Wednesday, November 30, 2011

{Breastfeeding Interview}: Guest Blog with Barefoot and Vintage

It's always refreshing to find and connect with other hip nursing moms. It makes me oh-so happy to think that we all share a special little bond with one another. This being said, I am on a mission to find and bring to you, other fabulous, breastfeedin' and bloggin'-mamas.
*****
    The next mama up is Paige from Barefoot & Vintage. She oozes vintage style and has a handpicked vintage shop on Etsy that I could literally see myself in everything. Paige is so very sweet, down to earth and has a little ginger baby girl named Zoey. 

{We could be sisters, right?}

Here's more from the lovely Paige herself...

Hello! 
 My name is Paige - a 30-something living in Southern California with my husband and two kids. My son Taylor is 11 and our daughter Zoey is just over 2 months old. I'm originally from IL, but relocated to California in 1999. I work for a financial firm as an assistant to 3 financial advisors. In my free time {what is that?!} I enjoy hiking, going for a run, thrifting, curling up with a good book, or hanging with the fam. I started my blog - Barefoot & Vintage - in December of 2009, as a way to promote my vintage store on Etsy - also called Barefoot & Vintage. I write about baby and style and everything under the kitchen sink. Join me!



What were the top 2 reasons you decided to breastfeed?
     I chose to breastfeed because a. while I see nothing wrong with formula, I feel that breast milk is best for baby and b. when I had my son over 10 years ago, I just couldn't get the breast-feeding thing down. I was young and impatient and he definitely felt my frustration. Instead, I pumped my breastmilk for several months and he was fed with a bottle. This time around, I suppose it was my goal to conquer breast-feeding, to see it through with Zoey...through the pain and the frustration - and we did! I'm so glad I stuck with it!



What's your breastfeeding "must-have" item?
     My breast-feeding "must-have" is the Bosom Baby nursing pillow by Luna Lullaby. I love it! It's super versatile and so soft. I highly recommend this to all nursing moms.

Have you found yourself sacrificing style in order to be able to dress "milk-friendly"?
     I don't think I've sacrificed my style at all! Most of today's maternity/"milk-friendly" clothing options are pretty "on trend", if you will. I find myself wearing vneck t-shirts from American Apparel, button up shirts/blouses when it's chilly out, and strapless dresses when the weather calls for warmer temps. I do have a few maternity tanks and t-shirts...they're totally comfortable and of course - convenient!


{this top is a perfect "easy up" option for nursing moms!}

{and here's an "easy open" option!}

Have you had any wardrobe malfunctions? If so, I'm sure there's a story, do tell!
     I haven't had any wardrobe malfunctions...yet! I'm still a little shy about nursing in public. I've done it several times, but I can never seem to get comfortable. I can assure you, if I ever do show some accidental boob in public...it'll be a story for the blog!


What's the best advice you can give new breastfeeding moms?
     My advice for nursing moms-to-be is this: DON'T GIVE UP! In the first few weeks, it will be tiring and frustrating and painful...you may want to give up. but trust me...it gets better. Baby gets the hang of it quickly and you'll get into a comfortable rhythm in no time. Nursing is an amazing way to bond with your baby. If you're able to nurse - go for it! What could you possibly have to lose?!


Thanks for asking me to do this interview, Maryam! It was fun! And I love meeting and connecting with other moms. Have a lovely day, friends!
Paige

Make sure to stop on over and say hi to Paige on her blog and do a little shopping in her store!

Monday, November 28, 2011

(Breastfeeding Interview}: Guest Blog with Brenda Shares

It's always refreshing to find and connect with other hip nursing moms. It makes me oh-so happy to think that we all share a special little bond with one another. This being said, I am on a mission to find and bring to you, other fabulous, breastfeedin' and bloggin'-mamas.

