World Breastfeeding Week 1

World Breastfeeding Week 2016 + Giveaway!

Happy World Breastfeeding Week!

 

World Breastfeeding Week is always celebrated the first week in August and runs August 1st through August 7th all over the world!

Every year we celebrate women, their children, and their breastfeeding relationship. I get super excited this time of year because it can be such an empowering week. Many women will share their personal breastfeeding stories and pictures throughout social media. Not only does this help normalize breastfeeding, but also gives confidence to many women who may be struggling.

Not only is breastfeeding important for mom and baby, but this year’s World Breastfeeding theme is “on raising awareness of the links between breastfeeding and the Sustainable Development Goals. By recognizing that breastfeeding is a key to sustainable development, we will value our wellbeing from the start of life, respect each other and care for the world we share.” This statement is so true and I am so happy that this has become the theme for this year.

World Breastfeeding Week 1

During this week, communities all over the world hold different celebrations to help spread the word about breastfeeding. One common event held in Central Iowa is the Big Latch On. Check here to see if there is one near you!

To help celebrate all the women who breastfeed, I am excited to hold a great giveaway! I am giving away a Kiinde Breastmilk Storage Set and a box of Ameda Store ‘n Pour Breast Milk Storage Bags.

The Kiinde Breastmilk Storage Set is an AMAZING set! It includes twist pouches where you can directly pump into, the adapters where so you can connect the pouches to your pump and is compatible with ALL major pumps, a squeeze natural feeding bottle, and much more! BONUS: There is also a Foodii Toddler Feeding Gift Pack inside!

The Ameda Store ‘n Pour Breast Milk Storage Bags are also great! When pumping milk you want to make sure that precious “gold” will not leak out! These bags have an easy-close zip seal so they will not leak. Freezer safe and no BPA and DEHP.

Breastfeeding does not strictly mean your baby exclusively nurses from your breast, but it includes those who work and pump, or who may exclusively pump. As a mother who breastfed two children 18 months and beyond, I know the challenges of working full-time and providing breastmilk and breastfeeding to your child exclusively. Having reliable products to ease the pumping and feeding is crucial!

Enter to win below! The giveaway ends Sunday, August 7th and I will announce a winner next week!

Enter here!

Preparing for Breastfeeding-3

Preparing for Breastfeeding

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. 

When you discover you are expecting, it is an exciting time! If you are a first-time mother, or you already have children at home, there are a lot of things that go through your mind. A lot of times creating a baby registry is the exciting and fun part of pregnancy. Picking out all the cute baby swings, bedding, clothes, high chairs, strollers, is fun, but also making sure you add breastfeeding necessities to your list is important.

Preparing for Breastfeeding-3

 

Every mother should make a decision whether they will want to breastfeed or attempt to breastfeed early on in their pregnancy so they can begin preparing for breastfeeding. There are several different items to add to your baby registry, classes you may want to take, create a resource list, and research support groups in your area to help you prepare for breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding Supplies

If you are a first-time mom you may be thinking, “what more do I need then my breast and the baby?” Luckily, in our day and age there are several tools and supplies that can help and guide you in a successful breastfeeding relationship. Adding these items to your baby registry, so your loved ones can purchase them for you, is a great way to prepare for breastfeeding.

Nipple Cream – When you begin nursing and when your baby is a newborn, there will be a lot of frequent and long feedings. Your nipples may become sore and cracked. This is a common reason many women end their breastfeeding relationship. My personal favorite nipple cream is Natural Nipple Butter from Earth Mama, Baby Angel. This specific nipple cream contains no preservatives or additives and it does not need to be removed before breastfeeding. It is completely safe for your baby.

136_std_1450373153

Nursing pads – As a breastfeeding mother, leaking nipples is very common. It is also even more common at the beginning of breastfeeding as your body is still getting used to a cycle and rhythm of breastfeeding with your newborn. To help contain leaking breast milk, using nursing pads are recommended. There are several different varieties available and there are also ways you can make your own!

Breast pump – If you are planning on going back to work or even being away for the baby a few hours or days at a time, investing in a breast pump is important. There are several different types of breast pumps available. A very popular breast pump is the Medela. Most health insurances cover the purchase of a breast pump or give you a credit to use towards a breast pump. You can also rent a breast pump too. Make sure you contact your health insurance early on in your pregnancy so you can make sure you have it before the baby arrives!

