Breast augmentation recovery: Sore nipples

While recovering from breast augmentation surgery it is not uncommon to experience sore nipples.  The Shower Hug therapeutic breast compress is made of the softest material and won’t cause discomfort when placed against your sore nipples.  The Shower Hug wraps around your back and chest — nothing to slip over your head when raising your arms may not be so comfortable.  Wear your Shower Hug in the shower to protect your sore nipples from water spray that may be painful.  The material is absorbent and won’t lose it’s shape when wet.

 

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Skeptical? If so, Read On… This One is for YOU

When I first saw this product, I thought, “Cheesy…infomercialish…” Then, I tried it…and oh-my-goodness…I want to give one to every pregnant and new mama I know! It’s like a miracle product or something (now *I* sound like an infomercial, but – seriously – it is everything it claims to be).

You’re probably wondering exactly what it is. Well, it’s this luxuriously soft piece of fabric with a velcro fastener that you wear in the shower when your breasts are particularly tender (I’m putting that mildly).

The website puts it like this, “The Hug is made of the softest, most luxurious knit terry velour to provide expectant and new moms with gentle bust line support and to soothe sensitive nipples and breasts associated with pregnancy and breastfeeding.”

At $29.99, it makes a fabulous gift or you can buy it for yourself. I know you might be thinking, “It’s just a little piece of fabric – Big Deal!” Um…actually, yes…it IS a Big Deal. I wouldn’t shower without it for the first few weeks postpartum. True story. All of this raving reminds me that I need to get that little piece of magic back from my little sister (I let her borrow it and she totally LOVED it)…in case I need it in the future.

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Stephanie nailed it when she called The Shower Hug a “miracle product” back in 2009! In 2011, The Shower Hug has officially become a “Certified Miracle” for pregnant and breastfeeding Mamas! Sore breasts and irritated nipples are a fact of life for many breastfeeding mothers, and The Shower Hug is their miracle find to bring much-needed relief.

Read more about what Mom Blogger Stephanie Sheaffer of Metropolitan Mama has to say at: http://metropolitanmama.net/

Read more about The Shower Hug’s “Certified Miracle” award at http://www.certifiedmiracles.com/

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The Shower Hug … A “Certified Miracle!”

Why must women be plagued by sore (understatement!) breasts, and sore nipples when they are going about the business of creating an entirely new person from just one tiny egg and an even smaller sperm? Add persistent nausea, swollen legs, aching feet, fingers whose rings won’t fit, funny food cravings, pregnancy brain, hormonal swings that take a girl from laughing to crying in 30 seconds flat and taking potty breaks over the course of day AND night to the list… well, I think we have enough on our plates to deal with!

New moms, motherhood is a journey. Find those miracle products like the Shower Hug that will see you through this adventure in style, grace & comfort, and stock up! Then, share your finds with your friends who travel this road with you! Road-tested advice from the mommy-circles was the best I ever received!!

A great new resource for new moms is the “Certified Miracle Seal.” It tells you when a product is that good that you simply cannot live without it. The Shower Hug has been awarded this seal, and it’s not easy to come by! Unlike others, it can’t be bought. Companies cannot even submit to receive the award. Happy customers, bloggers and those in the related industry like lactation professionals have to submit a product for consideration for the Seal. It is then put through a rigorous review process. The Shower Hug was selected as one of only 25 out of more than 1000 products to receive this honor, so you can be confident that it truly is Mom’s miracle to support, soothe and comfort sore boobs. (One (or two!) less thing(s) to worry about!)

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Digging Out!

Summer. What a delightful season! Every one of my senses is pleased by summer. It is “my” season, more than any other season. The sights of summer – smiling, sun-kissed faces and bright blue skies. The smells of summer – sweet flowers and salty sea air. The tastes of summer – ripe, juicy fruit and ice cream. The sounds of summer – children laughing wildly and waves crashing. The touch of summer – sublime warmth and soft breezes.

