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Why this mama declared her hospital room a 'No Breastfeeding Zone'

Breasts and breast milk don't define motherhood. Love does, and Koziel has plenty to give.

Why this mama declared her hospital room a 'No Breastfeeding Zone'

When Meghan Koziel packed for the maternity ward, the mama-to-be brought along a banner to hang over her bed. It didn't say "It's a girl," but it was pink—the color of breast cancer awareness—and it was created to raise awareness among hospital staff who might otherwise question why she wasn't breastfeeding her new baby.

"No Breastfeeding Zone," the sign read. "Our miracle baby will be formula fed, and it will not affect her future ahead."

At 26 years old Koziel was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had to make some tough decisions at an age when many women are considering motherhood. She had a double mastectomy, and preserved her future fertility through egg retrieval. She went through all that—losing her hair, her breasts and the challenges of reconstruction—and then got pregnant with her little girl. On September 15, 2018, she welcomed her daughter into the world and hung up her banner, with a sense of humor.

"Attention please, attention please," she captioned the post. "We do indeed have a mommy-to-be who had breast cancer and a mastectomy which means, without boobs in the houseeeee!"

The sign went viral, and fellow mamas and experts have remarked on what a great idea it was.

"It's such a clear but gentle way of asserting her needs while she's receiving medical care," Kristen Carpenter, director of women's behavioral health at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, told Yahoo Lifestyle. "She knows herself well enough to know that she doesn't want to be asked about this over and over again."

Koziel hung the banner as a light-hearted way to prevent unwanted conversations with hospital staff, but her social media presence has been sparking more serious conversations about cancer, motherhood and hope.

"If we went back in time and you told me three years ago...the day I was diagnosed that I'd have this precious angel now... I would have laughed in your face," Koziel writes, adding that she recognizes that not every cancer survivor's fertility journey is the same. While some women, like herself, may go on to carry a baby after cancer, that might not happen for others, but it doesn't mean they can't be mothers.

"From IVF, surrogacy, adoption, to foster care... there is ALWAYS a way to become a mom!" she writes.

Koziel's portraits of the early days of motherhood may look different from most. Her breasts are smooth and scarred, with no nipple for breastfeeding. But breasts and breast milk don't define motherhood. Love does, and Koziel has plenty to give.

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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.

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.

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