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From first latch to weaning: 6 things every breastfeeding mama experiences

2. Whose boob is it anyway? Dealing with cluster feeding

From first latch to weaning: 6 things every breastfeeding mama experiences

From first latch to weaning and everything in between, breastfeeding is often a long, winding road. Though each woman’s trip down the breastfeeding lane is different from the next, they all share similarities or markers, if you will. Speaking about them and commiserating over them connects mothers, calms anxieties and opens valuable dialogue about various times in your baby’s feeding journey.


I got to interview Veronica Horner, founder and mom boss in charge of Maia Moda, a super chic nursing wear label—because who better to comment on the stages of breastfeeding than someone who’s made it her business to learn about and address one of nursing mother’s biggest pain points: what to wear?!

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Veronica, a mother of one (soon to be two!) started the fashion line alongside Gerta Fresheri. The brand is manufactured in the United States in a factory owned by a woman and run by a brilliant all-women staff.

Here are her thoughts about the six unique scenarios breastfeeding women may experiences.

1. Welcome baby: The first latch

Veronica: Ideally, the first latch is recommended to occur within an hour after giving birth. I was honestly shocked when I first learned this, but it makes sense. If all goes well during delivery, why not get started?

It’s a time to savor the sweet moments after birth, be skin to skin and offer comfort for your little babe after he or she enters the world. So, don’t stress and worry if you are doing it right, producing enough milk, etc. There is plenty of time for that.

A post shared by Maia Moda (@maia_moda_mom) on

2. Whose boob is it anyway? Dealing with cluster feeding

Veronica: Ahhh, cluster feeding. I hope you have a comfortable nursing chair!

Cluster feeding is when your little one is non-stop feeding, sometimes with seemingly NO breaks in between. It generally comes in phases and can start as early as 10 days.

Although exhausting, your baby is feeding more often to increase your milk supply to accommodate their growing appetite. This is when your breastfeeding schedule—if you had one—will go out the window. But just remember it's completely normal and natural. I remember during this time I was also extremely hungry, due to producing so much milk, but I was feeding so often I didn’t have much time to eat. At one point, my husband was spoon-feeding me my cereal while I was breastfeeding—that’s what I call team work!

A post shared by Maia Moda (@maia_moda_mom) on

Photo by Ivette Ivens

3. It’s complicated: Breastfeeding issues

Veronica: Unfortunately, there are a number of issues a breastfeeding mom can encounter at any phase. It’s rare that there won’t be some hiccups, so keep in mind that it is all very common and surmountable.

Problems can include sore nipples, mastitis, engorgement, thrush, issues latching and more. I’m not here to solve your challenges for you, but instead to tell you that you’re not alone.

I think the best advice I ever got from my lactation consultant is that it shouldn’t hurt and when it does there is an issue to be solved. If you do have a problem, I think the best thing is to reach out to a certified lactation consultant to help you; La Leche League is a great resource. Although a little Googling can give you some ideas, there is so much misinformation out there that a certified professional is always your best bet.

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4. I’m coming out: Breastfeeding in public

Veronica: The first time you breastfeed in public can be a little intimidating, but I promise it gets easier every time!

Breastfeeding should be something that fits into your life as opposed to the other way around. I know with my short two-hour breaks between feedings, getting baby dressed, out the door and back for the next session was just unrealistic. Women should feel empowered to breastfeed in public how they see fit—with a cover, no cover, discreetly, un-discreetly. A mother’s comfort is most important, and each woman should decide for themselves what is best for her and baby.

Personally, I’ve never had an issue breastfeeding in public. I would breastfeed at restaurants, in parks, at yoga class and more. I was never made to feel uncomfortable by others and always felt very welcomed.

I was lucky. However, I know that isn’t every mother's experience. Therefore, every nursing mother should know that she has the right to breastfeed wherever and wherever, within 47 states in the USA.

Out of the remaining states, South Dakota and Virginia exempt breastfeeding moms from public indecency or nudity laws and, unfortunately, Idaho is the only state that has yet to pass similar laws. (C’mon, Idaho—keep up!). It’s awful if a mother has a bad experience with the public, however, she is on the right side of the law.

A post shared by Maia Moda (@maia_moda_mom) on

5. Going back to work: Bringing home the bacon and the milk

Veronica: Bring out the pump! Going back to work while nursing can complicate things, but the more prep you can do beforehand the smoother it will be. Talk to your boss, get the right equipment, do some practice runs with your bambino and, most importantly, take care of yourself! In the grand scheme of things, the time you'll be pumping at work is quite short. If it means you need to take it a little easier than usual, be kind to yourself and let it be.

An oldie but a goodie. Working mother cradles her child in sling as she cast her vote for EU Parliament.

A post shared by Maia Moda (@maia_moda_mom) on

6. The final stage: Weaning

Veronica: Congrats, Mama, you made it! After all those late nights, milk spills and sore boobs, you and baby are going to start the weaning process.

Whether it is mom-led, baby-led or sometimes just life-led—it will happen at some point. I remember feeling like I had been breastfeeding forever, but when my child finally decided to wean it all seemed to go by too quickly. He ended up going cold turkey at 11 months. Who knew he had it in him? The most difficult part can be dealing with the emotions of it all.

Take comfort in knowing you aren’t alone and as every phase ends another one begins. Now pass the wine!

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I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.


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Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.



Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

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

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Errands and showers are not self-care for moms

Thinking they are is what's burning moms out.

A friend and I bump into each other at Target nearly every time we go. We don't pre-plan this; we must just be on the same paper towel use cycle or something. Really, I think there was a stretch where I saw her at Target five times in a row.

We've turned it into a bit of a running joke. "Yeah," I say sarcastically, "We needed paper towels so you know, I had to come to Target… for two hours of alone time."

She'll laugh and reply, "Oh yes, we were out of… um… paper clips. So here I am, shopping without the kids. Heaven!"

Now don't get me wrong. I adore my trips to Target (and based on the fullness of my cart when I leave, I am pretty sure Target adores my trips there, too).

But my little running joke with my friend is actually a big problem. Because why is the absence of paper towels the thing that prompts me to get a break? And why on earth is buying paper towels considered a break for moms?

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