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This candidate for governor breastfeeds in a campaign video and we’re here for it ?

She’s showing the world that “this is real life.”

This candidate for governor breastfeeds in a campaign video and we’re here for it ?

The video was meant for the eyes of Wisconsin voters, but a campaign ad for gubernatorial candidate Kelda Roys is amazing moms all over the country.


In it, she does something many moms do every day, but few politicians do on camera: She breastfeeds.

According to Roys, the moment was unplanned. "Anybody who has a baby knows that you can't really script what they're gonna do," Roys tells Motherly. "My family was there and we thought we'd get some pictures of them, too, but it's a long process," she says.

With lighting and microphones and cameras to set up, professional video shoots do take time, and 4.5 month old Avalon (who was on set along with her sister, 4 year old Arcadia and Roys' husband, Dan Reed) got hungry.

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In the video Roys is seen alone on screen, talking about Wisconsin's BPA Free Kids Act, something she worked on during her time as a State Representative, when she realizes she's gonna need to multitask. Reed steps into frame to hand her the baby.

"I was right in the middle of an interview, telling the story, and the baby started fussing," she recalls. "I had that instinct, you know, you hear your baby cry and right away you've gotta get to that baby and feed her—so I just grabbed her and started nursing her."

Roys tells Motherly she just kept telling her legislative success story about how she helped make Wisconsin one of the first states in the nation to prohibit BIsphenol A (BPA) from baby bottles and sippy cups, thinking the videographers could use a different take or maybe just use the audio.

"When they sent back the first edit of the video, and it had [the nursing] in there, I looked at it and I said, 'You know, this is real life and it's a part of who I am'," she says.

Roys says that when she began her political career a decade ago, the fact that she was a woman (and a young one, too) worked against her. She had to constantly prove that she was capable and professional, and remind people that she was a lawyer and an advocate who'd been running state organizations.

She wasn't yet a mom, but at the time it seemed like even if she were, she'd have to keep that part of herself separate from her political persona.

"You definitely didn't want to talk about anything outside of [your] resume, and now I feel like people are ready to see women as whole people, and women who are running for office are running as themselves. I think that is such a wonderful and positive development because it means that women being in leadership and running for office is normal," she says.

Yes. Women in leadership are normal, and so is breastfeeding, as Roys can attest to. She's been getting messages from breastfeeding moms all over America.

"It happened because I was there with my baby and she was hungry, but I am really so heartened by the wonderful and warm response I have received from people all over the country," Roys explains, adding that she's received messages from mothers who were pumping at work when they saw her video and others who thanked her for making them feel more comfortable about breastfeeding when and where they need to.

"I think that other people can relate to that and if they see me as a real person and someone who is very motivated to make this a better world for my kids then I think they'll see that I'm ready to be governor and make the world better for their kids, too."

Roys says if she is successful in her bid she plans to make healthcare and childcare more affordable and institute paid parental leave. "Every parent should get at least 12 weeks off to care for their new baby, or to care for an adopted child," she says.

"I think this is really important not just for women, but for men, too. We know that when men take parental leave and get that early time, it really sets the stage for them to be much more involved in their children's life going forward and that takes some of the burden off of women."

She may not be the governor yet, but Roys is already helping take some of the burden off of her fellow moms with her now viral campaign video. She's proving that breastfeeding doesn't hold us back from being leaders—in some cases, it even pushes us forward.

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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.

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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!

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Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

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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.

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Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

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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. 🙌

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Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

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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.

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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.

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Washable Breast Pads

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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.

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Breast Milk Storage Bags

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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.

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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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I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.


And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

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We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Life

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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