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An electric breast pump can be one of a nursing mama’s most valuable tools. Even if you don’t need to bottle feed your baby often, a pump can help maintain milk supply, relieve engorgement, and serves as a great backup in case an emergency comes up and you are unable to nurse your baby.

I remember registering for baby items when I was pregnant with my first baby and having some serious sticker shock when I saw the price tags on the electric breast pumps. I knew that I needed to get one, so I figured I would just cough up the few hundred bucks.

Luckily a co-worker of mine was pregnant at the same time and, as we compared baby prep checklists, mentioned that our health insurance plan covered the cost of a breast pump. I called my health insurance company and a representative said that the cost of my pump would be covered if A) I got a prescription from my doctor and B) I bought the pump from a participating medical supply store. A bit of a hassle to be sure, but I was able to get a Medela double electric pump that has now lasted me through nursing two babies without any issues.

Although healthcare legislation requires most medical insurance plans to cover the cost of a pump, sometimes the process can be more complicated and time-consuming than my experience. And in any case, what new or expectant mother wants to spend her time filling out paperwork or making phone calls?

Enter Pumping Essentials. This company, run by moms, handles the logistics for you. All you have to do is fill out the registration form on their website, choose a brand of pump, and let Pumping Essentials take care of getting the prescription from your doctor’s office, filing the claim with your insurance company, and mailing you the pump.

Best of all, Pumping Essentials offers a free or discounted hands-free pumping bra (Simple Wishes is our favorite)  with every pump purchase, and provides discounts on other pumping and breastfeeding items such as pump/diaper bags, milk storage supplies, etc. So if you are in need of a breast pump, visit pumpingessentials.com and let someone else navigate the insurance process for you.

 

undercover mama positively oakes

undercover mama positively oakes

Did you know that not only can you layer with your Undercover Mama, but you can also rock it strictly with a cardigan? In fact it's perfect with their Polka dot shirt because you get a little touch of a pattern while keeping the overall look simple and chic. I've put together a little example. I paired my Undercover Mama polka dot top with a loose burgundy cardigan and skinny jeans. I went for more of a flowy cardigan so that if I need the option to cover up a little more while nursing, I can use the extra flap on my cardigan to do so.

These tops are so great for a variety of uses and the cardigan is one of my favs. In fact I'm literally wearing that exact combo right now. It's easy access, comfortable, yet totally cute! Throw it all together with a really great pair of booties and you're ready to rock n' roll.

Grab The Undercover Mama Tank HERE

Shop The Rest of the Look Below.

This post was written by, Jess Oakes. She blogs over at Positively Oakes. You can find her enjoying her new journey into Motherhood and sipping on a Dr. Pepper at all times.

I love a good layered look, so today I'm going to show you 5 of my favorite layered looks for weekdays with my Undercover Mamas shirts.

Monday Business casual

undercover mama positively oakes

Black Shirt | Gray Mama Tank | Blazer | Dress Pants | Shoes

Tuesday Errand Chic

undercover mama positively oakes

Blush Top | White Mama Tank | Ripped Jeans | Nude Flats | Bag

Wednesday Meeting Ready

undercover mama positively oakes

Lace Tank | Black Mama TankSkirt | Heels | Glasses | Watch

Thursday Simple

undercover mama positively oakes

Maxi Dress | Pink Mama Tank | Sandals |

Friday Casual Friday

undercover mama positively oakes

Leggings | Nude Mama Tank | Sweater | Booties

This post was written by, Jess Oakes. She blogs over at Positively Oakes. You can find her enjoying her new journey into Motherhood and sipping on a Dr. Pepper at all times.

Breastfeeding

If you ever felt like “the most natural thing in the world” was especially frustrating or difficult, you are in good company. The way we evolved to learn how to breastfeed has been lost in our culture for generations, and that is why breastfeeding can sometimes feel like a journey in the dark. We need a guiding light.

I can credit my sister-in-law for how I approached breastfeeding. Years before I became a mother, she did. She unabashedly nursed in front of me - in front of everyone! I would find my jaw agape as she popped her breasts out in front of her dad, brothers and in-laws to feed her children (and nobody batted an eye!). Initially, this made me uncomfortable. It was the first time I had ever been around a nursing mother. Eventually it lost its shock value and I observed how she held her babies, how she latched them on before they got too hungry to be consoled, how she adjusted their lips when they were curled in and couldn’t suck. Without realizing I was learning to breastfeed, I was learning to breastfeed. I had no idea what a goldmine of information I was absorbing when she would talk about things like engorgement, milk let-down, foremilk and hindmilk. Simply by being a mother comfortably and openly, she was educating me.

This passing-along of information by doing was the norm for thousands of years. Before we were blessed with the advent of infant formula, families who could not afford a wet nurse had limited affordable feeding options. This meant that all new moms nursed their babies. Little girls would grow up watching their young mothers, aunties, and older sisters nurse babies. If you had a large community of sisters and cousins, you probably all reached your childbearing years within a few years of each other. You learned from one another’s mis-steps, which made it easier for everyone going forward. You learned to nurse a baby the same way you learned to walk, talk, and use a spoon: by having always been around it, and then having everyone around you guide and instruct when it was your time to hit that milestone.

Today, our culture is much more private. Most of us have ceased to learn about our nursing bodies from family. If you are expecting a child, the act of breastfeeding education falls mostly on your shoulders. There are some wonderful resources available for you, and I encourage you to check them out:

-La Leche League is a fantastic organization.

-Your doctor or midwife may be able to recommend a local breastfeeding class you can take, which I highly recommend if it is available.

-A book that I found encouraging and helpful was Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding, which I read in my last trimester.

