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Beautiful Maternity and Breastfeeding News

Breast Milk Soap February 04 2016, 0 Comments

What if you have leftover breast milk that is too old to donate to Milk Banks or use in baby food?  Your liquid gold is still useful...

I have researched some options: 

Have someone make breastmilk soap for you:

Jessica from HBC Organics will make it for you, and is offering a special until March 1st for Bella Materna readers!  

Imagine Custom-made Soap for your baby?!

Use code 'BREASTISBEST' for 15% off your special order of home made organic soap.

Healthy By Choice Breastmilk Soap order page

You only need 6-10oz, you need to ship via overnight service & wraped in ice (USPS is only about $15 Shipping overnight).  She charges $50-15%= $42.50 + postage.  

You could spend more than that on 10 bars of organic baby soap, let alone soap naturally made for only for your baby.  She has tons of other healthy organic hand made items on her site, check it out!

breast milk soap


Make your own Breastmilk Soap:

Here are a few recipes to get you started (we liked this one and this one), the key component in each is breast milk. You'll need between 1 and 6 cups, as you have extra, simply freeze it off into ice cubes to use later on in the process. Keeping it frozen will help keep the temperature down when it's later combined with the lye (which raises the temperature dramatically).  Here is the earliest breastmilk soap recipe circa 1999 from Traditional Midwife. 

breast is best

Benefits of Breast milk in your soap:

You can expect that there are warnings, but mostly don't do this if you have a disease or an infection, pretty standard.  I found alot of information on this Inhabitots Blog.

Overall, let me be clear that I understand breast milk is not always easy to come by, especially pumping!   We all know its primary use is to feed your little one!  

Anyone have other suggestions or uses for your breast milk?  

Please comment!

Take Care,

Anne Dimond | Bella Materna

Ted Talk | The Amercian Case for Paid Maternity Leave - sharing video November 04 2015, 0 Comments

Travelling, Pumping & Working... Jessica Writes September 27 2015, 0 Comments

It is a great time to travel when your new bundle of joy is right in your arms, and breastfeeding because your baby is with you is really great!  

Now, the hard part, if you are travelling and pumping and working?!!

Our friend Jessica Shortall has writen an excellent book, part mom story, part 411, from her wild travel experiences working for TOMS (yes the famous shoe company).  

 You can buy her book at Amazon or many other places.

Work, Pump, Repeat; Jessica Shortall Breastfeeding Pumping Working Mom


 Here is the link to her info-graphic

Below is the text of her info-graphic on breastfeeding + pumping while travelling/working.

 1. Call ahead

Call the client office, conference center, or venue where you'll be spending time. Find a friendly person and straight-up tell them you're breastfeeding and need their help identifying a private place to pump, and a fridge to store milk.

2.  Prepare for the airport

Pack your individual breast pump parts in ziploc bags in case the TSA worker wants to inspect them.  Minimize your carry-ons, because you'll have a bag or cooler full of milk on your way home.  

**Print this TSA provided link that says you're allowed to travel with a pump and as much breastmilk as you want.

3.  Learn to pump in a bathroom

 Family restrooms are the best because they have outlets and counters and sinks. But in a bind, you can use your pump's battery pack and stand in a stall with the pump bag hung on the door hook. Throw the pump parts in a Ziploc and worry about washing them later.

4. Hotel

If they won't give you a fridge, say "FOR MEDICAL REASONS" until they cave. If they make you use the minibar, tell them that you expect not to be charged for moving stuff out of there. And if there just is no fridge, demand access to a kitchen fridge for your "medicine." Get the location of this fridge in writing so you can help the morning shift-worker find it when you check out.

Supplies List-

- Reusable, lined lunchbag (for bringing milk home) for 1-2 day trip

- Soft-sided 6-pack cooler for 3-7 day trip

- Lots of large, slider-top Ziploc bags

- More breastmilk storage bags than you think you'll need

- Gel ice packs (in a pinch, get a flight attendent or airport bartender to put ice in some empty breastmilk storage bags)

- A big shawl in case you need to pump somewhere less-than-private

 - Book: Work. Pump. Repeat: The New Mom's Survival Guide to Breastfeeding and Going Back to Work by Jessica Shortall Abrams Image, out September 8, 2015

*Took a little liberty to add a few items:

- We recommend packing  2-4 Bella Materna Nursing Bras, Nursing Tanks, Nursing Gowns, Nursing Essentials. you will need to have these key tools while you are on the road.  We have underwire or wirefree nursing bras available to fit 32-44 B-J cups.

Smooth Wirefree Nursing Bra by Bella MaternaSexy TShirt Nursing Bra

- Breast Leak Prevention

we have 2 options:


Lily Padz Silicone prevents leaks - these are nice because you only need 1 pair, less bulk, easier to travel, easy to clean, quick to dry.  When you notice they are not sticking, that indicates when they need to be cleaned.  Use your body soap or shampoo to clean them.

Bamboo Travel Nursing Pads - if you leak be sure you have these extra soft and easy to use Bamboo Disposable Nursing Pads.  Made with the absolute best materials, Eco Pure, and extra milk barrier to ensure no leaks make their way.  

Bamboo Travel Nursing Pad



Take care - get plenty of rest and water, 


Bella Materna|President|Mom






Nursing Bra Controversy: Wire-Free or Underwire? September 21 2015, 1 Comment

Nursing Bra Controversy: Wire-Free or Underwire?

Since 2000 we have been in the business of making maternity bras for expecting women and nursing bras for breastfeeding moms,  the first question usually is Wire or No Wire.

First off, this is just personal experience, not simply medical advice.  If you are having issues with clogged ducts, and pain, especially fever ---  quickly find a local Lactation Consultant.  It is worth the money!

In 15 years, I have had no more than 5 customers raise concern about our bras causing a clogged duct for them.  One woman was local, she came into our shop -- she had on a Wirefree bra....but the fit was way too tight! 

We have successfully offered our patented Flexywire  and Wirefree bras for almost 15 years now, and it seems to come down to a few things to be aware of in this realm.  I realize that most doctors still don't recommend and underwire, but I bet it has more to do with caution because of a worst case scenario, than the success women have had breastfeeding with underwire nursing bras for years.

breastfeedingOur breastfeeding model Audrey 


1. Bra Fit

If the fit of the bra is too tight and constricting, this can easily cause the clogged ducts.  A key location is the bra cup seam - notice if it is digging in, especially if that seam is on top of breast tissue.  It should be supporting tissue, not cutting it off.  Also, loose saggy bras can be a culprit too!  If your breast tissue is not supported well enough, gravity can be working against your milk flow.

2. Genetics

Some women are pre-disposed to getting clogged ducts, or worse - mastitis.  If you know this about yourself, personally I recommend not to play Russian Roulette - just go tp a good bra fitter (usually a local lingerie boutique or a customer service focused department store like Nordstrom) and get a wirefree nursing bra.  I highly recommend our Smooth Cup Wirefree bra especially if you are an E-H cup, also our Mesh Plunge or Anytime Bras are good wirefree alternatives.

3. Low tech 

If you are not pre-disposed to mastitis in a severe way, I personally found if there was a sore spot on my breast I would rub it firmly.  Usually I would be able to find the duct which was a little clogged (on all different spots) and like a cramp, you can gently massage it. It seemed to work for me, but again this is not medical advice - just my personal experience.  

4. Heal after birth - grow into breastfeeding

You just birthed a baby (vaginally or surgically it is traumatic on your body) give yourself time to recover and heal.  Even though I am a fan of the underwire - I needed a couple of weeks to get used to breastfeeding, feeling comfortable and in a good rhythem with my baby boy.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions - we have helped thousands of women over these years.

Toll Free: 1-888-700-8438 (10am - 3pm PST)


Chat on our website: 


Here is another resource for

Take care - get plenty of rest and water, 


Bella Materna|President|Mom


USA Health Reform and Breastfeeding Mothers July 27 2015, 0 Comments

Federal Health Reform and Nursing Mothers

President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on March 30, 2010. (See the combined full text of Public Laws 111-148 and 111-152 here.)  Among many provisions, Section 4207 of the law amends the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 (29 U.S. Code 207) to require an employer to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child's birth each time such employee has need to express milk. The employer is not required to compensate an employee receiving reasonable break time for any work time spent for such purpose. The employer must also provide a place, other than a bathroom, for the employee to express breast milk.  If these requirements impose undue hardship, an employer that employs fewer than 50 employees is not subject to these requirements. The federal requirements shall not preempt a state law that provides greater protections to employees.

For more information:

In addition, the ACA requires new private health insurance plans, including those available in the new health insurance marketplaces, to provide coverage for specified women’s preventive health services with no cost sharing (e.g., copayment, coinsurance, or deductible). Breastfeeding support, supplies and lactation counseling are one of these specified preventive services.

For more information:

Hopefully this has given you some insights to the improvements made for pregnant and breastfeeding moms. This information is provided as a resource for you to learn more about your rights.  

If you need help finding the best maternity bras or breastfeeding bras, please contact us.  We are experts in ascertaining which nursing bras will work for you in the long run, and estimating your size and product needs. We love supporting our breastfeeding moms, with full bust nursing bras wirefree or underwire, with nursing accessories and nursing clothing to suit your specific needs.

Take care - get plenty of rest and water, 


Bella Materna|President|Mom

Affordable Care Act: Supporting breastfeeding mothers July 22 2015, 0 Comments

Affordable Care Act: Supporting breastfeeding mothers

The ACA requires new private health insurance plans, including those available in the new health insurance marketplaces, to provide coverage for specified women’s preventive health services with no cost sharing (e.g., copayment, coinsurance, or deductible). Breastfeeding support, supplies and lactation counseling are one of these specified preventive services.

I appreciate that it is covered under 'preventive services', because breastfeeding prevents disease! Why NOT breastfeed or use breastmilk banks?

exerpt from National Confrence for State Legislators:

Preventive Services Covered Under the Affordable Care Act

February 2014; material added June 30, 2014

The federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes a special focus on providing newly required coverage for a wide range of health preventive and screening services.  In particular, the 63 distinct preventive services listed below must be covered without the enrollee having to pay a copayment or co-insurance or meet a deductible. This coverage began back in September 2010 for some newly issued health plans; effective January 1, 2014, it applies much more broadly, to plans offered in the individual, small, and some large group markets.  There are and can be exceptions for some grandfathered employer plans and policies bought by persons who are exempt from the individual coverage mandate. For commercial health insurance, both inside and outside of health exchanges, this no-cost feature applies only when these services are delivered by a network provider.  The material and service-specific links below includes material posted online by HHS at  


Also, I found this link Getting Ready to Breastfeed on Health Finder and this link with helpful planning answers on Womens Health to be a good tool for pregant moms planning to breastfeed (yeah!!). 