   So say Hi to Brenda from Brenda Shares. She's another working and breastfeeding mama who keeps it stylish and eco-friendly. She is the sweetest lady and once you see her little lady Charlotte, your heart will be melted. Read on for more from Brenda...
*****

Thanks for having on me on Milk-Friendy! I'm Brenda, a working mom who is absolutely in love with my 7-month old daughter, Charlotte, or as I like to call her, Charlie. In addition to breastfeeding, I'm also crazy about cosleeping, babywearing and cloth diapering. You can find me over at Brenda Shares where I mostly post millions (not an exaggeration) of photos of my baby girl and write about my experiences as a first-time mom.







What were the top 2 reasons you decided to breastfeed?
     For me, it was a no-brainer. Best source of food my child and it’s free??? It doesn’t get any better than that.



What's your breastfeeding "must-have" item?
      I wish I could say just boobs but my breast pump has been essential. We had serious latch issues in the beginning but thanks to that pump, my milk came in and I’ve never had to supplement with formula. Now, as a working mom, I have to pump twice a day. I would also recommend that instead of going straight for an expensive electric pump, to try a manual pump. I was surprised by how much more milk I can get with a manual over an electric.



Have you found yourself sacrificing style in order to be able to dress "milk-friendly"?
     In the beginning, yes. I never realized how much I love dresses with high necklines and fitted tops until I started breastfeeding. It took me a couple of months to find my groove but I learned that layers and a good nursing tank can go a long way. Shopping is still a little frustrating but I like that I can go in a store and quickly identify what I shouldn’t even bother trying on, and these days, I don’t have much time to shop.
      I mostly stick to easy up tops and cardigans over a nursing tank. I like to keep the exposed skin to minimum when I nurse but I’m not a fan of loud nursing covers. I find that a cardigan or a strategically placed scarf does the trick without drawing any attention.

Have you had any wardrobe malfunctions? If so, I'm sure there's a story, do tell!
     Let me tell you about Charlotte: she’s a curious little squirmer who does not tolerate a cover. I have learned to keep my hand close to my breast so that if she suddenly turns her head, I can quickly cover an exposed nipple. I’m sure that half my family has seen my breasts but are too polite to say anything.




What's the best advice you can give new breastfeeding moms?
     Stick with it! Charlotte would not latch on in the beginning and when she did, IT HURT but only for a few weeks. Seven months later, I forget that we ever had problems. Also, don’t feel bad if you DO have problems. There were times when I’d be nursing and crying because I felt like a failure.            There’s so much conflicting advice out there from “professionals” that it’s easy to feel lost and discouraged. Just know that it’s different for everyone. Some babies nurse for as long as an hour and some, like Charlotte, can get what they need in 5 minutes. Having a good lactation consultant is important but also seek out the advice of other breastfeeding mothers. Even if you’re not having any problems (lucky you!), it’s still great to chat with other moms and swap stories.


Friday, November 25, 2011

{New Sponsor Highlight}: The Dedication Company

     I want to introduce you all to one of our new sponsors! Rebecca from The Dedication Company and the blog Our Simple Souls is a very special woman and mom. She is an artisan who creates beautiful pieces of customized jewelry, that you can dedicate to someone in your life. With her son and husband, Rebecca is on mission to live a more balanced and simplified life. 

The Elephant Necklace I Have

     Being so intrigued by creative moms who've started their own businesses, I thought I would do a little question and answer thing so we all can get to know Rebecca a little bit more. So here it goes...



What's your family philosophy?

       We believe we have a precious chance to make this life amazingly whole and rich.  We're not not going to let that chance pass us by.  We are calling the shots and we're not going to settle for a 'status quo' life.  We are not afraid to step outside of the box to chase down our dreams.  We believe in making memories, keeping it simple, celebrating both the small and the big things, attachment parenting, and exploring sustainable practices that mesh with our family values.  At Our Simple Souls we blog about our daily life, the things we love and how we're working toward instituting sustainable practices without giving up the more mainstream parts of our life. 
How did you learn to create your The Dedication Company pieces?


