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5 Messages to My Daughters on International Women’s Day March 08, 2017 12:18 1 Comment

 
On March 8, we celebrate International Women’s Day, a time to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and girls. There’s still a lot of work to be done on gender equality, which is why this year’s theme, Be Bold for Change, is so important. Here are five messages we can share with our daughters to help build their self-esteem and empowerment. Go girls!
 


1. You Be You. Celebrate your own uniqueness instead of trying fit into a group or match up with someone else. There are always people ahead of and behind you. Be yourself and strive to be a bit better at that every day.

2. Respect Others. Our words can tear people down, or build people up. Which one would you rather do? We need to teach girls how to be respectful with their words, and at the same time, to be powerful listeners as well as speakers.

3. It’s Okay To Disagree. Model for your daughter that it’s actually a good thing to debate, have different points of view and negotiate—respectfully, of course. She’ll need to do this, especially with her peers. 

4. You Can Do Anything. Read, view movies or visit a museum to learn more about accomplished women from the past, and their challenges. Pursue relationships women who inspire you and challenge you today.

5. Your Voice Counts. Illicit your daughter’s opinion to show her that her views matter. For example, “What did you think of that character on that show?” or “How did that billboard make you feel?” Encourage her to run for class offices—stress that campaigning is great practice, no matter the outcome. Let her fund raise for causes she believes in, or write a letter to someone she admires.

Our world needs as many smart, savvy young women as we can get!

#internationalwomensday #beboldforchange #women


5 Reasons To Choose Organic Clothing February 14, 2017 08:39 1 Comment

 

Organic: Love Your Baby & Love the Planet 

Bringing a child into the world is the most exciting. There are a million decisions you’ll make as a parent, but when it comes to shopping for baby products, one decision can come easily to you: Buy organic. Choosing organic products is a sustainable way to go, not only for you and your baby, but also for the world at large and generations to come. Here’s why:

 

1) It’s safer for your baby’s skin. Babies’ skin is different from adults. It’s incredibly sensitive, and prone to rashes and dry patches. In fact, as many as 30 to 40 percent of babies have eczema, according to Parents magazine. If you have an infant, you’ve probably already noticed that simply testing out a new cream or brand of laundry detergent can irritate the delicate skin of your child. That’s why it’s important to be mindful of which fabrics you’re putting against your baby’s skin. Look for clothing made from very soft, natural, fibers like 100-percent organic cotton.

2) Organic clothes last longer. When compared like for like, organic fibers consistently produce better quality yarns than conventional cotton. Organic cotton does not undergo as much processing as nonorganic processed cotton, so it results in sturdier clothing that lasts longer.

3) It’s safer in your home. Did you know that there’s a scary soup of chemicals—things like quinolines, aromatic amines and benzothiazoles—left over in clothing after the manufacturing process? These chemicals can lurk behind, long after you bring them home from the store and wash the new clothes. Exposure to these can up the risk of skin irritation, but there’s a bigger-picture concern for human and planet health. Some are suspected or proven carcinogens to humans, while others pollute the water supply. With organic clothing, you can rest assured that the cotton was grown without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides, and that after the cotton was harvested, it wasn’t bleached, dyed or treated with insecticides.

4) It stops polluting communities. Organic farming is safer for the people who grow the cotton and to the many communities around the world that are located near the farms, in places such as the United States, India, China, Pakistan and West Africa. According to the World Wildlife Federation, 2.4 percent of the world’s cropland is planted with cotton, yet it accounts for 24 percent and 11 percent of the global sales of insecticide and pesticides respectively. This high and unsafe dose of chemicals has severe health impacts on workers in the field and on the ecosystems that receive run-off from farms. It’s harmful to the animals near the farms, too. Organic methods, such as covering the cotton crops with natural materials instead of using pesticide, are much safer for animals and people.

5) It’s better for the planet. Organic agriculture methods use non-chemical ways of keeping the land fertile, and of keeping pests and weeds at bay, so there’s no need to use synthetic fertilizers and toxic pesticides. According to the Rodale Institute’s Farming Systems Trial, organic agriculture can even lessen the impact of climate change by reducing the amount of fossil fuels required and boosting the amount of carbon that goes back into the soil.

