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New Year's Giveaway January 2, 2019 13:35 11 Comments

🌟•NEW YEAR'S GIVEAWAY•🌟

We have teamed up with some of our favorite small business shops to bring you these amazing goodies and must haves!!! All the prices totaling over $360 will go to ONE lucky winner.💕🎉😊


To enter, you just have to go to our Poncho Baby Instagram and follow the instructions  - Click here to enter. 

*Giveaway will end on Wednesday, Jan 9th at 11:59pm PST. Winner will be announced on Friday, Jan 11th. This giveaway is not sponsored or endorsed by Instagram. Must be 18 years or older to enter. Open to entrants within the US. Good Luck.

The prize Includes:

1. Poncho Baby Nursing Cover: Soft, stylish and eco-friendly, our award-winning Poncho Baby® Nursing Cover was invented by a mom of two. It has a patented design (U.S. Pat. No. 9,380,815) and is made in the USA with 100% cotton muslin and organic cotton. Our unique Nursing Cover has a flexible neckline that allows mom to see the baby directly and provides a back coverage. Super breathable muslin cotton with soothing colors for mom and baby. It’s a must-have for moms on the go since it can be used as a stroller cover, car seat canopy and more.

 Poncho Baby Organic Nursing Cover

Value: $58.

2. Poncho Baby Organic Onesie:  This wardrobe essential is made from the same super soft, organic cotton you already love from Poncho Baby. Unlike most onesies on the market, which are cut high in the leg, our bodysuit design features a generous, which means more diaper coverage and extra comfort for your baby. Our letter envelope style on the top and snaps at the bottom make clothing and diaper changes.

 Poncho Baby Organic Onesie

Value: $19.

3. Happy Tummies Cook Book: Written for the busy, modern mom, Happy Tummies shows you how to make healthy and delicious baby food the easiest way—from everyday foods that you already have at home. Featuring over 40 ingredients, this indispensable collection of recipes teaches you how to properly prepare food for your baby, from purees to finger foods. Plus, each ingredient includes tasty adult recipes so you can make something nourishing for yourself at the same time. In addition we have some baby feeding supplies to donate as well (bowls, spoons, etc) 

Happy Tummies Cook Book

Value: $27.99.

4. Indigo Knots & Collective Wall Tapestry HangingHandmade modern fiber art and bohemian macramé statement pieces designed to fill your home with warmth, texture, character, and dimension. A perfect piece for bohochic homes, floral and adventure theme nurseries or as a gift for macramé and art lovers. Change your space with a simple hang.

Made with 100% cotton rope in natural ivory. Hung on an unfinished wooden dowel. The dowel measures approximately 9.75” wide. Macramé measures about 17” long (from wooden dowel down). The full piece from hanging point measures about 22.75" long.

Indigo Knots & Collective

Value: $70.

5. Two CC Beanies from Caraway Marketing:

Caraway Marketing is giving the perfect accessory to keep your head warm and your outfit fashionable with CC Beanies! Featuring a thick knitted construction, this beanie will make the perfect finishing touch in your cold weather outfits. Wear it with a coat, with a sweater dress, and everywhere in between!

Caraway Marketing

Value: $45.

6. Alison Sheri Knit Cape:  Known for luxurious knitwear, started with the basics and worked their way into multiple styles of clothing, constantly inspired by the world around us. They utilize the best of European and American fashion to create comfortable, on-trend, and easy care collections that today’s women can wear effortlessly. A great versatile cape that can be worn instead of a coat or on top of one for extra warmth.

AlisonSheri 

Value: $110.

7. Daisy Garden Pouch: Carry-all utility case perfect for travel or everyday while on the go. Pack your makeup, credit cards, sunglasses, art supplies, small electronic devices and more. Stunning front-and-back, edge-to-edge design. Cotton, Inner Pocket: 5.75" x 3.75", Bag Interior: 9.75" x 6", Bag Exterior: 10" x 6.5".

Rebecca Rueth Designs

Value: $35.


Breastfeeding with Love December 7, 2018 09:20 10 Comments

Simple Wishes, Pumping Essentials and Poncho Baby

 
An amazing group of sisters launched Simple Wishes and Pumping Essentials. We wanted to share with you their inspiration, business advise and amazing products. We have also teamed up with this amazing company and have created an amazing giveaway.  
  • What inspired you to launch Simple Wishes and Pumping Essentials? The saying, "Necessity is the mother of all invention." is a perfect description of how both Simple Wishes and Pumping Essentials came to life. Simple Wishes was started because of an overwhelming need our sister, Debra, had while pumping. At the time, there were no truly hands free solutions on the market. She was pumping exclusively for her son and saw what a need she had and believed that she couldn't be the only woman having this feeling. Ten years later, we are still blown away by what a huge need there was. Pumping Essentials came along after Simple Wishes, but the thought was the same. The medical supply world wasn't easy to navigate for a mom looking for a pump buried in websites which offered such huge catalogs. We wanted to offer a boutique experience to get mom her pump and parts as quick and easy as possibly while offering an element of care that no other DME was able to offer. 
  • How does your products support the breastfeeding journey for a mom? Our products and services support moms in them having control of their journey. Not having your hands available while you are pumping can leave you feeling paralyzed. By freeing moms hands up for them and offering nursing and pumping bras, it allows them to be in the drivers seat again to make it what they want. 
  • What is your latest product? What makes it unique? Our latest product in our SuperMom All In One Nursing and Pumping Bra. It allows you to have the support of your favorite pumping bra in an all day wear style that is comfortable and beautiful. Whether you are nursing, pumping or both at the same time, this bra supports you.
  • What are the emotional benefits that as a brand have you delivered to its customers? We always try to be there in it with moms through our social media, customer care and our lactation consults so they feel as supported as possible during this process of selecting the items they need and making sure they are right for their journey.
  • What advice can you offer to women who are seeking to start their own business? There are two key things I would advise to anyone starting their own business. One, set a solid foundation with clear communication and practices in place to allow pause before big decisions. If you do that right, then, two is to trust that foundation and don't be afraid to grow. Always check back with the first recommendation to make sure you are staying in control, but then let it flow. 
  •  How do you maintain a work and life balance with a family business? We do our best to be respectful of business hours so we each have personal time to recharge. Not always perfect at it, but we try. We also try to take trips together and shut down work so we have time separate from the business. 

