Big Change is Coming to Our Boutique

This business began nearly 10 years ago, when Judy found a huge need for quality nursing clothing and products to help her succeed in breastfeeding. Nursing her son was such an important part of her life at this time, and her business grew from this experience and a desire to help other mothers. A Mother’s Boutique grew into a one-stop shop for nursing tops, bathing suits, bras, breast pumps and anything else a new mother might need.Back of a model in black lingerie with her hands at the bra lock

Over the past decade, the market has changed for maternity and nursing clothing. Mothers have options now for stylish business wear and casual clothes to accommodate breastfeeding and pumping. But there is still a great need for quality nursing bras, especially ones that come in larger cup sizes. For years, Judy’s customers have loved the personal attention they receive at A Mother’s Boutique, where a fitting is thoughtful and thorough (even if that fitting is virtual).

These satisfied mothers eventually wean their children, but still write to Judy asking if she will carry non-nursing bras. Finding a great bra can be a life-changing experience for a woman, and it’s inspiring to be the person who helps make a difference in this way for nursing moms.

Judy says, “I have tried for years to figure out a way to bring non-nursing bras into the current business model, but couldn’t find a way to fit them all in my store.” Bras come in a lot of sizes, so bringing in the right inventory is a huge undertaking both financially and from a storage perspective. But then, Pittsburgh’s only specialty lingerie boutique closed its doors two years ago, leaving local women with no place to shop for bras. Judy took this as a call to action to support all women. And so, she reached a decision.

“I am getting rid of the items that I’m not as well known for–the clothing–and expanding my bra selection so I can make a difference in the lives of every woman.”

In mid-March, 2016, A Mother’s Boutique will transition to a new business. This new shop will have a strong focus on our roots–50 different styles of nursing bras, tanks, and shapewear–but also include 14 different styles of non-nursing bras. Our new boutique will focus on hard to find sizes (big bands, small bands, big cups, etc.) but will have an offering for women of every size. As the business grows, Judy plans to slowly add additional colors and styles that fill a need for women looking for quality bras that fit comfortably.

In order to make room for this new inventory, all of the clothing must go from A Mother’s Boutique. Tops, pants, and dresses are on sale starting at $11, and this sale will continue until everything is gone. Local moms who like to try things on can come to the shop throughout February, but once the physical store changes over, clothing will only be available online until it’s sold out.

We know there are many chain lingerie stores in the greater Pittsburgh area, but they focus on more traditional sizes. Our boutique is the ONLY independently-owned, woman-run boutique of it’s kind in this area and our sizes will start at a 28 band and go up to a 46 (with plans to expand to 52) and cup sizes ranging from A to S. Yes–S. We want every woman to experience the feel of a properly-fitting bra, and we’re so excited about this new change. Stay tuned to see what we have in store for you!

Not local to Pittsburgh? Fear not! You will always be able to get a Virtual Fitting for both nursing bras and regular bras to buy online.

Please note: Judy will continue to rent hospital grade breastpumps to women all over the country, since there is a great need for this service.

Medication and Mothers Milk: You Can Probably Take It

One of the more unfortunate themes we hear regularly is the tale of the PCP, dentist, psychologist, or even pediatrician telling a breastfeeding mother she must wean in order to take a necessary medication.

Mother after mother tells us she was told to pump and dump for 24 hours following minor surgery, told to wean cold turkey before taking antibiotics, or simply told she had no options for treating anxiety or depression while nursing. I, myself, was told I could not take Ativan while nursing my 14-month old, even though overwhelming research shows this medication is safe for breastfeeding. I wasn’t surprised to hear this. medications, pills

One study found that, nationally, “physicians were ill-prepared to counsel breast-feeding mothers”–they are receiving inadequate training and, unfortunately, giving mothers incorrect information about medication.

The truth is that most medications are safe for breastfeeding mothers. If not, there are usually alternative medications that are safe.

Resources for Medication Information

Almost all breastfeeding women will have to take at least one medication during their nursing relationship. If you’re concerned about this medication interacting with your breastmilk, please consider one of these resources before making a decision about weaning your baby:

Dr. Thomas Hale is a researcher based at Texas Tech University, who studies the effects of medications in breastmilk. He publishes a book called  Medications and Mothers Milk, which outlines a huge index of medications and makes recommendations as to their safety for use while breastfeeding.

The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center also runs the Infant Risk Center, which not only researches medications and their use in pregnancy and breastfeeding, but they also maintain a hotline. You (or your doctor!) can call in during Central Time business hours to ask questions about any medication you have concerns about.

They’ve produced a companion website called MommyMeds.com, which is a user-friendly site that explains medications without the medical jargon–they’ve got searchable articles about everything from thyroid medication to hair products. They’ve got an app for consumers and an app for healthcare providers. It could be that your provider simply doesn’t know about up-to-date research about medications–it’s definitely worth asking.

LactMed is a free, online database maintained by the National Library of Medicine in the United States. You (or your healthcare provider) can access the list and check on any medication. LacMed also has a free app you can quickly reference from your smartphone! Sometimes, LactMed and Infant Risk differ in their assessment of a particular drug. That’s why it’s important to discuss these resources with your healthcare provider.

