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How one soldier got the breastfeeding support she needed

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Features, motherhood, Uncategorized

Today in honor of Veteran’s Day, we wanted to show our respect and gratitude for all active and retired military, especially the many mothers who are in the military. We are so grateful for your sacrifice and send our love to you!

Today we are highlighting Leslie Felder SSG, USAR. She is an Army Staff Sergeant and is sharing her experience breastfeeding and pumping as a soldier. Enjoy!

With my first child in 2012, the Army did not have a specific regulation addressing female soldiers’ needs for pumping.  I found that what it did have written most likely hurt more than it helped. Pumping logistics were left up to the soldier, their supervisor, and command team.  They were to come up with a specific plan that could meet the needs of the army, unit, mission, and soldier.  Most often, in that order. After my second baby, the Army created a new breastfeeding policy.

Learn how one soldier got the breastfeeding support she needed. Learn how she was able to pump and store milk while away for training.

Some of the negativity I received came from lack of understanding of how breastfeeding worked and the needs of a lactating mother. A few things that worked in my favor to get me and other females in the unit support were: I am a Staff Sergeant and Platoon Sergeant and could advocate for my subordinates, I became a certified lactation educator counselor (CLEC), and the Army later published the Army Directive 2015-43, the Revised Breastfeeding and Lactation Support Policy. These things coupled with being in a Combat Support Hospital made breastfeeding in uniform more doable. That’s not to say we did not have challenges.

Click through to learn how Leslie and another soldier pumped while away for several days at a training.

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ABC Kids Re-cap and Favorite Products

By | Breastfeeding support, Features, Media, motherhood, Uncategorized

Hi mamas! I had such a great time at the ABC Kids Expo last week! I got a behind-the-scenes look at some of the newest and best baby products out there. I shared lots on Instagram stories of the people and products I met. Don’t worry if you missed those, you can view the highlights in my video below.


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Ergobaby has new prints in their Original carrier. Loving the black twill and denim prints especially.

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I love their new nursing pillow covers and swaddle prints. Check out the video for a peek at their new diaper bags! These will be available spring 2017.

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I am really excited about Bamboobies pumping lubricant. Many of my clients love their nursing pads and nipple cream too. You can use code ‘LLINK20’ for 20% off on their site.

Click through for more new and fabulous baby gear! Read More

Feature: Katie Richardson of Puj Baby + PROMO CODE

By | Breastfeeding support, Features, motherhood, Recommended Products, Uncategorized

www.linneapaulina.comPuj’s Splash Infant Gift Set & Promo Code
When looking for quality baby products, we love recommending ones we have used ourselves and that are run by passionate people. That is why we are so excited to talk about Puj today! Their infant tubs fit right into your sink and are such a fantastic alternative to the giant tubs that sit on your counter. We also love their Splash Infant Gift Set. It has their Flyte compact tub, Hug 2-in-1 apron, 3 washcloths, and 3 hanging nubs. They were so thoughtful with each part of this set, the box is designed to fit on a mom’s lap so she can open it without assistance during a baby shower.  We love their passion for helping simplify parenthood. Use the code LLINK for $15 off the Splash Infant Gift Set.

We had a fabulous time interviewing Katie Richardson, founder of Puj. She is an awesome mother and business woman. We are excited to share some of her wisdom with you…

There’s so much advice out there on being a Mom! What’s one piece of advice you’d give a new mama? Let go of any expectations that have been place on you by either friends, family, or even yourself. YOU are the mother of your children by design and you intuitively know what is best for them. Learn to trust those instincts.

With all the “must-haves” and baby registry lists, how do you think Moms can feel prepared without being overwhelmed? Focus on the essentials and the rest will take care of itself. If you have a great diaper bag, car seat, stroller, and crib the rest will start to fall into place. And don’t feel like you need to have everything purchased before the baby gets here. Once the baby is born you may decide you don’t need some of the “must have” items. And it’s always great to try one out from a friend first if that’s possible so you can see if you even like it.

