A modern lifestyle brand redefining motherhood

I knew before I had a baby that breastfeeding would be challenging. As far as I knew, no one in my immediately family had done it because they didn't want to be "chewed up." That turned out to be the perfect way to describe how I felt for the first several weeks of my nursing experience. It seemed like I was running into issue after issue, and since I had little family support, I went through lots of needless trial and error. But as a millennial mama, I should've realized that there was, in fact, an app for that. Here are the apps, gadgets and creative solutions designed to save the savvy breastfeeding mother.

Issue #1: How much milk is your baby getting?

Solution: Momsense

I love my pediatrician, really, I do. But she (and many other pediatricians) are simply not well-versed in lactation education. Used to her roster of bottle-feeding moms, she would ask me at every appointment how many ounces we were getting daily, and I would stare at her blankly. That's where Momsense comes in, a sleek looking pair of headphones with a baby sensor attached. The sensor measures how much milk baby is taking in by calculating their "effective swallows" — and records all this information for you on a handy (and pretty!) smartphone app. It's super satisfying for technical people like me that love statistics. $89.99, Buy it here.

Issue #2: Pumping sucks.

Solution: BeauGen Nipple Cushion

At worst, pumping was unbearable nipple torture that resulted in a pathetic looking spray of milk in an impossibly large 6oz bottle. At best, it was something I had to do if I wanted to leave the house. Thankfully, someone shared my pain and thought up a creative way of relieving it. BeauGen makes a tiny, stretchy, one-size-fits-all nipple cushion that, for me, eliminated nearly all of the discomfort and sizing issues I was having with my pump. The BeauGen is easy to clean, simple to use, and honestly, such an obvious and ingenious solution that I'm embarrassed I didn't think of it myself. As a bonus for this tiny life-saver, it makes pumping more discreet, as the pink cushion obscures your nipple in the flange. $30, Buy it here .

Issue #3: One of my boobs won't stop leaking!

Solution: Milkies Milk-Saver

This was me (and still is most days), perpetually staunching an overflow on my right side only. (Isn't it crazy how breasts have different personalities?) I would be fine nursing or pumping on the right, but if I tried to nurse on the left, I'd have an enormous letdown that would soak the right side of my shirt almost immediately. The Milkies Milk-Saver, seemingly designed with me in mind, allowed me to collect all that breast milk that was going to waste. You simply slip it into your bra or tank on the non-nursing/overzealous side. To be honest, I thought that there was no real point to trying to collect the milk--how much could there be? Turns out that my non-nursing side was leaking nearly two ounces of breastmilk, which the Milk-Saver held with room to spare. Needless to say, I'm now a believer. $27.95. Buy it here.

Issue #4: So many bottles to wash—so little time!

Solution: Kiinde Twist

I have a knack for doing things the hard way. Nursing was no exception. I would pump into one bottle, pour that bottle into a bag, and then pour that bag into a different bottle. Wash, rinse, boil, sanitize, pump, repeat. I found myself always scrambling to match bottles to lids to nipples, and it made pumping even more stressful for me. So, seeking to minimize the chaos, I came across the Kiinde Twist storage system. Kiinde seeks to minimize the transfer (and waste!) of breast milk through a collection, storage and feeding system. You pump directly into a bag, which then can be labeled and stored as is. The system includes a bottle warmer, which heats the milk to the right temperature, and then the same pouch can be snapped into a nipple and holder and used for feeding. It's a genius way to make sure every drop gets used, and to keep unnecessary dishes out of your sink. $31.99. Buy it here.

Issue #5: I'm going out. Where am I going to heat up a bottle?

Solution: Innobaby's warmers

This one's a toughie, because the number one source of convenient heat (the microwave) is a no-no when it comes to heating breastmilk. Innobaby's warmers really shouldn't even be in the bottle warmer category--they're really portable space-age kitchens. Add a packet and a little hot water, and you have an on-the-go heat source that can be used to warm baby bottles, liquids and foods. I love the fact that there's no plug or battery required, and the heat time is pretty fast—less than two minutes! $36.95. Buy it here.

Who said motherhood doesn't come with a manual?

Subscribe to get inspiration and super helpful ideas to rock your #momlife. Motherhood looks amazing on you.

Already a subscriber? Log in here.

Baby stuff comes in such cute prints these days. Gone are the days when everything was pink and blue and covered in ducks or teddy bears. Today's baby gear features stylish prints that appeal to mom.

That's why it's totally understandable how a mama could mistake a car seat cover for a cute midi skirt. It happened to Lori Farrell, and when she shared her mishap on Facebook she went viral before she was even home from work. Fellow moms can totally see the humor in Farrell's mishap, and thankfully, so can she.

As for how a car seat cover could be mistaken for a skirt—it's pretty simple, Farrell tells Motherly.

"A friend of mine had given me a huge lot of baby stuff, from clothes to baby carriers to a rocker and blankets and when I pulled it out I was not sure what it was," she explains. "I debated it but washed it anyway then decided because of the way it pulled on the side it must be a maternity skirt."

Farrell still wasn't 100% sure if she was right by the time she headed out the door to work, but she rocked the ambiguous attire anyway.

"When I got to work I googled the brand and realized not only do they not sell clothing but it was a car seat cover."