Breast pump shield – If you are purchasing or renting a breast pump, you will need to get some breast pump shields. These are what hook up to the breast pump tubes and cover your nipples as it suctions breast milk out of your breasts. There are different sizes available and it depends on how big your breasts are. Purchasing these before the baby arrives may be a bit difficult, but you may be able to gage what size you need.

Bottles – Yes you are planning to breastfeed, but if you know you will need to pump then you will need to purchase bottles to pump in to. I recommend buying bottles that are the same brand as your pump. For example, if you purchase/rent a Medela pump, purchase Medela bottles and caps. You will know they will fit properly. These do not need to be the bottles you feed your baby with. Once the baby arrives you can figure out which bottle and nipple to use. Sometimes it takes several to determine what your baby will like.

Breastfeeding cover – As a new mother, it may an awkward and little uncomfortable to breastfeed in public. Adding a breastfeeding cover to your registry is a great idea and will help you feel comfortable when breastfeeding in public. They have lots of fun prints and come in all different sizes.

Nipple shields – There are a lot of products on the market such as nipple shields that are used to help with a baby’s latch. I highly recommend to NOT purchase these items. Some of these products can really cause issues with breastfeeding. If there is an issue, contacting a lactation consultant is recommended. Your lactation consultant may recommend one for you at that time and set-up a plan on how to use it.

Check out this wonderful Breastfeeding Essentials Bundle, you can add to your registry list!

B_003_breastfeeding_essentials_bundle__56968.1450376942.800.800

Classes & Lactation Consultants

Alright, so you have some of the necessities prepared for breastfeeding, but it is also extremely important to learn about breastfeeding and meet/introduce yourself to someone who will be available to help, if there are issues.

A lot of local hospitals offer basic breastfeeding classes that discuss the anatomy of the breast, stages of breastfeeding, when your breast milk will come in, the types of breast milk, how your baby has an effect on your breast milk, cues to look for when breastfeeding your baby, and much more. There is a lot of information and having a little background will help you feel a bit more comfortable when you behind this journey with your newborn.

Introducing and meeting a lactation consultant is also important or even just having their contact information. A lactation consultant is a trained professional with lots of education and hours of experience in breastfeeding. If there are any issues or questions at all, contacting this individual will help you tremendously. A lot of lactation consultants will even make home visits.

Support Groups

A lot of communities have breastfeeding support groups available. Do your research and find out what support groups are available in your community and the dates and times they meet. Breastfeeding support groups, such a La Leche League, is not only a place to ask questions about breastfeeding, but is also a great place to socialize and meet other mothers traveling the same breastfeeding journey as you.

There are lots of aspects to preparing for a baby when you discover you are pregnant, but preparing for breastfeeding is extremely important too! Make sure you do your research and be prepared before your new bundle of joy arrives.

If you are located in Central Iowa, check our local Business Directory for lactation consultants, breastfeeding groups, where to rent and/or buy a breast pump and more! 

If purchasing tickets make sure to use my code for $5 off!

MommyCon 2016

I am so honor to be a MommyCon Sisterhood Blogger, again!

cdc4d556-79d8-49d5-b6ef-3b092dfec1c2_zps1a955471

I have been to this amazing conference two years in a row and truly believe this is the best conference for expecting mothers, new mothers, or moms with toddlers! AND it’s not just for moms! Spouses can learn so much too! The focus of MommyCon is to focus on natural parenting methods. Whether it be babywearing, cloth diapering, breastfeeding, or car seat safety there is a topic you can learn more about.

There are five main components to a MommyCon Conference:

  1. VIP events are hosted the Friday before most of the MommyCon Conferences. For an additional amount of money (amounts vary) you can attend a smaller, more intimate seminar to learn more about a company or topic. You will also receive another awesome swag bag! 🙂 Check out when I attended the VIP event with Jenn Labit from Cottonbabies last year!
  2. The swag bag. This is just one of the many ways you can receive amazing freebies! There have been blankets, cloth diapers, full size samples, and so much more. A swag bag is included with every MommyCon ticket!
  3. There are awesome seminars to attend through out the day that may include Cloth Diapering 101 with Jenn Labit (love her!), Babywearing 101 with Beco and Ergobaby, The In’s and Out’s of Natural Birthing, and more. Each conference location differ with seminars and guest speakers!
  4. The shopping is fun! Throughout the day, there are booths set-up that may include cloth diapers, babywearing carriers and accessories, bottles, clothes, games and toys, breastfeeding support, breast pumps, car seats, and much, much more. A lot of the booths giveaway freebies and it’s a great place to touch, ask questions, and test out products before you buy!
  5. At the end of the day is a massive giveaway to all attendees for the conference! EVERYTHING and EVERYONE is free game! You could win an entire car seat travel system, crib, breast pump, gift certificates, and so much more. It is so much fun!

