Real Talk – Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding has become a hot topic, and today we are doing some real talk on it.  As a mother you hear many different opinions on many different things but breastfeeding is always one of them.  Every mama has their own experience and way of doing things and Leah and I are perfect examples of that.  We each have had completely different experiences with breastfeeding and we wanted to share them with you.

 The funny thing is, we both have felt pressured or ridiculed for our experiences.  This is something that moms face day in and day out.  Leah and I wanted to share our own experience and say that no matter what you do, as long as you’re trying your best, you’re doing ok!  Us moms need to stick together and support each other because let’s face it, our job isn’t easy and it’s probably the most scrutinized.

So here are each of our stories and some great breastfeeding products we recommend along the way!  We’d love to keep this conversation going and hear what you have to say on the subject and your experience.

Photos of Jacquelyn by Megan Welker


Jacquelyn

I remember being pregnant with Court and being nervous if I would be able to breastfeed.  I already felt the pressure then with my first baby on the way.  My friends had varied experiences and I remember thinking, I just want to try and get to 6 months!  That was my goal!!  Some of my friends had to supplement and I had a few friends of friends who nursed for a really long time. At the time I thought, ok, that’s weird…  I remember another friend saying “if they can ask for it, then you’ve gotta stop”, haha…  Little did I know how my breastfeeding experience would go.

– Jacquelyn is wearing a nursing sweater by BOOB

When I had Court I found that I sort of had a gift for this breastfeeding thing!  I produced A LOT of milk, like a lot a lot!!  I was able to pump and store a good amount of milk, and was even able to donate it to a friend who couldn’t nurse her baby and to my local hospital.  But best of all, I was able to nurse Court and feed him without having to supplement.  Court grew and grew, and I still find it amazing that he was completely nourished by me!

Another fun fact… I loved to breastfeed!  That was something I had always heard mixed feelings on from other friends.  But I personally loved it.  It was my special time with my baby and the time I felt the most connected with him.  When we had company over I loved sneaking away for some quiet time with Court.  And the way your baby touches your face while you breastfeed them, is there really anything better?!

– Jacquelyn’ favorite nursing bra is by Bravado Designs and you can find it here

Time passed and I surpassed my 6 month goal.  Then a year hit, my doctor was so proud of me for continuing to breastfeed for that long.  I thought I would stop then, but Court still wanted to nurse!  Who was I to deny my son this amazing super food if I had the capability to give it to him?  I’ll be honest, it wasn’t always easy.  As many of you know breastfeeding can be hard and it’s a selfless act.  We give up our bodies for 9 long months being pregnant and continue to do so when we breastfeed.  But in a completely selfish way, I still loved having this connection so we kept it up.

– Jacquelyn is using a nursing pillow cover by Woolf with Me

I breastfed Court till I became pregnant with Cruz.  So for 21 long months I fed that little guy and don’t regret it one bit.  There were good times; like how he barely ever got sick and still hardly ever gets sick which I credit to breastfeeding and our amazing bonding time.  And there were bad times; don’t get me started on the biting phase, and weaning wasn’t easy and broke my heart.  My dad even joked sometimes “are you going to be breastfeeding him at his high school graduation” haha!

Speaking of the jokes, I heard a lot different opinions about my breastfeeding… Some positive but a lot negative.  Luckily I can say that I’m the type of person that doesn’t really care what others think… Don’t get me wrong, I definitely can be sensitive, but in this case I was so confident in my decision that it didn’t matter.  But I did get my fair share of eye rolls and looks of complete shock.  Lots of jokes were made about it from family, friends and strangers.

But in the end I’m really proud of myself for nursing Court that long.  Yes, he was almost 2, and yes he could ask for it, yes he would even pick which boob he wanted, but in my heart and my mind he needed it.

– Jacquelyn is wearing a nursing tank and leggings by BOOB

When I became pregnant with Cruz I again worried, would it be as easy this time?  Would Cruz latch quickly and feed as well?  Would I produce as much?  Did Court suck me dry?  Haha… Lots of questions popped into my mind.  Luckily we haven’t had any hiccups and Cruz is nursing well and my milk is still coming in strong again.  Ultimately I did what worked for me and what was best for my situation.  I have no judgements if someone can’t nurse as long or can’t nurse at all!  Everyone has to do what is best for them, their family and their baby.

