Mama Bear Moments

We have all had our Mama Bear moments, when we shocked ourselves by exactly how far we would go…the things we would say & to whom we would say them…the fears we would face without a second thought…all in the name of protecting our child from emotional or physical harm. Well, the expression of being a “Mama Bear” got it’s name from somewhere! View this video to see why the monicker “Mama Bear” fits caring & persistent Moms so well!

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Early Stage Breastfeeding

The benefits of breastfeeding are incredible! And, while breastfeeding is nature’s way of perfectly nourishing our young, it doesn’t always come naturally or without a few hitches. There is a breastfeeding learning curve that every Mama should be prepared to ride.

Early stage breastfeeding may leave Mom feeling a little overwhelmed and achy as she and baby master the logistics of lactation. It is common for breastfeeding mothers to encounter engorgement, sore breasts, cracked or bleeding nipples, plugged milk ducts and mastitis over the course of her breastfeeding experience.

The Shower Hug, a therapeutic breast compress, can help! The Shower Hug soothes sore, tender breasts associated with pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding. It provides gentle bustline support and cradles tender breasts in ultra-soft, double-sided knit terry velour. Mom may wear the Shower Hug while lounging to hold therapeutic warm or cool packs or she may find it the perfect breast support for overnight wear. It is a cinch to breastfeed baby in! Mom may also wear her Shower Hug while showering! It provides gentle support to full, heavy breasts while protecting them from the sting of harsh shower sprays. The Shower Hug absorbs warm shower water creating a soothing warm compress to ease breast and nipple pain.

Anything that makes life easier and more comfortable for a new mom is well worth it! The Shower Hug is worth its weight in GOLD! If you have a new Mama in your life, pamper her with the gift of a Shower Hug.

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Smart Steps to Avoid Mastitis

In my mind, Mastitis is THE most uncomfortable condition that can arise from breastfeeding. Had it once – never want it again!

Mastitis may make the breasts very sore, hard and hot. The breasts may even become inflamed and red. To make matters worse, Mastitis strikes first-time mothers more frequently than veteran mothers and often occurs in the first few weeks postpartum, when you are “busy” (understatement!) taking care of another precious, little life. Mastitis may bring with it flu-like symptoms of fever, chill and tiredness adding a whole new meaning to the word “exhaustion.”

The good news is that there are steps you can take to minimize your chances of developing Mastitis. According to renowned pediatrician Dr. Sears, the best ways to prevent mastitis are to “avoid the situations that set you up for it.” These include the prompt resolution of engorgement, frequent feedings at the breast, breastfeeding when you feel your breasts are full, avoiding situations that will restrict, constrict or put extra pressure on the breasts, and caring for yourself emotionally and physically. (That’s right, Mom…You matter too! You are the captain of the ship!)

Dr. Sears wrote a fantastic article describing exactly what mastitis is, how to best avoid it and what to do when it strikes. Here’s the link:
Of course, you should definitely seek the opinion of your physician if you are concerned about Mastitis. At times, antibiotics are required to clear infection.

One step on Dr. Sears’ list of how to treat Mastitis is to alternate between cold and warm compresses. According to Sears, cold compresses relieve pain and warm compresses help increase circulation, which “mobilizes infection-fighters in the inflamed area.”

An easy and convenient way to apply cool and warm compresses is by using The Shower Hug. The Shower Hug is a therapeutic breast wrap that Mom can wear under her leisure clothes to hold (with hands free convenience!) cool or warm packs. It also lets Mom turn her shower into a little sanctuary as she de-stresses in the solitude of her shower with the soothing comfort of her Shower Hug. In the shower, the Shower Hug gently supports full breasts and shields sore breasts and nipples from strong shower sprays. At the same time, the Shower Hug absorbs warm shower water creating an oh-so-soothing warm compress. Now that’s the way Moms like to multi-task!

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ENGORGEMENT = OUCH! Most first-time moms will experience breast engorgement in the first few days and weeks after baby’s birth. When I had my first baby, I was unaware of the discomfort “ENGORGEMENT” would bring but boy – did I learn quickly!

Breast milk production is triggered by changes in Mom’s hormones close to and following baby’s birth. Engorgement happens when a Mom’s body kicks into gear to produce breast milk to feed her newborn baby, but Mom’s milk supply is greater than her baby’s demand. When the breast milk supply is greater than breast milk demand, the breasts may become swollen and feel very “full” or “heavy”… they may go up a cup size or more overnite…they may feel feel “hard” and “hot” … they may be very sensitive to pressure and touch. Again, ENGORGEMENT = OUCH!

