Mom Feature : Sara

We'd like to introduce Sara, a  licensed midwife & lactation consultant and her two kiddos, Simon and Ida. Read on to learn more about this awesome momma and her breastfeeding journey, the struggle of finding breastfeeding clothes and life with twins.  

Sara feeding Ida.

Sara feeding Ida.

How would you describe your style? Do you have any tips for breastfeeding moms?
Well, the other day I ran an outfit choice by my wife and she said, “it's a combo of Anthropologie and hip hop”. That’s definitely what I aspire to. Most of the time, that means flowy dresses and big sunglasses (I live in southern California).


As a postpartum woman, how did your body image change with motherhood?
Pregnancy helped me tremendously with my perception of my body. As a plus sized woman, I have always had an internal struggle of wanting to love my body but not being immune to the dominating narrative that (especially white) women should be thin. I’ve never been thin- so I’ve had to work hard to unpack all of the messages that society has sent me about the worth of my body.

 In pregnancy, I grew (pun intended) to adore my body. I grew fraternal twins to 39 weeks gestation and never felt more alive or healthy than while I was pregnant. My pregnancy was complication free (other than them both being in the breech position at the end, which meant I had to have a c-section). I loved how clothes fit my belly (the tighter the better!) and I felt that I could show off my body in ways I never felt were acceptable before I was pregnant.


After they were born, I was proud of my ability to exclusively breastfeed them both, and I tried to carry all of the newfound confidence in my body into the postpartum. But nursing bras and clothes suck. They’re frumpy and stretched out and that bummed me out. But even today (my kids are 3.5 years old now), I try to carry that new confidence with me, and on days when I feel super shitty about myself, I look at pictures of my gigantic belly and remember that I grew TWO humans (almost 6 and 7 pounds each), and then I feel like super woman again.


How long do you plan on breastfeeding?
As long as my kids want to (did you know that the international average age of weaning is 4-7 years?)


Biggest challenge as a breastfeeding mom? How do you overcome it?
Exclusively nursing twins for the first 6 months was hard. Probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I overcame it with lots of support from my wife (who did EVERYTHING else in our household), a phenomenal postpartum doula (thanks, Katie!), and some really incredible friends and family.

Sara and her wife with the twins.

Sara and her wife with the twins.


What has breastfeeding in public been like for you? Has it been mostly positive, or have you had any negative experiences?
I’ve never had a particularly negative experience nursing in public. I wear the face of, “try to talk to me about this right now, I dare you” whenever I’m nursing in public. And I rarely use a cover. I find that keeps people away. :)


What is it like breastfeeding twins? Do you have any tips/stories?
Breastfeeding twins is… special. It’s super time-consuming and challenging, but it comes with the
sweetest rewards. The first moment when they look at each other while they’re both nursing, or reach for each other’s hands… those moments are incredible.

My biggest tip is to seek and accept help, especially from a good lactation consultant who has twin experience (and as soon as possible). Getting the twin breastfeeding experience off on the right foot can make the world of difference.


You have a midwife background, how has that played into your own birth experience?
I’m a home birth and birth center midwife, so I was incredibly disappointed to have a c-section. I knew I would birth in the hospital, but I wanted a vaginal birth. When they both went breech (butt down) and stayed that way, I knew it was just the lesson I was getting, and I accepted it. Us midwives always talk about how pregnancy is your first big lesson in parenting. And a lot of people find out that pregnancy and birth doesn’t always go how you expected it to, but there is always a lot to learn. I was humbled and grateful for my c-section that helped my babies arrive safely, and I’ll forever remember my doctor, midwife, doula, and nurses who helped me through that day. It was the best day of my life.


What has been your experience in finding plus-sized breastfeeding apparel?
Finding plus sized breastfeeding apparel that wasn’t just a stretched-out sack? Impossible. That is why I’m so thrilled about Leche Libre’s line—it has structure and form and makes me feel strong. I hated having to be in slouchy v-necks every single day. Thank you!!

 

Thanks, Sara !

Mama Fierce: When Breastfeeding Doesn't Work Out

As a brand who works to support breastfeeding, we talk a lot about empowering women to confidently breastfeed their babies and how important it is that women feel supported the choices they make about how they want to be a Mom.  There is an important aspect of this conversation that we don't talk about enough: when breastfeeding doesn't work out and supporting a mom's choices when she is in this situation.  I'm super excited to be speaking with Plus Size Style Guru, Briana Hernandez from Mama Fierce today who has volunteered to open up about her experiences with breastfeeding and moving on.

