Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Soft Serve Fruit Co. has some sweet treats for LLD


I had the pleasure to meet with former Assistant NYC District Attorney, do-it-all mother of three young children and sweet tooth crackerjack, Chloe Epstein who just happens to be one of the three master minds behind The Soft Serve Fruit Co. Obviously I fell in love right away. First her business revolves around the family. Second she serves healthy, delicious soft serve fruit.  Ahhhmazing!  And when I say healthy I mean wholesome, fresh, in house products. They only use 3 ingredients; real fruit, filter watered and a touch of organic cane sugar. It is 100% natural: non-dairy, free of fat, sodium, cholesterol, glutens and all 8 allergens! AND each cup is less than 90 calories. Not that anyone counts.


I met Chloe in her UES shop on 3rd Ave, as soon as I walked in I thought of the Hamptons. So if you need a boost this winter, grab the kids, take a walk to The Soft Serve Fruit Co. , and order the strawberry kid cup for only $3.50 and think of the beach.
You can also find The Soft Serve Fruit Co. in Union Square and in the Fairway in Douglastown, Queens where they have a self-serve station set up to indulge.

For one week and one week only The Soft Serve Fruit Co. is offering a sweet-tastic promotion. 

LLD blog readers can enjoy a BUY ONE GET ONE FREE kids cup at The Soft Serve Fruit Co. now through December 8, 2011. Here is how it works: "Like" The Soft Serve Fruit Co. on Facebook, go in to either shop on UES or Union Square and just mention that you are a “Lucky Lil’ Darling,” you liked The Soft Serve Fruit Co. and they will honor the promo! 

For more info on Soft Serve Fruit Co visit http://www.softservefruitco.com/ or visit their Facebook or follow them @softservefruit.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A HEALTHY HOLIDAY & WHAT TO BUY ORGANIC – by Rebecca Kittle


The Holidays are in full swing. Thanksgiving has come and gone and December’s heavy event calendar is around the corner: office parties, family gatherings, neighborhood bashes…and the food frenzy.

Is it impossible to be healthy?

Creating a nutrient rich diet is harder than you think especially on the go. Studies have proven that because of the use of chemicals and the fast-tracked growth of our crops, today we receive about 50% or less of the nutrients we received in our fruit and vegetables 50 years ago. This makes it nearly impossible to give our bodies what they need, even if you eat your five produce servings per day!

Is the answer organic?  Well sure, organicis important, but how’s the rest of the food affecting your body? The effects of processed (frozen, microwaved, packaged, canned, preserved, enriched, fortified) foods on our system are serious.

What to Buy Organic for your holiday gathering?

If you’ve been confused like most people about what products have the most pesticides, and which fruits and veggies you should spend the extra money on for organic options, the Environmental Working Group, based in Washington, D.C.released its 2011 list of foods with the most pesticides (a.k.a. "The Dirty Dozen”) versus those considered “clean,” in the EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides.


If you have questions visit my website www.YORHealth.com/rebeccakittle or contact me at trkittle8@gmail.com

Saturday, November 26, 2011

One Ohio Mom's Quest for Babysitting


Before having a family I thought I didn’t have enough time to do get things done; laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning… boy was I wrong!  Now being a wife, mother of two young children, and working full time as a teacher outside of Cleveland, Ohio I’m not sure there is any time for any of those things, especially a night out with my hubby! After becoming a mother I started thinking to myself wouldn’t it be nice to have someone you could count on to help you out, other than family.  I know I am fortunate to have my family lend a helping hand, but many times parents do not have family to babysit.  It made me think how important it is to have someone you can truly trust with your children.  

 My husband Mike & my children Riley & Jimmer

 If you are looking for a night out, a weekend getaway, or someone to just come over to your house to give an extra hand, then you are looking for Lucky Lil’ Darlings (LLD)!  My cousin Lindsay Bell has started an amazing business in NYC that is growing each and every day. Growing up Lindsay and I were always very close.  We lived in a small community and graduated from the same high school that two of our parents graduated from.  We have always been very involved in family gatherings and always take time around the holidays to get together!  To both of us FAMILY is extremely important! 

If you are an Ohio mom interested in babysitting services for your family or just want to give your opinion on childcare please contact me Kelli at kg6581@yahoo.com with your thoughts.  I am very interested in what you are looking for and would love to get a better idea of your childcare needs!  

For more information on LLD’s sitter services visit luckylildarlings.com

-Kelli

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving! LLD has some super steals for you!