New goal for USA is 82% of all babies breastfed by 2020.


pregnancy is beautiful at

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding are beautiful!

For more information:

Hopefully this has been helpful to you, finding resources to help make the transition to breastfeeding an easier one!  

If you need help finding the best maternity bras or breastfeeding bras, please contact us.  We are experts in ascertaining which nursing bras will work for you in the long run, and estimating your size and product needs. We love supporting our breastfeeding moms, with full bust nursing bras wirefree or underwire, with nursing accessories and nursing clothing to suit your specific needs.

Take care - get plenty of rest and water, 


Bella Materna|President|Mom

Health Awareness: Breastfeeding is challenging. July 20 2015, 0 Comments

Breastfeeding is challenging.

Despite the many rewards and health benefits of breastfeeding, it can be challenging. For example:

  • Being the sole source of nutrition for your infant is not always easy.
  • Many nursing mothers have sore nipples, breast engorgement (very full breasts) when their “milk comes in”, and occasionally breast infections that require treatment with antibiotics.
  • Some women have had breast surgery that can reduce the amount of human milk they produce. These women may have to feed their infants with formula in addition to the milk they produce.
  • Breastfeeding can be stressful. For instance, a lack of support by family, social network and/or colleagues can cause discomfort and anxiety.
  • If you are a breastfeeding mother, one way to reduce stress is to make sure that you continue to take care of yourself, including developing support networks with friends and family and other women who are breastfeeding.
  • Stay in touch with your healthcare providers about ongoing medical or mental health conditions.

While breastfeeding offers many benefits to mom and baby, it may not be the right infant feeding choice for everyone.

  • Some women may have physical challenges that make breastfeeding and/or pumping breast milk difficult or impossible.
  • Others may have personal reasons why breastfeeding is not the right choice.
  • Some women may take certain medications that make breastfeeding impossible.
  • Milk Banks can provide breastmilk if mothers are unable to provide it.  Click here to learn more and find a location near you
  • North America: Human Milk Banking Association of North America.   
  • United Kingdom: United Kingdom Association for Milk Banking
  • Europe: European Milk Banking 

Every mother is unique. Work with your healthcare provider to decide on the best method for you and your baby.

Resources * 

* Resources listed are helpful, but do not replace the advise of your medical professional, always contact them for information on the best care for you and your baby.
    Thanks to the USA Vetrans Affairs site for this reference information.

    If you need help finding the best maternity bras or breastfeeding bras, please contact us.  We are experts in ascertaining which nursing bras will work for you in the long run, and estimating your size and product needs. We love supporting our breastfeeding moms, with full bust nursing bras wirefree or underwire, with nursing accessories and nursing clothing to suit your specific needs.

    Take care - get plenty of rest and water, 


    Bella Materna|President|Mom

    Breastfeeding Rights: State Laws July 15 2015, 0 Comments

    As a new mother you are 2600 times more busy than ever before.  Therefore we wanted to get some breastfeeding legal information in an easy format so you know your rights.  I have copied information directly from the site National Confrence of Stage Legislators, on the page is a great tool where you can enter in your state to find specific laws regarding breastfeeding and pumping rights.

    State Breastfeeding Laws

    • Forty-nine states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands have laws that specifically allow women to breastfeed in any public or private location. (Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.)
    • Twenty-nine states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands exempt breastfeeding from public indecency laws. (Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.)
    • Twenty-seven states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have laws related to breastfeeding in the workplace. (Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.)
    • Seventeen states and Puerto Rico exempt breastfeeding mothers from jury duty or allow jury service to be postponed. (California, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah and Virginia.)
    • Five states and Puerto Rico have implemented or encouraged the development of a breastfeeding awareness education campaign. (California, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri and Vermont.)

    Several states have unique laws related to breastfeeding. For instance,

    • Puerto Rico requires shopping malls, airports, public service government centers and other select locations to have accessible areas designed for breastfeeding and diaper changing that are not bathrooms. Louisiana'slaw requires state building to provide suitable areas for breastfeeding and lactation.
    • At least three states have laws related to child care facilities and breastfeeding. Louisiana prohibits any child care facility from discriminating against breastfed babies.
    • Mississippi requires licensed child care facilities to provide breastfeeding mothers with a sanitary place that is not a toilet stall to breastfeed their children or express milk, to provide a refrigerator to store expressed milk, to train staff in the safe and proper storage and handling of human milk, and to display breastfeeding promotion information to the clients of the facility.
    • Maryland requires child care centers to promote proper nutrition and developmentally appropriate practices by establishing training and policies promoting breastfeeding.
    • Maryland exempts the sale of tangible personal property that is manufactured for the purpose of initiating, supporting or sustaining breastfeeding from the sales and use tax. Louisiana prohibits state sales or use tax from being applied to any consumer purchases of breastfeeding items.
    • California, New York and Texas have laws related to the procurement, processing, distribution or use of human milk.
    • New York created a Breastfeeding Mothers Bill of Rights, which is required to be posted in maternal health care facilities. New York also created a law that allows a child under one year of age to accompany the mother to a correctional facility if the mother is breastfeeding at the time she is committed.

    We recommend finding our your breast pumping rights long before going back to work!

      breast pumps with hygenic barriers are the best

    Bella Materna provides the best in breastpumps and breast pump accessories.  Thanks to the Affordable Care act, insurance companies help to offset the cost of breastpumps, breastpump accessories, as well as nursing bras.  A post coming soon to help keep our customers informed on health insurance requirements.

    If you need help finding the best maternity bras or breastfeeding bras, please contact us.  We are experts in ascertaining which nursing bras will work for you in the long run, and estimating your size and product needs. We love supporting our breastfeeding moms, with full bust nursing bras wirefree or underwire, with nursing accessories and nursing clothing to suit your specific needs.


    Take care, get lots of rest and drink plenty of water -


    Anne  Bella Materna Co-Founder|MOM



    Health Awareness Campaigns: Breastfeeding is important for babies. July 13 2015, 0 Comments

    Health Awareness Campaigns: Breastfeeding is important for babies.

    Breastfeeding has many positive benefits for moms and their babies and is the ideal method of feeding and nurturing infants. Human breast milk is the most complete form of nutrition for infants and protects them from a wide array of infections and other health problems. If you are thinking about breastfeeding, consider the following benefits both for you and your child.

    Breastfeeding is important for babies.

    • Protects your baby from infection—even the milk produced during the first few days after birth is packed with antibodies that fight infection.
    • Reduces your baby’s risk of severe chest infections like pneumonia, ear infections, and stomach issues.
    • Helps your baby’s immune system develop and lowers the risk of asthma, allergies, type 1 diabetes, and childhood leukemia.
    • Reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
    • Reduces your child’s risk for obesity.
    • Improves your child’s ability to learn and process information.

    Breastfeeding is Best

    While breastfeeding offers many benefits to mom and baby, it may not be the right infant feeding choice for everyone. 

    Work with your healthcare provider to decide on the best method for you and your baby.






    Download a guide to breastfeeding at This guide offers easy how-to information and support for breastfeeding successfully. Resources * 

    * Resources listed are helpful, but do not replace the advise of your medical professional, always contact them for information on the best care for you and your baby.
      Thanks to the USA Vetrans Affairs site for this reference information.

      If you need help in getting the best maternity bras or breastfeeding bras, please contact us.  We are experts in ascertaining which nursing bras will work for you in the long run, and estimating your size and product needs. We love supporting our breastfeeding moms, with full bust nursing bras wirefree or underwire, with nursing accessories and nursing clothing to suit your specific needs.

      Take care - get plenty of rest and water, 


      Bella Materna|President|Mom

      Anne Dimond Bella Materna Designer Nursing Bras

      New Mom: Each Amazing Baby Event July 10 2015, 0 Comments

      New Mother Kate Middleton walking her baby to Christining - I am sure; a cherished image for her family, many years to come. #inspiringmom #bellamaterna #breastfeedingmoms #bfrocks #breastfeedingrocks #dowhatyoucan  #fullbustnursingbra # #fullbustwirefreebra #maternitylingerie #nursing #pregnancy #breastfeedingmoms

      Tips for sucessful breast pumping May 20 2015, 0 Comments

      Tips for sucessful breast pumping
      Just in case you cannot see the image above; here is the information in copy form:

      when babies start to breast-feed, they suckle
      with rapid sucking motions and low suction strength
      – this causes the milk to release by stimulating
      the milk release reflex.

      this effect can be replicated by starting
      with a higher cycle level (e.g. 8 bars)
      and selecting a weaker vacuum. when the
      milk begins to release, reduce the cycles
      by pressing the down arrow and strengthen
      the vacuum by pressing the up-arrow until
      you find the most comfortable level for you.
      the milk ejection reflex may occur later
      when pumping than when breast feeding.
      these 8 adjustable settings are only
      available with our electric breast pump

      the following measures may be helpful:
      ~ massage the breast before pumping.
      ~ relax and think about your baby.
      ~ gaze at a picture of your baby.
      ~ apply a warmed compress to the breast
      ~ warm the cone or funnel of the breast shell
      ~the ardo draw down cycle is longer than other pumps,
      which allows you to pump more milk for each cycle.
      ~ use the opti tip; included in all ardo electric pumps.
      it helps optimize the suction.
      ~ remember that your breast milk is the best
      ~remember that you are her/his perfect mom
      ~ drink water while pumping, take care of yourself
      Good luck and keep up the good work - you are the BEST MOM!
      Please feel free to call with questions.

      Moms’ Tips For Breastfeeding When You're Back To Work March 05 2015, 0 Comments

      shared from The Bump:

      Moms’ Tips For Breastfeeding When You go Back To Work

      You know you've got to go back to work — and you know you want to keep breastfeeding baby (it is best, of course!), but how are you going to actually pull it off? A traveling sales rep, a teacher, a surgeon and others share their secrets for breastfeeding (and pumping!) on the job.

