My Mom Uniform: Mad About Plaid

I purchased this dress when my sister was here visiting and it met my basic criteria:
- is it cute?
- will it suit my body type?
- is it in my budget?
- can I breastfeed in it?

While it's too warm to wear it right now, I am still dreaming of crisper weather and fall. I plan to pair it with black tights and booties for a monochromatic look, or my favorite pair of riding boots. Berry lips and bag, and delicate but fierce jewelry finish off the look. Skip the necklace if your nursing enjoys pulling on anything around your neck!

As always, click the image below to shop. This plus sized dress is a bargain at $17! Similar standard sized dresses can be found here, here, or here (in navy/cream).

Mad About Plaid

A Few Thoughts on Black Breastfeeding Week

I shared this sentiment on my private Instagram and FB and it was recently shared on You Lingerie's Instagram.

“Black Breastfeeding Week was created because for over 40 years there has been a gaping racial disparity in breastfeeding rates. The most recent CDC data show that 75% of white women have ever breastfed versus 58.9% of black women. The fact that racial disparity in initiation and even bigger one for duration has lingered for so long is reason enough to take 7 days to focus on the issue.” (source)

Black Breastfeeding Week isn’t racist. It’s not furthering segregation, nor is it reverse racism. It is hearing and understanding the specific concerns of a group of people in order to overcome them so generations of people can have a healthy start to life. It is helping reduce rates of obesity, diabetes, breast cancer. It is reducing infant mortality rates (learn more about "first food deserts" here, here, or here).

For as long as black infant mortality rates are as high as they are and initiation and duration rates are as low as they are, I will shut my mouth and open my ears. Every culture and subset have their own barriers to breastfeeding that are unique. I may not have experienced them, but as an ally I will listen and try to understand.

Protecting My Mama Heart

Last week my big boy started pre-K. He is going to the same school he went to last year and many of the kids in his class are coming back for pre-K. He was excited to make friends and meet his new teacher. He couldn't believe he was going to be one of the big kids he talked about last year.

Our first day back went well. I only cried on the way back to the car, but he had a wonderful day. After I picked him up on his second day, I noticed a different attitude. He seemed less excited and told me he didn't want to go back to school. He eventually opened up to told me that a child in his class came up to him and told him that we weren't invited to the classmate's birthday party.

My heart sank and I felt sick to my stomach. Some kid was being mean to my son and excluding him?? OH HELL NO. I could feel the mama bear starting to come out. I had a hard time controlling it after E shed a few tears. We tried hard to turn it into a teachable moment. We talked about how he won't always get invited to every birthday party, and that it was okay. We talked about how the boy in his class may not have realized how hurtful he was being, and how E could tell the boy in his class how those words made him feel. He seemed to understand and he was excited to go back to school the next morning.

After he went to sleep that night, I cried. I cried for my sensitive little love's heart being sad, I cried because I knew this was the first of many tough moments as he started going to school, but most of all I cried because I can't protect him anymore. This day has been nearly 5 years in the making and I thought I would be ready for it. Unfortunately, I was not nearly as prepared as I'd hoped. I realized that I have no way to protect my mama heart.

Gone are the days where a quick nursing session would calm him down, when singing a favorite song would ease the tears, when kissing a booboo would make it feel better. This is a harsh reality for me as I learn to navigate this next phase of childhood. Gone are the baby days for my oldest. Instead they've been replaced by curiosity and personality. So much personality.

From here on out, I will remind myself that we are raising a strong, sensitive, independent, smart, and funny little boy. While not everyone will think he's as amazing as I do, he will go out into the world and kick some ass. He will come home some days and be sad because someone will be mean to him. It will break my heart every time, but I'll be there with a big hug and kind words. I know he will find his peer group. There will eventually be a group of sweaty boys in my house eating all my food. At some point he'll stop opening up to me, but I hope that day is very far away. I really hope that day never comes, but until then I will take it one birthday party at a time.

Coral is the New Black

It's the end of August. The kids will be in school in a few days and soon we'll be thinking about Halloween and *gasp* the holidays! Until we have to deal with that, lets enjoy the last few days of summer!

Remember that awesome coral maxi skirt I posted about a a few weeks ago? I've been obsessed with the color since then. I only recently realized that it's my color and I should wear it more often. While I have a few coral accessories (shoes, necklace, and watch), I don't own many statement pieces in the vibrant shade. It's time to remedy that. It's a safe bet that I will wear coral in some way until the temps drop below freezing.

I came across this dress on H&M's website and saw that it has concealed buttons. That's code for "breastfeeding friendly!" Pairing coral with an equally strong color like turquoise or mint is one of my favorite combinations for summer. The simple accessories don't compete with the color or flow of the dress. Flat braided sandals, tortoise framed sunglasses, and a bag that's large enough to hold diapers finish off the look. This is a great outfit to wear to a barbecue or even "meet the teacher" night. The dress is versatile enough to transition into fall - add a leather jacket, beanie, and black booties for the ultimate cool girl look.

As always, click the image below to shop. While I was unable to find a similar breastfeeding friendly style in plus sizes, this printed tunic from Modcloth is a great alternative for fall.

Coral is the New Black

Follow me on Instagram to see the latest breastfeeding friendly styles I find! 

Tag your own pics with #bfingstyle to share how you keep it fresh while nursing!

[CLOSED] National Breastfeeding Month Giveaway

While the first week in August is World Breastfeeding Week, the rest of the month is National Breastfeeding Month in the US. To keep the breastfeeding celebration going, I'm giving away a breastfeeding decal, a box of Mrs. Patel's Milk Water Tea in Chai Spice, and your choice of Undercover Mama's Basic Essential Nursing Shirts to those in the US!

Undercover Mama's nursing shirts became a part of my closet when I went back to work with my oldest at 12 weeks. They were a great way to pump, but still keep my back and stomach covered. Once I unhooked my nursing bra, I'd wrap my hands free bra around me and get to pumping. It was very easy and reliable. The best part was that I was able to wear them with my regular tops! I also wear them with my nursing bra to breastfeed in public. I can access my breast quickly, but keep my back and stomach covered.

I was first introduced to Mrs. Patel's a few years ago on Twitter just before E weaned himself. I didn't try them until just recently, after R was born. Her chocolate fenugreek bars are so delicious! My supply is affected by stress or my cycle, so I try to keep some on hand. If you would like to try some of Mrs. Patel's milk making goodies for yourself, use code "banaya46" for 10% off your order (cannot be combined with other offers).

Use the Rafflecopter widget below to win a breastfeeding decal, Milk Water Tea in Chai Spice, and a Basic Essential Nursing Shirt!  Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on Friday, August 21, 2015.

Please note that Instagram entries are mandatory for this giveaway.
Giveaway open to US residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Full disclosure: I was provided with milk making goodies from Mrs. Patel as part of an ambassadorship, but all opinions are my own.

No purchase is necessary to enter. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received. Winning entry will be verified. Winner will be contacted at the email address provided. My blog is not responsible for product shipment/delivery. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Instagram. Giveaway open to US residents only.

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