Breastfeeding is such a personal part of being a mom and it’s such a short part of it too.  Why set judgement or have stress on something that in the long run only defines such a short time of your journey as a mom?  My advice is to see how it goes and make any adjustments as needed but don’t stress yourself out over not having enough or having too much.  As long as you give that baby love and nourish them however you need to it will all work out!


Leah Carriger

When I first got prego with my first Edie back in 2011, I knew I wanted to breastfeed…hands down that’s what was happening.  I never really thought about the struggles that came with it for some reason.  She was born almost 6 weeks early and that’s when the ball dropped on me.  Her birth was traumatic and very stressful.  I had her at 10:15 in the evening and was so sick after I had her.  I remember them wheeling me back up to my room and her staying in her little incubator down in the NICU.  The next thing I remember is waking up in my room and telling my hubby we needed to go down so I could breastfeed her!!  I was frantic.  When I got down there the nurses had already fed her formula and I was upset that they didn’t ask me first. I get it… there was a lot going on and at the moment they were doing what was best for her, but again, it wasn’t part of the plan.  I nursed her as much as could the next 10 days, but it was so difficult because she was in the NICU and I had to pump, which was also depressing.  I could see the amount of milk I was producing and it was such a little amount.  Now I look back I think about how hard I was on myself.  I was a brand new mom, learning it all for the very first time and super stressed that my new little babe was in the NICU.  Stressed I wasn’t producing enough milk for her, and pumping never helped the situation.  After about 2 months of what seemed like killing myself over it, breast feeding her for so long and then supplementing because she was still hungry, I literally felt like I was feeding her 24/7!!  I finally threw in the towel, and after I did I felt so much better.  I was harboring so much guilt for not being able to feed her, I felt like I failed.  But I finally felt like it was ok…I was still a good mommy and I was doing the best I could.

– Leah’s pajamas are by BOOB

Fast forward to my second and It was a little better since I knew what I was getting into, although I still had high hopes for myself.  A similar situation happened with Isla and she had to be in the NICU as well, but only for 3 days. This time around I was a little better prepared with the pumping and making sure I woke up every 3 hours to make a trip down to the NICU so I could feed her.  This time I also got a lactation nurse, which was a good refresher.  Then we got home and that night she wouldn’t stop screaming.  My husband suggested that she was probably hungry and I didn’t even think about that because I had been feeding her a lot!  But sure enough, I made her a bottle and she calmed down.  Cue the mom guilt again, but this time it wasn’t as intense.  I was still determined to go longer than I did with Edie.  I was definitely more relaxed and not as hard on myself.

– Leah’s nursing essential is this nursing tank by Bravado Designs you can layer under anything –

Then my experience with this little guy was different because fortunately he didn’t have to be in the NICU and it made a world of difference having him in my room with me.  He nursed for the first four days and we bonded perfectly.  On the 4th day though, the nurse suggested I give him formula because he was losing so much weight.  It was definitely disheartening, but it was ok.  Supplementing was all I knew.  I was still going to breastfeed him as much as I could and I was ok with that and so was he.

– Leah is wearing leggings by BOOB

For me it wasn’t so much the judgement, as it was me being hard on myself.  I couldn’t help it at first.  I needed to experience the struggle for me to be able to look back and see the bigger picture.  I did the best that I could and I was proud of myself.  I still bonded beautifully with each of my littles even though it was more through bottle feeding than breastfeeding.

My advise it just to relax.  It’s so hard when you have a baby and the pressure is intense, but just slow down and take in the moment of the miracle that was just created.  That is by far one of the best things life can offer.

