All Articles Tagged "new moms"

The Modern Chef: Organic Delivery Service, Barley + Oats, Caters To Breastfeeding Moms And Debuts In NYC

September 30th, 2015 - By Kweli Wright
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When the great folks at Barley + Oats, founded by NYC mom Ashly, the first organic meal delivery service designed for mom and baby, launched in New York City this month, Mommynoire had to try it.

Ashly, founder Barley + Oats

Ashly, founder Barley + Oats

Did it matter that my baby is now a 9-year-old? Nope. The food on their website looked so delicious, we had to dig in and see how organic, delivered meals would look, taste and smell.

The Barley + Oats mission is to ease the postpartum transition for new and breastfeeding mothers through the daily delivery of delicious and organic lactation-supportive meals, designed to help increase breast milk production, restore mom’s hormonal balance and deliver optimal developmental nutrients to baby.

Barley + Oats also offers lactation snacks and breakfast items, frozen broths, and curated gift boxes for the new mom. The organic meal services include postpartum meal delivery, family meal options, and frozen bone broths. Barley + Oats offers six different menus, ranging from a 5-day Snack Pack to the “Pampered Mama,” which provides all meals and snacks. The family meal options include 5-night dinners made for two, three, or four.

They are freshly prepared, so precious moments of downtime don’t need to be wasted in the kitchen.

They are lactogenic, meaning they are composed of a variety of galactagogues, or milk promoting ingredients.

They are micronutrient dense, designed to provide baby with the essential building blocks of a healthy gut microbiome and developing brain.

They avoid foods that commonly trigger colic and allergy, like dairy and wheat, as well as nutritionally void foods like refined sugar.

They are organic and local whenever possible.

And, finally, they are prepared in the most digestible ways for maximum nutrient absorption and minimum digestive distress.

Barley + Oats

Barley + Oats

The look:

All of the meals, soups and snacks are conveniently packed and labeled–breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, anytime treat– so you can easily decide exactly what want to to eat. They also give you quick instructions on how to heat the food and how long. Seriously, this is perfect for new moms who often go through a foggy-brain stage. Open up the package and the food looks assembled by a food stylist, everything was beautifully arranged and felt packed with love.

The taste:

We were seriously impressed with the selection we were given. From the Maple Pecan Granola w/Berries + Coconut Yogurt and Bone Broth Millet Cakes w/Roasted Carrots, Horseradish Almond Cream and Arugula Salad to the Pumpkin Pudding Bar and, my favorite meal, Mom’s Lentil Loaf w/Mushroom Bone Broth Gravy, Garlicky Green Beans + Whipped Potatoes, the food was so yummy.

Confession: There were a few times when we sprinkled a little salt on a few of the lunch, dinner and soup meals, but it wasn’t mandatory.

The price:

Barley + Oats  service is not cheap when you think about how much a breastfeeding mom eats, but it’s a bargain if you think about the time and effort you’ll save. Plus, the nutritional value is really beyond compare.

They offer six different meal delivery options starting at $150 per week. Packages can be bought in increments of 5-days up to 30 days at a time.

Additional offerings include lactation snacks, granolas and instant oatmeal options starting at $12.

A 5-day snack pack includes five snacks per day (including hearty items like smoothies, soups and salads) and runs $150.

A $375 “Pampered Mama” pack includes three meals and four snacks per day (including luxurious healthy desserts) for a total of 5 days.

Frozen broths start at 4-quarts for $50. Barley + Oats also offers specially curated new mom and baby gift boxes ranging from $50-$250. Gift cards are also available on the website as meal delivery is a great gift for any new mom.

Barley + Oats hopes to make breastfeeding and the sleep deprived weeks of the early postpartum just a little bit easier; making happy mamas and healthy babies.

