Menu
What went viral this week: Mom donates a whole Payless store + a miracle baby born 4 months early

It's time for the weekend and that means it is time to round up the viral stories that have warmed Team Motherly's hearts this week.

We've got some feel-good viral stories you may have missed over the last seven days. Take a look (and grab some tissues), mama.

Kindness in action: One mama's novel way to make sure every kid has back-to-school shoes

Mom and lawyer Carrie Jernigan of Arkansas recently went to one of the Payless shoe stores currently going out of business with the intention of scoring a couple of pairs of shoes for her own kids. But when her daughter asked if they could also pick up a pair of heavily discounted shoes for a classmate of hers who needed a new pair, Jenigan had a lightbulb moment.

"As I was checking out I just said, 'How much for the rest of the shoes in the store?' almost joking and I could see the clerks, her face, her wheels start to turn and she finished checking me out. She said, 'Can I have your number?'" she told 5 News.

Later that day the store manager called her, and soon she ended up with hundreds of pairs of shoes for kids (and adults) in her community who need them.

The story went viral and has turned into something she couldn't even imagine.

"It's turned into this huge school back to school bash for our community," she told Good Morning America. There's going to be a major event at the local middle school and others have joined Jernigan to donate backpacks and school supplies.

Mamas paying forward: This mom received the sweetest note from a stranger in the drive-thru 

As the New York Post reports, mom Heidi Goforth stopped at the McDonald's drive-thru for a couple of breakfast burritos when she got the sweetest surprise from a fellow mama.

When they pulled through to pay they discovered the vehicle in front had bought them breakfast and left them a sweet note on the receipt: "My son is in the airforce. I can't buy him breakfast so I bought yours. Have a blessed day."

"I just had this happen to me. It touched my heart sooo much!" Goforth wrote on Facebook. "I was buying breakfast for my son at McDonald's and the sweet lady in front of me in the drive-thru paid for my meal.

"I pray that you see your son soon," she wrote to the anonymous note writer. "He's lucky to have a mom that loves him so much! God bless you and him! Tell him thank you for his service."

This mom gave birth 4 months early + her miracle preemie is going viral

Ellonn Smartt from Des Moines, Iowa was supposed to be due in November, but her baby is already here. As ABC News reports, when Smart went into labor at just 23 weeks pregnant the 25-year-old mama was understandably scared.

"I started bawling my eyes out," she told ABC News. "I had dreamt of a perfect pregnancy and I thought everything was going great. All my appointments were fine, I was healthy, I ate right."

But her son, Jaden, was coming four months too early. Smartt needed an emergency C-section, and when her son was born he shocked his mom and the medical team by trying to do something pretty impressive for a baby so tiny (just 13 ounces). He was trying to breathe on his own.

"[The doctors] just were shocked that something so little was trying to do stuff on his own and breathe," Smartt said.

The tiny baby has been moved to the NICU at Blank Children's Hospital, and Smartt and her partner Jordan are hoping to take him home around the time of his original due date, November.

"[The doctors] are kind of going day by day. They're pretty much saying he looks really great," Smartt says.

Hang in there Jaden, you can do it!

You might also like:

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.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's electric pump

For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.

$159.99

Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Dr. Brown''s hands free pumping bra

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!

$29.99

Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

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.

$29.99

Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

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. 🙌

$9.99

Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

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.

$14.99

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.

$24.99

Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

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.

$8.99

Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

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.

$7.99


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.

Our Partners

There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

Comforts fruit snacks

If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

comforts nite pants

Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

comforts baby lotion

Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

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?

Keep reading Show less
Life