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Kristen Bell gets REAL about the unglamorous side of breastfeeding

“It is a little bit strange to go from an autonomous woman to all of a sudden being a food truck.”

Kristen Bell gets REAL about the unglamorous side of breastfeeding

If you take a step back and think about it, the act of breastfeeding is pretty amazing. But the nitty-gritty, day-to-day reality of it? Often not so pretty.


Mom-of-two Kristen Bell knows all about that. And in typical fashion, she isn’t shy about getting real about breastfeeding struggles. For starters, as natural as breastfeeding *may* be, it isn’t always easy to share your body with a baby around the clock.

“It is a little bit strange to go from an autonomous woman to all of a sudden being a food truck, ’cause that’s essentially what you are,” Bell says in a new episode of her web series, Momsplaining, in which she talks about the good and bad of motherhood with actress Katie Lowes.

Oh, but that isn’t all: There’s also a learning curve when you begin breastfeeding, which includes learning (and teaching baby) how to get a proper latch.

“Isn’t it crazy how much of your nipple and your boob has to go inside of their mouth?” Bell says to Lowes. “You’ve got to flatten it out and put it in their throat... If the latch is wrong, game over.” (Pro tip: If your baby’s latch consistently feels painful to you, reach out to a lactation consultant!)

Then there is the great fear of every breastfeeding mama—the m-word—mastitis. Speaking to Lowes, Bell reveals she fell victim to the painful condition three times.

“I had to get on antibiotics twice, which, look, I’m pretty crunchy, I don’t love antibiotics,” Bell says. “But you know what I like more than antibiotics? Life.”

The third time, though, Bell was traveling, without access to a doctor and weaning—meaning she couldn’t depend on her daughter’s help to unclog the duct. So, what’s a mom in pain to do?

“I said to my husband, ‘I’m going to need you to suck this out,’” Bell recalls. “We could talk about it, we could be weird about it, or you could just go ahead and nurse.”

That’s exactly what Dax Shepard did, which took care of Bell’s problem. “He was pulling out and spitting into this cup, and I’ve never been more in love. In my life,” says Bell.

That sure isn’t a situation most of us would ever envision when sitting across from our future partner on a first date—but parenting is nothing if not a wild ride. And the same is definitely true for breastfeeding!

Rarely is a woman more concerned with what her body needs than when she's pregnant. We start to question and research everything, right? From swearing off turkey sandwiches to diving down the rabbit hole of prenatal supplements that make up what we lack, the stress of overthinking is real, mama.

One of the main reasons we launched the Motherly Shop is to help take some of that stress away. We've tracked down the best brands and products developed by people (and in many cases, women!) that truly work to serve the needs of real mamas, especially throughout the overwhelming transition into motherhood.

That's why we knew we had to introduce mamas-to-be to the science-backed and expertly-formulated protein collagen for pregnancy from Needed. And as one of our bestsellers, it's clear you've been looking for it, too.

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9 products that will help baby sleep better (and longer!)

For many parents, attempting naps and bedtime can seem like a never-ending cycle of rocking, shushing and hoping for some kind of magic sleep solution.

How do I get my baby to sleep? This is one of the most commonly asked questions among new parents, and it makes sense, given that babies are born with their days and nights mixed up. For many parents, attempting naps and bedtime can seem like a never-ending cycle of rocking, shushing and hoping for some kind of magic sleep solution.

And while that might not exist (yet), we have found some of the best products out there that can help baby fall asleep faster and for longer durations. Because when baby is sleeping, so are you!

Dreamland Baby weighted sleep sack and swaddle

Designed by a mama, parents swear by this weighted sleep sack. It mimics your hug to give your baby security and comfort that helps them get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer. The detachable swaddle wing makes it easy to transition as they grow.

It's also super easy to get on and off, and includes a bottom-up zipper for late night changes, so you don't have to wake your baby in the process.

$79

Yogasleep Hushh portable sound machine

Yogasleep hushh sound machine

With three soothing options, this is a perfect solution to help your baby settle when naps are on the go and during travel! I love how compact this noise machine is and that it can run all night with one charge.

$30

Bebe au Lait muslin crib sheets

Burt's Bees Organic Crib Sheets

With a variety of print options to choose from, these breathable sheets are *so* soft and smooth, even through multiple washes. The luxury fabric keeps little ones warm without overheating—a formula that helps ensure more sleep for everyone.

$32

The Simple Folk perfect pajamas

The Simple Folk perfect pajamas

You know what's going to help baby have their best sleep ever? Some quality, super soft pajamas. The timeless (and aptly named!) Perfect Pajama from The Simple Folk are some of our favorites. They last forever and they're made from organic pima cotton that is safe on baby's precious skin. They come in a wide range of sizes so siblings can match and feature fold-over hand covers on sizes up to 12 months.

$37

The Snoo bassinet

Snoo

Designed by expert pediatrician and sleep guru Dr. Harvey Karp, the Snoo bassinet gently rocks your baby to sleep while snuggled up in the built-in swaddle. Not only does it come with sensors that adjust the white noise and movement based on your baby's needs, there is also an app that allows you to adjust the settings directly from your phone.

While this item is a bit on the expensive side, there is now an option to rent for $3.50 a day, which is a total game changer!

$1295

Hatch Baby Rest sound machine + nightlight

best baby sound machine

The Hatch Baby Rest is a dual sound machine and nightlight that will grow with your family. Many parents use this product with their infants as a white-noise machine and then as a "time to rise" solution for toddlers.

The thing I love most about this product is that the light it gives off isn't too bright, and you can even select different color preferences; giving your toddler choices at bedtime.

$59.99

Crane humidifier

Crane Humidifier

The only thing worse than a sick baby is a baby who is sick and not sleeping well. The Crane humidifier helps take care of this by relieving congestion and helping your baby breathe better while sleeping.

Personally, I think the adorable design options alone are enough of a reason to purchase this product, and your child will love watching steam come out of the elephant's trunk!

$46.99

Naturepedic organic crib mattress

Naturpedic Lightweight Organic Mattress

In the first few months of life, babies can spend up to 17 hours a day sleeping, so choosing a mattress that is safe (read: no chemicals!) and comfortable is incredibly important.

Naturepedic uses allergen-friendly and waterproof materials with babies and children in mind, making them easy to clean and giving you peace of mind.

$259.00

Happiest Baby sleepea 5-second swaddle

best baby swaddle

There are baby swaddles and then there is Sleepea. Similar to the brand's swaddle that is built into the Snoo, the Sleepea is magic for multiple reasons. First, it's got mesh panels ensuring baby never overheats. Second, the zipper zips from the top or the bottom, so you can change the baby's diaper in the middle of the night without ever waking them. Third, it's hip safe. Fourth, the patterns are SO cute. And fifth, the interior swaddle wrap that keeps baby's ams down has a "quiet" velcro that won't wake baby if you need to readjust while they're asleep.

$27.95

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

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10 photos to take on baby’s first day that you'll cherish forever

You'll obsess over these newborn baby pictures.

Bethany Menzel: Instagram + Blog

As you're preparing for baby's birth, we bet you're dreaming of all of the amazing photos you'll take of your precious new babe. As a professional photographer and mama, I have some tips for newborn photos you'll want to capture.

Here are the 10 photos you will want to take on baby's first day.

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