Archive for December, 2013

Nursing Sports Bras for the Active Mom

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Happy New Year! If you’ve decided to start being more active this year, we’ve got a review for you.

After I had my first baby, I was unable to find any sort of nursing bra that I could use as a sports bra. I ended up having to double up my regular sports bras, which were good for support, but not very convenient for feedings. A few short years later, and there are now plenty of options on the market. Here are some reviews on three popular options that have been reviewed by two active moms who are currently nursing.

Motherhood Maternity Clip Down Sports Bra

Motherhood Sports Clip Down Nursing Bra

Found at most Motherhood locations


  • At just $21.98, the Clip Down will not break the bank.
  • Provides good coverage and extra support for everyday activities and low-impact cardio movements.
  • Soft and can be thrown in the wash with little hassle or the need for special detergents.


  • Straps are thin and can dig into the shoulders with larger cup sizes.
  • Support is limited to low-impact. Not recommended for running or movements, which will require a lot of bounce.

La Leche League Pullover Sports Bra

La Leche League International Pull Over Nursing Sports Bra


  • Good mid-level support. Reviewer was able to comfortably participate in Zumba classes.
  • Although the bra was slightly more expensive ($34.95) than the lower tiered bra reviewed, it is still affordable.
  • Sizes range from small to XXXL.
  • The buckles open and close seamlessly, allowing easy access for baby.


  • Uncomfortable–Although the material is noted as soft, there is an itchy seam that runs directly across the chest, occasionally irritating already sensitive areas.
  • Bra runs small. Reviewers recommended going up a size in order to accommodate room for growth.

Moving Comfort Juno Bra

Moving Comfort Juno Bra


  • Not marketed specifically as a nursing bra, the Juno bra has Velcro straps that allow it to open on one side for easy nursing access.
  • Runs true to size and is available in larger sizes up to 40DD.
  • Large, wide straps and molded cups make it good for high-impact activities such as running and crossfit.
  • Comes in a multitude of colors and has attractive back cut outs that will make you look good wearing it.


  • At $56, it is the priciest of the bunch.
  • Material has been known to cause chafing during longer activities.

After you’ve been cleared to be active again, it can be really helpful both mentally and physically to return to 20 minutes of physical activity a day.

While nursing it’s even more important to make sure you’re well-supported during all activities. But when you’re done, remove any constricting clothing like a sports bra, and never sleep in a sports bra. Anything that tightly constricts your chest can contribute to plugged ducts.

 Tessa Wesnitzer is a an active mom of two who lives and writes in Tucson, Arizona. 

A Guide To Newborn Poop

Monday, December 30th, 2013

IMG_2117Every new parent goes through a crash course in types of baby poop when they bring home their newborn baby. With three to eight bowel movements a day, you quickly become used to the many shades of poop that your baby can produce, but when you are just starting out it is helpful to have a few pointers as to what is normal.

Baby’s first few poops will be greenish-black and tarry. This first stool is called meconium and is essentially just the baby’s digestive system clearing out anything left from the time in the womb. Many people think that this type of newborn poop will ruin or stain their cloth diapers but actually it will wash off just as well, and in some cases better, than the later poops. In my experience so far, none of my newborn diapers ever got a meconium stain, but a few did get breastmilk poop stains. Because this type of poop can be very thick and sticky, I found it very helpful with my daughter to spread a layer of olive or coconut oil on her bottom after each diaper change. This helped make sure the meconium wiped off well and I didn’t have to scrub her new little skin very hard.

As the meconium passes from the baby’s system, the stool will transition from greenish-brown to a seedy yellow color. This is the beginning of baby’s new normal in terms of poop. Once the baby’s digestive system gets going with milk or formula it settles into a routine of a few normal colors.

A breastfed baby will have frequent soft stools that can range in color from yellow to green to tan. The color mostly depends on how quickly milk travels through their digestive system. The consistency of the stool will remain soft, with usually a pasty or seedy appearance. A breastfed baby’s poop also doesn’t smell very bad. While it does have an odor, it is often described as more of a “sweet” smell. Typically breastfed babies will have an average of five poopy diapers a day, though it is not abnormal for a baby to sometimes go three days in between poops. As long as the stool is soft, unform, and doesn’t look like pellets, baby is most likely not constipated.

