Nationwide Nurse-In 2018 – {Free Printables}

Nationwide Nurse-In Scheduled at locations across the country Friday, April 27, 2018!

Find the info for an event in your state here!

In the United States, mothers have the right to breastfeed their babies ANYTIME, ANYWHERE. Period.

So why are we still being asked to cover? To go to the car or the bathroom? To “just pump” or “stay home to do that in private”?

We’ve created a simple tool to help YOU feel confident in your rights when breastfeeding in public. These FREE business card-sized printables will fit right in your wallet, so that if you’re challenged, you can present the card to educate and inform the public.

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Print these out for your milky friends and co-workers, for  your OBGYN or WIC office, or have extra copies with you to share with nursing moms you meet!  You can even take these files to VistaPrint or your local office supply store to have the cards printed front and back, with our sleek “I am a Milky Momma” design on the reverse side.

Every state is included in our album, as well as the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico!

Download the card for your state HERE: https://photos.app.goo.gl/lqlOv5i7hpEEunuw2

 

The info for this year’s Nationwide Nurse-In is below… check it out, and don’t miss out on this opportunity to meet other nursing moms and assemble to advocate for our rights!

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The 4th annual Nationwide Nurse-In brings attention to breastfeeding laws to help end discrimination and harassment associated with public breastfeeding and the workplace pumping needs of mothers.

This year’s event is particularly relevant given the ongoing executive action to repeal the ACA, which provides mothers with time and accommodations to express breastmilk at work. Mothers may again be dependent on state laws to provide workplace pumping time and accommodations. Unfortunately nearly HALF of our states do not have workplace pumping laws and even fewer have laws that provide adequate protections. This leaves many thousands of working mothers vulnerable! Without appropriate advocacy and protection of these needs, the ability of mothers to continue to breastfeed is compromised. This is a critical and costly public health issue; according to the CDC, low rates of breastfeeding add more than $3 billion a year to medical costs for mothers and children in the United States.

Nationwide Nurse-In is partnering with Milky Mommas Inc. non-profit, a global community dedicated to helping women meet their breastmilk feeding goals by providing online support & current, evidence-based information. With the help of Milky Mommas, Nationwide Nurse-In is striving to help families through their entire breastmilk feeding journeys.

This event takes place across the United States at State Capitols and other law enforcement locations. This year’s theme is “Spread the Word!” Nationwide Nurse-In is working to educate as many people about the laws protecting mothers to nurse in public and express milk in the workplace. Nursing/pumping mothers and their allies are invited to attend and show their support and educate the public and government representatives.

Mothers & allies will be at their respective locations, nursing their babies and spreading the word about the laws that protect nursing in public and the workplace and advocating for adequate enforcement of these protections.

 

“Given the importance of breastfeeding on the health of mothers and children, it is critical that we take action to support breastfeeding. Women who choose to breastfeed face numerous barriers—only through the support of family, communities, clinicians, healthcare systems, and employers will we be able to make breastfeeding the easy choice.”

Jerome M. Adams, MD, MPH U.S. Surgeon General

 

Never Again, Here it Comes

I’m 38 years old; I have 5 yo twins and a 10 month old; I’m a Certified Lactation Counselor and an advocate for equitable and accessible lactation support; and I have breast cancer.

In late January my husband felt a lump in my breast.

On Friday, February 9th, pathology confirmed that I have triple negative breast cancer.

In 2 days, I start chemo. That’s 41 hours until I can never nurse this baby — any baby — ever again. Today I’m laying around soaking up every last second, with our bodies curled into one another.

 

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As the clock ticks down and the details fall into place so there’s nothing left to arrange and no tasks to focus on, I’m left to sit with terrible grief and anxiety.

Nursing my 10 month old has not been very pleasant the last several days. My chemo port site is still sore; he’s jet lagged and fussy and out of his routine; he’s started standing on his head and waving his behind around to fight sleep at the breast. A few times a dark and ugly part of myself has thought, at least this will be over in a few days. But at my core — the part that’s not worn down by terror and exhaustion — I’m devastated that this stage of our relationship is coming to a screeching halt and that there will be no last-minute reprieve. This is happening. It’s real.

Never again will I comfort him at the breast. Never again will I feed him from my own body. Yes, we’ll still be bonded and of course he’ll still be nurtured and nourished, but I’ve never *not* mothered through breastfeeding and nothing short of an actual life or death crisis could have made me stop before he was at least two years old. Neither one of us is ready.