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How do you think Moms can blend safety and convenience? Anything that is not safe for your baby is certainly not convenient in the long run. I try to find brands that have a face and a name behind it. If thee is someone I can trust leading the company then I know they won’t produce products that are potentially harmful to my child. These days trust in a brand is everything. You want to know what the quality is going to be, especially when you’re buying things over the internet.

What has been the most rewarding part of founding your company Puj Baby? The most rewarding part of founding my company Puj Baby is connecting with parents all over the world. I want the best for my own babies, and know that every one of my customers wants the best for their child. Because I am living the life as a parent just as my customers are, we are able to connect on a new level. Reading stories from first time parents about being able to relax and have a calm bonding bath time experience is so rewarding. Knowing people have a piece of my heart in their homes through my products brings me so much joy!

Thank you Katie for sharing with us today! Be sure to check out Puj’s Splash Infant gift set and use the code LLINK for $15 off!

I’ve created a free e-mail course to help you get breastfeeding started on the right foot! Click the image below for more info.

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Thanks for stopping by,

Lindsey Headshot white with grey

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

Tips for breastfeeding in a carrier from a babywearing educator

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Classes, Features, motherhood

woman breasfeeding her child using a carrier

We are excited to have Laura Brown, a certified babywearing educator with Ergobaby with us today! To celebrate International Babywearing Week, she will be sharing her tips with us on how to breastfeed while wearing your baby in a carrier. Thanks for sharing with us Laura!

Breastfeeding in a carrier made simple with these tips from a baby wearing expert!

  1. Make sure you having breastfeeding upright down before trying out in your carrier. You can either lie back, have baby gently straddling you, or even practice side lying and breastfeeding to get your latch down.
  2. Know your carrier and its features well, as well as how to put it on comfortably on your own so you feel confident before attempting breastfeeding in it. Most carriers also have hoods you can use if you if baby is distracted or you’d like some additional privacy.
  3. Practice! Practice at home or another environment where you feel comfortable before trying out and about. Try latching baby on before baby is crying and upset, when baby is content and curious. Move and sway if you need to.
  4. Dress in a way that makes it easy for access to the breast. Crossover tops and nursing tanks work well, or the “two shirt method” where you layer one top over another so you can lift the top one up and bottom one down (like an envelope).
  5.  You will likely need to lower your carrier and possibly being breast up to meet baby. Practice lifting the edge of your buckles to release slack and drop baby down a few inches. If you still feel your breast is too low, you can put a rolled up washcloth under your breast, or you may want to try a soft cup bra rather than drop cup nursing bra which will give you a few inches of boost.
  6. Keep in mind the younger baby is, the more you may have to help guide until they have complete head and neck control. Don’t forget to lift baby back up and retighten your carrier once you’ve finished.

Laura Brown is a Certified Babywearing Educator with Ergobaby, posptartum doula, and the founder of BabywearingLA. She currently teaches classes and consults in Los Angeles.

 

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breastfeeding dressThe carrier seen here is the Ergobaby Adapt, a new carrier that allows you to use from birth without an insert! The dress is Harper & Bay’s Raglan dress, which has side zippers to open for nursing!

How has breastfeeding while babywearing helped you? What has been your experience? Share in the comments. 

I’ve created a free e-mail course to help you get breastfeeding started on the right foot! Click the image below for more info.

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Thanks for stopping by,

Lindsey Headshot white with grey

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

Featured on Romper!

By | Breastfeeding, breastfeeding tips, Features, Uncategorized

28One of our Lactation Consultants, Kristin Gourley, was the featured breastfeeding expert for a Q&A session on Romper. Here’s just a little preview of her answer about baby being irritable when breastfeeding rather than bottle feeding:

“He may be preferring a faster or constant flow like the bottle has,” Gourley says. “You could try to nurse at night instead of using a bottle so he knows that’s the way to get food at this point, or you could try paced bottle feeding, where you sit baby up and the bottle is more horizontal than vertical so the milk flow isn’t as fast, and also take frequent burping breaks.” She says that “the more you nurse, the more he’ll trust the flow of your breast milk since it’s not constant.”