     I've been designing jewelry for a quite a while and I am primarily a self taught artisan.  I've been retailing my jewelry online for about four years now.  I have a love for natural gemstones jewelry, minimalist pieces and jewelry that represents something special.  I first used Etsy as a business incubator to test all of those jewelry styles in the market under a different brand name.  In 2009 one of my personalized pieces was picked up by a major catalog and featured in online publications.  I built a line around that piece called The Dedication Collection.  Those pieces became my best sellers.  My sales, blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts all grew in response to that collection so I sought to expand upon it.  In January 2011 I launched my expanded line and new brand, The Dedication Company, which focuses on symbolism, personalization and minimalist pieces.  I do hope to return to my previous brand/shop to offer some one of a kind and limited edition natural gemstone jewelry one day soon.

What inspires you to do what you do?

      My inspiration for The Dedication Company comes from a love of creating jewelry that people wear as a tribute to themselves or as a memento for someone they love.  My customer's jewelry might represent someone they want to remember, an accomplishment, a treasured memory or maybe their personalized necklace is a little love note to their partner, family member or child.  I create pieces that people wear to express how much their experiences and loved ones mean to them.  Pure inspiration!  My inspiration for Our Simple Souls is based upon sharing with one another.  The Internet is a place to express yourself and learn about others.  It is a bountiful community and wonderful resource.  I hope that one day Our Simple Souls will extend beyond my family's story and be a little community for everyone to gather to share about parenting, sustainable practices, simplicity, great design, everyday life, art, music, etc.

How do you balance your work and family?

     It's funny you should ask.....balancing work and family, fortunately, just became a lot easier for me.  The Dedication Company line has taken off faster than I anticipated.  Since January my pieces have been featured on several online publications and a couple of television spots.  My wholesale accounts have grown and online sales have been fruitful.  That kind of growth is exciting, however I was working full time at a day job on top of running a business, being a wife and mother.  All good things but so incredibly unbalanced!  I was working at least eighty hours a week and missing out on crucial family time.  There was exhaustion, some tears and sheer craziness.  Sylas comes first in our lives so we made the decision for me to quit my day job.  We merged our blog and moved to one Facebook and one Twitter account all under the new The Dedication Company brand.  Although we had many followers with those accounts, its been worth starting over so we can keep everything simple and balanced.  Having work at home makes it tempting to work all the time so I am careful to keep regular working hours.  This allows me to spend more time with Sylas and John.  John and I both check in regularly with each other because when it comes to running a family finding balance is always a work in progress.

How has breastfeeding been for you and your family?

     Breastfeeding has been the most wonderful and challenging experience. I am so thankful for my decision to nurse.  I am fortunate that nursing is the norm in both my and John's family.  It is completely acceptable for me to rock a nursing session with Sy in the middle of Sunday dinner.  My mom will stare at me nursing and tell me, "it is the most beautiful thing to watch". My father in law will hug me goodbye while I am nursing Sylas.  Having that built in normalcy and support made it easy to keeping breastfeeding.  Sylas is now sixteen months old and I continue to have rewarding nursing relationship with him.  Now that I am working from home full time he seems to nurse more than he had been and I am okay with that.  As long as he wants to nurse we're going to nurse!  


Any advice for new moms?  


     Get a support system.  There might be days when you feel like giving up, there will be times in the middle of the night when you feel too tired to nurse, there will be times when you're questioning your milk supply, pumping, latch, etc. These are all normal things to feel, think and wonder when you and your baby are learning to nurse together.  Using your support system will help you process your thoughts and worries and celebrate your triumphs.  Your support system will cheer you on, share what worked for them, and be an ongoing resource.  If you don't have friends or family who are knowledgeable nursers find online forums or a local Le Leche League - you may end up making life long friends there! There is something so comforting about knowing that you are giving your baby a healthy, natural diet.  There is something so beautiful about gazing into your baby's eyes while they nurse.  There is something magical about being a source of comfort for your child.  You just have to be prepared for times when you have questions and know how to find the answers. Most of all - know that you can do it, have confidence and never doubt yourself! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