Ready or not, here it comes. 💔

Meeting Milestones ~ {Free Downloads!}

There is no greater feeling than when you reach your goal, especially in breastfeeding. The early days can be so hard, and for some the trials don’t end there. It takes commitment, perseverance, and passion to continue breastfeeding in the face of challenges.

So lets celebrate!

We have designed this set of beautiful phone backgrounds to help you show off your breastfeeding achievements. Whether you’re exclusively breastfeeding, combo feeding, pumping and nursing, exclusively pumping, chestfeeding, donating breast milk, feeding donor breast milk, you deserve to be celebrated! You’ve given your baby breast milk, and #everydropcounts.

So show off. You’ve earned it! Download these gorgeous images and update them as you persevere through the weeks, months, and years of your journey. You go Momma! ❤

Download the whole set here, or click to save individual images that celebrate your latest milestone.

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Check in with us again soon, as we start rolling out more fun free pretty things to celebrate YOU and your journey ❤

Black Women Breastfeeding – Jasmine

Today we’re hanging out with Jasmine! Thanks for celebrating Black HERstory month with us! Check it out ❤

 

What has your breastfeeding journey been like?

My breastfeeding journey has been challenging mentally but manageable physically.

I feel like that is the perfect way to say it. Breastfeeding can be challenging! Did the women in your family breastfeed?

My mother said she tried to nurse me for one day but was in too much pain from c-section recovery. Then she nursed my little brother for 3 months. My Aunt said she pumped for 6 weeks until her youngest was released from the hospital. My sister in law nursed both of her children for over a year, she is white.

 

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It sounds like you’re blazing a trail for the next generation! What made you want to breastfeed?

My sister in law was the first person I really noticed and learned about breastfeeding from. I think she sparked my interest in learning about it. I learned more about it in college because I’m a birth-kindergarten education major. I learned about all the benefits of breastfeeding in college child development courses mostly.

 

Its awesome that you have your SIL to support you! What is the biggest bf challenge you’ve overcome?

The biggest breastfeeding challenge I have overcome was when I had to put my son in daycare and they had such strict rules about the way they handled breastfed babies. My son cluster fed at home at random times. Sometimes he would drink 1 ounce at a time other times 2.5 ounces. They needed to feed him on a schedule and if he didn’t finish a bottle they would dump my precious milk and it was very hard to keep my supply up because I only produce what my son would eat and nothing more. I ended up having to change daycares that would meet our needs and it was very stressful.

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How frustrating! I’m glad you found a childcare provider who would support your breastfeeding relationship. Who are your biggest supporters?

My mother supported me all the way with breastfeeding she always sent anything she thought would make us more comfortable , whether it be nursing clothes, pillows, lactation tea & cookies. She was my cut man during the process.

My husband cooked all my meals and kept me comfortable, despite his uncertainty about me nursing in public he never discouraged me breastfeeding. Any decision I made regarding breastfeeding he supported the best way he knew how.

Supportive partners are worth their weight in gold! Tell us your favorite story about an experience with breastfeeding.

I don’t have a favorite story but I do remember always dreading going out in public with my baby because I was worried people would say something when I nursed him. So far no one has ever said anything to me or even seemed to notice when I nurse him. It made going out a little less stressful.

That is so common. Good for you for pushing through it! Is there anything else you’d like to share or encourage other moms?

I had to advocate for myself a lot during my breastfeeding journey. Don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe in. The more confident you are ,then more than likely, no one will even think to question you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We all have to stick together. I wouldn’t have made it this far if I didn’t have some milk donated to me because my freezer supply diminished when I started taking my son to daycare and I couldn’t keep up by pumping. Just asking for 50 ounces every now and then helped relieve so much stress and increased my supply!

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Thanks for checking in with Jasmine and our blog team today. Happy Black History Month! Or should we say- Black HERStory ❤

The Elephants

The sun beats down, dust swirling as pain surges through your body. Vulnerable and wounded, you’re unable to stand. Predators have left you torn, and vultures begin to circle overhead. Gathering strength, you try to stand but collapse again. The thunder of feet causes you to open your clenched eyes, lurching to awareness. Shadows pass over you as huge figures block out the light. Have the enemies returned? No. Allies have arrived.

Side by side, backs to you, your community encircles to protect you. No predator stands a chance against this impenetrable ring of females. Stomping, trumpeting, tusks brandishing, it is clear that no danger is a match for these fearless defenders. Rescued, relief washes over you as you rest and heal. When your strength returns, upheld by this sisterhood, together you march proudly home.