A formula fed baby will have slightly less frequent stools since formula doesn’t digest as quickly as breast milk. A normal average is about three to four poopy diapers per day. The color and smell of a formula fed baby will be a little different too. Generally the color will be more yellow-brown and the smell will be more like normal poop smell. The texture should be more like peanut butter or pudding.

While most colors from yellow to green to brown are normal for newborn poops, the colors you don’t want to see are red, white, or black. Red or black can indicate blood in the stool, and white can mean a problem with digestion or an infection. Other troublesome signs are: firmly formed or pebbly stools, very watery stools, or no stool for longer than three (for a formula fed baby) or five (for a breastfed baby) days.

In no time at all you will be an expert on what is normal with your baby’s poop, although like all moms of littles you will probably deal with and think about it more than you ever thought possible!

Becca Schwartz is a cloth diapering, baby wearing, semi-crunchy mama to a toddler and one on the way. She and her husband have a small mini-farm with a flock of chickens and a few goats, and have dreams of someday soon moving out west to start a homesteading adventure together!

Old Wives’ Tales and Newborns

Friday, December 27th, 2013

When you have a baby everyone has advice for you. Old wives’ tales run rampant. They range from silly to completely insane.

Most of these crazy bits of advice have no basis in reality, but they always make me laugh. Here are five of my personal favorite kooky old wives tales’ regarding babies.

hair picture

“Don’t cut your child’s hair before their first birthday or they will have bad hair”

I did not follow this advice–Lucy was born with more hair than most 2 year olds, and even though she got three cuts before her 1st birthday she still has a head of hair that could be used in Pantene commercials.


“A baby needs to cry a certain amount or their lungs won’t develop”

I don’t even want to touch this one, we all know this isn’t true at all. Babies born at term are usually born with good healthy lungs. Crying doesn’t do anything but let us know baby needs something and it’s our job to make our little ones and comfortable and happy as possible. Purple crying is a development phase some babies go through, but they should still be comforted through it. In fact, research shows that babies who were picked up fast after crying actually went on to be more independent toddlers.

“Blow smoke in a babies ear to put them to sleep” 

Sometimes I’m shocked that anyone made it out of childhood alive. This one is just nuts. Not only is secondhand smoke awful for children, studies now show that babies whose parents only smoked outdoors had six times more nicotine in their blood than a baby whose parents don’t smoke at all. This is due to exposure to
thirdhand smoke–the smoke that sticks to a person hours, days, or weeks after they smoke.

“Don’t let babies stand on your lap or it will cause bowlegs later on”

Once again FALSE! Bowlegs are caused by baby’s positioning in the womb, nearly all babies’ legs look bowlegged when they are born. Babies are learning to bear weight and find their center of gravity, this is actually a good activity. Standing is a good developmental activity that in no way cause issues with the legs.

“Cats will suck the air out of your baby”

This one is just laughable. Cats won’t be sucking air out of you baby, and it’s actually proven that kids who grow up with pets have less allergies than those who don’t. You should always monitor your baby around animals, but not for this particular reason.

You will hear so many bits of “advice” when you have a baby–most of it completely untrue. Take everything with a grain of salt, do your own research, and save the story to laugh about with your girlfriends later on.

Allison Klaine is a Mythbusting mom of 2. She’s here to spread the word that everything you hear isn’t true and to please not bathe your baby in Guinness for smooth skin!


Quick Workouts for Mom

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

While it can be hard to make workouts a priority when you’re a mom of a newborn, staying active is essential for mental well-being. It can help you sleep better and stay emotionally balanced, both of which are sorely needed during the holiday season. Here are some quick workouts you can do at home with just a few small pieces of equipment and won’t take more than about twenty minutes, so you won’t have to be away from baby for long.