Mompreneur 101: Surviving A Newborn And A New Business

August 27th, 2015 - By Allyson Leak
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diy pr tips

(Credit: ForColoredGirls)

I have always been a serial entrepreneur. I was the nine-year-old kid who took the lemonade stand to the next level with a marketing plan and multi-colored cups to draw people in. So, when I met my partner a few years ago I purposely got settled and very serious about staring a business so that I could stay home with my kids whenever “kids” came into the picture. Well, I was in for the shock of my life when the doctor told me those two little dark marks on the sonogram were twins.

After the shock came the excitement and I really didn’t even worry the whole nine months about how I would manage freelance writing and running my marketing consulting firm. I went on having meetings, throwing events, and writing during my pregnancy.

But, once the babies came, trying to even think about work for five minutes was almost impossible so I had to get creative and make it work. Here are some things I did while having more than one newborn and a new business …


Naptime Is Not Always Worktime

As a new career mom your initial thoughts are probably that you can work when they sleep…wrong! Trust me, you need sleep or it will affect how you treat the baby, possibly your breast milk production, and especially work. So don’t sleep every time they sleep but if they are taking three naps a day, you should at least sleep for one of them. That two hours will be your savior. Now, take advantage of the other hour or two when they nap and get as much work done as you can.

Procrastination Is Not An Option

Before I had kids I would stop what I was doing to watch a little of a show or have a phone conversation in the middle of work but those days are over. When you have a little time, work and focus like you never have before.

A Peaceful Mindset

Ok so the first three to six months of motherhood just isn’t easy but in order to stay sane and balance it all, incorporate some small relaxation tips that work for you. If it relaxes you to read a book then try and read a little once a week. If meditation used to be your forte then try little sessions of “still time” versus an hour like you did before. If you are going stir crazy then everything else in your life will too, including work.

The Baby Carrier

Your newborn will feel the most comfortable being nestled next to you so if you know you have a phone conference for work then put a pacifier in the babies mouth, put them in the baby carrier and walk around slowly having your meeting. Doing it this way might heighten the chances that they will keep quiet when you take the phone off of mute to talk.

Hire A Part-time Sitter

If you can afford a part-time sitter who comes for an hour a day or two hours twice a week to sit with the baby while you are in the other room, then this is when you should get your most important work done. If not a sitter than maybe your parents or a close trusted friend can help.

Your Memory May Not Be The Same

This is not the time to beat yourself up about not remembering a client meeting or luncheon. Your hormones are raging and you are taking care of another human being 24/7 so let sticky notes be your friend. Keep a to-do list on a dry erase board for work in the kitchen and check things off as you go.

Breastfeeding 101: Be Successful With These Real Deal Tips

July 27th, 2015 - By Danielle Leblanc
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Daniel Leblanc

Daniel Leblanc

Breastfeeding is definitely not one of the easiest tasks of being a mother. It can be painful, complicated, irritating and frustrating – all at the same time. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll soon learn that it’s the most rewarding feeling to gaze into your little ones eyes as you nurture her or him with only the best, just as nature intended.

The first few weeks of breastfeeding are most likely to be the hardest, especially for first-time mothers. We don’t really know what to expect, so we often get discouraged or frustrated as we get to know the tough side of it. I remember having sore nipples and late nights where my daughter just wouldn’t latch on properly. Luckily, we both quickly learned how breastfeeding works. Yes, both of us. Babies have to learn too. We often forget that, but it’s just as new for babies as it is for moms, it can be challenging.

So here are some breastfeeding 101 tips.

First, it’s best to start breastfeeding within the first hour after giving birth.  The best way to do so is with skin to skin contact, you’ll love it, it’s such an amazing feeling. That way you trigger milk production and start training the baby and yourself for successful breastfeeding. While in the hospital, take advantage of lactation consultants and lactation classes. Those are very informative. You’ll learn the different breastfeeding positions, what proper latch needs to look like and much more.