Poncho Baby and Simple Wishes Giveaway

Don't miss this amazing giveaway with Simple Wishes. Have a chance to win some amazing Poncho Baby Products and SuperMom All in One Bra. Click on the following links and follow the instructions of the post.

 


Top 20 Latinas Awarded by Ford Motor Company - Poncho Baby's Owner was Recognized for Sustainability October 10, 2018 09:40 8 Comments

Poncho Baby's Owner Awarded as Top 20 Legendary Latinas by Ford Motor Company

On Thursday, September 27, in the city of Los Angeles, California, Carolina Toro-Gerstein, CEO and founder of Poncho Baby Inc., was awarded by Ford Motor Company, as one of 20 exceptional Latinas for its important work and business projection with products that promote awareness and innovation in environmental sustainability.

Toro-Gerstein has been recognized by Ford in the Sustainability category, having established with its company Poncho Baby Inc., ecological products and the creation of awareness in the community about the risk in the use of products that contain chemicals in the manufacture of garments. Carolina also obtained the exclusive patent for the design of her maternity covert for Poncho Baby. 

The environment and the service to the community has been essential for Carolina since she lived in Colombia. For this Latina entrepreneur one of her mottos is to promote organic products and their benefits not only for children and mothers, but also for the environment.

Her community work with Poncho Baby is to help the community especially children and mothers with low economic resources by donating products to Baby2Baby, a non-profit association that offers products for low-income families, especially mothers and their children.

Before launching her Poncho Baby company, Carolina has successfully worked in the global product launch and marketing campaigns for well-known companies such as Citibank, Oracle, Yahoo! And Citysearch. Toro-Gerstein graduated as an Industrial Engineer from the Universidad Javeriana in Cali, Colombia and did a Masters in Business (MBA) at Montclair State University in the United States.

Carolina Toro-Gerstein has also been recognized as the best Leaders of Inspiration by the National Business Women Association (NLBWA) in 2018 and the best Latinos in Technology was selected by the HITEC association in 2010. Her contributions as an entrepreneur have been recognized by parents, media of communication such as the Huffington Post and institutions as important as the Family Choice Awards in 2014 as the best product with its Poncho Baby. To these recognitions are added among others the Top Choice award in 2013 of the magazine Baby Maternity and the National Parenting Publications award.


Poncho Baby Community and Breastfeeding Tips August 24, 2018 13:17 4 Comments

My breastfeeding experience thought me the importance of community, support and determination.

Before I had our first baby, I read many books and went to pre-natal breastfeeding classes. I thought that breastfeeding would come naturally to me. When the baby was born, I was very lucky to breastfeed her as soon as I saw her. She seemed to latch on correctly. I received a brief breastfeeding consultation at the hospital and rented a breast pump to take home. I thought that I knew it all and was ready for the breastfeeding experience.

Unfortunately, our daughter got jaundice in the first week and she kept losing weight even though I was breastfeeding her every two hours. I almost lost all my milk before she was only four weeks old. My mom helped me as much as she could but she did not have breastfeeding experience.

I panicked and decided that I needed help and support; otherwise, I would not be able to breastfeed my baby. I reached out to friends and to the breastfeeding community.  I was very lucky to have found an amazing breastfeeding consultant who identified my issue. She taught me how to latch the baby correctly and how to increase my milk production. I started pumping and breastfeeding at the same time. After an exhausting month, I was able to get my milk back and my baby started growing fast.

The breastfeeding journey is different for each mom. I always encourage pregnant moms to reach out to a lactation consultant and create a community before the baby comes. In this way, it is easy to find support during the first few months, which is a decisive period to have a successful breastfeeding experience.  

These my breastfeeding tips:

  1. Enjoy the special bonding with your baby
  2. Create a breastfeeding community by supporting other moms
  3. Have a group or private lactation consultant session after you have your baby
  4. Get a good breastfeeding pump. Check and clean it before the baby comes
  5. Start pumping after the first month. It is good to start storing some breastmilk and to get the baby use to the bottle.
  6. Use nipple cream few weeks before you have the baby.
  7. Drink water, tea or juices.
  8. Have a breastfeeding pump bra

We have included breastfeeding tips for our Poncho Baby community below. Thank you for sharing your tips in our blog comments. 

  • @mrs_knarr:In the beginning it can be tough but baby and mommy are both learning about one another and this will help you build a strong bond. Your body can do amazing things such as breastfeeding! All the benefits such as the immunity you are able to pass to your child and just knowing your body can nourish theirs... It’s amazing what women can do! 
  • @mirasolalife:Always drink a glass of water while feeding. Helps keep your water intake up and be patient while the milk comes in.
  • @hollleerback:Drinking 100% pineapple juice helps with inflammation and makes the first few weeks easier!
  • @only_mianicole:Be patient with yourself and baby. This is a learning process for the both of you guys. It can be hard at first but very beneficial once you get the hang of it.
  • @erika_troy_4ever:Always burp baby after feeding!
  • @amy.hawkins.17:Take deep breaths during those frustrating moments and drink LOTS of water!
  • @krissymom_of_4:Always make sure you have a good latch or you will be sorry! Don’t let your baby be lazy or it will hurt!
  • @heathersmith10416:As they get older it takes longer because they get distracted so easilyeasy.
  • @runnercov:Always keep your boppy and burp cloths near!
  • @beloved_bonds: Find breastfeeding support through online communities before your baby arrives and take it one moment at a time.
  • @krashlee:pumping is necessary sometimes, and sometimes it's the only option due to medical reasons, but that doesn't make it any less magical. Your milk is beautiful in any form for your baby.

 

We think these tips will help expectant and nursing moms to have a better experience.  Keep in mind that all bodies are different and you might find different tips that work better for you and your baby.  

 


Mother's Day - Giveaway August 14, 2018 13:14 1 Comment

Mother's Day - Giveaway

Mother's Day Giveaway May 2, 2018 09:22

Amazing Mother's Day Giveaway!



 

Mother's Day is quickly approaching, and being a full-time mom means always putting our children first. We think it is important we take this day to acknowledge ourselves and all of our hard work. So to celebrate us, we've partnered with Christy Carlson Romano, Nesting DaysCapsul Jewelry, Poncho Baby, and Essentially Olied Mama for special give-a-way, just for moms!

