About Me

My photo
Admit it. Most nursing bras are kind of industrial-looking. At least that is what I thought when I was shopping around for a nursing bra. I also found that while breastfeeding is natural and wonderful, it is also difficult and complex and sometimes it really hurts! The best advice I could find was to use warm compresses before nursing and cold compresses afterwards. But nobody could give me any tips for how to make the whole compress thing practical or COMFORTABLE! So, my design was patented and Nizo Wear was born. I firgured while I was at it I should make them pretty as well. Nizo Wear makes nursing bras that are de both functional and pretty. Lace and rhinestones, playful prints, shapely lines, all designed to help you feel stylish and good again.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Surviving breastfeeding and colic

If you are trying to survive colic and breastfeeding, like I was, here are some tips!

I was once in the place where you are trying to manage both the colic and breastfeeding. My first tip: I completely recommend reading The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp, MD. I found the 5 S's were the only long term solution. Yes, of course there were other tricks that often gave us brief relief like carseat on the dryer (yes, we held on the entire time for safety) or a car ride or running the vacuum cleaner. But when we did the 5 S's in order, no substitutions here people, it worked!

I know, some of you are saying "Ok, I can do four of the S's, but my baby loves to have his hands and legs free. I just do not feel right swaddling him". Well, I was one of you, before our colic got to the point of total frustration! Sure, my baby loved to explore with his hands but when it was time to settle down, he really needed the secure feeling that only swaddling could provide.

Now, I was given this book as a shower gift. I skimmed the important parts, dog-earring and highlighting. But when it came time to use it, I was so sleep deprived and crazed from the crying it took a while before I remembered I even had it! Then to find time to re-read to a point of retention so I could put the tools to use. Once we got the hang of it though, it was wonderful.

The most important thing for you to realize is that colic is not your fault and that breastfeeding is still the best thing that you can do for your baby. Switching to formula, as some people recommend, will only make it worse. In fact, some babies whose colic ends after three months seem to have it return when they are weaned from the breast!

What You Need to Know About Colic and Breastfeeding

First of all, we need to understand what colic is. Colic is described as uncontrollable, extended crying in a baby who is well-fed, dry and otherwise should be fine. While every baby cries, some little ones cry for more than three hours a day, three to four days a week...these babies may have colic. My son was text book colic starting at about 5 weeks. Every night for about 4-6 hours he would just scream. No sitting the baby down to get anything done for us!

It is estimated that over 20% of babies have or get colic, and it usually starts around two to four weeks of age and can last for three months, or longer in some cases.

Tips: (I wish I had known this!!) If you are feeding from both breasts and have a fussy baby, I've been told that you may want to reconsider! Here is why, according to breastfeeding magazine: Breast milk changes during each feeding. One of the ways in which it changes is that the longer your baby feeds on a breast, the higher the fat content of the breast milk. (This higher fat milk is often referred to as hind milk.)

If mommies automatically switch the baby from one breast to the other during the feeding (before the baby has "finished" the first side) the baby may get a relatively low amount of fat during the feeding. Don’t be fooled by modern thinking…that is NOT good! By doing this you are actually giving the baby less calories , and thus needing to feed more frequently.

Also, if the baby takes in a lot of milk (to make up the low concentration of fat and calories,) she may spit up or cause acid reflux.

Due to the low density fat content of the milk, the baby’s tummy will empty quickly, and a large load of milk sugar (lactose) will arrive in the baby’s intestine all at once. The stomach proteins may not be able to handle so much milk sugar at one time. This will cause your baby to have some symptoms of lactose intolerance--crying, gas, and explosive, watery, greenish bowel movements. This may occur even during the feeding.

NOTE: These babies are not lactose intolerant. They are just victims of incorrect breastfeeding coaching and lack of awareness by moms. Learn more about breastfeeding oversupply here...

Don’t Blame Yourself! Many moms who are misinformed think it must be something the mom did or could be doing to prevent or cause colic. That is just not true!

