The best mom-to-mom advice we read this year

2017 was an empowering year for mothers and we’re only just getting started.

The best mom-to-mom advice we read this year

#TeamMotherly provided a lot of mom-to-mom support this year. And that’s what makes our community so special to us. We’re creating a space for mamas to share their stories, include us in their journeys and offer advice and insight into their lives and areas of expertise.

You are all wise women, and we’re so glad we get to learn from you and grow with you. We banded together this year, mamas. Over many, many important topics.

Like the mental load of motherhood

The mental load of motherhood was a huge topic for exhausted mamas this year. We talked about how tired all the things on our list make us. (And how, quite often, we’re the last person on those lists.) We talked about how the mental load we carry affects all aspects of our lives. We talked about how it was a surprising part of motherhood and the fact that it really can be lighter—we promise. We even shared 50 ways to lighten it, ASAP.


Like how challenging motherhood can be

We challenged whether motherhood had to feel as hard as it does sometimes. We talked about ways to help when it does feel impossibly hard. We reassured you that, no, you’re not doing anything wrong, mama—that’s how motherhood just is some days—really difficult. And it doesn’t get easier. But we get stronger. Because moms rule. ?

Like how hard it can be to balance work and #MomLife

Is balance possible as a mom in general? Yes, it is. Your own kind of balance. A balance that works for you in your life. We talked here about balance as a working mama specifically. We talked about how you shouldn’t feel like a bad mom because you work. At all. So let’s ditch that guilt.

We talked about how new motherhood can actually be really great for your career. We reassured each other when it was Day 1 of daycare drop off and when you were feeling like the nanny you hired was sort of taking your place and when you felt like you had no idea what you were doing anymore. We also chatted about how working makes us better mothers, and how, our children actually benefit from us working. (Go us!?)

Like how grateful we are for our friendships

Sometimes motherhood can be really lonely. Our kiddos take up a lot of our time along with a lot of our mental and emotional space—so it can be hard to incorporate our friends into our everyday lives as much as we used to. And we miss them. And we need them. And we love them. And we talked about what we’re looking for in these friends. And we thanked them for loving our children as their own.

We’ve turned to the internet for “mom friends”, to our ride or die childhood friends who know us like the back of their hands, to our long-distance friends, to our tribe and our squad. Thank you to our girlfriends, because we couldn’t do this without you. ?

Like how wild and wonderful new motherhood is

When you first become a mother, you may feel like you lose a little bit of your former self. But, rest-assured, you’re still in there. Because maybe we’re not really losing ourselves at all, we’re just becoming who we were meant to be?

There can be a lot of pressure on new mamas to know it all, be it all, understand it all right away—but you have absolutely nothing to prove to anyone. There is so much to learn in the first couple years of motherhood—you’re not going to get it all in a day. And fear not because, one day soon, you’ll know exactly what you’re doing.

But until then, enjoy those moments but don’t put pressure on yourself to feel like you have to enjoy every single second of every day of motherhood. Because, as we all know, being a mama is complex. And there is no shame in that.

Like how there’s magic in the chaos

Our lives can be chaotic, that’s for sure. But, we’ve realized, there is so much wonder and awe in those messy, busy parts. There’s magic in that daily grind that is our everyday lives. And we’ve learned that even when you’re feeling overwhelmed or like you’re not enough or that you’re merely just surviving, that it’s all okay—because no one’s life is perfect, and even though some days feel super crazy—there’s a lot of love and light in this season.

Like how tired we are

Seriously. Can we take a nap? We haven’t slept in a while, and we’re exhausted. Or should we just have more coffee? Because we love coffee and we appreciate coffee and coffee is our friend. Being needed all the time can be a lot, and sometimes—we just have to rest, because we need a break. And please don’t worry, because we all feel like this. We’re in this together. ?

Like how wonderful this life really is

The joy. The fun. The love. The grace. The happiness. The adventure. The inspiration. The snuggles. The beauty. The amazing moments. The incredible moments. The magic.

Thank you for joining this ride with us, mamas. 2017 was an empowering year for mothers and we’re only just getting started. So, hang on. ?