{Guest Blog}: Breastfeeding and Learning to be Flexible with I Am Emme


     While we are packing up our lives and moving across the ocean to Hawaii, you get to have some amazing guest bloggers, who've kindly offered to keep you (and me) entertained. I am so thankful to have such a supportive community of moms who are willing to help out in times like these :) I hope you enjoy it!
***** 

Hi there, Milk-Friendly readers! I'm Emily from I am Emme.
I'm a hard working interior designer, devoted wife, proud mother of two and an avid breast feeder (who hasn't always had the easiest time of it) 
I'm excited to share my experiences with you and hope that my story inspires some of you who may be struggling to breastfeed. I hope my story will help you to stay at it just a little longer and to know that all your time, energy and effort is well worth it in the end. Despite your obstacles, I hope you find the joy in breastfeeding and maybe find a little something in yourself that you didn't have before.
(Oh, hi! That's me)
 
(and this is my three year old, Weston)
(and his new baby brother Oren)
and this is our story
     When my first son, Wes, was born he took to the breast like a champ. That first day he nursed with absolutely no problems, his latch was great and my milk came in full force. I considered myself lucky and figured we were out of the woods as far as any breastfeeding issues were concerned. Isn't that where it always goes wrong? Baby won't cooperate or mom's not making enough milk? What I didn't realize were the obstacles that could (and would) pop up down the road.
     I was young and as a first time mom I worried about everything once we got home. Including building up a supply of frozen milk for my eventual return to work. I was emotional and stressed out and was forcing myself to pump daily to start building up a supply. I could barely find time for a shower those first few weeks and I should have never been worried about pumping so soon. I had 8 weeks to be home with my baby before I had to return to work and I should have taken it much, much slower.
     I hated pumping. It took forever to do it, to clean all the pieces, and my hands were tied up for far too long when my new little baby needed me. To make matters worse, Wes developed colic. We took him to the pediatrician to find out what we could do. Our regular doctor was out and we saw a different doctor I had never met. I was sleep deprived and beyond stressed out, she suggested he might have a milk allergy and to try giving him hypoallergenic formula. She never discussed changing my diet to eliminate milk, or any other options that would still allow me to breastfeed. I was so consumed with worry and wanting nothing more than to stop the crying and to help my baby. Couple those feelings with my hatred for pumping and my trepidation about pumping once back to work and I was sold. I gave up breastfeeding that day. We bought the formula and thankfully, it did help. But, I didn't think about the options I had, I just jumped at the first one given to me. In a split second I had lost the ability to breastfeed my son and the special bond it gave us. I was full of regret.
     When I became pregnant with my second son, I was determined to do better this time. To at least make breastfeeding last longer than a few weeks. I was not going to even think about pumping until he was at least 6 weeks old. I was just going to relax and enjoy breastfeeding.

Then he was born.
And he wasn't breathing.