MOST cases of colic there is absolutely nothing that you can do to prevent it or stop it!

Just remember that it is not your fault and more importantly--It will PASS!

If you feel your frustration getting out of control hand that baby off to your hubby or a good friend and to take a break…a bubble bath or a walk!! Both colic and breastfeeding can be hard on moms! If, or should I say when, it gets to you then give yourself permission to take a rest. Make sure baby is feed, changed and well-rested...and then PLEASE just take a break!


thanks http://www.breastfeeding-magazine.com/colic-and-breastfeeding.html for the helpful tips!

Findings from Charlotte

Here is what Charlotte, Mother and writer for Baltimore’s Child, had to say when she discovered Nizo Wear Nursing Bras:

This product could be a life saver for many women. It would have been for me as I was nursing my son for the first year of his life (he is now 3). I am due with my second child any day now and am nervous about nursing because I had so many problems with nursing the first time - constant hot/ cold compresses for sure!”

Here is what Charlotte told Nizo Wear after she had a chance to wear our Solace nursing bra:

I think you have a wonderful, wonderful product!! I received your bra (Solace) in the mail when I had come home from the hospital. I have been wearing it every day and find it so much more comfortable than the nursing bra I purchased just a few weeks ago. The ice pack I already had fit perfectly. I can't wait to share this with our readers. By the way, the nursing of my second child is going much better. Perhaps it was the luck of your bra!

Thank you Charlotte for sharing your personal experiences and honest feedback with us!
Nicole Zoellner
Nizo Wear Nursing Bras

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Breastfeeding Humor-Firsts

What breastfeeding firsts will you not forget? Mine was trying to put my pump together for the first time! I am not good with following instructions anyway, which is apparent in my cooking! I was crying after about a minute, thank you hormones, and cried even harder when it only took my husband 2 minutes to figure the stupid thing out! Oh, the memories :) Nicole

Here are some Breastfeeding Firsts: according to If These Boobs Could Talk. by Seip & Hedger

You'll never forget....

-The first time baby looked up sweetly at your face while you were nursing her

- The first time baby pulled away from your breast and was startled by milk spraying in her face

- The first time you saw your breast milk when you pumped it out

- The first time you accidentally spilled the breast milk you just pumped, and began to panic

- The first time you forgot to wear a breastfeeding-friendly outfit

- The first time you leaked and realized you weren't wearing breast pads

- The first time you enjoyed a nice nursing session with baby, only to have baby spit-up all over your chest

