Speaking of sexy, also making this year’s Victoria’s Secret What Is Sexy? List are Jessica Biel (sexiest sporty style), Zooey Deschanel (sexiest sense of humor) and mom Jenna Dewan Tatum (sexiest bikini bod). Congratulations to all the winners!
Tell us: Who gets your vote as World’s Sexiest Mom?
Her name is synonymous with burlesque, old-school glamour, and pinup girl good looks. Now Dita Von Teese is branching out into a decidedly unsexy place: postpartum lingerie.
Yup, you read that right. Marilyn Manson’s ex wants to zhush up your fourth trimester underpinnings with a capsule collection for Destination Maternity, reports the Daily Mail. The line offers a handful of nursing bras that look great on the outside — all lace and ribbons — but with detachable cups, are practical, too. The underwear were just as thoughtfully designed, with pooch-friendly features like a high waist, boy short cut, and barely noticeable tummy control mesh. And unlike your hospital bill, the lingerie is affordable — everything costs between $30 and $49.
Full disclaimer: Before I got pregnant, I thought it was silly to spend money on pretty postpartum bras and undies. After all, they were just transitional pieces until my post-baby weight melted away and my boobs went back to their normal size. But then I became a mom and my body turned into a milk-producing, baby-swaddling workhorse. I wanted to feel sexy again but — shocker — my flesh-colored underwear and utilitarian nursing bras just weren’t cutting it. Though I never considered myself a lingerie kind of gal, I suddenly wished I had at least one halfway presentable thing to wear under my spit-up encrusted shirt. I don’t think I’m alone on that one, either. As Von Teese points out, “elegant underpinning are a simple way to create everyday moments of luxury and beauty,” and she’s totally right, of course. If anyone deserves to feel like a pinup, it’s gotta be a woman whose body just spent the last nine months doing the most amazing thing possible.
Tell us: Pretty postpartum lingerie — a fun splurge or basic necessity?
Of all the curveballs I experienced during my first year of motherhood, breastfeeding was not one of them. Pumping, on the other hand, was a beast. Nothing about it felt natural. Not the uncomfortable suctioning, not the tubes that wouldn’t stayed put, and certainly not the incessant hissing sounds.
My only saving grace was that, as a mom who works from home, I didn’t have to do it every day. But I know I’m the exception, not the rule. Most nursing moms go back to work when their maternity leave is up — usually around 12 weeks — and have to decide to whether to continue breastfeeding. It’s a choice I don’t envy: On one hand, there are all the nutrients and health benefits breast milk offers your baby, the sweet opportunities to bond and, frankly, the money you save not having to buy formula. On the other hand, there’s the bulky pump and storage containers you have to haul to work every day, the breaks you’ll have to arrange in order to express milk, and as a report from the Huffington Post reveals, the potential pushback you’ll get from a less-than-understanding boss. (As if mommy guilt weren’t bad enough!)
The HuffPo article examined 105 complaints filed by nursing moms who were supposed to be covered under a March 2010 provision of the Affordable Care Act called “Break Time for Nursing Moms.” Under the law, employers with a staff of 50 or more must provide a “reasonable” amount of unpaid break time and a private space other than a bathroom for moms to pump. But instead of offering nursing moms these most basic of necessities, the complaints show that a good chunk of managers are doing anything but that.
Consider the mom who worked at a McDonald’s in Grand Island, Neb., and was denied access to a private room to pump. After being walked in mid-pump in the very open break room and enduring the restaurant’s less-than-sanitary public restroom, she was forced to clock out and walk 30 minutes round-trip to a public library whenever she had to express milk. If that wasn’t bad enough, her manager also refused to allow her to pump when her body demanded it, telling her instead to wait until the restaurant wasn’t busy.
Then there’s the nursing mom in Memphis, Tenn., who worked at a HealthSouth rehab center and who, while pumping, was “constantly interrupted by intercom pages that a certain patient’s room needed her attention or she was needed at the desk,” the complaint states. Because she was never given the time she needed to express milk, her body stopped producing it.
Yeah, it’s not pretty out there.
Sometimes, higher-ups aren’t trying to be difficult — they’re either unaware of the 2010 provision or simply uneducated about a nursing mom’s needs. This, apparently, doesn’t surprise the experts (or, I’d wager, many working moms). “What we’ve said for many years in the breastfeeding community is that it seems every mother has to fight this battle for herself,” says Dr. Joan Younger Meek, a professor of clinical sciences at the Florida State University College of Medicine and a member and past chair of the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee.
Still, there may be some help on the horizon. Right now, the 2010 provision only covers hourly paid employees, but there’s new legislation that, if passed, will expand the rights to salaried workers as well. As great as that expanded coverage would be, even more is needed for nursing moms, especially in the way of education. As these new laws roll out, it’s important that HR departments and managers are schooled in exactly what they need to provide so that no mother is forced to stop breastfeeding before she’s good and ready.
Tell us: Do you pump at work? Did you work out a system with your boss beforehand, or was there a policy already in place?
Because it’s Monday and you’re staring down a full week of work. Because the baby woke up five times last night (again). Because you ran errands yesterday not realizing you had day-old spit-up on your shoulder and mystery gunk under your nails. For all these reasons and more, mama, I present to you 10-week-old Eisleigh and her puppy, Clyde.
An insanely cute video of this dynamic duo snuggling together is currently burning up the Internet, having been picked up by everyone from the Daily Mail to the New York Daily News. In the short clip, taken by North Carolina mom Brandi Hodges, the black-and-white pit bull pup climbs next to his BFF in her bouncy seat, finds a just-right spot to lay down, then burrows sweetly into the side of her face. (Judging by Eisleigh’s content smile and Hodge’s Instagram account, this clearly isn’t the first time baby and dog have cuddled.) Want to see the adorableness for yourself? Check out the full video below.
But two new apps are hoping to put an end to this very preventable problem — and offer overwhelmed, distracted, exhausted, busy parents a helping hand. The first, “Precious Cargo,” was designed by a North Carolina dad of a one-year-old and is simple yet effective, reports Today: When you sit down in the car and Bluetooth is activated, you’ll receive a message from the app asking if you’re traveling with precious cargo (i.e. your baby). If you are, you enter the child’s name, and once the engine stops, you’ll receive an alert to remind you there’s “precious cargo” in the car. If you’re driving sans baby, the app is deactivated until the next time the car starts up.
The second, Kars4Kids Safety, is also a piece of cake to use. An customizable alarm goes off whenever you and your phone exit the car to remind you to retrieve your baby from the carseat. The app, created by the nonprofit Kars4Kids, just requires a Bluetooth-enabled phone and car.
Personally, there are just a few apps that can actually help make my life easier. These are among them. Besides the fact that they’re insanely user-friendly, they also reach us in a most reliable place — our cell phones — which most of us won’t even walk down the hall of our home without carrying. And they’re affordable to boot — Precious Cargo is 99 cents, while Kars4Kids is free. But the peace of mind these handy apps can offer us wiped-out, on-the-go parents? Invaluable.
Tell us: Would you use an app to help you remember to take baby out of a parked car?