(remove your own brand from list in your copy)

Winner will receive:

A Nesting Days Baby Carrier: designed by a doula, Nesting Days is a soft, hands-free, fitted carrier, which can be worn under a parent's clothes, promoting skin-to-skin baby wearing. It is specially made for infants up to 18 lbs.  

A Capsul sterling silver #momlife mini-block necklace in gold: Capsul allows you to create custom jewelry pieces to tell your story, and relive your most joyous occasions each time you do.

Goodies from Poncho Baby including: an organic nursing cover, which is made of an incredibly soft, breathable fabric and can be used as a nursing cover, stroller cover, baby carrier cover, car seat canopy and more; an organic roly baby blanket, perfect for outings, the breathable organic cotton blanket unfolds quickly to create a soft, clean place for babies to play and relax; and an organic bandana bib, which is made of organic cotton and is reversible, adjustable, incredibly soft, and very absorbent (four layers super soft muslin fabric).

And goodies from @Essentially_oiled_mama including a doTerra Essential Oils Introductory Kit with Lavender, Lemon and Peppermint: Certified Pure and Therapeutic Grade essential oils help relax and calm mama & baby, soothes tension, uplifts moods, settles little tummies and much more! Plus the doTerra Clary Calm Roller: A proprietary blend designed to provide a soothing effect during a woman's menstrual cycle, offers a cooling effect for the skin, helps balance emotions, and support a woman's postpartum body.



Earth Day - Easy Ways to encourage kids to be eco-friendly April 20, 2018 20:28 1 Comment

At Poncho Baby, we believe the Earth Day is every day.  Parents have a big role in teaching kids about the beauty of nature and how to protect it.

Besides, showing your children ways to "go green" not only increases the fun things you do together (liking playing in the park, planting a garden, or walking the dog) it can also help you save on electricity and water (by teaching them to turn off lights and taps.) 

These are some helpful tips:

  1. Make spending time outdoors part of their life while having fun: Both they and you benefit -- being outside in the sunshine helps them produce vitamin D, necessary for a healthy life, and visiting parks gives them wide open green areas where they can run off some of that boundless energy. (And maybe see some cool sights!). Make it fun - we love to collect leaves to identify later, learn the names of the flowers we see, or take cell phone pictures of birds for a bird journal.

2. Encourage activities outdoors with your kids: Walk or bike to the post office or grocery store. Or a farmer's market--some of them have music and lots of people strolling around, offering a fun atmosphere. (And you can let the kids help pick out the organic veggies to eat!) Dogs are great motivators for getting outdoors. And they teach children wonderful lessons in love, responsibility, and care for the neighborhood (by picking up after your pet.)

3. Create a garden with your kids: Start with flower seeds and let them see what a little water and sunshine can produce. Or better yet, plant a vegetable garden and they will (okay, they may) want to eat the fruit (and veggies) of their labor. If you don't have a backyard, some veggies and herbs do well on balconies and windows in pots. We are getting ready to start our garden this spring. We love tomatoes, peppers, herbs, blackberries and strawberries. Our girls' school has a wonderful vegetable garden and they do delicious teastings each season.

4. Use reusable containers and recycle: There are lots of options for school lunches, picnics or other activities at home or outside, such as water bottles, bento boxes, eco friendly utensils and cloth napkins. Let them decorate their boxes and water bottles with paints or stickers to make them truly theirs. Our girls use reusable water bottles and bento boxes for their lunch at school, with our organic washcloths as a reusable napkin. When you don't have reusable products, teach them to recycle. Show them the different products that can be recycled such as glass, plastic and metal, and where to find the code on plastics that tell them whether or not this item is recyclable.

5. Teach kids the importance of conserving food: Once they've had the fun of picking out items at a farmer's market, or growing it themselves, they can more easily see the value of each item of food, and how much work it takes to get it from the farm to the table. (Or the backyard to the table!) This might also help you in getting them to eat everything on their plates. We love to make lemonade with black berries with the produces from our garden, and our girls love picking the herbs when we cook at home.

6. Explain to them about water conservation: In certain areas, especially southern California or Arizona, that means planting more drought tolerant plants in the garden. Let them help you pick out which plants to use. It also means running the dishwasher only when there's a full load, and turning off the water while they brush their teeth.

7. Talk to them about power conservation: Less power means less greenhouse gases from power plants, so practice turning off lights and the TV (and the computer!)

8. Have them search for eco-friendly products when you go to the store: Points for being the first one to spot the green products!  We talk to our kids about why we pick some products to avoid unnecessary chemicals in the environment (and on ourselves), such as sunscreen, soap, shampoo, lotions, conditioner, house cleaning products among others. We avoid oxybenzone in the sunscreen for our kids and buy eco-friendly cleaning products like Mrs. Meyer's

9. Watch programs that connect kids with nature: There are a lot of choices, like Planet Earth, National Geographic, the Discovery channel, or Animal Planet.

10. Encourage them to give back to the community: Show them how good it feels when we help others. Every three months, my girls and I select books, clothes and toys that they have outgrown. We like to take them to Baby2Baby which focuses on supporting low income kids. You can also involve them in projects that help keep your community clean and beautiful, by taking them with you to participate in community organizations that clean local parks or beaches, or plant trees.

Mother Earth will thank you!

Looking forward to making a better world with our kids, friends, family and our village.
Thank you for sharing your tips by creating a comment.
Love,
Carolina 

 


Valentine's Day Giveaway February 12, 2018 11:12 12 Comments

Valentine's Day Giveaway

We have partnered with some amazing companies. Have the chance to #win this wonderful giveaway by entering the contest in our Poncho Baby Instagram and follow the instructions  - This is the link https://www.instagram.com/ponchobaby/

 

This is the list of amazing products for valentines:

1. Green Swarovski crystal jewerly - Sterling silver chain from Lila Mumu  https://www.instagram.com/lilamumu/ 

2. Handmade Earings from Terre Ferme Pottery: A tiny pair of red floral stud earrings. Dimensions: Measurements 10 x 10 mm. https://www.instagram.com/terrefermepottery/

3. "Sweet Dreams" - abstract giclee art print by Jessi Donnelly. - https://www.instagram.com/windingears/

A dreamy​​ sleeping ​moon creature, drifting through the night sky. He's perfect for a nursery room. The original work was painted using acrylic paint​ on 18x24" canvas. ​ ​Reproduced as a fine art print using the quality archival ink and Smooth Fine Art, Moab Entrada Bright White 290 gsm, paper.

