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Let me just start by saying the female body is truly incredible. During a woman’s lifetime, she can help create a child, grow a child, birth a child, and feed a child, all just with her body.


Part of this body is her breasts. Shown from the beginning of time in famous art pieces where Madonnas are seen nursing their little ones, to causing major controversy with nursing in public. Being seen as sexual objects in our media, to being the symbol of femininity and beauty. And of course, to providing the ultimate magical food for our babies, breasts are a BIG topic.

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Here are 22 facts that are often understated, unknown, or misunderstood about breasts and why they are so interesting and amazing (in case you didn’t already feel this way):

1. The word mammary comes from the Latin and Greek term for breasts, mamma which was developed from the infant’s hunger cry sounding like “mamma.”

2. Your breasts change and develop through life starting in-utero, to puberty, to pregnancy, to breastfeeding, to weaning, after weaning and menopause. No other organ in the body goes through such dramatic changes in shape, size, and function.

3. Your breasts can make breast milk that feeds and sustains your baby totally and completely without any other substance for its first 6 months of life. What is more amazing than that!? Plus, breastmilk has a double function providing your babe with nutrients and defense against infectious agents. All of the defenses protect without causing inflammation in the baby.

4. Human breasts differ from all other primates’ breasts as they grow long before pregnancy, during adolescence, and even after weaning. Other mammals’ breasts only grow during lactation and flatten down when their young have been weaned.

5. Your nipples and areola increase in size and become darker while pregnant in preparation for your little one who has poor eyesight at birth—they can only see about 8-12 inches away, which is perfect viewing distance to their mama’s face while nursing.

6. You have small bumps on your nipples called montgomery tubercles that greatly increase in size during pregnancy to help your baby locate your nipples and help to condition, cleanse and lubricate your nipples for breastfeeding. This fluid provides sensory stimulation so your babe will instinctively move toward your breast at birth.

7. Your breast tissue reaches all the way up to your armpit, and this area is called the tail of spence. You may even get breast milk in your armpit. Make sure this tissue is not forgotten when checking for cancerous lumps in self exams and with your OB/GYN and for painful plugged ducts during nursing that could turn into mastitis.

8. Each woman has differing numbers of ductal openings on their nipples where the milk exits the breast to the baby. Depending on the woman, she can have anywhere from 4-18 in each breast.

9. Even though breasts are considered sexual, your mammary glands are not part of the reproductive system. These glands are a type of secretion gland, a mucous membrane, which is why you should not take any kind of decongestant medication that will dry up your mucous membranes while breastfeeding.

10. The average breast weight is 150-200g. During lactation, this number more than doubles to 400-500g. That means the breasts gain at about a POUND during lactation!

11. There is a nerve (the 4th intercostal nerve) that enters the back of each of your breasts (left breast is 4:00 and right breast is 8:00). When the infant is suckling, this nerve is stimulated, triggering your brain to make more milk. When plastic (from a pump, for example), is in between the baby lips and the nerve, there will be less stimulation, contributing to less output of milk seen with pumping.

12. Breast asymmetry is common—the left breast is often larger than the right.

13. Lactogenesis is the transition your breasts make from pregnancy to lactation. Once you’ve delivered your placenta, you have a rapid drop in the hormones progesterone and estrogen, telling your body you are no longer pregnant. With the help of a few additional hormones, your milk production begins and it creates the exact amount and exact formula your baby needs in colostrum.

Colostrum coats the baby’s entire gut (mouth to anus) to protect it from any outside bacteria and is filled with amazing-ness to protect and nourish your brand new babe.

Lactogensis II is the start of copious milk secretion controlled by your hormones, beginning between day three and day five. Your milk will “come in” regardless of emptying within the first few days after birth because it is hormonally driven.

After Lactogenesis II, you move into autocrine control. This is where your breast milk production works by milk removal—supply and demand. When your babe nurses, fully and frequently emptying your breasts, there is a feedback mechanism that tells your brain to make more milk.

An empty breast tells your body to make more, while a full breast will tell it to slow down. Your milk supply changes all the way until you wean, including changes in composition, depending on what your baby’s needs are.

As long as milk is removed, your breasts will continue to make milk indefinitely.

14. You can re-lactate (re-stimulate lactation) weeks, months and even years after having your child. It takes serious commitment, and you may not establish a full supply again, but your breasts remember. Adoptive parents who have never nursed a baby before can induce lactation, in a similar way to re-lactation.

15. Has your baby ever pulled off while you are having a letdown and you shoot milk across the room? Your milk ejection reflex is in response to suckling, and the hormone Oxytocin causes this reflex to occur. This can feel like burning, aching, a warm sensation, pressure, or tingling down your breast. In most women, their first letdown occurs around two minutes after the baby latches and you can have multiple milk ejections during a single feeding.

