Mamachic

*articles may contain affiliate links*  This post is brought to you courtesy of Mamachic, the versatile scarf and wrap for moms.

If you are a mom who is breastfeeding (or thinking about it) and are looking for a stylish, multi-functional nursing cover, then Mamachic just might be it. Developed over the last few years by Angela Tsai, Mamachic was the answer to her need for something stylish yet had multiple uses for her minimalist lifestyle.

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With the Mamachic, you can:

Cover up easily while nursing – baby will be cool and comfortable under our breathable and light bamboo fabric

Swaddle your baby – our soft bamboo will help them feel warm and snug

Burp your baby on soft, silk-like fabric

Protect your favorite top from spit-up and drool

Feel and look gorgeous and chic on any occasion

I’ve been using the Mamachic as we transitioned from summer to fall and now early winter weather. Mostly, I’m using it for a nursing cover (but sometimes spit happens) and scarf. The girls love to snuggle in it. But there are even more ways I could be using it:

Like I said, I tried a few of the different ways to wear it, but my favorite is as a nursing cover (especially while sitting around a fire!). Once I am done nursing, I could pass it on to another mama or keep it and wear it as a scarf or shirt…or give to the girls as a blankie.

If you know me in real life, ask if you can feel it. I wish I could describe how soft and wonderful the sustainable rayon jersey blend derived from bamboo fibers. You’ll have to trust me that it’s super soft.

mamachic in use
Mama feeding Isla at a rest stop with Mamachic as a cover

Mamachic is available through mamachic.co and retails for $69. It comes in six two-toned options (I picked red/charcoal because I have this thing with gray tones right now).

Bundle Organics

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I was recently traveling for work and like many other moms before me, the line “put on your own mask before you help others” struck a chord with me. We moms all too often give and give and give and then find ourselves forgetting to care for ourselves. While a juice can’t completely solve that for us, Bundle Organics has a tasty option to making sure pregnant and nursing moms get the nutrients we need.

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This line of juices contains vitamins like omega-3 and iron to help keep our bodies caring for us so we can then care for our babies. And there’s more:

  • USDA Organic. Our juices contain only the best and brightest organic fruits and veggies. Flavorless produce need not apply.

  • Safe to Sip. You have enough to think about. That’s why our juices are 100% worry-free. “Raw” and “fresh-pressed” juices might contain harmful bacteria. So we pasteurize our juices for maximum nutrition, flavor, and pow!

  • An Extra Bump. Our juices supplement prenatal vitamins with an extra bump of key vitamins and minerals for healthy development. Folic acid (200mcg). Check! Calcium (100mg). Check! Vitamin D (60IU). Check! Omega-3 (500mg). Check!

  • Hydration, Please. Expecting moms should drink 8 to 10 glasses of fluid a day (that can seem like enough to fill a baby pool!). Luckily, our juices are a delicious alternative to plain ole water, leaving you feeling hydrated and oh-so-healthy.

  • OB-GYN Approved. The first batch of Bundle Organics was made right in our kitchen, but we didn’t trust our taste buds alone. So we consulted with experts from OB-GYNs to leading nutritionists to make sure our juices were packed with all the right stuff – the nutrients and supplements that both mom and baby need. Check out our “About Us” page to find out more about the super smart all-stars behind our brand!

(Information from Bundle Organics)

Now, it’s not as simple as drinking a juice to solve all your “mask moments”, but it’s a start. For me, I haven’t been eating the healthiest, but knowing I have options like this to get in my daily fruits and veggies is a win. Weirdly, I wasn’t loving fruits and veggies as much when I was pregnant with the twins – my post “getting healthy” pregnancy! I wish I’d found out about these juices earlier, but I do like them for supporting my nursing nutritional needs.

Bonus for expecting moms? The green and orange blends include ginger – great for those morning sick days when nothing else seems to sit well. (I even go to this juice now because I don’t always feel great in the mornings after not eating all night then nursing for up to 45 minutes before showering and heading to work – where I eat my breakfast.) Sounds pretty impressive for a prenatal juice, right?

