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Products That Can Help You Breastfeed In Public

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For this month’s “carnival,” we’re tackling the subject of breastfeeding in public. Below, you’ll find a collection of posts from different bloggers.
As for me, I breastfed our kids anywhere and everywhere. If they were hungry, they ate. I found a comfortable place to sit, and got down to business. Getting a pedicure? Yes. Shopping for clothes? Check. Dining in a restaurant? Ditto.
I think I was too tired to really care what anyone thought. And I found that with a little practice, it was quite easy to feed discreetly. I never bought a fancy nursing shawl or blanket. I didn’t even have a nursing top. I just managed with a nursing bra and whatever else I had with me at the time… my coat, a table napkin. You get the idea.
Nevertheless, I’m always excited to see new products that can facilitate the nursing in public experience. Babies eat around the clock and moms simply can’t stay home tethered to the couch all day. So if there’s anything that will make the whole thing easier, I’m all for it.
I recently posted a question on this site, as well as Twitter and Facebook, asking people what products they liked for nursing in public. I got some great suggestions, so I’ll share them with you here.
Bravado nursing bras and tanks. (I LOVED these bras. It was the only brand I bought).
Motherwear nursing clothes, bras and gowns.
Boob Nursing Shirts.
Hadley Stillwell’s fancy clothes for work and getting dressed up.
Japanese Weekend nursing tops, dresses and pajamas.
Glamourmom nursing tanks.
Nursing wraps/blankets from Bebe au Lait, Hooter Hider and Lila Bean.
The Bella Band to cover your stomach and hold your pants up.
The Mobleez Breastfeeding Hat.
A scarf from Mamascarf in the UK.
But in the end, you really have to ask yourself, what’s in your budget and what makes you the most at ease. And as my friend Helena wrote to me, “Hm, what makes it easy to feed your child in public…how about a boob? Don’t be ashamed, women, you don’t need to burkha your baby to accommodate other peoples’ ignorance.”
Now, for the posts from other bloggers. (sorry for the delay… I still have to insert the links)
* Motherwear: Get kicked off a bus for nursing in public? Here’s how to respond
* Breastfeeding 1-2-3: To Cover or Not to Cover
* Breastfeeding Mums: Nursing in Public – What’s a Breastfeeding Mother to do?
* Lucy and Ethel Have a Baby: Nursing in Public – Boobs out and Proud
* PhD in Parenting: Would you, could you, nurse in public?
* Dirty Diaper Laundry: Breastfeeding in Public – Talents – I Haz It
* Kim Through the Looking Glass: Here, at the Restaurant?
* Grudgemom: Nursing in a room full of people you know
* Mum Unplugged: Awww, is he sleeping?
* Massachusetts Friends of Midwives: Nursing in Public – Chinatown, the Subway, the Vatican, and more
* Mother Mary’s Soapbox: Breastfeeding Oriana
* Tiny Grass: Nursing in Public as an Immigrant
* Mommy News and Views: Breastfeeding in Public
* Stork Stories: Little Old Men…and Nursing in Public
* Chronicles of a Nursing Mom: Why worry about NIP?
* Warm Hearts Happy Family: Breastfeeding and the Summertime
* Blacktating: Thank you for Nursing in Public
* Musings on Mamahood: Nip, No Tuck
* Baby Ready: A Wee NIP in the Park
* Tales of Life with a Girl on the Go: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles – We’ve breastfed in them all
* Breastfeeding Moms Unite: Nursing in Public – A Fresh Perspective on Nurse-ins
* Never a Dull Moment: Breastfeeding Hats? Yes! Nursing Covers? Uh…not so much
* Hobo Mama: Easy, Discreet way to Nurse a Toddler in Public

Product Review– Utterly Yours Breast Pillow and Pregnancy Pillow

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This fall I spoke at the Lamaze International annual conference in Kentucky. It was an amazing opportunity to meet people from all over the country who devote their lives to helping women and babies. While I was there, I meet a mom who invented the Utterly Yours Breast Pillow and the Utterly Yours Pregnancy Pillow.
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The breast pillow was designed for larger breasted women (or anyone fighting the pull of gravity) who sometimes feel like they have to hold their breast up in order for their baby to feed. You position the pillow under your breast for a little boost. It comes in different sizes.
As for the pregnancy pillow, what woman doesn’t experience some discomfort trying to sleep when she’s pregnant? Personally, I found the pain in my hips excruciating. Well, this pillow gives support to both your back and your stomach, and it folds up into a nice neat box when you aren’t using it. This, too, comes in multiple sizes.
Since my baby days are over, I didn’t have a chance to test these pillows. But my gut tells me they may be worth a try. To see how these products work, watch this video.
This post is part of the monthly Breastfeeding Carnival. This month we’re reviewing breastfeeding products. To see what everyone else is writing about, here are the links:
# Motherwear: Breastfeeding and Pumping CDs.
#Breastfeeding123: Medela Sleep Nursing Bra
#Breastfeeding Mums: The Food of Love
# Babyfingers: Bravado Essential Nursing Tank
# Half Pint Pixie: Gorgeous nursing bras – they do exist!
# Blacktating: More Milk Plus tincture
# Mama’s Magic: Breastfeeding basics (and bling)
#Breastfeeding.com: Nursing product junkie!
#Hobo Mama: Nursing pads

Medela Swing Breast Pump Product Review

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Medela sent me its latest pump, the Medela Swing Breast Pump. This is Medela’s first single electric pump. It’s small and light-weight and could fit easily in a purse or briefcase. Since my pumping days are over, I gave it to my friend Eliana to give it a test run. Here’s what she had to say:
The Swing is a welcome addition to the arsenal of any breastfeeding mom on the go. As a working traveling mom the best I could do before the Swing was to remove the heavy cumbersome rectangular motor from the Pump In Style backpack and schlep it in my carry-on. The pump took up much of the suitcase and was extremely heavy- especially when loaded with large heavy batteries. The Swing in contrast is light, compact, and just as powerful.
The pump motor unit is neat and user-friendly. The circular shape fits neatly into its own carrying pouch with plenty of room to hold all the necessary attachments. Four large buttons make the pump’s 2-phase expression a cinch to operate. You simply start by pressing the power button to begin the stimulation phase. Once your milk starts to flow you press the expression phase to continue pumping or let the expression phase begin on its own after 2 minutes. The strength of the suction is easily adjusted with the large “+” and “-” buttons- there are no knobs to fiddle with and no tiny buttons to adjust. The body has a long shoulder/neck strap that enables the pumper to actually wear the pump during use- eliminating the need to find a clean stationary place to set up shop (super helpful when you find yourself pumping in a skanky airport bathroom).
The Soft-Fit breastshields are comfortable and effective, and the one piece design of the pump body makes for less loose parts to lose on the road.
The motor runs on 4 AA batteries (much lighter than the heavy batteries needed for other models) and comes with a power cord. The suction is powerful and consistent. The Swing pump is quieter than the Pump-In-Style but louder than a manual. You wouldn’t want to use this while on a conference call unless you are working for a drum company. Each powerful pump ends with the slightly grating sound of a lightly clapping cymbal. The other drawback is that the Swing is strictly for single pumping- so if double pumping is a requirement then you are best to stick with the Pump-in-Style. Personally, I could never handle the logistics or schlepping involved in double pumping and single pumped even with my Pump-In-Style, so the Swing was a perfect solution. Powerful and tough enough for daily use but compact and light enough to slip into a purse (albeit a large purse). Overall a solid product and a more convienient option for nursing mom’s on the go.