It’s important to keep your cool and don’t stress if baby doesn’t latch perfectly from the jump. Do not give up.  Get in a comfortable position, prep yourself with a pillow if needed, then tickle baby’s upper lip with your nipple until she opens up her mouth wide, ready to latch on. If she doesn’t, you might want to switch from cradle hold to football hold, for example, and then just try again in another few minutes. Always remember that you’re both learning.

In the first few weeks of breastfeeding you will most likely become engorged (hardening of breast caused by fullness), which can be very uncomfortable, so it’s important to feed, but also pump and store as much as possible. Sore nipples are another “side effect” of breastfeeding. HonestCo. has an amazing nipple balm that’s plant-based. Another product I swear by is Lansinoh’s cooling pads. Those two will have your breasts feeling better in no time.

In order to keep your milk production up you need to pump daily, it’s best to pump twice a day. Breastfeed your baby on demand (don’t watch the clock, just go with your instinct and with baby’s needs) and drink plenty of water. I’m using the Evenflo Deluxe Double Electric Breast Pump. Of all the pumps that I’ve tried, this is undeniably the best. To avoid nipple confusion, don’t bottle feed your baby in the first four weeks or until breastfeeding is established; the same goes for pacifiers. Another reason why pumping is great for mom is because stored milk will allow you to treat yourself to a moms night out. If you’re drinking alcohol, Upspring baby sells breast milk alcohol detector strips that analyzes the alcohol content of your milk and tells you whether its safe to feed baby or not.

Some women like to add galactagogues for lactation support. Every woman has their preference, but I’m mostly a fan of the Mother’s Milk Tea and UpSpring Milkflow Drink. They’ve both worked the best for me. I could instantly see an increase in milk production when pumping. I love those two.

Once you’re ready to go back to work make sure you continue to pump in your breaks. Your employer is obligated to provide you with enough break time, as well as a sanitize room for pumping. When you’re done, store your milk in the fridge or freezer in order to keep it fresh for baby.

Breastfeeding is such a complex topic. If you have any further questions, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll be sure to answer ASAP.

14 Fitness Gadgets & Accessories To Get New Moms Back In Shape

July 10th, 2015 - By Rich
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New moms find themselves trying to keep up with the demands of their newborn and other day-to-day operations…on little to no sleep. It’s challenging but not impossible. One way to keep up your energy — and receive much needed endorphins to relax you  — is with a good workout. Here are some fitness-related gadgets you might want to consider.

14 Fitness-Related gadgets for New Moms to Try

10 Things You Should Not Say To A Pregnant Woman

June 24th, 2015 - By Rich
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As a pregnant woman, most people probably think you’re only showered with sweet compliments like “you’re glowing!” and “you don’t look pregnant!” However, the reality is that anyone and everyone will have something to say to you and it’s not all welcomed. Here’s my list of some of the more irksome comments I received, and things you should absolutely not say to a pregnant woman.

“Are You Keeping It?”

Married or single, if a friend is sharing her early pregnancy with you, she’s most likely already decided to keep it, and would rather be met with a more supportive response. Start off by telling her congratulations and let her clarify her intentions for the pregnancy.

“Babies Are Expensive”

The fact that babies are expensive is not breaking news or unknown to most people.  Chances are it’s already her biggest fear as an expectant mom. Sharing tips on how she can save on baby expenses or make additional income is a much more productive and welcomed conversation.

“I Loved Being Pregnant”

This was particularly annoying to me while battling 3 months of constant morning sickness – which lasted all day and night! While I was nauseous to the point of wanting to hurl every 5 minutes or needing a nap every few hours, it wasn’t reassuring to hear that someone else had a much easier pregnancy and was spared the constant torture I was experiencing.

“You’re Going To Get So Big”

My sister guessed I would go up 6 pant sizes and another friend offered this gem “You’re going to get so wide!”  – again, when you’re already dreading stretch marks and other unwelcomed and even uncontrollable changes to your body having others chime in about how bad it’s going to be is just one more thing you shouldn’t have to deal with when you’re already consumed with your own fears.