      Get a really, really good pump

      As tempting as it is to get that single, manual pump because it’s super affordable, you really will make your day-to-day five thousand times easier if you get a double, electric pump. It’s simply more efficient than a single pump or a hand pump, which means you'll get more work done during the day (and get home to your baby faster).

      “I had a Medela Freestyle pump and could take it anywhere and wasn’t dependent on power to be able to pump [because it comes with a battery pack],” says Lennox M., a physician in Roanoke, Virginia.

      “Rent a pump from the hospital,” recommends April, a teacher in Atlanta. “They are the best, the fastest and easiest to work with. If something goes wrong, you can exchange it for another.”

      Fight for your rights

      Legally, you probably have the right to pump at work. An amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 gives an employee the right to reasonable break time to express milk for baby’s first year — and a private place to do it that isn't a bathroom. Thing is, this right doesn’t apply at companies with fewer than 50 employees.

      And not all bosses may realize what the rights are, so you might still have to fight a little for a good place to pump. You definitely should.

      “[With my first baby,] I pumped in empty offices, leaning my back against the door, hoping my colleagues wouldn't bust through the unlocked door,” says Kelly W., a microbiologist and doula. “The next time [I had a baby], I went to the VP with a proposal about why moms who pump are more productive and happier. I asked for some money and space to set up a lactation room. It worked. I bought a massage chair, a refrigerator and some nice decor for the little spot awarded to me.”

      Afraid to say something? You may be surprised how supportive your company may be. “I’m a police dispatcher, and work was very supportive!” says Kimberli S.

      “At first it felt awkward to tell people what I was doing and why I needed time,” says Kelly K., a surgeon. “Once I got over my initial embarrassment, everything has been so much easier. My male colleagues are actually just as helpful and accommodating as my female ones.”

      Band together

      What’s even more effective is if you band together with the other breastfeeding moms you work with. “The more of us that breastfeed, the more and better the situations we’ll have at work and school,” says Gretchen D., who was a law student while she breastfed. Gretchen managed to pump during her 20-minute break between classes — splitting time in a break room with another breastfeeding mom — and make it to class on time.

      Get creative

      Unfortunately, not everyone is lucky enough to have a private space to pump. Heck, not everyone stays in one place all day long. “Since my job is on the road, finding a place to pump was a daily task,” says Katie S., a pharmaceutical sales rep. “I pumped in the car in parking lots, in clients’ offices and in public bathrooms. I did try it while driving, but it wasn't very safe!”
      “My husband brings my daughter to my workplace some days so I can feed her on my lunch break,” says Melissa B., an emergency room nurse.

      “I have to pump in a supply closet and use my lunch and planning breaks, but it is worth it,” says Genevieve M. “I watch videos of my son while I pump to help with letdown and remind me why I do it.”

      Look for shortcuts and develop a routine

      Once you're a working mom, you can count your free moments on your…oh let’s face it, there are no free moments to count. So you'll make yourself less crazy by stocking up on the tools you need to get your pump parts and bottles clean without standing over the sink for long chunks of time.

      “I streamlined my process by using [special breast pump] wipes to clean the pump after use,” says Sarah C., a writer and editor in Fairfield County, Connecticut. “Then I could just rinse it quickly.”

      “I used a bottle sterilizer for my pump parts, so that helped with efficiency,” says Lennox. We also like those quick microwave sterilizer bags.

      Once you’ve got the tools, make sure you’re creating a routine that doesn't stress you out (at least not too much). “Having my pumping kit clean and ready to go with extra parts made things so much easier,” says Shannon C., a salon owner and nail artist. “I would pump in the morning before I left for work, then grab my bag, which had two sets of flanges, wipes and bags, and go. When I got home that night, I would freeze the milk and wash the flanges to be ready again the next day.”

      Schedule pumping sessions into your calendar

      Work can get pretty demanding — and distracting! — and before you know it, you've totally missed a pumping session. This can lead to engorgement in the short run and a diminishing supply in the long run. “I’d set my phone’s alarm during the day to remind myself I had to pump, since I’d get wrapped up in work,” says Katie.

      If you're on Outlook or some other calendar program, it’s important to block out times for pumping. That way, you know you've blocked out the time, coworkers know you’re not available, and you're more likely to stick to the schedule (plus, sticking to a schedule is good for your supply!).

      “We are booked so solid [seeing patients] during the day, I have to double book slots so I have a break in between to pump,” says Kelly K. “It takes my paying more attention to my schedule.…As for operating room days…for long cases, I book them with one of my partners as an assistant so I can take pump breaks.”

      Get a hands-free nursing bra

      If your pump doesn't come with a hands-free kit, you can buy a hands-free nursing bra, which can save you tons of time since you’ll have a greater ability to multitask. “I often took proofs in with me when I pumped and corrected them, so I didn't have any downtime,” says Sarah. “I also did some [phone] interviews while pumping.”

      “I’m sure the transcriptionists were wondering what the ‘wha wha wha’ noise was in the background of my dictations!” jokes Lennox.

      Expect a few fiascos before you really get it

      We hate to break it to you, but there will probably be some embarrassing moments.

      “During my first week back, I remember being in this big project meeting and my mind started drifting to thoughts of my baby,” says Kelly. “Uh-oh. [Milk] soaked right through my shirt….Be prepared with pads in case of leaking.”

      “I got walked in on a few times while pumping,” says Cheri, a physician in Twin Falls, Idaho.

      “A homeless person came up to the car while I was pumping in it, asking for money!” says Katie.
      Forgetting the breast pads, neglecting to lock the door, leaving the pump tubing at home (and running frantically to every drugstore in town on your lunch break trying to find replacement ones) are all rookie mistakes. Don’t freak out if you have a few setbacks like these in the beginning. You’ll get the hang of it eventually, and remembering all the essentials — and doing everything right (well, mostly right) — will become the norm in no time.

      “I made a sign for my office door that said, ‘Trust me. You do not want to open this door,’” says Cheri.

      Really work at it, and know you’ll be glad you did

      Kelly had a 50-mile commute, Shannon would make less money the fewer clients she saw, and Sarah pumped in a photo studio. Chrissy R. is an EMT with a busy schedule and found the time to pump twice a day. Cheri was sleep-deprived because her baby refused to take a bottle and instead wanted to nurse intermittently throughout the night. But they all did it (and say it was worth it). And you totally can too.

      Sure it will be tough, but as April points out: “Breastfeeding is the ultimate in learning to manage and juggle, especially when you're a working mom. That juggling act never stops as your child becomes older. Breastfeeding just turns into something else.”

      shared from The Bump 

      What Happens to a Woman's Brain When She Becomes a Mother January 15 2015, 0 Comments

      This article suggests it could be valuable to breastfeed; even if you are formula feeding. The act of breastfeeding or ‪#‎allattateli‬ garners healthy response in newborns. There is more to it than just the milk!

      "Breastfeeding mothers show a greater level of [brain] responses to baby's cry compared with formula-feeding mothers in the first month postpartum," Kim said. "It's just really interesting. We don't know if it's the act of breastfeeding or the oxytocin or any other factor."

      See whole article from The Atlantic here.



      Bella Materna has saved my breastfeeding life... December 12 2014, 0 Comments

      This is a letter from one of our customers...our mission for each new mom - help make your new-mom experience the best possible!  We work each day to offer the best in customer service and product for you! We hope this letter is as inspiring to you as it was to us! - Anne


      "Bella Materna has saved my breastfeeding life. After being "fitted" at 3 very reputable maternity bra retailers; I had a collection of underwire and non-underwire nursing bras that gave minimal support, "dug-in" somewhere by the end of the day, and looked institutional to say the least.  I was also told by several medical providers and other maternity retailers that I could not wear an underwire due to multiple bouts of mastitis, "underwire bras can cause mastitis".

      Well, Bella Materna proved all of that wrong, and gave me a new view on maternity bra design/construction, maternity bra fitting, and maternity bra beauty. They understand that a woman with a DD chest prior to having a baby needed support, not just a bra that covers and gives nursing access. They understand that fitting in a bra is not just covering everything with a standard cup size on a standard band size; they know classic bra design and fit. They understand that maternity bras can be beautiful and functional at the same time. They understand that breastfeeding is one of the most important developmental aspects of a child & mothers life. They helped me continue to breastfeed by keeping my breasts supported, separated, and accessible (in an underwire & non-underwire) while taking any of my question or concern calls or showroom visits with a professional and empathetic ear.

      That is why I will always recommend Bella Materna to any breastfeeding mother. That is why I only thought of Bella Materna when I gave birth to my second child 7 weeks ago. Even though I now live on the opposite coast of the US, they have been equally as helpful and supportive with fit, product, shipping and return questions and concerns. You can tell this business is run by passionate, empathetic, professional women! Thank you for keeping me comfortable & perfectly positioned to give my children the best nutritional start in life!

      P.S. I even wear the bras when I am done breastfeeding, and I plan to continue to wear them even when I am no longer having children. They are high quality, beautiful and worth every penny!"


      The Cost of NOT Breastfeeding? September 05 2014, 0 Comments

      Easy ways to find a Lactation consultant in your area:

      - YELP - I like it because I can see reviews and it is really localized.  


       - ILCA The International Lactation Consultant Association has a great lookup tool and lists certified consultants in your area.


      Here below is a copy of a great article on this blog: BreastfeedingLasVegas because it helps to get multiple perspectives during this important, exciting AND challenging time of your life - new motherhood!  (and each baby is unique!)

      The Cost of NOT Breastfeeding?

      Yes, there is a cost of not breastfeeding. It comes in many forms from the cost of formula, to the cost of sickness to the baby and to the mom, to the cost to your company or the medicaid system for the illnesses caused by not providing what your baby needs through breastmilk,  to the cost of emotionally feeling like you did not achieve your desired path.

      First, the cost of formula.
      1. The cost of a consult without insurance can be anywhere from $80-400 depending on where you live and the standard cost of a consult with an IBCLC in the area where you live. The cost of formula at 3 months of age for one week with a standard formula (not a high cost organic formula or one with special antifussiness pricetags) can be calculated by using a site like babycenter.Formula Calculator or on theKellymom calculator 

      Or you can do the math yourself. At about $25-27 for one formula container which should yield about 150 ounces of formula (8.7 grams powder yields one 2 ounce bottle, 657 grams in a container) your 3 month old who is consuming probably 30-40 ounces a day will eat their way through at least 2 of these a week. So in a matter of 1.5 weeks you have paid for at least one consultation by an IBCLC to solve your breastfeeding challenge.