The rest of the article is FULL of common breastfeeding questions and answers! Be sure to head on over to article to read the rest of the Q&A and Kristin’s advice!!

I’ve created a free e-mail course to help you get breastfeeding started on the right foot! Click the image below for more info.

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Feature: The Exclusively Pumping Mom

By | Breastfeeding, Classes, Features

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Today we are excited to feature Laura Deznan of @theexclusivelypumpingmom. She is sharing with us her experience with exclusively pumping, donating milk as well as her top 3 tips for pumping moms.

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Exclusively pumping (or EP) is when a woman uses a breast pump to express milk for their baby. They then bottle feed that milk to their little one. They never bring the baby to their breast to nurse. It is often referred to as bottle nursing.
Why I chose to exclusively pump
Many moms wonder why anyone would want to exclusively pump. it’s time consuming and exhausting. Leaving the house for more than a few hours requires you to pack up your pump and supplies. I actually made the choice to EP. Many mothers make this decision due to medical issues. Some have a baby with a cleft palate or who is in the NICU, and not strong enough to nurse. I personally did this due to my oversupply.
My body quickly made an oversupply with my daughter and I realized after nursing sessions I still felt full and uncomfortable. I decided to pump for relief and was shocked with how much better I felt. I started giving my daughter pumped milk and she did great with it. She was happy, sleeping well and meeting all of her milestones. I tried to do both, but pumping after each nursing sessions became too much for me. I was working full time and my husband was working nights, something had to change. I decided to try out exclusively pumping since we were not nursing much once I was back at work 6 weeks postpartum.
Donating my breastmilk 
I was able to pump a significant amount of milk. Soon my freezer was full and we decided to invest in a deep freezer. I had been blessed with more milk than my daughter needed and I ran out of room! I found a baby in need who I donated 2,000 oz to. We kept 3,000 oz since we were coming up on a year and I was starting to wean from the pump. I knew the 3,000 oz would get my daughter close to 2 years on breastmilk.
We struggled with clogged ducts and several bouts of mastitis. It was absolutely worth it though. I figured out Lecithin was a great supplement to prevent clogs which helped me out significantly. Luckily those were my biggest hurdles and we overcame them one day at time.
I learned a lot during my experience as an exclusively pumping mom, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I was able to reach my breastfeeding goals (while working full time) and then some with my trusty pump by my side. I had my husbands support the entire journey and was able to donate to a baby in need as well as my niece and my cousins new arrival!
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Here are my top 3 tips for exclusively pumping moms:
  1. Pump parts only need to be washed once daily. Put your parts in a ziplock bag and refrigerate parts between pumping sessions! Wash the parts at the end of the day! You save yourself a lot of time and energy.
  2.  If you see a dip in supply, don’t panic. It is most likely your pump, not you. Check all of your pump parts- especially the membranes. The membranes have to be changed every few weeks and can make a huge difference in your output.
  3. Stay hydrated! You have to hydrate to lactate- so keep water on you at all times!
Breastfeeding looks different to everyone, mine just involved a breast pump! Exclusively pumping was by far the hardest, yet most rewarding thing I have ever done for another person. I would gladly do it all over again!

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Thank you Laura for sharing your experience! What has been your experience with pumping?

Also check out my top 5 tips for keeping up your milk supply when returning to work. To learn more about pumping and storing breastmilk when separated from baby, check out our breastfeeding video classes, including our class Pumping and Storing.

I’ve created a free e-mail course to help you get breastfeeding started on the right foot! Click the image below for more info.

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The bra (Simple Wishes) and shirt (Undercover Mama) in these photos are some of our favorite products. Use code “LLINK” for 20% off.

Photos by Janae Kristen.

Mom & baby must-haves for summer

By | Breastfeeding, Features, Recommended Products

Today I’m sharing some items I recently found that are made to make a Mom’s life easier in the summertime!  First in the round-up is one of my favorites Stekki Bebe wraps.  You guys know that baby wearing has so many benefits!  With the right positioning, you can also breastfeed while baby wearing (watch for an upcoming blog tutorial).  This wrap not only comes in beautiful colors/prints but is made to get wet!  This is such a convenient way to hit the pool this summer with your baby and makes life easier if you have older ones too!  It is made to support babies from newborn – 25 lbs.  What’s your favorite color?  I think I’m loving the seafoam one!  You can get 15% off your Stekki Bebe wrap with the code ‘LLINK’ thru 6/8.

