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World Breastfeeding Week: 5 mamas who went viral for feeding their babies in 2018

For mamas who do it every day (and all day, in some cases) every week is breastfeeding week, but the rest of the world needs an annual reminder that breastfeeding is a normal way for babies to get the nutrition and antibodies their little bodies need.

That's why the first week in August marks World Breastfeeding Week, an official time to celebrate, recognize and promote breastfeeding and encourage society, governments and individuals to support nursing mothers.

Over the last year breastfeeding has been a frequently trending topic in our news feeds. The lack of supports for breastfeeding mothers, low breastfeeding rates and political debates are important factors in the state of breastfeeding in 2018, but we can't forget the stories of individual breastfeeders who are making a positive impact in the world by simply feeding their babies.

Let's look back at five women who made the news for normalizing breastfeeding in recent months.

1. Gubernatorial candidate Kelda Roys

Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Kelda Roys had one of the greatest political campaign videos of 2018, one that proved that breastfeeding mothers have a place in politics.

Back in March, Roys told Motherly the moment was unplanned. She was shooting her campaign commercial and her baby got hungry. It was pretty much a simple as that.

"Anybody who has a baby knows that you can't really script what they're gonna do," Roys told Motherly. "I was right in the middle of an interview, telling the story, and the baby started fussing," she recalled. "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."

The cameras kept rolling and when it came time to edit the video, she made the decision to include the footage because breastfeeding is a normal part of her life. The resulting commercial ended up going viral and isn't just an ad for her candidacy, but also for the idea that motherhood and political office are not mutually exclusive.

2. Gap model Adaora Akubilo

Model Adaora Akubilo and her son Arinze made headlines this year when a nursing moment became the highlight of Gap's Love by GapBody campaign.

As Akubilo told the Chicago Tribune, the image came about in the same organic was as Roys video did: Arzine needed to nurse in the middle of his mama's shoot. "I'm so comfortable just nursing my son anywhere," Akubilo told the Tribune. "If my son needs to nurse, I'm going to nurse him."

The beautiful photo attracted a ton of attention and no doubt helped more people become more comfortable with breastfeeding. Representation matters, and when major brands like the Gap understand that breastfeeding is normal, the trickle down effect is powerful.

3. Pumping mama Nicole Phelps

A couple months after Akubilo showed the world how easy it is to breastfeed in a Gap sleep shirt, celebrity mama Nicole Phelps showed the world how easy it can be to pump in an outfit that's a lot more formal. Accessorizing her evening gown with a Willow breast pump, Phelps proved that pumping is part of the breastfeeding experience for many mamas, and it shouldn't be stigmatized, either.

"I want it to be known women don't have to hide in a bathroom to take a moment to provide our babies with food. We should be able to, without judgment nurse/pump (easier with a wireless pump) anywhere we're comfortable," she wrote in an Instagram post, adding that it can be physically difficult for moms to pump when they feel they have to hide to do it.

We shouldn't have to miss out on life's important moments so that we can provide our babies with the milk they need.

4. Target shopper Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba is a movie star and a successful business woman, but earlier this year she was also another tired mama taking a breastfeeding break in a Target fitting room. The private moment made headlines after she shared it on social media, and Alba also recently shared with Motherly that several months after this snap, she is no longer breastfeeding. Like so many mamas, she first started supplementing with formula before weaning completely.

"I felt like he wanted to nurse 24/7, which was obviously really challenging when you're trying to go back to work," Alba told Motherly. "Also my milk supply was challenged with him."

These are challenges that so many breastfeeding mothers face, and as we celebrate World Breastfeeding Week it's important to remember that it isn't always easy, and that infant feeding doesn't have to be an all or nothing venture. You can breastfeed and bottle-feed if you need to, mama. Fed is best. Alba proves there is no shame in that.

5. Swimsuit model Mara Martin

When model Mara Martin hit the runway in the 2018 Sports Illustrated Swim Search show, she brought along a special guest. Her her 5-month-old daughter Aria accompanied Martin down the runway so that she could keep breastfeeding, and the moment went viral.

"It is truly so humbling and unreal to say the least," Martin wrote in an Instagram post after she woke up to see her name in headlines around the world. "I'm so grateful to be able to share this message and hopefully normalize breastfeeding and also show others that women CAN DO IT ALL! But to be honest, the real reason I can't believe it is a headline is because it shouldn't be a headline!!! My story of being a mother and feeding her while walking is just that."

Yes. Moms can wear bathing suits and breastfeed a baby. It's not shocking news, but in a world where women are still being asked to leave swimming pools for breastfeeding their children, a very public combination of swimsuit wearing and nursing is something to celebrate.

Here's to all the mamas who made headlines for breastfeeding in 2018. If World Breastfeeding Week does what the World Health Organization intends, one day feeding our babies won't be notable. It'll just be as normal as it already feels to all the mamas who are doing it.

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Anyone who has had a baby with colic knows: It's not easy. But despite how common colic is, the causes have stumped researchers (and parents) for generations. Yet, the fact remains that some 5 to 19% of newborns suffer from colic, or excessive but largely inexplicable crying spurts.

