"Back-to-School" The phrase sparks feelings of excitement, anxiety, anticipation, relief, and panic!! (All TOTALLY valid BTW!)
In the most general sense however, the chime of midnight on Labor Day signals it's time for us to get back to business.
Is that 'Back to Work'? "Back Home" from Summer travel and adventures? Or is the phrasing literal, and it is 'Back to School' for the wee scholars in your life?
Maybe it is not 'Back' at all? Maybe this Autumn you start anew?
Do you find yourself drying eyes taking that Toddler or Babe to school or day-care for the first time? Are you looking to sign up for classes with kiddo and/or your partner? Preparing for a baby-to-be? Meeting new friends? New playmates? Community?
The heck with "business"! 'Back to School' is back to LIFE - old life, new life - YOUR LIFE.
Through all the fresh and old starts, falling leaves, and chillier temps, WWM can make things a little easier - and fun - for you and your family.
Please, enjoy the following collection of treasures and tools.
Did you know that Boob Design, one of our most popular maternity and nursing clothing brands is also committed to sustainable manufacturing work and materials? Adriane Stare, WWM founder and owner sat down with Erika Mattsson from Boob to preview some new items and learn more about the eco-friendly materials that go into their apparel.
Let's talk boobs.
Are yours tender? Aching? Is your chest expanding at a rate that you would once classify as absurd? Don't worry, Mama! We are here to help you out! Let's chat about the girls and figure out how to hoist them up and treat them right.
Nursing bras are made to work with you and for you. While the ones you like least will more often take up precious space in your overflowing drawer (yes, you can kiss all your old bras goodbye for the next year), but the good ones will quickly become your best friends. The bras will expand and contract with daily changes in your cup sizes. They gently support aching, heavy, engorged and sensitive boobs. They conveniently hold your nursing pads in place, so you don't leak through shirts (too quickly), or wake up in a puddle of milk every morning. You may even find some sexier styles that won't compromise your personal pre-lactating tastes.
We have pretty much heard and seen it all when it comes to boobs. Here are our answers to some of our most frequently asked questions about maternity and nursing bras.
If we could predict this, honey, we'd be bra-zillionaires! The reality is that it's really impossible to know. For every mama we see who goes up two cup sizes and a band size, we see another mama whose breasts and rib cage have barely grown at all. Use your sister or mom as a good gauge if you are curious, as we experience similar body changes during pregnancy as those of our relative's (but not always!). With that said, it is more common than not that in pregnancy you will go up at least one cup size and one band size. Getting a bra that will grow and expand with you will save you a buck in the long run, and hopefully make pregnancy a bit easier and more comfortable.
Funny thing: In our experience, there's actually no such thing as a true "maternity" bra. A maternity bra that is not also a nursing bra is simply a bigger bra. You can go to your local bra shop and up your cup and band size as needed, but be warned that it may not be very comfortable for long, and you may simply grow out of it in the next couple months. Your milk ducts expand during pregnancy, which changes the shape of your boobs and can make traditional bras uncomfortable. Underwire will start to dig in to your armpits and rib cage, or worse, press down into the top of your baby bump as you reach your last months. Not fun!
A nursing bra typically comes with clips and hooks on the front for actual nursing, but they are also made for boobs that are preparing to make milk (which will happen whether you choose to breastfeed or not). Said bras are typically softer on the inside for sensitive nipples and made with more breathable materials. Like a pair of high-quality leggings, they are also designed to expand and contract without losing their shape. Some nursing bras may still come with underwire, but it's usually a flexible wire that is a wider shape to get around all of your new, fabulous breast tissue. Bras without underwire or "flexi-wire" will often use reinforced stitching under the cup or racerback designs as a way to offer support in alternative ways.
The great news about investing in nursing bras in the early months of pregnancy, is that even if you grow out of them while you're further along, you'll usually be able to fit back into them once you've given birth and your body and breasts begin to shrink back down again.
Are you pregnant? Now's a good time! Unless nothing has changed with your boobs, within the first trimester is not too early, believe it or not. If your cups overfloweth with breast, you're on the loosest hook setting or feel the bands digging, it’s time for a larger size. Red marks are NOT okay! Seriously, your bra should be easing the pain, not causing it. Instead of sizing up in your favorite bra, and then doing so again in a couple months, consider getting a nursing bra that will grow with you. Cake Maternity Croissant nursing bras, for example, offer SIX hook and eye settings on their bands and adjustable, wide straps. If you're not ready to forgo the support you are used to, this bra also has flexi-wire for support. Melinda G bras offer wider, more comfy straps and a seamed under-breast stitching that will give you some support.
