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The designers and developers at Parent Co. created Notabli, the best way for families to save their kids’ photos, videos, quotes, notes, and audio clips. 

All those moments are automatically organized, making it easy to find them later by kid, date, and location. It’s a beautifully designed experience.

Over the past several months, the Notabli team built an Android app and web app to join the original iOS app, which has been featured by Apple.

The ability to print books from Notabli moments was always an important product goal. However, instead of leaning on a generic, third-party printing plugin, the design team decided to build a solution from scratch.

The result is Automatic Photo Books. They are a new concept in photo printing, designed for the unique needs of parents.

I sat down with Jackson Latka, Jory Raphael, Katrina Weigand, and Alli Berry to learn about the design process behind Automatic Photo Books.

From left: Jory Raphael, Alli Berry, Katrina Weigand, Jackson Latka


Notabli for iOS has been around for a couple of years, but when did the book project kick off?

JACKSON: We’ve known for a long time that books were something that needed to be part of Notabli. But the project started late summer 2015.

It took that long to figure out where books fit in with the current product and making sure that we could do it right from the start.

Why didn’t you just use a plugin or third party printing service for Notabli?

JACKSON: That would’ve taken a lot less time to get going, but it didn’t meet our design standards or aesthetic. Early on we knew we didn’t want to work with third party plugins.

JORY: They were clunky. They forced you into landscape format when the iPhone is primarily portrait-based. Nothing fit the bill for exactly what we wanted.

JACKSON: We spent so much time crafting the face of Notabli that it felt like a regression to add a third party interface. So we built it from the ground up as a Notabli-specific feature. We wanted complete control over the interface and how the experience happens.

How did you get feedback from users and parents as you started working on this?

ALLI: Our former UX designer Katie McCurdy went out and interviewed parents. I accompanied her a couple of times. As she interviewed people, printed books were something that real-world users kept bringing up.

They were saying “I just need some way to print these out, but I don’t have the time to select and lay them out, and sit down and do it myself.”

JACKSON: As a digital product, Notabli was already providing value. Parents can save photos and videos and other moments of childhood and privately show them to family and friends.

But then it becomes about, “When can I turn my great digital collection into something physical that I can have in my home, that I can share with people so that I don’t always have to bring out another screen to share moments of my kid’s childhood?”

I mean that’s what we all grew up with. Printed photos. That’s what we’re all accustomed to, but we’ve lost a sense of the physicality and tangible nature of these objects.

Some people might be surprised that a successful digital platform is adding a major print element.

ALLI: There’s an argument that print is dead. But I think print now has a different meaning. It makes sense that parents want to print their Notabli moments. They want to hold something and show it off on their shelf. They value those moments enough to own them.

Jackson: Plus, there’s just a utility aspect of books.

What do they look like?

Katrina: Because the content of the books is relatively simple- one photo per page, with a date, location, and caption- we knew we wanted to focus on specific details to make the books feel special.

We knew we wanted to bring in the fun bright Notabli colors. So we gave users the option to select from 6 different colors for the cover, which would be repeated on their bookshelf over time as they print more and more books.

Because Notabli is all about childhood and growing up, the span of photo dates in the book is prominent on the cover and spine.

On the title page, we included the kids’ avatars and their age at the time the photos were taken. The technical ramifications of including ages was a little complicated, but we thought it was important.


Even the paper used in the books seems very specific.

Jory: We had a lot of different printers that we got samples from, and we tested their paper quality, the photo quality, the cover stock, and ultimately came up with the design of solid color washes.

They felt unique but simple and eye-catching. And easy. For example, parents don’t have to choose which photo is going on the cover.

At some point, you decided that one of the most important aspects of the new books would be ease of use vs. customization with frames and stickers and other embellishments. Why?

JORY: Well, because you’re a parent. Parents don’t have time for anything. Every parent we talked to if we were to ask them, “Would you like to print a photo of your kids- a book- of your kids’ photos?”

They say, “Yes.” And we’re like, “Have you done it?” They’re like, “No.”

When we ask “why not?” the response is almost always “I keep meaning to, but I don’t have the time,” or “I started one, but I didn’t finish it.”

We just wanted to save time. Like Jackson said, there are many ways to print photobooks. If people want to do it, they can do it. Let’s just make it easier for them.