      At $50 a week for formula (or probably more) you could have rented at least 3 hospital grade pumps for that month to maintain your supply for a baby who is not latching well. (general cost of hospital grade pump rentals for supply maintenance for the exclusive pumper or full time working mom is between 45-80 a month) .

      Second, the cost of healthcare for a formula fed infant with no formula intolerance reaches far beyond the cost of a consult. First one must consider health risk to the infant. Infant's who are not breastfed are at risk for multiple childhood illnesses that include obesity, diabetes, autism, and ear infections to just name a few. Third one must consider the health risk to mom by not breastfeeding. By breastfeeding mom reduces her risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and postpartum depression.  A more indepth list can be found in these articles. Reviews in Obstetrics and Gynecology    and From Canada,   WIC easy to read article and  A great review of the res .

      I could also review the risks to mom separately but I think they are laid out pretty well in the articles mentioned above. Overall, I think anyone can clearly see the value in a lactation consultation either prenatally, within a few days postpartum, or when trouble arises. I also think it is pretty clear what the cost of not asking for help or searching out your local breastfeeding resources is both short term and long term to both your wallet, your health, and more importantly your infant's health. Yes, there are some who can not breastfeed whether for physical, anatomica, or psycho-social reasons, but in general almost everyone can make the attempt and have some level of success even if it is only for the first few weeks or months.

      Get out, get help, and don't hide behind your front door, think of it as an act of parenting, you are now MOM - this is a step forward in your motherhood!! (at least that is what I had to do when faced with a difficulty in breastfeeding!)

      Your local IBCLC or La Leche League is waiting for your call and is more than willing to help you overcome your challenges!
      For more breastfeeding information in the Seattle area please contact Sarah at Babe N You!  
      For more info in the Las Vegas area please contact Lisa at Breastfeeding and Babies, Yeah! or your local Breastfeeding Coalition or your local La Leche League at

      International Bra Sizing Conversion Chart June 18 2014, 0 Comments

      Here at Bella Materna we have been serving moms around the globe for 14 years!  Year after year it is fun to see customers come back to order more "of the best quality nursing bras" for their new offspring.  

      This cart is a simple conversion to the US sizing that we utilize.  We thought it was more simple to use single letters instead of triple D's... ie 34G instead of 34DDDD.  Just easier on the eyes, and since all new moms increase in bust size, it is like reading a new map, so we are trying to make it easy on you.

      We have found generally speaking everyone goes up 2 cup sizes by their due date, usually 1 size in band (we try to minimize that by offering the extender sewn on, so the same bra will fit you whether you are pregnant or nursing). 

      Use this cart if you are more familiar with UK, EU or FR, they are the other most predominant sizes available.

      Please feel free to chat online, email ( or call (toll free: 1-888-700-8438) if there are any questions! We have a trained staff that can help you.

      Take care,

      Anne D

      Bella Materna

      Thoughts on raising a balanced person April 18 2014, 0 Comments

      Entering the journey into parenthood, whether it is your first child or your last child, the learning curve is ever growing. The female vs male traits, the birth order, the family circumstances...every possible combination to keep us parents on our toes.

      I found this article helpful, my little ones are now 10 and 6.  The lessons learned here are helpful with a brand new baby or any age! 

      NY Times | Raising a Moral Child 

      I don't know if the title of the piece (Raising a Moral Child) is really the best, it seems that a better title would be How to Raise a Balanced Person, we are afterall raising children to be adults.  Also, "morality" seems a portion of the entire mammoth known as parenting.


      Let me know your thoughts, hopefully you find it helpful!


      Get some rest,

      Anne | Bella Materna

      Stomach Soothing Pregnancy Smoothies from Wholefoods April 16 2014, 0 Comments


      Pregnancy is the perfect time to move toward a healthier lifestyle. We're here to support you with tips for soothing your stomachselecting prenatal supplements, and caring for your skin. Plus, we've got the widest selection of trusted products without artificial colors, flavors, fragrances or preservatives. Let us help you discover some wonderful, worry-free alternatives for you and your baby!

      Soothing Your Stomach

      Small but frequent meals and snacks can help keep queasiness at bay. Whether or not you’re feeling nauseated, easy-to-swallow smoothies are a great way to slurp up vital nutrients.


      Add just enough liquid to get things moving in the blender. Then add a bit more if you like! If you prefer your smoothie icy cold, try using frozen fruit or add ice cubes. Mix and match ingredients for your own custom stomach soother.

      A must watch youtube video April 16 2014, 0 Comments

      My husband sent me this you tube link... I was not expecting the outcome...



      What did you think?


      Anne | Bella Materna

      Launching new site April 02 2014, 0 Comments

      We are excited to be launching our new web storefront!  As you may know we have been in business for 13 years.  We look forward to serving you through this new platform and hope that it makes your Nursing Bra and Maternity Essentials shopping experience with Bella Materna even better!

      As always we are committed to serving our customers with the best in service and products, if there is anything we can do please give us a call toll free: 1-888-700-8438 or email


      Take care!



      Bella Materna

      #Unicef it is not just #Breastfeed it is #Breastmilkfed the Milk is the key! March 25 2014, 0 Comments

      Exciting Offers For Our Moms through friends at Koala Kin February 25 2014, 0 Comments

      Exciting Offers For Our Moms through friends at Koala Kin

      Exciting Offers For Our Moms!

      KoalaKin Partners
      We moms work so hard… We consistently put our needs last, and we do it with love, gratitude and a little bit of humor. Knowing that we are all in this together is what keeps us going, knowing that our sacrifice will give our babies the best, makes us fierce and powerful beyond belief.
      We, here at KoalaKin, want to be able to give you something that will hopefully make your lives a bit easier. That’s why we are happy to have partnered with some amazing companies, and are able to offer you their products and services at a discount. Take a peek below at these amazing offers!
      A Mother’s Boutique
      A Mother’s Boutique offers everything a new mother or mother to be needs – from maternity clothing to breastfeeding gear, nursing bras, breast pumps and slings.
      When owner Judy Masucci was a new mother, she had a difficult time finding quality nursing clothing and products that would enable her to be successful at breastfeeding.  She realized this “unmet need” was also something many other mothers also experienced. Coming from a business background, Judy decided she could use her corporate skills to develop a solution for this need. She realized that she would be able to meet her personal goals of spending more time with her son, while achieving professional goals of helping other new mothers succeed with breastfeeding. This led her to start up A Mother’s Boutique.
      PROMO: Judy is offering our awesome mamas a 10% discount off all orders. Just use the promo code KOALAKIN. The code expires 12/31/14.
      hadleystilwell.jpg hadleystilwell
      The HadleyStilwell clothing line was inspired by the challenge of having to look pulled-together and professional at work with little sleep and possibly no shower (!), yet also needing to quickly and discreetly pump in public places. It’s a daunting situation for new mothers, and breastfeeding is often the first thing to go.
      HadleyStilwell makes it easy for busy breastfeeding mothers to get dressed in two seconds flat with coordinating designs that help you feel beautiful when breastfeeding or pumping. But it’s much larger than the clothes: Aside from no skin exposure, quick access to breasts, and wrinkle-free durable fabric, it’s about a mother’s overall wellbeing. Feeling good about breastfeeding will spill over into all aspects of your life. And that is my vision for breastfeeding mothers…
      PROMO: It’s our pleasure to offer a 15% discount through the end of May on the Fleece Lounging and Co-Sleeping Top to keep you warm this winter and in perpetuity. And…it’s the perfect layer under your KoalaKin! Code: GOMOM
      MamaPear Designs
      Lara Audelo is a breastfeeding mother, educator, supporter of all moms, and has a passionate activist side that is drawn to many causes. Her most important cause is helping women make informed choices and supporting them in their mothering journeys.  She is the owner of MamaPear Designs and the author of The Virtual Breastfeeding Culture, which was published in 2013.
      PROMO: Lara is offering all our mamas 20% off her book “The Virtual Breastfeeding Culture: Seeking Mother-to-Mother Support in the Digital Age”, featuring raw, honest and uplifting stories, tips and resources for all breastfeeding moms. Code: KK20OFF
      Emily Kane is the founder of Milkmakers. She created Milkmakers cookies because she needed them.
      Emily went back to work after here first daughter was born and found herself in a new situation — trying to manage work life, home life, and fitting in the time to pump during an already busy day. Her milk supply started to go down and she worried that she wouldn’t be able to provide enough milk for her baby.
      When a lactation consultant first told her about lactation cookies, it seemed too good to be true: She could eat delicious cookies AND increase her milk supply? To her surprise, she saw an immediate boost in her milk production.
      Lactation cookies can help promote an abundant supply of breast milk. The result: a well-fed baby and a happy family.
      PROMO: Emily is so excited to offer 10% off all their products with the code: KOALAKIN. (Limit one order per customer. Offer valid through December 31st, 2014)
      The Naked Nursing Tank
      Naked Tank Logo 1
      The Naked Nursing Tank is 100% Canadian made. Owned and operated by 2 Guelph, Ontario Moms, it was invented with the intention to support breastfeeding moms, making it that much more comfortable to nurse their babies ANYWHERE! The Naked Tank is an award-winning product with international recognition for “The most UNIVERSAL Nursing Tank on the market!” Worn underneath your regular wardrobe, The Naked Nursing Tank is a midsection cover-up for breastfeeding women, that allows women the option to wear their most supportive bra of choice. The Naked Tank transforms your entire wardrobe into nursing wear making it a unique and affordable option for every mom! Going from size XS to 5X -we got all shapes and sizes covered!
      PROMO: Purchase yours now with coupon code KOALAFREESHIP and receive Free shipping on ALL orders!
      In 2005, working mother Sari Davidson created the very first SippiGrip in San Ramon, California. Davidson became frustrated when her 1 year old son, Jake, would throw his sippy cup to the floor from his highchair, stroller, and car seat. Davidson was constantly picking up the cups that were either getting dirty or lost. Necessity really was the mother of invention; hence, the SippiGrip was born!
      BooginHead is a term Davidson’s family used when one of their kids would do something they knew they shouldn’t, did it anyways, and you couldn’t help but laugh – they were being such a BooginHead! Davidson and BooginHead are committed to bringing products to on-the-go parents to help solve the BooginHead moments in life and make your life easier!
      PROMO:  Currently, Booginhead is offering 20% off their Pink Polka Dot and Asher Argyle PaciGrips

      Month by Month info-graphic to the #breastfeedingjourney February 05 2014, 0 Comments

      This is a great info-graphic guide to the breastfeeding journey (generalized of course, each journey is unique!)