This is the scene as an elephant faces a predator, soothes an injury, or gives birth to her baby. Protected by a ring of others, elephants experience these life changing moments safely surrounded by their community. They guard each other, support one another, reinforce each other in weakness, and celebrate together in victory.

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Milky Mommas is built on the foundation of this Elephant story.

We encircle our sisters as they pass through the most challenging hours, days, and seasons of life. None of us is ever alone, no matter how grueling the trial. There is nothing as formidable as a community of women, committed to doing life together.

When you bring your baby home and feel completely overwhelmed? We’ve been there.

When you’re up at 3am with a child who just won’t nurse to sleep? Your sisters are up too.

When you reach an important milestone and nobody else understands? We get it.

We show up.
We protect.
We defend.
We stick around through the hard stuff.

We lock arms to protect the momma in pain.

We lift up the momma in the midst of trials.

We laugh, we mourn, and we celebrate- together.

 

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One of our sisters is in the midst of a dark season- something no woman should face. We will not let her face it alone. Please join us in support and love of this momma, as we walk with her through the darkness- as we surround her with protection, support, and love.

 

 

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Subscribe to this blog to be notified as we host this momma as a guest blogger. She’ll share her heart with us while she bravely takes on a challenge no woman ever should.

She is walking through the fire- please join us as we walk with her.

 

 

(Featured Image Credit – David Yarrow)

Black Women Breastfeeding – Queen-Tiffaney’s Story

In honor of Black History Month, we are featuring some amazing Black mommas here on the blog! Check out this interview with Queen Tiffaney 🙂

 

Hey Tiffaney! So, what has your breastfeeding journey been like?

My breastfeeding journey has been actually a wonderful experience! I haven’t had any cases of mastitis or low supply. I’ve been blessed, kept up my oatmeal and water intake, and my daughter and I have thrived well!

Thats amazing! Congratulations! Did any of the women in your family breastfeed?

I have a few older cousins and aunts that did breastfeed, but my mom did not. Both my maternal and paternal grandmothers have passed away, so I honestly don’t know if they did.

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So if it wasn’t in the family, what was it that made you want to breastfeed?

I attempted breastfeeding my son who is 5 now, but I had little to no education about successfully breastfeeding. This time around my sister had exclusively pumped and my best friend had successfully breastfeed her son. I researched the entire 9 months I was pregnant, made Pinterest folders for breastfeeding, talked to other moms who successfully or unsuccessfully breastfeed, and I also joined maybe Facebook groups including Milky Mommas! This time I knew what I was doing, knew what negative signs to look for, and felt so much more prepared!

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Communities are so important for support, thats awesome. What is the biggest bf challenge you’ve overcome?

When my daughter was a month old, my kids dad decided he no longer wanted to be with me and left with no warning. I had no money for rent, bills were 2 months behind, and I had two kids to now care for alone. It was the hardest time of my life. I had seen nothing but darkness and tending to my beautiful daughter was no longer a wonderful blessing, but now a mistake and burden. I almost blamed her for his departure. My supply TANKED! I had to eat so much and drink so much water to keep up, and I honestly wanted to quit. Her smile no longer made my heart skip a beat. I felt like a failure to myself and my daughter. Breastfeeding was the only thing that kept us connected, it literally saved me and my relationship with my baby. I now would never second guess anything in my life!

Thats incredible! I’m sorry you went through that, but you’re amazing for pushing through it. Who are your biggest breastfeeding supporters?

My mom is my rock! Even though she didn’t breastfeed she’s such a great supporter. She has bought me so much to assist with breastfeeding, and even helped me buy a pump on the go.

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Tell us your favorite story about an experience with breastfeeding.

Every time the kids and I eat out my son says “Is sissy going to eat your chest?!”

Oh my gosh thats awesome, kids say the craziest stuff! Especially in public!  Last question- Is there anything else you’d like to share or encourage other moms?

I tell new mom’s “never doubt your body!”. Our bodies are amazing and they never let us down!! When in doubt latch, latch, latch!!

So true. Just keep nursing 🙂 Thanks for hanging out Queen-Tiffaney!

Milk on the Job – Military Mommas

Happy Veteran’s Day, y’all! We are so grateful to the brave men and women in uniform for their service. It is a unique sacrifice to serve in the military, and especially for mothers of young children.