Briana rocking the Reptile Tunic available for pre-sale now during the Plus Size Kickstarter Campaign!

Briana rocking the Reptile Tunic available for pre-sale now during the Plus Size Kickstarter Campaign!

You mentioned in your writing that you had hoped to breastfeed but it didn't work out. Can you talk a little bit about your experiences breastfeeding and what didn't work for you?

I had a perfect storm of badness right after my son was born. My milk didn't come in very well. I could only pump three ounces out of both breasts combined. I had two epidurals since my first one crapped out at eight centimeters and I already have back problems. So as I was trying to breastfeed, my back would spasm. It took two nurses to get me into a comfortable position so it became apparent this couldn't be a thing I could do independently, which was important since my partner was due back at work in six short weeks. After the first night home, I could just tell my son wasn't getting enough. I pumped for a week after that but my milk was still lagging so I threw in the towel. The most heartbreaking thing about it was that I thought breastfeeding would be so liberating. I pictured myself just whipping it out any time I needed to and being militant in taking no disrespect for it. But because it was very difficult for me, it ended up being something to hold me back. The point for me wasn't to have to suffer through it, and that's exactly what was happening.  

Did pregnancy and birth change your attitude toward your body?  Did your experience breastfeeding alter this at all?

My pregnancy was pretty easy and it made me feel invincible and limitless. With breastfeeding, I definitely confirmed my body has limits! And there may have been a little shame since I just expected this to work for me like it works for so many women, but I also knew I was not alone. That really helped. But I'd say the thing that messed with my body image the most was motherhood in those first few months. I'm so driven by personal style and I suddenly didn't have the time or energy for it, nor were any of my clothes easy to throw together, which was crucial.  

"This is why Leche Libre resonates with me so much. If I had invested in nursing fashions like this, it wouldn't have felt like a waste when breastfeeding did not turn out to be my friend. At least I would have been left with some poppin' pieces!"

"This is why Leche Libre resonates with me so much. If I had invested in nursing fashions like this, it wouldn't have felt like a waste when breastfeeding did not turn out to be my friend. At least I would have been left with some poppin' pieces!"

I'm glad to hear that you knew you weren't alone. How or where did you find this support?

I luckily had family and friends who either chose to formula-feed right off the bat or went to it after breastfeeding didn't work out for them. These people were obviously very supportive of my decision to stop. 

Did you ever feel judged by other moms for not breastfeeding?  And if so, how did this make you feel?

Absolutely. I remember posting one of the first pictures I have ever taken of my son on Facebook. In the picture, he was having a bottle and someone commented with, "That's not a boob" and nothing else. That felt pretty judgy and invasive. It reinforced all the unkind things I was saying to myself--that I gave up too easily and that I wasn't sacrificing enough for my baby. Luckily, I knew deep down that was all bullshit. 

"The most heartbreaking thing about it was that I thought breastfeeding would be so liberating. I pictured myself just whipping it out any time I needed to and being militant in taking no disrespect for it. But because it was very difficult for me, it ended up being something to hold me back."

Was there anything you can think of that would have made your experience easier? 

What would have definitely made my life easier at that time is to have talked about breastfeeding as if it weren't a guarantee. Sure, it was talked about as a choice, but no one ever told me it might not work out for me. Maybe if that conversation had happened, I wouldn't have been left with a half-dozen nursing covers I would never use and nursing tops I would never wear (because holy crap, where they fugly). This is why Leche Libre resonates with me so much. If I had invested in nursing fashions like this, it wouldn't have felt like a waste when breastfeeding did not turn out to be my friend. At least I would have been left with some poppin' pieces!

Thank you Briana for sharing your story and truth with us. As mother's we're all doing our best and the more we can support each other in our choices and paths, the stronger we'll all be!  Please support our Plus Size Kickstarter campaign to make sure these poppin' pieces get made! 

Mom Feature: Allison

We are so excited to introduce Mom Features, a series of interviews with Leche Libre moms. Topics such as public breastfeeding, personal style and plenty of tips from the moms will be covered in the feature!

Meet Allison, a Chicago mom and her cutie, Nora. Allison discuses the struggles of being a plus breastfeeding mom and her postpartum body image.  