     Complications at delivery landed him in the NICU and only hours after he was born I was handed a pump.
     (This is the part where I learned you just have to be flexible). If I ever wanted a chance at breastfeeding I had to pump to get my supply going. My baby needed me and my milk. So pump I did.  
And actually, it wasn't bad. I was so helpless there in the hospital, separated from my baby. That this was the one thing I could do for him - and only I could do it. I was so proud of the little containers of colostrum and eventually milk that I brought with me every time I visited him in the nursery. Pumping turned out to be the one thing that helped me keep my sanity during that time.
     I eventually did get to begin feeding him myself, and just like his brother, he nursed like a champ right from the start. Again, I thought we were out of the woods. But then, just like his brother, a couple weeks after we finally got him home, the colic kicked in. If you've ever had a baby with colic you know that you are willing to do just about anything to get it to go away. My knee jerk reaction was to run out and get the hypoallergenic formula again. But then I thought about how happy the time spent breastfeeding made me and I how I didn't want to give it up so quickly this time.
So, for two weeks I eliminated all milk products from my diet (including trace amounts) to see if that would cure the colic. It didn't. He didn't have a milk allergy at all. And to think that I could have given up breastfeeding for that and have it turn out to not even be the reason for the colic, doubled my determination to continue. A combination of soothing techniques, time, patience and lots of love got us through the colic stage and in the end breastfeeding was a true joy during a very difficult time. 
     We introduced the bottle at about 5 weeks, and I pumped once a day while my husband fed him a bottle and once again while he napped to build up my supply of frozen milk for my return to work. As it turns out, this was plenty. I had a freezer full of milk when I went back at 8 weeks. I think back on the time with my first son and my furiously regimented pumping schedule at two weeks old and shake my head at the needless stress it caused. 
     I was also very worried about how pumping at work would go. Upon my return, I soon realized all of those worries were unneccesary as well. No one minds when I sneak off for 20 minutes a couple times a day to do it. Sure, it can be a hassle but I try to take the opportunity as a forced break in my work to relax and think about my baby while I'm away from him and pumping. I've got it down to such a system now that it takes no time to clean and pack everything back up when I'm done. I'm still proud of the bags of milk I bring home to him every night and knowing that I'm doing the best I possibly can for his health and for our relationship. 
     In the end, what I've learned is you can never really prepare yourself for all the challenges, expected and unexpected, that you may come across as a breastfeeding mama. Go easy on yourself, be flexible. And when you look down at that baby in your arms, and feel that special bond that only breastfeeding can give you, you realize how completely worth it, it all is. 
*****
     Inspiring right? If you'd like to hear more from Emily, stop by her blog I Am Emme. I know she'd love to have you!

Monday, November 21, 2011

{Guest Post}: Breastfeeding and Living in the Moment

     While we are packing up our lives and moving across the ocean to Hawaii, you get to have some amazing guest bloggers, who've kindly offered to keep you (and me) entertained. I am so thankful to have such a supportive community of moms who are willing to help out in times like these :) I hope you enjoy it!

*****

     Today, Bekah from My Little Loves, shares something that I think every multi-tasking mom (me included) suffers from, not slowing down and enjoying the moment. Thank you for your honesty my lovely lady!


*****





Ah, breastfeeding.
There is really nothing like it. So sweet to watch your little babes face light up when you snuggle up to feed them. So wonderful to hear the squeals and coo's when they realize what is happening.
So humbling to realize how much our babes need us, they need nourishment from us.
It is beautiful, isn't it? I love when Luna is nursing and she looks at me and I can't help but smile.
I love when she falls asleep and her little hand is holding my shirt, her tiny body snuggled so close.
It's all so sweet but I have a confession: sometimes I am so sick of nursing.
Some days I feel like nothing but a walking boob. Dairy bar. Whatever you want to call it.
It's frustrating. I am such a task oriented person that when I do have to stop what I am doing to nurse I am multitasking on the Mac. E-mail, blogging, menu planning, etc.
I'll be honest with you, I feel so guilty for it.

 
I look down at my sweet baby and she is always looking right at me. She smiles so big when she realizes I am smiling at her. I mentally scold myself for not soaking in her radiance everytime I sit down to nurse her. I want to become more mindful and soak this fleeting time in. It will be gone before I know it.


I nursed Ocean til she was 2, when asking to nurse she would call it "nurnee".
I miss that time. I miss her little one year old self yelling "nurnee mommy!" at the top of her lungs.
I miss hearing it at night, while she was curled up next to me.
I wish I had slowed down more to enjoy these moments with Ocean.
I will never have these moments back. 
My advice? Put away your iphone, laptop or book and soak in this time.
When you need to nurse, welcome the break...and relish it!
Our babes need us and our full attention and you know, we need them too.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

{New Feature}: I'm a Style Contributor on Pepper Design Blog

 

   
Hi Milk-Friendlies!

     I wanted to let you know that I am now a style contributor over at Pepper Design Blog! Morgan is an all-around crafty, stylish, warm-hearted mama and her blog is a reflection of the loads of creativity she endows. It is a sprinkling of home decor, entertainment, party ideas, fashion, crafts and more. You also might remember Morgan from her breastfeeding interview here and her post on Baby Led Weaning.