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Like many other jobs, the military has regulations in place to protect working Milky Mommas. Do you know your rights? Here are some resources for our Military Milky Mommas, to ensure that they’re protected when pumping at work, and even services for veteran mommas!

Thank you for your service, and keep on milkin’! ❤

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What is the deal with Infant Cereals?

“When are you going to give that baby some rice cereal?”

“He’s starving, give that baby some cereal!”

“She wouldn’t wake up so much if you’d just give her some cereal in her bottle.”

“He’s so skinny! Have you thought about giving him cereal?”

 

When you’re a parent, the pressure is on. From day one, everyone and their sister has an opinion on your choices, not the least of which is when to introduce solid foods, specifically infant cereals. What is the right time, if ever? Should it go in a bottle? How should it be prepared? What are the alternatives? There seems to be a lot of different information out there. Don’t worry! We’re here to break it down for you!

 

What's the deal with

 

Here at Milky Mommas, we’re not about to make claims like the ones above without scholarly and expert sources for each and every point. Below, you’ll find each point sourced, explained, and linked, in case you want to do your own research.

 

 

1.Rice is a leading source of inorganic arsenic. Long term exposure to arsenic is associated with higher rates of skin, bladder, and lung cancers, as well as heart disease (fda.gov).

 

“Inorganic arsenic (iAs) is a well-characterized carcinogen, and recent epidemiologic studies have linked chronic exposures to non-cancer health outcomes, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, skin lesions and respiratory disorders. Greater vulnerability has been demonstrated with early life exposure for health effects including lung and bladder cancer, immunotoxicity and neurodevelopment.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28065543

 

 

2.Grains are difficult for humans to digest, making rice and other infant cereals not an ideal first food.

 “In the present review, we describe how the daily consumption of wheat products and other related cereal grains could contribute to the manifestation of chronic inflammation and autoimmune diseases.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3705319/

 

 

3.Studies show that introduction of infant cereals has no notable influence on sleep duration or quality of infant sleep.

“There was no statistically significant trend or a consistent tendency of one group to have a higher proportion of sleepers than the other. Therefore, feeding infants rice cereal in the bottle before bedtime does not appear to make much difference in their sleeping through the night.”

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2672785?dopt=Abstract

4.Serving babies rice cereal in a bottle is a choking hazard.

“Offering cereal in a bottle (or even on a spoon) before babies are developmentally ready can increase the likelihood of gagging and/or inhaling the thickened mixture into their lungs. Unless there’s a medical reason for giving it early, it’s not worth jumping the gun.”

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/feeding-nutrition/Pages/Cereal-in-a-Bottle-Solid-Food-Shortcuts-to-Avoid.aspx

 

5.Other sources of iron such as iron-rich foods are more readily absorbed and overall healthier for babies.

“We conclude that routine iron supplementation of breast-fed infants may benefit those with low Hb but may present risks for those with normal Hb.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12421836?dopt=Abstract

” Results of these studies, although requiring further verification, suggest that increased meat intake by breastfed infants >6 mo old would adequately support both iron and zinc requirements.”

http://jn.nutrition.org/content/130/2/358S.abstract

 

6.Introducing cereal to increase weight gain is simply a bandage, not a solution. Breast milk is more calorie and nutrient dense than infant cereals, which are primarily starch (sugar), and fortified with vitamins, which are also more readily available in breast milk.

Chart of popular baby foods (pureed and otherwise) compared to calorie and fat content of human milk:  https://kellymom.com/nutrition/starting-solids/babyfoodcalories/

On evaluating infant weight gain and how to address potential issues:
https://kellymom.com/health/growth/weight-gain_increase/

 

7.Cereals are often pushed at 4 months, but introducing foods including cereals before babies reach 6 months can cause problems such as gas and constipation, as well as increasing risk for gastrointestinal infection.

Following are just a few of the organizations that recommend that all babies be exclusively breastfed (no cereal, juice or any other foods) for the first 6 months of life (notthe first 4-6 months):
World Health Organization
UNICEF
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Academy of Family Physicians
Australian National Health and Medical Research Council

https://kellymom.com/ages/older-infant/delay-solids/

“Infants who are exclusively breastfed for six months experience less morbidity from gastrointestinal infection than those who are mixed breastfed as of three or four months, and no deficits have been demonstrated in growth among infants from either developing or developed countries who are exclusively breastfed for six months or longer. Moreover, the mothers of such infants have more prolonged lactational amenorrhea.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11869667?dopt=Abstract

“Taken together with our previous findings, these results indicate that the advantages of exclusive breastfeeding during this interval appear to outweigh any potential disadvantages in this setting.”

http://jn.nutrition.org/content/131/2/262.full

http://www.naba-breastfeeding.org/images/Just%20One%20Bottle.pdf

http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/Pnacs461.pdf

 

 

8.Though some babies with medical conditions may benefit from thickened bottle feedings, prescribed milk thickeners are typically more appropriate.