It was a beautiful summer, indeed, and my family and I are savoring the few remaining days before that school bell rings. I thought I outran the feeling of desperation that always overtook me as a kid when summer waned and school approached …AHHHHHHH! In fact, my “summer desperation” had a hard time catching up to me since I moved from NJ (where fall and crisp weather was right around the corner come September) to southern CA (where the daytime temp never dips much below 65). However, now that I have school-aged children, summer desperation has reared its ugly head again (turns out – it shows no geographic bias). And this time, I need to keep its existence a secret from my kids! I can’t let on that I dread the beginning of school, of schedules and appointments. They can’t know I’m not ready to hop back on that Hampster Wheel just yet. But, I realize, I have a lot to do! The world of the Shower Hug, breastfeeding bliss, breastfeeding woes and all maladies and remedies “breast” need me back! So tonight, I begin digging out.

Tasks and duties too long neglected: My attention is yours. The endless pursuit of organization: I’m back. Drop-off and pick-up on a strict down-to-the-minute schedule: Your mine (and I won’t be late, guaranteed!)

Bottom line: My to-do list is daunting, heavy and oppressive right about now, but I am thankful for its non-judgmental guidance. I am passing a thousand beautiful memories as I navigate out of this hole I find myself…memories I wouldn’t trade for, well…just about anything. I hope I can always close my eyes and relive these summer days that have touched my senses, my being, my heart in countless ways. They are summer’s gift – they are my treasure.

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The Shower Hug’s “Conception & Evolution”

The inspiration for the Shower Hug came to me during my painful breastfeeding experience. I conceived the product and after months of research, development and testing, the Shower Hug was born!
It was in my role as stay-at-home Mom that I conceived the idea for the Shower Hug. It struck me when I was struggling to comfortably shower in the early days of motherhood and breastfeeding. My breasts were engorged and my nipples were very sore and my nipples were cracked and bleeding. The stinging caused by the force of the shower sprays hitting my chest was too painful to tolerate, and as such the routine task of showering became difficult, hurried, and awkward. I had looked forward to the solitude of a long, hot shower all day, but as soon as I stepped in, I was rushing to get out.
My doctor advised holding a towel over my chest when showering, which was not practical and created an abundance of extra laundry. The loop terry cloth of my towel was too harsh to hold against my chest, and the towel became very heavy when wet. The weight of the towel on my chest created pressure that was quite uncomfortable. I also did not have my hands free to shower, soap, shave, etc. I tried dodging the shower sprays by keeping my back to the streams, which did not allow me to easily cleanse my body. I shopped and searched for a product that would help me. My search revealed there was no such product to treat this problem.
As I met more and more mothers, I learned that many women quietly struggle with breast pain during their pregnancies and throughout breastfeeding. I found that I was not alone in my dread of those stinging shower sprays, and that a simple task like showering actually became a painful, challenging, and frustrating experience for countless moms. What made this problem even worse was the fact that many new moms view the shower as a place of respite and solitude. Time in the shower is often the only alone time a new mother gets in a day. I decided to solve this age-old problem and went about creating the Shower Hug.
My goal was to create a product designed for wear inside the shower that would support and protect the breasts and help to relieve breast and nipple pain associated with pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding while leaving the wearer’s hands free. The product would create a physical barrier between the breast area and stinging shower sprays, soap, and other chemical residues found in many toiletries; and would function as a warm compress to alleviate breast discomfort caused by swelling, engorgement, localized blockages of milk ducts, nipple trauma, and breast infection.
I undertook research, design and development efforts of the Shower Hug in May 2006. This stage took careful thought and an abundance of time and effort. I worked for approximately 9 months to source components ~ fabric that was soft, stretchable, lightweight, absorbent and double-sided, Velcro® that was ultra low-profile as a closing mechanism that would be easy to use, rust proof and provide size adjustability while not harming or causing trauma to tender breast tissue, thread that was strong enough to withstand repeated tugging (to open the Velcro® closure) and which was capable of stretching without rupturing… The Shower Hug’s concept is simple, however its unique combination of materials and construction is what makes it super effective!
During this time, I developed prototypes, tested the prototypes on pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, refined the prototypes and identified proper garment sizing to accommodate the unique and ever-changing bustline measurements of pregnant and breastfeeding women of all different body types and sizes. I also created product packaging, wrote the website script, tested the website ordering system, secured a place of manufacture and located and obtained suppliers who were willing to deal with a micro-business. I wrote the original patent application for my invention and filed it all by myself! This was a proud moment! Even better was the moment I learned The Shower Hug was granted a Patent by the US Patent & Trademark Office! This did not happen until 4 years later! (Patience is an earned virtue!)
Today, the Shower Hug is sold to a niche market consisting of women who experience breast pain associated with pregnancy and breastfeeding as well as women who experience cyclical breast pain, mastalgia and those who are undergoing breast cancer treatments or who have undergone surgical procedures to the breast area. The purpose of the Shower Hug is to allow women suffering from sore breasts and nipples to comfortably shower! It provides gentle bustline support for enlarged breasts…it creates a cushion between the force of shower sprays and the breasts to minimize the stinging sensation…it shields the breasts and nipples from soaps and chemicals contained in toiletries than can irritate sensitive skin…and it acts as a warm compress to alleviate pain caused by hormonal change, engorgement, mastitis, plugged milk ducts and other conditions that cause physical pain, soreness and irritation to a woman’s breasts and nipples.
We think the Shower Hug is a little piece of heaven that delivers a big dose of TLC – it is one of those affordable luxuries that every Mom should have during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Take a look at our Testimonials & Reviews and see what real life mamas have to say about the Shower Hug!