      Thank you to our  friends at Hadley Stilwell, creator of great nursing clothing for sharing with us.

      From a customers partner...what sweet words! January 18 2014, 0 Comments

      New Mom Bra Tips by Bella Materna January 17 2014, 0 Comments

      Nursing Bra guide tips

      Timeline of a Breastfed Baby - Great read for brand new moms! January 06 2014, 0 Comments

      A great post from The Alpha Parent Blog, giving you a snapshot of the journey, with some of our own experience written in too!

      All babies reach milestones on their own developmental timeline. A multitude of factors influence the rate of each baby’s individual growth such as genetics, form of delivery, gestation at delivery, medical issues, effectiveness of the placenta prior to delivery, and so on. 

      However there is a persistent and understandable demand from first-time mothers for information on what is considered ‘the norm’. This is particularly so with breastfeeding, as understanding breastmilk intake is more complex than looking at the ounce mark on a bottle. This is a topic rife with large-scale confusion, especially as breastfeeding mothers are in the minority and can often find themselves, and their health workers, comparing their baby with formula-fed babies. 

      What follows is a timeline detailing the journey of the average breastfed baby. I hope it will prove to be a useful and reassuring tool for new mothers.

      Before Birth:

      Your breasts have grown about 2 cup sizes in preparation for the new life you will continue to grow out of the womb.  Breast tissue is comprised mainly of fatty tissue & milk ducts, which grow in anticipation of the wee one soon in your arms.  
      Milk may already be appearing on your nipples, either dry or wet, have no fear, your body is only preparing!
      Not a bad idea to get your nipples a little toughened up before baby comes; now don't hurt yourself,  just exfoliate.  Someone recommended it to me, and I was glad I had done extra loofa work in the months before breastfeeding.  If you were going on a walking trip with new shoes, wouldn't you want your feet to be ready for your new shoes?  Breastfeeding is a journey, and preparation certainly helps.
      Get some good tools in prep for your journey: 
      3-5 nursing bras / tops:
      Nipple Preparation:
      Motherlove Nipple Cream
      Natural nipple cooler: organic green cabbage (with baby #2, I envisioned a bra designed with a pretty green lace to honor my love for green cabbage cooling properties!)
      Nursing pads, to absorb leaks: washable or disposable, or Lilypadz are silicone so you do not actually leak.

      Milk may already be appearing on your nipples, either dry or wet, have no fear, your body is only preparing. 
      Not a bad idea to get your nipples a little toughened up before baby comes, don't hurt yourself.  Someone recommended it to me, and I was glad I had done extra loofa work in the months before breastfeeding.  If you were going on a trip with new shoes, wouldn't you want your feet to be ready for your new shoes?  Breastfeeding is a journey, and preparation certainly helps.
      Get some good tools in prep for your journey: 


      At Birth:

      • Given enough uninterrupted time skin-to-skin, your baby may move towards your breast and begin feeding without assistance.
      • The first feed helps to stabilize baby’s blood sugars and protect baby’s gut (NCT).
      • Most babies will nurse better at this time than they will for the next couple of days. Take advantage of this. “A full-term healthy newborn's instinct to breastfeed peaks about 20 to 30 minutes after birth if he is not drowsy from drugs or anesthesia given to his mother during labor and delivery” (La Leche League). Breastfeeding in the delivery room or the recovery room after a Cesarean section lays the hormonal groundwork for your future supply of mature milk.
      • If you experience greater than expected blood loss while giving birth or have retained placenta inside your uterus after birth, this can lead to milk supply problems.
      • Make sure that the birth team members are aware that no formula is to be given to your baby unless strictly necessary and not without your consent.
      • Your baby will be weighed following his birth.
      • Your baby's first feeds are about quality, not quantity. At the moment, and for the first few days after birth, your breasts are producing small quantities of colostrum (about 3-4 teaspoons daily). This is a concentrated clear yellow secretion which is high in protein, fat-soluble vitamins and minerals, as well as antibodies that protect your baby from bacterial and viral illnesses.
      • Your newborn should not go longer than three hours between feedings. However you may find that he is very sleepy for the first few days and may not be interested in feeding. If this happens, you will need to wake him up. Undressing him and giving skin to skin contact will help wake him up and encourage him to feed.
      • As you feed, the hormone oxytocin will help your uterus regain its tone after birth. This process also protects against excessive bleeding as you recover from childbirth. You may feel mild menstrual-like cramps whilst your uterus shrinks.


      Day 1:

      • During your baby's first 24 hours, he might wet his nappy only once or twice (Fredregill 2004). This is because the colostrum you produce is highly digestible and perfect nutrition for your baby, so there's not much left to eliminate. 
      • Over the next 24 hours, your baby will begin to increase their hunger so they are having eight to twelve feedings per 24 hours. Many babies will feed more frequently than this and it may seem as though your baby is insatiable. This is because his stomach is so small it gets full very quickly and empties very quickly (about the size of their fist!). Feeding frequently is also essential to build up your milk supply, so feed on demand rather than clock watching.
      • Most newborns require 10 to 45 minutes to complete a feeding (Murkoff. S).
      • It can take a week or two for your letdown reflex to work in sync with your baby. Until then it's likely to be erratic (Rapley and Murkett 2012). Offering your baby a chance to feed whenever you notice a tingling sensation or a sudden leakage of milk will help it begin to work more reliably.
      • Expect at least one or two wet diapers each day for the first few days after birth. It may be difficult to tell if a diaper is wet at this early stage, and it is normal to find pink crystal-like stains. 
      • During this period, your baby’s mouth is acutely sensitive to any stimulation. A dummy, bottle, or sucking on your finger stimulates your baby’s mouth differently than your nipple. A newborn can easily become accustomed to this overstimulation of the tongue and hard palate. “Confusion can occur after just one exposure to a bottle or dummy” (Rubin. S). Therefore try to avoid or delay your baby’s contact with non-breast suckling until he is at least 6 weeks old.
      • These first two weeks are crucial for breastfeeding. Frequent and effective feeding during this time primes milk-making cells, laying the foundation for optimum milk production. In many cases where breastfeeding goes wrong, the problem can be traced to this very early period (Rapley and Murkett 2012).


      Day 2:

      • Expect at least two wet diapers today (Rapley and Murkett 2012).
      • From now onwards your baby should be producing at least two teaspoon-sized poos (or larger) per day (Rapley and Murkett 2012).  
      • Most babies (whether breastfed or not) will have a small amount of jaundice, which starts after the first 24 hours of birth, reaches a peak around day 3 or 4, and then gradually fades over the next week.
      • Frequent breastfeeding or pumping during these crucial days after birth awaken receptors sensitive to the hormone prolactin, a key player in the production of mature breast milk. If you become separated from your baby or your baby is unable to breastfeed, then pump your breasts with an electric breast pump every three hours. Pumping will send your body the message that you intend to breastfeed.
      • You may have heard the mantra: "If it hurts, you're doing it wrong". Whilst agonising pain indicates a problem and should receive immediate attention, a moderate level of discomfort is normal during these early days as your breasts adjust to being suckled. You should feel a gentle tug that will take some getting used to. (Insert my image of new shoes on a journey here, once you get through the rough spots it will be so much better!)
      • It is not unusual for a newborn to suck for a very long time.
      • Your baby's bowel movements will now change to a greenish-brown color and will look like thick pea soup. He will pass two to three stools per day. If your baby has not had a movement by the end of today, your doctor should be notified (Spock 2004).
      • One of our customers has a plan with her partner: "I manage input (milk), he manages output (diaper) I loved this sharing!


      Day 3:


      • Feel that you are having a tough time? You’re not alone. In a recent Pediatrics study, three days after giving birth, 92 percent of new mothers say they were having problems breastfeeding. Half of the mothers reported problems with getting the baby to latch on to the breast, or other feeding issues like nipple confusion. And 44 percent said pain was a problem. A further 40 percent said they felt that they weren't producing enough milk (Pediatrics 2013). But remember, these are maternal perceptions and most likely not reflections of the physiological reality. If you find yourself in the majority of moms and feel you are having problems, please do contact La Leche League, or certified Lactation Consultant in your area.


      Day 4:

      • By now you will have given your baby his first - and easiest - "immunisation" (antibody-rich colostrum) and helped to get his digestive system running smoothly.
      • Your baby will be weighed again around this point, probably at home by your midwife or with the pediatrician. Most babies lose between 8 and 10 per cent of original birth weight, as they adjust to the sudden loss of his beloved placenta. Breastfed babies, who have consumed only teaspoons of colostrum, generally lose more than bottlefed babies (Murkoff. H). This weight loss is quite normal and expected, and you should see your baby start to gain weight soon. Remember also that in the first few days your baby may be weighed on several different sets of scales, which can all give subtly different readings.
      • Also around this time, your milk will ‘come in’ and you may find yourself with the infamous ‘melons’ – aka your breasts swelling and becoming engorged and warm. Overabundance at this time is normal as your body learns to predict exactly how much milk your baby needs (note that if you had a c-section or are diabetic, your milk may come in a few days later than this). The engorgement usually settles down within 24-48 hours. As your baby starts to feed regularly your body will adapt to producing the right quantities of milk to nourish him. Engorgement is more uncomfortable for some women than for others and is typically more pronounced with first babies. With subsequent babies, engorgement may occur sooner. You may wish to apply chilled cabbage leaves to ease engorgement, however limit use to 20 minutes, no more than 3 times per day, as cabbage can decrease milk supply.
      • It is important once your milk does come in that your breasts are regularly emptied in order to stimulate and ensure a good supply of milk. 
      • Check your breasts for blocked ducts which are more likely to occur around this time. Try to avoid wearing a tight fitting bra during this short engorgement phase if possible as a bra may compress your breasts and make swelling worse.
      • The colour of your early milk will gradually shift from yellow to white. At the moment your creamy transitional milk contains high levels of fat, lactose, vitamins and more calories than the colostrum. The photo bellow shows colostrum on the left expressed on day 4, and on the right is breast milk expressed on day 8.
      • In these early days you may feel your baby's feeding pattern is quite unpredictable, but go with it. Feed him when he wakes, for as long as he wants, until he literally drops off.
      • On average, feedings will take about 15-20 minutes on each side, although variations are normal. Like adults, babies can be fast or slow eaters. Flow can also vary among mothers: some have a fast flow or milk, while others have a slower flow, making feeding last longer.
      • Your baby may take only one side at a time but it is wise to offer both.
      • If you are not happy with how things are going, get help early. It's easier to correct problems early than to be re-building a milk supply next week. I recommend speaking over the phone with a La Leche League leader or attending a La Leche League meeting.
      • As a result of your milk coming in your baby will start passing soft mustard-yellow stools (or orange and even green can be normal). At this stage at least one nappy per day should be full of poop and a mess to clean up. This ‘explosive poo’ phase will continue for a few more weeks.
      • Whereas in the past few days it may have been difficult to tell that your baby’s nappy is wet, now his nappies should be undeniably wet, however the urine should have no strong colour or smell. 
      • Your baby should be producing at least six pale yellow wees every day (Rapley and Murkett 2012). 
      • Most babies of this age spend an average of 187 minutes per day nursing during their first two weeks of life (Fredregill 2004).
      • Smaller babies tend to eat more frequently than bigger babies (Spock 2004).
      • You may now be feeding around a dozen times over 24 hours. Soon, you will build up to around 20 minutes per feed every two to four hours. Fear not. This frequency is only temporary, and as your milk supply increases and your baby gets bigger, the breaks between feedings will get longer. Mothers who are particularly anxious to make a success of breastfeeding are apt to feel disappointed by this frequency on the assumption that it means the breastmilk supply is inadequate. This is incorrect. The baby has now settled down to the serious business of eating and growing and is providing the breasts with the stimulation they must have if they are to meet the increasing demands. 


      Day 5:

      • Feeling tired? Night time waking is the result of healthy biology. During these early weeks breastfed babies are hungrier at night than during the day. Your newborn’s hunger naturally corresponds to the rise of your breastfeeding hormones after midnight. These late-night feedings serve to help you to build a strong milk supply. Over time, the situation will evolve, and your baby will sleep more at night and be awake for more hours during the day.
      • The frequency of your baby's feeds is likely to reach a peak today. After this, things will gradually settle into a pattern. Some feeds will be long, others just snacks (Rapley and Murkett 2012).
      • Your nipples may be slightly sensitive during these first few days - a few seconds of 'ouch' at the beginning of a feed isn't unusual - but that's all. After that, the feed should be pain free. This preliminary soreness should resolve itself by day 10. Pain that makes breastfeeding intolerable and /or cracked and bleeding nipples are never normal and needs immediate attention from a health professional familiar with breastfeeding management.
      • During these early days you may find relatives and other well-wishers offering to “take the baby off you while you rest/ buy groceries/ get on with the housework”. What would be more helpful however would be to hear: “let me do some housework for you while you get on with nursing and bonding with your baby”. For a not-so-subtle hint, print THIS and put it on your fridge or in another prominent place.
      • You may notice your baby has a 'nursing blister' on their top lip. These are painless blisters that often form on a baby's lips in the early days and weeks of breastfeeding. They are a harmless sign that your baby is feeding well, and they will soon fade. 
      • Your baby's bowel movements will now change to a loose, mustard-yellow, cottage-cheese or seed-like consistency. These are called milk stools. Your baby will pass two to five stools per day, most probably during a feeding.


      1 Week Old:

      • Your baby will tend to gain weight steadily as your mature milk supply is established. Once your baby is regularly gaining weight, it is no longer necessary to wake them to breastfeed. Simply follow your baby’s lead.
      • Expect your baby to now gain around 4-7 ounces (112-200 grams) per week for their first month.
      • At this point your breasts may feel full but soft. You may frequently leak breast milk and begin wearing breastpads. However note that leaking has no relationship to how much milk you’re making.
      • Young babies, both breast and formula fed, are often fussy. This fussiness starts at around 1-3 weeks, peaks at around 6-8 weeks and is gone by 3-4 months. "They want to be 'in arms' or at the breast very frequently and fuss even though you attempt to calm them. They often seem 'unsatisfied' with their feedings and even seem to reject or cry at the breast" (Mother to Mother). It is not unusual for fussiness to happen during the late afternoon and evenings, and is usually NOT due to hunger, wet/dirty nappy, or anything that you can remedy. It is usually NOT related to milk supply, although some mothers worry about this.
      • By the end of this week your transitional milk will have turned into mature milk which is thinner and contains more water. It consists of 90 percent water and 10 percent of carbohydrates, proteins and fats necessary for both growth and energy. There is more watery high-protein milk at the start of a feed, gradually gaining higher levels of fat as you go through the feed.


      2 Weeks Old:

      • Most babies have regained their original birth weight by this age. If this is the case, the frequency of weighing should reduce. Note that there is no compulsory requirement to get your baby weighed.
      • If your baby has yet to regain their birth weight, try not to worry, “it can take up to three weeks” (La Leche League). Encourage your newborn to breastfeed frequently during the day as well as during the night. Also wait until your baby has finished feeding from the first breast before offering the second. This way, you can be sure that your baby is getting to the rich, fatty hindmilk.
      • You are likely to also notice your baby’s first growth spurt around this time. This means that your baby will actively return to the breast many times for closely linked ‘cluster’ feedings. Typically, this pattern occurs during the late afternoon or evening hours. Growth spurts generally last 2-3 days, but for a few mothers they can last a week or so. This is normal, healthy behaviour and NOT a sign that you have an inadequate milk supply.
      • By now at least one nappy per day should be thoroughly soaked.
      • Although sucking is a newborn reflex, the mechanics of effective latching on aren't. It usually takes a couple of weeks, and sometimes longer, for mothers and babies to get really good at nursing.
      • Does your baby have jaundice? So-called 'breastmilk jaundice' is much less common than newborn jaundice. It doesn't normally appear until now. Unlike a baby with newborn jaundice, the baby with breastmilk jaundice is alert, asking for feeds frequently, weeing and pooing normally and gaining weight. So, although it can last for several weeks or even months, this type of jaundice doesn't usually need any treatment (Rapley and Murkett 2012).


      3 weeks old:

      • You have reached the stage where your baby will probably have a little neck control and a decent latch which makes this the perfect time to practice the lying down breastfeeding position. Once mastered, this position will greatly aid night time feedings as you can snooze whilst your baby helps himself.
      • Your nipples 'toughen up' after 2 to 3 weeks (Cave and Fertleman 2012).
      • You probably feel as though you have done nothing but feeding. However by now you and your baby will be getting to grips with the practicalities of feeding and leaning to trust each other. It may not feel like a huge milestone but by focusing on breastfeeding for these first three weeks you have set up your long-term capacity to produce as much milk as your baby needs and laid the foundations for an easy breastfeeding relationship.


      1 month old:

      • "By around week 4 your baby will take around 40 minutes to feed, rather than an hour" (Cave and Fertleman 2012).
      • Your baby’s weight will probably start to slow down a little from his previous rapid gain. Expect your baby to gain an average of 1-2 pounds (1/2 to 1 kilogram) per month now until 6 months.
      • Your baby's poo production will also slow down. She may go for several days (maybe even a week or more) without producing a poo at all. This is quite normal at this age (Rapley and Murkett 2012). Other breastfed babies may pass several per day. It depends very much on the individual. Infrequency is not a sign of constipation. Hard, difficult-to-pass stools are. Constipation is very rare in breastfed babies, more frequent with formula supplementing.
      • Your baby will grow in length by about an inch per month (2.5c.m.) until 6 months.
      • As babies grow older, they not only gain more slowly, they also gain more irregularly. Teething or illness may take their appetite away for several weeks and they may hardly gain at all. When they feel better, their appetite revives and their weight catches up with a rush (Spock 2004).
      • There is no reason to expect your baby to put on weight at a steady rate, week after week, so there's no advantage in weighing her frequently. Unless there are particular concerns about her health, there's no need to weigh her more than once a month (Rapley and Murkett 2012).
      • By exclusively breastfeeding for at least 1 month you have given your baby significant protection against food allergy to 3 years of age, and also against respiratory allergy to 17 years of age (Saarinen. UM and Kajosaari. M).


      6 weeks:

      • Your baby’s second growth spurt will occur around this time.
      • At this point you may start to notice that your breasts stop feeling so hard and full before each feed, and stay much softer, but fear not, they are actually producing more and more milk for your growing baby. Don’t assume you’re running out because your breasts are softer between feeds: your body is simply becoming more efficient. In fact, between feeds your breasts will probably feel like they did before you were pregnant (Rapley and Murkett 2012). It is unfortunate that this change often occurs at the same time as the 6 week growth spurt, which naturally leads mothers to be unnecessarily concerned about their milk supply. "A baby can still get 180ml (6fl oz) or more from a breast that to the mother does not seem at all full" (Spock 2004).
      • It’s common at this point to notice that one breast is producing more milk than the other or is easier for your baby to latch onto.
      • Leaking is likely to have diminished or ceased altogether now, although some mothers experience leaking longer than others.
      • You may no longer feel your letdown reflex or the feeling may have diminished in strength. Some mothers never feel let-down at all, but they can tell by watching their baby's pattern of suck and swallow when their let-down is occurring.
      • It is not recommended that you start expressing until you have had a chance to build up a good milk supply. This usually happens at around 6 weeks. If you decide to start pumping, be aware that pumping only small amounts is not an indicator of a low milk supply.
      • Likewise, this is the earliest you should introduce a dummy / pacifier.
      • By now you will have eased your baby through the most critical part of his infancy. Newborns who are not breastfed are much more likely to get sick or be hospitalized, and have many more digestive problems than breastfed babies. Also breastfeeding for 6 weeks means that your child now has less risk of chest infections up to 7 years old (NCT).