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 6.56.23 PM copyUse Code ‘LLINK’ for 20% off at Stekkibebe.com!  48 hours only!

Next, I want to share something that will be a lifesaver when your kiddos want to be outside all summer!  As a Mom of a 3 and 4-year-old, I’m constantly worrying about all of us getting sunburned.  They have fair skin like me!  I am especially aware because my little family has been greatly affected by skin cancer.  SwimZip has taken the worry out of fun in the sun with their UV 50+ protective shirts and coverups.  They have styles and sizes for the whole family.  My favorite pick for mamas is here.  They are easy to get on and off (full zipper) and comfy too (no neck tags!).  You can get 20% off your entire purchase on Swimzip.com with the code ‘LactationSwimZip20’ through 6/8.

toddler in a bathing suit
mom in a purple swim suitWhat are your favorite summer must-haves for Mom and baby? My schedule of in-person breastfeeding classes for the summer is available here.  My video classes are available to click and watch at your convenience.

I’ve created a free e-mail course to help you get breastfeeding started on the right foot! Click the image below for more info.

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Thanks for coming by,

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Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

Woman holding baby with new mom

Breastfeeding Myths, Facts, and Tips

By | Classes, Features, Recommended Products

Today I have an article featured on Ergobaby’s blog entitled, “Breastfeeding Myths, Facts, and Tips.”  This post topic was inspired by you!  To start, I got on our support forum on instagram and asked a few questions!

  1. “What’s the worst breastfeeding advice you’ve heard?”
  2. “Whats the one piece of advice or tip you wish you’d known before you started breastfeeding?”

Lactation consult helping new mom breastfeed baby

{Nursing pillow by Ergobaby}

There can be so many misconceptions out there that can lead to Moms questioning everything from baby’s wellness to their milk supply.  Our video classes are here to give you research based options and create confidence!  Head over to Ergobaby’s blog to read the full article and see if I featured your comment!

I’ve created a free e-mail course to help you get breastfeeding started on the right foot! Click the image below for more info.

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Thanks for stopping by!

Lindsey Shipley - Lactation Consultant

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

Motherhood Blog Series #3 Best and Worst Days as a Mom

By | Breastfeeding, Features

I love putting together this quarterly series on Motherhood.  I especially enjoy reading the submissions and peaking into another Mom’s life, her joys and triumphs, along with her struggles and challenges.  In this digital world we live in it can be difficult to slow down and tap into who we truly are, and what matters most to us as Moms.  For me it’s working daily to help other Moms, practicing balance, and putting my family first.   I’ve met all five of today’s contributors and know you will love what they have to say!  I think they each shared a dynamic and unique perspective. Here is the question I asked all of them:

“Describe your best and worst days as a Mom?  What do you try to focus on to make each day one of the best?”

Ashley Reeves

Ashley Reeves

Parenting is like firefighting?You put out one flame (diaper changes, tantrums, breaking dishes, starvation) while the other flames escalate (fighting over light sabers, punching brothers, running into the road with no pants in 4 degree weather, flooding the toilet, dumping apple juice all over the floor) and you can try the best you can but you are only 1 firefighter and you got 4 raging flames about to burn your house down and very rarely are all 4 flames extinguished. At best they are little embers sitting and waiting to be ignited at the drop of a hat. Some days the flames are all around you screaming, yelling & crying non stop and you do all you can to keep your cool, and not become yet another fire yourself (this is where my caffeine addiction comes in) Its a HOT MESS literally. I gotta say 4 has actually been a little smoother transition than I anticipated but only because it was already SO CRAZY before, what’s 1 more?! Bring it on! This afternoon was up in flames but I have been putting an extra effort to not surrender to my days, but to embrace them. I love these little fireballs to the freakin moon. I know I am the best mom for these kids, and I know they need me just as much as I need them in my life. They are my purpose, what I have been given time for and I want to make every day count. The fires and all. I just want to send fist bumps to all the fire extinguishing moms out there, we got this.

