May 28th, 2009 • Comments: 0 • by Wendy • Inside Snugabell

Breast-fest at Tiffany's


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I don't have a lot of patience:  I'll wait 20 minutes maximum for a table at a restaurant; I don't do the "get up at 4 am and line-up at the Electronics Store" Boxing Day thing; and heaven help you if you keep me waiting more than 15 minutes for an appointment!  (I am now ducking from all the people that I've kept waiting since I've had my kids and have become one of those "perpetually late" people).

I thought having children would help me have more patience - uh... nope.  It just makes ME late now (see above).

Therefore I am pretty stoked to finally be revealing our new Classic Collection!

It has pretty much been KILLING ME waiting to share this with you!  We started choosing fabrics about 7 months ago.  We chose our "classic" woman 4 months ago.  We brainstormed on marketing ideas 3 months ago.  We did the photo shoot in March (after being snowed-out the first time we scheduled it).  And finally, finally, finally Verry Cherry, Snowy Leopard, Forget me Not and TUXEDO <----- the "secret" print, are here!  And you are going to LOVE them!  I still can't pick a fave - I love them all!

I would like to talk a bit about my beloved Audrey Hepburn and why we chose her to be our "classic" woman.  Aside from the fact that she was stunningly beautiful to her dying day, Audrey was the epitome of grace, sophistication, style and absolute modesty.  Soon after Hepburn's final film role, she was appointed a goodwill ambassador to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).  She then dedicated the remainder of her life to helping impoverished children in the poorest nations of the world.

I have to admit that I've always loved Audrey Hepburn (and I'm not one of those people that swoons over celebrities).  One of my favourite movies of all time is Robin & Marian, which was Audrey's first film after taking nine years off to raise her children.  She stars with Sean Connery (slurp, drool - OK, maybe I swoon a bit here and there - how can you resist that accent?) and if you haven't seen it, you absolutely must rent it this weekend!

Audrey was a muse for the designer Givenchy, an award-winning actress, a dedicated humanitarian and yes, a breastfeeding mother!

Therefore it was pretty much a "no brainer" to mirror our Classic Collection marketing around one of her most famous movies - Breakfast at Tiffany's - and for which she received an Oscar nod for Best Actress.

Tell me what you think - I la-la-la-love feedback!  Drop me a comment below.

May 27th, 2009 • Comments: 0 • by Wendy • PumpingResources

Why Does My Expressed Breastmilk Smell Bad?


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I recently came across this fantastic resource on the Lansinoh website and wanted to share it with you!

"In very rare cases, some mothers who have meticulously expressed and frozen their milk for later use have discovered to their dismay that all their frozen milk has turned rancid.  This happens when a mother produces milk that is high in lipase, the enzyme that breaks down fat in the milk. Depending upon the level of lipase in her milk, some mothers notice this rancid smell after their milk has cooled in the refrigerator; others, notice it only after the milk has been frozen for a while.  Thankfully this doesn’t happen often, and this can be prevented. 
a freezer full of breastmilk
It is suggested that every mother who is planning to freeze her milk should freeze some test batches of milk and thaw it out after a week or so to be sure it has not become rancid.  If the mother finds that after freezing and thawing her milk that it has a rancid smell, she can prevent this from occurring in the future by heating her expressed milk to a scald right after collecting it and then quickly cooling and freezing it.  Scalding inactivates the lipase.  Once the milk has acquired the rancid smell, however, treating the milk will not help.  It is not known whether or not this milk is safe for the baby however, most babies refuse it because of the taste."

You can find more information on this subject on the KellyMom website.  She states that the milk is in fact NOT harmful to your baby, but the stronger the taste, the more likely that he or she will refuse it.

Have you ever found that your breastmilk "turned" after refrigerating or freezing?  If so, did you throw it out or did your baby drink it anyways?  I never encountered this personally, however I would love to hear your stories!  Please drop me a comment below.

{"Feeling More Secure with My Breastmilk Stash!" by Diana Schnuth is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0}

May 9th, 2009 • Comments: 0 • by Wendy • Breast is BestResources

Early Initiation of Breastfeeding through Breast Crawl


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UNICEF, WHO, WABA and the scientific & medical communities all recommend initiating breastfeeding within one hour of birth.  Evidence shows this can prevent up to 22% of all deaths among babies less than 1 month old in developing countries.  It is also known that, like other mammals, human babies can instintively initiate breastfeeding on their own (provided they are kept between mother's breasts).  This is called the "Breast Crawl".

I just stumbled upon this amazing video detailing the breast crawl of a newborn - something that has been documented to take, on average, 30-60 minutes.  This particularly speedy little girl found mom's nipple in just over 10 minutes!  Everything that is happening here is so perfectly designed by nature:  the skin-to-skin contact helps keep baby warm and initiates mother-baby bonding.  Baby's "kicking" on mother's belly stimulates the womb to contract, which helps to deliver the placenta and reduce bleeding.  The baby smells the food close by, begins salivating and starts her "trek" to mom's nipple.   I was very moved by this video. Then I sat back and wondered why I was so moved... this is nature... this is how it should be.  Best for mom.  Best for baby.  Simple.

The Breast Crawl was first documented over 20 years ago (Widström et al, 1987) however, I don't think many people have heard of it.  I hadn't until today, have you?  I would be more than happy to see widespread recommendation of the baby crawl as "the method" for initiating breastfeeding.  Drop a comment below and tell me what you think.