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Although I recommend these juices for their convenience and taste, I am not a certified medical professional.  If you are pregnant or nursing, consider working with your doctor and/or dietitian if you have questions or concerns about drinking juices (such as Bundle Organics) during this life stage.

More information on Bundle Organics can be found at their website: bundleorganics.com

20 Weeks of Liquid Gold

Well, we aren’t done but it was finally time to give in. The twins and I proudly made it to 20 weeks of liquid gold. They were exclusively breastfed for 20 beautiful weeks. Yesterday morning, that had to change per the pediatrician’s advice.

I know there are many of you who wish you were able to say you had the chance to do what I did and that I should be thankful. I get that. Trust me. I know several people who desperately want kids and can’t and yet here I am complaining about “having to give formula” to my third and fourth kids at 20 weeks. Or maybe you really wanted to bond with your babies like I have but didn’t have the supply or ability to do so. I get that hearing complaints like that hurt. I get that I am “lucky”.

Catching up...the #lilburghers #twins are 20 weeks. #milestones

But here’s the thing. I am also very passionate about my kids. All four of them. I want to be able to give them the best, and in turn, I’ve sacrificed quite a few things to make that happen. Like my body and my schedule. I focused and have dedicated so much in the past 12 months to giving my all, 110%, to making sure the twins had every single thing they needed. So forgive me if I say some things that sting — because I’m hurting right now, too.

I cried the whole time Ava sucked down that first tiny bottle of formula yesterday morning. The tears were hot, but deep down I knew I was doing the right thing for my sweetie. She’s not gaining weight like she needs to because I am not giving her fatty milk.

This is what is for the best, I have to convince myself of that every single minute of the day. I haven’t failed, but it doesn’t take away my sadness. The thing is, when you make something your all, it really hurts when you don’t make your goals or are told you’re not doing enough. But I have to move past that and not let this get the best of me.

If you are of the praying kind, I could use a few. This week, I also stopped claiming my post-partum anxiety, so that means I am trying hard to naturally calm my nerves through breathing, prayer, and rest instead of medication.

And guess what? Even though I am anxious about the next 20+ weeks of our journey, it’s still going to be a breastfeeding journey. We’ll still have our morning, late afternoon, evening, and night sessions, just with a little extra mama milk or formula. My girlies need to grow. Just because I had to give the girls supplemental formula for the first time (20 weeks + 1 day) does not mean that I failed. It’s just (as Michelle told me) another way to buy the peaches.

Bonus? I realized that Evan nursed for 6.5 months before I had to give him formula. I was able to feed two babies for 20 weeks (40 weeks total if you x it by 2), so that’s a huge win. Mama’s got this, right?

What is something you have struggled with lately? How are you looking to overcome the fear and anxiety of failure and turn it around? 

LatchPal

Are you following me over on Instagram? Let me tell you, this is the place to be when it comes to my current social media obsession. Thanks to IG, I was lucky enough to connect with Melissa of LatchPal and bring you today’s post! 

As you know, I’m a proud breastfeeding Mama of twins. Our favorite public method on these hot spring days has been to wear a nursing tank and a t-shirt then just adjust appropriately in order to discreetly nurse without having to cover the baby (Ava hates being covered up). Thank goodness I found out about LatchPal, a clip to help aid breastfeeding and pumping – with this handy accessory, I can nurse this way even easier.

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Basically, the clip pulls mom’s shirt up and and out of the way so that baby is free to nurse away. It is simple enough to use one-handed, and pretty enough to wear with a variety of shirts. I actually put mine on the wrong way  the first time I tried. This is what we looked like:

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So, it worked, but I did things the complicated way (go figure). I clipped the loop to the clip. All the clip has to do is clip on the shirt. There’s a magnet inside that the loop just “sticks” to when you loop it over the top of the clip – just like it is on the packaging shown above. Oops. Even the complicated way, I love this product because it is simple and convenient. A great addition to every nursing mama’s life.