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About “Us!”

Hi! We’re Andria (Ane) and Alaina (Lain) and we’d like to share our story with you!

Ane lives on the west coast, Lain lives on the east coast. Three thousand miles separate them, but the bond of sisterhood and friendship makes the miles a mere inconvenience. Ane and Lain have recently added “business partners” to the roles they share as sisters and dear friends. Here is their story…

Ane graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1998. She enthusiastically worked as a CPA in public and private industry, but quickly forgot about the world of numbers and analytics with the arrival of her newborn son in 2005. Her son’s arrival also brought about very sore breasts and nipples associated with early stage breastfeeding. It was during this painful experience that the idea for the Shower Hug™ was conceived.

Ane never would have imagined that showering would become so difficult and uncomfortable after the arrival of baby! Lingering in long, hot showers was a favorite retreat of hers, but the force of the shower spray hitting her tender breasts was too painful to tolerate. Engorged, tender breasts and cracked, bleeding sore nipples needed protection from the shower streams! Andria was inspired in her new role as mama to develop the Shower Hug, a bandeau wrap made of wonderfully comforting knit terry velour that is worn while showering to protect, support and soothe tender breasts and nipples.

Ane sought the support of talented women and other moms. She personally designed the Shower Hug, procured the materials for it and oversaw the details of the manufacturing process to ensure a high-quality product that gives moms the feeling of a luxurious and comforting hug. Ane’s goal was to help women reclaim the serenity of the shower. After all, she knew the time in the shower is often the only “me-time” a new mom gets. The shower becomes a sanctuary – a place to cleanse the body and clear the mind. When Ane speaks to women, she reminds them not to only pamper their precious little ones, but to remember to be kind to and gentle with themselves as well.

Ane formally founded Belmama & Cherub and began production of the Shower Hug in 2006, just one day after her son’s first birthday. Ane committed her “precious personal time” to the development of the Shower Hug. Her “precious personal time” was any time that her son slept or time that her husband was available to help with the baby. Early evening, late night and those wee hours of the morning were dedicated to developing and promoting the Shower Hug.