4. Poncho Baby Onesie Organic- https://ponchobaby.com/collections/organic-onesies

Unlike most onesies on the market, which are cut high in the leg, our bodysuit design features a generous, which means more diaper coverage and extra comfort for your baby. Our letter envelope style on the top and snaps at the bottom make clothing and diaper changes ... well, a snap! 

5. Beurre Baby Bundle - https://www.instagram.com/beurresheabutter/

BEURRE MAMAN - SHEA BUTTER NIPPLE & BELLY CREAM (6oz) - Beurre Maman is a natural way to tone and condition your growing baby bump. High in vitamins E and A, the blend of shea butter and nurturing oils rejuvenates and repairs your skin. Beurre Maman minimizes itching and also serves to heal sore, cracked nipples during the first months of nursing. All ingredients are safe for both mommy and baby. BEURRE BEBE - SHEA BUTTER BABY CREAM (UNSCENTED OR CHAMOMILE) - (6oz) - Beurre Bebe contains all natural, protective, moisturizing and skin strengthening properties that are perfect for baby. Shea butter is loaded with skin cell building blocks – essential fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins – that gives your baby all they need for healthy skin, from head to toe. Beurre Bebe comes in Unscented and Chamomile, which is excellent for calming and relaxing baby after bath time. BEURRE BEBE - SHEA BUTTER CHAMOMILE-CALENDULA BALM (2oz) - Beurre Chamomile-Calendula Balm is a natural healing balm for scrapes, bruises, burns and scratches that can happen to toddlers and younger children. Infused with chamomile and calendula oil, this balm can also be used as a soothing and healing diaper rash balm because of its antibacterial, anti inflammatory and healing compounds.

6, V-neck tee - https://www.instagram.com/anasteinberg/

"Grazie mille ma non mi interessa" which translates loosely to "Thank you, not interested".

7. Anxiety Relief for Kids Book - https://www.instagram.com/letsplayparents/

Great resource for parents who want to learn how to help their kids cope with fear, worry and/or anxiety .

8. Poncho Baby Nursing Cover - https://ponchobaby.com/collections/organic-nursing-cover

Award-winning and patented Poncho Baby Organic Nursing Covers was designed by a mom. Made in the USA with 100% Organic Cotton Muslin Imported. They are incredibly soft, breathable and soothing fabric colors to keep the baby calm and go with any outfit. Multifunctional – stroller cover, baby carrier cove, car seat canopy or more. Machine wash and dry. Two inside pockets.

9. Water Bottles from Mommy Convos - https://www.instagram.com/p/BfAL5-ungmz/?taken-by=mommyconvos

 


Mom Fitness 5 Tips for New Moms November 22, 2017 07:20 16 Comments

5 Fitness Tips for New Moms

Thanks to Erica for writing this amazing blog about fitness tips for new moms. We will be featuring some amazing moms who want to share their passions through our blog.

Congratulations! You’ve just incubated and evacuated an actual human being from your very own lady parts.  As you well know, growing and squeezing a bowling-ball-sized object out of a dime-sized hole takes a major toll on one’s body. The good news, however, is that the postpartum body is really quite trainable and can return not only to its previous state, but a stronger, more stable one- IF you train it properly. Professional runners, Kara Goucher, Stephanie Bruce, and Alysia Montano's all returned strong to qualify for the US Olympic trials in their respective distances after having babies (I’m waiting on you, Adi Nelson!!!). If you’re reading this, you’re PROBABLY not a professional athlete (though if you are, I’d love a shout out!), but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn lessons from them. Take a look at these guidelines that will help you lose weight and rebuild the necessary muscle tone, functional strength, and mobility to carry out the new demands of “momlife”:

1. Restore That Core!!!

This is, perhaps, the MOST important thing you can do to achieve your fitness goals safely and effectively. Pregnancy and childbirth stretch and weaken the muscles and connective tissue of much of the core, including the deep core and pelvic floor muscles (such as the transverse abdominis). Most women also have some degree of diastasis recti- the separation between your rectus abdominals that leaves a gap, making your belly “pooch” out after birth. A weak inner core is also why you might pee every time you sneeze, jump, or laugh (SO annoying, amiright?!) and Kegels are just not enough. Your first inclination might be to jump back into popular “ab exercises” like sit-ups/crunches, planks, and leg lifts, but you’d likely be doing more harm than good. Instead, focus on your breathing, engaging the appropriate muscles, and using small movements to progressively re-train your deep core and pelvic floor. 

Rebuilding these muscles will ensure proper function and the stability necessary to carry out more intense movements later on. Exercises done while laying down, like “drawing in,” bent knee marches, glute bridges are sure to help.

2. Walk

Anywhere and everywhere. Walking will increase blood flow, which is important to the healing process while the movement boosts your endorphins (happy hormones), making you feel good. We are fortunate enough to live in a place where I can do most of my errands on foot and our primary mode of transportation has 2 wheels. So we walk (and bike). A lot. In all kinds of weather. If you have a safe place to walk near you (i.e. sidewalks, a path, a promenade, a boardwalk, etc.) and proper attire, then get your tushies out the door and walk. It provides time to bond with your little one, teaching him or her about your surroundings, and is good for your heart, soul, and leg muscles. You’ll kick-start your metabolism, making it easier to lose weight, while showing baby that healthy activity is valuable and important to you (bonus points if you have a dog and bring Fido with you!).
 

Don’t live in a place conducive to a walk? Look for opportunities to do so in other ways. Park far away from the entrance to the grocery store, head to the mall and walk the corridors, grab your carrier and find a safe wooded trail at a state, county, or local park to walk with a friend. Just move as much as possible, as often as you can. With all the time we spend sitting (resting/healing, feeding, cuddling, etc.), your body will thank you for any kind of activity. The more you try to make it a habit, the easier it becomes to get out the door.