JACKSON: How do we add value to that process? Beyond the idea of what the interface looks like or making it look good. I mean, from the user standpoint of actually creating the book, or not creating it, or having us do it automatically.

We had to create something that added value to the experience, as opposed to just being another place that prints books.

JORY: People spend so much time curating their content in Notabli that we wanted to make it super easy for them to get that content back out of Notabli in a printed form.

If you’re spending all, this time, curating the content you’re putting in Notabli, why should you have to then spend a whole lot more time making a book? You’ve already done the hard work; you’ve already put the best stuff here.

Let’s just print it for you and kind of take that stress out of a parent’s life. Make it just that much of a time-saver, that much easier.

“The part that we’re solving is curation.”

JACKSON: That brings up the point of why we wanted Notabli books in the first place.

Every time you add a photo to Notabli, you’re consciously doing so for a specific reason. Over time, that turns into a really great collection. If you’ve already spent time putting it together, then it makes it super simple just to print a book. That’s where we started with the idea of automatic books.

When we came together as a design team to start working on this as a product team, it was important that Notabli photo books were much easier to use than anything out there, looked great, and offered a premium, top-notch experience.

As designers, does it feel different to see something you’ve created in the physical world vs. on a screen?

ALLI: I’d say so. It’s weird because physical products feel more special. You almost feel like you made something that means more because you can hold it in your hands.

JORY: Because they’re permanent.

Jackson: I think what’s interesting about this project is that it spans physical and digital. It’s something that you’re creating in the digital world that needs to be an experience that you’re going through creating this book.

JACKSON: What I think is fascinating about that, though, is this transition that’s taken place over the last decade. You used to consider physical products as permanent. Those were the things you would keep. Digital was throw-away.

It was like, ‘it’s okay if the digital file goes away but I need the box of photos that I have of childhood.’ But now it’s almost flip-flopped in the sense that the digital is the keepsake.

If I spill coffee on my book- luckily, Notabli Books have spill-resistant covers- but if you spill coffee on the book, you can just order another one. You can just easily go back in Notabli, find the book you printed and hit reprint and another one’s shipping out to you.

How did the design team divide up tasks?

JACKSON: Katrina pretty much led books.

KATRINA: My role from the beginning was kind of investigate it in many different ways. This included everything from researching various printing vendors to refining the over-all product description of what we wanted to start with.

Katrina Weigand, Product Design

JORY: Katrina led the whole process and was doing all the initial comps and kind of the wire framing, and user flows for the book process. Like everything we do at Notabli and Parent Co., it’s all very collaborative. Though we have specific roles on projects, we’re always talking about everything. We’re always jumping off of other people’s ideas.

ALLI: It’s kind of funny – no one’s ever like, “Katrina, you’re on books!” or “Jackson!  You’re on the web!”

We all get psyched about one thing. We all know what needs to be done. But at the same time, we have to keep everything else running on Notabli.

We kind of just rotate around and fill in the gaps where they need to be filled. While everyone was gunning really hard for books,  I was assisting, but I was mostly just keeping my eye on everything else:  with Notabli’s Android app, iOS app updates, and QA.

How many developers worked on the books project?

JACKSON: All in all, there were probably six developers working on the product at different times and for different reasons. Collaboration with developers has been one of the most important things, the back and forth between the design team and the development team.

We always seem to do best when we’re both creating a shared vision as opposed to telling one another what to do.

ALLI: The best times working with developers are when we’re working with them side by side on something. You’ll work on a design for something in the morning, and you’ll send it to them.

The next day after they go over it, you’ll be talking about it and probably changing it based on what’s reasonable for them and what other ideas they have.

When you can ping-pong back and forth, that’s the best.

Sara: Do you feel like this product will change the way people interact with the app version of Notabli?

ALLI: That’s something we continually are trying to cope with. Because now it’s like, we make this change in Notabli, how’s that going to affect books? Everything has this epic domino effect. And these things are being printed.

JORY: Yeah, we always want to preserve the intentional aspect of Notabli, so that the photos people upload are ones they’ve intentionally chosen. The best of the best. But, you know, we always want to iterate and improve on that.

Right now, we’re limiting each moment to one photo. That may change in the future. I don’t think we’ll ever let people dump their entire camera all into Notabli. But if you can suddenly upload four photos per moment, how does that look in books?