Ashley Reeves is a mom of 4 and calls herself a “foodie family girl”.  She shares daily snippets on her instagram @ashleysfreshfix – a mix of mom life and delicious recipes!  She also has a blog with great ideas for whole food snacks and meals.  My personal favorites are her weekly menu chart and her e-books.  Most currently she is apart of the #choosingtoloveyourself campaign which you can get involved with here.  She is also a social media consultant –  catch her live on periscope @ashleyrosereeves.

Oakley Peterson

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Best days and worst days? This is actually a great question because it’s something that we’ve really been trying to gain better control over, lately. Our oldest (Scarlett) has had a bit of a difficult time adjusting to becoming a family of five. You’d never know the reason is the new baby though, because she loves and dotes on her two younger brothers constantly. Instead, she takes her frustration with these changes out on me. With a third kid, it’s been a real drain dealing with outbursts and meltdowns. I’ve let it ruin days, I’ve let our “head-butting” turn into some of my worst parenting days. We’ve tried it all, talking her through it, taking away toys, taking away privileges, sending to her room for some alone time, one-on-one dates to give her extra attention, but even that doesn’t work when it’s already been a rough day. So most recently, I tried something that’s not exactly my strong suit… Lots of patience and lots of listening. I mean more patience and talking about feelings than I’ve done in my entire life. She has so many feelings inside her tiny little body… And boy does she like/NEED those feelings acknowledged! This little experiment has made situations that used to make for a “worst” kind of day turn into a “best” kind of day, as I’m breaking through and strengthening our relationship.

Well besides focusing on patience to make for a “best” kind of day, I would say finding joy in the simplest of things. Welles has taught our family this. That kid finds such joy in things like watching snow fall outside of our window, feeling different textures of flower peddles and he savors every single hug and snuggle. He truly appreciates all beautiful things around him, big or small. What a way to live! I’m grateful for his example of making the most out of each day and his constant focus on making everything a “best” kind of experience.

Oakley Peterson is a mom of 3.  Her son, Welles, “has an extra chromosome and a smile that rocks our world!”.  She has a blog and instagram (@nothingdownaboutit) where she celebrates “Up Syndrome!” and offers her support and love to other Moms of special needs children.

Courtney Miles

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As I think back to the years I have been a Mom to my two little girls I can think of many good days and of course some bad. Some of my best days include taking my children to Disneyland for the first time and seeing their faces light up with excitement over everything. Every holiday watching them excited about each new tradition it brings. But even more so my favorite days are just the little things; such as picking up my four year old from preschool and seeing her happy face ready to tell me about her day. Watching my toddler develop new skills and be so proud of her! Every night being able to read and sing to my girls and tuck them into bed knowing that they are mine. I of course have many bad days of parenting just as I’m sure you have too. My worst days include a lot of tantrums, a lot of yelling, and a lot of tears from both myself and my girls and the worst part being told that “I don’t love you anymore Mommy!”

So what do I do to make each day a better one? I try. My children are my motivation. Every night in bed without fail, good or bad day my husband and I talk about our girls and their different personalities, the funny things they did that day, and the not so fun parts of the day. Communication is my band aid. It makes me reflect on the day and I realize how these small problems don’t matter. What matters is that my children know that I love them, and that I am trying. I have a lot to learn from my girls. They forgive and forget easily, they love unconditionally, and they motivate me to try harder. So here is too many more good and bad days, happy and sad, knowing that my children will still love me just like I will always love them!

Courtney Miles is the mother of 2 beautiful little girls.  A little over a year ago she was diagnosed with colon cancer.  She amazed many with her positivity and radiating smile.  She documented much of her treatment on instagram (@court_miles), giving strength and hope to others.  Recently she has been cleared as disease-free!  After chemo, she began working out and it has become one of her favorite things to do.  She and her husband, Cole, enjoy Bear Lake cabin trips, water-skiing, and traveling anywhere warm!

