV $150.80.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This giveaway is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by, nor associated with Facebook. By entering, you release Facebook from any responsibility and understand that the information entered on this form will not be disclosed to Facebook.

FTC compliance: Although I received products at no charge for review purposes, I was not compensated for this post and all opinions are my own.

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Breastfeeding Personal Posts

Breastfeeding…(dun dun DUNNNNN) in PUBLIC! (GASP!)

You may have seen my post about my breastfeeding experiences, but I didn’t say much about nursing in public, A.K.A. “N.I.P.” (aside from the delivery room.) I said I was going to stay away from controversy, and breastfeeding in public seems to be full of it, even amongst breastfeeding supporters! This post is just my usual rambling about what I think. One of my many mottos is “live and let live,” so I really don’t give a Guinea pig’s patootie what you do and I am certainly not intending to shove my opinions down anyone’s throat!

I have heard so many people say they are all for a woman’s right to nurse her baby anywhere…as long as she “covers up.” But what does that even mean? There are lots of covers out there…most remind me of a beautician’s cape/raincoat or something. Some have a rigid collar so Mom can peek and see the baby without being exposed. Some throw a blanket over their shoulder/baby, or others like me wear layers. So what does “covered” mean? I’ve always worn either a nursing top, or a shirt over a tank, so I can pull one up, the other down, and keep my breast and stomach covered (believe me, I’d rather show my milk jug than my postpartum tummy, LOL.) The baby’s face covers the Janet Jackson/Superbowl portion of the whole deal.

It’s possible that someone could catch a glimpse if they were inches from me and staring directly at my chest as the baby unlatched, but I could typically tell when my little ones were getting to that point, and I’d have my other hand ready to yank my shirt down immediately.

I am pretty comfortable nursing anywhere with this method. My kids would not nurse if they were covered. They’d squirm, thrash, squeal, and generally refuse to nurse. With my layer method, I’ve nursed babes to sleep in restaurants (and enjoyed my meal-one handed-in peace and quiet!) and even nursed at the National Zoo. I fact, I’ve had people come close enough to touch the baby’s head, and they still thought s/he was sleeping!

Certainly if you are comfortable with a nursing cover, more power to you. For me, the cape dealie combined with the screeching, uncooperative baby under it feels like a flashing, neon sign advertising what I’m doing. When I’m “N.I.P.” I generally avoid eye contact with anyone, and if I feel (or see out of the corner of my eye) any nasty looks, I’ll talk to the baby, engage my daughter in conversation and/or stare off into the distance and smile sweetly. I’ve never had anyone say anything to me, and I don’t know what I’d do if someone did. The idea makes my heart pound and my cheeks flush, but I’d probably just end up crying from embarrassment!

I’ve nursed a baby while grocery shopping as well. Again, it ends up looking like I’m holding a sleeping baby, and no one’s shopping is disrupted. The other option? Carrying a screeching baby, purse and coupon book through the store, herding my daughter along (pretty soon I will be holding 1 and herding 2!), abandoning my cart while trying to find a place to nurse the baby. Many times I’d end up in the uncomfortably hot or cold car, with whiny, bored other children. Only to go back in and start all over. Both of my kids tended to want to nurse a bit more for comfort when we were away from home, and they often ended up dozing afterwards, which is a total win-win.

For whatever reason, I don’t care much about what strangers think. I’m not doing anything wrong, I’m not showing anything, and I’m doing the most convenient, least disruptive thing for everyone involved. If some stranger ends up telling their neighbor about the crazy breastfeeding lady at the store later, who cares? I’ll never know, I’ll never see them again, and they’ll forget about it by tomorrow.

I feel different about people I know. Whether I have a guest at my home, or I’m a guest in someone else’s home, I will say “do you mind if I nurse here?” Generally the answer is “oh no, go right ahead!” If someone preferred I didn’t, I would definitely ask if there was another place I could go to sit (that’s never happened.) I can’t get comfortable nursing around my in-laws (they did not nurse and were not nursed either), so I end up hiding out when they are visiting while I’m nursing. My kids aren’t typically nurse and done babies, they graze a bit, doze off a little etc. If I try to rush them to get back to the visit, it just leads to a ticked off baby and trips up and downstairs.

