Has the hashtag #normalizebreastfeeding or simply #normalizeit taken over your social media feeds?? Is your feed filled with women posting their brelfies (AKA breastfeeding selfies)? Even celebrities are getting in the game. #Normalizeit has become a powerful movement and its impact is growing. I’ll admit I probably wasn’t paying as much attention before the birth of my son, but now I can’t help but feel like it’s making a dent in social norms and culture. The Normalize Breastfeeding movement is working to change our culture around breastfeeding. We need women to feel comfortable to nurse anytime, anyplace. The laws are there to support us, however, there is still a culture barrier to overcome. Women nurse every 1-4 hours, making it next to impossible to organize an outing if breastfeeding in public is shunned upon. I believe a major component to increasing our breastfeeding rate in the US is by helping mothers incorporate breastfeeding into their current lifestyle and not the other way around. So who is paving the way? There are a number of amazing moms, photographers and celebrities leading the Normalize Breastfeeding movement: Photographers: The growth of family photography has reached new heights. No longer bounded by static, smiling family photos, many families are opting to pose for maternity and labor shots, as well as those intimate breastfeeding moments. Many family photographers are embracing the change; Ivette Ivans is one of the more well known. Ivette Ivens Ivette Ivens is an amazing photographer and well known for her work of capturing the beauty of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding can be messy and uncomfortable, but Ivette focuses on the mother’s inner consciousness--beautiful, saintly and celestial. Be sure to peruse her site for some inspiring images. Celebrities: It’s amazing to see so many celebrities join the movement, posting their inspiring brelfies and giving the world a peek into their lives as mothers. With every area of their lives on full display, why should breastfeeding be any different? From Olivia Wilde, Gisele Bundchen, Nicole Trunfino, Miranda Kerr to Gwen Stephani--the list goes on and on. Olivia Wilde Olivia Wilde had a full spread in Glamour magazine breastfeeding her little one. Originally the shoot was just going to be her, but as her son got hungry mid-way she realized that if they wanted to really capture what her life was like, breastfeeding was now a big part of that. “It was an interesting experience because that photo shoot came out of a very organic moment of having to feed my son because it was just my choice to breastfeed. But I did not in any way intend to shame women who had chosen not to breastfeed for whatever reason. It’s a complex issue, but the one thing that’s not complex is that people should be allowed to breastfeed wherever they want, whenever they want.” - Olivia Wilde Gisele Bundchen Gisele is a well known advocate for breastfeeding, although perhaps a little too forcefully. She was once quoted saying “there should be a worldwide law...that mothers should breastfeed their babies for six months”. She later clarified and pulled back her words stating “My intention in making a comment about the importance of breastfeeding has nothing to do with the law,” she said. “It comes from my passionate beliefs about children. Being a new mom has brought a lot of questions. I feel like I am in a constant search for answers on what might be the best for my child. It’s unfortunate that in an interview sometimes things can seem so black and white.” One of her more famous photos is highlighted below. Movements: Tree of Life Did you ever come across the #treeoflife pics? They were trending earlier this year as the latest artistic take on a brelfie. With the help of the PicsArt iPhone app, brelfies are transformed into beautiful works of art. The tree of life has often served as a symbol for connecting forms of creation, the act of breastfeeding is a wonderful example of that. Nurse-Ins Through Facebook breastfeeding groups, many mothers are able to gain an immense amount of support throughout their breastfeeding journey. Many times moms may be the first in their family to breastfeed and having a virtual community to cheer you on when perhaps your family members aren't your biggest supporters can go a long way. In addition, some mothers still have been made to feel uncomfortable and unwelcome while breastfeeding in public. These groups will go to bat for them and ensure the individual or company understands the importance of changing their ways as required by law. For example, when Oregon mom Karina Gomez says she was “humiliated” when a Marshall's store employee instructed her to breastfeed her baby in a bathroom stall, a Portland mom group organized a successful nurse-in to support her and other moms. Many studies have shown that our view on breastfeeding is largely influenced by culture. It’s up to us to support the normalize breastfeeding movement so all mothers feel comfortable to feed their child as they see fit. Veronica Horner is the co-founder of Maia Moda, a modern breastfeeding clothing line of tops and dresses for stay at home and working mothers. As more and more moms are choosing to breastfeed and for longer periods of time, better designed and stylish clothing is another great way to help moms on their breastfeeding journey. You can keep up to date on the company by signing up for the mailing list or through Instagram and Facebook.