“​​Certain diet textures are often prescribed to help infants and children with special needs eat more safely and easily. Children with dysphagia or gastroesophageal reflux, for example, may need their food to be thicker in order to swallow safely or reduce reflux.

In response to concerns over arsenic in rice, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) now recommends parents of children with these conditions use oatmeal instead of rice cereal.”

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/abdominal/Pages/Oatmeal-The-Safer-Alternative-Need-Thicker-Food.aspx

 

9.Babies who are introduced to “real” foods rather than processed
infant cereals are more likely to develop a diverse palate 
and are at a reduced risk for choking.

“Weaning style impacts on food preferences and health in early childhood. Our results suggest that infants weaned through the baby-led approach learn to regulate their food intake in a manner, which leads to a lower BMI and a preference for healthy foods like carbohydrates. This has implications for combating the well-documented rise of obesity in contemporary societies.”

http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/2/1/e000298

“The study contributes to the insight that exposure to food texture to learn how to handle texture is important for infants and showed that exposing children to a higher amount of larger pieces improves their chewing capability”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28449229

More on Baby-led Weaning – https://www.mamanatural.com/baby-led-weaning/

 

So what do you think? Did you get rice cereal as a baby? What are your family’s plans for solids introduction? Share with us in the comments below!

The Wonder Weeks – New Edition Review & Giveaway! {giveaway complete}

Here at Milky Mommas Inc., we LOVE The Wonder Weeks! Their best selling book is the closest thing to an instruction manual for newborn and toddler life, and the convenient smart phone app puts the information at your fingertips. The Wonder Weeks helps make sense of those previously mysterious fussy periods that every child goes through. Combining scientific research on human brain growth with practical tips for helping your child as they develop, The Wonder Weeks should have a place on the bookshelf of every new parent.
Just last month The Wonder Weeks released an updated version of their book with a brand new chapter all about baby sleep and mental leaps, and their team was kind enough to send us a copy for review. As if the book wasn’t already indispensable, this new information takes it to a new level.
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In the new chapter, child development experts break down the affects of cognitive leaps on your baby’s brain and sleep patterns. There are tips and tricks for recognizing the stages of sleep, on how to know when to sneak away from a slumbering tot for some much needed coffee, and on what to expect as your baby develops through each stage.
It was so eye opening to read the book, especially this new chapter. My toddler is going through leap 10 right now (and cutting molars- please send coffee! 😂) and the book really helped me connect the dots of what she is going through, and showed me how I can help her. Maybe most important of all, The Wonder Weeks helped me adjust my expectations for life in leap weeks. It is so challenging to care for a little person with big needs and feelings, with little to no way to communicate her needs! The Wonder Weeks eases that confusion, and offers practical steps for helping your baby with each changing stage. The book explains what new skills she may be developing, and how each one could affect her sleep, behavior, and her view of the world. The Wonder Weeks’ Information has made life easier for the whole family! Realistic expectations of baby’s behavior and development is truly one of the keys to successful parenting.
Because we love this book so much, we want YOU to get a copy of the new version! Comment here with what you love about The Wonder Weeks, and we’ll select one commenter to receive a brand new copy of the book.
Don’t want to wait for the giveaway? You can purchase your own copy of the new edition here. Don’t forget to use the Milky Mommas Amazon Smile, where a small portion of your purchase can help promote breastfeeding worldwide.

Hand Expression

Learning to hand express breast milk is a “handy” skill (pun intended!) that so many mommas never learn. It requires some practice to master, but once you do, it is a convenient method for expressing milk anytime, anywhere- no special equipment required.

Hand expression is free, all you need is a cup or bowl to express into, and your hands! It is also a cleaner method of expression than pumping, since the milk comes into contact with far fewer surfaces on its way to baby. Fewer contact points means less chance for contamination- win, win!

Check out this great video from Global Health Media for a comprehensive tutorial on how to hand express.

 

Have you hand expressed? Tell us below! ❤