Allison wearing our Nursing Sweatshirt in Navy- click image to shop

Allison wearing our Nursing Sweatshirt in Navy- click image to shop

1. How would you describe your style? Do you have any tips for breastfeeding moms?

I have always been attracted to hour glass silhouettes--wrap dresses, pencil skirts. Fun prints and bright colors: cobalt blue and coral. Stuff that accentuates my curves. My tip to breastfeeding moms is to keep hydrated. Always have a glass of water on hand.

2. As a postpartum woman, how did your body image change with motherhood?

I had a traumatic birth experience and took about two months to heal so my relationship to my body changed dramatically after my daughter, Nora Jane, was born. I needed clothes that I could wear comfortably, that allowed easy access for breastfeeding and for the medical professionals who were taking care of me at home. I spent about 8 weeks in a long shapeless black skirt, a breastfeeding tank, and chunky sweater. By the time was I fully healed I barely recognized myself. It's been 15 months since my daughter was born and I've started getting used to my new body, dressing for fun--not just function and dipping my toe into a renewed social and intellectual life.

3. How long do you plan on breastfeeding?

I'll breastfeed as along as it's working for both of us.

4. What has been your biggest challenge as a breastfeeding mom? How do you overcome it?

Because I was sick and on several contraindicated medications, our start to breastfeeding was pretty rocky. I pumped and my daughter was on a combination of donor milk and formula for the first couple months. I'm very grateful for the lactation support I received in the hospital and at home. On the night of Nora's birth, I was in the ICU and she was in the neonatal ward with her dad. An LC broke all the rules and secreted her up to my room so we could bond and practice nursing. I'll always remember that kindness. We also had a lot of success going to a weekly lactation station--basically the weirdest yoga class ever--with moms and babies lined up on mats nursing quietly.

5. What has breastfeeding in public been like for you? Has it been mostly positive, or have you had any negative experiences?

 I've had pretty positive experiences breastfeeding in public. 

6. As a plus woman, how has it been trying to find stylish breastfeeding apparel? Has this struggle made breastfeeding difficult?

 As a well-endowed woman, its not easy to be discrete so you just do what you've gotta do. Leche Libre clothes definitely help me feel cool and confident while nursing in public.

 

Thanks Allison for being part of our first Mom Feature!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ethical, Local Manufacturing

Ethical, local manufacturing is a huge part of Leche Libre's mission, we believe in having products that apart from empowering our customers, also empower those who produce them . We have two manufacturers located in Milwaukee and another in Chicago (where LL is based) I live so close to the Chicago manufacturer that I can ride my electric bike there. Watch the video below to  a tour of my bike- hell yeah to ethical and local manufacturing!

Guest Blogger: Jwa Star

Guest blogger, Jwa Star writes about her experiences with breastfeeding in public and gives some super helpful tips for moms feeding on the go.

Jwa Star with her baby

Jwa Star with her baby

The newness of being an exclusive breastfeeding mom took some time to adjust to. Secretly I've never adjusted. When we had a new addition to add to the clan, my mother's intuition seeped in. Breastfeeding has & continues to be a prime goal for my child & I. 

Being on the move and adjusting to the many moments when my baby was hungry while we were out has been tough. I'll never forget the first time I had to feed him in public. It was a winter day. I had made numerous appointments for the baby & I. I figured if I was out I might as well get everything done. That New York State of Mind had me in a zone. Strapping him in my Ergobaby carrier, I was thinking from a point of view where I could still do things quickly and alone (not true). First appointment was at WIC to receive support with breastfeeding. They had a designated group of women that loved hearing my birth story. When I was leaving, one of them gave me the last breastfeeding cover she had in blue. She mentioned how she only gives out the cloths to moms she connects with (wanting to make sure it'll go to good use). I took a bus ride to my favorite health food store after that. The place was baby friendly so I knew feeding him there would be no problem plus it was quiet. Now off to my acupuncture appointment. This was the part that I was a bit afraid of. How was my baby going to hold up on the bus to the appointment? How would I manage inside the appointment? I figured that since I had gotten a chance to feed him in breastfeeding friendly places he'd be fine. He was only 6 weeks old but was a trooper & I loved it. We got on our 3rd bus for the day. Before I could even get comfortable, he began wailing like a maniac! 