Ali Fenlon

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I was raised by a fantastic Mother who found joy in raising five kids all while keeping an immaculate house. She made it look easy and was always put together and beautiful all day and everyday. Naturally, I thought Motherhood would be a cake walk…boy was I wrong.
It was 11:45am on a hot summer day in July last year and I had 15 minutes to make it to swimming lessons with my two girls. I was running late, extremely pregnant and taking a business call all while in route to the pool. All I had to offer my hungry kiddos was a bag of chocolate covered pomegranates from Costco which I gladly handed back to them to quiet the complaining. We parked and flew out of the car in a mad rush. Into the pool they went while I tried to find a spot of shade to escape the blazing heat to finish up my call. No more than five minutes had passed when I saw something that caused me to drop my phone mid sentence. A spew of thick, brown matter flew into the sky from the pool above where my girl were swimming. I immediately ran over to the pool just in time to witness another explosion of dark gunk that coated my girls completely and the poor swimming instructor too. I stopped dead in my tracks when I realized that my little Amelia had upchucked basically that entire bag of chocolatey treats mixed with pool water. I peered into the pool to see what looked like an oil spill and shouted for an immediate evacuation of the pool. It was everywhere and I fished my kids out of the pool and reached for the nearest hose to wash away as much as I could of the sticky filth. The teacher jumped out to escape the floating mess and grabbed the chlorine and net to skim off the leftovers. Little Amelia was mortified and I was embarrassed that we had caused such a scene. Needless to say, we left early from swimming lessons that day and headed home to hit the shower. (Note to self: allowing  a child to consume an entire bag of candy before swimming lessons won’t end well.)
Luckily, those kinds of days are few and far between. Thankfully, most days I marvel in awe of what I have been blessed with. It is a daunting task but I gladly take the challenge. What is more worth my precious time than the nurturing and loving of my three little ladies? It’s not enough for me to just do the laundry and make a sandwich…it’s the teaching moments, cuddles, triumphs, kisses, connections and talks that leave me fulfilled and grateful for my role. I make sure to pray with my girls every night before bed and verbally thank God for the blessings that they are to me and my husband. We also wrap our arms around one another for a “family hug” and sing a song before they drift off to sleep. I know these moments are fleeting and I try my best to slow down and soak up their sweet voices, funny questions and the look of admiration in their eyes because I know it won’t last forever and I’ll miss every bit of it some day. I appreciate the humility that Motherhood brings and the chance that I get to round and smooth the edges of my very imperfect self.
Ali Fenlon is the founder and designer of the contemporary bag company Sage and Harper.  She’s also the mom of 3 girls.  She spent time as a young girl learning to sew with her grandmother.  She was fascinated with turning something ordinary into the extraordinary, which is evident in her designs.  Her work has been featured all over the world, including Disney and Kohl’s.  Ali takes pride in teaching her daughters about hard work and chasing their dreams through her success in Sage and Harper.  You can catch her latest designs on her website and instagram.

Brooke White

brooke and loo

My best day as a mom: my best day looks like one that includes no phones, no iPads, no computers and no Disney junior. Basically no screens.  They are usually the days when there is one objective, be present with Loo in life. Usually this happens when we decide to get out of the house and have a little adventure…little being the key word.  It doesn’t have to be extravagant! Although every once and a while we do something a bit extra special like a trip to the farm to ride on the cow train and pick strawberries. But usually it’s simple, a trip to Home Depot to walk around and explore the nursery. We sniff flowers and run up and down between the aisles of plants. We talk about the colors and how beautiful they are. Or maybe it’s our Saturday morning tradition of going to McDonald’s for breakfast while daddy plays hockey. I let London order her own “egg white mcmuffin and oatmeal”.  She is learning to make eye contact with the person at the register and tell them thank you. Then we sit at our favorite booth by the window and wait, I ask her to tell me our number is at the top of the receipt, and we listen for that number. We eat our breakfast and talk, and usually some interesting characters stop by to talk to us.  Other good days include drives in the car around the neighborhood or the beach and we roll down the windows and listen to music.  She loves “Downtown” by Petula Clark and “Sugar Town” by Nancy Sinatra.  I love to be in nature with London. There is a peace and an energy there that makes me feel in touch with the present, with God and with her. Without the distractions of the digital world or the noisy boredom of kid tv.  But also the reality is that we are gonna be at home on most days and I have to be diligent on being engaged. So we make a lot of stuff, paint stuff, bake stuff… Like pre-made cookie dough. Those can be good days too. But what ever it is we’re doing, my best day is found in the moments that I really absorb her, in those seconds when she is talking to me and she is saying stuff that is blowing my mind, and I look at her and think, “Holy moly that’s my kid! This is real!”  I realize that it is all happening so fast and she is growing too quickly and she is so beautiful and funny and such a gift and I freak out that too often I’m missing it!

