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Abby Frame is standing in her kitchen, her countertops lined with yellow-lidded glass milk bottles and small rectangular plastic bags. A spiral bound notebook on the counter is filled with notes and measurements, every ounce of precious breastmilk accounted for.


As Frame pours milk from bottles to bags, her husband, Chris, stands over by the stove, packing the smaller plastic bags into larger ones. This careful storing of Frame’s breast milk isn’t for the benefit of their own children, 2-year-old Deacon and 5-month old Lydia, but for other babies, some they know and many more they will never meet.

“I truly feel that everyone has a way to make a difference in this world. And I think this is my thing,” Frame tells Motherly.

Our glimpse into her kitchen and her life came days after Frame, a photographer by trade, posted a self-portrait that quickly spread through Facebook breastfeeding groups.

In the photo, Frame sits on the floor breastfeeding Lydia, surrounded by an impressive circle of frozen, packaged breastmilk. When she uploaded the image she captioned it with a letter to the babies who will benefit from the milk she donates to Tiny Treasures Milk Bank.

There the milk is used by a company called Prolacta Bioscience to make standardized donor milk and human milk nutritional products for babies in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs). The American Academy of Pediatrics supports using human milk from donors for preterm babies only when it is screened, pasteurized and distributed through established donor milk banks like Tiny Treasures.

“Dear NICU babe,

I don't know your story. I don't know who you are. And perhaps I never will. But maybe, just maybe, you'll do great things in your life. All you need is a fighting chance, right? So you fight little one. You give it all you've got. Whatever you're going through, fight.

And to your Mama, lord. I can't imagine what she's going through either. But her baby is having a hard time and y'all both need a little help. And if my milk can help in any way then it is my greatest pleasure. The 700 hours I have spent pumping and cleaning and packaging this up for you is all worth it.

So take it. Fight. And grow up to be amazing! I believe in you.

Love,

Donor Number: 0000060340

So grateful that God has called me to do this. I am so so blessed. We’re going on 8,000 ounces to be donated! I’m so proud of each ounce. It is SO much work. All of it is worth it.”

Frame tells Motherly the application process to become a donor was very vigorous and even felt tedious at times. “You have to get your doctor’s clearance and your pediatrician’s clearance. You have to send them your DNA and you have to have blood work done. Since it’s going to such delicate babies there are strict requirements and restrictions on what you can eat and drink and what medications you can take,” she says.

The company pays to ship coolers full of Frame’s breastmilk to the milk bank, and she receives one dollar per ounce for her “pump, pump parts, bags, milk and time.”

Flipping through her spiral notebook, Frame shows Motherly how she differentiates between the milk she pumps for the bank and the milk she gives straight to three other families in nearby Milledgeville, Georgia.

“So the gallons that I have written down, that I’ve donated, those are just what I’ve donated to families,” she says as she flips a page and runs her finger over line after line of dates and measurements. “The ounces, that’s what I’ve given to Tiny Treasures.”

Frame doesn’t accept compensation for the gallons of breast milk she’s given directly to other families, but says the grateful parents often offer to replace her Lansinoh bags and have also given her a priceless gift. “I have formed quite a relationship with them, too,” she says. “I love watching their babies grow and flourish.”

Since her self-portrait has spread through social media, Frame has heard from many more families who are looking for donor milk. While she regrets that she won’t be able to help them all, she hopes her post might encourage other breastfeeding moms to donate their extra supply to babies in need.

Standing in her kitchen labeling Lansinoh bags, Frame tells Motherly she distinctly remembers the day she decided to donate her milk. “I had so much milk and I didn’t know what to do with it,” she recalls, explaining how she went to bed that night and had a nightmare in which Lydia was “born really sick” and Frame wasn’t able to produce milk for her.

“And [in the dream] I was searching for milk for her to survive. I couldn’t find anyone willing to donate. When I woke up I realized that that nightmare was some people’s reality. And if I could give them that milk, it could give them a little bit of relief. It could be one less thing for them to worry about.”

When we think of NICU heroes, the mind conjures images of medical professionals in lab coats and scrubs but Frame’s story paints a different picture: A t-shirt clad mom standing in her kitchen, looking at her own babies and hoping the milk she’s painstakingly preparing helps other babies get home, too.

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Usually when celebrities post swimsuit photos on Instagram they don't exactly look like your average beach-going mom, but former Bachelorette (and mom of two) Ali Fedotowsky posted a series of bikini photos on Monday that are both beautiful and relatable.

"This might be my most vulnerable post on Instagram ever," she wrote in the caption for the photos which show a postpartum belly that looks like a real postpartum belly.

"At the end of the day, I know it's important to be open and honest about my postpartum body in hopes that it helps even one person out there who is struggling with their own body image," Fedotowsky (who just gave birth to her second child in May) wrote.

In the first photo of the series she's wearing a sarong around her stomach, but in the second and third photos Fedotowsky reveals the kind of stomach many mamas sport: It's not perfectly taut, she's not showing off any abs, but it is definity beautiful.

"If you swipe to see the second photo in this post, you see that my body has changed. My skin around my stomach is very loose and stretched out, I'm 15lbs heavier than I used to be, and my cup size has grown quite significantly," Fedotowsky writes.

The photos are a sponsored post for Lilly and Lime Swimwear (a line made for women with larger busts) but that doesn't mean it wasn't brave. In fact, the fact that it's an ad makes it even more amazing because research shows that when advertising only shows us bodies that don't look like our own, women become "generally more dissatisfied with their body and appearance".

Ali Fedotowsky

On her blog Fedotowsky notes that a lot of comments on her previous Instagram posts have been followers remarking how slim she looks, or how much they wish they looked like she does postpartum. By dropping that sarong and showing her tummy Fedotowsky is showing other mothers that there is nothing wrong with their own.