“There are so Many Cases of Autism Now”

Yes, there are, but when you’re already pregnant, and there isn’t much you can do to prevent conditions like Autism – based on what little information we know about it, the best we can do is keep a healthy mind and a healthy perspective and avoid conversations that focus on what is already beyond our control.

“You’re Enormous”

Granted it was an older foreign woman who bestowed this completely unsolicited comment on me, but I really can’t think of any modern culture where being told how large you are is acceptable social behavior – it wasn’t welcomed before we were pregnant, and even with carrying another human being inside us, we still don’t expect or appreciate being told how large we might be.

“Are You Expecting Twins”

Akin to the “you’re enormous” comment – no expectant woman wants to be asked if she’s having twins unless she’s hinting at the possibility.

“I Hope Your Husband/Boyfriend Is Massaging Your Feet, etc.”

Like most first time dads, it’s more than likely that your partner doesn’t have a clue of how to make your pregnancy easier.  That said, having friends and family volunteer their thoughts on how your spouse should be spoiling you can only serve to make you a bit resentful.

“You Know You Can Have Some Alcohol If You Want”

I had no shortage of friends young and old allaying my fears of drinking while pregnant, and while most pregnant women might have a craving here or there, the last thing we need is more pressure to drink while pregnant.

 “You Have to Get Product X, Y, Z”

Mommy friends are especially eager to share what items and gadgets you “have to get” for your pregnancy or the baby once he or she arrives. Trying to keeping track of all the “must-have items” so early on in your pregnancy can cause even more stress. The most helpful for me were friends who simply gifted the item, or sent an email with the information that I could save for when I was ready to register or purchase it on my own.

10 Things You Should Not Say To A Pregnant Woman

After Your Delivery: 10 New Mommy Essentials

May 28th, 2015 - By Rich
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As a new mom, the amount of products you need for you and your baby can be overwhelming to say the least.  After all, not all items are must-haves and many are based on your own individual lifestyle. However, here are several that have definitely helped me get through the first stages of being a new mom.

After Your Delivery: 10 New Mommy Essentials

Vivian Billings Pens An Open Letter: Converting To Islam

May 11th, 2015 - By Rich
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I’ve been a Christian my whole life. Although my parents were not church goers, somehow my younger brother and I always found ourselves in church. Whether it was the neighborhood church, or attending service on Sundays, we were there. The funny thing is, my brother and I went on our own. No one ever told us we HAD to go, we just went and enjoyed it. To say church and Christianity was a part of my life is an understatement. So imagine my family and friends shock when they found out I decided to become a Muslim.

For starters, some family members were fine with my conversion… my mom, husband and children. However, there were some family members who admitted to me that they were angry and confused about my decision. One relative inparticular (who will remain nameless) told me they were disgusted with my decision. When I asked this relative why they felt this way, they stated they couldn’t believe I would be involved with such a terroristic cult. Really now? I’m part of a cult? I was more than offended by this, but I decided to enlighten this relative about what Islam really is. So let me break it down to you all and probably some other folks who feels similar to how my relative felt.