16. Size doesn’t matter. The size of your breast does not tell you how much milk you will be able to make. What it can tell you is how much milk you can store in your breast at a time. Women with smaller breasts may have to do more frequent feedings, both day and night.

17. Your breasts are never fully empty. An infant takes about 2/3 of the milk out of your breast at a feeding.

18. Breastfeeding will not cause your breasts to sag! Breastfeeding does not actually change the way your breasts look. The changes come from being pregnant. But please try not to worry—although your weaned breasts may look saggy, in time (around six months plus), fatty tissues do come back to some extent and your breasts will look more like your pre-pregnancy breasts (woohoo!). Genetics, skin elasticity, smoking, your age, and weight gain in pregnancy will however, effect this.

19. Around the world, even in third world countries, breastmilk composition remains stable. Unless a mother is severely malnourished, her milk volume and quality is not affected by her nutritional status.

20. Scientists are hypothesizing that when your infant is sick, through saliva transfer (ahem, backwash) back into the breast, your milk will adjust its components to fight off exactly what your little one is fighting.

21. Some women can reach orgasm from breast and nipple stimulation alone. Through a study done in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, nipple stimulation did affect the genital sensing brain areas.

22. If you need some help going into labor, try stimulating your nipples! Nipple stimulation causes Oxytocin to be released which will then cause uterine contractions.

And finally, to add the all this awesomeness, breasts are beautiful, cozy pillows for your little babies or your partners to snuggle on, ask anyone :)

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Pop quiz, mama! How many different types of car seats are there? If you guessed three, you're partially correct. The three main types are rear-facing car seats, forward-facing car seats, and booster seats. But then there are a variety of styles as well: infant car seats, convertible seats, all-in-one seats, high-back booster seats, and backless boosters. If you're not totally overwhelmed yet, keep reading, we promise there's good stuff ahead.

There's no arguing that, in the scheme of your baby and child gear buying lifetime, purchasing a car seat is a big deal! Luckily, Walmart.com has everything you need to travel safely with your most precious cargo in the backseat. And right now, you can save big on top-rated car seats and boosters during Best of Baby Month, happening now through September 30 at Walmart.com.

As if that wasn't enough, Walmart will even take the carseat your kiddos have outgrown off your hands for you (and hook you up with a sweet perk, too). Between September 16 and 21, Walmart is partnering with TerraCycle to recycle used car seats. When you bring in an expired car seat or one your child no longer fits into to a participating Walmart store during the trade-in event, you'll receive a $30 gift card to spend on your little one in person or online. Put the money towards a brand new car seat or booster or other baby essentials on your list. To find a participating store check here: www.walmart.com/aboutbestofbabymonth

Ready to shop, mama? Here are the 9 best car seat deals happening this month.


Safety 1st Grow and Go Spring 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

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From rear-facing car seat to belt-positioning booster, Grow and Go Sprint's got you covered through childhood. Whether you choose the grey Silver Lake, Seafarer or pink Camelia color palette, you'll love how this model grows with your little one — not to mention how easy it is to clean. The machine-washable seat pad can be removed without fussing with the harness, and the dual cup holders for snacks and drinks can go straight into the dishwasher.

Price: $134 (regularly $149)

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Baby Trend Hybrid Plus 3-in-1 Booster Car Seat in Bermuda

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When your toddler is ready to face forward, this versatile car seat can be used as a five-point harness booster, a high-back booster, and a backless booster. Padded armrests, harness straps, and seat cushions provide a comfy ride, and the neutral gray seat pads reverse to turquoise for a stylish new look.

Price: $72.00 (regularly $81)

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Baby Trend Hybrid Plus 3-in-1 Booster Car Seat in Olivia

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Looking for something snazzy, mama? This black and hot pink car seat features a playful heart print on its reversible seat pad and soft harness straps. Best of all, with its 100-pound weight limit and three booster configurations, your big kid will get years of use out of this fashionable design.

Price: $72.00 (regularly $81)

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Evenflo Triumph LX Convertible Car Seat

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This rear- and forward-facing car seat keeps kids safer, longer with an adjustable five-point harness that can accommodate children up to 65 lbs. To tighten the harness, simply twist the conveniently placed side knobs; the Infinite Slide Harness ensures an accurate fit every time. As for style, we're big fans of the cozy quilted design, which comes in two colorways: grey and magenta or grey and turquoise.

Price: $116 (regularly $149.99)

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Disney Baby Light 'n Comfy 22 Luxe Infant Car Seat

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Outfitted with an adorable pink-and-white polka dot Minnie Mouse infant insert, even the tiniest of travelers — as small as four pounds! — can journey comfortably and safely. This rear-facing design is lightweight, too; weighing less than 15 lbs, you can easily carry it in the crook of your arm when your hands are full (because chances are they will be).