Hope you got something out of this personal post… As parents we are all trying to do our best and none of us want to feel stressed or judged at such a special time.  Breastfeeding or feeding your baby can be amazing no matter what.  We wish all of you mamas and mamas to be the best experience that is perfect for you.

xx

Jacquelyn

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By on January 16, 2017 in BABY SPOTLIGHT, MATERNITY, PREGNANCY, REAL TALK

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Baby Spotlight – 4 Moms

To end the first complete week of 2017 we are celebrating the amazing company 4 Moms.  Now we’ve been mama’s for some time now and we have to say that we love this brand.  Over the last 5 years we have seen it grow from the mamaRoo into a perfect collection that makes up an innovative and elegant group of products very helpful to parents everywhere!  From the mamaRoo, we experienced breeze, and infant tub and we are happy to report these are some of our favorite baby gear products. Since we’ve been blessed with the newest additions to our families this past year, Jacquelyn and I couldn’t wait to try the next best thing from 4 moms.

The bounceRoo

The 4moms bounceRoo is the only bouncer with 3 unique vibration modes (heartbeat, wave and bee) and 3 intensity settings to help calm and soothe your baby.

Henry loves his bounceRoo.  I put him in it and he loves the vibration and the looking at the mobile up above.  It soothe’s him when he’s fussy and helps him nod off for a bit.

The bounceRoo is available in the classic seat fabric (dark grey) and has a smooth, woven surface. Machine washable.

Here is cutie pie Cruz on his bounceRoo

The bounceRoo also entertains with a fun, natural bouncing motion created by your baby’s movement. The lightweight and compact design is easy to move around the house or take on the go.

Cruz loves his bounceRoo too! He lounges in it when mama needs to have some fun with older brother Court! He loves watching them play from his bounceRoo.

Hope you guys love this bounceRoo as much as we do!

All photos by Megan Welker 

Xx Leah

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By on January 13, 2017 in BABY SPOTLIGHT, BEIJINHOS, BEIJOS PICKS

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Baby Spotlight – Finn & Emma

Today I want to introduce you to a baby brand called Finn & Emma.  It’s rare to find a brand that is both ecologically conscious and stylish.  Finn & Emma takes pride in being both!  Only the finest organic cotton, eco friendly dyes and all natural wood is used.  They were recently voted one of the “10 Best Sustainable Baby Brands” by Vogue Magazine.  Purchasing organic clothing is a trend towards sustainability as 20% of water pollution occurs through the making of non-organic clothing.   With both clothing and toys in their collection, they have everything you need for your little one.

Let’s start with their cute clothing!  For boys they have 3 different collections and the same for girls… For boys they have the Sailor, the Robot and the Totem.  Here’s my little Cruz in some of their adorable items.  Their sizes range from 3/6M to 4T, so an older sibling can wear them too!  I got Court a pair of pajamas to match Cruz, but he was being a little camera shy this day :)

Here’s Cruz in the Robot Coverall

Now we’re moving on to the Totem collection… Cruz is wearing the Totem Romper and he’s pretty happy about it!

Last but not least Cruz is back in the Robot collection wearing this cute little Romper!

Now Henry was more in the mood for playtime then shopping for clothes, and he took care of showing off the Sailor collection!

Lucky Henry got himself a play gym that he loves to play with in his nursery!  This is the perfect gift or toy for a little babe.  Not only is it good for them to practice their mobile skills but it also buys you some time and keeps them busy for a bit… And that’s what we need as mamas!!

The birch wood frame has non toxic stains and lacquers while the wooden toys are all natural untreated indian hardwood buffed with vegetable seed wax.  The knit dolls were made with phthalate-free rattles inside and hand knit from organic cotton.

This gym was made for hours of play time for our little ones!  Another plus, all of Finn & Emma’s play gyms are interchangeable, so you can change the look and fun for your babe.  Their gyms range from a boho Feather gym to a cute Woodland theme or even a fun Hipster one!  The possibilities are endless and you can have lots of fun finding the perfect one for your baby and nursery.