Precious personal time became “premium time” in September, 2007. Ane gave birth to her second child, a little girl. The baby was born with a serious heart defect and open heart surgery was necessary within the first 5 months of her life. Ane focused on her number one priority – seeing her beautiful baby girl through a very frightening time. Motherhood and the fragility of life took on a whole new meaning. Ane believed there would be no way to continue with her new endeavor and product.

Alaina, very aware of the seriousness of her niece’s condition and impressed by the product Ane created, volunteered to do all that she could to keep the Shower Hug in the public eye. Lain worked diligently to learn the business and promote the Shower Hug for her sister. Her enthusiasm helped to propel the Shower Hug from the Pacific to the Atlantic and beyond!

Lain was delighted with the response that she received when promoting the Shower Hug. While she knew the Shower Hug was a great product, she did not realize how much she would love promoting it. Lain took the product and the promotional information everywhere! She did everything she needed to do to drive the company forward, while giving Ane the opportunity to be a full-time mom before, during and after her baby girl’s open heart surgery.

Ane was impressed by her sister’s accomplishments. She invited Lain, a graduate of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry and Villanova University, to join Belmama & Cherub as a partner. Lain’s quiet, positive personality and her ability to assess, communicate and encourage have complemented the determination, dedication and work that Ane put into creating the Shower Hug. Alaina accepted the invitation happily and balances the responsibilities of her partnership with those of being a wife, a mother to three little girls and an optometric physician in Princeton, New Jersey.

Ane and Lain work very closely every day, even though separated by thousands of miles. Emails fly through cyberspace and calls are placed at the oddest hours, but the arrangement works beautifully. The Shower Hug was granted a patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office in August 2010 and is now widely available in birthing centers, maternity boutiques and online retailers.

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Made in the USA!

Ironically, the first image that comes to mind when I think “Made in the USA” has nothing to do with the Shower Hug or the uncertain, unsettling times our nation faces today. The first image goes much farther back in time.

I am at a small-town Fourth of July parade circa 1982. I was dressed in a red, white & blue jumper with matching ribbons in my hair. I chased the Kiwanis float down the parade route collecting candy as it was strewn about. I remember this day so clearly – drinking lemonade, swatting at bumblebees that wanted their share. I remember fighting to stay awake that night so I could see the firework display. I remember the patriotic music played by the high school band. In later years, I would learn the words to those patriotic songs and the history from which they arose.

My childhood was so uncomplicated and deliciously simple. My Dad drove a Ford. My Mom drove a Chevy wagon. My classmates and I held our hands over our hearts when we recited the pledge of allegiance, never hesitating when we got to the line about “one nation under God.” All of this deliciously simple living shaped my thoughts and beliefs, and the way we lived then instilled a deep sense of patriotism and gratitude that persists even now.

My past has shaped my decision to source and manufacture the Shower Hug right here in the USA – in the United States of America, the land of the Free and home of the Brave. In this way, I can contribute something positive to and support our nation. It is a decision of which I am quite proud. Admittedly, the cost of doing business here in the States is higher, and my profit margin slimmer. But the end result is without-a-doubt worth it. Our fabric is gorgeous. I know that fair and humane practices are in place at all points along my supply chain. And, the quality with which the Shower Hugs are cut and sewn is incomparable.

The Shower Hug ~ proudly made in the USA!

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Hello world!

Hello world! Here we are. Far down on my ever-evolving list of things to get done, I have finally arrived on the line item called “BLOG.” I have mentally written many posts, but until this point I have not involved my fingers or computer! I am happy to be here! I hope you are too. I welcome you to share what is on your mind. Perhaps it’s a question about the Shower Hug or maybe it’s a parenting or breastfeeding issue. We have an awesome network of veteran mothers, breastfeeding advocates and lactation experts to lighten your load! Mothering and breastfeeding are fine arts. They unfold organically, but are not always easy and breezy. I have personally tripped many times on my way up that learning curve that began with a positive pregnancy test in August 2004! Shared lessons…Shared support…Shared joy…Shared frustrations. Sharing makes it easier – and more fun! We are honored to share our journey with you!

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