Islam means total submission to God. It means living your life in a way that God will be pleased. And at the end of the day, I want to live a positive, fulfilling life, without any drama. I want to get into the pearly gates of jenna (heaven) and no one here on earth is worth me going to hell! Sorry guys, but ya’ll ain’t worth me going to hell. I’m going to heaven!
The most commonly asked question is – “what made you decide to want to become a Muslim?” My response was quite clear. I believe there is one God. There is no one or nothing greater than God. Yes there are great prophets and messengers of God such as Mohammed, Jesus, Noah, Moses etc., but none are or were GOD. I don’t believe that anyone can be compared to God for HE is the Almighty. He is the knower of all things. Now some people might take offense to what I’m saying and that’s ok. Some people believe that Jesus is the Lord and that’s ok. However, the Quran clearly states that Jesus was a prophet, who performed great miracles so that the people could recognize that God (Allah swt) is real.  I know God (Allah swt) is real and he directed me towards Islam. I’ve been studying the religion and Arabic language for a little over a year now. It intrigues me to know that out of every written document about God (Allah swt), the Quran is the only book that has never been changed. It is the same regardless who you buy the Quran from. There is no King James version. Only one Quran. So with this knowledge, Islam is for me.
The next question I’m asked is “why do you want to cover yourself?” This is actually something I’m working on right now. I don’t always cover or wear my kimarh (head covering). I’m not there yet, but at some point, I will always wear my kimarh. Muslims believe that beauty should only be shown to your family and to your spouse. Not everyone has the right to see what God (Allah swt) has blessed us women with. In fact, 9 times out of 10 when I dress a certain way, I’m bombarded with unnecessary and sometimes unwanted attention. When I cover up and wear my kimarh, no one bothers me and I find that people are more respectful towards me. Not sure if this is the same for every Muslim woman, but this has been my experience, and if anyone knows me, they know that I don’t like all of the attention on me.
Being a Muslim has made me become a more calmer individual and I’m sure praying 5 times a day has definitely helped me. I’ve also become more patient with others and I’m not quick to judge or become argumentative (which I have been in the past, as I’m sure you have seen on TV). I no longer consume pork (which was a hard thing for me to do since I am biracial). Being Puerto Rican, Portuguese and African American there was always some sort of pork consumption during holidays and dinner time. However, staying away from pork made me become more disciplined with how I eat. So nowadays, I substitute bacon for turkey bacon, or porkchops for chicken cutlets. Simple things to some, but it was difficult for me in the beginning.Either way, I feel like I’m a better person because of Islam. Do not be fooled by what the media shows you on TV. Not every Muslim is a terrorist. Not every Muslim is part of ISIS. Not every Muslim is blowing up buildings. That’s just what the media is showing and portraying. It’s unfortunate that these are the only images the media decides to show, but Muslims are VERY positive, productive, loving and caring human beings who are willing to give you the help you desire or knowledge you request if you just ask. Don’t believe the negative hype! I’m a living, walking example of what Muslims are and I’m not perfect. I’m a work in progress and I strive to get better. So when you ask me why I decided to become a Muslim, understand that because of Islam, I am a better person and that is the reason why I’m a Muslim.
Vivian Billings also known as Gossip Viv is a mother of 5 including a newborn. She is one of the hosts of, some may know her from the Vh1 show “The Gossip Game” and others may know her from

Vivian Billings Pens An Open Letter: Converting To Islam

You Got This!: Keys to Excel at “New Mommy” Life

March 16th, 2015 - By Rich
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This summer, I received a FaceTime chat that brought me to tears. My good friend decided to announce her pregnancy with a real-time view of her ultrasound picture. I immediately burst into tears. I ended this happily emotional conversation by creating a shared album consisting of all of my go-to pregnancy/motherhood resources in snapshots. She was grateful and I felt accomplished having passed on my wisdom!

Fast forward to just a few weeks ago, when my doctor says to me “Mrs. Middleton you are FOUR MONTHS PREGNANT!” Four months pregnant? Here we go!

It took me about 10 months to get use to being a mom of one. Now, I have to prepare to be a new mom all over again with two! So, this list is dedicated to all of my new mommy-to-be’s out there, myself included. I present to you, 10 keys to not only surviving but to excelling at new motherhood.

You Got This!: 10 Keys to Excel at “New Mommy” Life

Breastfeeding 101: Zoe Saldana Seeks Breastfeeding Help

January 14th, 2015 - By Rich
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New mom Zoe Saldana has had a bit of a wake up call we all have in choosing to breastfeed our babies, simply put – it can hurt. The “Guardians of the Galaxy” star came to that realization this weekend and reached out to Twitter to ask for advice.

And her fans, did not waver in their efforts. From gel pads to creams, many fans answered questions regarding their own experiences as Saldana and husband Marc Perego adapt to fairly new sons Cy Aridio and Bowie Ezio, born on November 27.

