Please don’t ask me if I’m breastfeeding

No woman should ever be ashamed of her choices to feed her child, no matter what the reason is.

Please don’t ask me if I’m breastfeeding

For some reason, “Are you breastfeeding?” seems to be one of the first questions people ask when they find out you recently gave birth. This question always comes after asking the gender and name of the baby, and before asking if your newborn is sleeping through the night yet.

I personally find asking someone if they breastfeed to be slightly invasive.

I breastfed my first son, Henry, for three weeks before being diagnosed with Postpartum Depression and then I stopped nursing because of the medication I was put on. I felt this overwhelming, intense guilt that I wasn't providing my baby everything he needed—I think I was on the verge of a legitimate breakdown.


Why was my body preventing me from being the nursing mama I read about in books and saw on pamphlets in the doctor’s office? Did I do something wrong? Why wasn’t this the experience I expected?

Every time someone asked me if I was nursing, from a co-worker to a random stranger, I became extremely anxious. I would rattle off all the reasons I wasn't nursing anymore. It was like I needed to prove to them that I was still a good mom. Because I felt ashamed.

And you know what? None of them were the real reason for why I stopped breastfeeding. I was also ashamed of the fact that I had been diagnosed with Postpartum Depression.

No woman should ever be ashamed of her choices to feed her child, no matter what the reason is. Whether you breastfeed or bottle feed, you are a good mama.

I decided not to nurse my second son, Simon, because of my first experience with Postpartum Depression. I wanted to stay on my medicine after having him so I knew that I would feel good enough mentally and emotionally to care for a new baby and a toddler.

I knew that in order to be the happy, loving mama my baby needed, I had to make the choice to bottle feed instead of breastfeed.

Now when people ask me if I’m nursing, I simply say no. And that's all. If they continue to press I tell them why. Because I'm not ashamed anymore.

Not being able to breastfeed is something that affects many women. And some women don’t want to breastfeed for their own personal reasons. And that’s okay, too.

Maybe the baby won’t latch no matter how many times you have tried.

Maybe you aren’t producing enough milk and are worried that your baby isn’t getting enough to eat.

Maybe you had to go back to work soon after having your baby and your supply dried up.

Maybe you have extreme anxiety because a co-worker walked in on you pumping in your government mandated pump room at work and you just can’t bring yourself to pump there anymore.

Maybe you have a medical condition that makes it difficult or impossible to breastfeed.

Maybe you were sexually assaulted at some point in your life, and just can’t bring yourself to nurse your baby.

Maybe you just don’t want to breastfeed your child and know that formula also provides the nutrition a baby needs.

Maybe you are on a medication, like me, that does not allow you to nurse.

Maybe your sweet baby was in the NICU and you couldn’t nurse.

No matter what, mama, never feel guilty about the way you are feeding your child. Don’t let people make you feel like less of a mom for not nursing—not strangers, not family members, and definitely not yourself.

These are only the vitamins I give my children and here's why

It's hard to say who loves these more—my kids or me.

When I became a mama five years ago, I didn't put too much thought into whether my son was getting the right vitamins and minerals. From breastfeeding to steaming and pureeing his first bites of solid food, I was confident I was giving him everything to support his growth and development.

But then the toddler years—and the suddenly picky palate that accompanied them—came along. Between that challenge and two additional children in the mix… well, I knew my oldest son's eating plan was falling short in some vitamin and mineral categories.

I also knew how quickly he was growing, so I wanted to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed (even on those days when he said "no, thank you" to any veggie I offered).

So when I discovered the new line of children's supplements from Nature's Way®, it felt like a serious weight off my chest. Thanks to supplements that support my children's musculoskeletal growth, their brain function, their immune systems, their eyes and more, I'm taken back to that simpler time when I was so confident my kids' vitamin needs were met.*

It wasn't just the variety of supplements offered by Nature's Way that won me over: As a vegetarian mama, I'm the picky one in the family when it comes to scanning labels and making sure they meet our standards. The trick is that most gummy vitamins are made with gelatin, which is not vegetarian friendly.

But just like the other offerings from Nature's Way that I've already come to know and love, the children's supplement line is held to a high standard. That means there's no high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin or common allergens to be found in the supplements. The best part? My two oldest kids ensure we never miss their daily vitamins—they are so in love with the gummy flavors, which include tropical fruit punch, lemonade and wild berry.

Nature's Way Kids Mulitvitamin

Meanwhile, my pharmacist husband has different criteria when evaluating supplements, especially when it comes to those for our kids. He appreciates the variety of options from Nature's Way, which gives us the ability to rotate the vitamins based on our kids' daily needs. By keeping various children's supplements from Nature's Way on hand, I can customize a regimen to suit my kids' individual requirements.

Of course, high-quality products often come at a higher price point. But (to my immense gratitude!) that isn't the case with Nature's Way, which retails for a competitive value when compared to the other items on the shelf.

Like all mamas, my chief concern is supporting my children's health in any way I can. While I see evidence of their growth every time I pack away clothes they've outgrown, I know there is much more growth that doesn't meet the eye. That's why, for my oldest son, I like stacking the Brain Builder gummy with the Growing Bones & Muscles gummy and the Happy & Healthy Multi. My 3-year-old also enjoys getting her own mix to include the Healthy Eyes gummy. And both of my older kids are quick to request the Tummy Soothe tablet when something isn't sitting right in their stomachs.* And I'll admit it: I've tried it myself and the berry blast flavor really is tasty!

Although my current phase of motherhood may not be as "simple" as it once was, there is so much to appreciate about it—like watching my kids play and sing and create with their incredible imaginations. Along the way, I've eased up on some of my need for control, but it does help to have this range of supplements in my motherhood tool kit. So while I may not be able to convince my son to try kale, having the Nature's Way supplements on hand means I do know he's right on track.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

This article was sponsored by Nature's Way. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

Comforts fruit snacks

If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

comforts nite pants

Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

comforts baby lotion

Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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International Network for Aid, Relief and Assistance (INARA)

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