Don’t just take my word for it. Here is how LatchPal’s founder, Melissa, describes this breastfeeding product:

LatchPal is a nursing clip that secures a mother’s shirt during breastfeeding. Like you, I found it inconvenient and annoying to continually re-position my shirt. LatchPal not only eliminates this issue by preventing your shirt from slipping, but also frees your hands so you can hold your child more securely. It can also be used while pumping and to eliminate that embarrassing fumbling, when nursing in public!

LatchPal was created by a mom, like you, who knows what you’re going through! Our product was inspired by our little boy and we’ve named our company after him; Happy Fig LLC. LatchPal is a parent-tested, mother-approved, and made in the USA; we hope you like it!

There are four colors (Sparkly silver, Pink stripe, Gray Chevron, & Dots) and each LatchPal is $14.95. You can purchase them online. Follow on Instagram and Twitter @latchpal.

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Minbie: Nuturing Baby’s Instincts

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Provided things go well with my healing, I’ll be headed back to work in a few weeks (gulp). This means the girls have been getting used to bottles. We’ve tried three different kinds of bottles in the last 6 weeks, including one sent to me to test out, the Minbie. According to US Family Guide, Minbie is “the result of 10 years R&D by and Australian Mom, who was frustrated with the inadequacies of the functionality of generic bottle teat on the market when she had children, with the bottles taking over breastfeeding rather then supporting a baby’s ability to breastfeed well”.

Here’s what the Minbie nipple looks like. TMI alert, this is not the shape that my babies are used to.

Minbie Nipple
Source: US Family Guide

How is Minbie different than other teats?

Our research has found that generic and orthodontic bottle-teats can quickly teach newborns a different latch and feeding-action to the newborn’s natural instinctive breastfeeding technique. This may be sufficient for bottle feeding, but it can cause feeding confusion and problems such as a ‘weak latch’ and ‘lazy feeding’ when the baby is breastfeeding.

How did Minbie work for the twins?

When I was asked to participate in the review, they suggested only using the Minbie. Any issues with using it could indicate that baby’s instinctive feeding technique had been damaged. Unfortunately, before the product arrived, we had to introduce bottles (in the hospital, not really our choice, but it kept the girls out of the NICU). Both Ava and Isla took from the Minbie without any problem; however, at this stage in their feeding game, it’s not their favorite. That’s not to say it didn’t work. Look at Isla’s latch.

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She was able to latch really well with the Minbie. This is what is happening inside the baby’s mouth when they drink from this bottle:

Source: US Family Guide

 

The only downside I have to report (what makes it not our top go-to bottle) is that the flow is very slow. My milk must come out pretty quick for the girls, so they do not do well with any bottle with a slower nipple. What’s happening with our Minbie bottles? We will likely use them more around the 4-month mark, when they are a little more advanced and eating slower. (The bottles are for babies ages 0-6 months.)

Information on Minbie, from US Family Guide: 

We passionately believe that you should be able to breastfeed and bottle-feed your baby.

To help you, we have created Minbie, which is a teat designed to support your newborn’s instinctive breastfeeding technique. This means that when newborns feed from Minbie, they practice the instinctive latch and feeding-action for nurturing breastfeeding. This is a significant breakthrough in matching breast and bottle-feeding techniques and preventing feeding-confusion*.

For newborns who can not be breastfed, we created Minbie to allow them to bottle-feed with the instinctive breastfeeding technique that they are born with because why shouldn’t they be able to feed intuitively with the technique that is developmentally right for them and that helps release digestive enzymes for proper digestion of the milk.

You can find out more about Minbie (and purchase it) on their website, minbie.com. Because they are an Australian company, they subsidize shipping to the US only charging $6.20 USD.

Really? Really?

This week’s Life With Levi breastfeeding blog hop is about Dumb Breastfeeding Comments.