My worst day as a mom: My worst days are usually ones when our eyeballs are glued to screens and our minds are numbed by overstimulation.  Also, I’m trying to simultaneously work and be a mom. We watch back-to-back-to-back-to-back Disney junior and Jake and the never land pirates. We’re in the “back room”, the multi-purpose tv/office/play room. I’m trying to get the work done that I didn’t get done the day before on the computer while Loo is literally fighting my hand away from the mouse and playing tug a war with my arm. Maybe I’m on a conference call and she is whaling “no more work mom” in the background. She tells me every 2-4 minutes that she is hungry, we make countless trips to the snack cabinet and fridge hoping some snack of her liking will magically appear. I try to get her to eat carrots but we end up eating an entire bag of goldfish crackers and/or fruit snacks. By 4 o’clock it’s no surprise our behavior takes a turn for the worst. We are in full melt down mode… the whining and fit throwing starts to escalate. We’re still trapped in the back room, It’s taken me four hours to almost respond to one email and I’m not sure I can succeed at another 5 seconds of motherhood. I finally give up on work and find myself on the couch trying to do a puzzle and watch doc mcstuffins with her, while mindlessly and compulsively checking my Instagram. You know, because I could use some validation and connection to the outside world. I’m scrolling and scrolling though crisp curated squares of perfection and productivity, I want to be inspired but instead it makes me feel like crap in my soul and gives me a dull ache in my face. I probably post something a little too long, too personal. The number next to my profile pic drops. My ego starts to flare up. My insecurities come to a roaring head. I do my lowest thinking in this moment, I start comparing myself to others, feeling guilty, unproductive, anxious, lonely, unmotivated and disconnected. Knowing that I didn’t get my work done when people were counting on me while feeling like I failed my child by parking her in front of the tv with processed food all day is a double whammy. Cue shame and anxiety. Pity party ensues: I’m ruining my beautiful child. I can’t follow through on anything. My life is so good, I should be grateful. Also dinner time is the scary monster in the corner ridiculing me because I have no idea what I’m gonna make and we have no groceries and let’s be honest I haven’t made dinner in weeks… Months. The laundry still never made it out of ikea bags and what do I have to show for this day. We pray each day that we can grow our family, but I only have one kid and I still can’t keep my shiz together. On these days I lay in bed at the end of the day, convinced that I don’t deserve another baby. These days are my worst days as a mom. They happen more then I’d like to admit.