 

3. Drink a LOT of water.

Seriously. Giving birth depletes us of a LOT of liquid that if not replaced, can leave you feeling dehydrated for days (weeks? months?!). This is especially important if you are nursing. While drinking more water probably won’t have any affect on your milk supply, it’s essential to keeping YOU feeling good. Your brain, muscles, skin, and other organs all need water to perform at their best and now they have to compete with a suckling infant for access. Recovery (from birth and a hard workout) is much easier when your body is well hydrated. You don’t need to overdo it, either. Adding just a few extra 8-ounce servings of H2O to your regular routine can do the trick (drink more if you’re not typically a conscious water-drinker).

4. Start slowly.

The shortest gestation period of any mammal belongs to a species of opossum and is less than 2 weeks. By contrast, an elephant’s gestation period is 95 weeks. Well….thank goodness we are not elephants. And 2 weeks sounds cool until I think about the fact that I didn’t know I was pregnant until roughly week 6, so I guess I’m also glad I’m not a rodent-like marsupial (opossums are GROSS). That being said, as a human, you just spent approximately 40 weeks- FORTY WEEKS- gaining weight, turning your flesh and blood and everything you ate into a baby. Then you delivered it. Then you had to heal from that delivery while taking care of your baby. Your body probably does not look nor behave the same way it did before conception. AND THAT’S OKAY (I repeat…40 weeks)! My best advice here is to get back into the groove slowly. Your full recovery and your baby are more important right now than how you look. Most physicians recommend waiting until 6-week check-up to resume or begin any kind of fitness regimen. Ay sooner and you run the risk of injury or delaying your body’s ability to heal. Walking and a few minutes of core exercises each day until you’ve regained a little strength and stability are all you should be doing at first. Don't overdo it and be sure to progress at a safe rate. I refer you back to rule #1 with retraining your core properly before you move on to anything more intense. When you are ready, add a few reps or new, simple exercises, like squats, deadlifts or bicep curls with light weights to what you’re doing. You can quicken the pace while lengthening the distance you walk as you feel things returning to normal. Some gentle/restorative yoga is a good idea around this time, too. If you do things right up to this point, you’ll be able to kick it up a notch with some running or other cardio and more intense upperbody and core training with little to no problem (aside from, ya know, time and energy). If you suspect any issues, such as a pelvic floor injury or high degree of diastasis recti, speak to your healthcare provider asap.

 5. Get baby involved.

So about that time and energy thing…I can’t be the only mom who struggles with finding time to get a good workout in. What I find is that it’s not really finding the time itself, but prioritizing effectively. Based on the schedules in my house, I am very limited in my opportunities to work out solo. However, if I’m willing to change my expectations of the workout, I can get baby involved. Squats, lunges, planks (when you’re strong and ready for them!), and some stretches are moves that can be done while holding or engaging a baby.
 

 

Hello resistance training! It’s convenient that they grow and gain weight as you get stronger and want to progress (or are you getting stronger BECAUSE they’re gaining weight?!). If you’ve got a set of TRX or similar bodyweight straps safely anchored in your home, strap baby into your preferred carrier (the Boba 4G is my fave!!!) and bring him or her along for the ride. If you need external motivation, almost every city and suburban area has some sort of mommy & me or stroller fitness classes. They are usually not free, but they get you out of the house to interact with adult humans, provide socialization for baby, and get you your workout. So how much is your sanity worth? A simple Google or hashtag search on social media (i.e. fit4mom or stroller fitness and your city or town) will set you in the right direction on finding a local group. If you live in an area too far from one, start your own! Grab a group of like-minded friends and find a place to put the work in. Your future self, your baby, and probably your significant other will thank you for it. 

Patience and consistency are key when upping your fitness game after having a baby.  Start small and remember to think about function and stability before any intense training. With some careful planning, you can and will restore your strength and, in turn, your body confidence. Maybe you, too, can qualify for the Olympics Trials. Hey…an old girl can dream, can’t she?

Erica Coviello is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, an ACSM Certified Group Fitness Instructor, a Road Runners Club of America Certified Running Coach, and is currently on maternity leave from teaching middle school science in NJ. Check out @runnercov on Instagram.

 https://www.instagram.com/runnercov/

 

 


The Power of Community New Mom Essential October 6, 2017 10:56 2 Comments

New Mom Essential - Power of Community 

Before having my first daughter, my husband and I thought that getting all the training and supplies for baby, mom and breastfeeding were enough for our new baby adventure.  

At the hospital, we rented the hospital grade pump went through their new baby training sessions.  After being at home with a new baby for two weeks, we noticed that she was crying a lot and was not gaining as much weight as expected.  I went into panic mode.  My mom could not guide me much since she never breastfed my brother or me. 

I felt isolated from the mom community.  Before getting married and having my girls, we used to live in New York.  I had a lovely group of girlfriends in Los Angeles, no one had a baby and our moms did not live close by.

Overwhelmed and frustrated, I joined the Pump Station breastfeeding group which was so supportive and informative.  I took me a while to realize how much I was missing --- support was an essential step to smooth my rocky new mom and baby journey!

New Mow - The power of community

After joining a Breastfeeding Community, I felt more confident, my baby started to grow and my stress level went down.  We got together once or twice a week.  I also met a wonderful group of moms and one of our best friends today.  Our girls, who are almost ten years old, have been best friends since they were few weeks old.

After experiencing these challenges, I decided that Poncho Baby Community could help other moms like me.  Having mom community makes an easier journey.  The women power is amazing and we need to leverage each to go through new mom and baby challenges. 

We are planning to expand our community and planning to create a venue to get resources and collaborate: 

  1. New Breastfeeding Community Source site: We are launching next month a new Breastfeeding Resource where you can share your favorite hospital, doctor, OBGYN, doula, lactation consultant, lactation/baby store and more.
  2. We will be sharing special perks and specials to this amazing group of mom and dads
  3. Connect with Poncho Baby Community: we are planning to provide a venue to support topics for our blog or ask questions.
  4. Feature a community member: we could share your blog, video or podcasts.
  5. More ways to connect: we will be sharing upcoming online events to connect directly with the community. 

We welcome to our expanding community.  Let us know if you have another suggestions to grow this amazing group of women.

Sign up for our "Newsletter" to join our community and get some perks.  Check the bottom of our page below the awards.


Breastfeeding Essentials Giveaway July 31, 2017 05:22 12 Comments


Breastfeeding Essentials Giveaway

Valued over $460, this amazing package includes the best breastfeeding product essentials for moms with a suite of unique products to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week.

