A modern lifestyle brand redefining motherhood

We’ve partnered with Babynes to celebrate new parents’ feeding journeys, and share some feeding positivity to help you feed your baby in the best way you can.

Navigating your way through your feeding journey as a new parent can feel overwhelming. Breastfeeding, formula-feeding, or combo-feeding -- no matter which you decide is right for you and your family, there’s always someone else doing it differently. Which, on the hardest days, can make you feel like you’re doing it all wrong.

But you’re not. We know you’re doing the best you can, and we think you’re doing great. You’re doing it your way, and we’re proud of you for that. In case you need a little more inspiration and motivation though, we’re launching a new series to show off the very diverse feeding journeys of some very diverse parents. And whether they breastfeed, formula-feed or combo-feed, they’re doing it with positivity. We hope you are too.

First up, meet Ali Hynek, founder of the ethically made handbag company Nena & Co. and new mama of triplets. Below, Ali shares her own feeding journey, and why formula-feeding helps empower her to be a more confident mother.

“Having three babies at once really changes a lot of expectations. Whenever I thought of having children, I always assumed I would breastfeed. When I found out I was having triplets, I still felt like I would at least try my best to breastfeed to a certain extent. It was a hot topic for me and my doctor. He was very supportive no matter what I decided to do, but he really tried to stress to me that should I decide to formula-feed, my babies would be just as smart, loved and happy as a breastfed baby. So, my conclusion was, I wanted to at least try to breastfeed and would be OK with the idea of formula when I felt it was the right time.

My babies were born at 31 weeks and 6 days so they were tube-fed as they hadn't developed the skills to suck yet. But I started pumping right away. I was really worried that because the babies weren't actually latching on that I wouldn't produce the milk I needed. There are pros and cons to spending day after day in the NICU and one of the pros was that I had access to all sorts of specialist that were my cheerleaders in nursing the babies. I started with "non-nutritive breastfeeding," which means the babies were too little to get full gulps of milk, so I would pump first and then let the babies latch. I did this for about two weeks or until each baby was able to start breastfeeding.

I really loved that I had the opportunity to breastfeed. It is another way of connecting with your baby and that skin-to-skin time is heavenly. The challenge for me was that I had so many babies! I would have to mentally prepare for the day because I would have to go from baby to baby to baby, and once I was done I would run to the bathroom, grab a quick snack and then come back to their nursery and start over again. I know that's how most nursing moms feel!

In the end, I committed to breastfeeding them for 6 weeks because I knew they would have gotten that rich colostrum from their mama when they needed it so badly. With the help that you need caring for newborn multiples, it wasn't a realistic thing for me to continue once we got them home from the hospital, so I mentally prepared to transition to formula.

People would ask me if I was breastfeeding. I mean ANYONE would ask. Random men that would see us walking the babies in their strollers. I really hated that. It’s a very personal question and as a mother, no matter what you do, you still feel guilt. But what really matters is what you and your partner decided to do with your babies, and my husband was my Number One supporter. The route we decided to take was better for us since we needed (and had!) a lot of family helping us get through those first few months. The best aspect of using bottles for us was the flexibility it gave us to have others help.

Other moms can be so critical of each other, and it’s the single most negative thing about being a new mom. You really feel so vulnerable and everyone wants to give you their opinion. Once you do your own research and decide what is best for you, you need to do so with confidence. Be flexible and forgiving with yourself too. If you try something and it doesn't work, it’s okay to try something different. Seeing that my babies were gaining weight, and that they were healthy and happy while they were bottle-fed made me feel so grateful for the people that have dedicated themselves to providing an excellent alternative to breast milk.”

Photography by Becky Kimball for Well Rounded NY. This post is sponsored by Babynes.

Want to win your own Babynes machine plus 4 boxes of formula? Head over to our giveaway 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.