Happy Thanksgiving to all our LLD families! I hope everyone is having a relaxing night with the family while filling themselves with scrumptious turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. I’m about to dive into a freshly baked pumpkin pie with some pecan ice cream on the side. Yum! After you’ve stuffed yourself to the brim and curled up on the couch with a cup of hot chocolate, why not look into some super deals! I know I always look forward to the frenzied shopping of Black Friday and all of the crazy sales going on once December rolls around. To help all of our Moms and Dads, LLD has the inside scoop into some upcoming steals as everyone is gearing up for the holidays.


Memberships: Get 20% off an annual or 3 month membership when you join today at www.bluum.com/fall and use code bluumbebe now until 11/30/11 click here for more details

Parent Gift: Get 15% off Sage Spoonfuls Enter code Hayden at check out here

For the Kids: Save $25 off any Kick & Play class. Use code NPE2011 offer expires 1/15/2012 Click here for more details

For the  Family: Carnegie Hall has a Family Concert (Ages 5-10) on Sunday, December 11th at 1 PM.  Tickets are only $9. Click here for more details

For the Family Part II: Woodloch Resort is hosting “Magic of the Holidays” a themed weekend including a Festival of Lights Hayride to a very special magic show. Rates start at $398. Tell them LLD sent you and save! For more details click here

I hope you take advantage of some of these marvelous deals! Enjoy the rest of your Thanksgiving and all of the tasty leftovers! 

Emily


Monday, November 21, 2011

Holiday Kick-off with the Rockettes & MomTrends



Last week was my official kick-off to the holiday season. As I sit here listening to Bing Crosby on Pandora, I am still thinking of the new video game number in the Radio  City Christmas Spectacular. I see the Rockettes perform every year, and every time it gets better, and I always leave the show amazed. Nothing makes me happier during the holidays.  The new number I love is SANTA’S VIDEO GAME. Humbugs have struck and they have kidnapped the toys from Santa’s workshop! The Rockettes undertake a magical journey to save Christmas! The new number adds a fresh, unique twist to the iconic show perfect for your lil’ ones. Of course the show still includes the classics; THE NUTCRACKER, THE PARADE OF WOODEN SOLDIERS AND THE LIVING NATIVITY. Get your tickets today here

It was nice to be ‘home’ again and visit with the cast & crew. Here's a ole photo of the show in Boston back in 2006.



My next holiday stop was the Momtrends Holiday Soiree at the Lands’ End Showroom in NYC.  The showroom was decked out in the latest and greatest of holiday d├ęcor, as soon as you walk in you see the beautifully lit tree and smell the fresh scent of pine as well as see their new holiday fashion line on the models. I got to see some familiar faces NYC Single Mom and Beyond Teaching, and meet some new ones The Accidental Housewife, Sweet Loren’s, Dada Rocks and Kickboard USA . Read the Momtrends post for more event coverage here

-LB

Friday, November 18, 2011

Who's Your Doula?

Have you ever thought that healthcare has become a little less personal than it has been in the past? Maybe moms want and need a more dedicated, personal, and continuous helper? Well Lindsay O'Brien is a birth doula in the New York area and she does just that. If you don't know what a doula or want to learn more, just keep reading!

So what exactly is a birth doula?

A doula supports women in childbirth so that they may have a satisfying and empowering birth in the way that they choose.  The word doula was derived from the Greek language meaning “a woman who serves”.  A birth doula, also called a labor assistant, provides continuous emotional, physical and informational support before, during and after birth.  A key role of a doula is that she provides continuous support for the mother and her partner, which means she will join a woman at any point during labor and not leave her side until after the baby is born and the family is comfortable postpartum.  

A birth doula understands the anatomy and physiology of labor and childbirth and is trained in an array of techniques to make the woman more comfortable. She is also able to recognize what a mother is going through on an emotional level during labor and offer reassurance and encouragement.  A doula does not make decisions or offer advice to a woman during pregnancy or when in labor.  She instead provides information and facilitates communication between the mother, the partner (if there is one) and the clinical staff, paving the way for the family to make informed decisions that are right for them and their baby.   As a doula, I can assist a mother in identifying, articulating and staying true to her birth preferences by providing information and unconditional support.

Birth is a transformational time in a woman’s life that she may always remember.  A birth doula’s role is to recognize that every woman’s perception of a “normal” birth is different. Whether you plan to give birth at home or in a hospital, with pain medication or have a non-medicated birth, a doula understands that each family is unique and will support your choices. The doula recognizes her role as nurturer and protector of the mother’s experience so that she may birth with confidence and remember her birth feeling satisfied and empowered.

