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Giveaway and Interview with Kerry Gilmartin, Founder of Bamboobies

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Reese – Hi, everybody. This is Reese with babycaremag.com and babyprepping.com, and I am here with the wonderful Kerry Gilmartin, founder of Bamboobies. Thank you for joining me. Hi.

Kerry Gilmartin – I’m super happy to be here. Thanks for having me.

Reese – Absolutely. And so before we get started, for all you viewers out there who don’t know what or who Bamboobies is, I mean, you probably know because they’re everywhere. And they’re fabulous. But here’s their signature product right here. This is the Bamboobies nursing pads that I love, love, love.

Kerry Gilmartin – Put your finger in that little hole, and feel how soft it is.

Reese – Oh, my god, there we go. And there’s a separate video that reviews these products and others from Bamboobies, so make sure to check that out. The link will be below when it’s ready. So that’s their signature product, but before we get into that, I wanted to talk to you, Kerry, just about you as a mom.

About Kerry Gilmartin

Kerry Gilmartin – Thanks.

Reese – Yeah, and you know, just, how many kids you have, and what do you love about being a mom? What’s hard about being a mom? Just introduce yourself to our readers, and say, hey, you know, we’re all moms here. Or expectant moms for those of you watching.

Kerry Gilmartin – Yeah, I was, I’m pretty surprised to be saying my kids are now six, eight, and 10. I’ve been at this for almost eight years, building this business. I started it after I had my second.

To give you a tiny bit of background on me, everybody’s different, but I was not one of those planner moms that had the lists and was checking things off the list and registering for all the stuff that her sister-in-law and friends told her she needed. I just was like, I’m an everything’s-gonna-be-alright mom, which of course really didn’t work out that well all the time. I was really surprised after I had my first baby that nobody had told me how hard breastfeeding would be.

I was really shocked when we had friends coming over doing the meal train thing, bringing us food.

I said, why didn’t you tell me? Everybody’s so focused on birthing, and you told me to take this class and that class and buy this and that for pregnancy, but nobody told me about those postpartum days, not just postpartum emotional days. I just thought I was so focused on everything up to and then birth and then yeah, there’d be dirty diapers.

There’d be sleepless nights. But nobody ever said how hard breastfeeding would be. And I think, like most people, I had a really, really hard time with it.

I had, I was not an under-producer.

I was an over-producer, which is one of those things, like, you’re always, if you have curly hair, you want straight hair, and if you want straight hair, you want curly hair but to an extreme obviously. It meant clogged ducts and mastitis and over-active let-down, which I didn’t even know was a thing until I had it, but I had a lot of problems. When they told me that I needed to make it to two weeks, I was crying in the middle of the night and just thought, there’s absolutely no way I’m gonna make it two weeks.

Reese – Oh, my gosh.

Kerry Gilmartin – I really was in shock that they would let us go home from the hospital. I had a hospital birth. I was amazed that I was on my own with this, and my mom breastfed. She came over, and thankfully lives in the area, but she wasn’t really of help.

You know, it had been maybe 34 years since she had me, so I just, I really was surprised how difficult it was. And that was the beginning, and I did get through the two weeks.

Reese – Yay.

Kerry Gilmartin – Yeah, it’s something to celebrate.

Reese – Yes.

Kerry Gilmartin – It’s not a small thing. I got help from lactation consultants. I really, really struggled. I didn’t think I’d make it. And then things got easier, and then I was grateful.

You know, six or nine months in, I was grateful that I wasn’t formula feeding, I didn’t have bottles to wash, and that I had this bonding experience. I really enjoyed it. I actually, just to fast forward a little bit.

I’m not gonna tell you every dirty little detail, but I wound up getting pregnant. And so I mentioned my kids are six, eight, and 10, so the two year spacing was one of these natural things where you’re breastfeeding less and getting fertile again. Believe it or not. Get pregnant, you know, sort of at the 20 month mark.

And then have another baby around the same time. So I was lucky enough to get pregnant easily again the second time, and really every time I’d sort of forgotten. I didn’t even buy nursing pads the second time.

Reese – Oh, my gosh.

Kerry Gilmartin – I didn’t remember mastitis, and then I was like, oh, yeah, this again.

Reese – Yeah.

Kerry Gilmartin – Even though it had been really recent. So I didn’t think I’d make it to two weeks, and I should have done the math earlier, but I think I wound up nursing for two years for my first two, and then, I guess four plus four is eight. I wound up nursing for eight years.

Reese – Wow.

Kerry Gilmartin – I can’t believe it. I never really added it up before.

Reese – Oh, my gosh, that’s amazing.

