Friday, August 31, 2012

The Results Are In!

"Nurturing Families Through 
Breastfeeding Education and Support"

That's our mission at Educated Mommy. To nurture you as we help you on your breastfeeding journey.

Because we are a non-profit, however, we need your help in bringing in enough funds to operate and offer our services and products.

We have had several fundraisers in the last months, a few Pizza Ranch fundraisers, etc, and as you know we held our big online silent auction this past weekend.

We would like to share that thanks to you, we made a little over $1,800 at our auction!!

This money will be used for our breastpump rental fees (remember we have TEN hospital grade breastpumps that we rent out at a very competitive cost!), as well as our baby scale rental fee (we have a baby scale that you can use to weigh your bundle of joy during any class that you attend!).

Thank you so much again for your generous help and contributions to make our silent auction a success!!


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Baby Food Tuesday - Avocado & Banana Mash

You all know how it is.  Summer is over and quick meals are what's going on the table.  Our house is no different.  My baby, Myles, is 3 1/2 months old.  I am making babyfood now while all the good stuff is in season.  This winter, when he decides he is ready for solids, I will have an abundance of fresh organic choices for him to try! 

Avocado’s are a great first food for baby.  We buy ours in bulk and freeze them.  You can freeze them by just cutting them in half, taking out the pit, and putting them in a freezer bag.  When freezing, always be sure to date and label your goodies.  Some things ALL look the same in the freezer!

I’d like to share a super easy option for you that you can mash up fresh quickly for baby to eat right away.  You can also freeze it, which is what I am doing, so that baby can enjoy it in the winter months.  In a deep freeze, I like to keep mine about 6 months.  If it were in just a compartment freezer, I would only keep it about 3-4 months.  You will love how easy this is!
Avocado and Banana Mash
1 very ripe avocado
1 very ripe banana
 Mash em up with a fork! 
I have special babyfood trays with lids, but you can easily use an ice cube tray too.  I freeze them, then pop em out into a freezer bag, and then label it with ingredients and the date!! 

With a hectic schedule, easy foods like this get us through.  It’s nutritious and babies love it!!

~Danielle McClure

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Time for Gratitude - School...(but not yet)!!

This week most schools in the area have begun classes, so all of the neighbor girls (who babysit regularly, but also just come over to hang out and play with the kids cuz they like to) are no longer coming over to play during the day, the streets are a little quieter in the mornings and early afternoon, and the sounds of the school bus can be heard stopping right in front of our house (every single morning at the exact same time) to pick up the neighbor kids who ride it.

It's a little difficult to believe, but Vienna is *almost* old enough to start school! She will be five in January *sniff* (will someone PLEASE slow this down?!), so will be able to go to kindergarten.

Even so, we have made the decision to home-school, so we will begin some preschool this year......

............but not yet!

I plan to start doing some preschool stuff for a couple hours a day this year so we are easier able to adjust next year when it will be more than just a couple hours and we'll be following a specific curriculum.

But I have to work up to it. It's not like I don't have anything else to do, as you might imagine. I am very blessed to do Elegant Mommy & Educated Mommy's social marketing from home, and I also have my doula clients, my sewing business to keep up with, and I'm also working on my childbirth educator training, plus Vienna starts Wednesday night kids' church this year which I said I would help with. Yikes! Seriously...if only there was more time in a day!

Anyway, we have made the decision to begin her pre-school in mid-September so I have a little more time to figure out how I'm going to need to structure our days....right now things are pretty flexible, and they are simply going to need to be a bit more rigid, I'm thinking, if this is going to work.

I'm SO excited and grateful that I have the flexibility as a work at home mom to home-school our kids, and I'm even more grateful that I have a little more time to figure it all out!


