These are the stories that made us smile this week.
We know it's hard to be a bridesmaid when you're pregnant or postpartum.In a week filled with non-stop political news and COVID-induced anxiety, it's important to realize that the newsmakers and celebrities are not the only ones being impacted by this pandemic.
Every single mother has been impacted by the coronavirus. Whether you've been sick yourself or watched a family member fall ill, whether you are an essential worker on the front lines or a mama just trying her best to work-from-home without childcare... we see you, mama.
We see you fighting every day and we love you for it.
Moms are out here demanding change, taking up space and fighting so hard for the future they see for their families.
These are the stories that made us smile this week:
This mom's professor forbid her from breastfeeding during remote classes and this was her response
California mom Marcella Mares is also a college student, and like most post-secondary students she's adjusting to taking her courses virtually. But, as she detailed in a Facebook post, one of her professors needs to do some adjusting, too.
As a mom who doesn't have childcare (hello, there's a pandemic happening) and is trying to take care of her baby while pursuing her education, Mares sometimes breastfeeds during class. At her baby's age, that's really not a distraction (as many of the parents who have participated in government-approved bring-your-baby-to-work programs will tell you).
It seems that Mares professor was unaware of this (and possibly unaware of the extreme demands being made on their students right now) and forbid Mares from breastfeeding during class time, calling it "inappropriate."
"My professor changed the requirements for class & said we needed to have our camera & microphone on in order to receive credit for the attendance part of class," Mares writes on Facebook. "I told him I obviously don't have a problem with having my camera & microphone on but I might need to turn them off to feed my daughter from time to time. His response was 'that's not what you should be doing during class. Do that on your own time.' I didn't respond & went to class about a half hour later. The first thing he says to the whole class in our zoom meeting was 'I got this really weird email from a student stating she needed to do inappropriate things during lecture time. You guys need to understand that you have priorities now and you need to put all those distractions aside or be creative when your child needs you and give your full attention in my class.'"
Mares was angry and embarrassed, but quickly realized she is not the one who should be. Her professor should be embarrassed about their lack of empathy for students, especially during a pandemic.
Not all professors are like this, but the ones who are need to understand that parents and students are trying the best they can. And in a world where your day care is closed and your mom can't come over because of the risk of COVID, well, there aren't many "creative" ideas for childcare. Breastfeeding while attending a lecture is actually the best idea in that circumstance because baby is happy and quiet and mom can give their full attention.
Mares is taking action against her professor and concludes her note by stating the following: "Breastfeeding mamas &any mama that is trying to juggle school, work, & a child should be praised not put down & humiliated."
Amen to that.
Two moms go viral after putting politics aside to remain friends
Politics is divisive by nature but a pair of moms from Cedar Park, Texas, are proving that friendships can survive this election season.
Marne Litton and Tasha Hancock are neighbors and friends who support President Trump and Joe Biden, respectively.
The two mamas became formed a fast friendship when Hancock moved in next door to Litton six years ago.
"My husband and I have a special needs child," Litton told CNN. "During difficult times, Tasha was always there for us. She would decorate our garage with signs and leave things in the fridge for when we returned from the hospital. And I did similar things for her when she needed it."
When the two moms noticed their neighborhood was becoming more and more divided (and political lawn signs were being damaged or defaced) they decided to show the world that Democrats and Republicans can still be friends.
"People were unfriending each other [in the neighborhood Facebook group] saying 'I hate that person because they have this or that political sign in their yard,'" Hancock told CNN. "I thought, you don't even know that person. How can you hate them?"
In a now-viral Facebook post, the two mamas hold up their lawn signs and hold onto each other, because no matter what happens at the polls in 2020, they plan to be there for each other in 2021.
Breastfeeding mom Meghan McCain asks the internet: 'Can nipples actually fall off?'
I know there is a LOT going on in the world that is much more important but I’m in the throes of newborn land.... b… https://t.co/RK1ZSvKHKB— Meghan McCain (@Meghan McCain)1601922466.0
The View's Meghan McCain recently welcomed her daughter Liberty with husband Ben Domenech, and now she's asking a question that so many new moms have asked while breastfeeding: "I know there is a LOT going on in the world that is much more important but I'm in the throes of newborn land...but I just wanted to know if your nipples can actually fall off from breast feeding?"