Price: $67.49 (regularly $89.99)

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Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

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We know it's hard to imagine your tiny newborn will ever hit 100 lbs, but one day it'll happen. And when it does, you'll appreciate not having to buy a new car seat if you start with this 4-in-1 design! Designed to fit kids up to 120 lbs, it transforms four ways, from a rear-facing car seat to a backless belt-positioning booster. With a 6-position recline and a one-hand adjust system for the harness and headrest, you can easily find the perfect fit for your growing child.

Price: $199.99 (regularly $269.99)

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Graco SlimFit All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

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With its unique space-saving design, this 3-in-1 car seat provides 10% more back seat space simply by rotating the dual cup holders. The InRight LATCH system makes installation quick and easy, and whether you're using it as a rear-facing car seat, a forward-facing car seat, or a belt-positioning booster, you can feel confident that your child's safe and comfortable thanks to Graco's Simply Safe Adjust Harness System.

Price: $149.99 (regularly $229.99)

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Graco Snugride Snuglock 35 Platinum XT Infant Car Seat

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Making sure your infant car seat is secure can be tricky, but Graco makes it easy with its one-second LATCH attachment and hassle-free three-step installation using SnugLock technology. In addition to its safety features, what we really love about this rear-facing seat are all of the conveniences, including the ability to create a complete travel system with Click Connect Strollers and a Silent Shade Canopy that expands without waking up your sleeping passenger.

Price: $169.99 (regularly $249.99)

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Graco Snugride Snuglock 35 Elite Infant Car Seat

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With just one click, you can know whether this rear-facing car seat has been installed properly. Then adjust the base four different ways and use the bubble level indicator to find the proper position. When you're out and about, the rotating canopy with window panel will keep baby protected from the sun while allowing you to keep your eye on him.

Price: $129.99 (regularly $219.99)

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

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If I ever want to look alive before dropping my son off to school, there are two things I must put on before leaving the house: eyeliner and mascara. When using eyeliner, I typically use black liner on my top lid, a slightly lighter brown for my bottom lid, and then a nude liner for my water line. It works every time.

My mascara routine is a bit different. Because my natural lashes are thin and not the longest, I always opt for the darkest black I can find, and one that's lengthening and volumizing. For this reason, I was immediately drawn to It Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara. The new mascara is developed in partnership with Drybar (the blow dry bar that specializes in just blowouts) and promises to deliver bold and voluminous lashes all day long. I was sold.

Could this really be the blowout my lashes have been waiting for? It turns out, it was much better than most volumizing formulas I've tried.

For starters, the wand is a great size—it's not too big or small, and it's easy to grip—just like my favorite Drybar round brush. As for the formula, it's super light and infused with biotin which helps lashes look stronger and healthier. I also love that it's buildable, and I didn't notice any clumps or flakes between coats.

The real test is that my lashes still looked great at dinnertime. I didn't have smudges or the dreaded raccoon eyes I always get after a long day at work. Surprisingly, the mascara actually stayed in place. To be fair, I haven't compared them with lash-extensions (which are my new go-to since having baby number two), but I'm sure it will hold up nicely.

Overall, I was very impressed with the level of length and fullness this mascara delivered. Indeed, this is the eyelash blowout my lashes have been waiting for. While it won't give you a few extra hours in bed, you'll at least look a little more awake, mama.

It Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara

It Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara
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Here's how I apply IT Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara:

  1. Starting as close to lash line as possible (and looking down), align the brush against your top lashes. Gradually turn upwards, then wiggle the wand back and forth up and down your eyelashes.
  2. Repeat, if needed. Tip: Be sure to allow the mascara to dry between each coat.
  3. Using the same technique, apply mascara to your bottom lashes, brushing the wand down your eyelashes.
Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Having children isn't always as easy as it looks on Instagram. There's so much more to motherhood than serene baby snuggles and matching outfits. But there's a reason we've fallen so deeply in love with motherhood: It's the most beautiful, chaotic ride.

Every single day, we sit back and wonder how something so hard can feel so rewarding. And Eva Mendes just managed to nail the reality of that with one quote.

Eva, who is a mama to daughters Esmerelda and Amada with Ryan Gosling, got real about the messy magic of motherhood in a recent interview.

"It's so fun and beautiful and maddening," the actress tells Access Daily. "It's so hard, of course. But it's like that feeling of…you end your day, you put them to bed and Ryan and I kind of look at each other like, 'We did it, we did it. We came out relatively unscathed.'"

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And just like that, moms all over the world feel seen. We've all been there: Struggling to get through the day (which, for the record is often every bit as fun as it is challenging), only to put those babies to sleep and collapse on the couch in sheer exhaustion. But, after you've caught your breath, you realize just how strong and capable you really are.