IRS Says Breastfeeding Expenses Are Tax Write-Offs. Finally

IRS Says Breastfeeding Expenses Are Tax Write-Offs. Finally

Everyone markets it as cheap and easy. As in, "You can whip it out at any time." And, "It doesn't cost anything." And, "There's nothing to warm up."To a degree, that's true. Traveling and doing it is liberating. And the middle of the night? You can do it in bed; you can do it while you watch TV. But "cheap" isn't really a good descriptor for something so time-consuming and ultimately, especially, but not only, for women who work or want to step away from their child, so many accoutrements. And cheap isn't a good way to applaud something that provides so many benefits down the road. Cheap connotes easy. Cheap connotes worthless. And maybe that's the problem.I'm talking about breastfeeding, of course. Breastfeeding itself – which, if you count the countless hours breastfeeding women put in, is – while indubitably nutritious as well as wonderful -- far from free. And forget "free" when it comes to pumping. The state-of-the-art Medela backpack pump rings up at $264.99 (the "pump-in-style" hand bag can set you back $360). And that's before you extra valves ($7), bags for freezing ($10 for 50), extra tubing ($6), the "hands free" bodice that lets you pump and use a computer ($32). Some estimates put the yearly cost between $500 to $1,000.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has spent years trying to roll back the push of formula, trumpeting the benefits of breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of life (the World Health Organization promotes breastfeeding for two years). Breastfeeding gives kids good antibodies, immunities, is said to potentially guard against asthma, allergies, diabetes and obesity -- keeping kids well, long after they give up the nipple. A Harvard Medical School study published last spring in the journal Pediatrics estimated that if 90 percent of American women breastfed, 900 premature infant deaths would be prevented and patients and hospitals would see savings of $13 billion in lost wages and saved health care costs – so you might assume that doing so would be a tax write-off.Until recently, you would have been wrong. As of this fall, the IRS position was that breastfeeding didn't have enough medical benefits to qualify as tax exempt.Last week, the Internal Revenue Service finally agreed to allow 2010 taxes to reflect the costs of pumps and milk bags, as all the myriad ways in which to maintain breastfeeding while working or on the road can make "free" suddenly cost quite a bit of cash. That means women with flexible spending accounts can use their pre-tax dollars to pay for nursing supplies. Those who itemize can add them in to their health care costs.Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., hailed the change in a statement. "This is good news for nursing moms, and a welcome recognition of scientific fact by the IRS: breastfeeding has significant health benefits -- it helps prevent disease, and is good for moms and for babies," Maloney said. "Anything we can do to encourage healthy choices is a good thing -- and this ruling definitely qualifies!"But the IRS is not alone in trying not to think about breastfeeding for as long as possible. Last week Noriko Aita, a Rockville, Md. mom visiting the Hirshhorn Museum, was asked to feed her baby in a bathroom stall. She left, went home and Googled that federal law allows breastfeeding on federal property – anywhere and at anytime.In response, a nurse-in was organized, and dozens of moms descended on the Smithsonian to breastfeed in public. "We're not protesting against [the museum]," one organizer told the Washington Post. "The nurse-in wasn't organized to elicit an apology. What happened to Nori happened because there was a lack of education and awareness. We want to ensure it doesn't happen to anybody else again."As Dr. Melissa Bartick, one of the lead doctors of the Harvard breastfeeding benefits study pointed out to a USA Today reporter, the problem is seeing breastfeeding as a "lifestyle" choice rather than a "public health" benefit. Winning over the IRS is a triumph, to be sure, but one that's come years later than it should have.

Read the full article: http://www.politicsdaily.com/2011/02/14/irs-says-breastfeeding-expenses-are-tax-write-offs-finally/

Michelle Obama works to remove barriers to breastfeeding

First lady Michelle Obama will be speaking out to remove barriers to breastfeeding, Politics Daily has learned, throwing the spotlight on nursing as a way to reduce childhood obesity.

This comes as the Obama administration in the past year has made several moves to encourage breastfeeding -- including a push for more flexible workplace rules and an Internal Revenue Service ruling on Thursday that breast pumps and other nursing supplies qualify for tax breaks. Mrs. Obama -- who has spoken in public about nursing her youngest daughter, Sasha -- is going to tread carefully in what might be a sensitive area for some women.

"Breastfeeding is a very personal choice for every woman," Kristina Schake, Mrs. Obama's communications chief, told Politics Daily. "We are trying to make it easier for those who choose to do it."

Looking ahead to what she will do in the second year of "Let's Move," Mrs. Obama said: "We also want to focus on the important touch points in a child's life. And what we're learning now is that early intervention is key. Breastfeeding. Kids who are breastfed longer have a lower tendency to be obese."

"Breastfeeding rates are low among African-American mothers compared to other racial and ethnic groups, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Mrs. Obama took note of this when she addressed the Congressional Black Caucus Conference on Sept. 10."And because it's important to prevent obesity early, we're also working to promote breastfeeding, especially in the black community -- where 40 percent of our babies never get breastfed at all, even in the first weeks of life, and we know that babies that are breastfed are less likely to be obese as children," she said.