Monday, August 20, 2012

Childbirth Professional Day - Meet Alicia Fonder

1. What is your Childbirth Profession? 
I am a Registered Nurse, Lactation Consultant and Childbirth Educator.

2. Describe your profession and why someone would want to choose your profession for support in pregnancy and/or childbirth.
I love my profession because I get to help people prepare for one of the most memorable days of their lives. Women do not forget their birth experience and I want to help them have the best experience possible. It is a privilege to work with expectant parents.

3. Why did you get started in your profession?
I got started in my profession as a childbirth educator in 2001 when I transferred to work on the Postpartum and Labor and Delivery unit of a local hospital. A co-worker of mine suggested that I would be good at teaching childbirth classes, so I gave it a try. I was hooked. My parents are both retired public school teachers, so I have always said that teaching runs in my family. Childbirth Education was the perfect answer for me to be a teacher as well as a nurse.

4. In detail, what is your personal childbirth philosophy?
My personal childbirth philosophy is to teach evidenced-based material. I want my clients to know what the research says and then they have to decide what choices to make during labor. I believe my clients have a right to know about the risks and benefits of every medical intervention. In an ideal world, everyone would have a natural childbirth with a midwife and a doula, but unfortunately we live in the real world and not every woman chooses that type of birth, so I want to educate and empower women to make the best choices possible for the birth they desire.

5. If you could tell all pregnant women in the world something, what would it be?
I would tell women to trust their bodies and their inner wisdom, to believe in their innate ability to give birth to their baby.

6. How long have you been in your profession? Are you certified? If yes, by who?
I have been teaching childbirth classes for over ten years and I have been a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator since 2005. I have also been a Certified Happiest Baby Educator since 2007.

7. Do you have a business name? How can people contact you for pregnancy and childbirth support?
My business is called South Dakota Babies. People can contact me through my website or by phone (605)553-8364.

8. Where do you practice?
I typically practice in people’s homes in the Sioux Falls area. So, if you were to hire me, I would come into your home and we would discuss what you would like to learn in order to prepare for the type of birth you desire. We then decide how many times we need to meet in order to cover all the information needed. My childbirth classes are tailored to meet the needs of each individual family.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Reviews are In - Bravado Rocks!

Last week I asked on our facebook page who had used Bravado nursing bras, and if anyone would care to share a review.

To go along with our Bravado giveaway, here are the reviews….see for yourself why you should enter to win!

Loved them. So comfortable and easy when out and about. I wore them towards the end of my pregnancy just bc they are so comfortable ;) ~Jennifer

I currently own four Bravado bras. 1) I really only need one, but I have two in black, one in nude and one in ivory. I like the variety. 2) They are the most comfortable and most supportive bra I've ever owned. And they are pretty on, not like some others that are more like a contraption than a bra. 3) I look like I have two breasts, not just the one that shelf bras and nursing tanks give you. 4) I love that they come with a conversion kit because I WILL wear them after I'm done nursing. 5) I'm on month 14 with my first bra and it doesn't look any different than the one I bought two months ago from Elegant Mommy - The end. :) ~Andrea

Loved them very comfy and easy to do with one hand! I don't think they ever wear out and very stylish! Good investment! ~Jenny

I had the rainbow bra but it was a little too small so I sold it and got a white one the next size up and tie dyed it. :) its my fave and I used it for 18 months with my daughter and using it again for my son. Wearing it now. ~Allie

I own two! The feel is comfortable like a sports bra with out the uniboob! There so great I get nervous about what I will wear when I'm done nursing, lol! ~Lisa

Love them - I have 2. Comfy, supportive and easy to operate ~Heather

Very user friendly! Have had one of mine for over 4.years and still dont have to worry about falling out:) ~Erin

I have two.. i only could nurse for two months and I am in love and i will wear them as long as I have two boobs! I am not sure what the point of the conversion kit is because they look good and are comfortable just as is!!! ~Breteni

Love them! Was the only bra that I found that fit me (34 f/g), nursing or otherwise, after a grueling and heart wrenching search. Bought two Allures on the spot, and would buy a dozen more if I could. They're well made, very supportive, hold up well and are very flattering. ~Brianne

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bravado Giveaway

Exciting News!!