1. Poncho Baby Nursing Cover
Soft, stylish and eco-friendly, our award-winning Poncho Baby® Nursing Cover was invented by a mom of two. It has a patented design (U.S. Pat. No. 9,380,815) and is made in the USA with 100% cotton muslin and organic cotton. Our unique Nursing Cover has a flexible neckline that allows mom to see the baby directly and provides a back coverage. Super breathable muslin cotton with soothing colors for mom and baby. It’s a must-have for moms on the go since it can be used as a stroller cover, car seat canopy and more. Poncho Baby Organic Nursing Cover
Value: $58

 

2. Ardo Manual Pump - Amaryll
Product description: "The Amaryll handle attaches three ways for the perfect, ergonomic way to pump right or left-handed. Amaryll is an efficient, easy-to-use and comfortable option when you need to pump on the go. Like our electric pumps, Amaryll does not "let go" of your nipple for added comfort and effectiveness.  Includes three breast shell/flange sizes (26mm, 28mm, 31mm) plus the Optiflow (26mm) soft silicone breast massage insert.
Ardo Amaryll
Value: $41.95

 

3. Rumina - SEAMLESS BRA
Rumina’s Hands-Free Seamless Pump&Nurse all-in-one Nursing Bra is the perfect foundation to support a moms unique and beautiful pregnancy and breastfeeding relationship. Moms don’t have to buy a “special” pumping “bra,” Rumina’s Pump&Nurse Bra can be worn as a maternity bra then transition for breastfeeding as a nursing bra with a built-in pumping bra. Rumina’s Pump&Nurse bras and tanks work with all breast pumps and have been used by 10’s of 1,000’s of busy moms who want to comfortably give their very best. Rumina Seamless Bra
Pump and Nurse
Price: $42

 

4. Belabumbum: V-Neck Nursing Dress 
Pretty top stitched V-neckline and midi length make this dress a must-have for before and after baby. When you're ready to nurse, just release the shoulder snaps and lift the lining for convenient and discreet breastfeeding access. Made to mix and match with the pieces from our New Mama Essentials.
Belabumbum V-Neck Nursing Dress
Value: $75

 

5. Silverette silver nursing cups
SILVERETTE ® are small cups crafted out of pure 925 silver that fit over and help to protect nipples while breastfeeding. Silver is a natural antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial metal that also contains anti-inflammatory agents. It heals and prevents cuts, wounds, cracks, soreness, and infections. 
Silverette USA
Product value $59.90

 

6. Simple Wishes Signature Hands Free Pumping Bra
The Simple Wishes Signature hands-free pumping bra gives mom the valuable gift of time by freeing up her hands for other tasks or to simply relax while using her breastpump. And the patented design is adjustable in size to sustain a perfect fit over time as a nursing mother’s size changes! Simple Wishes Signature Hands Free Pumping Bra
Value: $39

 

7. Poncho Baby Washcloths
Soft as mother's touch to keep baby clean. Babies get messy! But we love to get them clean with these organic washcloths.  They’re made in the USA using soft, 100% organic cotton muslin imported, and they only get softer and softer with each washing – perfect for Baby’s delicate skin. Sold in sets of five; choose from girl-themed colors, boy-themed colors or neutral. These also make terrific napkins for Baby’s mealtime.
Poncho Baby Washcloths
Value $15

 

8. 12Little Diaper Clutch in pewter
When you simply need diaper changing essentials when going out with your baby, our 12little Clutch is the perfect match for you!  The clutch comes with a small detachable mesh zipper pouch and our 12 animal logo lining changing pad for your easy diaper changing experience.  Inside the clutch, a large slip pocket can store the changing pad or 3-4  diapers. On the other side of the clutch, the two elastic bands can hold a baby wipe case and more diapers if needed.  This clutch is made with quilted water-resistant coated soft polyester.  Simply carry it in your bag, or as a clutch using the leather handle.  It comes with a detachable long strap so it can be worn as a crossbody for your convenience.
12Little Diaper Clutch in Pewter
Value - $75.00

9. Milkies Milk-Saver and Milk Trays
Milkies Milk-Saver collects leaking milk while you breastfeed. Easy to use, you stay dry and maximize your milk storage.  Milkies Milk Trays freezes your milk in convenient 1 ounce sticks. Simplify milk storage with this durable and Earth friendly tray.

http://www.fairhavenhealth.com/milkies-bundle.html

Value: $55

 

 


Breastfeeding Community is Essential July 27, 2017 12:56

I always wanted to breastfeed. In my mind there was never any question; it’s a natural, healthy connection I wanted with my baby. I had no idea it was going to be so difficult.

We started lactation coaching sessions at the Pump Station in Los Angeles where I learned how to make sure my daughter was latching correctly and different options for breastfeeding positions. It all seemed pretty technical, but it worked and my milk started to come back. They also recommend that I breastfeed and pump at the same time to increase production. It was like a breastfeeding marathon. After a few weeks production began to increase enough and I was able to breastfeed alone.

It was also rewarding to participate in breastfeeding group sessions where I met other moms. We shared our experiences and challenges. It was an amazing and supportive group.

Now I believe that lactation support is essential for the breastfeeding success of a new mom.  Family members, friends, lactation consultants, doulas, midwifes, hospitals and other supporting organizations all make a difference in the breastfeeding experience.

A few years ago, my sister also experienced difficulty breastfeeding with her first baby. Like me she initially did not think that a lactation consultation was necessary. She began to have pain while breastfeeding and developed a blocked duct. I told her about my experience and encouraged her to get help. She was able to find an amazing lactation consultant who guided her through her challenges and she successfully breastfed her baby exclusively for more than a year.

These are my tips to make have a successful breastfeeding experience:

 
  1. Create a breastfeeding supporting community through family, friends, doulas, doctors, midwifes or lactation consultants.
  2. Select a doctor and hospital that support breastfeeding.
  3. Participate in breastfeeding sessions before you baby is born.
  4. Get a breast pump, breastfeeding essentials and bottles before having your baby arrives
  5. Include your breastfeeding desires in your birth plan.
  6. Ask for breastfeeding support at the hospital.
  7. Visit a lactation consultant the first days or few weeks after you have your baby.
  8. Join breastfeeding groups.

