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When my son was three months old, we had to fly across the country to meet my husband where we would be stationed with the military. I hadn’t really mastered the whole nursing thing yet, so I was obviously really anxious about the whole thing. Even more so because I was told I had severely inverted nipples and I’d have to use a shield in order to keep nursing. But I was READY. I had three shields, two nursing covers, countless binkies, gripewater, and enough lanolin to last a lifetime. However, as soon as I sat down my heart sank. I was seated next to two middle aged businessmen in suits. They both had little sleeper masks, and giant head phones that were clearly meant to block out noise. Ah! I had read all about traveling with an infant, and knew that in order to make take-off and landing bearable, it was best to nurse.

As soon we had started nursing, the plane started to taxi and the noise startled my son so he jerked his head away, and the neck strap on my cover came undone. I quickly tucked my cover into my mouth to hold it up (you know this trick…all nursing moms do!). The man next to me noticed I was struggling so he offered to hold my son while I got settled. Well, my new mom hormones kicked in, and with huge tears in my eyes I said ‘Thanks so much’, and handed him over. I fixed my cover and motioned for the guy to hand him back. Then, IT happened. I still have nightmares. Just as this kind man went to hand my fussy child back to me, my cover flipped up, and my shield rolled to the floor. He and I froze, looked at each other, then at the ground. There, sitting just between his fancy shoes, was my silicone nipple shield. I'm not sure he fully understood what it was because he mumbled ‘I got it...’ and reached down.

Then I screamed ‘PLEASE DON'T! ITS A NIPPLE SHIELD!’

It was one million times louder than I intended it to be. He seemed startled, then looked down again, contemplated what I yelled, then his eyes went wide and he said ‘Yeah... you can get it’. I swear, I wanted to crawl under my seat and die.

Want more Breastfeeding Stories that will make you smile? Click here.

-Sarah

I was always told to wash my baby's clothes before dressing them for the first time, but I never really understood the reason why. There actually is a reason, other than just making them smell fresh.  Most baby clothes are treated with a finish to ensure that they look brand new and unwrinkled when you buy them.  This can be harmful to their sensitive skin!  So wash those baby clothes!  
 
And while we are at it, here are a few other tips and tricks for tackling baby laundry that I've learned along the way.  
 

DETERGENT
 
I'm partial to Dreft, as my detergent of choice.  But any of the free and clear detergents are recommended.  These detergents contain less, or no added fragrance, which can oftentimes be the culprit in irritating sensitive baby skin.
Avoid the fabric softener — both liquid and sheets. Fabric softener can reduce the effectiveness of the flame retardency on baby pajamas and can also irritate your baby's skin.
 

 
 I was given this bar at a baby shower and was skeptical.  But this handy little bar is amazing at getting stains out. You can find it at the grocery store for super cheap and it can get out almost any laundry stain I've ever had.
 

COLOR CATCHERS
 
Let's face it, babies create a TON of laundry.  And when your an exhausted new mom in survival mode, there isn't time to separate colors and do separate loads.  Enter Color Catchers.  Color catchers are disposable sheets which can be thrown into the wash to help absorb any color dye that may leak and stain other lighter fabrics. 
 
MESH LAUNDRY BAGS
 
Baby clothes are tiny, which means they tend to get lost.  Mesh Laundry bags are a must!   These are perfect for holding baby socks, bibs, mittens, and other small things that tend to wander in the wash.

Do you ever get somewhere and realize the outfit you are wearing is not compatible with nursing?

In a nutshell, I was at my first big outing with a baby and it was a wedding. It didn’t register that I couldn’t nurse in the one-piece dress I was wearing. The wedding was completely outdoors so I had no choice but to strip down almost naked under the long tablecloth on our table to nurse my son.” Her husband found it so hilarious that he had to document the moment by taking a picture.

 

Check out more of our Wedding Stories That Will Make You Smile here.

Submit your funniest/most embarrassing breastfeeding story to media@undercovermama.com . If we feature your story, we will give you a $25 gift certificate!