Right now, we’re a photo per page which is nice. It maps nicely to the Notabli user experience.

But when there are more photos, do we put those on one page? Do we spread them out across pages? It’s an interesting and a fun challenge.

JACKSON: It’s a great question, Sara, because I think the constraint aspect for products, and especially digital products, is really important. It’s fun to work within those constraints to try to create things.  It becomes more meaningful.

Sara: I feel like this is a step in the right direction for teaching people that, you know, sense of curation.

ALLI: The digital archive and the physical archive complement each other. That’s one of the reasons we have the dates on the front of the book.

There’s something so reassuring to about seeing dates on cover of the books. It feels so organized and distilled.

JACKSON: When you talk about what it’s like designing these products, the digital and the physical book product, I think the most gratifying part is seeing how people respond to it.

Notabli has users with thousands of moments. Once those users start a book subscription, seeing 20, 30 books already created for them, and seeing them go in and purchase all of them just to know that they’re getting every moment they’ve ever added in Notabli, you know, like a really nice physical collection, is something that’s really cool to see.

What are you hearing from friends and family who’ve received these as gifts?

JACKSON: Well it’s great because these are out in the wild now. People are already getting these books. It’s exciting and gratifying to hear that people are very happy with their quality.

JORY:  You can create a book for your family. We have a bunch of grandparents using this subscription feature and aggregating all of the moments created for their grandkids, which is awesome to see.

How do you prioritize requests for new features?

JACKSON: To keep a product on track it’s important that we don’t tackle every feature request, as much as we’d like to. I think most of the time, the good news is that they already fall somewhere in line with the road map. Very few are really very far deviations from the direction we’re headed.

Sometimes, we hear something enough that it starts to change our trajectory and starts to modify te road map a little bit. Ultimately, I think we try to stay focused.

JORY: Things come up all the time that are exciting and interesting and new. We will spend a little bit of time kind of thinking through them, maybe even like sketching things out for various features on various products.

I think the ones that we end up shipping and actually creating are the ones that have stood the test of time and that keep coming up. Custom books and printing have been part of Notabli since Day 1.

The need for it has always been there and it’s kind of prioritizing. The trick is like, what comes first? What’s more important? Now that we have Notabli available on all the major platforms, it just makes sense for the next step.

JACKSON: It’s also safe to say that we aren’t always right, so we’re learning as we go and hopefully creating a really appealing product for parents and families.

How did you settle on pricing for Notabli Books?

JACKSON: We’re trying to walk the line between creating something that’s premium yet affordable. I think that was particularly important with subscription products because it’s something that someone has to say, “Yes, I’m going to enable this subscription and I’m going to start receiving these.”

We have to offer a price point that people were excited about while covering our costs for a higher-end product.

Where are these books printed?

JACKSON: The books are printed in the US. We ended up working with a wholesale printer. We started from scratch and built out a technology solution that enables us to work with them.

How much is the shipping for the subscriber or the customer?

JACKSON: Shipping is free for books that automatically print. But in addition to automatically printing or enabling a subscription, you can also print one-off books. For one-off books, the pricing is $4.99 within the US and $8.99 in Canada.

How far are you in the process of custom books?

JORY: We’re close. I think the designs are pretty much wrapped up for custom books, and for the user interface for how we do that. We’re just entering the technical side of it.

ALLI: That’ll be a little different because it’s going to start in the mobile apps first rather than in the web app. Everyone’s on their phones all the time.

Why is design relevant to parents?

JACKSON: In addition to parents being under-represented in the design world, it was one of our theories initially that fathers were under-represented as recipients of or users of kid-focused technology or parent-focused technologies. As part of our design … Really, our design rules. Our internal design rules. What we are trying to do is create a product that is not only appealing to mothers but also equally to fathers, and that you can have a playful, fun design, and it can be appealing to everyone.

Alli Berry, Product Design

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We spend a lot of time prepping for the arrival of a baby. But when it comes to the arrival of our breast milk (and all the massive adjustments that come with it), it's easy to be caught off guard. Stocking up on a few breastfeeding essentials can make the transition to breastfeeding a lot less stressful, which means more time and energy focusing on what's most important: Your recovery and your brand new baby.