"While I appreciate the positive comments, you guys are always so good to me, I keep trying to explain that I'm just good at picking out clothes that flatter my body and hide my tummy," she wrote on her blog.

"I bounced back pretty quickly after I gave birth to Molly. But things are different this time and I'm OK with that. I'm learning to love my body and embrace how it's changed. I hope I get back to my pre-pregnancy shape one day, but that may never happen. And if it doesn't, that's OK."

Ali Fedotowsky

It is okay, because our bodies are more than our swimsuit selfies. They the vessels that carry us through life and carry our children and provide a safe, warm place for those children feel love.

Loose skin is a beautiful thing.


Thanks for keeping it real, Ali.

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Amazon shoppers were anxiously awaiting the countdown to Amazon Prime Day, but when the clock struck one, er three, the website went down.

On Monday afternoon shoppers were trying to get their hands on the much-hyped Prime Day deals but instead of low prices, many users just saw 404 errors, continuously refreshing pages, or had issues keeping or adding items to their shopping carts.

CNBC reports shares of Amazon were down during the shopping glitch, and many shoppers took to Twitter and Instagram to discuss how all they could see on Amazon were the dogs who decorate the site's 404 pages.

As cute as the dogs are, shoppers are getting tired of seeing them, so hopefully Amazon gets things back up and running soon. Analysts had projected Amazon would rake in $3 billion dollars this Prime Day. Time will tell how much of that was lost during the great dog picture debacle of 2018.

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When we were kids, family photos shoots typically captured posed moments in a Sears portrait studio, but these days, professional photographers often encourage candid shoots with a more casual vibe.

Casual is hardly the first word that comes to mind when we think of the royal family, but newly released photos from little Prince Louis' recent christening prove why impromptu shots are so popular. Yes, there's still a time for a sit-down, studio-lit family portrait, but it's those fleeting moments of realness that mamas will really want to look back on some day.

Let's take a look at pics from the little Prince's big day.

The extended family sit-down shoot

It's a gorgeous posed photo (and it certainly captures Prince George's adorable smile) but this group pic still feels pretty stiff, even for the royals.

The smaller family photo

This one's a bit more natural, with Prince George flashing an even wider grin and little Princess Charlotte staring at the guest of honor (who appears to be napping) rather than the camera. Both Duchesses look stunning, as they do in all the photos.

Just the Cambridges

A similar pose to last year's Christmas card, this stand up shot of the family of five looks like it was captured just in time. Prince George may be preparing to bold, and Princess Charlotte is about to be lost behind her brother's christening gown.

Mother and son

A stunning outdoor shot, this pic shows little Prince Louis with his bright eyes wide open and his mama staring down at him. Definitely one for Kate to frame for the nursery.

A happy baby boy

That face! This beautiful shot of Prince Louis proves that candid shots can accomplish what posed, portrait studio pics often fail to: Those special, fleeting, moments when our children really show their personality.

Prince Louis, you Sir, are adorable.

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Jennifer Garner is always teaching us great lessons. Like, why we should have a "Yes Day" with our kids or how to make the perfect pizza dough. And this weekend, she offered another really sensible lesson on privacy and respect.

During an interview on CBS' "Sunday Morning", Garner talked about how the constant scrutiny and discussion of her divorce from Ben Affleck (who she shares her three children, Violet, 12, Seraphina, 9, and 6-year-old Samuel with) has been challenging. "I really feel the stress of it. I really, I could cry talking about it," she said during the interview.

We're used to seeing Garner smiling at us from movie sets and Instagram, but as positive as she is, constant divorce talk took its toll on her.

"Everyone says, 'Oh, you've had to go through this in public.' The public isn't what's hard; what's hard is going through it," she explains.

Of course, Garner and Affleck's divorce was scrutinized more than most due to their professions, but many mothers can relate to the stress of a separation. And whether you or your partner's private actions are being scrutinized by a small group of friends and family or by millions of followers, it hurts and can come as a bit of a shock.

"Divorce is a surprisingly public event," author Beth Joselow wrote in her book, Life Lessons: 50 Things I Learned From My Divorce.

According to Divorce Magazine, Joselow was divorced in the early 1990s, but her advice seems even more apt in the age of Instagram and Facebook. "You may find that people who wouldn't ordinarily comment on the private matters in your life suddenly feel duty-bound to tell you what they think of your decision, when, of course, you hadn't asked," she wrote.

Garner says that the overwhelming number of unsolicited opinions on her divorce taught her a lesson.

"What I think I've learned is that the scrutiny in your private life puts a pressure to make something happen," Garner says. "You feel a pressure to hurry up and get married, 'cause you think that'll end the 'Are they engaged? Are they not?'"

Garner felt pressured to get married because the press was constantly asking if she was planning to, but much less famous folks may feel this same kind of pressure from their families, friends or social circles.

"Marrying because you 'should' almost always comes back to haunt you in the end," Susan Pease Gadoua, L.C.S.W., co-author The New I Do, Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels writes for Psychology Today.

"I spoke with a woman recently who described the terrible ambivalence she had before tying the knot...Her gut told her not to go through with it but all pressure from her own head, her friends and family (and society) won out. She's now, nine years and two kids later, entering divorce proceedings."

We have to listen ourselves when it comes to starting a marriage or ending one. Garner's gut told her when it was time to not be married to Affleck anymore, and she's still able to have a successful co-parenting relationship with her children's father, as she proved with her public note to him on Father's Day.

In the end, when (and if) we choose to get married and when (and if) we choose to get divorced are personal decisions. And understanding when not to offer opinions is another great lesson from Garner.

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