Parents of colicky newborns are often eager for something, anything, that will give their baby comfort. The good news is that while we don't have complete confirmation on what causes colic, we do have generations worth of evidence on how to best manage and treat colic.

1. Use bottles with an anti-colic internal vent system that creates a natural flow

One of the most commonly cited culprits in causing colic is tummy discomfort from air bubbles taken in while bottle-feeding—which is proof that not all bottles are created equally. Designed with an anti-colic internal vent system that keeps air away from baby's milk during feeding, Dr. Brown's® bottles are clinically proven to reduce colic and are the #1 pediatrician recommended baby bottle in the US

Distractions and a supine position while feeding can cause your baby to take in additional air, leading to those bubbles that can bother their tummies. If you notice an uptick in crying after feeding, experiment with giving your baby milk in a more upright position and then keeping them upright for a while afterwards for burping and digestion.

2. Offer a pacifier

If your baby is calm while eating, it may be that they are actually calmed by the ability to suck on something—a common instinct among newborns. Offering a pacifier not only can help soothe colicky babies, but is also proven to reduce the rate of SIDS in newborns, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Some babies have strong opinions about their pacifiers, which is why staying with the Dr. Brown's brand can help you avoid the guessing game: Designed to mimic the shape of the bottle nipples, Dr. Brown's HappyPaci pacifier makes for easy (read: calming) transitions from bottle to pacifier.

3. Practice babywearing

Beyond tummy troubles, another leading theory is that colic is the result of newborns' immature nervous systems and the overstimulation of life outside the womb. By keeping them close to you through babywearing, you are helping ease their transition to the outside world as they come to terms with their new environment.

During pregnancy, they were also used to lots of motion throughout the day. By walking (even around the house) while babywearing, you can help give them that familiar movement they may crave.

4. Get some fresh air

Along with the motion from walking around, studies show that colicky babies may benefit simply from being outside. This is one thing for parents of spring and summer newborns. But for those who are battling colic during cold, dark months, it can help to take your stroller into the mall for some laps.

5. Swaddle to calm their nervous system

Unlike the warm, cozy confinement of the womb, the outside world babies are contending with during the fourth trimester can be overwhelming—especially after a full day of sensory stimulation. As a result, many parents report their baby's colic is worse at night, which is why a tight, comforting swaddle can help soothe them to sleep.

For many parents coping with a colicky baby, it's simply a process of experimenting about what can best provide relief. Thankfully, it doesn't have to be as much of a guessing game now, due to products like those in the Dr. Brown's line that are specifically tailored to helping babies with colic.

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

If you use U by Kotex tampons, you should check your box before your next period, mama.

Regular absorbency U by Kotex Sleek Tampons are being recalled throughout the U.S. and Canada. According to the FDA, defective tampons have been coming apart when people tried to remove them, "in some cases causing users to seek medical attention to remove tampon pieces left in the body."

The FDA notes that there have also been a "small number of reports of infections, vaginal irritation, localized vaginal injury, and other symptoms."

In a statement on its website, U by Kotex explains that the recall is specific to the U by Kotex Sleek Tampons, Regular Absorbency only. The Super Absorbency or Super Plus Absorbency tampons are not part of the recall.

The recall is for specific lots of the Regular Absorbency tampons manufactured between October 7, 2016 and October 16, 2018.

The lot numbers start with NN (or XM, for small, 3 count packages) and can be found near the barcode on the bottom of the box.

To check if your tampons are part of the recall, type your lot number into this form on the U by Kotex site.


The FDA says if you've used the tampons and are experiencing the following you should seek immediate medical attention:

  • vaginal injury (pain, bleeding, or discomfort)
  • vaginal irritation (itching or swelling)
  • urogenital infections (bladder and/or vaginal bacterial and/or yeast infections)
  • hot flashes
  • abdominal pain
  • nausea or vomiting

If you have a package of the recalled tampons you should not use them and should call Kotex's parent company, Kimberly-Clark at 1-888-255-3499. On its website U by Kotex asks consumers not to return the tampons to stores.

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We make a lot of things this time of year. Gingerbread houses. Christmas cards. New traditions. Babies.

Yes, December is peak baby making season. It's a month filled with togetherness and all the love felt in December is what makes September the most statistically popular month for American birthdays.

According to data journalist Matt Stiles, mid-September is the most popular time to give birth in America. He did a deep dive into the birth stats from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics and the U.S. Social Security Administration collected between 1994 and 2014 and found that the most common American birthdays fall on September 9, 19 and 12. In fact, 9 of the 10 most popular days to give birth fall in September.

If we turn the calendar back, we're looking at Christmas time conceptions. Stiles illustrated his findings via a heat map, which presents the data in a visual form. The darker the square, the more common the birthday.

The square for August 30 is pretty dark as it is the 34th most common birthday in America. It's also 40 weeks after November 23, and the unofficial beginning of the United States' seasonal baby boom.