 

-Jessica

We’ve all been there, about to enjoy a lovely meal, or at a sporting event, and suddenly baby needs to nurse. You thought you’d planned accordingly—you fed the baby earlier so they wouldn’t be hungry now, but when baby decides it’s time to eat, it’s time to eat. Whether you’re halfway through a very long line to check-out at the store, hiking in the mountains, or road tripping across the deserts of Nevada, you do what it takes to keep your baby fat and happy.

Personally, my favorite story of when my baby unexpectedly wanted to nurse was in line at Disneyland. The mother’s room was nowhere near us at the time, so I hopped out of line and tried to find a bench on which to nurse. Of course, all the nearby places were occupied, so I went around the back of the Dumbo ride and sat against the little shed where the controller sits. My son was never okay with being under a nursing cover, but no one was around so I wasn’t worried about exposing myself to unsuspecting theme park goers. About halfway into our nursing session a large crowd of people came around the ride, led by character actors dressed like Pinocchio and Gepetto heading for a photo op. My legs were sprawled out in front of me so they had to step over me to get where they were going, drawing attention to my exposed front and nursing baby. I couldn’t stop laughing!

We are going to start sharing some other nursing stories that will make you smile. Some that may even be all too familiar to breastfeeding veterans.

Submit your funniest/most embarrassing breastfeeding story to media@undercovermama.com . If we feature your story, we will give you a $25 gift certificate!

Any nursing mother would agree, Mastitis is the WORST!   The fever and the pain, I think I may have PTSD because I cringe every time I even think about it.  Mastitis is usually brought on by a few things: an ill fitting bra, cracked or bleeding nipples, exhaustion, or skipped feedings and not fully emptied breasts that lead to plugged ducts.  For whatever reason, I was plagued with Mastitis from the onset of nursing my first baby.  It then seemed that I was fighting a vicious cycle of recurrent plugged ducts.   
 
I tried everything: meeting with lactation consultants, changing my bra, nursing in different positions, being sure to nurse until empty, and any other suggestion I could find as I scoured the internet. Finally I found my answer: LECITHIN.
 
 Lecithin can supposedly decrease the viscosity or “stickiness” of the milk by increasing the percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the milk.  Translation: it helps keep the milk flowing.
 
Lecithin can be found naturally in soybeans, peanuts, meat, whole grains, and milk.  It is also available in supplement form.  I followed Kellymoms dosage recommendations.
 
 
And guess what?  It worked!  Whenever I could feel a plugged duct starting, I would begin taking a Lecithin supplement and never got Mastitis again for the duration of my nursing journey.
 
Happy Nursing, Mamas! 
 
*Note:  please consult a doctor of lactation consultant before taking this, or any other supplements.    

 

Hi Undercover Mamas! We are delighted to be here with you lovely ladies. Mom's Stuff is a small company run by a mother (Lee Bennion) and daughter (that's me! Zina) and we love providing an all natural product to help meet the needs of moms, dads, babies, kids and animals alike! Lee began making her original product, All Purpose Piñon Salve, over 20 years ago to meet the needs of our family. She is a painter and avid horsewoman and loves the outdoors. Her husband is a potter and river guide and they both suffered from cracked hands and feet and rough skin. Lee was purchasing a salve at a local health food store, but it didn't quite do everything she wanted it to. She started to experiment with making her own salve and over five years, through lots of research and testing, came up with the perfect formula. The result was a product that moisturizes, nourishes, and protects skin from dry climate, water and sun exposure, and more.

Slowly, friends and family started pressuring her to sell the salve and a business was born. As she started selling the salve, customers began writing in about all the different ways they used the salve and how it helped.

People reported it helped soothe eczema, psoriasis, mystery rashes, bug bites and more.

The salve is made from a unique blend of all-natural ingredients each chosen for specific purposes. Several of the ingredients are antibacterial, anti-fungal and antimicrobial. There are no filler ingredients (like water, cheap oils or stabilizers) meaning it has 100% active ingredients (most products, even natural ones, are 2-6% active ingredients). This makes for a concentrated formula that packs a powerful punch. Just a little goes a long way, and as the oils penetrate the skin the beeswax makes a breathable barrier so it stays put doing you skin good all day long.