Here are the essential breastfeeding tools you'll need, mama:

1. For covering up: A cute nursing cover

First and foremost, please know that all 50 states in the United States have laws that allow women to breastfeed in public. You do not have to cover yourself if you don't want to—and many mamas choose not to—and we are all for it.

That said, if you do anticipate wanting to take a more modest approach to breastfeeding, a nursing cover is a must. You will find an array of styles to choose from, but we love an infinity scarf, like the LK Baby Infinity Nursing Scarf Nursing Cover. You'll be able to wear the nursing cover instead of stuffing it in your already brimming diaper bag—and it's nice to have it right there when the baby is ready to eat.

Also, in the inevitable event that your baby spits-up on you or you leak some milk through your shirt, having a quick and stylish way to cover up is a total #momwin.

2. For getting comfortable: A cozy glider

Having a comfy spot to nurse can make a huge difference. Bonus points if that comfy place totally brings a room together, like the Delta Children Paris Upholstered Glider!

Get your cozy space ready to go, and when your baby is here, you can retreat from the world and just nurse, bond, and love.

3. For unmatched support: A wire-free nursing bra

It may take trying on several brands to find the perfect match, but finding a nursing bra that you love is 100% worth the effort. Your breasts will be changing and working in ways that are hard to imagine. An excellent supportive bra will make this so much more comfortable.

It is crucial to choose a wireless bra for the first weeks of nursing since underwire can increase the risk of clogged ducts (ouch).The Playtex Maternity Shaping Foam Wirefree Nursing Bra is an awesome pick for this reason, and because it is designed to flex and fit your breasts as they go through all those changes.

4. For maximum hydration: A large reusable water bottle

Nothing can prepare you for the intense thirst that hits when breastfeeding. Quench that thirst (and help keep your milk supply up in the process) by always having a water bottle with a straw nearby, like this Exquis Large Outdoor Water Bottle.

5. For feeding convenience: A supportive nursing tank

Experts recommend that during the first weeks of your baby's life, you breastfeed on-demand, meaning that any time your tiny boss demands milk, you feed them. This will help establish your milk supply and get everything off to a good start.

What does this mean for your life? You will be breastfeeding A LOT. Nursing tanks, like the Loving Moments by Leading Lady, make this so much easier. They have built-in support to keep you comfy, and you can totally wear them around the house, or even out and about. When your baby wants to eat, you'll be able to quickly "pop out" a breast and feed them.

6. For pain prevention: A quality nipple ointment

Breastfeeding shouldn't hurt, but the truth is those first days can be uncomfortable. Your nipples will likely feel raw as they adjust to their new job. This will get better! But until it does, nipple ointment is amazing.

My favorite is the Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter. We love that it's organic, and it is oh-so-soothing on your hard-at-work nipples.

Psst: If it actually hurts when your baby latches on, something may be up, so call your provider or a lactation consultant for help.

7. For uncomfortable moments: A dual breast therapy pack

As your breasts adjust to their new role, you may experience a few discomforts—applying warmth or cold can help make them feel so much better. The Lansinoh TheraPearl 3-in-1 Breast Therapy Pack is awesome because you can microwave the pads or put them in the freezer, giving you a lot of options when your breasts need some TLC.

Again, if you have any concerns about something being wrong (pain, a bump that may be red or hot, fever, or anything else), call a professional right away.

8. For inevitable leaks: An absorbing breast pad

In today's episode of, "Oh come on, really?" you are going to leak breastmilk. Now, this is entirely natural and you are certainly not required to do anything about this. Still, many moms choose to wear breast pads in their bras to avoid leaking through to their shirts.

You can go the convenient and disposable route with Lansinoh Disposable Stay Dry Nursing Pads, or for a more environmentally friendly option, you can choose washable pads, like these Organic Bamboo Nursing Breast Pads.

9. For flexibility: A breast pump

Many women find that a breast pump becomes one of their most essential mom-tools. The ability to provide breast milk when you are away from your baby (and relieve uncomfortable engorged breasts) will add so much flexibility into your new-mom life.

For quick trips out and super-easy in-your-bag transport, opt for a manual pump like the Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump .

If you will be away from your baby for longer periods of time (traveling or working outside the home, for example) an electric pump is your most efficient bet. The Medela Pump In Style Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump is a classic go-to that will absolutely get the job done, and then some.

10. For quality storage: Breast milk bags

Once you pump your liquid gold, aka breast milk, you'll need a place to store it. The Kiinde Twist Pouches allow you to pump directly into the bags which means one less step (and way less to clean).

11. For keeping cool: A freezer bag

Transport your pumped milk back home to your baby safely in a cooler like the Mommy Knows Best Breast Milk Baby Bottle Cooler Bag. Remember to put the milk in a fridge or freezer as soon as you can to optimize how long it stays usable for.

12. For continued nourishment: Bottles

Nothing beats the peace of mind you get when you know that your baby is being well-taken of care—and well fed—until you can be together again. The Philips Avent Natural Baby Bottle Newborn Starter Gift Set is a fan favorite (mama and baby fans alike).

This article is sponsored by Walmart. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

This is birth: A surrogacy journey shares the incredible story of how one surrogate came to carry four children for a couple, and how they all became like family to each other in the process.

We had the honor of catching up with surrogate Jessica Pretz to learn more about how this incredible story came to be.

Five years ago, when surrogate Jessica met intended parents Sharon and Lake, she felt an immediate click. "It was like going on a first date and meeting with someone you knew you were supposed to be aligned with. We all just felt that connection."

Jessica had given birth to three of her own children, and had recently finished her first journey as a surrogate, carrying twins for another couple. Jessica agreed to be a gestational carrier for Sharon and Lake.

Throughout that first pregnancy, the intended parents, Jessica and her family all became very close. Jessica, who is currently a Surrogate Coordinator for Circle Surrogacy, clarifies that this is not always the case with surrogacy—this particular connection is unique.

"The relationship I have with Sharon and Lake is quite different than the one I have with my first intended parents. I respect the level of contact and communication that each intended parent desires. Their family was very involved with the pregnancy and wanted to take part in as many appointments as possible, help with fundal height measurements."

Watch their surrogacy journey captured by Jennifer Hamilton of Mamarazzi Photography here:

Sharon and Lake were by Jessica's side throughout the birth of their first child, Campbell, and even "caught'" him when he was born. When they asked if she wanted to carry a sibling for him just moments after Campbell was born, Jessica says she didn't need to hesitate before saying yes.

"There was no doubt in my mind that I would love to carry another for them. They are everything I could ask for in intended parents and they are a joy to go through pregnancy with."

Less than two years later, Jessica gave birth to Sharon and Lake's second child, Sailor, in what Jessica describes as an "amazing, fast water birth."

After carrying two of their children, she initially hesitated to take on another surrogacy journey.

"I knew after the second journey that they had remaining embryos left. I had six pregnancies under my belt at that point, all of which were vaginal and unmedicated births. I had no complications as of yet, and I was fearful of something going wrong. I tossed up the idea of them using another surrogate to carry their remaining two over the course of two more journeys. I only would have done one more pregnancy as I was ready to not be pregnant or pumping breastmilk and spend time focusing on my own family."

But after some discussion and consulting with her family, Sharon and Lake, her birth team and reproductive endocrinologist, they all decided to do one more journey together—and transfer the last two remaining embryos. Both took— and they became pregnant with twins. In their birth film, you can see the emotional moment when the twin pregnancy is confirmed, while Jessica is on the phone with Sharon and Lake from the ultrasound room.

Initial fears aside, Jessica explains how the decision itself was, ultimately, second nature: "Deciding to carry all four of their kids really wasn't a hard decision. I am a big part of their lives and most importantly their kid's stories. It would have been odd for me to not help them complete their family."

Watching the birth film, it is truly powerful to witness the love, support and familial connection between Jessica, Sharon and Lake while their twins are born. In one sweet moment, Sharon is embracing Jessica during labor as they both cry.

Even after the birth of their twins, Sharon, Lake, Jessica and her family have all stayed close—even vacationing together. Jessica says she and Sharon are close friends who talk about parenting, marriage and life in general. "It's really a beautiful connection we share."

On how it feels to be a surrogate, Jessica shares, "The best part of being a surrogate is getting to see a couple become a family and the look on their faces when they first see their baby or babies. It is truly an honor to carry these babies and be entrusted with their care."