You have several chance to attend a conference AND maybe you can attend two 🙂 Check out the dates and locations below! Check out specific details about each event here!

  • MommyCon Atlanta: Saturday, February 6th
  • MommyCon Chicago: Saturday, March 5th
  • MommyCon Seattle: Saturday, April 2nd
  • MommyCon Austin: Saturday, June 25th
  • MommyCon DC: Saturday, July 23rd
  • MommyCon Orange County: Saturday, August 20th
  • MommyCon Orlando: Saturday, September 3rd
  • MommyCon San Jose: Saturday, October 29th

This year there are two additional conferences that focus on infant feeding and babywearing! You will NOT want to miss these either!

  • WEAR: Babywearing Conference in Chicago: May 27th – 29th
  • MILK: An Infant Feeding Conference in Orange County: Nov 11th – Nov 12th

If you are planning to attend, make sure you use the discount code Midwest16 to receive $5 off your ticket for any conference!

If purchasing tickets make sure to use my code for $5 off!

Keep your eyes open! I will be giving away tickets to the MommyCon Chicago conference very soon! 🙂

8PPDoulaHelp

The Leaky B@@B: MommyCon 2015

MommyCon 2015 Must See & Do!-2

I am getting more and more excited for MommyCon Minneapolis. I cannot wait for TheBabyGuyNYC, the Cloth Diaper Resource Center, The Great Cloth Diaper Change aaaaaand …. The Leaky B@@B!

Unknown(Image Source)

The Leaky B@@B is managed and ran by Jessica Martin-Weber, with the help of her husband and other volunteers. The Leaky B@@B site, Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter account were created to help bring breastfeeding mothers together for support.

Jessica is a passionate mother, of six, who strongly believes that it is every woman’s right to breastfeed their children wherever and whenever. She is an advocate for all mothers. Not only is she passionate about breastfeeding, but she is an inspiration and encouraging to mothers who are struggling with parenting.

Unknown(Image Source)

The Leaky B@@B website and blog is a wonderful resource for inspiration, real stories, and a great place to go to get questions answered! The Leaky B@@b Marketplace is a great resource to check out. It categorizes different products and businesses that help naturalize breastfeeding and making it easier for mothers to breastfeed. The Leaky Love is also a great place to visit if you are feeling discouraged and need support. In this section comments and questions from other mothers, from all over, are shared. It is a great place to look if you need to be reassured you are not alone!

I am REALLY looking forward to hearing Jessica from The Leaky B@@b speak at MommyCon Minneapolis Saturday, April 18th! Do not forget you can receive $5 off your MommyCon tickets when you use my code!

d900e445-a1c1-495a-9c21-aa79381ea7c9_zpsuduvqtr8 (1)

 

8PPDoulaHelp

Awesome resource for YOU!

I am really excited to share something new I have added to the Midwest Mom & Wife blog! If you look at the tab options at the top, there is a new tab titled ‘Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond’. After a lot of time and compiling all my resources, I created this resource for YOU.

When I created Midwest Mom & Wife,  one of my many goals, was to share with you my experiences and passions about: pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, babywearing, cloth diapering, co-sleeping, and attachment parenting. Every now and then, I blog and mention these categories. If you follow my Facebook page, you know that I have a passion for these topics! I did not become familiar with these topics until after I had my son, Monte. I sure wished that there was a resource, that compiled all of these articles, book titles, local groups, local resources, etc. in one spot.

Over the past three years, I have bookmarked favorite sites and articles that have helped me make decisions regarding my pregnancy, birthing, and parenting. I have broken down the ‘Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond’ tab into six topics:

  1. Pregnancy & Birth
  2. Breastfeeding
  3. Attachment Parenting
  4. Cloth Diapering
  5. Babywearing
  6. Co-Sleeping

In each of these topics I have compiled links and resources for you to learn more about the topic. Some may include my own blog posts, resources, memberships, services, articles and websites.

Please remember, that these articles and resources, are just information for you to gather your own opinions and decisions. When it comes to these topics there is no right or wrong. The most important thing is that you have done your research and you are informed. I hope these articles and resources, help you do that!

Please feel free to contact me if you provide a service, have a great article and/or resource you think should be included. I would love to add it! I will also be adding as I learn and read more 🙂

maya-quote(Image Source)