Bravado is sponsoring a giveaway only for our readers!!

Entry will be today through Thursday, and the winner will be notified via email on Friday...Don't miss out!!

Enter below for your chance to win a gift certificate for a free Bravado Original Nursing Bra!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Time for Gratitude - Breastfeeding My Kiddos

When I first found out I was pregnant with Vienna, I went through what most first-time moms go through, I suppose. Extreme excitement, overwhelming overwhelmed-ness (if that's even a word), worries of nutrition for myself, praying to God that I was able to carry the baby full-term, etc, etc.

One thing I never once pondered or doubted, though, was that I would breastfeed. Honestly there really wasn't any doubt or thought about it at all. I seriously never even knew that some moms didn't or didn't want to, or whatever, because I just thought that's what you did when you had a baby. My mom nursed us until she went back to work, any friends that had had babies nursed, and I didn't really realize that there was anything else that mamas would opt to do. Yes, obviously, I knew there was formula. Like I said, my mom nursed us all until she went back to work, so only a few months. After that, we had formula, and since my youngest brother is 14 years younger than I am, I made my fair share of formula bottles in my day.

I guess I was just really under-informed on the issue. I truly thought that everyone would at least breastfeed for awhile, because, I mean, why wouldn't you?? I had NO true idea of the real nutrition offered through breastmilk. I had NO true idea that some mamas really struggle to nurse. I had NO true idea that there is such a stigma in some areas about nursing, and nursing in public in particular. I had NO true idea that some mamas just wouldn't want to. And I definitely had NO true idea that there are so many "Booby Traps" in our hospitals and culture in general.

I was very ignorant.

Honestly, I was so ignorant, that the *only* reason I wanted to nurse past a year was to save money and not have to purchase formula.


Seriously, though - I'm SO grateful that my husband and I had a frugal nature so that I would want to nurse, if only for that reason, for at least a year. I'm also SO grateful that Vienna was such a good nurser and our nursing relationship was "easy" from the beginning...I really had no issues whatsoever nursing her.

Me nursing Porter on his first birthday - Christmas Morning :)

Now, if Porter had been the first baby, I think it wouldn't have gone so smoothly...we struggled for the first couple months because of thrush, engorgement, etc. It turned out fine, and he was a really good nurser...but if I didn't know what I knew about the benefits (or at least some of them) at that point, it would have been really easy to give up.

So, basically, I'm really just super grateful that things worked out the way they did, and that both my babies got the benefits of nursing beyond a year...even if it was almost "by accident" that we were so successful!


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Breastfeeding is Affected by Birth

To close out Breastfeeding week, and also to address an issue that I just discussed with my trainer in my Childbirth Educator Certification Training, I found an excerpt from "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding" by LLLI that is the tip of the iceberg on this issue. I hope that it will begin some conversation and thought about the fact that birth *absolutely does* affect breastfeeding. I saw it with my own two kiddos...the difference in their births and the way they nursed (among many other things) were both very different.

Anyway, here is the excerpt, and I will plan to get some more information posted on this issue...

We learned early in La Leche League's existence that a woman's experience in giving birth affects the beginning of breastfeeding and many of her attitudes about being a mother. Alert and active participation by the mother in childbirth is a help in getting breastfeeding off to a good start.

Childbirth can be a rich, joyful, and maturing experience. Those of us who have given birth without drugs or medical intervention know that helping a baby to be born and hearing his first cry can be a crowning moment of achievement in the life of a woman. After doing a survey of women's long-term memories of their birth experiences, childbirth educator Penny Simkin reports that the women who felt the most satisfaction about their childbirth experiences "described feelings of accomplishment, control, increased self-esteem, and/or confirmation of worth. Most of those with low satisfaction expressed disappointment or anger that they were not in control." And she concludes, "a sense of maternal fulfillment and personal self-worth are hallmarks of a healthy outcome" of the birth experience.