      2 months:

      • Your baby will still need to feed about every two to two and a half hours, although he may go three hours. The normal range is anything from eight to twelve feedings in twenty-four hours (West 2010).
      • Your baby may now spend less time at each nursing session because he has become more efficient at the breast and therefore requires less time to milk it effectively (Rapley and Murkett 2012).  He may also only need to nurse one side per feeding, rather than both sides as he may have done before. Always offer the second side but don't worry if your baby doesn't seem to want it or need it.
      • At this point, most babies, whether breast or formula-fed still need to feed once or twice during the night.
      • "By month 2, babies' mouths are much bigger so they find it easier to latch on" (Cave and Fertleman 2012). Consequently, you may find that any over-supply or latching problems begin to correct themselves naturally around now.
      • From now until 4 months old, your baby should nurse at least 6 times per 24 hour period.
      • If you choose to get your baby vaccinated they will have their first vaccination around now. By breastfeeding you are enhancing your baby's antibody response, strengthening the effectiveness of the vaccine (Silfverdal. SA et al). Nursing during the vaccination process will also offer your baby a unique level of pain relief (Tansky.C and Lindberg. CE).
      • Perhaps you’re noticing that your baby looks slimmer than their formula fed peers? Studies have shown that breastfed babies become noticeably leaner beginning around 2–3 months in comparison to formula-fed babies (Kramer et al., 2004)
      • By breastfeeding exclusively for 2 months, your child now has a lower risk of food allergy at 3 years old  (NCT).


      3 months:

      • Another growth spurt, hang in there. Don’t be tempted to give formula (or even worse, solids) to appease your baby’s appetite, because a decrease in the frequency of nursing would reduce your milk supply, which is the exact opposite of what your baby is ordering.  Seek a drop in breastfeeding peer group for support.
      • Even after the growth spurt has passed, a baby between three and four months old should be feeding at least every four hours during the day.
      • If your baby is beginning to give up his night feeds, you will find that he nurses longer at his day feeds.
      • Your breastfed baby will tend to need much less burping now.
      • Interesting fact: If you are exclusively breastfeeding, your milk is currently providing 535 calories, 6.8g of protein and 37g fat for your baby per day! (Thompson 2012).
      • You've probably heard the delicious fact that breastfeeding uses up the fat stores you laid down in pregnancy. The greatest weight loss is seen in the three to six month period (Moody et al). You’ve just hit the start of this uber fat-burning period.
      • You may find that your baby becomes more distracted during feeds now. This is because her eyesight has developed and she can see across the room. When your baby seems distracted, take care that this doesn't mark the beginning of a habit developing when your baby feeds less and less during the day, then makes up for it at night.
      • Are you finding that your baby is sleeping better at night now? At three months, nocturnal sleep is actually increased in breastfed babies compared to formula fed babies due to tryptophan in breast milk which acts as a regulator (Cubero et al 2005).
      • By breastfeeding for at least 3 months you have given your baby a 27 percent reduction in the risk of asthma if you have no family history of asthma and a 40 percent reduction if you have a family history of asthma (Tufts-New England Medical Center Evidence-Based Practice Center).
      • If you have exclusively breastfed for this long, your baby will have enhanced development in key parts of the brain compared to other children who were fed formula or a combination of formula and breastmilk (Dean et al).
      • By this stage you have also given your baby between a 19 and 27 percent reduction in incidence of childhood Type 1 Diabetes (Tufts-New England Medical Center Evidence-Based Practice Center).


      4 months:

      • By giving nothing but your breastmilk for the first four months you have given your baby strong protection against ear infections and respiratory tract diseases for a whole year (American Academy of PaediatricsTufts-New England Medical Center Evidence-Based Practice Center;Duncan.B et al).
      • By breastfeeding for at least 4 months you have reduced your baby’s risk of SIDS (Mother & Baby).
      • By now you have overcome early obstacles such as engorgement, sore nipples, and marathon cluster feedings. Nursing is so much easier than bottle-feeding!
      • Around this time teething may cause your baby to begin drooling, sucking on his fingers, or chewing on objects. This need to suck or chew on things can easily be misread as a sign that your baby is still hungry after a feed and ready to wean. Also, bear in mind that reaching for food is NOT asking for it. Babies reach for everything, and they like to mimic as well, so doing mouth movements also does not indicate a readiness for solids. Likewise, some of your friends, baby food manufacturers and even health professionals may suggest that you introduce solid foods around now. The AAP,  WHO and Unicef all recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months (meaning only breastmilk). This is because your baby’s digestive system is unlikely to be sufficiently developed to cope with solids before then. Also contrary to what some health visitors may contend, starting solid foods before 6 months of age will not increase your baby's caloric intake or provide a health advantage to your baby. Breastmilk has a higher concentration of fat and other essential nutrients than any solid food.
      • From now until 7 months old, your baby should nurse at least 5 times per 24 hour period. One of these is likely to be a night feed.
      • Some babies will want to nurse more often while teething while others may nurse less often, some even refusing to nurse completely, often referred to as a nursing strike. If this happens, try applying infant teething gel. Your baby might accept the breast more readily if her gums are numbed. If your baby still refuses the breast, you will need to pump your breasts frequently to prevent blocked ducts and maintain your supply. A nursing strike will usually last between 2-5 days although can last longer.
      • You may notice a further slowing of your baby’s weight gain around now. Between four and six months, breastfed babies tend to gain weight slower than their formula-fed peers, although growth in length and head circumference are similar in both groups (Moody et al). "Gradual weight gain, although this is not necessarily even, and a dropping-off of weight gain should not be taken in isolation to suggest that feeding isn't going well" (Johnson).
      • Some babies nurse very quickly at this age (3-5 minutes) and may become distracted at the breast, maybe even pulling off the breast after only a few sucks. Feeding in peaceful surroundings can help. Night waking may begin again or become more frequent as your baby tries to make up calories missed during the day (read more about sudden night wakings at 4 months here).
      • By breastfeeding for 4 months you have given your child a lower risk of developing eczema and asthma (NCT).
      • By 4 months, babies have entered a significant cognitive milestone; their brains are going through an enormous growth spurt, which accounts for all of the increased alertness and distractibility. A baby who used to feed intently will now pop off and on the breast, turning to look when Daddy or big sister walks into the room or if a noise catches her attention. 
      • You may be preparing to return to work, and lots of breastfeeding mothers make the decision to switch to formula at this stage. However this does not have to be the case. Your milk can be expressed for your baby to have while you’re at work. You can find a collection of resources for working and pumping mothers here. If it is not possible to express, try a milk bank or as a last resort you could wean her onto formula during the day and keep her morning and evening breastfeeds going.
      • Babies tend to want to breastfeed more often when they are feeling emotionally unsettled. If you are returning to work it may trigger increased feedings (Rapley and Murkett 2012). 


      5-6 Months:

      • You have greatly reduced your baby’s risk of developing allergies by waiting until at least now to introduce solids, this is particularly the case if you have a family history of allergies.
      • By breastfeeding for this long you have protected your baby’s intestinal tract so that it can now begin to produce antibodies. These antibodies coat the intestines and protect him from foreign proteins and allergens.
      • Continuing to breastfeed alongside the introduction of solid foods not only ensures good nutrition, it actually helps with the digestion of those other foods (Rapley and Murkett 2012). 
      • If you are babyled weaning your baby will continue to have 'breastfeeding poo' (runny and yellow) with occasional bits, for several months after she has started exploring solids (Rapley and Murkett 2012). 
      • Unless your baby is having other drinks (which would decrease her need for breastmilk as a drink), the number of breastfeeds she asks for probably won't change noticeably at first; she will still carry on asking for them in her usual way but take slightly less milk at each feed.
      • Your baby should still be having at least 6-8 breastfeeds per day (Fredregill 2004).
      • At around 6 months your baby will experience another growth spurt. Although you have solids to give, remember to offer the breast first as breastmilk is more nutritious. If your baby has been sleeping through the night you may find that he begins to wake for a midnight feeding during this growth spurt.
      • After the first six months, breastfed babies tend to be leaner. Compared to their formula-fed friends, breastfed infants gain an average of one pound less during the first twelve months. The extra weight in formula-fed infants is thought to be due to excess water retention and a different composition of body fat (Dewey. K). Expect your breastfed baby to gain an average of one pound (1/2 kilogram) per month from six months till he is one year old.
      • There is no need to weigh your baby more than once every two months now (Rapley and Murkett 2012).
      • Your baby will grow around one-half inch per month from six months to one year.
      • Keep an eye on your baby's fluid intake during this time. If too many nursings are replaced by solid feedings too quickly, he may not be getting enough fluid which can lead to constipation (evident in small pellet-like stools). Putting your baby to the breast frequently should alleviate the problem.
      • A lot of childcare manuals suggest that your baby should have doubled their birth weight by now, but remember that each baby is unique. When evaluating your baby’s overall growth pattern, your baby’s birth weight, length, gestational age, and parental size need to be taken into account. It has been noted that, “by the time they are ready for solids breastfed babies are often gaining less than many of the growth charts say they should” (Lim. P). The complex nature of a harmonious breastfeeding relationship cannot be weighed, measured, or plotted like scientific data on a chart. If you receive overreaction about your baby’s weight from family or health professionals, direct them to this article: ‘Look at the Baby, Not the Scale’.
      • If you have exclusively breastfed to this point, your baby is more likely to accept a range of solid foods. This is because breastmilk exposes babies to the flavors of their mothers’ diets and serves as a ‘‘flavor bridge’’ between a milk-based diet and a more adult-like diet (Mennella and Beauchamp, 1996Taveras et al., 2004). Not only is food acceptance higher in breast-fed babies, they are particularly more likely to prefer vegetables (Sullivan and Birch, 1994). What’s more, food rejection or ‘pickiness’ is lower among pre-school children who were exclusively breastfed (Shim et al.,2011), so your child will reap the benefits for years to come!
      • By breastfeeding for 6 months you have given your baby significant protection against eczema during their first 3 years (Chandra et al).
      • You are now in the 1% of mothers who have breastfed for this long! Bravo! (BBC 2012).
      • You have also given your baby a 19 percent decrease in risk of childhood acute lymphocytic leukemia and a 15 percent decrease in the risk of acute myelogenous leukemia (Tufts-New England Medical Center Evidence-Based Practice Center).


