Saturday, September 26, 2015

Travelling, Pumping & Working... Jessica Writes

It is a great time to travel when your new bundle of joy is right in your arms, and breastfeeding because your baby is with you is really great!  
Now, the hard part, if you are travelling and pumping and working?!!
Our friend Jessica Shortall has writen an excellent book, part mom story, part 411, from her wild travel experiences working for TOMS (yes the famous shoe company).  
 You can buy her book at Amazon or many other places.
Work, Pump, Repeat; Jessica Shortall Breastfeeding Pumping Working Mom

Below is the text of her info-graphic on breastfeeding + pumping while travelling/working.
 1. Call ahead
Call the client office, conference center, or venue where you'll be spending time. Find a friendly person and straight-up tell them you're breastfeeding and need their help identifying a private place to pump, and a fridge to store milk.
2.  Prepare for the airport
Pack your individual breast pump parts in ziploc bags in case the TSA worker wants to inspect them.  Minimize your carry-ons, because you'll have a bag or cooler full of milk on your way home.  
**Print this TSA provided link that says you're allowed to travel with a pump and as much breastmilk as you want.
3.  Learn to pump in a bathroom
 Family restrooms are the best because they have outlets and counters and sinks. But in a bind, you can use your pump's battery pack and stand in a stall with the pump bag hung on the door hook. Throw the pump parts in a Ziploc and worry about washing them later.
4. Hotel
If they won't give you a fridge, say "FOR MEDICAL REASONS" until they cave. If they make you use the minibar, tell them that you expect not to be charged for moving stuff out of there. And if there just is no fridge, demand access to a kitchen fridge for your "medicine." Get the location of this fridge in writing so you can help the morning shift-worker find it when you check out.
Supplies List-
- Reusable, lined lunchbag (for bringing milk home) for 1-2 day trip
- Soft-sided 6-pack cooler for 3-7 day trip
- Lots of large, slider-top Ziploc bags
- More breastmilk storage bags than you think you'll need
- Gel ice packs (in a pinch, get a flight attendent or airport bartender to put ice in some empty breastmilk storage bags)
- A big shawl in case you need to pump somewhere less-than-private
 - Book: Work. Pump. Repeat: The New Mom's Survival Guide to Breastfeeding and Going Back to Work by Jessica Shortall Abrams Image, out September 8, 2015
*Took a little liberty to add a few items:
- We recommend packing  2-4 Bella Materna Nursing Bras, Nursing Tanks, Nursing Gowns, Nursing Essentials. you will need to have these key tools while you are on the road.  We have underwire or wirefree nursing bras available to fit 32-44 B-J cups.
Smooth Wirefree Nursing Bra by Bella MaternaSexy TShirt Nursing Bra
- Breast Leak Prevention
we have 2 options:

Lily Padz Silicone prevents leaks - these are nice because you only need 1 pair, less bulk, easier to travel, easy to clean, quick to dry.  When you notice they are not sticking, that indicates when they need to be cleaned.  Use your body soap or shampoo to clean them.
Bamboo Travel Nursing Pads - if you leak be sure you have these extra soft and easy to use Bamboo Disposable Nursing Pads.  Made with the absolute best materials, Eco Pure, and extra milk barrier to ensure no leaks make their way.  
Bamboo Travel Nursing Pad

Take care - get plenty of rest and water, 
Bella Materna|President|Mom

Monday, September 21, 2015

Nursing Bra Controversy: Wire-Free or Underwire?

Nursing Bra Controversy: Wire-Free or Underwire?
Since 2000 we have been in the business of making maternity bras for expecting women and nursing bras for breastfeeding moms,  the first question usually is Wire or No Wire.
First off, this is just personal experience, not simply medical advice.  If you are having issues with clogged ducts, and pain, especially fever ---  quickly find a local Lactation Consultant.  It is worth the money!
In 15 years, I have had no more than 5 customers raise concern about our bras causing a clogged duct for them.  One woman was local, she came into our shop -- she had on a Wirefree bra....but the fit was way too tight! 
We have successfully offered our patented Flexywire  and Wirefree bras for almost 15 years now, and it seems to come down to a few things to be aware of in this realm.  I realize that most doctors still don't recommend and underwire, but I bet it has more to do with caution because of a worst case scenario, than the success women have had breastfeeding with underwire nursing bras for years.
breastfeedingOur breastfeeding model Audrey 