I looked down at him & realized he was hungry again. We'd been out longer than ever before. This was hour 6 out of the 9 hour trip, two diaper changes & about 3 feedings. I had on a sweater that was stopping me from being discreet. I was sitting in the front of the bus. Not to mention there was a slew of men I felt that were waiting to see what I was going to do. I felt embarrassed & alone. Luckily I remembered I had just received the cover from WIC. I strapped the cover over & proceeded to try to loosen my baby in the carrier a bit.  This proved to be super difficult since I still needed to pull up my sweater. The struggle was REAL! I took him out of the carrier & continued to work on latching him to my nipple. I was only using nipple shields at the time because he never wanted to latch when he was born. All of this is happening underneath my breastfeeding cover. I felt like a child playing under the sheets but there was nothing happy about this.

Latched, feeding & covered. I did it!!! But the struggle was painfully scary. Once I got to my acupuncturist they were super friendly & helpful. I Ubered home after all of that. I was apprehensive to go out without a bottle in bag. I never had a real opinion about breastfeeding in public but when you have a baby & that crying ensues. You better have a plan & quick! 

Nowadays I've figured out faster ways to get the little one fed. I've also realized that the clothes you wear are a big part of it. 

Here are the best steps for breastfeeding in public:

 1.  Plan your day out according to what your baby can handle. (If it's a snowstorm, rainstorm, too cold, too hot or your little one is just having a fussy day, listen to their cues. No need to stress yourself out for a trip that's inevitably going to effect your milk supply.)

2. Have an action course for the trip i.e. knowing where you are able to breastfeed freely & comfortably. (This is a jewel for you and baby. You will both be happy with the end result. A couple of great apps that can help with that is www.pumpspotting.comwww.MomsPumpHere.com)

 3. Baby carriers, nursing bras & breastfeeding covers are your friend along with the clothes you wear for it. I've learned how to breastfeed my baby without flinching. The secret is having easy access clothes & bras. ( My Ergobaby carrier has a cover that I utilize more than ever now.)  If you're baby is tummy to tummy in the carrier u can feed him without taking him out.

4.  If your baby is having a fit about eating & you feel a meltdown coming on, breeeeeeeathe. Steps 1,2,3 should help you significantly. (If you can birth a baby, this is a walk in the park.) 

Congratulations to you all on being amazing!!!

 

You can follow Jwa's adventures & thoughts on her blog called The Struggle to Pulchritude at www.jwastar.wordpress.com. Also follow her social accounts on Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, & Tumblr with @JwaStar or Google+ with Jwa Star.

WINNING IT

Yesterday, I was one of 15 women honored by the City of Chicago during their Women's History Month Celebration with the award of Outstanding Woman in the Field of Fashion.  It was an awesome experience to have a fashion show and strut the runway in the lobby of Chicago's most powerful city building.  I want to share my speech, where I took a moment to reflect on how far I've come from stay at home mom battling postpartum depression to award winning fashion entrepreneur!

Photos courtesy of Darel White Photography

Photos courtesy of Darel White Photography

If you had told me five years ago that I would be up on this stage accepting adv award for excellence in fashion I would have told you that you were crazy. At the time, I was a stay at home mom, with two babies under the age of 2, with zero experience in fashion design or retail business. I could barely sew. But I saw a fashion need which was seriously lacking. I couldn't find clothing which was stylish which also allowed me to easily breastfeed my babies.  Giving birth is the most powerful thing a human being can do and I wanted to create clothing which would help women represent their strength through the transformative power of fashion.  I spent a few years teaching myself fashion design by watching you tube videos and project runway and with only $5,000 of savings, I launched my line. 3 years later Leche Libre has empowered hundreds of women on 6 out of 7 continents to confidently breastfeed wherever they want in effortless style. The fact that I am on this stage today, accepting this award from the Honorable Dorothy Brown and the City of Chicago for excellence in the field of fashion is proof that anything is possible if you have the tenacity and grit to go for it! This is a true honor.  Thank you all so much from the bottom of my heart. 

4 Killer Tips to Crush Parental Guilt

I’ve been having a lot of parent guilt and it's fucking exhausting!  I don't usually blog about this sort of thing but I thought, why not?  A lot of mom's are dealing with guilt, so here are my thoughts on the matter.  