      7-8 months:


      • Distraction at the breast may continue. Don't be misled into believing that your baby's temporary lack of interest in breastfeeding is a sign he is ready to wean. It is extremely rare for a child to self-wean before one year of age.
      • You'll notice that your baby asks for some milk feeds a little later than usual now, especially after a meal where she's eaten quite a lot of solid food (Rapley and Murkett 2012).
      • Your baby should still be having 5-7 breastfeeds per day (Fredregill 2004).
      • Your baby will likely be teething in earnest at the moment. There are really two kinds of teething: chronic teething and acute teething. Chronic teething is ongoing. You’ll notice your baby doing lots of drooling, putting just about anything he can fit into his mouth, and gnawing on his fingers or hand. But he will continue to eat and drink normally. During acute teething, a tooth is actively cutting through the gum, which is a very painful process for most children. Babies who are cutting a tooth are often less interested in the breast, or eating solids, as their gums feel sore and irritable when sucking or eating. Luckily, acute teething will only last a few days at a time.
      • Babies breastfed for between seven and nine months have higher intelligence than those breastfed for less than seven months (Johnson).


      9 months:

      • You have now seen your baby through the fastest and most important brain and body development of his life on the food that was designed just for him - your milk. You may even notice that he is more alert and more active than babies who did not have the benefit of their mother's milk.
      • Some babies display waning interest in the breast around now. This may be due to altered taste brought about by hormonal changes during your menstrual period (if it has returned yet) or a temporary loss of appetite due to a cold or teething. Gentle perseverance is recommended. Try nursing in peaceful surroundings or when your baby is sleepy. If all else fails, pump milk to give to your baby in a cup whilst continuing to offer the breast.
      • Your baby should still be having 4-5 breastfeeds per day (Fredregill 2004).
      • Around now, your baby may be mastering the use of a beaker, which could lead to further loss of interest in nursing.
      • If you have been baby-led weaning, your baby will only now be making the connection between hunger and solid food. As she begins to eat more, her poos will start to become more solid, darker and smellier - especially once she starts to cut down her intake of breastmilk (Rapley and Murkett 2012). 
      • Once she is regularly eating and drinking at mealtimes, your baby may decide to skip some breastfeeds altogether, turning away when she's offered the breast. All you need to do is respond to her cues, just as you have until now. Even if you notice a fairly consistent drop in breastfeeding, it may not be a permanent change. 
      • It's common for babies to go back to breastfeeding for short periods, especially when they are teething or fighting off an infection. They may want nothing but breastmilk for a week or two, then switch back to eating solid foods and taking less milk. Your breasts will adapt within a day or two - even if your milk production has already gone down.


      10 months: 

      • Your baby’s increased mobility through cruising, crawling or shuffling may mean that his nursing patterns become erratic. On some days he may so ‘busy’ that he almost forgets to nurse. On such days, periodically offer your breast even if he does not at first indicate a desire to nurse. On other days, when exploration becomes overwhelming, he may nurse almost constantly.
      • Even though your baby is eating solid foods, breastmilk is still the most important part of his diet, and continues to provide him with important immunities at a time when he is crawling around and putting EVERYTHING in his mouth.






      1 year:

      • Many of the health benefits this year of nursing has given your child will last his entire life. He will have a stronger immune system and will be much less likely to need orthodontia or speech therapy.
      • Breastfeeding doesn't have to end just because your baby is no longer relying on it for their sole nourishment - it can carry on for several more years, if you both want.
      • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends nursing for at least a year, to help ensure normal nutrition and health for your baby.
      • As you have been lactating for a year, the fat and energy content of your breastmilk has significantly increased compared with the breastmilk of women who have been lactating for shorter periods (Mandel. D et al).
      • Is your baby still slimmer than their formula-fed peers? Don’t worry, this is perfectly normal (and healthy!) By the end of the first year, formula-fed infants in affluent countries are 600–650 g heavier than infants breast-fed for 12 months (Dewey, 2001).
      • Many babies continue feeding two to three times a day - perhaps first thing in the morning and last thing at night, plus odd times when they fall over or are tired or upset.
      • The fact that most babies can tolerate cow’s milk after one year does not mean that cow’s milk should necessarily replace your breastmilk. Cow's milk does not contain the bio-available vitamins and antibodies found in breastmilk. Also it is well documented that the later that cow's milk (a common allergen) is introduced into the diet of a baby, the less likelihood there is of allergic reactions (Ponzone. A).
      • If you want to carry on weighing your baby, once every three to six months is more than sufficient from now on (Rapley and Murkett 2012).
      • As a result of receiving your breastmilk for at least a year your child is more likely to display better social adjustment when they begin school (Kneidel. S).
      • By breastfeeding for a year you have given your child a lower risk of becoming overweight in later life and lower risk factors for heart disease as an adult. Oh, and you've saved yourself at least £450 ($720) on formula! (NCT).


      16 months:

      • You have continued to provide your baby's normal nutrition and protection against illness at a time when illness is most common in other babies. Your baby will continue to receive those important immune benefits for as long as he continues to nurse.
      • Breastfeeding toddlers between 16 and 30 months old have been found to have fewer types and shorter duration of illness and to require less medical care than their non-breastfeeding peers (Gulick. E).
      • Some of the immune factors in your breastmilk will increase in concentration during this second year (Goldman. A et al).
      • Your toddler will now be very quick and efficient at breastfeeding, and able to latch on from virtually any angle.
      • At this stage, even if only once per day, breastfeeding before bed is great.


      2 years+:

      • The World Health Organization and UNICEF  strongly encourage global breastfeeding through toddlerhood: “Breastmilk is an important source of energy and protein, and helps to protect against disease during the child's second year of life.”
      • Your milk is still providing your child with essential proteins, nutrients antibodies and other protective substances and will continue to do so for as long as you continue nursing. Human biology is geared to a weaning age of between 2 1/2 and 7 years (Dettwyler. K). “It takes between two and six years for a child's immune system to fully mature. Human milk continues to complement and boost the immune system for as long as it is offered” (La Leche League).
      • Extensive research on the relationship between cognitive achievement (IQ scores, grades in school) and breastfeeding has shown the greatest gains for those children breastfed the longest (van den Bogaard, C. et al), (NCT) .
      • At this age many children form attachments to comfort items. This reliance peaks during their second year (Encyclopaedia of Children's HealthStringer. K). Examples include rags, toys, dummies and even a bottle, objects that can all be mislaid, forgotten or lost. The beauty of breastfeeding your toddler is that your child's source of comfort is permanently attached to you. Furthermore, nursing does not produce the harmful health consequences  that a dummy or bottle would at this age (e.g. dental malformation, tooth decay, speech delay).
      • Toddlers like to move. Your toddler has only recently mastered walking, running and climbing, and she loves to find new ways to use her body. Unfortunately, constant motion and breastfeeding don't go well together. Your little gymnast might decide at some point that nursing would be more fun if he could twist, turn and climb all over you while sucking away. Ouch! Some children can even go from standing to hanging upside down over your shoulder in a single feeding session.
      • As your child starts to drink less and your production winds down, your milk will become gradually more concentrated - almost like colostrum again - giving her an extra boost of immunity (Rapley and Murkett 2012). 

      Thank you to The Alpha Parent for so much information!


      Link to original post: 


      • Your breasts have grown about 2 cup sizes in preparation for the new life you will continue to grow out of the womb.  Breast tissue is comprised mainly of fatty tissue & milk ducts, which grow in anticipation of the wee one soon in your arms.  

      Slightly Steady Nursing Bra review November 26 2013, 0 Comments

      If you're looking for the perfect gift for the nursing mama on your list (or yourself), check out this Bella Materna nursing bra review!
      If you're looking for the perfect gift for the nursing mama on your list (or yourself), check out this Bella Materna nursing bra review!
      Nursing moms definitely know the meaning of the words “awkward” and “frumpy.” “Awkward” is trying to get a baby latched on while you’re also trying to feed a toddler macaroni, and “frumpy” is usually the nursing bra you’re trying to shove out of the way with one hand.
      My first introduction to nursing bras was pretty dismal. We picked up a few at a big box retailer. The colors were white and gray. There was no lining, because every mom wants her nursing pads to be obvious, even under a sweater. The straps were granny-wide, and the cups came up so high that I had to either wear a turtleneck, or just keep worrying that they would show at the neckline – and even boat neck tees weren’t safe, because while they kept the cups covered, the width showed the enormous straps. And support? Nonexistent. They didn’t really do much other than keep my nursing pads in place. I felt pretty frumpy wearing those bras, and for good reason. Wearing them made me feel as if I’d never get to feel pretty, dainty, or sexy again – at least not while I was nursing.
      Odd, because nursing is an essentially feminine act – I had imagined I’d feel MORE feminine, not less.
      I do feel more like a woman-warrior when I’m nursing now, because I’ve since learned that it’s not the act of nursing that is the problem. It’s the ugly, ungainly, unflattering nursing bras!
      That’s why I was pretty much stalking my mailbox from the moment Anne Dimond, owner ofBella Materna, agreed to let me review one of her bras. I love these bras! I got one soon after Baby A was born, and now that I’ve lost over thirty pounds (yay THM and T-Tapp!) my bra was getting pretty loose. I couldn’t wait to get my new (smaller) bra!
      I should clarify that Bella Materna bras do grow and shrink with mama pretty well. The first bra I got fit me through the last month of my pregnancy and the first pounds I lost after Baby A was born – it’s only been getting loose the last ten or so pounds (meaning that, all pounds totaled up, it fit me very well for a span of about forty pounds). The band has a huge amount of adjustability to account for how a mom’s ribcage expands and shrinks back+18, which is a big reason I was able to wear it so long.
      bella materna nursing bra

      Look at all those rows! Inches upon inches of adjustable width.

      This bra also features “infinity rings,” that convert the nursing bra into a regular bra when nursing ends (*sniff,* it’s a sad thought), and nursing-safe Flexy wires to keep everything in place.
      bella materna nursing bra

      The infinity rings pose as decorative accents until you need them.

      I always feel supported and, you know, “lifted” in this bra – a far cry from the loosey-goosey feel of the off-the-rack nursing bras I used to have!
      These are wonderful nursing bras – and a fabulous gift idea for any mommy or mommy-to-be!

      Link to Slightly Steady Review