As a mother of four children herself, we wanted to know more about how Jessica's family has reacted to her surrogacy journeys. "My family is extremely supportive of my surrogate pregnancies and quite proud of the joy I have been able to bring to others through surrogacy. The intended parents I have carried for have become family to us and my own biological family regularly communicates via social media with them."

She continues, "My kids are little advocates and educators on surrogacy. I feel that my children have learned selflessness and sacrifice through my journeys. I always say that while it is the woman who is pregnant, the journey of surrogacy takes the whole family's support."

We're so thankful to both of these families for allowing us to share their incredible surrogacy story.

This is birth: A Surrogacy Journey was captured by Jennifer Hamilton of Mamarazzi Photography.

We started our This is: Birth film series to give representation to the many varied ways women give birth. Watch more curated birth films here.

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When women become mothers, they usually have two options: Go back to work or stay home with the little one. This is how it was when I had my first child, and I was angry that there weren't more flexible options for mothers who wanted to work, but on their own terms.

It can be tough to feel inspired when you're thrown back into (or continue to remain in) a 40-hour workweek that isn't flexible. Luckily, we can create better working options (and a happier life in general) for mamas, but we're going to have to do it ourselves, starting with our mindset.

Here are nine phrases we can tell ourselves to be productive and efficient mamas:

1. "My kids come first, but so do I."

It's okay to carve out time that's just for you, whether that means quiet time alone, meeting up with a friend or signing up for a class. At the end of the day, a happy, fulfilled mama leads to happier kids.

2. "My kids are young, but I can still achieve my goals."

If you want to start your own business, or move to another country or accept that promotion, do it now. Only you know when it's the right time, but it's a myth that your motherly duties require you to wait until your kids graduate from college before you can start doing what inspires you.

3. "It's never too late to make a change."

Maybe you invested time and money to get a degree, and you're afraid of veering off-course to do something you really love that's completely unrelated. Or maybe you're intimidated about rejoining the workforce after taking a break to raise kids. I've seen over and over that it's never too late to find out what happens when you follow your passion.

4. "I'm not ready yet, but I will be."

What does "ready" look like? Spoiler: you won't be ready for every challenge that comes your way. But that's okay. Figuring it out as you go is the only way to learn when you're in uncharted waters. Not feeling ready means you have some self-awareness about your weaknesses, and that's a great place to start. When you embrace the unknown, you learn more about yourself and will likely have a lot of fun along the way.

5. "I can do it all...with help."

Mothers are superhero multi-taskers, but doing it all can have a negative impact on your life and relationships over time. Establishing boundaries is key to a happy, healthy life. At work, giving someone else an opportunity to shine shows that you're a team player, not just in it for yourself. This applies to your children, too. You know what your kids are capable of and can help them build confidence by giving them responsibility.

When we're honest and open about our struggles, it draws people in. Leaning on a community will lighten the load and deepen your relationships with the ones you let in. Use Facebook groups and social media to find your village. Find your village today.

6. "I'm okay just the way I am."

People may look very polished and shiny when they post photos on Facebook or Instagram, but that doesn't tell the whole story. Comparing yourself to others is not helpful; you have to find what works for you and block out the rest. If it works for you, then you're doing it right.

7. "I have to leave early to take my kid to __________."

If you're leaving work early because your daughter's ballet recital is important to you, own that, and don't apologize, because you're not alone.

8. "I will be present in every moment."

I know it's tempting to check your phone while you're watching your kids on the playground, but dividing your attention doesn't make you more productive. Moms are awesome multi-taskers, but give your full attention and be present wherever you are. Whether at work or with your kids, quality is more important than quantity.

9. "I am good enough."

If you're having a moment of self-criticism, stop and ask yourself: Would I say this to a friend? If you would never utter bad words to someone else, don't say these things over yourself Be kind and give yourself the benefit of the doubt. You are good enough.

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Learn + Play

As a parent, you might want to do the right things for our environment, especially knowing your children will inherit it. At the same time, with a tiny human relying on you, time is incredibly valuable.

What is a carbon footprint?

Your carbon footprint is the amount of carbon emitted as a direct or indirect result of an activity, including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, fluorinated gases and others. Unfortunately, carbon is being released at a much faster rate than it can be absorbed by natural processes.