Robin Schepper, executive director of "Let's Move," told Politics Daily, Mrs. Obama wants to increase breastfeeding rates but "is not telling women to breastfeed ... but wants to make it easier for moms by encouraging hospitals to change practices so after a baby is born, the baby is in the room with them."Toward that goal, Mrs. Obama is going to push more hospitals to be certified as "Baby Friendly" by Baby Friendly USA, a non-governmental organization that works with the United Nations Children's Fund, or UNICEF, to increase breastfeeding opportunities. Only 3 percent of births occur at U.S. hospitals with the "Baby Friendly" designation.

"In a "Let's Move" policy report issued last May, one of the problems mothers may have with breastfeeding starts in the hospital where after birth, "many babies are unnecessarily given formula and separated from their mothers, making it harder to start and practice breastfeeding."

Meanwhile, the Internal Revenue Service announced Thursday that the costs for "breast pumps and supplies that assist lactation are medical care" are now, under the IRS code eligible for tax breaks. That means that breastfeeding supplies could be treated as deductible medical expenses and/or be reimbursed under flexible spending plans.

In the child nutrition bill President Obama signed Dec. 13, the WIC program for low-income women -- the nickname for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children -- provides more breastfeeding counseling and supplies to eligible mothers.

The Affordable Care Act signed by Obama on March 13 -- the health care overhaul Republicans are trying to repeal -- requires certain employers to give nursing mothers break time and a place -- not a bathroom -- to express milk.

Workplace rules have a major impact on a woman's decision whether to nurse."While 75 percent of women initially breastfeed their baby, after six months only 43 percent are still breastfeeding at all," Jarrett wrote. "One of the most common reasons mothers cite for discontinuing breastfeeding is returning to work and not having break time or a private space to express milk.

Check out the full article: http://www.politicsdaily.com/2011/02/14/michelle-obama-to-promote-breast-feeding-as-irs-gives-tax-breaks/

Bra issues breastfeeding moms need to be aware of

1. Bra issues breastfeeding moms need to be aware of:

*When to purchase-First, wait to purchase your nursing bra until you are into your third trimester as your rib cage will expand during pregnancy. Once you are in your third trimester your band size should remain the same. Most women go up a cup size after their milk comes in. I would look for a bra that is made of primarily cotton so it will breath, but one that also has some stretch/spandex in it as well to accommodate your changing breast size. So, if you are purchasing your bra before your baby is born I would fit the band and then go up a cup size to what you are currently measuring. The key is in the spandex at this point because your size will change so much in the first couple weeks. Comfort is number one priority here ladies.

*Fit-If you have a professional bra fitter in your area you may want to call upon their services. Just be aware that some people call themselves “professional”, but may not really know what they are doing. Even after you are fit, you may want to measure yourself as well to make sure they were right. Here is how to figure out your size.

-Band Size #1
Wearing a good supporting bra stand in front of a mirror and measure straight across your back just under your breasts (see attached picture). It is important that the tape measure is a straight line if it does not that will add inches. Also, Do NOT wear an underwire bra for this measurement as this will throw off your results slightly. Having someone help with this will ensure a more accurate measurement. Add one inch to the resulting figure. This figure will be the band size.
-Cup Size #2
While wearing a good fitting, well supportive, non padded bra measure across the back and over the top of fullest part of your breasts. If the resulting figure is a fraction, then you will round up to the nearest number and add an inch if the number is odd. For instance for 30 and ½ inches you would round up to 31 and add 1 inch. If the figure were 27 and ½ you would round up to an even 28.
Take the band size and subtract it from the second figure. The difference between these sizes in inches determines the cup size.
½ – 1 A
1 – 2 B
2 – 3 C
3 – 4 D
4 – 5 E
5 – 6 F