Now head on over to Finn  & Emma and shop your little heart out!

xx

Jacquelyn

All Photos by Megan Welker

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By on January 12, 2017 in BABY SPOTLIGHT

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Baby Spotlight – Woolf With Me

We’re still on that baby train!!  One of my favorite brands I found for Cruz’s nursery, and I’m sure Leah would agree, is Woolf With Me.  It has the cutest modern items for the nursery and most can be personalized, which you know we love!  Both Leah and I purchased their personalized crib sheets separately without even knowing it!!  Then we had to add their personalized name prints and a few other goodies.  Owner, Lindsay Woolf, is beyond sweet and a fellow mompreneur.  It feels great to support a small business with a fellow mother at the helm!  Keep scrolling down to read more from our Q&A with Lindsay!

Photos by Megan Welker

 Tell us a little bit about you…

Hi, I’m Lindsay Woolf the mama behind Woolf With Me®. I love everything bold, comfy and neon. When I was eighteen I moved from Texas to California for art school. I was trained in Film and Digital Photography. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Commercial Advertising and Portraiture. My fondest memories of college were spent processing my film in the dark room at an old mansion in Montecito. I met my husband there and I knew one day I would marry him… 8 years later we got married in the same town where we met. We now have two kids Olive and Remington.

 How and when did Woolf with Me come to life?

I started Woolf With Me in 2014 when Olive was 2 years old. Just like any new parent when I found out I was having a baby the first thing I wanted to do was run out and buy all the baby bedding to start the nursery. At the time I remember thinking,”this is it? These are my options?” The big box stores had nothing that fit my personality, and I didn’t think it would fit my daughter’s either- at the time I bought something that would work- but the idea of creating modern+organic baby bedding was seeded firmly in my mind.  After my daughter was born I started researching and shortly after created Woolf With Me®. Woolf With Me allows you to design a nursery for your kids that will encourage BIG imaginations. Woolf With Me prides ourself on being 100% GOTS certified organic.

How do your own kids inspire your designs?

Remington and Olive are my biggest inspiration. Remington loves dinosaurs so I was inspired to have T-Rex and Brontosaurus designs that comes in jade, green, pink and lavender so that not only little boys can enjoy but also little girls too. Under the Sea is a design that was inspired by Olive’s love of ocean class at school that incorporates seaweed, jelly fish, whales, sharks and octopus. Some designs just jump out at me like the sailor showing his muscles. Remington suffered from sever croup at 8 weeks old that sent him to a children’s hospital for a week to get treated. While we were there I saw so many kids fighting for their life, including my son that I was inspired to have a design that reflected strength and determination, not only for the kids but also the parents, doctors, firefighters, nurses, police officers, paramedics… everyone involved.

 We love your personalized items, what do you offer personalized and how many different fonts?

Woolf With Me started this trend of personalized baby items because of our two kids. We felt so happy to share our children’s names, we were already making bedding, and thought “we should print our kids names on crib sheets and blankets!” so we did and the rest is history.  We currently have personalized swaddle blankets, faux fur blankets, crib-twin sheets, pillowcases, boppy covers and changing pad covers in 46 colors. We chose 2 fonts that we felt wouldn’t get old over time, a bold and one in cursive.

 What is your favorite print you offer for a nursery and why?

My favorite wall art is “These are the Days” My husband and I created this print together to remind us to savor these moments with our young ones. My husband overheard an older couple talking to each other as we were chasing our kids down the beach path- we were in the midst of family chaos with two rambunctious kids and the older man looked at his wife and said “those were the days” – it was just one of those moments that stuck out.

My favorite bedding is the blanket in zig zag that my husband and I created together. It’s our first ready to ship item including the newborn knotted gowns!

Any advice for other mompreneurs out there?

Don’t give up. My mantra to myself has always been- “I believe in ME”

Advice to new moms~

Have a strong support group. I started attending a mommy and me group which we attended every Wednesday. It was exactly what I needed. It got me up and out of bed, inspired me to wear something other than pajamas and motivated me to keep moving forward. Another wonderful program I attended was Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS)–a national organization. Having other mothers to lean on and look up to is/was so important, especially during the first year of adjusting to parenthood.

We’re so excited you are offering twin sized bedding now!  What else is on the horizon for Woolf with Me?