I usually don’t like to give you guys the cloudy side of life from our side of tahn, but today’s blog hop is indeed dedicated to the dumb things that people say about breastfeeding. And I’ve heard a few funny things…but I can only laugh and not let them get me down. If you are a victim of telling me these things, no fear. I took no offense–I hope I was able to react kindly and let you know that I am proud to be a nursin’ mama, doing the best for ‘Lil Man that I can.

Here are a few gems in my treasure box…

+ Are you really still nursing him? Shouldn’t he be done with that by now? (At three months)

+ I don’t know how you can keep that up. I would’ve gave up long ago.

+ Aren’t his teeth sharp?

+ Isn’t carrying that pump around annoying?

+ How many times a week do you need to use the Mother’s Room? (REALLY? A WEEK???)

+ Doesn’t it get old?

+ He’s going to have mommy issues.

+ You really can do that in public?

+ Are you just doing that to save money? They do make coupons for formula you know.

+ Don’t you miss your freedom/independence?

+ What do you mean you have to carry milk home in a cooler to your baby? (Someone at an airport)

+ When do you cut him off? Isn’t 6 months good enough?

+ Doesn’t it get old?

+ (And my personal favorite…which I actually find VERY hilarious…) Wait, so you switch sides…so does that mean one is flavored differently, like one is chocolate milk or something?

But then, these funny comments make me realize how little education there is out there on breastfeeding, benefits, and practices. My hope is I can help bring exposure and positive light to those around me…if they are willing to hear. But don’t stop asking the questions–it’s better to know the truth, right?

Call it a Throwback–A Victory for Lil Miss A and Mama

This week’s Life With Levi breastfeeding blog hop is about Breastfeeding Celebrations.

Usually, I talk about the great things happening for Lil Man and I, so there is always something to celebrate with us. Today, I’d like to share a little bit a personal celebration I had when I tried to nurse Lil Miss A (before we realized that she had a milk issue and I had a soy issue).

Lil Miss A was decently interested in trying to nurse; however, the nurses at the hospital gave her a bottle and a pacifier relatively quickly. Being a single mom, I felt sort of helpless, so I didn’t demand that neither happened (like we did with Lil Man). My parents and friends were supportive of us trying, but the nurses weren’t too helpful and there was no access to an LC while I was in the hospital.

They did recommend this crazy shield that I had to apply before we tried to nurse. This little clear piece of rubber was a huge pain in the butt. If she was hungry, I had to whip it out, apply, then try to get her to latch. For the first two weeks, she didn’t really want to eat without it; however, I have to admit I did many a happy dance when she latched without it (by the end of our nursing time).

Sometimes, it’s the little things, like celebrating freedom from a shield or that I am able to say I did feed Lil Miss A for about four weeks. We worked through issues, and those are also quite worthy of celebration and recognition.

Nursing Mamas? What celebrations, big or small, did you have while breastfeeding your babes? Drop on by the blog hop and share!

Style with Function: Is it Possible?

I laugh when I think about me as someone who worries about style. Back in my single days, I didn’t really care if I went out in pajama pants and a completely mismatched shirt. The folks over at “What Not to Wear” would probably have a hay-day in my closet. But when it comes to nursing clothing, I feel like there is a need to have clothes that are stylish yet functional.

Trust me. I have seen some of the nursing clothes out there. Clearly, these clothes were not designed for the Coco Chanel every little girl has within. They are stuffy or boring. Or stuffy and boring. And if you chose to not go with the stuffy/boring lifestyle, you usually are given something to pick from that has stripes (yeah, cause every single nursing mom with enlarged breasts needs stripes). Or low cut–helllllooooo cleavage! Sorry boys, but these ladies belong to Mr. E!

Maybe my experience with nursing clothing is so boring because I am a plus-sized mama. Maybe they just don’t make clothes that have some flair and function to them.

What is my go-to, then? Well, I can tell you one thing. I absolutely MUST have a good nursing bra for starters.