Allaya Cooks-Campbell is a writer, yoga instructor, and born-and-bred New Yorker. Mother of a toddler and step-mommy to two teens, Allaya tries to raise her family with equal doses of optimism, discipline, and mostly age-appropriate humor. You can find more of her musings on motherhood on her site, babydroppings.com.
Did you hear that? That was the sound of Nordstrom and Maisonette making all your kid's summer wardrobe dreams come true.
Nordstrom partnered with Maisonette to create the perfect in-store pop-up shop from May 24th-June 23rd, featuring some of our favorite baby and kids brands, like Pehr, Zestt Organics, Lali and more. (Trust us, these items are going to take your Instagram feed to the next level of cuteness. 😍) Items range from $15 to $200, so there's something for every budget.
Pop-In@Nordstrom x Maisonette
Maisonette has long been a go-to for some of the best children's products from around the world, whether it's tastefully designed outfits, adorable accessories, or handmade toys we actually don't mind seeing sprawled across the living room rug. Now their whimsical, colorful aesthetic will be available at Nordstrom.
The pop-in shops will be featured in nine Nordstrom locations: Costa Mesa, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Chicago, IL; Austin, TX; Dallas, TX; Bellevue, WA; Seattle, WA; Toronto, ON; and Vancouver, BC.
Don't live nearby? Don't stress! Mamas all across the U.S. and Canada will be able to access the pop-in merchandise online at nordstrom.com/pop
But don't delay―these heirloom-quality pieces will only be available at Nordstrom during the pop-in's run, and then they'll be over faster than your spring break vacation. Happy shopping! 🛍
This article is sponsored by Nordstrom. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.
One of the toughest parts of having the kids home all summer is finding activities that will keep everyone entertained. But, you don't have to go on a grand adventure or spend tons of money to do that, mama. 👏
Set aside one day (or night) a week for an at-home movie night. Make some popcorn, order pizza, lay out pillows and blankets in the living room and curl up with your favorites to watch a movie. Not only will a film keep the kiddos entertained for a couple hours, but they're great conversation starters and can teach valuable life lessons. Want to make it more special? Surprise them with a toy that will give them a hint of what you'll be watching that night!
We picked our favorites that both kids (and mama) will enjoy.
1. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
Our toy pick: Toothless plush dragon
We're back with our favorite dragon and Viking, Toothless and Hiccup, for the final installment of this trilogy. On the search for the Hidden World to keep all of the dragons safe, we'll see how far Hiccup and Toothless will go for love, friendship and family. (Psst: The film is finally available on Blu-ray and DVD!)
We interviewed Jay Baruchel (the voice of Hiccup) and writer and director Dean DeBlois. One of Baruchel's fondest memories as a child was watching movies with his mom and having conversations about the themes throughout the films—he hopes HTTYD does the same for families.
DeBlois touched on a theme that every parent can relate to. "There's nothing quite like raising a child and then, despite wanting to protect them and shield them from all of the unknowns in the world, you have to let them go and follow their destiny—and that's a difficult process... that's one of the big topics we tackle in the movie." Now cuddle your littles a little tighter.
2. Christopher Robin
Our toy pick: Winnie The Pooh
This film will bring your own childhood memories back as you make new ones with your kids. Grown Christopher Robin recieves a surprise visit from Winnie the Pooh and the two go on an adventure in the Hundred Acre Wood to find all of Pooh's friends. On this journey, you and your kids will follow along to see what happens when Christopher isn't excited about childhood wonder anymore, but focused on his own priorities... until his daughter encounters the beloved characters.
3. Mary Poppins Returns
Our toy pick: Illustrated edition of the book
The original kids are now grown with their own children, but while going through a tough time and dealing with personal tragedy, Mary Poppins is back to lend a helping hand again.
Throughout the magical adventure, Mary Poppins has a surprise around every turn and the use of imagination is a necessity—but the bigger lesson isn't for the smaller Banks kids. There are valuable lessons about grief, dealing with emotions and becoming resilient throughout.