Engorgement can be quite uncomfortable, but it is a natural and temporary occurrence. There are some steps, however, that Mom can take to ease the breast pain, discomfort & soreness associated with engorged breasts. One step that lactation professionals & physicians alike recommend is using compresses on the breasts. Use COOL compresses after & between feedings. Use WARM compresses just before feedings.

An easy way to achieve a warm or cool compress affect is by using The Shower Hug Therapeutic Breast Wrap! Simply wrap the Shower Hug around your chest and attach the Velcro closure. You can wear the Shower Hug while you shower to act as a soothing warm compress (& to cushion VERY tender breasts from pelting shower sprays) or you can insert cool packs or warm packs into the Shower Hug for hands free convenience as you go about your day and care for yourself & baby.

One resource we love is Dr. Sear’s website. Here is a link to a comprehensive article about ENGORGEMENT, including other tips to ease your pain and discomfort!

It can take a little time for Mom’s milk supply & Baby’s milk demand to balance into a happy equilibrium, but until that happens, find relief with the Shower Hug Therapeutic Breast Wrap.

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Leave Breastfeeding Mothers Alone!

I think most breastfeeding Moms would agree that we don’t get our jollies by exposing our breasts in public to make strangers feel uncomfortable.

I also believe most breastfeeding Moms are as discreet as possible because they really don’t want their breasts exposed to strangers more than is necessary.

I am far from being an exhibitionist, and I successfully breastfed two babies for three years combined, oftentimes in public, without a second thought. My intentions were always good. My intentions were also only directed towards my babies – not anyone else. I certainly did not breastfeed with a mastermind scheme to offend others or attract extra attention. I simply wanted to feed my hungry babies with the milk nature intended them to have.

I’m surprised that in 2012 breastfeeding families still face these issues that heap judgement and guilt on well-meaning mothers. There is such a high level of ignorance in America about breastfeeding. Breastfeeding, regardless of where it takes place, doesn’t need to be an issue. We have enough to worry about!

I am thankful for organizations like Best for Babes Foundation. Their mission is to change the cultural perception of breastfeeding and those barriers that prevent moms from achieving their personal breastfeeding goals. Their work is greatly needed and is most appreciated by the breastfeeding community and those who benefit from breastfeeding ~ our Mothers & our Children.

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A Grateful Heart

It is November. A time for giving thanks across our nation. It’s necessary to pause every now and again to remind ourselves that every day (Mondays included )… lived in this big, beautiful world … with our husbands and children at our sides… in the presence of our extended family and friends…in good health… and with “enough” if not “surplus” to meet our needs…is a gift. A precious treasure. Don’t wait for a tragedy to remind you of this fact. SAVOR the special moments in every day. They are there ~ we just have to slow down a bit to spot them before they slip past.

Somehow, in our daily hustle-bustle we lose sight that tomorrow doesn’t always come, or that it comes but brings with it some unexpected hurdles. But yes, simply having the ability to go about our routine, “routine” though it may be, is a HUGE blessing.

The other day, I entered Starbucks with my 4 year-old daughter in tow. We were “killing time” before her weekly dance class and that’s when gratitude ran up and smacked me right in the face. It shouted to me “WAKE UP! – this moment is SPECIAL!!” I had my sweet girl with me, money enough to buy coffee for me and cookies for her, and the good health and freedom of time to be there and enjoy our treats together. This wasn’t always the case for us as a team…my daughter had a rocky start in life. What more could I ask for? At that moment, Gratitude introduced me to its companions… Fulfillment & Contentment. What a fantastic morning!

Alaina and I, the Mother-force behind Belmama & Cherub LLC and creators of The Shower Hug, wish you and yours a heart full of Gratitude, Fulfillment & Contentment this holiday season and throughout all of your days.

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True Cuddles Contest – Win a Shower Hug and a Luxe Baby Bath Set

The Moms over at True Cuddles are giving their readers a chance to win a Shower Hug and Lux Baby bath set!

How to Enter:

Read and post something you liked about the Shower Hug mompreneur interview in the comments below and you will be in the running to win! Earn additional bonus entries by completing one or more of the following (please leave a separate comment below for each). Entries must be submitted by November 7, 2011.