Yes! We are so excited to announce that Woolf With Me now offers twin size bedding including queen pillowcases!  For the past 2.5 years Woolf With Me® has been selling products made to order, but now we must grow and meet the needs of more families. We have big plans to create many more products, but we can only do that with the help of our faithful friends and customers who have been pushing us to keep going since the beginning. Please do us a favor and buy/share/gift our Ready to Ship zig zag blankets and knotted gowns so we can sell through and introduce more fantastic products!

Thank you so much for sharing with us Lindsay!!

xx

Jacquelyn

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By on January 11, 2017 in BABY SPOTLIGHT

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Baby Spotlight – Babee & Me

Hi guys!  Back to baby land over here…this week it’s all about baby brands and how Jacquelyn and I found the cutest stuff to spotlight for all you new mamas. Or… you could be looking to find the perfect yet unique gift for a loved one having a babe…we got ya covered!  Today we are talking about Babee & Me, a handmade designer label for babies and kids quality toys and homewares out of Australia.  After having her two baby boys, Rachel realized how special it was for a child to have something unique, fun and handmade to play with. Based on her love of design, hand printing and wooden toys, she founded Babee & Me in 2010.

All photos by Megan Welker

First of all here are her amazing baby mats and softies…

Find Cruz’s mat here, and bear softie here.

They provide such a cute little back drop for baby to play on.

Find Henry’s baby mat here and fox softie here.

We just love these little softie’s, they are adorable for our son’s to grow up with and hang onto for life.  Plus…they make for a super cute decor piece!

These faces are just too good not to share…

Here’s a little Q&A from Rachel…

How and when did Babee & Me come to life?

Babee and Me started 6 yrs ago and was initially called Babee Blocks as my first products were soft baby blocks. This was just after the arrival of our second son and when I really wanted to make some handmade toys for him. So one thing led to another and before too long I had a website to sell them from and was running as a little business – I really discovered that being creative made me happy and gave me beautiful personal satisfaction. I also didn’t fancy those brightly coloured toys and merchandise type products you could get in all the department stores and loved to see my own children and eventually many others enjoying my original creations.

Tell us a little bit about you…

I am originally from New Zealand and after meeting my Aussie husband in Canada I moved here to a beautiful place called Byron Bay at the most easterly point of Australia. I am also a qualified biomedical scientist and personal trainer but by far enjoying having my own creative business the most – regardless of how hard it is at times! I love the outdoors, nature and a bit of fitness.

We love that your products are organic and ethically sourced, talk to us about why that is important to you?

I really think our babies deserve the best – they come from a place of such sterility inside us I only think it’s fitting we give them products that are as natural as possible and to keep as many chemicals away.

It’s so refreshing to find a play mat that has such a great design, where do you come up with your prints?

Thankyou! While I am inspired by trends – I like to do my own take on them or just do my own thing. So I only design and make products that I’m 100% happy with. I have to consider the unique fact that I hand print every one of my products in my home studio which can be quite labour intensive and stressful but worth it for the vibrancy of the print.

What is your favorite product that you make?

My gosh that’s a hard one – I love my playmats as I really feel they aren’t babyish so will grow with baby and end up being a feature in a room or used in different areas of a house once a little one has finished lying on them – they are also great for taking out and about as they are machine washable.

Here’s a little example how Jacquelyn uses it in Cruz’s room layered on the area rug, making it really stand out.

What’s next for Babee & Me?

2017 is going to be big for me as I start to move to mainly off shore manufacturing…. I simply have found all the hand printing stressful at times. It will mean every single one of my products will be GOTS organic certified, independently safety tested to worldwide standards and only made fair trade/ethical. This will also mean I will be able to have product stocked in many more stores around the world. I will still have a few locally handmade products available exclusively on my site only. I am super excited for the future!

We also love her wooden decor and blocks!

Check out her wooden toys here.

And more decorated on Henry’s reclaimed shelf…all the blocks, cactus and snow capped mountains from Babee & Me.

We just love how modern this line is, we hope you love it as much as we do! And thank you Rachel for sharing your creativity and designs with us!

Xx Leah

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By on January 10, 2017 in BABY SPOTLIGHT, BEIJINHOS, BEIJINHOS STYLE, BEIJOS PICKS, GIFTS, LIFESTYLE, SHOPPING

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