    Anyways, she has been very busy expanding her blog and just debuted her Project Gallery. It's a place where you can upload your projects, crafts, wardrobe inspirations, recipes and more and have it featured on the site for all to see. Such a cool tool!

    As for my contribution, I will be adding to her already fabulous Wardrobe Style Boards every month. Inspirations that are not necessarily only for the breastfeeding mom. I'd love if you could hop on over and check them out.

Thanks Lovelies,
Maryam

Friday, November 18, 2011

{Guest Blog}: The Badge of Breastfeeding with The Teeny Tiny Mommy

     While we are packing up our lives and moving across the ocean to Hawaii, you get to have some amazing guest bloggers, who've kindly offered to keep you (and me) entertained. I am so thankful to have such a supportive community of moms who are willing to help out in times like these :) I hope you enjoy it!

*****
 Hello new friends! 
I'm Kelly from
The Teeny Tiny Mommy
 
I'm a 4'11 stay at home mommy to my 2 year old son, Trace and 1 year old daughter, Phoenix. 
 My days are filled with chasing my animal loving toddler around as he tries to turn my beloved Himalayan cat Muffin into some sort of science experiment in his playroom.While simultaneously struggling to get my daughters hair into the tiniest pony tail I can manage. Those are my fave!
 My spare time is spent watching one ghost hunting show after another and soaking up all the paranormal information I can. To put it simply I am a total supernatural freak! With a certification in veterinary assistance. One day I will hunt the ghosts of cats. Just kidding.
Maybe.
 Anyways,  I was going through my clothes the other day and I burst out laughing.
I had my second daughter over a year ago and the majority of my shirts were breastfeeding friendly. Tank after tank, latches on the top and stretched out chests. I think it is time to move on. Little Phoenix weaned at 1 much to my disappointment. I would have loved to keep that bond going for at least another year. However when your little bundle says "I'm done", there is no forcing her.
Phoenix found more exciting things than mama's boobies, and all I was left with was Target tank tops with the built in bra. I was not ready to spend $40 on one nursing top when I could buy multiple ones there for half the price! I highly recommend this to all newly nursing mommies!  I still wear at least one of them almost every single day, more for the fact I haven't gone out and gotten a new wardrobe but also because to me they feel like a little badge of honor.
I spent countless hours working with my tiny infant on the perfect latch, fighting engorgement, and even more importantly, learning about the "dairy free" world for the first time. 
Every new nursing top I bought was a sign that I was pushing through and continuing on this wonderful journey that Phoenix and I shared.
We kept at it, and each month I accumulated more and more nursing shirts. Which meant more and more little badges of nursing accomplishment! And now that it is all over I just can't seem to part with my last bit of breastfeeding memories I can physically hold in my hands. 
Those times were so special to me. When I first became a mother to a small boy in 2009 breastfeeding was something I just couldn't add to my list becoming a first time mom. Everything was so overwhelming and I instantly drifted towards formula because it was the seemingly "easiest" option. Looking back at the difference between bottle and breastfeeding, it was clear to me that nursing turned out to be the easier of the two for me. And the most rewarding. I am so proud of what I accomplished. The nights awake in bed with my darling baby, stroking her hair and listening to her tiny suckles are something that will forever be engrained in my mind. I will cherish those times for the rest for my life. I told myself I would nurse my daughter for at least a year, and between you and I.... 
It was the first promise I had ever made to myself and kept! I was one determined mommy. 
 And now I am the proud mommy to two saggy, but happy boobs!
Now as I sit here writing this donning my nursing tank of accomplishment, I have decided I will keep them a little while longer.
No one has to know, right?

 Thank you so much to Maryam for having me on her amazing blog! I love reading all the exciting news in her life. Like moving to Hawaii! I am so jealous!