Having a baby is a natural, normal function for which a woman's body is superbly designed. The healthiest birth situation for both mother and baby is one that is completely drug-free. Almost all mothers are physically able to deliver their babies without medical intervention. You do need a doctor or trained midwife attending the birth of your baby but this is similar to having a lifeguard on duty in case there are complications. In the natural, normal birth, it is not the doctor who delivers the baby; it is the mother.

Recent studies have shown that pain relievers and anesthesia used during labor or delivery may contribute to breastfeeding problems. In one study, babies whose mothers had received an epidural were less alert, less able to orient themselves, and had less organized movements than babies whose mothers had given birth without medication. Furthermore, these differences in behavior were measurable during the entire first month. Other medications commonly used during labor have also been found to affect baby's sucking behavior after birth.

Being prepared for childbirth is of the utmost importance when planning to breastfeed your baby!


Friday, August 3, 2012

It's Breastfeeding Week!

So, as you all know, Elegant Mommy is *all about* breastfeeding!

We know that not only is breastfeeding best, but it's normal, and most mamas can successfully breastfeed with the right support and information.

Educated Mommy was put together as a breastfeeding resource in our community, and in fact we even rent out breast pumps for an affordable price (in case you didn't know!), and we of course offer some great new classes and support group meetings in addition to La Leche League that we have hosted for a long time. You can check them all out on our facebook events page (some of them require pre-registration on our website). You can join us for Milk Monologues every Wednesday, Going Back to Work support group once a month, and La Leche League every 2nd Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Not to mention, we have connections with local Lactation Consultants and a wealth of information for breastfeeding mamas!

Educated Mommy (and Elegant Mommy. Of course.) is super committed to making sure that you have the information and support you need to breastfeed successfully. It's by FAR superior nutrition for your baby, and with everyone's help, we can make it more the "norm" than it is now.

One of the ways you can help spread breastfeeding awareness is by joining us on Saturday (yep - that's tomorrow) for The Big Latch On. It is a world record attempt to get the most babies latched and nursing at the same time....seriously - what a great way to spread the word that breastfeeding is the way to feed babies! If you are interested in attending a Big Latch On event but aren't in the Sioux Falls, SD area, you can find a location near you here.

So, as the month goes on, we'll be posting some breastfeeding information, and if you have any specific requests on what you would like to see addressed here on the blog, let me know by shooting me an email (media [at] elegantmommy [dot] com) or leaving a comment here.

Now. Go breastfeed your baby (or support someone who does)! ;)


Thursday, August 2, 2012

It's Photo Contest Time!!

Who is ready for a contest?

It's time for us to update our Cover Picture on facebook, and instead of using pictures we have, we thought we'd give you a chance to show off some of your best snapshots/pics (that you have copyrights to, of course!) to be displayed on our facebook page! They don't need to be professional...just whatever great shots you have!

What kind of pictures are we looking for?

Basically, any great picture that displays what we are about..."From your baby bump to your baby's rump, we've got you covered". So, any cute belly bump, cloth diaper, breastfeeding, baby wearing, birth, or sweet baby pictures are what we are looking for!

How do you enter? It's EASY!

Just make sure to "like" both of our facebook pages (Elegant Mommy AND Educated Mommy) and then just send me an email with your favorite picture! Please only send one so there's enough opportunity for everyone.

Who will choose the winners?

The Elegant Mommies will choose the finalists, and then there will be opportunity for all of our followers/readers to vote for their favorites! 

The details:

Send your picture to me at by the end of the day on Sunday, August 5. Don't forget to "like" our facebook pages! Finalists will be chosen by August 8, and voting for the winners will take place through Friday, August 10. Watch our Elegant Mommy facebook page for information on how to cast your vote and when voting will start (voting will take place on our facebook page).

Good luck, and we can't wait to see your great pics!!