  • Become a Shower HugTrue Cuddles Facebook fan and share the contest on your own wall.
  • Follow Shower HugTrue Cuddles on Twitter and retweet the contest (one entry per day).
  • Blog about it (comment below with the URL).
  • Become a True Cuddles deal alert subscriber (enter Shower Hug in the ‘How did you hear about us’ field)

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Sharing Motherhood ~ A Breastfeeding Moment

My baby girl was days old and in the NICU. If I wasn’t there to breastfeed her, the nursing staff (who was fabulous by the way) would formula feed her. My milk was just coming in, and so I didn’t have stored/pumped breastmilk available yet and it was VERY important me that M have my breastmilk. She was a wee thing fighting a few different (major) challenges and I knew that breastmilk was the very best nutrition to fuel her fighting body. My husband and I were always present in the NICU, but twice a day the unit closed and all parents and family had to leave for an hour. We used this time to rush home and see our 2 year old son who was having the time of his life. He was incredibly proud and pleased to be a big brother and was being wonderfully spoiled by his doting grandparents.
On our return trip to the hospital, traffic was a bear and we were stuck. My husband drives a big, old Suburban and he saw how crazy I was getting in the passenger seat at the thought of missing a feeding. Missing a feeding meant a lot. It meant missing the opportunity to hold M close to my chest and snuggle her and nourish her little body and mind and soul. Missing a feeding meant missing the opportunity to gaze into those beautiful newborn eyes and assure her that everything was going to be ok. Missing a feeding meant that I missed my dose of strength, courage and hope that I received from cradling M, radiating in her warmth and breathing in her beautiful new baby scent.
Now my husband could visually see the new mother/postpartum hormones kicking into gear big time. Without hesitation or a single shared word, he took that huge car right up over the curb and onto the grass to get past the traffic that was keeping me from my girl. And, we made it to her feeding with just a minute or two to spare.
Moral of the story… we’ll do anything for our kids… and our husbands will do just about anything for us, especially when in Mother Bear mode further amped by postpartum hormones!

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Sore Nipples

Sore nipples can make life’s joys less enjoyable and life’s chores downright unbearable. Don’t let the pain of sore nipples get the better of you. Soothe your sore nipples by wrapping your breasts in the luxury of the Shower Hug, made of the softest knit terry velour. The Shower Hug protects your sore nipples from the harsh spray of the shower, making shower-time a pleasure once again. After showering, wring out the excess water and hang to dry. Wear the Shower Hug out of the shower to protect sore nipples from the discomfort of bras made from nylon or other unnatural fibers.

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Breast is Best…But Breastfeeding Can Hurt…

The benefits of breastfeeding abound, which is why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of baby’s life. Breastfeeding provides the perfect nutrition for baby and provides many health benefits for both Mom and baby. While breastfeeding is nature’s way of perfectly nourishing our young, it doesn’t always come naturally or without a few hitches including sore nipples, engorged breasts and tender or cracked and bleeding nipples.

The benefits of breastfeeding to both Mom and baby certainly provide ample motivation to breastfeed through the discomfort, and The Shower Hug, a therapeutic breast compress to soothe tender breasts and nipples associated with pregnancy and breastfeeding, can help too. The Shower Hug provides gentle bustline support and cradles the breasts in ultra-soft, double-sided knit terry velour.

Mom may wear the Shower Hug while lounging to hold therapeutic warm or cool packs and she will find it the perfect breast support for overnight wear. It is a cinch to breastfeed baby in! Mom can also wear her Shower Hug while showering! It provides gentle support to full, heavy breasts while protecting them from the sting of harsh shower sprays. The Shower Hug absorbs warm shower water creating a soothing warm compress to ease breast discomfort and nipple pain.

If you are preparing to breastfeed, we suggest three things:
1) Educate Yourself…Read Up or Take a Class
2) Gather Support…Request Hubby, Family & Friends to join your support network. Have the name of a certified lactation consultant handy in the event you need a little extra help.
3) Anticipate a learning curve and some tenderness (Have your Shower Hug ready to ease the aches & pains!)… Within a couple of weeks, you & baby will be in breastfeeding bliss!

Breastfeeding is a wonderful gift for Mom & Baby to share! We wish you a fantastic experience!!

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