Breastfeeding is one of the most natural, nurturing, and nutritional things you can do for your newborn. But the question remains, how long is too long? Should you stop at 6 months, two years old, or should you breastfeed like some moms do until three years old? And then, there are the stories that make the headlines about moms who are still breastfeeding their six-year-old children. How old is too old? Check out these tips on how long to keep it up. How long did you breastfeed your little one?

According to breastfeeding is special because:

  • The joyful closeness and bonding with your baby
  • The specific nutrition only you can provide
  • The cost savings
  • The health benefits for you and your baby

A mother should use her own discretion and instinct on how long to breastfeed her baby. According to The American Academy of Pediatrics  “Pediatricians and parents should be aware that exclusive breastfeeding is sufficient to support optimal growth and development for approximately the first 6 months of life and provides continuing protection against diarrhea and respiratory tract infection. Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child.” * As solids are introduced, usually around the middle of the first year, your baby will shift his primary source of nutrition from your milk to other foods.

If you are still torn on how long to breastfeed, here are some more ideas:

  1. Ask your doctor or the staff at the hospital where you delivered your baby to suggest a support group.
  2. Search online for a breastfeeding center near you. Here you will find support and can get advice.
  3. Try and find a meetup group near you to connect with other mothers. Make sure to use your discretion in meeting with strangers and just make sure it’s in a public place.

Books Recommended by the Le Leche League:

1. THE WOMANLY ART OF BREASTFEEDING, published by La Leche League International, is the most complete resource available for the breastfeeding mother.

2. DOES BREASTFEEDING TAKE TOO MUCH TIME? Written for the breastfeeding mother who is considering weaning or simply feels overwhelmed with the job of taking care of a young child.

3. MOTHERING YOUR NURSING TODDLER, revised edition by Norma Jane Bumgarner: The classic handbook for mothers who breastfeed their children past infancy in an updated and expanded edition. Norma Jane Bumgarner puts the experience of nursing an older baby or child in perspective, within the context of the entire mother-child relationship. She cites biological, cultural, and historical evidence in support of extended breastfeeding and shares stories gleaned from thousands of families for whom breastfeeding and natural weaning have been the norm.

4. HOW WEANING HAPPENS by Diane Bengson: includes the personal experiences of mothers who have weaned in a variety of ways. It covers the kinds of questions parents have about weaning and reassures them that weaning is a natural process and does not have to be a stressful event for mother or child.

20 Things People Forgot To Tell Me About Motherhood

January 1st, 2015 - By Rich
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Expecting your first child can be scary and exciting all at the same time. It’s funny, actually, how you can be so well-versed in finances, fitness, business acumen, current events, and the latest social scene, but when it comes to parenting and being solely responsible for another human being, we become a novice all over again. When you become pregnant everyone will find comfort in sharing little tidbits of experiences and expectations of motherhood, in hopes of being helpful and easing any anxiety. These little nuggets of “mommy-isms” usually consist of warnings or tips for survival. Yes, survival. Many warned me about sleepless nights (and days) with the baby waking up every two hours for feedings and diaper changes, which I initially thought was a mere exaggeration until I experienced it firsthand. Boy, was I wrong! And every mom told me to “sleep when the baby sleeps,” which is a lot easier said than done. Fellow moms also spilled the details about what to expect in the delivery room. One friend even sent me the video of her delivery. It was really helpful, and absolutely beautiful. But I’ll be honest; there were a couple of things that slipped through the cracks. Another friend said she was intentionally withholding details because (1) she wanted me to have my own experience, and (2) she didn’t want to scare me. Realistically though, motherhood is so layered and unique, there’s no way that moms would be able to recall and relay every experience. But during my pregnancy, delivery, and soon after, I realized there were a few things that people never mentioned. Check out my list, and feel free to add your own below.

20 Things People Forgot To Tell Me About Motherhood