My Mom is funny because she will shoo my Dad away/out of the room if I’m nursing, but it doesn’t bother me (or him) one bit. *shrug* I know I made my sister’s boyfriend uncomfortable when I nursed my son across the dinner table in a little cafe, but again, he couldn’t see a thing, and we were all able to enjoy our meals (it was freezing outside and there was simply nowhere else for me to go.) He didn’t say anything, nor did my sister, so hopefully it didn’t bother them too much!

I found it interesting when I went to a “nurse-in” at the mall, and saw everyone’s various nursing styles. There were people with stomachs and breasts totally exposed, some with shirts pulled down and upper breasts exposed, and others who were more inconspicuous like me. None of it bothers me a bit personally. You could take your shirt completely off to nurse and use your nursing bra as a lasso to wrangle your other child…while I might think you were a little weird, I wouldn’t be “offended.” What makes me uncomfortable is making someone else uncomfortable. My instinct is to look at the baby, which makes it look like I’m trying to sneak a peek at the goods, LOL. So I end up having no idea where to look, and getting very squirmy while trying to have a conversation with a nursing mama.

At the “nurse in” I couldn’t help but think that the most “free” breastfeeding mamas were still showing far less skin than at least half of the teenage girls walking around the mall (that are supposedly “fully clothed”) and I won’t even talk about people’s bathing suit coverage! The way I see it, if you see something that offends you, look away. When I took my kids to the carnival, there was a “young man” wearing a shirt that read in big, bold letters “I may be shy, but I have a big …” only his shirt had the d word that rhymes with kick instead of “…” I find that (and those “dangly things” people put on the back of their pickup trucks) to be rather tactless, distasteful, and just plain yucky. So, I look away. Unfortunately having a child who can read makes it more difficult!! For the record, I’m not a total prude, if he wanted to wear that to a bar or something, fine, but why would you wear that at 6 P.M. somewhere that’s full of little kids? Bah.

The other “issue” is that people have different “cut offs” for when a baby is “too old” to nurse in public. Again, I don’t really care what other people do. Though both of my kids nursed until almost two (and my son nursed a lot) no one other than my husband and Mom really knew they were “still nursing” since I was able to distract/delay them a bit as they got older. Well, except the time my 16 month old daughter saw an infant nursing and suddenly decided she needed to “nuss…NUSS!!” right NOW! I thought it was cute, but I realize a lot of people think it’s “gross.”

I was reading a book by Dr. Leman, and I thought it was pretty decent until I read a seemingly random paragraph basically saying that any mother who nursed past 12 months was doing it for selfish reasons and essentially needed some therapy. OK yes, I know I’m taking liberties here but it was enough to make my blood boil and cause my hubby to have to listen to a 10 minute rant about what an idiot this guy is, followed by a vow to boycott him forever. We were outside working in the yard with the radio on last week and some commercial about his wife came on. My husband was confused since I started a mumbling rant about her idiot husband, tee-hee!

Anyhoo, the most recent breastfeeding statistics for Maryland I could find, actually show Maryland’s rates as slightly higher than the national. I find that truly shocking since it seems so rare (and really, the rates are still pretty abyssmal.)

Other than the nurse in, I recall two three occasions where I saw another mom breastfeeding. I almost don’t count the first since it was in the “nursing lounge” a.k.a. bathroom at Nordstrom. Another time, we were eating at a festival at the farm near our house, and saw a mom nursing. I was so surprised and pleased to see another nursing mom, that I think I looked at her a few seconds too long, and she gave me a dirty look. Whoops.

The last time was actually not too long ago at Target. It was a rare trip without the kiddos, and as I was walking out the door, I saw a Mom with 2 other kids, what looked like her Mom, nursing a baby under one of the big cape cover dealies. Again, I was so surprised, that I gave her a double take. I’m not the type to say anything to anyone, but I made the split second decision to tell her she was full of the awesome and to rock on (not my exact words.) We ended up chatting for a few minutes and I left feeling all warm & fuzzy. Really, I thought about how a quick kind word would probably stick with me for the rest of my life, whereas I’d probably take the double take (like I gave her) as negative.

Are you comfortable nursing in public? Do you feel different nursing around strangers vs. people you know?

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