*Fit Tips:
-A great fitting bra shouldn't dig, pull, poke or otherwise cause discomfort. If it does, it's not the right size (or bra) for you. Make sure it feels comfortable when you are moving around.
- There shouldn't be any breast tissue spillage at the top, side or bottom of the cups. If there is, your cup size is too small. Try sizing up for a better fit.
-Straps shouldn't work too hard. Your bra's support comes from the band, not the straps. So be sure that you're wearing the correct band size. Too big, and your straps will end up taking the weight, which will cause them to put pressure on your shoulders and dig in.
-Is your band straight? Look in the mirror from the side. Your band should be at the same level all the way around your back. If it is riding up in back, it's probably too big. Try sizing down a band size or tightening your band.
-No gaping: The center front of your bra should lie flat against your breastbone. It should not lie on top of any breast tissue. If there's a large gap, you may need to go up a cup size.
-Band tightness: Your band should feel firm and secure, but you should also be able to slip two fingers beneath the band in back, and one in the center in front. If you can't, you may need to loosen your band a bit, or go up a size.
-Underwires: Underwires should lie flat at the front of your bra, against your ribcage. If you feel your underwire digging into any breast tissue, you should try a larger cup size or a different style.
-Bras stretch over time: Be sure you're wearing your bra on the loosest hook. Your bras can stretch with washing and wear, so when you buy a new bra, it's best to ensure it fits properly on a loose hook, so you can tighten it as needed.
-A perfect fit: Your breasts will feel like they are "sitting" in the cups, you will not feel any underwire pinching and your bra will feel comfortable and supportive. You shouldn't have to settle for a so-so fit. Sometimes you will have to go up a cup size or two. Don't let it concern you – sizes do vary among brands. Finding the perfect bra takes time and patience, but the way you will look (and feel) once you have found it will be worth all of your effort.

Friday, February 4, 2011

My Breastfeeding Story. What's yours?

I am a mom who almost gave up nursing within the first week. Best piece of advice I wish I had? Find an experienced lactation consultant, doula or midwife before you give birth that will come to you when you need her! Most moms have that time of need and it is the make or break point of continued breastfeeding.

But I thought hey, since I took the breastfeeding class the hospital offered when I was pregnant and then after I gave birth I talked to the lactation consultants multiple times at the hospital, I should be good! Breastfeeding is simple, right? Well, I could never have been more wrong. But that was my first lesson on this journey of motherhood. I am continuously reminded that I cannot learn it all from a book or a single class!

Looking back, I realized that I really had no idea what to expect no matter how many people told me what it is "suppose" to be like. All the lactation consultant at the busy hospital asked me was "does it feel normal?" And I thought to myself, "Normal!??? How am I suppose to know if THIS feels normal??!!"

Sure, my beautiful baby looked like he was latched on correctly from the outside. Little did I know that his tongue was hitting the tip of my nipple with each suck, which over the course of the next week caused me excruciating pain and my nipples to crack and bleed.

Unfortunately, I did not have an immediate resource outside of my hospital. I tried calling the lactation consultant at the hospital but had to leave messages. When they did get back to me all they could tell me was to put ice packs on and to leave some of my milk on my nipples after each feeding. Well, the cool packs helped to ease the pain a bit after wards, but the root of my problem was not solved!

After a week of agony, my sleep deprived mommy brain clicked and I made a desperate call to a county health nurse I had previously worked with at my job. Thank goodness I remembered her in my state of crisis as she rushed to my rescue. She took one look at my nipples and told me the problem! Yeah, one look and she figured out how he was sucking incorrectly!

She showed me how to train my baby to get him to quit using his tongue and gave me a nipple shield to use until I was healed. It worked! The personal touch of a one on one consultation with someone who knows what they are doing is priceless! She was so amazingly wonderful and her kindness is the only reason I was able to nurse my son for 15 months!

I have now made it my goal to help educate other women about breastfeeding through my patented nursing bra that features a built in healing pocket to hold a hot/cold pack and through my blog. Yes, breastfeeding can hurt but there are things you can do to help you get the relief you so desperately need to continue breastfeeding!

This post was inspired by the amazing people at Mother Love! Check them out http://motherloveblog.com/

Nicole Zoellner
Nizo Wear Nursing Bras