-Join a parenting group, and give yourself permission to connect with other mothers about your challenges and concerns.

-Lactation consultants are invaluable if you have access to one. A good LC will help you troubleshoot your challenges and help you form a game plan or supplementation schedule according to you and your baby’s needs.

If you are concerned or frustrated, don’t struggle in the dark; reach out for a guiding light.

Sometimes us moms need a little help boosting our supply.  Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds found in the leaves, stems, seeds, bark, roots, and flowers of plants and have a wide range of physical and emotional uses including supporting a breastfeeding mother. DōTERRA Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG) essential oils work great!  Our friend Melissa is a dōTERRA consultant and has shared some of these incredible tips with us about Oils That Assist Lactation.

We recommend you consult a licensed aromatherapist for oil use to make sure what and how you are using is safe and effective for you and your needs.

BENEFITS:

-Fennel and Clary Sage help promote initial milk production

-Basil and Geranium promote milk production

-Peppermint promotes a possible decrease in milk production

TO USE:

TOPICALLY:  place 2 TBSP of a carrier oil, like dōTERRA's Fractionated Coconut Oil, in a glass bowl or container and add 10 - 15 drops of your chosen oil(s). Apply a small amount of the mixture on your breasts, avoiding the nipples.

Note: If you become pregnant, or have any concerns about using essential oils while breastfeeding, please consult your physician.

Melissa is a stay at home mom of two amazing little boys - a 17 month old nursling and a 3 year old toddler. dōTERRA essential oils have been a blessing for her and her family, and she truly enjoys sharing what she has learned with others, so that they too can experience the amazing benefits of these essential oils. More information can be found by visiting her website  or email her at melissamoore121@gmail.com

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are intended to support general well being and are not intended to treat, diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or cure any condition or disease.

Everyone needs a little comfort when they are nursing.

Here are our Top 3 Nursing Nipple Staples:


1- Lansinoh Soothies Gel Pads

Get these gel pads BEFORE you have the baby and start using them immediately after the baby is born, before your milk comes in or your nipples feel sore. 

2- Bamboobies Boobease Natural Nipple Balm

This balm is all natural and safe for babies! It's also great for pumping. This little container will last forever, a little goes a long way.

3- Undercover Mama Nursing Shirt Value Bundle 

You will wear these tanks every day, so make sure you get 2 for when one is in the wash!

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC is a registered nurse and board certified lactation specialist. She owns Lactation Link, a private lactation consulting company. Lindsey offers in-home lactation support services before and after baby is born, including home and hospital visits. Breastfeeding basics courses are taught twice a month in Highland, UT, and also online. She also does personal consultations for mothers with flat/inverted nipples, multiples, tongue/lip tie, cleft lip/palate, and more. She also offers 'Intermediate breastfeeding' and 'Returning to work and breastfeeding' seminars.  

To find out more or schedule a class, click here.

Breastfeeding During the Holidays

Breastfeeding during the Holiday Season can be stressful and difficult.  

Here are a few tips to help make your life a little easier:

1-  SLOW DOWN:  Take regular breaks and go to a quiet place to feed your baby when possible. Accept help from family or friends when offered. (Easier said than done!)  

2- WATCH WHAT YOU EAT: Drink! Drink! Drink water to stay hydrated to help maintain your milk supply.  Avoid peppermint and sage as they can negatively impact your supply.

3- WEAR YOUR BABY: Avoid overstimulation and germs from too many visitors by wearing your baby. Plus baby may be more likely to sleep when tired and you get extra cuddles.  

Tips for Breastfeeding During the Holidays

When I'm out and about and I walk by a mom breastfeeding her baby, I'm overwhelmed with emotions. I'm a little envious while at the same time glad that part of my life is behind me. I feel an instant connection to her. "I'VE BEEN THERE!" I want to shout. (creepy) I want to go up to her and give her a big hug(awkward). So I usually just walk by and give her a smile and maybe a thumbs up on brave days.

 

That was before. Now, I casually take a little card out of my purse. I walk over and with as little interruption as possible hand her the card. It felt strange at first, but now that I've seen the smiles and laughs these cards have generated, I get excited to give them out.

To celebrate Breastfeeding Awareness Month, we are giving away our NIP cards for free, while supplies last. So when you see a mom breastfeeding, give her a smile and hand her a card. I bet it will make her day!

Get your free pack of cards.

 

5 Superfoods for Breastfeeding Moms

1- OATS: a perfect whole grain, high-fiber, all-natural food. A bowl of oatmeal will keep you full for a long time after breakfast (which is important for mamas who are always on the move) -- and may help increase your milk supply. Oats are also high in iron. Low iron can cause issues with your milk supply so keep up your iron intake!

2- SPINACH:  chock-full of vitamins and minerals including: calcium, vitamin C, iron and heart-healthy antioxidants. It is also loaded with vitamin A, which your baby gets from your breast milk to ensure healthy development.

3- BERRIES: Berries are loaded with vitamin C, folate, and fiber. They are some of the most powerful disease-fighting foods available because of their high levels of antioxidants.

4-AVOCADOS: An abundant source of folic acid and vitamins E & C, it is rumored to increase lactation, as well!

5- CARROTS: enriched with carbohydrates and potassium, carrots help boost energy in breastfeeding mamas. They are rich in antioxidants an a vital source of beta-Carotene which is required by you during lactation period. 

While we know it isn't best to drink your calories, we know that many of us mamas don't always have time to make nutrition pack meals.  So here are a few Smoothie Recipes that use these SUPER FOODS to help:

Overnight Booby Smoothies  

Green Lactation Smoothie 

Cashew Banana Lactation Smoothie 

Orange Apple Green Fruit Smoothie

Green Lactation Smoothie

 

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