To read more about the role of dads and doulas, click here.

Studies have shown that having a doula at your birth can result in a shorter labor with fewer complications and reduce the need for interventions such as the use of pitocin (used to induce labor) or an assisted delivery with forceps, vacuum extraction or cesarean section.  I encourage you to take a look at the clinical studies and research done supporting the use of doulas/continuous labor support by clicking here.

If you are interested in having a doula at your birth or have any questions please contact
Lindsay O’Brien at 860-608-0666 or via email at lindsayann.obrien@gmail.com

***Thank you to the families who allowed Lindsay to post pictures***

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Polka Dot Pear! The cutest clothes out there!

 This week LLD had the chance to talk to a crafty mom who started her own online business using Etsy. If you didn't already know, Etsy is an online marketplace where small businesses that sell handmade, vintage, and craft supplies. It's unique because sellers build a great sense of community and give each other helpful and knowledgeable advice about starting your own business with Etsy. Lauren Boyer, mother of one beautiful daughter Hannah, started her business The Polka Dot Pear just a few years ago. Here is her story!


Etsy is my new favorite site, tell us what inspired you to start with the Polka Dot Pear and why you chose to sell on etsy?
When I was a tween my grandmother taught me how to sew- I LOVED IT! –  But, I didn’t really embrace the skill until I had my own daughter and wanted to try and make her a quilt. From there, my eyes were opened to all of the amazing fabrics and functional designs that I wanted to try and make for myself and my daughter. Once I made a few items, bags, wallets, and one of my all time best sellers, burp cloths, I took the leap of faith and opened “the Polka Dot Pear.” A dear friend of mine had told me about the online market place for handmade goods, and I didn’t have any doubts, I jumped right in and listed my first few items in the spring of 2009.  

What do you sell on the Polka Dot Pear?
Right now my inventory includes, children’s dresses, that range in size from 6 months to 5t, bolero jackets for toddlers, hair accessories, baby leg warmers, baby gift sets, (burp cloths, and blankets), market bags, infinity scarves for woman, a few quilts, and clutches. I like to dabble in a bit of everything! 

 
What is your favorite thing about being a mom?
Oh wow, I am not sure I can narrow it down! There are so many things I love about being a mom, but I would have to say watching my daughter grow. They change so quickly and it is so amazing to think back and remember them as a baby, and then as a toddler, and now as a preschooler. I think that cherishing every moment and trying to capture each stage in their life, is priceless.
 
The holiday season is around the corner. How do parents purchase for gifts?
I personally think that the holidays are about children, and making them happy. My daughter Hannah and I love to go through catalogues that come in the mail and circle the things that she likes. I like to balance functional educational items with other fun toys that she wouldn’t normally get, but that she would love! I have found that etsy has so many creative items and unique items, I will be doing my fair share of shopping there too!


If you would like to enjoy 10% off your next order from the Polka Dot Pear, please fan the above Facebook Fan page and then you can use coupon code LLD10 at check out, (does not apply to shipping). 


Thanks so much Lauren! We can't wait to tell all our friends about the adorable clothes you make at The Polka Dot Pear. For more information make sure you follow Lauren @Laurosario, visiting their Facebook Fan page, and visit their Etsy site!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Woodloch Resort, The Perfect Escape

Remember Charlie the lil’ boy in The Santa Claus when he was whisked off to the North Pole by Santa ‘his dad’ and that look on his face when he entered Santa’s workshop? That is how I felt when I went to Woodloch Resort last week. It is rare, as an adult in the big city, to feel like you’re a kid again. That is why Woodloch Resort is the perfect weekend getaway. They bring it back.


Like Charlie I was immediately greeted with a smiling face. Herb introduced me to the history of Woodloch and told me his entire family worked at the resort. He’s proud of his job, his family and his hometown. That enthusiastic personality was consistent with everyone I met at Woodloch.

Woodloch is a kid’s dream. Each child's face would light up with joy as Tigger entered the dining area followed by Snow White for the dinner time entertainment. For the long winter weekends Woodloch has an indoor jungle gym for the kids, a huge a gym equipped with capable friendly staff to play games, an indoor water park, theater for fun enjoyable entertainment and I cannot tell you how top-notch the entertainment really was. They did an incredible job of entertaining for all ages; it was both colorful and educational.


And don’t forget their outdoor activities which are endless; skiing, hiking, go-carts, swimming, boating, rowing, golf and be sure to check out their new horseback stables. Seriously anything you want to do they have it.