I just finished running the Kickstarter Campaign to crowdfund for my first big production run for Leche Libre.  It was a herculean effort, and luckily was very successful.  Now that the campaign is over, I’m looking into my future and realize I still have A LOT of work to do to fulfill my orders and actually do the work of manufacturing the run.

I’ve been feeling really guilty about all the time I’m putting into my business. It's awesome to be coming out of a successful Kickstarter and I’m super excited to grow my business, but at the same time, it's been a challenge, balancing the stress and the additional work of the kickstarter with my family stuff.  I want to be an awesome mom, but I also want to be an awesome business person.  

Leche Libre has always been a one woman show. I’m aware that I can be a work-a-holic and I try not to push to hard so I can still spend time with my kids, but the amount of work I need to put into Leche Libre is substantial and with the added Kickstarter stuff, I’ve been feeling a lot of parent guilt about if I am prioritizing my job over my kids and if I’m being a bad mom.  

It sucks feeling guilty all the time.  It takes up a lot of energy I don’t have to spend right now.  Also, I’ve noticed it sets a negative intention.  The more guilty I feel about whether I’m being a “bad mom” the more of a bad mom, I actually become.  I have been very impatient and curt with my kids lately which makes me feel even worse.

If you’re looking at my blog, the probability is you’re a mom too.  I feel like parent guilt is something a lot of us experience.   I spent a long time journaling about my feelings of guilt to day and thought I would share the self talk I’m working on in case it is also helpful to anyone else. The reasons we feel guilty may all be different but I feel like the answers on dealing with the guilt cover most situations.

Self talk to deal with guilt

1)  Positive Intention:  

I have been spending a lot of time looking for the ways in which I feel like I’m failing at parenting.  I’m focusing on the negative so that is all I see.  I need to flip the script and do the same for the positive.  I really need to look at my parenting and acknowledge all the ways in which I am doing a good job.  I have a tendency of putting more weight on the negative then the positive and so the negative in my mind seems bigger than it actually is.  I need refocus on the positive and see it outweighs the negative.  At base level, my kids live in a safe place with all their psychological needs and above that, they feel loved and are generally happy kids. The more I can focus on my being a good Mom, the more of a good Mom I can be.  

To do:  make a list of all the things you do well as a parent. Focus on how you are doing well and rephrase in your mind that you are a good parent instead of focusing on what you’re not doing.  Pick ONE thing you want to do better as a parent and make a positive intention to try to work on this on a daily basis.

2) Focus on my priorities:  

In the past I have weighed which I prioritize more, my kids or my work.  I always say my kids take top bill, but then there are sometimes when I actually need to prioritize my work for a bit because of a time sensitive thing and I feel guilty about my kids.  What I have come to realize is my number one priority should be my own happiness.  I know that sounds very selfish, but the more I focus on what I need to do to make myself happy, the more I will be able to be a parent and do my work from a positive and happy place.  When I am at war about which one I prioritize more, I feel like I am always fighting a losing battle. When I focus on me in a positive, loving way, I can be open to being my best self in all the roles of my life. 

To do:  make a list with three columns marked self, parent, work.  Make a list in each column of things you enjoy doing in each section of your life and try to bring them into your daily life.

3) Stop manufacturing problems:

A lot of my problems come from the fact that I struggle with the idea that I am a person worthy of being happy and having success.  I think things have to be hard in order to be earned.  So I take small issues and make them into bigger problems in my mind by worrying and obsessing about them.  I do this a lot with parenting.  I worry that small behaviors, like my daughter’s sassing back to me which I view as negative are proof that I am a bad parent instead of just seeing them as a temporary behavior in a phase of her development.  Sure, I need to talk to her about positive communication, but I need to practice that in myself too.  I need to stop beating myself up over small things.  I need to assert that I am a person worthy of having good things and allowing them to come to me easily.

To do: Meditate on the mantra: “I am fine just as I am.  Things are whole and fine just as the are.”  Let go of the idea that small problems reflect a greater problem.  Work on accepting things as they are and letting go of perfectionism.  

4) Be gentle with myself and take it one day at a time:

When life gets stressful, it is hard to deal with small frustrations.  I lose my cool easily and yell at my kids a lot.  I am always pushing hard in every area of my life.  It is hard for me to let go of being perfect.  It is important for me to focus on the fact that one’s best isn’t always the same.  My best at a chill time in my life isn’t going to be the same as my best when I’m busy.  The more I beat myself up the more stress I feel and the more yelling I will do.  I need to just accept that I am human and that having relationships is hard.  We all make mistakes.  