Since the breastfeeding support is very important for new moms, we are launching a breastfeeding support site. Initially it will include our suggested lactation consultants and hospital. In the future, we are planning to expand to doulas and midwifes.

Lots of love,

Carolina


Celebrating Dad - My first Father’s Day Without Him  June 18, 2017 10:42 3 Comments

Father’s Day has always been a very special day – this year is bittersweet since it is the first year without him.  It is not easy for me to write about my dad since he only passed away nine months ago.    Every time he comes to mind, I think about his passion, love and drive.     He was always the first one up in the morning and focused on planning his day, inventing new things or preparing for the endless projects planned over weeks and months.    His love for children and nature was unforgettable -- any project or activity was done with such gusto and laughter that it was infectious.

 

Since I was very young we used to work on special school projects, hiked and rode horses.    He always looked very elegant and handsome with a big smile.  While he was horseback riding, he used a traditional Colombian hat and nice checker shirt and leather boots.  He always encouraged me and support me to pursue my dreams even if they will drive me far from him.   Even through tough times and setbacks, I can hear his strong voice, “Don’t worry my daughter, you can do it, don’t give up!”   

He always entered a room with full force filled with energy, drive, positivism. His love for his family drove him forward even during his ten year battle with cancer and grueling rounds of chemo.  Despite the suffering, he focused on life and laughter.  He was so strong he managed to ride his horses with his elegant style after recovering from chemo.

He loved to share his passion for nature, hiking, horses and animals with younger generations. When he had visitors to the farm, he loved to take them on magical hikes.  Kids were especially welcome to the adventure -- natural vine swings from tropical trees, walking through the bamboo forest or crossing the creek that ran through his farm. 

After the girls were born, my dad designed a unique saddle for our girls so they can ride the horses safely at a young age. When the girls got older, we used to take them on horseback riding trips through the emerald mountains and checking for butterflies, green parrots, woodpeckers or eagles.   His last gift to our girls was super special, an orphaned lamb who became very attached to the girls as they walked and bottle-fed him every day.  My girls named him Colombianito.  We celebrate his laughter as he watched Colombianito jump and chase my girls as they ran through the pasture. 


All my family and friends have amazing memories of my dad and the farm. They came to enjoy the beautiful views of the valley, the hikes around the farm, and enjoy the animals -- cows, sheep, horses, rabbits, roosters, hens, dogs, cats and even guinea pigs.  Our girls always preferred the family farm instead of the house in the city in our trips to Colombia.  Every call to him they always asked, “Grandapa, how is the farm? How are the animals?” My girls remember the beautiful moments with him and share his love for nature and animals. 

His legacy is about love and life, and especially planning for the next generations.  As I remember his words, I wonder how I can encourage new generations to appreciate the world and all its living things?   It’s tough to do.  In my quest for eco-friendly living and creating organic products, I remember my dad’s passion and how he fed me, nurtured me, encouraged me.  And then I realize that anything is possible, as this today and the next day, I celebrate my dad.

Love, 

Carolina

 

 

 


Must-Have Baby Products: Conceived, Invented and Created by Moms May 24, 2017 12:07

Moms are problem solvers by nature, so it should not come as a surprise that many of the most innovative products on the baby market are the brainchild of moms who designed solutions for problems they faced daily.

For our founder, Carolina, breastfeeding was a special and life-changing moment, but like many moms, she craved more privacy during the bonding time. Drawing inspiration from her cultural roots in the Colombian Andes Mountains, as well as other breastfeeding moms, she set out sketching the first designs for Poncho Babys nursing poncho. Last year, Poncho Baby® received a patent for its award-winning 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 machine-washable 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.

Mom-Invented Giveaway Partners:

Janelle, founder and CEO, invented the Stair Barrier out of necessity when she realized that she couldn’t find a safety gate that worked with the volute/curved banisters on the staircase in her family’s new home. For years, she successfully used her invention, a reinforced fabric safety gate with unique buckle system, with her own kids before deciding to turn it into a business, bringing the much-needed solution to parents with hard-to-gate staircases across the U.S.

Karen enjoyed a successful nursing career for 19 years before, out of sheer frustration over her newborn baby’s lack of sleep, she created the first prototype of the Woombie baby swaddle on her grandmother’s sewing machine in the middle of the night. The unique baby swaddle gently cocoons baby and allows for natural movement of arms, legs and hips just like in the womb. The Woombie requires NO wrapping, just put baby in and zip! Four-way stretch fabric allows for movement and a breathable and ventilated design allows excess heat to escape to prevent the risk of overheating.

Amy of Big Bee, Little Bee invented the Snow Angel bath towel to soothe her baby’s upset over the slow, cold, and uncomfortable drying-off process that followed her bath. After a few experiments and a rough first attempt, Amy figured out how to strategically section and design the towel in the shape of its namesake -a snow angel--which allows parents to quickly and easily dry all parts of baby after bathtime. Her unique bath towel features a padded back panel to protect baby from hard surfaces, an adjustable-length hood that grows with baby, soft terry-velour wings for easy drying of arms, legs and all the bits in between, and multiple panels to keep baby warm during dry-off.

Enter below for the chance to win each of the following:

  1. Woombie Air ($25)
  2. Big Bee, Little Bee Snow Angel baby bath towel ($22.95)
  3. Poncho Baby nursing poncho in Navy or Emerald ($58)
  4. Stair Barrier in a fabric of your choice ($144.99)

Giveaway Ends May 31, 2017. 

Enter the giveaway in the following link:

https://www.thestairbarrier.com/blogs/news/giveaway-mom-inspired-products-conceived-and-created-by-moms


Mother’s Day - Top Gift Ideas for New Moms and Moms-to-Be May 6, 2017 17:06

 

We love to celebrate motherhood all year round at Poncho Baby, so having Mother’s Day coming up on May 14 is very exciting! We honor all those hardworking mothers and expecting moms out there. Sometimes picking out a great gift can be challenging, so we’ve come up with some suggestions for gift ideas for new and expectant moms, and hope you enjoy a Happy Mother’s Day.