Kerry Gilmartin – It’s a struggle in the beginning, but once I got the hang of it, I had the hang of it. And so did my baby. And then I’d get pregnant with the next baby, and I didn’t even know tandem nursing was a thing.

So I would sort of wean off one baby when I was having the next baby and say like, you can have bagels or whatever their favorite thing was. But when the new baby comes, they can’t have bagels, and they have to have mommy’s milk. So we’d move on to the next baby, and then my youngest nursed until he was four, so.

Reese – Wow, oh, my gosh, okay, can we just pause there and say how amazing that is because there’s so many moms watching this right now, and there’s so many moms I talk to who are right there with you, like, literally, the first few days, they’re like, there’s no way. I can’t keep doing this. I can’t.

Kerry Gilmartin – I know.

Reese – Maybe two weeks. Maybe a month. Like, for me, I had a similar experience. I had an over-supply, and so my poor little one was like sucking on a fire hose.

Kerry Gilmartin – Yeah.

Reese – I mean, they’re just gurgling, and you know, spitting up, and you know what I mean?

Kerry Gilmartin – Yeah.

Reese – Right, and so I was just like, please, please, just get me to six months, please. And then I got to six months. I said, please get me to nine months. And here I am at 26 months, so just over two years, and I’m like, yay, but I was really, I mean, it was hard, and I was really begging for that first six months.

Kerry Gilmartin – Yeah, and also it goes down. It’s not like they’re nursing every two hours when they’re two-years-old.

Reese – Yeah.

Kerry Gilmartin – Or even one-year-old.

Reese – Yes.

Kerry Gilmartin – You’re introducing solids, and it’s a totally different relationship. It’s, for me, it was absolutely laziness. Somebody would come into our bed at six or seven in the morning, and I’d want to sleep in, so I’d nurse them, and then I got two more house of sleep. It was glorious.

Reese – Yes.

Kerry Gilmartin – I’d do that any, that bargain, I mean, I would take that bargain any day of the week. So it wasn’t, it’s not the same in the beginning, and you just need to not judge, I think, and not put limits on yourself and say, you’re gonna make your decision every month. It’s your body.

It’s your baby. Their decision, your decision, and you just roll with it, and see how it goes.

Reese – Yeah.

Kerry Gilmartin – But there’s no doubt that in the beginning, I don’t know of anybody that says, oh, my gosh, nursing was so great. Or maybe they’re like those half a percent-ers that say they had an ecstatic birth.

Reese – Yes.

Kerry Gilmartin – Those people.

Reese – Yes, yeah.

Kerry Gilmartin – That like had an orgasm while they were birthing. Those are the people that tell you that you don’t believe that nursing’s fantastic from day one.

Reese – Right, yep, yep.

Kerry Gilmartin – Most people will tell you once they start that they’re happy they made that choice and committed to it and somehow got through it but usually with help.

Reese – Yes.

Kerry Gilmartin – And then it became something that for them and their family really worked well.

Reese – Yeah.

Kerry Gilmartin – But it is super rocky in the beginning no matter what.

Convenience of Breastfeeding

Reese – Yeah, yeah, and I think like you said the help and the support, and so let me jump over because I read something. I’m just gonna look over here at my notes. I read something that Bamboobies did a survey last year of about 3,000 nursing moms, and you found that nursing moms pushed through the early breastfeeding challenges because of three main reasons, right.

There’s the health benefits for baby that everybody knows about, that most people know about. The bonding and connection with baby that moms experience, and they just, you know, we all, most of us love it so much. But also the convenience. And I just wanted to bring that up because you mentioned, like, getting the extra couple hours of sleep, and like, just like the early challenges are rarely talked about, I rarely hear about the convenience aspect, which I’m always championing because I’m like, look, I started co-sleeping because I could not get myself out of bed to go walk into another room to go nurse.

Kerry Gilmartin – No.

Reese – I just couldn’t do it, but if she’s right next to me, she would practically dream feed. She would cry a little bit. I’d hear it, wake up, roll over, like, get myself adjusted.

Kerry Gilmartin – Yeah.

Reese – And she’d nurse and go right back to sleep.

Kerry Gilmartin – And so would you.

Reese – And I’d go back to sleep.

Kerry Gilmartin – Yeah.

Reese – And I just thought, no turning on the lights. No getting out of bed. I mean, it was super convenient for me, and that’s why it worked. So yeah, so tell me about your experience with it being convenient or what you’ve heard from your customers.

Kerry Gilmartin – My experience was I think pretty similar. Even though it’s been, like I said, several years since my littlest was little, I think that there still is a stigma against natural nurturing. I think we have our own instincts, and we think, well, why wouldn’t I keep the baby in bed or keep the baby right next to my bed.