When you are shopping for baby products, look for items that have been labeled 100-percent certified organic cotton. This assures you it has met strict environmental and social standards and has been certified by an independent, third party along the whole supply chain. Organic is such a healthy choice, not just for our own babies, but also to make the world a little better, It’s a pretty inspiring thing.


Breastfeeding, Pumping and Traveling – Tips to Make it Easier January 29, 2017 12:54 1 Comment

Breastfeeding, Pumping and Traveling – Tips to Make it easier 

It’s hard enough for breastfeeding moms to be away from their babies. Add in the stress of pumping while traveling, and it’s all rather daunting. But with a bit of planning and shared knowledge from moms who have “been there, done that,” I hope this experience can seem manageable.

I traveled for business a lot, both within the U.S. and internationally, while I was breastfeeding my girls. For example, on a seven day trip, I was able to bring back 180 ounces of refrigerated breast milk for my younger daughter. We did not lose any milk and I was able to keep my supply up. Here are my tips that will hopefully help you on your journey as well.  

 


First up: What are you going to do with all that breast milk?

If you’re on a short trip, about one to four days, it is easier to pump and keep the milk with you, unfrozen. You’ll be bringing it back home, cold, using a good cooler and ice packs. It’s very important to mark the amount you’ve pumped, and the date, on each container.

Once you’re back home, use it fresh or freeze the milk for future use. A refresher: breast milk is safe for four hours outside, four to seven days in the fridge and four months in the freezer. The La Leche League (LLL) has more specs on temperatures and guidelines here. You could also ship your milk back, via a carrier such as Fed/Ex. This may prove more expensive and difficult than simply carrying it back, but it’s an option.

As a last resort, you could freeze the milk and ship it back using dry ice. If you’re going this route, be sure to investigate where to buy the ice and the regulations for the country you’ll be in.

I prefer to ship the milk refrigerated in a very good cooler. 

What to Pack:

For the Airport:

  • Have a printed copy of the TSA's rules on traveling with breast milk, found at https://www.tsa.gov/travel/special-procedures/traveling-children

Hopefully you won’t have problems, but you never know.

  • Your breast pump is considered a personal item and can be carried on like a laptop or a purse on the majority of airlines.
  • Keep your breast milk separate from your other liquids and inform the TSA officer at the beginning of the screening process that you carry breast milk, and in excess of 3.4 ounces, in your carry-on bag. You won’t need the milk in 3-ounce containers like your other liquids; it can be in the storage bags or bottles.
  • Don’t worry; an Xray machine will have no harmful effect on your breastmilk.

On an Airplane:

  • If you plan to pump during your flight, book a window seat.
  • Use the nursing cover for privacy if you prefer.
  • Some moms who prefer additional privacy pump in the bathroom, but it could very uncomfortable and not very pleasant, not to mention unsafe if there is unexpected turbulence.
  • Never clean your pumping equipment or bottles using the airplane sink’s water since it could be unsafe. Request bottled water if you need to clean your equipment.
  • Ask the flight attendant for ice if you need some for your cooler.

At a Hotel: 

  • Call ahead to your hotel to have them put a refrigerator in your room.
  • Speak with the room service to make sure that they do not unplug the refrigerator.

Visiting a Company, Vendor or Tradeshow:

  • Check in advance to find out if there will be a mother’s room or a lactation room at the location. If not, request another quiet and secure spot where you can be accommodated.

For International Trips:

  • Check the plug type and voltage for the country that you are visiting. You may need an electrical current adapter.

With a bit of planning and determination, you’ll be able to keep up your milk supply, continue to nourish your baby, and still travel wherever you need to. Good luck, Mom, and let me know how it goes!

 

 

 

 

 

 


Breastfeeding – Tips for Full Time Working Mothers September 18, 2016 14:36 1 Comment

It is definitely challenging to be a full time working mother while breastfeeding. After all the scheduling, planning, and getting the right products, you could still provide for your baby while keeping a work balance. These are some tips for breastfeeding at work. 