Simple! How does it feel? When in doubt while purchasing a new bra during pregnancy (or in the immediate postpartum) without a professional fitting, size up in the cup. Only size up in the band from your pre-pregnancy size if you are feeling that the band is digging. While most maternity and nursing bras offer plenty of adjustment options, here are some fitting guidelines:
We recommend starting with three - one to wear, one in the wash, and one in the drawer ready to go. Given that most mamas will have different bras for different occasions, you will typically acquire more than three, but this is a good place to start. You can't anticipate how you're comfort or feeding priorities will change after the baby comes, so getting yourself set up for right now just makes sense! You'll be in a much more informed position a few months after birth if you need to change styles or sizes. But no matter what, hand-wash your bras and hang dry them so they last as long as possible.
A few mamas on the WWM team described their newly lactating breasts as...
"Hot, dripping, swollen craziness..."
"Rock hard porn star boobs..."
"It's like having two giant boulders sewn into your skin and nipples that can cut glass."
But seriously, during that first week of postpartum, many mamas actually won't want to wear a bra at all. Your boobs can reach a whole new level of heaviness (or "boulderness" if you will) as the milk starts to come in that you may have never imagined. The thought of anything pushing against them during this time can be off-putting. So the question during this time becomes, what is the most basic form of coverage and support I can have? Inevitably, friends and family will be coming over to coo at your new little babe or you'll have to make it out to your first pediatrician appointment, and going topless may not always be an option, depending on your state's laws. ;)
Nursing tanks are an excellent choice when your milk starts to come in because they give you coverage, a basic amount of support, and are so simple to pull down for all-day, every-hour, nursing action. Many tanks on the market have a shelf on the inside with a small elastic under your rack for support, but these may irritate larger chested mamas, or cause the dreaded "uni-boob" effect by creating no spacing or separation. The Melinda G Cami Sutra features a hidden strap with hook and eye adjustments in the back so you feel like your boobs are being held in place and separated a bit, but you aren't totally restricted to the cups of a structured bra. They also have panels to keep breast pads and other comforting accessories in place. The Belly Bandit Mother Tucker Tank is similar, but also has three strategic zones of compression, which when worn consistently, may help remind your abdominal muscles to close back together. It may be too tight for immediate use, but once your tummy shrinks down a bit, this tank is dead sexy!
Like many of us, you may let your ladies run free in the midnight hours. Totally understandable. But before you balk, remember what we said about hot, swollen rocks in your chest? Heavy boobs may be a reality for you in the near future, and moving around in bed (or in and out of bed frequently as you tend to your new squish), equals pain and discomfort. A bit of support goes a long way at night, especially if said support doubles as a nursing pad holder. If you're nursing your babe while lying down in your bed, milk gets everywhere. Take advantage of a stretchy, breathable, bra to hold some sort of cotton protection against the dreaded milk puddle!
To tempt you even further, a sleep bra will be the most comfy thing you own. An over-the-head organic cotton bra by Blue Canoe comes in regular and plus size, and is the only thing you'll want to wear the last 2 months of pregnancy and the first 2 months of nursing. And sometimes later on just because. The sizing for sleep bras typically runs from Sm to XL, which makes it easier for selection. Note: size down in the Jane Bra to get a tighter fitting band, but simply grab a plus size cup if you are a C/D cup or larger.
Oh Mama, You Will Get Through This and we are here for you when you need a little leg up. Or a boob up. Or a virtual hug. Seriously, keep your questions coming, we love to hear how it's going and what is working for you!
While being interviewed to work for Wild Was Mama, I was given a tour of the store in Greenpoint. We started in the front and made our way to the back, stopping at the apothecary section. I stood there admiring the homeopathic cold and flu medicine, the jars of coconut oil, the salves, the balms, and the sprays. "I’m a sucker for this stuff," I said, massaging my cuticles with the sample of Badger Night-Night Balm.
Not long after, I discovered that the rest of the staff is also “a sucker for this stuff!” Here are some of our favs:
I love Motherlove Green Salve because I got bit by a mosquito on my way into the store, smeared some on immediately, and the bug bite disappeared. I love it because I no longer have to worry when my kids end up with a mystery rash. I just apply Green Salve to the bumpy area (even hives!), and it clears up. It has effectively taken the place of hydrocortisone in my medicine chest. No more itch!
Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter is what I use in place of pricey night cream. I plaster my face with it, and in the winter I put it on my dry patches in day time too! I have super sensitive and dry skin and this is the only thing I've found that works. Of course it's awesome for dry, cracked nipples as well. It heals and relieves and you don't have to wash it off prior to feeding! Oh - and it's organic and vegan and amazing!
Dr. Bronner's Certified Fair Trade Virgin Coconut Oil! Where to even begin?! I use this on ev-er-y-thing. It basically has become the staple of my entire home apothecary, food pantry, hair care, and makeup bag. I’m not kidding- what CAN’T you make better with coconut oil! Nothing I tell you! It saves the day in every situation.