So what do I do about it: that’s a solid question. I’m still working on it, and likely always will. Somedays I’ve found the secret, other days I know nothing. But, The current goal is to have the best outweigh the worst, and I’m taking that seriously. I’ve had to realize that the truth is I struggle with depression, anxiety and perfectionism. This contaminates all experiences and perceptions. Overtime it produces shame which can be painfully paralyzing. So finally after coming to grips with the bottom line that I need help, I am seeing a wonderful counselor… so far it’s been helpful.I took a course in meditation: absolutely incredible.  The trick is just doing it. I’m relying more on my spouse for help and support and he’s been outstanding. I’m putting every happy tool in my belt to use. Sunshine, praying, music, meditating and mindfulness. I’m figuring out the triggers, i.e. Screens, social media, sleep deprivation. Lately I’ve been experimenting with taking longer breaks from my phone and Instagram. I found them to be deeply effective though it’s hard to not fall back into old patterns when I’ve returned. Working on that. I also have learned me and my Loo need to spend less time in the back room in front of screens. It’s about stopping the cycle before it begins. Also, help is essential if I’m going to work. Getting a babysitter when I need to or swapping child care with a friend. I’m trying to break the patterns of over-promising and under-delivering. Saying no and communicating more effectively with the people I work with about what I can realistically achieve. I also am trying to establish boundaries like when London is at school I work, when she is home I am a mom. Discarding the old unhealthy habit of multitasking is something that is hard to shake but essential. Accepting that I can’t do everything is a day by day, minute to minute process. Letting go of unrealistic expectations is not easy. I try to learn from others, at church, from friends, or I listen to books on audible.  But probably the thing that will make the difference but is proving to be the hardest change, is to be more loving towards myself, to relinquish the bonds of shame and offer myself grace. I’m trying to redefine my identity and where it lies. I’m trying to believe that my worth isn’t dependent on how much I do. I’m trying to remember that little ones grow so fast and we can’t get this time back. I’m trying to look in her eyes more and just be there, and live in a space of gratitude. I am trying to be aware and simplify. Yeah. I don’t know, I could ramble for a million hours about all the things I’m trying to do, or could do and should do to give my daughter a happy healthy mom and therefore a happy healthy childhood. I wish I could have it all figured out how and outlined in nice tidy tangible bullet points, but I don’t. And hopefully that’s okay, because I’m really trying… My best.  And isn’t that all we can do?

Brooke White is the mom of an adorable little girl Londyn, an American Idol alum, and co-hosts a popular web show, Girls with Glasses.  Brooke appeared on season 7 of the hit show American Idol, where she dazzled with her lovable personality and talents of voice, piano, and guitar.  Her vocal influences are Carly Simon and Carole King.  She has 7 available albums you can download here.  She shares daily snippets on instagram @realbrookewhite and @girlswithglasses

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I hope you have enjoyed reading these excerpts of “Best and Worst Days” as mothers.  We all have them!  I heard recently, “A good day is a good day and a bad day is a good story”.  What’s important is that we keep trying, support each other, and be okay with who we are today.  Come say hi on instagram today and let me know your best and worst days!

I’ve created this great e-mail course to help you get breastfeeding started on the right foot! Click the image below for more info.

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Thanks for coming by,

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

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mom learning how to breastfeed correctly

Tuesday Tools – Both Hands Make a “C”

By | Breastfeeding, Classes, Features, Recommended Products

In my Breastfeeding Basics class (offered in-person and online) I spend about ten minutes going over latch.  I focus so much teaching here because I find that the majority of my personal consultations are spent improving or correcting a poor latch.  Difficulty with latch is also one of the top 3 reasons mothers wean their infants.

Today for my Tuesday Tools I’m sharing “Both Hands Make a C” when learning the cross-cradle breastfeeding position (one of my favorites to teach).

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Here I am in a recent Breastfeeding Basics class teaching the attendees about making a C with their hands when latching their infants.  (Nursing Pillow is from Ergobaby).

baby being breastfed

Here you can see one hand is ‘making a C’ supporting the breast.  Keep in mind not to get too close to the nipple or areola.  You don’t want to get in baby’s way!  You can see the other hand is ‘making a C’ by supporting baby’s neck and her fingers are placed loosely below the infant’s ears.  The palm is resting in-between the shoulder blades.

Hope this helps!  More great tips like this in my breastfeeding video classes – Breastfeeding Basics, Intermediate Breastfeeding, and Pumping and Storing Breastmilk.  Once you purchase the classes they can viewed over and over and they never expire!  In-person class dates coming up are 12/10, 1/16, 2/20, 3/12, and 4/9.  If you’d like me to come to your area, I would love to travel for a class size of 5-10. Email me to arrange.

Thanks for coming by,

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

Lindsey head shot