Don't forget to stop over to The Teeny Tiny Mommy and say hi! 
 xoxo

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

{Breastfeeding Guest Blog Interview}: Our Lovely Lives

     It's always refreshing to find and connect with other hip nursing moms. It makes me oh-so happy to think that we all share a special little bond with one another. This being said, I am on a mission to find and bring to you, other fabulous, breastfeedin' and bloggin'-mamas.

    Today we are very lucky to have Kelly from Our Lovely Lives. She is a gorgeous mama and photographer in the South Bay of Los Angeles. She has an adorable breastfed little girl Maja, who's chub shows no signs that she was born prematurely- pure evidence that mama's milk works wonders! Read along and see if you got chills like me :)

***** 




     Aloha lovelies! I'm so happy to guest post on this wonderful blog, while Maryam is making a huge move to the most beautiful place in the country! (I'm only a little jealous!) 
 

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     I'm Kelly, from Our Lovely Lives. I am a first-time mom to my sweet little girl, Maja. We live in Southern California - in a small port town called San Pedro. I call myself a stay at home mom, but am actually a photographer. I'm fortunate enough to have a business that is super flexible and allows me to spend as much time as possible with my little family.
 
     I blog about our sweet girl, and the journey of being first time parents. The fumbles, insecurities, and all the joy it brings. I am passionate about natural living, healthy eating, breastfeeding, attachment parenting, and cloth diapering.
 
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What were the top 2 reasons you decided to breastfeed?
     I guess it was something I never really put too much thought into, other than I knew I would. My mom extended breastfed all four of us, and being the oldest I have vivid memories of my mom breastfeeding my siblings. So, for me, it was something completely natural and normal.
     The top reason is the obvious health benefits. I am a firm believer that my body makes exactly what she needs. And, it did. I've nursed my 4 pound preemie into a, thriving, 25 pound seven month old! 
      Another reason is for convenience. It's free. Nursing is so convenient. She's always with me, and well, my boobs are always with me. I never have to worry about bottles, nipples, water, or formula. I love that we can leave home for the day and only need to bring a few diapers and a change of clothes. 
 

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What's your breastfeeding "must-have" item?
     I can't say that I have a must-have item. We used the brest friend for a few weeks, and liked it, but found that we much prefer nursing on our sides, with our tummy's touching.
     I will say what I feel is imperative to my success in nursing is the support system. While Maja was in the NICU I worked very closely with a lactation consultant and the knowledge and confidence she gave me is priceless. Also, my husband is SO supportive. He's a full-blown lactivist, now! It makes it so much easier, and so much more pleasant having people who support you.
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Have you found yourself sacrificing style in order to be able to dress "milk-friendly"?
     YES! Though, I'll admit, I'm only just getting my style back post-baby. I'm finally dressing to look cute, versus dressing for practicality. Finally! I do find myself asking, " how easily can I nurse in this" when shopping and getting dressed.  
 
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Have you had any wardrobe malfunctions? If so, I'm sure there's a story, do tell!
     When Maja was first born I was dealing with over-supply issues, which was extremely painful. I hadn't leaked yet, though my mom always told me stories of lactating mothers who hear random babies cry and then are suddenly soaked. I got to experience this first-hand. We were at the hospital and I was in the waiting room with my brother-in-law and my little nephew, who was crying. Apparently my boobs recognized the cry of a baby, because I looked down my my red shirt was SOAKED. Soaked. Huge wet circles encompassing my breasts. SO embarrassing. I don't know who was more uncomfortable...me or my brother-in-law.

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What's the best advice you can give new breastfeeding moms?
     You can do it! Be stubborn. I approached breastfeeding with an extremely stubborn attitude. I would do it, no matter what. Sure, there have been things that, had I not been so hard headed about the whole thing, would've made it easier to quit. But I didn't and I'm so happy. Aside from the obvious health benefits, the bond that has been created through breastfeeding is something I can't even put into words. It's amazing. It's something that only she and I share...it's perfect. It's our special time together, and I am forever grateful for a body that not only created this little person but, is continuing to nurture and aid her in growing. Love love love. 
 

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You can follow along Kelly's journey on her blog and get inspired by her photography too.
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