Currently, the average U.S. per capita carbon footprint is 18.3 tons, and the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project reports in order to hold the global temperature rise to 2˚C or less, everyone on earth will need to average an annual carbon footprint of 1.87 tons by 2050. This seems like a lofty goal, but there are things we can do to shift emissions in a more positive direction.

As a scientist focusing on sustainability, here are nine ways to reduce your carbon footprint in under five minutes:

1. Host a kids clothing and toy swap party.

It's no secret that kids outgrow clothing and toys quickly. Consider gathering fellow parents and friends, pooling together the items your kids no longer need, and going "shopping" for what you need.

Exchanging what you already have reduces greenhouse gas emissions in a few ways. It lowers the amount of power needed to produce brand new clothing and toys, and it shifts demand away from the plane and truck fuel used to fulfill online orders. Plus, it's an opportunity to socialize and save your hard-earned money.

2. Offer chores that save energy.

Recycling and turning off the lights, air conditioner and the heat may be simple tasks, but they'll teach your little ones how to keep a green household. Explain that the less power you consume, the lower your carbon footprint and that by properly sorting recycling and food scraps, the less greenhouse gas emissions there'll be in landfills. You can have kids help to place recycling in the right bins each day.

3. Encourage other modes of transportation.

Biking and walking are fabulous ways to reduce carbon emissions. Encouraging your kid to get on two wheels or to take a family walk to dinner. If you have to drive, see if you can carpool with friends or family to cut down on the amount of car time.

4. Use reusable diapers when possible.

Producing disposable diapers costs a lot of energy and emits greenhouse gases. While disposable diapers can be totally necessary, using reusable diapers even just a small percentage of the time (perhaps only on the weekends) helps lower our overall consumption and landfill waste.

But, if you must use disposable diapers, buy biodegradable ones that can be composted after you use them.

5. Switch to clean makeup.

Putting on makeup can be a moment of self-care, but clean beauty is more environmentally-friendly and healthier than traditional makeup, which can be made with harmful chemicals. Plus, many women love the peace of mind that comes with using makeup free of harmful chemicals around their children.

Most traditional makeup brands use ingredients derived from fossil fuels, while clean makeup companies use more plant-based ingredients. Going clean shifts demand away from non-renewable resources towards more renewable ones which ultimately helps the environment. Clean beauty companies are also much more likely to use energy-efficient manufacturing practices, use fewer resources including fewer ingredients, reduce packaging waste, and be more responsible about sourcing ingredients in a way that's kind to the earth.

6. Consider how you feed your baby.

Breastfeeding is great for the environment! You can make your impact even bigger by choosing eco-conscious products like reusable breast pads, or reusable breast milk storage items.

If you are bottle-feeding, opt for glass bottles if possible. And when you buy formula, see if you can find large containers instead of small—it will reduce the amount of garbage you throw out.

7. Encourage your kids to conserve water.

The more water-efficient your house is, the better as treating and pumping water uses energy. Teach your children to turn off the faucet when they're brushing their teeth, and get them in the habit of taking showers of a reasonable length instead of baths that require three times more water than a shower.

8. Use reusable grocery bags.

Producing paper and plastic bags takes energy. Find a few reusable bags–it's a bonus if they're cute and fun to use–and bring them with you to the store. If you forget to use the bags, store them in places you always see. For example, you might put the bags in the driver's seat next to your purse on your way to the store. And once you get home and unpack the groceries and put them in your entryway where you'll see them the next time you're heading to the car.

9. Join your energy provider's energy-saving program.

Many energy providers offer the free option to get your power from energy-efficient sources, like wind power. Place a quick call and ask about your options. They should be able to switch you over immediately and once it's done, you don't have to worry about it on your to-do list anymore.

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Learn + Play

For most breastfeeding mothers, being away from your baby means lugging a breast pump with you to work or through airport security and painstakingly packing up your milk to bring or send back to your baby. But a mother who made headlines this week can't take her milk to her baby because she doesn't know when she will see her again.

Maria Domingo-Garcia is among the hundreds of workers picked up by ICE at food processing plants in Mississippi on August 7. When she left for work that day she said goodbye to her husband and three children, including the 4-month-old daughter she was nursing. All three children are U.S. citizens, CNN reports.