We know the effects of not breastfeeding your baby can be widespread–we definitely want to make sure you have all the information you need to make a decision about your health. Hopefully, one of these resources can guide you safely to and from the pharmacy!

Did a doctor ever tell you a medication was unsafe for breastfeeding? Leave us a comment to share your experience. 

Does Night Nursing Cause Tooth Decay?

We know that until recently, medical students (even pediatricians!) were not studying lactation very regularly. This results in many physicians lacking accurate, evidence-based information about breastfeeding. The same can be true for dentists. finger holding tooth

Many, many mothers are told that night nursing is the same as bottle propping, that night nursing can lead to tooth decay or cavities.

The evidence shows otherwise. This large study based on over 1500 children in New York state showed that while breastfeeding correlated with a 40% reduced risk for early cavities, other factors like poverty, maternal age at birth, and maternal smoking put children at increased risk for cavities and that seemed to cancel out the positive effects of breastfeeding. Poverty leads to a combination of lack of health knowledge, limited access to healthcare, poor diet, potentially poor prenatal care, and inadequate self-care, and those things lead to increased cavities in children.

Kellymom analyzed another study where researchers studied skulls of humans from 500-1000 years ago and found that tooth decay in babies was rare. Of course, these ancient babies were breastfed (because bottles had not yet been invented)–and most likely they weren’t sneaking their big brother’s Lucky Charms. The Kellymom article talks about a lot of different studies about the cause of cavities and components of breastmilk. It’s worth a read!

But you might be wondering why night time breastfeeding is so different from bottle propping. Because nursing is different from bottle feeding. Breastmilk doesn’t pool in a baby’s mouth–milk does not flow from the breast unless baby is actively sucking. A nursing baby draws milk into the mouth behind the teeth: a proper latch means milk is coming in waaayyy in the back of the palate, and if baby is actively sucking, baby is actively swallowing.

In the end, your child is at much greater risk of cavities from eating a lollipop than from nighttime nursies. Don’t let fear of cavities push you into nightweaning if you are not ready to do that.

(If you are nursing through the night, have you thought about a cozy nursing nightgown? Some awesome nursing pajamas? We’ve got both!)

Image via Kelly Teague/Flickr

 

Poop Watch

Did you ever think you’d talk so much about poop before having kids? I had no idea I’d care about poop, let alone text my husband regular updates about the bowel situation of my kids.

When my breastfed babies were newborns, we learned so much about poop: color, consistency, frequency.

We’d have dinner with other parents, casually discussing “mustard seeds” and “green froth” as if these were normal table conversations.

I’ve got 3 sons, aged 6, 3, and 1, and we are on poop watch for all 3 of them right now. Imagine that!? (I actually know that most of you can indeed imagine this. There are no fewer than 5 smart phone apps available for tracking bowel movements of the adult and pediatric variety!)cloth diaper

My oldest son tapped my shoulder the other day and nonchalantly explained that he’d swallowed a PlayMobil trophy. “I can feel it right here,” he said, pointing to his throat. His breathing wasn’t obscured and he could no longer feel it after he drank a bunch of water, so we’re pretty much just waiting to see if it comes out the other end. I’m not actually sure what our course of action is if this doesn’t happen. We have a follow up phone call scheduled with the pediatrician…

This kid, by the way, has had us on poop watch for years, including a hospital stay after he ate a button battery as a toddler. At least we know he has a robust digestive tract.

My preschooler is desperately constipated. This is because he only agrees to consume goldfish crackers and cheese. We frequently explain how much less painful everything would be if he just ate or drank some of the delicious fruits and vegetables we’ve sautéed, pureed, juiced, baked, and roasted for him. He will at least agree to drink chamomile tea infused with scoop after scoop of Mirilax. We have to be careful of the timing of this tea service, because of preschool. It’s a science!

The baby? He got into his big brother’s gum. We know that he swallowed both the gum and the wrappers, so we’re checking diapers to make sure the wrappers are coming out ok. So far, 2 have.

That’s been my week. When acquaintances ask, “What are you doing this week?” for small talk, I always wonder if I should be up front with them…

What sort of poo-nanigans go down at your house? Leave us a comment to share a diaper story! 

Image by CatEyedKP via Flickr

Stocking Stuffers for Baby?

When my first son was a baby, I really didn’t buy him much for Christmas. I mean, he was a baby, and he got a river of gifts from his relatives…

By the time I had more kids, my older kids grew very concerned that their younger brothers should have gifts to open, too. . . . → Read More: Stocking Stuffers for Baby?

Am I Feeding My Newborn Too Much?

I remember when my first son was born, I was utterly overwhelmed by how much and how often he needed me. All the books had assured me my son would nurse for 20 minutes per breast every few hours…so why was he sucking on each breast for 45 minutes every 90 minutes?

Turns out, . . . → Read More: Am I Feeding My Newborn Too Much?

Beautiful Bras for Really, Really Big Breasts

Our boutique prides itself on carrying beautiful bras for all breasts. 

We’ve got lovely options (options!) for women with a small band size and large cup…large as in I or L cup breasts. L for large!

We get messages from loyal Elomi fans–while this bra doesn’t have lace or pretty pink trimmings, it’s got an underwire, . . . → Read More: Beautiful Bras for Really, Really Big Breasts