Our toy pick: Sticker pack
Migo is a Yeti who comes across something he's never seen before, a human. After seeing the 'smallfoot,' he goes back to his village to tell everyone, but when no one believed him, he was banished from his home. His quest to prove that humans do exist takes him on an adventure of a lifetime. Kids will learn about friendship, what it means to be a family, and how to deal when you're feeling different from everyone else.
5. A Wrinkle in Time
Our toy pick: Space water coloring book
This fantasy film will take the entire family on an exploration through time. A young student, Meg, is having trouble accepting that her scientist father disappeared when she was a child. When three figures coming to visit her (Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which) she goes on a brave expedition to find out where her dad is in the universe. Along the way, she'll learn how to conquer her fears, persevere and the importance of kindness, no matter what.
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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It's hard to believe that summer is upon us... wasn't it snowing and dark outside at 4 p.m., like, yesterday? Now the days are longer, the kiddos are starting to wrap up their school years, and as luck would have it, all the retailers are offering MAJOR deals in honor of Memorial Day.
Need to invest in a new bike for the summer? We got you. Time to restock the kids bathing suits? Got you there, too. Desperate to get yourself a new mattress, but don't want to pay full price? Fear not, we've still got you!
We checked in with our absolute favorite brands to find out what deals they're offering, and we corralled all that info into one tidy story.
Here are all the best online sales for this week and weekend. Happy Memorial Day, everyone!
Soma: Get 15% off your entire purchase or 30% off your purchase of $150 or more, or 40% your purchase of $200 or more. Get 15% off your entire purchase or 30% off your purchase of $150 or more, or 40% your purchase of $200 or more.
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.
By the time I became a mother at 30, I was well-versed in healing my personal anxiety. I began teaching myself mediation through books I found in the library and then when I was 19 I met my yoga teacher who also taught Zen meditation. My first experience with Zen meditation was powerful. After I got past the discomfort of stillness and silence I began having powerful visions—some I still remember to this day.
When I had my first child, I was well-practiced in maintaining my anxiety and being aware that, while it would probably never go away, it didn't have to be something that would hold me back. Instead, it could become an asset.
Anxiety could be a spiritual antenna for me to pay attention to what circumstances don't work for me, especially in motherhood. I could use it as a tool rather than as something that would hold me back.
In some ways, motherhood was its own spiritual awakening for me. During my pregnancy, I was also closing my business of five years and wrapping up a divorce―on top of feeling totally nauseous the whole time. It was the perfect storm to trigger anxiety.
Despite those challenges, pregnancy, birth, and motherhood felt so natural to me. This was what I was supposed to be doing―it was like the sun was rising and leaving all that destruction behind.
Of course, meditation was a huge help. But as a mother, your meditation practice changes so much. During my pregnancy, I was so nervous about not having that time to myself―and for the first few years, I never really had 20 minutes to sit in silence and stillness (as any new mom knows!). So if I did get time during one of my daughter's longer naps, it was cherished.
I went from having a regular meditation practice to having a "meditate when you can" practice, and the sporadic schedule made my meditation an even more honored practice. It was something I got to do instead of something I just did.
Motherhood made me show up for meditation more presently―it became something I really worked at.
As a result, I felt myself becoming a more present mother and feeling more attuned to the energy of my child. In that first year, so many developmental changes are happening, and my meditation gave me a sensor to read into those changes. I even felt like it made up for the loss of sleep in a lot of ways.
I really feel as though motherhood itself is a meditation. Whether you get to sit in silence or not, you are so present―so aware of this kid―you are already in this state of awareness that meditation brings. Just by being a mom, you are meditating enough.
Whenever I'm able to find peace and stillness―no matter what may be happening in our lives―the practice kicks in. I take a deep breath and drop whatever I was doing before to be more present with my daughter. I grant myself grace when I have to multitask because I always know I can come back to that presence. For me, part of meditation is noticing that I need to take a moment to check in with myself, take a deep breath and recenter.
The good part of meditation is that there's always more to learn. I'm continuously growing―both as a mother and a person. Even in the most chaotic moments of motherhood, there's always a place of stillness I can come to.
The moment I became a mother was such a beautiful one―like waking up and knowing this was what I was meant to be doing. And just like meditation, it's a practice that brings me peace every day.