Mom's lawyers say she was not able to nurse or pump since being detained 

Earlier this week, when Domingo-Garcia had been separated from her daughter for 12 days, her lawyers told media that she was in a lot of pain as she had not been able to breastfeed or pump for nearly two weeks.

Not being able to drain one's breasts can lead to engorgement, which can lead to mastitis. Both engorgement and mastitis are painful, and mastitis can even be deadly if mothers cannot get medical help.

On Tuesday, a spokesperson for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement stated that a nurse had examined Domingo-Garcia and that she's not producing milk. Her lawyers say they were not present for or aware of this examination, and one of them, Ybarra Maldonado, suggests that the stress Domingo-Garcia is under may have impacted her ability to lactate.

"If during a test she didn't produce milk, perhaps it's because she's been detained for 12 days and going through a horrible situation," Maldonado told CNN.

Indeed, it is possible for a mother to stop lactating if she is separated from her baby for as long as Domingo-Garcia has been. Diana Spalding, midwife and Motherly's Digital Education Editor, says that "the process by which lactation ceases varies so much. It depends on many variables including how long and how frequently a woman was breastfeeding or pumping, how slow or fast she stopped, her emotional state, and simply her individual anatomy. It is 100% possible that Domingo-Garcia had been lactating prior to being taken by ICE."

While attorneys and ICE officials continue to debate whether or not this mother was lactating, her husband continues to try to bottle feed their daughter, an American citizen who is now going without her mother and without breastmilk.

The children are being hurt

One in four children in America has immigrant parents, according to a recent report by the Urban Institute. What's more, 75% of those children (including Domingo-Garcia's) have parents who have been in the US for more than 10 years. Like Domingo-Garcia's kids, 91% of the children of immigrants are citizens. But only 61% of the parents in these families can say the same.

That means there are more than 7 million kids in the US (most of whom are American) who have non-citizen parents and are extremely vulnerable to the same kind of trauma Domingo-Garcia's children are going through. And to call it trauma isn't speculation—it's science. We know that separating children from their parents does long term damage to kids.

"The effect is catastrophic," Charles Nelson, a pediatrics professor at Harvard Medical School told the Washington Post last year. "There's so much research on this that if people paid attention at all to the science, they would never do this."

That is why the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) stands against the detention of immigrant children, who may soon be detained indefinitely if a plan announced Wednesday proceeds. The AAP also warns against separating children from their parents or primary caregiver unless that person is abusing the child.

"It is the position of the AAP that children in the custody of their parents should never be detained, nor should they be separated from a parent, unless a competent family court makes that determination. In every decision about children, government decision-makers should prioritize the best interests of the child," the APP noted in its 2017 policy statement Detention of Immigrant Children.

Domingo-Garcia's children are not being detained, but they are being hurt by their mother's detention and child advocates say far too many children know their pain.

​When mom or dad is taken

Domingo-Garcia was far from the only immigrant parents working in Mississippi food processing plants the day of the ICE raid that changed her family's life. There were so many more parents who didn't come home that day. The day that also happened to be the first day of school in Scott County.

School superintendent Tony McGee told The Clarion Ledger his staff were working hard to help the children who were displaced or impacted by the ICE raids, and he acknowledged that the situation will impact students' academic abilities. "We'll worry about the school part of it after we get all this sorted out," he said. "You can't expect a child to stay focused on the schoolwork when he's trying to focus on where Mom and Dad are."

Indeed, research links parental incarceration with children developing attention deficit disorders, developmental and speech delays, learning disabilities and behavior problems.

And yet, in some ways, parental incarceration may be better for children than parental detention, which is what Domingo-Garcia's experience is defined as. Incarceration is something that follows a conviction and is a long-term thing. Kids whose parents are convicted of a crime and sent to prison often know where mom or dad is and may even get to maintain a relationship with them.

Detention, on the other hand, is a temporary, more slippery state. The children of those in ICE facilities don't know when or if they are coming home or if they will be deported.

There are other ways in which having a parent incarcerated in prison is different than having one detained in an ICE facility. In some American prisons, moms are permitted to nurse their babies. If Domingo-Garcia had gone to prison in New Mexico she would have the right to breastfeed and the right to pump milk for her baby. But she went to work in Mississippi instead.

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