Breastfeeding Tips for Full Time Working Moms:

  • Before Baby Arrival
    • Contact your insurance agency to understand your policy’s and Affordable Care plan benefits related to nursing and lactation.
    • Access free breast pump and accessories through third party companies. Pumping Essentials is a great company owned by mothers like you and me.
    • Get a breast pump and figure out how to use it.
    • Check with your company about designated breastfeeding rooms before you leave on maternity.
  • During Maternity Leave
    • Start pumping in the morning or evening to increase milk supply within the first weeks
    • Store and freeze the extra breast milk supply - have back up when a family member or nanny wants to feed the baby, you need to be out of the house, start working or have an unexpected emergency.
    • Introduce the bottle after you have figured out how to breastfeed your baby correctly after three weeks.
  • Going Back To Work

We hope you find these tips helpful during your journey. Thank you for adding your thoughts and sharing with your friends and family!

 

 


It’s Official! Poncho Baby Receives Patent September 07, 2016 13:40

Mom-owned, California-based brand receives patent for cleverly designed nursing covers.

(Los Angeles, September 7, 2016) – Poncho Baby® has been honored with a patent for its award-winning design: A unique nursing cover with a flexible, boned neckline that easily allows moms to see their babies. Unlike other nursing covers on the market, Poncho Baby®’s contemporary design provides back coverage and more privacy, and the soothing, neutral colors don’t distract the baby during feedings. The nursing covers are made in the U.S. with soft, 100% cotton muslin, and are multifunctional—they can be used as a stroller cover, sunshade, blanket and more. Yet they are still machine wash and dry, making them ideal for moms on the go.


The nursing cover is also available in a 100% organic version. Like all Poncho Baby® products, the organic line is handcrafted in the U.S. using sustainable fabrics and responsible business practices. See all the nursing cover unique features in our Poncho Baby Nursing Cover Video.

Poncho Baby® will be launching a new organic collection with beautiful onesies, hats and gifts sets at the ABC Kids Expo from October 18th to 21st, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. We’ll be in the Naturally Kids section, Booth #434.

About Poncho Baby®

Poncho Baby® is a mom-owned, California-based brand dedicated to designing products that are stylish, multifunctional, compact and eco-friendly. The company is the brainchild of Carolina Toro-Gerstein, a former tech exec who was inspired to create a better, more mom-empowering nursing cover after the birth of her two daughters. The brand has since expanded to bibs, baby blankets, wash cloths and diaper bags, and has garnered many awards, including the National Parenting Publications Award, Family Choice Award and Mom’s Best Award. Poncho Baby® products are available at fine baby boutiques throughout the U.S. and Canada. 


Breastfeeding Essentials - Breastfeeding With Love Giveaway August 02, 2016 09:43

Valued over $620, the Breastfeeding Essentials in our Breastfeeding With Love Giveaway Package includes the best essentials for breastfeeding moms with an amazing suite of products to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week.