Toosh Booty Balm! I love this stuff! I've tried and used many butt creams with two diapered kiddos, and this one clears up red, inflamed skin like no other! It goes on silky smooth (unlike most zinc-based creams) and smells like a dream. It's organic and made in the US by a mom. Added bonus: the lack of zinc and petroleum make this cream both cloth diaper and baby friendly.
I found that Wellements Gripe Water was super handy for me during a specific phase in [my daughter’s] babyhood- when the very process of digestion/gas was so new and therefore painful. New parents come in looking for it so in my opinion, it's a sought after item.
I get so much great feedback from families who try the Nawgum All-In-One Teething Toy. It really helps with those pesky back teeth, and folks LOVE that they don't have to worry about it as a chocking hazard. Once a Mama grabbed me on my way to the subway and said "This is the only thing that gets my kiddo to release my keys!” If it replaces chewing on keys, it MUST be pretty great!
The Amber Monkey Amber Teething Necklaces are really awesome because baltic amber contains succinic acid which acts as a natural analgesic (a.k.a. easy pain relief - just wear it!) which can help with kiddos who are teething and grownups who have bad shoulders like I do.
I love the Badger Headache Soother Stick because it smells great, and when I use it in conjunction with traditional headache remedies, I can use much less of that headache remedy and get a lot more relief - which is helpful for someone with a weak stomach.
What's your favorite item from our apothecary section? Got any interesting, unorthodox uses for it? Write a review on our site and share the love!
We here at Wild Was Mama love us some Boob Design! They make high quality, eco friendly maternity and nursing wear that fits perfectly and lasts through multiple kiddos. It's no surprise that they nailed it with this season's awesome piece of cozy activewear, the Ready Flex Fleece. The static photos of this beauty don't really do it justice, so we've made a little video for you to see just how well thought out and good looking this bad mama really is.
The Ready Flex Fleece features the classic Boob Design nursing panel for easy, convenient nursing. If you plan on nursing outdoors, the fleece will help keep your "ladies" extra warm and toasty.
Side zippers quickly unzip and allow the stretchy fleece to expand to fit your growing belly. When your babe is born, it zips right back into it's regular shape, i.e. no stretching it out!
We really dig the two, roomy pockets in the back that will easily and safely store your phones, wallets, pacifiers, etc. And the bonus length ensures your bum won't get wet or cold if you need to take a seat while outside.
The cuff warmers at the wrists are a total plus!
Each Ready Flex Fleece hoodie is created using twelve 1.5 liter plastic bottles. How is this possible? The plastic is cut into tiny pieces, melted, and pressed through heated piping, which spins it into thread. The fleece is Oeko-Tex™ Standard 100 certified, which is the highest quality assurance standard available.
Wild Was Mama is overjoyed to announce our first ever exclusive wraps with the one and only Kokoro Textiles! As far as wraps go Kokoro, a Netherlands-based wrap brand producing beautifully designed woven wraps, has a fanatical following. Their carriers sell out the instant they’re made available online to customers worldwide. We’re honored to be partnering with Kokoro to bring you two brand new styles: Kairos Wild and Mini Ren Cloud. To see these wraps in person, sign up for our trunk show here.
100% Organic cotton with a wild green/teal on ecru, Kairos Wild has a touch of stretch, squish, and easy to wrap with for all who wear it. It adds a pop of cool color to your outfit, regardless of season.
This 50/50 linen/cotton blend is made with 100% organic cotton that breaks in easily and soft, naturally dyed linen. Natural dyes give the fabric a texturized appearance, and the sturdiness of the linen adds some heft for those wanting to comfortably wear heavier kiddos and toddlers.
The journey to New York begins! We'd like to celebrate by giving away the right to buy this @wildwasmama exclusive, Mini Ren Cloud size 6. To Enter: Like @campkokoro Like this photo Tag one friend in the comments below Contest closes at 12am PST Winner will be announced live on periscope during Saturday's Trunk Show. Good luck and scout salute! ? #campkokoro #kokoscouts #kokorotextiles #minirencloud #kokoroxwildwasmama #kokoscoutstakenewyork
Before Camp Kokoro - a bustling online community for those who love, collect, and wear Kokoro woven wraps - there was Rose and Kaori, the Kokoro founders. Rose gained a following modeling and promoting wraps through her Facebook page, Carry Them. This caught the attention of Kaori who approached Rose in 2014. After discovering their shared dream of a life full of passion, adventure, and creativity they decided to go into business together and the rest is history.
Rose and Kaori design the wraps to have a modern, simplistic style with bold, geometric graphics, including the iconic print Koneko, which Kokoscouts, devoted Kokoro fans, have taken to calling "Kitties". All wraps are made with 100% all-natural fibers including organic cotton, cool-to-the-touch Ice cotton, shimmery Sea Island cotton, Japanese Tsumugi silk, and naturally-dyed linen.