May 6th, 2009 • Comments: 0 • by Stephanie • Breast is BestPumpingResources

Guest Post: Why Women Exclusively Pump


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Exclusively Pumping website

Exclusively pumping breast milk is best thought of as an alternative to formula feeding.  While there are some women who decide to exclusively pump even before their babies are born, they are by far the minority.  Instead, most women who exclusively pump fully intended to breastfeed and believe strongly in the benefit and value of breast milk.  When confronted with difficulties or situations that make breastfeeding difficult or impossible, these women turn to the use of a breast pump to ensure their babies receive breast milk.

The reasons women exclusively pump are extremely varied: the premature birth of a baby; the illness of the baby or the mother; problems with breastfeeding including such things as a poor latch, thrush, cleft palate, poor weight gain, a lack of milk (either real or perceived), and the early introduction of a bottle leading to nipple preference; and the separation of mother and baby including women who must return to work soon after the birth of their babies.  It is difficult to briefly discuss the many reasons women exclusively pump, but there do tend to be some similarities in most women's experiences.

Self-preservation is an often mentioned factor in the decision to exclusively pump.  New mothers are overwhelmed with emotions.  Hearing your baby scream every time you try to nurse, enduring extreme pain when nursing, or having a baby who is unable to get enough milk to satisfy her can add to an already tumultuous period.  Also, for women who are breastfeeding, bottle feeding to top up the baby's intake, and then pumping to maintain or increase supply while the baby learns to breastfeed or the mother is able to resolve difficulties she is experiencing, the cycle becomes overwhelming and, even with a strong support network, can make it extremely difficult to continue for very long.

Often a mother is not able to truly focus on mothering and enjoying her new baby, and instead, is solely focused on providing nourishment.  Life becomes consumed with feeding the baby, which can, in and of itself, add additional stress to the situation making breastfeeding all that more challenging.  The decision to exclusively pump can, for some women, bring back a balance in their lives and in their household and enable them to refocus on their babies while continuing to feed their babies breast milk.

The decision to exclusively pump is not made lightly.  The vast majority of women who decide to exclusively pump do work with lactation consultants before making their decision.  And although pumping and bottle feeding becomes the primary method of feeding, many women also continue to work on breastfeeding and solving problems that were making it difficult to breastfeed.

Yet, even though the hope of exclusive breastfeeding may still remain when a woman starts to pump, many women do get to a point where they no longer attempt to breastfeed.  Many struggle with the emotions they feel as a result of not breastfeeding and not having the breastfeeding relationship they thought they would have with their baby.  For many, the strong emotions felt when they do not see success breastfeeding are too difficult to continue reliving over and over again.  The disappointment and frustration often prove to be difficult to cope with on a continuing basis and as a result the decision to exclusively pump is made.  Working with a lactation consultant during these first few weeks of pumping is extremely important if a transition to exclusive breastfeeding is desired and an important time for lactation consultants to maintain close contact with women in order to assist them to breastfeed successfully.

Perhaps the strongest motivating factor for exclusively pumping is the strong belief that breast milk is the best way of nourishing a baby.  Most women who exclusively pump do not feel that formula is an option; it is something they would prefer not to feed their babies.  Therefore, when they are confronted with difficulties breastfeeding (or the inability to breastfeed), and are unable to resolve the situation, they turn to what is often in their minds, the only option available to them.  If the women who exlusively pump did not have this as an option, their babies would most likely be switched to formula.

Exclusively pumping is a viable alternative to formula feeding.  Knowledge is key, however.  A breast pump will not initiate or maintain a milk supply in the same manner as a baby.  Women who have been able to exclusively pump long-term tend to follow a similar set of guidelines.  Support and accurate information are extremely important indicators of success for women who are exclusively pumping.Exclusively Pumping Breast Milk by Stephanie Casemore

While breastfeeding is undoubtedly the best method of feeding a baby, the fact remains that certain circumstances make breastfeeding difficult, and sometimes, women decide to bottle feed.  The reasons for this decision and the emotions that surround the decision are varied, but in all cases, exclusively pumping can ensure that it is breast milk in the bottle instead of formula and provide more babies with the best start possible in life.

Stephanie Casemore is the author of Exclusively Pumping Breast Milk: a Guide to Providing Expressed Breast Milk for your Baby.  For more information on exclusively pumping or to purchase Stephanie's book, visit www.ExclusivelyPumping.com 

May 4th, 2009 • Comments: 0 • by Wendy • Fabulous Finds

B@@B Jewelry - Yes, You Read that Correctly!


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I a jewelry fanatic.  I always tell people that if I hadn't gone to Fashion school, I would have taken a silversmithing course or attended FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) for Jewelry Design.  I still plan to have a 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) career around jewelry at some point of my life. Yup, I am THAT passionate about it.my jewelry armoire

For my 40th birthday, I bought myself a jewelry armoire (that's it to the right) so that I could more readily view and enjoy and WEAR my collection that had until that point, lived in various boxes and as a result didn't get worn and loved as much as it should have.

I absolutely LOVE this armoire!  You can find this one and others like it at Armoire Gallery.  I shouldn't have waited for my 40th to buy it that's for sure!

So the other morning @TheBoobLady followed me on Twitter and I promptly visited her site and blog (I visit the sites of every new follower by the way).  It was there that I saw the next addition to my jewelry collection... drool!Have a Heart Bust Pendant by Margaux Lange

You've heard it is Barbie's 50th this year right?  Well, an amazing New York jewelry designer by the name of Margaux Lange is making jewelry out of Barbie parts!  Sounds weird?  Perhaps... but take a look and make your own decision - I think you will be pleasantly surprised!  I am not-so-secretly coveting the Have a Heart Bust Pendant.  L-O-V-E the tie-in with breastfeeding.  Now I just have to decide which color to get...

What piece of Margaux's jewelry do you like?  Drop a comment below and let me know!

{Photo credit: Margaux Lange}