By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's electric pump

For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.


Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Dr. Brown''s hands free pumping bra

Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!


Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.


Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌


Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.


Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.


Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.


Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.


Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

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

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Motherly editors’ 7 favorite hacks for organizing their diaper bags

Make frantically fishing around for a diaper a thing of the past!

As any parent knows, the term "diaper bag" only scratches the surface. In reality, this catchall holds so much more: a change of clothes, bottles, snacks, wipes and probably about a dozen more essential items.

Which makes finding the exact item you need, when you need it (read: A diaper when you're in public with a blowout on your hands) kind of tricky.

That's why organization is the name of the game when it comes to outings with your littles. We pooled the Motherly team of editors to learn some favorite hacks for organizing diaper bags. Here are our top tips.

1. Divide and conquer with small bags

Here's a tip we heard more than a few times: Use smaller storage bags to organize your stuff. Not only is this helpful for keeping related items together, but it can also help keep things from floating around in the expanse of the larger diaper bag. These bags don't have to be anything particularly fancy: an unused toiletry bag, pencil case or even plastic baggies will work.

2. Have an emergency changing kit

When you're dealing with a diaper blowout situation, it's not the time to go searching for a pack of wipes. Instead, assemble an emergency changing kit ahead of time by bundling a change of baby clothes, a fresh diaper, plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer in a bag you can quickly grab. We're partial to pop-top wipes that don't dry out or get dirty inside the diaper bag.

3. Simplify bottle prep

Organization isn't just being able to find what you need, but also having what you need. For formula-feeding on the go, keep an extra bottle with the formula you need measured out along with water to mix it up. You never know when your outing will take longer than expected—especially with a baby in the mix!

4. Get resealable snacks

When getting out with toddlers and older kids, snacks are the key to success. Still, it isn't fun to constantly dig crumbs out of the bottom of your diaper bag. Our editors love pouches with resealable caps and snacks that come in their own sealable containers. Travel-sized snacks like freeze-dried fruit crisps or meal-ready pouches can get an unfair reputation for being more expensive, but that isn't the case with the budget-friendly Comforts line.

5. Keep a carabiner on your keychain

You'll think a lot about what your child needs for an outing, but you can't forget this must-have: your keys. Add a carabiner to your keychain so you can hook them onto a loop inside your diaper bag. Trust us when we say it's a much better option than dumping out the bag's contents on your front step to find your house key!

6. Bundle your essentials

If your diaper bag doubles as your purse (and we bet it does) you're going to want easy access to your essentials, too. Dedicate a smaller storage bag of your diaper bag to items like your phone, wallet and lip balm. Then, when you're ready to transfer your items to a real purse, you don't have to look for them individually.

7. Keep wipes in an outer compartment

Baby wipes aren't just for diaper changes: They're also great for cleaning up messy faces, wiping off smudges, touching up your makeup and more. Since you'll be reaching for them time and time again, keep a container of sensitive baby wipes in an easily accessible outer compartment of your bag.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on 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 supporting Motherly and mamas.

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Report: President Trump plans to choose Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court

What you need to know about this mom of 7.

When Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg died on Friday her spot on the Supreme Court was vacated and on Monday President Trump said he is prepared to make his third U.S. Supreme Court nomination this week. "I will announce it either Friday or Saturday," Trump said on Fox News, adding, "We should wait until the services are over for Justice Ginsburg."

Now, CNN reports President Trump plans to choose Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court Nomination. He is expected to make the announcement on Saturday.

According to CNN, senior Republican sources are "indicating that Barrett is the intended nominee... All sources cautioned that until it is announced by the President, there is always the possibility that Trump makes a last-minute change but the expectation is Barrett is the choice."

President Trump says a vote on this Supreme Court nominee should come before the upcoming presidential election (a move that goes against Ginsberg's last wishes—and the precedent set by the senate in 2016). The President previously said he was looking seriously at five candidates for the spot, but during his Fox News interview on Monday, he only mentioned two: Amy Coney Barrett and Barbara Lagoa.

Here's what you need to know about Amy Coney Barrett

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