Over the years we have had lots and lots of mamas report that they use our salve in all kinds of ways on their kids from newborn to grown such as: diaper rash, eczema, cradle cap, cuts and scrapes, bumps and rashes, and more. It also helps protect your hard working mom hands!

Listen, I don't want to join the throngs of unsolicited advice givers. I've gotten enough of that throughout pregnancy and motherhood. I just thought I'd share some parenting books that have helped me as I've navigated this crazy new world of first-time mommyhood. 
 
Baby 411 - This saves me from the internet wormhole! My physician assistant friend recommended this to me and I'm so glad she did! No longer am I scouring the internet finding worst-case scenario possibilities for my baby's poop. Turns out most of the time she's just fine. This book provides simple, straightforward advice and answers to common questions that you are definitely going to have. Plus it's super cheap! Worth every penny towards my anxiety management... Darn you WebMD!
 
The Good Sleeper - Written by the self-proclaimed NYC Sleep Doctor I used this as my guide for sleep training. I liked it for its easy reading style and broken down steps, but I would not call it the bible for sleep training — a bit too vague for that if you ask me. However, it was worth the read for this tip alone: your newborn should not be awake for more than 90 minutes at a time. That helped me mold my daughter into becoming a great napper and every minute of sleep is worth it!
 
Bringing Up Bebe - Best to be treated more as an entertaining read more than a how-to guide, but it was enlightening to see an alternative to the over-parenting craze.
 
Additional Resources
 
Happiest Baby on the Block on DVD or Amazon Download - This was so good for me as a first-time parent. I preferred the DVD over the book because of the swaddling and soothing demos. Gotta live by those 7 s's!
 
Babies - I think about this documentary (conveniently on Netflix) all of the time. It follows the story of four babies from across the world from birth to walking. Fascinating! More than anything this illustrates the resiliency of babies and that there is no one right way to do things. 
 
But above all else, know that you're doing awesome and at the end of the day your kid is lucky to have you!

For parents of young children, the prospect of being stick in a car with babies and toddlers can be enough to take the wind out of any travel plans. But don’t let the idea of travelling with toddlers or babies stop you from holidaying happily; if you take the following steps to ensure you’re prepared for every eventuality, road trips can be exactly the type of family experience that (golden!) memories are made of.

Travel planning:

A bit of forward planning is a necessary when it comes to travelling with a baby or toddler. Plan to:

Travel at night, if you can - replicating your children’s natural sleeping patterns will defend against tiredness induced tantrums. (If you do choose to travel in the dark, though, make sure to keep the designated driver alert and awake).

Avoid hitting the road at peak travel time; that means both the time of year, and the time of day.

Set out a picturesque route with plenty of pit-stops. This is a great way to make your road trip more than just a dreary drive, and maps or apps can show you the various lookouts and green spaces that mark your chosen stretch of road.

Kitting out the car: 

Taking a “safety first” attitude should be your first priority when considering vacations with toddlers or a vacation with a baby. Ensuring that your kids’ booster seats are strapped in and secure (and the right size for your baby/toddler) is the most important box to tick on your car-ride checklist.

Consider investing in some window-shades to keep the glare out of your kids’ eyes and to create an in-car environment that is more amenable to sleep.

A first-aid kit is a must where small children are involved and you’re far away from a home-base.

Packing, packing, packing: 

It’s always a good idea to do your packing well before you set off on your journey. Don’t forget these essentials:

Anything and everything your baby or toddler would need on an average day at home, pack into a carry-bag for the car. This means vitals like (but certainly not limited to) expressed milk, favourite toys, plastic bags, and plenty of nappies. Pack clothes appropriate for the place you’re heading to – merino children’s clothing such as knits for colder climates, and light layers for the beach.

Entertainment for the car: loading up your device with kiddie-friendly audiobooks, podcasts, and videos ensures a day full of virtual distraction for your tiny tots. Make sure to include some podcasts that interest you, too, if you’re lucky enough to have your kid(s) doze off during the journey.

In the same vein, don’t forget your adult necessities – check twice that you’ve got your wallet and keys handy, and pack your phone (and charger) in case of emergencies.