 

  • Keepsake pregnancy journal. Being pregnant is a time of reflection, change and creativity. Encourage Mom-to-Be to save her thoughts with a beautiful keepsake journal. Uncommon Goods makes a nice one.
  • Massage oil. For super-tight skin on the growing tummy—or relaxing massages on the shoulders—high-quality oil is sure to be appreciated. Empire Squid’s Mama’s Blend is all-organic, and there’s a nonscented version for the first trimester.
  • Massage gift certificate. Speaking of massages, how about a gift card for a professional prenatal massage? Check with your local spa, or, a national chain like Massage Envy offers the service.
  • Nursing cover. Our award-winning Poncho Baby nursing cover has a special neckline so that Mom can see the baby easily while nursing; and the organic fabric is incredibly soft and soothing (and machine washable).
  • Super-soft pajamas. Bamboo is an ideal fabric for sleeping, as it wicks moisture to keep body temperature regulated. Sumptuously soft, yet still stylish, pajamas will become her new best friend. This option, by Seraphine, has a crossover top designed for nursing, as well.
  • Pickles and ice cream. Okay so this can be a bit of a joke—or not—depending on what she’s craving. But how cute is the idea, right? Get some well-made, quality choices, like McClure’s pickles and McConnell’s ice cream.
  • A seat cushion. It’s not a sex-say gift, but a lot of moms-to-be and new moms will swear that having a seat cushion is the best thing ever! The brand Purap has received good mentions on Babycenter.
  • Postpartum bath tea. Once the medical professional has given the thumb’s up for tub baths, Mom will be clamoring for some relaxing “me time” in the tub, so a soothing herbal blend is a thoughtful gift idea. Try an organic version like Ali’s Postpartum Tea Bath.
  • Personalized necklace. Have the baby’s name initial stamped onto a tiny dogtag style pendant for the new mom. We love this affordable silver option from Pamela Curran, or a lot of other designers offer hand-stamped initial jewelry as well. You can also use your breastfeeding healing cups and convert them into a personalized pendant  SilvereteUSA
  • Organic Mom and Baby Plus Gift Set. Still feeling stumped? Go for a gift set. Ours comes with a onesie, nursing cover, and bandana bib, for example.
  • Pump&Nurse Bra:  a comfortable bra is very important for a new breastfeeding mom. Rumina's Seamless Pump@Nurse

New Parents Must-Haves by Little Wanders April 15, 2017 15:18

Every Wednesday, fans tune in to watch Corbin and Kelsey Scott, with baby Juniper, on You Tube’s BabyLeague vlog “Little Wanders.” The Portland, Ore. couple were already sharing their eco-friendly, glob-trekking adventures on “Steps to Wander,” when they found out they were expecting, and they’ve been bringing us tales of their road to parenthood.


I love how honest and open they are, whether sharing Kelsey’s birth story or a recipe for lactation cookies. So you can imagine how excited I was to get the opportunity to be featured on their vlog with some of our Poncho Baby products. The episode is “New Parent Must-Haves,” and you have to check out little Juniper’s feet, sticking out from under the Poncho Baby nursing cover. Sooo sweet!


Here are their must-haves for new parents:
1) Diaper-wipe warmer. They found that Juniper hated diaper changes until they used warm wipes. Not every baby is sensitive to temperatures like this, but if your baby is fussy during changes, a diaper-wipe warmer is worth a try.
2) Poncho Baby nursing cover. (Yay!) As a first time breastfeeding mom, Kelsey notes that feeding her baby in public feels “a little uncomfortable for me. Some people are totally open about breastfeeding in public and just whip it out there, and that is awesome, but for me, I feel a little uncomfortable breastfeeding in public.” She also liked the design and that the cover is versatile enough to be a stroller cover, car seat cover and blanket.
3) Poncho Baby Bandana Bib. Kelsey called it, “Adorable...reversible. Good for newborns because they spit up and it is in two sizes so she can grow into it.”
4) Mountain Buggy Baby Carrier, with infant insert. Corbin notes that the carrier is unisex and while they both wear it, he feels it fits him better than Kelsey because he has a longer torso.
5) Under the Nile’s 100-percent organic, fair-trade toys, including a super-cute fruit set that supports the women workers who make it.
6) DockATot for safe cosleeping. You know I love multifunctional products; so I have to point out that it can also be used for tummy time, playtime and as Baby get older, for a child’s bed as a lounging pillow.


You can see more daily vlogs and more about Steps to Wander here. They are a great family and share our values. So happy to partner with them and we wish them all the best with baby Juniper!


Every Day is Earth Day at Poncho Baby April 9, 2017 09:03 2 Comments

Happy Earth Day! 

 

Earth Day is celebrated on Saturday, April 22nd, but at Poncho Baby, being eco-friendly is something I think about all year around. 

Here are a few ways we are eco-friendly at Poncho Baby: We use water-based inks to print on our onesies. Keep packaging to a bare minimum, which prevents cardboard, paper and plastic from being tossed into the trash. 


I’m also mindful, when designing, that items can be upcycled into other uses as your child grows. For example, our diaper bag Pack-N-Run holds diaper essentials today, but can be used to stash crayons once your little one becomes a preschooler.

Of course, a core value for Poncho Baby is to offer safe fabrics. That’s why I use organic and 100-percent cotton muslin fabrics, sewn by seamstresses who are themselves moms. For more on our fabrics, read our blog on

5 Reasons to Choose Organic Clothing.
Ready for more Earth Day inspiration? Here are three eco-friendly family activities:
1) Cozy up with a book that focuses on themes of environmental awareness. Try Planet Earth Gets Well, by Madeline Kaplan.

2) Spend an hour or so at a beach cleanup. Many volunteer groups are hosting coastal volunteer events for Earth Day and usually will provide gloves and reusable bags. Even small children, when supervised, can enjoy pitching in. Don’t forget a hat, sunscreen and reusable water bottle. If you can’t make it on Earth Day, there are plenty of other cleanup days scheduled, such as International Coastal Cleanup Day, on Sept. 17.

3) Take your baby outside to experience nature. What are the sights? The sounds? Really take time to explore, exposing your little one to the joy of the natural world as you together touch bark and leaves, sniff flowers and feel the grass. It’s never too early to learn to appreciate Mother Nature.
Happy Earth Day to all you Earth Mamas, and, to our most important mother of all, Mother Earth.


5 Messages to My Daughters on International Women’s Day March 8, 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 2 Comments

 

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 2 Comments

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 16 Comments

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 7, 2016 13:40 3 Comments

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 2, 2016 09:43 2 Comments

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 11 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