  1. Poncho Baby Organic Rose Nursing Cover:  Award-winning Poncho Baby Nursing Cover, patent-pending design, allows Mom to see the baby while breastfeeding and provides back coverage. It's incredibly soft, multi-functional and USA Made with 100% premium imported muslin cotton.
  2. Simple Wishes Hands Free Pumping Bra: 1bra - This innovative bra gives moms the valuable gift of time by freeing up their hands for other tasks or allowing them to simply relax while using their breastpump.
  3. Belly Bandit B.D.A.™ Bra: 1bra - During pregnancy and when nursing, comfort is key. This lightweight, wireless and gently supportive bra is expertly designed to grow and shrink with your changing body.
  4. Bandita Nursing Bra: The removable contour pads mold to your body’s new shape and a simple release feature means baby can easily access your breast for a stress-free latch on. 
  5. Mother Tucker® Nursing Tank: Designed with an ultra-soft breathable knit, this tank has been engineered to offer exceptional underwire-free support and slide-over cups for discreet nursing. In addition to all that support, our nursing tank is created with three strategic zones of compression to flatten your belly.
  6. Rumina Pump&Nurse Classic Coverage Tank: Moderate to Firm support, the Classic Coverage Tank’s all-in-one hands-free pumping and nursing does it all! With a classic v-neckline, moms can pump and nurse discreetly, without revealing your tummy, disrobing or adding extra garments.
  7. Silverette Cups: Small nursing cups made out of 925 silver to help protect the nipples while breastfeeding.  Silver is a natural antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory element and it heals and prevents cuts, wounds, cracks, soreness and infections.
  8. Pariday Tendher Pillows: Pillows are made of soft-touch, medical-grade film for maximum soothing. Gel-filled pillows soothe breasts & nipples on contact at room temperature. Pillows may be cooled or warmed and worn with sleeves for additional soothing. Washable, re-usable sleeves wick away moisture while preventing minor leaks. Perfectly sized for both coverage and tuck-in-bra discretion.
  9. Babymoov Essential Diaper Bag: Functional baby changing bag to make your every-day life with baby easier! Many accessories: Changing mat, Insulated bag, Transparent pocket, Soother pocket , Stroller harness
  10. Perfect Postnatal™ . Six  Month Supply. Multivitamin is formulated with vitamins and minerals recommended specifically for breastfeeding women, including whole-food cultured Iron, Vitamin B6, Iodine and Vitamin D3. To help address your body’s needs after giving birth, Perfect Postnatal delivers whole-food cultured Iron‡—required for red blood cell production—as well as Folate.   

                                                    Winner Trista O

 

 


    Breastfeeding Problems and the Power of Support April 27, 2016 14:57 2 Comments

    Quick Tips:

    • Understand that breastfeeding is not always easy
    • Recognize the Importance of a supportive environment
    • Find lactation resources

      When my first daughter was born, I thought breastfeeding would be an easy natural bonding event.  After all, it’s expected - moms have been doing it for centuries.  So how difficult could it be?  My mom did not breastfeed any of her kids, so she could not provide any advice. 

      At firstBreastfeeding Mom and BAby I didn’t realize the importance of advice and support.  After all my daughter seemed to be very comfortable breastfeeding.  Okay, well maybe she was a bit cranky and took a while to settle down.  But I didn’t think anything of it, until her pediatrician was concerned that she was not gaining enough weight.  I went into panic mode and we started supplementing with formula in a bottle.  But I still was producing milk.  Nevertheless, I began to think it was not enough.  I was not ready to give up.

      Fortunately, I went to some amazing breastfeeding sessions with Corky, a lactation consultant and owner of the Pump Station in Los Angeles.  In turned out in my case, my milk was almost gone since my baby wasn’t latching on correctly.  After the first meeting with Corky, I began a milk saving marathon where I needed to nurse and pump while weaning my daughter off formula.  The less formula I gave her, the more she wanted to nurse.  It makes sense in retrospect, but as new moms we often think that we don't have enough milk.

      Breast PumpDespite an extremely challenging start, my milk went into full production following several crazy weeks of nursing and pumping.  But it was totally worth it.  Nursing became natural as I developed an amazing bond with my girls.  I ended up breastfeeding them exclusively for about a year.  If I hadn’t sought the help of a lactation consultant, this story may have had a different outcome.  We should encourage and support new moms because it makes a difference. Lactation support is important after having your baby - don’t be afraid of asking for help.  Breastfeeding could be challenging and moms need to know how important is to surround themselves with a supportive team of friends and family. 

      Breastfeeding SupportWhen close friend called few weeks ago because she was close to giving up, I was relieved she reached out. After some C-section complications and the lack of breastfeeding support, she started giving her baby formula. Her struggle was similar to mine, she was worried about not being able to produce enough milk. This must be a common concern for moms before right before they stop breastfeeding. Now, she enjoys breastfeeding her baby in a warm supportive environment with the advice of a professional.

      Stay tuned for the breastfeeding guide coming soon. Did you have a similar experience you'd like to share? We would love to hear from you. 

      Best, 

      Carolina