Mourning the End of the Breastfeeding Relationship - Guest Post by Mama Sam

I metaphorically stand up here today, shaking in my boots, to share my journey of breastfeeding my son until he was done. The Internet can be both a wonderful and terrible place for breastfeeding moms. We can find bands of women who offer us unconditional acceptance and support; who offer us knowledge and wisdom. Unfortunately, the Internet also offers a swath of venomous, anonymous trolls who are swift in their judgment of our stories.
But if we don’t share our stories, our experience will never be normalized. The ignorance that leads some people to believe that full-term breastfeeding is outrageous or damaging will persist. If we hide behind closed doors, always afraid of judgment, never speaking up, nothing will ever change. So here is my story.
I breastfed my son until he was 5.5 years old.

Pope Francis tells mothers to ‘breastfeed without fear’ in Sistine Chapel

In a ceremony which took place on Sunday at the Sistine Chapel, Pope Francis encouraged moms to breastfeed their babies "without fear":

The ceremony is a little long, someone’s crying because he’s hungry. That’s the way it is...You mothers, go ahead and breastfeed, without fear. Just like the Virgin Mary nursed Jesus.

8 Things I've Learned in 4 Years of Bedsharing - Guest Post by Mama Nina

1. It’s safe.
When my oldest was born, we set up a crib right next to my side of the bed. I loved the idea of snuggling up together at night, but I wasn’t sure whether it was safe. I started poring over the research.
One of the best resources I ran across was research by Dr. James McKenna, Director of the Mother-Baby Sleep Laboratory at Notre Dame University. I learned that for babies, sleeping within sensory range of their caregivers, meaning that they can experience their sounds, smell, and occasional touches is protective against SIDS. I learned that, as long as some important safety precautions are followed (baby next to breastfeeding mother only, non-smoking family, firm mattress, etc.), bedsharing is just as safe as crib sleeping and safer than solo sleep for babies. When my oldest was 6 months old, we made the transition to full time bedsharing.

The Difference between First and Second Pregnancies (It's not Pretty...)

It has been said, time and time again, by many wise women across different time zones and generations, that there are fundamental and common differences between first and second pregnancies.

Being most of the way through my second, I thought I'd take a moment to reflect on this sage wisdom of the mothers who have walked this road before me and I can confirm, that they were onto something...

First Ever Breastfeeding Emoji Officially Approved - AND it's being Championed by UNICEF

It's official - breastfeeding has reached emoji-status.

As one of the 30 most frequently requested missing emojis, the Unicode Consortium approved the first ever breastfeeding emoji at a meeting last week.  While it won't be officially launched and available until next summer at the earliest, here is a sneak-preview of the new emoji:

The emoji was submitted to the Consortium by Rachel Lee, a nurse at the University College of London Hospital, and her proposal clearly highlights the glaring gap in the current emoji menu:

7 Questions Pregnant Moms Should Be Asking In Their Third Trimester

So you’ve bought some baby grows, a couple of bibs and a zillion onesies.  There are cute teddies scattered around the house, patiently waiting for little hands to cover them in slobber and milky spit-up.  You’ve even packed your hospital bag, which sits peacefully in the closet until B-Day finally dawns.

You feel prepared, excited and a little (ok, a lot) nervous.

When Moms Crack: Moms are Human Too

I remember my friend telling me when I was at school; "there is no such thing as perfect.  It just doesn't exist."

At first, I laughed.  I didn't want to believe it.  Because perfect always wins out in the movies, in the fairytales, in the happy-ever-after photoshopped world of marketing genius.

But deep down, I knew she was right.  I felt it in my bones.  Because the seemingly perfect was only ever a facade.  A glossy screen to a reality that was more often than not too harsh to truly face.

Now, I get it.  Life has taught me enough (thank you, life).  The perfect marriage, house, family, body, face, exercise routine, diet, perspective...we are chasing unicorns when we chase these supposed ideals.

And amid all of this utter imperfection, there are cracks.  Oh so many cracks.