 The drive:

Keeping a conscious eye on your kids will allow you to perceive any signs of grizzliness before a bad mood matures into a full-blown tantrum. Giving your baby/toddler a small snack or toy to placate them will help nip tantrums in the bud.

If you have them, older children are a godsend. Getting your bigger kids to play with the younger ones is great entertainment for babies and toddlers and allows the adult(s) a much-needed chance to conserve some energy too.

Sticking to a regular eating/drinking/breastfeeding schedule wards against irritability for all road-tripping parties. Stopping every few hours for a healthy meal or snack also keeps kids’ digestion normal (which means reduced possibility of car-sickness).

 

And if all else fails - whip out your camera and document the experience! Even if your road trip doesn’t go perfectly, chances are you’ll look back on the journey with fondness when your kids are older.

Breastfeeding is a personal choice, and it's certainly not for everyone.

But, for those moms who decide to breastfeed—or if you're a mom-to-be and are on the fence about whether you want to breastfeed—there are definitely some really great benefits to consider.

Our friends at Maternity Glow have created this amazing infographic with 21 amazing benefits of breastfeeding.

For more information, check out this amazing article.

When we got married, my husband informed me of a burning desire he has to see every Major League Ballpark in the country. Unaware of what I’d be getting myself into, I agreed to make it our family goal. Therefore, every trip we take during baseball season, we fit in a baseball game. Another thing to mention is that my husband is a die-hard Red Sox fan, who would never miss an opportunity to see them play, at any stadium. So, when it was announced that the Sox would be playing in California, a mere 10 hours away, he was ready to jump at the chance to see them.

I however, was not too excited to take in a game this particular trip, as we would have our 6 month old nursing baby in tow. A baseball game can last anywhere from 2-4 hours depending on how well the teams are playing. Keeping a 6 month old content on my lap for a possible 4 hours was not a scenario I was willing to play out. I was not looking forward to trying to nurse my baby in our outfield seats located in direct sunlight, nor was I excited at the prospect of sitting in a public or family restroom to nurse him. I reluctantly agreed to the trip.

Needless to say, when we got to the ballpark I was not a happy mom. I made sure to feed my son before we got to the stadium, praying he wouldn’t need to eat until after we left. Of course he did, and he let me know, very loudly that he was not going to wait any more. I looked in desperation to my husband who had spent the last hour of the game walking around with the baby strapped to him while I wrangled our two year old, and told him we had to go. He tried to convince me we could stay, but I was determined. In a last ditch effort, my husband asked the nearest usher if there happened to be a Mother’s Room somewhere in the park. He directed us to the other side of the park, where I expected to find a bathroom with a bench and a changing table.

Here’s what I found instead.

Ladies, this is a Nursing Suite. It is the first of its kind on the west coast. It is an air conditioned piece of heaven located on the field level concourse of Petco Baseball Park. There are couches, tables and an outside seating area in the shade where you can nurse while watching the game. If you choose to stay inside, there are televisions that show the game There is an attendant assigned just to the mother’s room, and they are the nicest people at the ballpark. They make sure you have water, ensure no one comes in to disturb you, and the one I met even spent time informing my husband that I would be out in a moment as I was changing a diaper. Men are not allowed in the nursing room, for privacy. Also available to mothers is a clean bathroom and changing station, a refrigerator, and bottle warmer.  I chose to nurse my baby outside so I could watch the game because he isn’t easily scared or distracted. So there I was in a prime viewing spot, in the shade, sipping my ice water and nursing my baby and smiling at the thought of how jealous my husband was going to be. This was my view.

Though they never ushered me out, they do try to make sure no one stays for too long to make sure there is enough room for other moms.

In doing some research, many baseball and football stadiums are stepping up to provide nice nursing areas for their Mommy fans.

Here are some others that I found:

Baseball:Great American Ballpark Cincinnati, OH

Fenway Park Boston, MA – Nursing Pods/Mamava Suites

Nationals Park, Washington DC

Football: TCF Bank Stadium Minneapolis MN – Nursing Pods/Mamava Suites

CenturyLink Field – Seattle, WA

 

Hopefully other stadiums will choose to follow suit so that our Sport SuperFan Mamas can have the experience I did! 

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