To do:  Work on accepting yourself as imperfect and forgive yourself for making mistakes.  Don’t be afraid to apologize to your kids if you make a mistake.  

I hope this is helpful!  I’m going to work on all this stuff myself! Ok, back to life now!

 

 

How To "Back" A Kickstarter Campaign

Are you new to Kickstarter?  No problem, this blog post will quickly give you all you need to know about how to donate money or preorder one of the garments of the collection.

Here is a step by step guide on how to back my kickstarter, followed by some backer FAQs.

HOW DO I BACK YOUR KICKSTARTER?  I'm glad you asked.  Here is a detailed breakdown of steps.

Step 1: Review the Reward Tiers

Kickreward.png

Scroll down from the top of the page.  All the reward tiers are on the left side of the screen starting at the top.

Step 2: At the top click Back this pledge or click on any of the reward tiers on the right

Step 3: Select your reward.  If you wish to donate money on top of the reward tier cost, please BY ALL MEANS go ahead and do so.

Step 4: Put in the amount you wish to pledge.  Here I've decided I want two sweatshirts, so I've multiplied $75 x 2 and put in the total.  

Step 5: Sign into Kickstarter or create a Login.  You can also login using via Facebook.

Step 6: Put in your payment information and confirm. 

Press Pledge and you're done!  You will receive email updates as the Kickstarter goes along to update you on my status.  As I said above, I only get the money if I make my $20,000 goal.  Once the campaign is complete, you'll get an email letting you know how it went.  If I am successful, the money will be charged to your payment option and I will send you a survey for you to select your size/color options.   
 
Wait a minute, back up! I've got some questions!

What is a backer?  With a Kickstarter campaign, anyone who wants to support the campaign, also called backers, can donate money to the project in exchange for various reward tiers.  For the Leche Libre campaign, I have kept things very simple.

I don't need breastfeeding apparel, can I just donate money to you?  Yes!  I am offering 7 basic reward tiers.  The first is just a straight donation of money.  If you want to support Leche Libre's mission of empowering women to confidently breastfeed in public shame free but do not want any of the clothing you can opt to just donate whatever amount of money you wish using the first donation reward tier.

What do I do if I want to get a dress or a sweatshirt from the new collection? The next 6 reward tiers are for preorders of my new collection.  You can select any garment you would like, and donate to that reward tier.  

What is a preorder? It is called a preorder because the garments are not made yet.  With Kickstarter, I will only get the money if I reach my $20,000 goal.  Once the campaign concludes successfully, the money will be transferred to me and I will use it to begin production of the garments.  If you choose a preorder, the reward tier will tell you the estimated delivery of your garment.

Did I see something in your campaign about a donation to breastfeeding women in need?  Yes you did!  If you wish to support breastfeeding women in the Chicagoland Area.  I have partnered up with the Volunteer Chicago Doula organization.  Any garments which are donated will be given out to empower teen moms to confidently breastfeed their babies.  Teen moms face the most obstacles to successful breastfeeding and your donation can really make a difference support women and help their babies have the best start to life.  If you wish to donate a garment, just choose the garment tier you wish to donate, and preorder it.  When the campaign ends, I will send you a survey and you can notate that you wish to donate your garment, and I will take care of the rest!

Can you order more then one garment? Yes, of course!  First check out the whole collection reward tiers.  If you order all three, or all 5 (all three in all color variations) you will get an additional 5% off, at a total of 30% off.  If you want to just mix and match, add up the total for the garments you want to buy and select a reward tier with one of the garments.  Then enter in the total amount of clothes you want.  When the campaign is over, I'll email you a survey where you can select the style/size/color mixture you wish.

 

 

Leche Libre Kickstarter!

Leche Libre is doing a Kickstarter to fund its first large scale production run and I need your help to get there.  Please donate today and you can help create a world where women everywhere can confidently breastfeed whenever they want, wherever they go in style!

Hi I'm Andrea Newberry, founder of Leche Libre and proud mama of two kiddos – Thora and Otto. 

Like most new moms, I had a pretty severe identity crisis right after the birth of my first baby. I was sleep deprived,  my body felt weird and now I was responsible for another person that needed me 24/7.  I was so busy taking care of Thora, I was overwhelmed at the idea of taking care of myself as well.

