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I’m Breastfeeding During Pregnancy

And why images of breastfeeding matter.

I’m Breastfeeding During Pregnancy

*We’ve partnered with Bravado Designs to help normalize breastfeeding anytime, anywhere.

An image of woman breastfeeding during pregnancy can be a powerful thing. Sure, it’s a beautiful reminder of the depths of a mother’s love, as she shares her body with her growing toddler and baby on the way. But it’s also inspiration for a new mama who’s just trying to breastfeed for one more day, or a pregnant mama who’s being pressured to wean before the next baby arrives. Most importantly, it’s a conversation-starter about our right to feed our babies wherever, whenever. To help normalize that conversation, we’ve partnered with our friends at Bravado Designs to bring you some beautiful stories of breastfeeding in public.

FEATURED VIDEO

Meet Fallon Santiago, mom of a toddler and another on the way, photographed in Brooklyn feeding her son Jayden.

“I had a really tough time breastfeeding in the beginning. My milk wasn't coming in, I was in a lot of pain, and I ended up having thrush and mastitis, all in the first couple of weeks. It was awful. It took three different doctors to diagnose my son with a lip and tongue tie, and at 6 weeks old, we finally were able to get it fixed via a laser. At that very moment, my journey changed. It took a couple more weeks to fully get the hang of it, but eventually the pain was gone, I got my milk supply up (with the help of essential oils) and here I am now, 20 months later, still nursing my son and expecting Baby 2.

I remember the first time I breastfed in public. About 3 weeks after my son was born, everyone had gone home and the dust had started to settle. I ventured out to the library, wearing my son in a wrap, and he slept for the majority of our trip. We stopped by a local bistro so I could grab some lunch, and moments after I sat down, he woke up hungry and crying. I wasn't sure how I was going to nurse him and keep myself covered, and also not let on that I was in a lot of pain. I tried to just give him his pacifier, but it didn't work. I was super nervous -- the bistro was filled with people as it was prime lunch time. But his crying was getting louder and louder by the minute, so I just bit the bullet and started nursing him right there at the table. The waitress arrived, took my order and didn't bat an eye, which instantly made me feel more comfortable. By the end of my lunch, I realized no one really cared what I was doing.

At the end of the day, nursing in public was far less embarrassing than having a screaming baby in public. But not all of my nursing in public experiences have been so seamless. I've received dirty looks of disgust a time or two, but I don't let that bother me. Luckily, living in NYC, those moments are few and far between, but they still do happen. You really just have to be confident in what you are doing and realize the opinions of strangers really don't matter. I’ve breastfed on the subway platform, on a ride at Disneyland, and on an airplane, in the middle seat, between two strangers.

The more breastfeeding images that are out there, the less shocking they are. I am a huge advocate of breastfeeding wherever and whenever. There are far too many other things that a mother has to stress about -- how and when she feeds her baby shouldn’t be one of them.

Women should never be made to feel ashamed of nursing their child, or feel like they have to hide the fact that they are. Breastfeeding is the most natural and magical thing you can do for your child and we should celebrate that every chance we get.”

Photography by Belle Savransky for Well Rounded.

Fallon is wearing Bravado Designs’ Buttercup Nursing Bra in Watercolor, pictured below. Buy it here.

We want to share your story about breastfeeding in public on Well Rounded! Post a photo on Instagram showing us where you breastfeed, tag us and use the hashtag #thisiswhereibreastfeed. Or email us your story and a photo at info@wellroundedny.com. Make sure to post by Thursday June 15!

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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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 www.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 supporting 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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