I timed my trip to Woodloch perfectly with my parent’s trip to the Poconos. My parents are both retired teachers and are already planning our family trip to Woodloch. For dinner we enjoyed shrimp cocktail to start followed by fresh salmon with wild rice and green beans. It was that Midwest hospitality and home cooking that I miss so much that Woodloch really provided.

The next morning we made our way to The Spa, the adult only tranquil part of the resort. Now this is an adults dream. Enjoy organic eggs, fruit shakes and homemade banana bread while you read the paper next to the fireplace looking out at the rustic view. Next stop is the indoor pool and be sure to dip into the outdoor hot tub overlooking the mountains. Want to get a massage? No problem. Choose from a luscious list of pampering. Looking to do a little shopping? Check out the hotel shop, I’m not kidding you the clothes are adorable. Here is a picture of me in one of my favorite pieces.


My mother and I finished up our trip touring the amazing golf course and private homes they offer to their visiting families. You can choose a home based on your family size. The homes are new, fully furnished and easily accessible to the rest of the resort. What a wonderful place to meet the family for a holiday or weekend getaway. Woodloch is a family owned business. They pride themselves on making their visitors feel a part of the family and they do an absolute superb job.

Book your trip today at www.woodloch.com or feel free to contact me for more information. I’d be happy to help you plan your getaway! Mention Lucky Lil' Darlings now through December 31st first time guests can save $100 on your reservation.  Restrictions apply, based on availability, cannot be combined with other offers, limit 1 per reservation.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Date Night Sitter Check List

Never leave home without it!

Here are a few of my recommendations I have learned along the way:

1. Give your sitter a tour. Show your sitter the kids rooms, point out dangerous areas you want the kids to stay away from and give specific instructions on how things work; baby monitor, TV, security system, etc.

2. Bedtime Rules. Talk to your sitter about your bedtime routine with the kids i.e. What time do you begin to wind down the night? What is your child's favorite story and/or bedtime song? What time should they be asleep by? Would you like the sitter to text you when they fall asleep?

3. Special Instructions.  Are there any special rules you have? Do your kids have any allergies the sitter should know about? Are the kids sick and need medicine? Will you be expecting any deliveries?

4. Exchange Contact Info. Be sure to leave your sitter with your cell phone and an emergency contact numbers. Be sure to get her cell phone number so that you can text her throughout the night if you have any questions or to check in.

5. Anything else? Sitters are happy to lend a helping hand. If you'd like them to unload the dishwasher or change the laundry most sitters won't mind. Especially once they have been at your home a few times and you feel connected to them. They will be happy to help!

-LB







Friday, November 11, 2011

Chess NYC and LLD!

This week LLD was lucky enough to talk to Chess NYC about how they got their feet on the ground and what events are coming up on their calendar. Chess NYC is the perfect combination of what they call mind, body, and soul. They bring people together who love chess through tournaments, lessons, and other fun-filled events. Kids and adults of all ages are involved with the organization, and numbers are growing! And now, from a chess-lover and Chess NYC employee, Michael Propper:

How did Chess NYC get started?
Russ Makofsky started Chess NYC in 2007 after observing and playing chess with a consistent group outdoors on the Upper West Side. In 2008, Russ and I partnered and began sharing the great game of Chess in a way it had never been done before...Now 3 years and 7000+ players later, we're still just getting started and clients keep getting younger and younger.

 

Tell us about your upcoming chess events for kids?
Chess NYC Programs and Events occur yearlong: from lessons to classes to tournaments, camps and more! An upcoming event would be our Turkey Tournament open to all ages, 4 to 104 where every player can go home with a turkey. Winners bring home the Thanksgiving Dinner, totally legit. But something is going on every day.

LLD is very excited to have Chess NYC as our exclusive chess-tutoring provider, tell us what made you want to become part of the LLD family?
Safely assisting in the transporting of our littlest Chess Players has always been a goal of ours. Being able to partner with such a thoughtful and credible organization creates infinite possibilities for everyone, LLD, Chess NYC and families throughout the city, it provides greater reach to the youngest talent pool out there. The Lucky Lil Darlings Chess Buddies Group that you came up with is a brilliant and FUN way to bring Chess and children together.

What’s your favorite Chess NYC event of the year?
I have no favorite Chess NYC Event. We just try to out do the last one every time out. But in August we are hosting a Camp with the # 1 Chess Player on the planet, 21-year-old phenomenon GM Magnus Carlsen.  He's a great all around guy and a ridiculously good/great Chess player. That one will be hard to top!