The brand, Itzy Ritzy, finds the whole thing pretty funny too, sharing Farell's viral moment to its official Instagram.

It may be a car seat cover, but that print looks really good on this mama.

And if you want to copy Farell's style, the Itzy Ritzy 4-in-1 Nursing Cover, Car Seat Cover, Shopping Cart Cover and Infinity Scarf (and skirt!) is available on Amazon for $24.94.

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.

You might also like:

Daycare for infants is expensive across the country, and California has one of the worst states for parents seeking care for a baby. Putting an infant in daycare in California costs $2,914 more than in-state tuition for four years of college, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Paying north of $1,000 for daycare each month is an incredible burden, especially on single-parent families. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines affordable childcare as costing no more than 10% of a family's income—by that definition, less than 29% of families in California can afford infant care. Some single parents spend half their income on day care. It is an incredible burden on working parents.

But that burden may soon get lighter. CBS Sacramento reports California may put between $25 and $35 million into child care programs to make day care more affordable for parents with kids under 3 years old.

Assembly Bill 452, introduced this week, could see $10 million dollars funneled into Early Head Start (which currently gets no money from the state but does get federal funding) and tens of millions more would be spent on childcare for kids under three.

The bill seeks to rectify a broken childcare system. Right now, only about 14% of eligible infants and toddlers are enrolled in subsidized programs in California, and in 2017, only 7% of eligible children younger than three years of age accessed Early Head Start.

An influx of between $25 to $35 million dollars could see more spaces open up for kids under three, as Bill 452, if passed, would see the creation of "grants to develop childcare facilities that serve children from birth to three years of age."

This piece of proposed legislation comes weeks after California's governor announced an ambitious plan for paid parental leave, and as another bill, AB 123, seeks to strengthen the state's pre-kindergarten program.

Right now, it is difficult for some working parents to make a life in California, but by investing in families, the state's lawmakers could change that and change California's future for the better.

You might also like:

When a mama gets married, in most cases she wants her children to be part of her big day. Photographers are used to hearing bride-to-be moms request lots of pictures of their big day, but when wedding photographer Laura Schaefer of Fire and Gold Photography heard her client Dalton Mort planned to wear her 2-year-old daughter Ellora instead of a veil, she was thrilled.

A fellow mama who understands the benefits of baby-wearing, Schaefer was keen to capture the photos Mort requested. "When I asked Dalton about what some of her 'must get' shots would be for her wedding, she specifically asked for ones of her wearing Ellie, kneeling and praying in the church before the tabernacle," Schaefer tells Motherly.

She got those shots and so many more, and now Mort's toddler-wearing wedding day pics are going viral.

"Dalton wore Ellie down the aisle and nursed her to sleep during the readings," Schaefer wrote on her blog, explaining that Ellie then slept through the whole wedding mass.

"As a fellow mother of an active toddler, this is a HUGE win! Dalton told me after that she was SO grateful that Ellie slept the whole time because she was able to focus and really pray through the Mass," Schaefer explains.

Dalton was able to concentrate on her wedding day because she made her baby girl a part of it (and that obviously tired Ellie right out).

Ellie was part of the commitment and family Dalton if forging with her husband, Jimmy Joe. "There is no better behaved toddler than a sleeping toddler, and she was still involved, even though I ended up unwrapping her to nurse her. I held her in my arms while my husband and I said our vows. It was really special for us," Dalton told POPSUGAR.

This is a wedding trend we are totally here for!

Congrats to Dalton and Jimmy Joe (and to Ellie)! 🎉

You might also like:


The internet is freaking out about how Peppa Pig is changing the way toddlers speak, but parents don't need to be too worried.

As Romper first reported, plenty of American parents have noticed that preschoolers are picking up a bit of a British accent thanks to Peppa. Romper's Janet Manley calls it "the Peppa effect," noting that her daughter started calling her "Mummy" after an in-flight Peppa marathon.


Plenty of other parents report sharing Manley's experience, but the British accent is not likely to stick, experts say.

Toronto-based speech and language pathologist Melissa James says this isn't a new thing—kids have always been testing out the accents they hear on TV and in the real world, long before Peppa oinked her way into our Netflix queues.

"Kids have this amazing ability to pick up language," James told Global News. "Their brains are ripe for the learning of language and it's a special window of opportunity that adults don't possess."

Global News reports that back in the day there were concerns about Dora The Explorer potentially teaching kids Spanish words before the kids had learned the English counterparts, and over in the U.K., parents have noticed British babies picking up American accents from TV, too.

But it's not a bad thing, James explains. When an American adult hears "Mummy" their brain translates it to "Mommy," but little kids don't yet make as concrete a connection. "When a child, two, three or four, is watching a show with a British accent and hears [words] for the first time, they are mapping out the speech and sound for that word in the British way."

So if your baby is oinking at you, calling you "Mummy" or testing out a new pronunciation of "toh-mah-toe," know that this is totally natural, and they're not going to end up with a life-long British pig accent.

As Dr, Susannah Levi, associate professor of communicative sciences and disorders at New York University, tells The Guardian, "it's really unlikely that they'd be acquiring an entire second dialect from just watching a TV show."

It sure is cute though.

You might also like:

Motherly provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.Your use of the site indicates your agreement to be bound by our  Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Information on our advertising guidelines can be found here.