Kettle bell swings. Kettle bells will probably give you the best all-around workout you can get with a single piece of equipment. They help develop strength, burn fat and can even help with flexibility. The most important thing is to make sure your form is correct. Here is a video on correct form. Try swinging for 30 seconds, resting for 10 and repeating 5-10 times. Or, do as many swings as possible until reaching failure, count your reps and you’ll be thrilled when your reps continue to climb the more you do it. There are many more workouts you can do with kettle bells besides just swings, You Tube has several great free videos.

Cross Fit body weight workouts. These ensure that you get your heart pumping and maximizing your calorie

burn in a short amount of time. Some great ones that you can mix and match include: squats, planks, sit-ups, sprints). Here is another great file to have on hand of bodyweight workouts written by 2 time Olympian skier Eva T.

lunges, box jumps, jumping squats, pushups, burpees, jumping jacks. The WOD shop is a great site that has several workouts you can with nothing more than your body (for some you’ll need a stroller so you can do some

Sprints instead of long distance runs. Studies have shown that high-intensity exercise, such as sprints, are twice as effective as jogging or cardio for weight loss, muscle tone and also for boosting metabolism and healthy hormone production. This means that you can get great results in a very short amount of time. Sprints include running or bicycling. On a bike, try 8 seconds of all-out sprints followed by 12 seconds of rest for 20 minutes. If running, try 30 seconds ofall-out sprints followed by 3 minutes of recovery (walking).

If you don’t exercise regularly, or recently gave birth, make sure to get an OK from your doctor before starting a new regimen and be careful not to push yourself too hard. If you are breastfeeding, you may notice a slight drop in milk production which will usually even itself out. But make sure you get plenty of milk boosting foods and supplements if you are worried about supply.

Jacqueline Banks is a certified Holistic Health Counselor focused on nutrition and green living strategies. She works with women in all stages of motherhood, from mothers struggling with conception, through pregnancy, lactation and beyond to ensure the best health and nutrition for both mother and baby. Visit her blog and website at

Visiting Relatives With Baby

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

Karyn's phone 241After spending three weeks in Southern Illinois with our families, I feel as if I am qualified to write on this subject. The idea of visiting family is fun. Babysitters, free entertainment for the little one, extra snuggles and kisses. But, if you are not prepared, visiting relatives can be less-than-perfect experience. While I am no expert, here are a few tips I have learned.

Tip #1: Pack Smart!

As a mom, it can be overwhelming deciding what to bring on a trip when you’re packing for two. Try using a bag for each category. Do a toy bag, snacks bag, diaper/wipes bag, etc. I have learned it helps to have several bags so that I don’t have to dig through a giant suitcase. Pack for the unexpected. Bring extra clothes, bibs, a teething necklace. You just never know what you need. Baby carriers/strollers are a must, too. I don’t know how many times I wish I had my Boba with me this trip. Don’t be afraid to travel with your cloth diapers, either. It can be done!

Tip #2: Remember, you are the mom!

This is a tip a friend told me before my daughter was born, and I try to remember it daily. You are in charge, mom–not grandma, aunt, cousin, etc. If you don’t want your baby to start solids until 6 months, don’t let a family member feed your baby mashed potatoes over Christmas dinner. If you put your baby down for bed at 8 p.m., don’t let a family relative convince you to keep them up late. Try to keep some normalcy for your little one. This is something to remember with nursing, too. If you nurse your little one comfortably in public, do it around family. Try to create an environment where baby feels loved and secure.

Tip #3: Take Advantage of Having Help!

Our family lives six hours away, and we have made numerous trips to visit since my daughter was born. My husband and I take advantage of these visits, because it’s the only time we get to be alone and go to dinner. Allow grandma to watch baby so you can take a nice, long shower and maybe even shave your legs without someone crying or pounding on the door. Spend time with family members who have little ones. Your baby will be delighted to hang out with other babies, no matter how young they are. Visit friends. Just enjoy being around a group of people who love you and baby. They really do just want to help, no matter how much advice they give.

So mom, you got this. Visiting family with an infant is fun! As I type this, I have been up since 5 a.m. at my in-laws with a teething toddler, but I am still smiling. Find a system that works for you and take advantage of that extra help.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a SAHM of Johanna, her little girl who loves to visit her relatives, but doesn’t love the car ride.