And while the Christmas holidays are common times to conceive, they're not common days to give birth, for obvious reasons. Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Day and the fourth of July are all represented by light squares on Stiles's data map, meaning they're among the least popular days to welcome a little one into the world (Boxing Day is just a smidge darker, still a pretty rare birthday).

OB-GYNs are not likely to schedule C-sections on major holidays, so that might point to the low birth rates on these special days.

As for the September baby boom, it probably has less to do with the magic of the holiday season and more to do with the fact that many Americans take time off work during the holiday season. It's not that mistletoe is some magic aphrodisiac, but just that making babies takes time, and at this time of year we have some to spare.

This Christmas be thankful for the time you have with your loved ones and your partner. That time could give you a gift come September.

[A version of this article was originally posted November 21, 2018]

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It's a conundrum many parents wrestle with: We don't want to lie to our kids, but when it comes to Santa, sometimes we're not exactly giving them the full truth either.

For Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, lying to daughters Lincoln, 5, and Delta, 3 just isn't an option, so everyone in the Bell-Shepard household knows the truth about Santa.

"This is going to be very controversial," Shepard told Us Weekly earlier this month. "I have a fundamental rule that I will never lie to them, which is challenging at times. Our 5-year-old started asking questions like, 'Well, this doesn't make sense, and that doesn't make sense.' I'm like, 'You know what? This is just a fun thing we pretend while it's Christmas.'"

According to Shepard, this has not diminished the magic of Christmas in their home. "They love watching movies about Santa, they love talking about Santa," Shepard told Us. "They don't think he exists, but they're super happy and everything's fine."

Research indicates that Shepard is right—kids can be totally happy and into Christmas even after figuring out the truth and that most kids do start to untangle the Santa myth on their own, as Lincoln did.

Studies suggest that for many kids, the myth fades around age seven, but for some kids, it's sooner, and that's okay.


Writing for The Conversation, Kristen Dunfield, an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Concordia University, suggests that when kids come to parents with the hard questions about Santa, parents may feel a bit sad, but can take some comfort in "recognizing these challenging questions for what they are—cognitive development in action."

Kids aren't usually the ones who are upset when they figure it out, researchers note. Typically, kids are kind of proud of themselves for being such great detectives. It's the parents who feel sadness.

Some parents may not choose to be as blunt as Shepard, and that's okay, too. According to Dunfield, if you don't want to answer questions about Santa with 100% truth, you can answer a question with a question.

"If instead you want to let your child take the lead, you can simply direct the question back to them, allowing your child to come up with explanations for themselves: "I don't know, how do you think the sleigh flies?" Dunfield writes.

While Dax Shepard acknowledges that telling a 3-year-old that Santa is pretend might be controversial, he's hardly the first parent to present Santa this way. There are plenty of healthy, happy adults whose parents told them the truth.

LeAnne Shepard is one of them. Now a mother herself, LeAnne's parents clued her into the Santa myth early, for religious reasons that were common in her community.

"In the small Texas town where I grew up, I wasn't alone in my disbelief. Many parents, including mine, presented Santa Claus as a game that other families played," she previously wrote. "That approach allowed us to get a picture on Santa's lap, watch the Christmas classics, and enjoy all the holiday festivities so long as we remembered the actual reason for the season. It was much like when I visited Disney World and met Minnie Mouse; I was both over the moon excited and somewhat aware that she was not actually real."

No matter why you want to tell your children the truth about Santa, know that it's okay to let the kids know that he's pretend. Kristen Bell's kids prove that knowing the truth about Santa doesn't have to make Christmas any less exciting. Pretending can be magical, too.

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Breakfast is often said to be the most important meal of the day, but in many households, it's also the most hectic. Many parents rely on pre-prepared items to cut down on breakfast prep time, and if Jimmy Dean Heat 'n Serve Original Sausage Links are a breakfast hack in your home, you should check your bag.

More than 14 tons of the frozen sausage links are being recalled after consumers found bits of metal in their meat.

The United States Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced the recall of 23.4-oz. pouches of Jimmy Dean HEAT 'n SERVE Original SAUSAGE LINKS Made with Pork & Turkey with a 'Use By' date of January 31, 2019.

"The product bears case code A6382168, with a time stamp range of 11:58 through 01:49," the FSIS notes.

In a statement posted on its website, Jimmy Dean says "a few consumers contacted the company to say they had found small, string-like fragments of metal in the product. Though the fragments have been found in a very limited number of packages, out of an abundance of caution, CTI is recalling 29,028 pounds of product. Jimmy Dean is closely monitoring this recall and working with CTI to assure proper coordination with the USDA. No injuries have been reported with this recall."

Consumers should check their packages for "the establishment code M19085 or P19085, a 'use by' date of January 31, 2019 and a UPC number of '0-77900-36519-5'," the company says.

According to the FSIS, there have been five consumer complaints of metal pieces in the sausage links, and recalled packages should be thrown away.

If you purchased the recalled sausages and have questions you can call the Jimmy Dean customer service line at (855) 382-3101.

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