One thing Eva learned the hard way? That sleep regressions are very, very real...and they don't just come to an end after your baby's first few months. "I guess they go through a sleep regression, which nobody told me about until I looked it up," she says "I was like, 'Why isn't my 3-year-old sleeping?'"

But, at the end of the day, Eva loves her life as a mom—and the fact that she took a break from her Hollywood career to devote her days to raising her girls. "I'm so thankful I have the opportunity to be home with them," she says.

Thank you for keeping it real, Eva! Momming isn't easy, but it sure is worth it.

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My labor and delivery was short and sweet. I started feeling contractions on Monday morning and by Tuesday night at 8:56 pm my handsome baby boy was born. Only 30 minutes of pushing. Afterward, I was still out of it, to be honest. I held him and did some skin to skin and handed him off to my husband, my mother held him next.

When he was in my mother's arms, I knew he was safe. I started to drift off, the epidural had me feeling drowsy and I had used up all my strength to push this 7 lb baby out. My son's eyes were open and then I guess he went to sleep too. My mother swayed him back and forth. The nurses were in and out, cleaning me up and checking in on us.

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When yet another nurse came in, my mom said to her, "He wasn't latching because he wanted to sleep."

The nurse yelled, "He's not sleeping!"

The next 25 minutes happened in slow motion for me.

After the nurse said these words, she flung my son onto the little baby bed. I looked over and he looked a little blue. Then I heard the loud words of CODE PINK. In matters of seconds about 30 nursing staff descended into my room and crowded around my baby.

I couldn't even see what was happening. I tried to get out the bed but they wouldn't let me and after a couple of failed attempts one of the nurses look at me and said, "He's fine, he's breathing now."

Breathing now? He wasn't breathing before? Again, I tried to push my way to my baby, but once again I was told to not move. They had just performed CPR on my 30-minute old newborn and I couldn't understand what was happening even after a pediatrician tried to explain it to me.

I just started crying. He was fine in my stomach for 39 weeks and 6 days and now I bring him into this world and his heart nearly stops?

I was told he needed to go to the neonatal intensive care unit. I was confused, as I thought the NICU was only for preemies and my son was full term.

After what felt like an eternity we were finally allowed to see our son. My husband wheeled me there and we saw him in the corner alone. I saw the incubator and the wires, he's all bundled up.

The nurse explained all the beeping and showed me the heart rate monitor. He's doing fine. We go over the feeding schedule. I'm exhausted still. I stay with him until about 1 or 2 am. They all suggest I get some sleep. There's no bed in the NICU, so I head back to my room.

The next day was better, he doesn't have to be in the incubator anymore, but the wires remain. By that night or early the next morning, the wires in his nose come out and I try feeding him. I try pumping. It was painful.

He gets his first bath and he loves it. The nurse shampoos his hair (he had a lot!) and he seems so soothed. The nurse explains that because he's full term he doesn't need the same type of support in the NICU. She tells me my baby's strong and he'll be fine.

I look around. I see the other babies, the other moms. They could be there for weeks. And unlike me, the moms have to go home—without their baby.

Friday comes and by now he's done all his tests, blood work came back normal, all tubes have been removed and I get it. I get my going-home package. Finally. I get my instructions on doctor follow-ups and we finally get to go home.

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There have been a lot of iconic entertainment magazine covers featuring pregnant women over the years. Who can forget Demi Moore's bare baby bump on Vanity Fair or Britney Spears' similar nude pose on Harper's Bazaar?

Pregnant women on a magazine covers is nothing new, but a visibly pregnant CEO on the cover of a business magazine, that's a first and it happened this week.

Inc. just put The Wing's CEO Audrey Gelman on the cover and this is a historic moment in publishing and business.

As Gelman told Today this week, "You can't be what you can't see, so I think it's so important for women to see that it's possible to run a fast-growing business and also to start a family."

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She continued: "It's so important to sort of burst that bubble and to have new images of women who are thriving and working professionally while balancing motherhood … My hope is that women see this and again feel the confidence to take greater professional risks while also not shelving their dreams of becoming a mother and starting a family."

The Wing started in 2016 as a co-working space for women and has grown rapidly. As Inc. reports, The Wing has eight locations in the U.S. with plans for more American and international locations by 2020.

Putting Gelman on the cover was an important move by Inc. and Gelman's honesty about her early pregnancy panic ("I can't be pregnant. I have so much to do." she recalls thinking after her pregnancy test) should be applauded.

Gelman says pregnancy made her slow down physically, and that it was actually good for her company: "I had this realization: The way to make my team and my employees feel proud to work for me and for the company was actually not to pretend to be superhuman or totally unaffected by pregnancy."

We need this. We need CEOs to admit that they are human so that corporate leadership can see employees as humans, too. Humans need things like family leave and flexibility, especially when they start raising little humans.

There are a lot of iconic covers featuring pregnant women, but this one is different. She's wearing clothes and she's changing work culture.

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