Who’s your favorite chess player?
Too many to name but one of my local favorites is Justus Williams. Justus is just 12 years, already a Chessmaster and well on his way to becoming a Grandmaster. He is a fine young man and an example for all young people to follow.

How does a family get involved with Chess NYC & LLD?
We're easy to find, we're everywhere. www.chessnyc.com and www.luckylildarlings.com

Thanks Michael! We can't wait to start working with Chess NYC!



Thursday, November 10, 2011

BIG CITY MOMS BIGGEST BABY SHOWER EVENT IS A HIT WITH EXPECTING MOMS



Tuesday night was shower night. Big City Moms (BCM) Biggest Baby Shower that is.


First, the venue pick was stellar, I love Metropolitan Pavilion plenty of space and the perfect location in the city.  Good thing all the new expecting moms came with an appetite. BCM partnered with Big Daddy’s Diner who supplied beef sliders, and The Soft Serve Fruit non-dairy yogurt had a pop-up store in the middle of the event, it was so cool and delicious…

I had the chance to speak with a few of the vendors that hosted tables: Zip Car, had great deals and Sprout Organic Baby Food with new recipes promoting healthy meals. Newly launched Buggy Love, revealed the first ever  stroller cleaning kit. No more wipes!  I also loved talking with HOP STOP; strapped with a stroller? HOP STOP now offers stroller-friendly routes.

On top of the informational sessions, the event also included a BCM step & repeat and Dad’s Corner full of video games sponsored by Dada Rocks. Each person who attended left with the ULTIMATE gift bag complete with everything a new mom may want. Go to BCM Facebook .com/bigcitymoms and give your feedback about the event .They are giving away strollers, car seats, accessories and more!

Can’t wait for next year’s!

Monday, November 7, 2011

LLD and the Baby Loves Disco Dance Party!

Last Saturday, November 5th, LLD hosted the Cool Kiddie Tattoo Table in Park Slope outside of NYC. From 1 – 4 kids rocked out to a fab DJ, snacked on lil’ munchies, and danced the afternoon away. We had the pleasure of helping some adorable kids stick on some even cuter temporary tattoos.
There were games galore and the cute little kiddies were supervised by amazing LLD sitters Jessica Wisk, Jocelyn Noonan, and the founder herself, Lindsay Bell. Baby Loves Disco is the host behind this afternoon dance party. All over the U.S., Baby Loves Disco has hosted these community events with the goal of bringing kids and parents together for a fun-filled afternoon. Lindsay thinks Baby Loves Disco is the perfect indoor activity to keep the kids moving and active during the long winter months. Jocelyn said "It was great to see kids being active and sharing their moves on the dance floor- also a fun event for moms and dads!"
On top of that, LLD got to meet with hundreds of local families and help spread the world about what new things LLD is doing! Save the best for last! Because as families left they received a gift bag with gifts from partners Creativity for Kids, CleanWell, LLD, Woodloch Resort, H&M and more!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

intenSati, the new way for moms to work out

Hey moms! Are you sick of your routine at the gym? Can’t get yourself to jump back on the same old treadmill or elliptical? We have the inside scoop from Jolynn Baca about intenSati, a revolutionary way of working out. IntenSati is a high-energy cardio workout that incorporates aerobics, martial arts, and endurance exercises and combines them with positive thinking to empower women. The results are mind-blowing! Lucky Lil’ Darlings is partnering with Jolynn during her month long intenSati class for moms being offered at Ripley-Grier Studios in New York. LLD sitters will provide childcare to moms while they’re working out. Now moms don’t have to worry about being able to get out of the house to go to the gym! If you don’t believe us now look at the inspiring words of Jolynn below about how she got involved with intenSati and why she loves it so much.

What inspired you to begin teaching IntenSati?
I had a friend who taught intenSati and was the happiest person I
knew.... she told me her secret was intenSati.  I wanted to feel that great
too!

Watching you instruct is motivating enough, but what other tactics can you offer to women following your class to stay motivated and inspired?


Staying motivated and inspired is the biggest roadblock to success of any
type!  The key is to remind yourself why you're doing something.  Revisit
the reason you started in the first place to reignite your energy.  Remind
yourself what it is you really want and why it's worth a little focus,
perseverance and faith in yourself. Whether it's getting to an exercise
class, following a healthy diet, creating a great home life or building a
career, the basic questions are always the same...."What do you REALLY want
and are you WILLING to do what it takes to get it?"