1. Bra Fit
If the fit of the bra is too tight and constricting, this can easily cause the clogged ducts.  A key location is the bra cup seam - notice if it is digging in, especially if that seam is on top of breast tissue.  It should be supporting tissue, not cutting it off.  Also, loose saggy bras can be a culprit too!  If your breast tissue is not supported well enough, gravity can be working against your milk flow.
2. Genetics
Some women are pre-disposed to getting clogged ducts, or worse - mastitis.  If you know this about yourself, personally I recommend not to play Russian Roulette - just go tp a good bra fitter (usually a local lingerie boutique or a customer service focused department store like Nordstrom) and get a wirefree nursing bra.  I highly recommend our Smooth Cup Wirefree bra especially if you are an E-H cup, also our Mesh Plunge or Anytime Bras are good wirefree alternatives.
3. Low tech 
If you are not pre-disposed to mastitis in a severe way, I personally found if there was a sore spot on my breast I would rub it firmly.  Usually I would be able to find the duct which was a little clogged (on all different spots) and like a cramp, you can gently massage it. It seemed to work for me, but again this is not medical advice - just my personal experience.  
4. Heal after birth - grow into breastfeeding
You just birthed a baby (vaginally or surgically it is traumatic on your body) give yourself time to recover and heal.  Even though I am a fan of the underwire - I needed a couple of weeks to get used to breastfeeding, feeling comfortable and in a good rhythem with my baby boy.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions - we have helped thousands of women over these years.
Toll Free: 1-888-700-8438 (10am - 3pm PST)
Chat on our website: 
 Here is another resource for
Take care - get plenty of rest and water, 
Bella Materna|President|Mom

Monday, July 27, 2015

USA Health Reform and Breastfeeding Mothers

Federal Health Reform and Nursing Mothers

President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on March 30, 2010. (See the combined full text of Public Laws 111-148 and 111-152 here.)  Among many provisions, Section 4207 of the law amends the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 (29 U.S. Code 207) to require an employer to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child's birth each time such employee has need to express milk. The employer is not required to compensate an employee receiving reasonable break time for any work time spent for such purpose. The employer must also provide a place, other than a bathroom, for the employee to express breast milk.  If these requirements impose undue hardship, an employer that employs fewer than 50 employees is not subject to these requirements. The federal requirements shall not preempt a state law that provides greater protections to employees.
For more information:
In addition, the ACA requires new private health insurance plans, including those available in the new health insurance marketplaces, to provide coverage for specified women’s preventive health services with no cost sharing (e.g., copayment, coinsurance, or deductible). Breastfeeding support, supplies and lactation counseling are one of these specified preventive services.
For more information:
Hopefully this has given you some insights to the improvements made for pregnant and breastfeeding moms. This information is provided as a resource for you to learn more about your rights.  
If you need help finding the best maternity bras or breastfeeding bras, please contact us.  We are experts in ascertaining which nursing bras will work for you in the long run, and estimating your size and product needs. We love supporting our breastfeeding moms, with full bust nursing bras wirefree or underwire, with nursing accessories and nursing clothing to suit your specific needs.
Take care - get plenty of rest and water, 
Bella Materna|President|Mom

Friday, February 14, 2014

Exciting Offers For Our Moms through friends at Koala Kin

Exciting Offers For Our Moms!

KoalaKin Partners
We moms work so hard… We consistently put our needs last, and we do it with love, gratitude and a little bit of humor. Knowing that we are all in this together is what keeps us going, knowing that our sacrifice will give our babies the best, makes us fierce and powerful beyond belief.
We, here at KoalaKin, want to be able to give you something that will hopefully make your lives a bit easier. That’s why we are happy to have partnered with some amazing companies, and are able to offer you their products and services at a discount. Take a peek below at these amazing offers!
A Mother’s Boutique
A Mother’s Boutique offers everything a new mother or mother to be needs – from maternity clothing to breastfeeding gear, nursing bras, breast pumps and slings.
When owner Judy Masucci was a new mother, she had a difficult time finding quality nursing clothing and products that would enable her to be successful at breastfeeding.  She realized this “unmet need” was also something many other mothers also experienced. Coming from a business background, Judy decided she could use her corporate skills to develop a solution for this need. She realized that she would be able to meet her personal goals of spending more time with her son, while achieving professional goals of helping other new mothers succeed with breastfeeding. This led her to start up A Mother’s Boutique.
PROMO: Judy is offering our awesome mamas a 10% discount off all orders. Just use the promo code KOALAKIN. The code expires 12/31/14.

hadleystilwell.jpg hadleystilwell
The HadleyStilwell clothing line was inspired by the challenge of having to look pulled-together and professional at work with little sleep and possibly no shower (!), yet also needing to quickly and discreetly pump in public places. It’s a daunting situation for new mothers, and breastfeeding is often the first thing to go.
HadleyStilwell makes it easy for busy breastfeeding mothers to get dressed in two seconds flat with coordinating designs that help you feel beautiful when breastfeeding or pumping. But it’s much larger than the clothes: Aside from no skin exposure, quick access to breasts, and wrinkle-free durable fabric, it’s about a mother’s overall wellbeing. Feeling good about breastfeeding will spill over into all aspects of your life. And that is my vision for breastfeeding mothers…
PROMO: It’s our pleasure to offer a 15% discount through the end of May on the Fleece Lounging and Co-Sleeping Top to keep you warm this winter and in perpetuity. And…it’s the perfect layer under your KoalaKin! Code: GOMOM