I had a really hard time finding clothing that was easy to breastfeed in My style is edgy, sleek and sophisticated but the only options I could find made me feel frumpy, unstylish and like a completely different person.  I felt like the clothing was telling me I should be ashamed of my postpartum body and I needed to cover it up with shapeless layers of loose fitting clothes. Becoming a mother had already changed my identity, and the nursing clothes I found made me feel like even more of a different person than I was before I became a mom

After the birth of my second child, I knew there had to be a better way.I was just learning to sew at the time, so  I started making a few things for myself with breastfeeding access and whenever I would wear them out, I got so many compliments about the design.  People would freak out when they realized my dress was functional for breastfeeding.  I knew I was on the right track and should keep going. 

Prior to having kids, I had no experience in the fashion industry.  This is a mission of passion for me, and I've spent the last four years teaching myself fashion design and the fashion business to develop this idea.  I've done several small sample runs for market testing and have fine tuned my designs along the way.  I've gotten feedback from over 500 women and I'm finally ready to take my Leche Libre to the next level with my first large scale production run.

WHAT I’M SELLING

The money I raise with this kickstarter will go directly toward buying material in bulk and meeting higher factory minimums to allow me to sell the same ethically produced, high quality Leche Libre garments online and in stores to at the prices women want to pay.

The collection I've designed for this kickstarter represents 3 dynamic and versatile looks all with zippers down the bust for discreet nursing access making it easier for women to fashionably integrate breastfeeding into their busy lives. 

  • The Little Black Breastfeeding dress is the ultimate in sophisticated style and can easily transition from day to evening wear. 

  • The Zipper Tunic is the signature look of the edgy Leche Libre aesthetic and transitions easily from professional to casual wear. 

  • And finally, I’m excited to debut my new Nursing Sweatshirt, which will be the first piece of my upcoming casual streetwear line. 

From home to office to formal events, these three versatile looks will cover all your bases and allow easy breastfeeding wherever you might go in style.  In reward to being a backer to my kickstarter, you’ll get the first exclusive access to these new looks at an awesome discounted rate!

Women have always been pigeonholed and pressured into cultural expectations of femininity and beauty. As moms, we face a lot of pressure to be perfect, and it doesn't help when our nursing options stifle our personal styles, forcing us to dress like people we are not. Leche Libre is pushing back against these stereotypes, redefining what a Mom can look like and creating more space for women to be their authentic selves.

I believe bringing our true authentic selves into parenting makes us the best moms we can be. Being able to wear clothing with a more edgy aesthetic was a key part in helping me regain my identity as an individual, and the functionality of the clothes I made allowed me to breastfeed more easily in public situations, making me a more confident Mom.

Any new mom can attest to feeling a lot of pressure to be perfect, and being forced to dress as someone you’re not only exacerbates this problem.  I believe we will all thrive when mothers feel empowered to be their true selves and can bring that authenticity into how they parent.

Moms do it all, wearing multiple hats throughout the day to get shit done.  mom, wife, boss, friend…   I want to help badass women everywhere express their unique individuality in any and all situations so they can be confident as women and be the best moms they can be. 

Leche Libre is changing the look of breastfeeding apparel forever.  So please, contribute today.  With your help, we can empower women everywhere to confidently breastfeed whenever we want, wherever we go, in style!  Zip and sip!



 

Do You Want To Be The Next Leche Libre Model??

   

 

 

Are you a nursing Mama who feels passionately about promoting public breastfeeding?  Have you always wanted to be a model?  Here's your big chance! We're looking for a few rad looking breastfeeding Chicago Mamas and their kiddos who would like to be in a Kickstarter video for LECHE LIBRE BREASTFEEDING APPAREL!  We’re looking for women with an edgy urban style, alternative or radical moms, or other Moms with nursing babies who don't fit a conventional mold! Any age, shape, size or color!  Participants must be available for shooting the first weekend in June in Chicago.  Video shoot will probably last 2-4 hours.  All models will get professional digital pics of shoot to keep as well as the possibility of keeping their clothing (depending on style).

TO APPLY: Just click on this link to fill out the quick application form and attach a photo of yourself and your baby to be considered.

Don’t forget to follow Leche Libre on Instagram and like us on Facebook! Visit us at www.LecheLibre.com for more information on our brand!