The quest for a good, supportive non-wire nursing bra has failed me; however, I have made do with a decent style from Target, Gilligan & O’Malley. They also sell great nursing tanks; however, wearing them to the office just doesn’t feel right (for me, I need to wear nursing necessities to work due to pumping–I’ve had many a Lane Bryant “dip” bra get stuck in the pump flanges). So pretty much, I wear the heck out of my choices during the weekdays and immediately change when I get home from work.

And what goes on top? If you want the honest truth, I gave up on my search for a decent “stylish” nursing shirt and just wear something comfortable. One day I was nursing while wearing my Steeler jersey and my grandmother pointed out, “You know, they make shirts with buttons for a reason”. Well, sorry Grandma, but they don’t make cute Steeler button down shirts for a lady of my size and age. Basically, I won’t compromise the little bits of “style” that I do have for nursing function. I make it work.

But I am dying to hear if there IS an option out there for me. I mean, I do have a few months left in nursing. So is there something you recommend? What about with summer coming–tanks will work like a breeze, but what am I going to do about swimming? So many questions, but so worth making that little man of mine full and happy, right?

I chose to write this post as part of Life With Levi’s Breastfeeding Blog Hop. This week’s topic is Nursing Clothing. One other “nursing clothing” must I have is my PumpEase because it makes pumping so easy. You can check out my thoughts about the Pump Ease here on my blog. Enjoy!

Eating for Two: My Year Long Struggle

About a year ago now, we found out we were pregnant with baby number two and about 4 weeks later (or 7 weeks in), my body began its cycle of “I HATE YOU BEING PREGNANT”. I had food aversions to every.single.thing.I.loved. There was no more chicken. No more ice cream. No more fries. Pretty much, I was destined to eat crackers and popsicles like I did with my first baby.

After about 5 months, I had lost 20 pounds, the amount I had lost by my 39 week appointment with Miss A. Like my first pregnancy, my OB was not concerned with my weight loss because the baby was healthy and my measurements kept up with my due date. They said it was ok because I was overweight in the first place, so not to worry. Then, out of nowhere, my appetite came back but the nausea did not go away. I had to rely on Zofran to get through my days without being sick. This let me gain back the 20 pounds and birth a 9 pound 1 ounce healthy baby boy.

Even though I struggled with nursing my daughter, I wanted to try again with Lil Man. Thank goodness I did, because this little one is a comfort nurser (more to come on that in the future!). He was wanting to eat all the time, so what did I want to do? Eat ALL.THE.TIME. It was like my body was making up for what it couldn’t do during the nine months I was pregnant.

I did some research and joined online weight trackers because not only did I want to try to lose baby weight, I wanted to lose post-single life weight, post-college weight, post-high school weight…etc. Well, all of the trackers told me I could eat more calories per day because I was feeding him. But because I somewhere deep inside DO love my body (even if society doesn’t), I wanted to make sure what I was putting in it was good for me and good for him.

This wellness kick was really jump started about 2 months ago when I joined a Wellness Challenge at work. For me, the biggest thing is getting active, but also making healthier decisions. To be honest, I have not lost any weight since joining (I go up and down each week), but I do have a few crutches–I still don’t feel like I am eating enough to eat for him and me both, I am suffering from a bad case of vertigo and exercising hasn’t been friendly, and work has been extremely busy. Excuses aside, I try to eat healthy for Lil Man and I while I do indulge on a few delights every once in awhile.

My go-to treats have been:

Salads–I try to eat two a day if I can–with the Wishbone spray dressings (10 sprays=10 calories and PLENTY of dressing for my salads)
Cottage Cheese–1%, even though I CRAZY crave 4%!
Water–lots and lots and lots of it.
Granola
Yogurt
Mangos
Carrots
Apples

Lil Man and I are benefiting from my choices, and I have to constantly remind myself of that with every single bite that goes into my mouth. It is hard, but not impossible. What are your favorite “good for you” foods? How do you keep a balance?

I chose to write this post as part of Life With Levi’s Breastfeeding Blog Hop. This week’s topic is Healthy Eating. Enjoy!