Snugabell Mom & Baby Gear
Snugabell designs and manufactures breastfeeding and pumping products.  Our mission is to support moms’ decision to breastfeed through education, community and beauty.  All of our products are designed for mamas who are not willing to forgo fashion for function, so they feel beautiful regardless of the last time they changed out of their PJs or had a shower! This may sound trivial in the wake of introducing a brand new person to this world, however our customers tell us that our products help them retain a little bit of “self” amongst all the baby-centric happenings of new parenthood. Snugabell works hard to enhance the breastfeeding relationship between a mother and her babe and we hope that our products continue to help thousands more dyads succeed in reaching their personal breastfeeding goals.
AMAZON PROMO: 20% off PumpEase - Ends:   Feb 25 – 11:59pm
Please ensure the listing says “Sold By Snugabell Mom & Baby Gear and Fulfilled by Amazon” or the promo code won’t work!

Undercover Mama
UM ¨ white w border
Undercover Mama is mom invented, mom owned and mom operated. They are passionate about breastfeeding and strive to provide mothers with an affordable alternative to an expensive nursing wardrobe. The Undercover Mama clips to any nursing bra and allows for you to keep your tummy and back covered while still giving full access for nursing. With Undercover Mama you can make any shirt a nursing shirt.
PROMO: Valid for 20% Off - Expires 2/25/2014
Code: MamaKin20
Plus free shipping on two shirts or more!

MamaPear Designs
Lara Audelo is a breastfeeding mother, educator, supporter of all moms, and has a passionate activist side that is drawn to many causes. Her most important cause is helping women make informed choices and supporting them in their mothering journeys.  She is the owner of MamaPear Designs and the author of The Virtual Breastfeeding Culture, which was published in 2013.
PROMO: Lara is offering all our mamas 20% off her book “The Virtual Breastfeeding Culture: Seeking Mother-to-Mother Support in the Digital Age”, featuring raw, honest and uplifting stories, tips and resources for all breastfeeding moms. Code: KK20OFF

Emily Kane is the founder of Milkmakers. She created Milkmakers cookies because she needed them.
Emily went back to work after here first daughter was born and found herself in a new situation — trying to manage work life, home life, and fitting in the time to pump during an already busy day. Her milk supply started to go down and she worried that she wouldn’t be able to provide enough milk for her baby.
When a lactation consultant first told her about lactation cookies, it seemed too good to be true: She could eat delicious cookies AND increase her milk supply? To her surprise, she saw an immediate boost in her milk production.
Lactation cookies can help promote an abundant supply of breast milk. The result: a well-fed baby and a happy family.
PROMO: Emily is so excited to offer 10% off all their products with the code: KOALAKIN. (Limit one order per customer. Offer valid through December 31st, 2014)

The Naked Nursing Tank
Naked Tank Logo 1
The Naked Nursing Tank is 100% Canadian made. Owned and operated by 2 Guelph, Ontario Moms, it was invented with the intention to support breastfeeding moms, making it that much more comfortable to nurse their babies ANYWHERE! The Naked Tank is an award-winning product with international recognition for “The most UNIVERSAL Nursing Tank on the market!” Worn underneath your regular wardrobe, The Naked Nursing Tank is a midsection cover-up for breastfeeding women, that allows women the option to wear their most supportive bra of choice. The Naked Tank transforms your entire wardrobe into nursing wear making it a unique and affordable option for every mom! Going from size XS to 5X -we got all shapes and sizes covered!
PROMO: Purchase yours now with coupon code KOALAFREESHIP and receive Free shipping on ALL orders!

In 2005, working mother Sari Davidson created the very first SippiGrip in San Ramon, California. Davidson became frustrated when her 1 year old son, Jake, would throw his sippy cup to the floor from his highchair, stroller, and car seat. Davidson was constantly picking up the cups that were either getting dirty or lost. Necessity really was the mother of invention; hence, the SippiGrip was born!
BooginHead is a term Davidson’s family used when one of their kids would do something they knew they shouldn’t, did it anyways, and you couldn’t help but laugh – they were being such a BooginHead! Davidson and BooginHead are committed to bringing products to on-the-go parents to help solve the BooginHead moments in life and make your life easier!
PROMO:  Currently, Booginhead is offering 20% off their Pink Polka Dot and Asher Argyle PaciGrips

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Month by Month info-graphic to the #breastfeeding journey

This is a great info-graphic guide to the breastfeeding journey (generalized of course, each journey is unique!)
Thank you to our  friends at Hadley Stilwell, creator of great nursing clothing for sharing with us.