The mission of intenSati is to live a life you love in a body you love.  We
work on the physical body with the workout, but even more important is the
mental workout intenSati provides.  We speak positive affirmations while we
work out and set a private intention at the beginning of each class.  We do
these things to remind ourselves that our thoughts and words have
power...sometimes the conversations we have with ourselves are not very nice
and we don't even realize we're sabotaging ourselves.  By speaking out loud,
we are made aware of our thoughts and repeat positive words over and over so
that eventually these words become the new conversation in our head and we
feel empowered.

A weekly dose of encouragement and mega calorie burning brings me back every
week!

This is the first time you are offering an exclusive class to mommies. What made you want to offer this?


I have been teaching fitness for ten years.  I have only been teaching
intenSati for two years, but no other fitness class has had such a profound
impact on my life.  One of the amazing effects of these classes is the
sense of community that they form.  Since I am recently married and my husband and
I are considering starting a family of our own, I thought what a fantastic
opportunity to create a community of which I want to belong.  Lots of first
time moms seem to have questions the books didn't answer and they don't
always have mom friends to ask for advice.  This is the support system I
want to create with intenSati for Mommies.  I also want to encourage women
who are contemplating motherhood to join us and have their questions
answered by people who have already done it. AND we have our monthly "Mommy
Talks".  Once a month an expert guest speaker addresses relevant topics such
as prenatal nutrition, acupuncture for fertility and delivery, balancing
motherhood and work and so much more!

I know that sometimes gyms can feel intimidating.  My goal is to create a
nurturing environment for mothers trying to regain their pre-baby bodies or
safely exercise while pregnant.

I also know how hard it is for mothers to find time for themselves.... an
essential component of healthy living.  That's why partnering with Lucky Lil' Darlings was such a fantastic gift!  Now moms can BRING their
little ones with them to the studio without incurring childcare costs for
travel time or worrying that they're in good hands. They're eating organic
snacks and making crafts with your professional staff in a room
nearby...it's great!

Thanks so much to Jolynn for all the great insight! Moms, you can sign up here for the class being offered in November. Keep checking back with LLD!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

HELP! My Baby Won't Nurse!


When I was pregnant, I spent a lot of time thinking about what my life would be like once the baby was born. It was so hard to imagine what it would feel like to be a mom. I could understand the concept, but it was nearly impossible to fathom a person who wasn’t born yet. Even so, I fantasized about the time we’d spend together. I’d sit for hours picturing myself pushing a stroller or reading a book or singing a lullaby. But without question, I spent the most time dreaming about the bonding time of breastfeeding.

I had seen so many women nurse, both in person and on television, and I was always drawn to the scene. It looked so natural and so special - an intimacy that I could not wait to enjoy myself. When Matthew finally arrived, as exhausted as I was, I was eager to begin the breastfeeding experience.  The nurse handed me my son (he was approximately 1 hour old) and I put him up to my breast and....nothing. He wouldn’t eat. In that first session I tried many different things and nothing seemed to make him want to latch on.

Over the course of the 36 hours that we were in the hospital, not much changed.  Feeding time would come and Matty would cry and cry and maybe he’d get a drop or two out of me, but not much else. I was given breast shields and sugar water and all kinds of things to help the process along. The nurses were encouraging me to supplement with formula, lest my poor infant starve. I was frustrated and miserable and I felt like a complete failure as a mother. The most natural, instinctive part of parenthood and I couldn’t do it.

If only I had known then what I know now.  If only I had known that it is a rare baby who latches on immediately. If only I had known that breastfeeding is hard – really, really hard. If only I had known to give myself a solid 6 weeks before expecting that my baby and I would really get the hang of it. But I didn’t know. And so I cried in my hospital bed thinking I would have to give up on the one thing I had been looking forward to the most. But, then a very wise and helpful nurse explained something to me. She explained to me that, even though eating is instinctual, babies still need to learn how to do it.  She assured me that it was completely normal for it to take some time and that if it was important to me, I shouldn’t give up.

My advice to new mommies is this: If it’s important to you, don’t give up. Find a lactation consultant. Go to a breastfeeding class with other new moms. There are certainly circumstances when nursing isn’t possible, but there are also times when new mothers give up because it just feels too hard. Rest assured, it’s not you. It is hard. And often it’s painful, too. But what I learned is that if you can acknowledge that it’s difficult and surround yourself with the right supports to help you through it, it can be every bit as rewarding as it looks.

Submitted by Tamar Barbash, Philadelphia Mom