Ouch! We feel her pain, but it is important to know that nipple pain and injury isn't normal and that if you're feeling like your nipples are going to fall off you should call your lactation consultant, midwife or doctor.
"If when your baby latches it hurts so bad that you cry out in pain, or if your nipples are very sore in between feeds, and certainly if your nipples are cracked and bleeding, something is probably up," says midwife Diana Spalding, Motherly's Motherly's Digital Education Editor and author of The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama.
She continues: "If it really hurts something is wrong—but the truth is that even in the absence of any problems, in the beginning, breastfeeding just doesn't feel awesome. A very sensitive part of your body is (presumably) getting a lot more attention than it is used to. It is getting sucked, rubbed, nibbled and pulled up to 12 times per day. It's bound to be a little uncomfortable, at least."
Spalding recommends using Earth Mama Nipple Butter, so McCain may want to pick up some of that!
Nothing can stop this 102-year-old woman from voting—and we adore her for it
Good morning! This is 102-year-old CTU retiree Bea Lumpkin casting her vote-by-mail ballot. If Bea can do it, anyon… https://t.co/8Gpp4mLwui— ChicagoTeachersUnion (@ChicagoTeachersUnion)1601557623.0
Every vote will matter in the upcoming election, and this centenarian wasn't taking any chances when it came to casting hers. Meet Bea Lumpkin, a 102-year-old former school teacher who took every precaution when mailing in her ballot, looking positively inspiring in her protective headgear and gloves.
The Chicago Teachers Union shared this sweet picture of Lumpkin. "Good morning! This is 102-year-old CTU retiree Bea Lumpkin casting her vote-by-mail ballot," the group tweeted. "If Bea can do it, anyone can do it. Vote!"
The year 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote. That means Bea has been alive longer than women have been able to vote.
It makes perfect sense, then, why this former educator wouldn't want to miss her chance to exercise her right. We encourage you to take a page out of Ms. Lumpkin's book: whether you do it online, by mail, or in person—get out and vote! Be like Bea.
Jennifer Garner’s choreographed dance to get you to vote is 🔥
Jennifer Garner's dance moves are lighting up the internet—and it's all to make sure you vote in the upcoming election.
Garner shared a video to Instagram of her dancing a choreographed routine to Lizzo's song encouraging people to get out and vote.
In the video, Garner can be seen leaping across a backyard with her friend, Tiler Peck, who's actually the principal dancer for the New York City Ballet.
The pair clap, shimmy, spin and sashay through their routine, with big smiles on their faces.
We give the pair a solid 10/10 for energy, enthusiasm and cause.
It's time to vote!
This bridesmaid was pumping in the wedding photos—with the bride's full support
This viral photo is a breathtaking display of bridal beauty, supportive friends and the lengths breastfeeding mamas go to to fit pumping into schedules.
The photo, shot in 2019 and shared on Facebook in 2020 by photographer Amber Fletcher, shows bride Rachael Downs surrounded by her bridesmaids. One of them, Allison Hepler, is rocking an accessory the rest aren't: a breast pump.
In a recent interview with Popsugar, Helper explained: "Rachael has always been supportive and knew exactly what I needed as she had already been down that road...So I was pumping four times a day at the time of her wedding. One was while we were getting ready and the other was right before the ceremony. I was trying to squeeze in a session while Amber photographed the groom and groomsmen."
We know it's hard to be a bridesmaid when you're pregnant or postpartum, so we commend Helper for what happened next. When the photographer asked if Helper would mind wearing the pump for some pics, she was on board.
"I told her I didn't mind doing it since I'm all for normalizing breastfeeding and exclusively pumping," she told Popsugar. "I walked out like that while some people were already arriving for the wedding!"
At Motherly we fully support pumping mamas and the normalization of everything it takes to feed a baby.