In line with our own philosophy at Wild Was Mama, Rose says: "We believe babywearing isn't just a journey, it is an adventure. We do not look toward an end, but simply live in the moment, the now - as our children do, the ones we carry. Babywearing creates a landscape of possibilities; we at Kokoro celebrate it with every woven wrap we make."
Whether she was spending time with her two little boys, training for a half marathon or getting ready to open a new store, Adriane Stare has had quite the summer! However, like any driven entrepreneur, she did it all successfully. Yes, the boys are back in school, the finish line was crossed and the new store is officially open!
As one of the newest members of the Wild Was Mama team, I had the opportunity to steal Adriane away from her busy schedule to answer a few questions.
What made you decide to 100% commit to opening a new store? Take me through that thought process.
I thought that there was a need for many stores but that we would start with one and see how it went. We wanted a store in Park Slope for a while, but financially speaking, we weren’t sure what had to come first - a warehouse or a second store. We realized that it had to be simultaneous, which was the scary part. We had to expand really quickly. We’ve always wanted a store in Park Slope since we opened, but we didn’t start taking real steps to make that happen until about a year and a half ago.
What sort of trends have you noticed in the industry? What is there a demand for now compared to when you opened the first shop?
I don’t know if it's the fact that we’ve been open for four years, but there’s definitely more of a demand for maternity clothing than there was when we first opened. I think that's because people didn’t expect us to have maternity. They thought we were a baby store. As more people became familiar with our store - more pregnant people - I think the demand for maternity really increased.
There’s higher demand now for even more artisanal woolen pieces. I think that customers are appreciating quality and natural fibers, maybe more so than we thought at the beginning. And American made, too. There is also definitely more of a demand for carriers, but that’s just because we’ve expanded. Our carrier selection has expanded two-fold, at least. Offering customers a few different options within any different carrier category is important. More limited edition carriers, too.
More demand for education as well. We didn’t start out offering babywearing classes, and we didn’t start out offering cloth diapering classes because we were so helpful in a one-on-one environment that we preferred to do that, but there was so much demand for our education that we opened up classes to help streamline the amount of people needing our help and our ability to help them. Some people just prefer the class format.
How has your parenting style changed from Damien to Loren?
I parented both kids the same in terms of levels of attachment - carrying them both a lot and doing all the things we do to be responsive to them.
Damien as a very young child had a lot of anxiety. Raising him as a toddler was probably the most stressful experience of my life. He was a tough kid, and I feel that I was cultivating extreme amounts of patience, which I continue to do with both kids. I was not knowing how to set limits for a kid like Damien. He was so out of control with anxiety and panic that setting limits made it worse. We got amazing help from The Child Mind Institute here in New York. It’s an institution that teaches parents how to parent children with very specific needs; it’s not about meeting with the child and solving their problems. We’re now able to manage our two crazy boys without tears and without screaming at them all the time - well, most of the time - because we have tools that comply to things that are important to us as parents.
I feel like I’m much better at setting limits with our sons and that’s because of Damien getting older and having to really figure out what works best with his own personality. If you had asked me before I had kids if I’d be someone who would ever put their kid in a timeout, I would say no that is so cruel, so unusual, I could never do that, but limit setting has been really great for us in a lot of ways.
Who inspires you?
That is such a big question. My husband definitely inspires me. Pikachu does not inspire me. Greg inspires me because that guy has more patience and reason than any person I know. He’s a constant reminder of how I can take it down a notch and be more respectful. To see him deal with the kids is awesome because he doesn’t lose his cool the way I do, so he’s a really good model in terms of slowing down, taking things one step at a time and being respectful toward other people.
I will also say that I’m very inspired right now by other mothers who are also entrepreneurs or really any entrepreneurs right now. Just having tried to make this business from scratch, I am in awe of women who are able to have a major social media presence, manage their business and be great mothers. It’s so much stuff for one person to do. So I’m inspired by other people who are able to figure that out for themselves. I feel like I always have other peoples stories to learn from. It’s all about supporting other women rather than focusing on competition.
What is a goal you would like to accomplish within the next year both personally and within the realm of the business?
I would love to be doing more with web-based education around the products that we sell - webinars, finding ways to boost up our educational information and make it more accessible to people who are not able to make it into our store. I feel like there is a real need for that.
Personally, I would really like to keep running this whole year. I’ll keep training through the winter a little bit, but I want to run the whole year and not just run in the fall and in the spring. It’s tough in New York to exercise in the summer, and it’s tough to exercise in the winter. So I have some self care goals.
I would also like for Loren to be potty trained at night, which he is mostly but not all the time, so I cannot wait for that to happen. That’s definitely happening in a year - we’re like months away from that.
Come say hi at our new location - 464 Bergen St. Brooklyn!!