Mothers, mother-in-laws, husbands will encourage you to have more of a detached philosophy or approach to things when I think in our hearts we know attached is best. Whether it’s using a carrier, co-sleeping, any of those attachment parenting things, those are actually just parenting things. They’re not attachment parenting.

They’re things that like mammalian, normal, instinctual, easier, more convenient, natural ways of behaving. It doesn’t need a new label. It’s how things, I think, should’ve always been. But we’re all getting pressure.

Like, husbands saying they don’t want the baby in bed. Cause what they own the bed? No. Mother-in-laws saying, well, you need to put the baby down. You can’t always carry her.

Actually, we can. We have for centuries. There’s a lot of external pressure that tells us to ignore our instincts.

I don’t think good about it. We have to stand up for our rights. Our right to sleep and cuddle and nurse as long as we want.

All of those things. We have to really listen to ourselves.

Reese – That is beautiful. Thank you for sharing that. That is, yes.

Kerry Gilmartin – Sure, it’s not easy, especially when you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s your first time doing it, and a mother, mother-in-law’s done it before. You’re tempted to listen to them. It’s hard to listen to yourself.

Reese – Yes, it is, especially in those early days and weeks and months where you’re just exhausted. Right, cause you’re exhausted.

Kerry Gilmartin – Yeah, you’re lost. You’re baby doesn’t know what to do. You don’t know what to do. And everybody’s new at it.

Reese – Yeah, yeah, and I think that’s really important. I think you really bring up a good point that like, nobody will tell you how hard, you know, the fourth trimester, right, the baby’s first three months, sort of.

Kerry Gilmartin – Yeah.

Reese – How hard it really is, and a lot of it is just because of the learning curve and because baby’s new to the world and because we don’t have as much support as moms used to and just a lot of different reasons. A lot of moms are going back to work, you know, within that three months. Just, there’s a million different things that make it harder for us to listen to ourselves and hear what we really want to do and stand up for ourselves.

Kerry Gilmartin – Yep.

Reese – So I think if we heard that earlier on, you know, even before baby arrives, maybe we could prepare ourselves a little bit, or at least have that conversation with our loved one to say I want to try breastfeeding as long as possible. I want to try having baby in bed next to me. I hear it will help me sleep more.

I hear sleep is really important. You know?

Kerry Gilmartin – Absolutely.

The Truth about Having a Second Child

Reese – Yeah, so yeah, that’s exactly something that should be talked about more. So did you find, so you’ve had three kids, and you mentioned that, you know, the first time was really rough, and the second time you just didn’t even remember to buy the nursing pads and–

Kerry Gilmartin – I was, yeah, I was a little surprised.

Reese – Did it feel like every time felt like new again? Like, oh–

Kerry Gilmartin – Even though they’re pretty closely spaced, the second time felt new. The third time I can hardly even tell you. I don’t even know what happened. I had three kids three and under.

Reese – Right.

Kerry Gilmartin – It’s like a wash. I think the good part about that was that I didn’t listen to anybody else, and they knew I had experience. I did what I did.

I trusted myself more because I had done it. But there are always tough spots. There are tough spots when you have a second or a third.

I can’t even imagine past that, but there are tough spots where you don’t know how you’re going to give your older kids enough time, energy, love when a second comes along. That’s the hardest part about having a second.

Reese – Yeah.

Kerry Gilmartin – Yeah.

Reese – We only have the one, and we’re talking about our second one currently, and that’s exactly my feeling.

Kerry Gilmartin – It rips your heart out.

Reese – Yeah.

Kerry Gilmartin – It’s awful to not be able to do everything for your first like you have.

Reese – Yes, exactly, thank you. Thank you for acknowledging that. That’s exactly, the thought it feels awful to me.

Kerry Gilmartin – Awful.

Reese – Yeah.

Kerry Gilmartin – In the beginning it is, but everybody’s richer for it. You know, there’s the saying, the best present you could give your child is a sibling. And I absolutely believe that.

Reese – Oh, aw, okay, I’m going to think about that. I’ll share that with my husband.

Kerry Gilmartin – Yeah, your husband’s going to thank me for that one.

How Did Bamboobies Come About?

Reese – He probably will. Okay, so now, at one point you had three very young kids under your roof, so you got the three kids. How did Bamboobies come about? When did you decide to do it? How did it start?

How did you make the time? Like, in what sense, there must have been craziness going on, and then, you decided this is so hard. I need something better, and I’m gonna go make it myself.

Kerry Gilmartin – Yeah, I almost want to say it wasn’t even a decision, but we’re definitely, our family like most, I imagine, is a two income family. My husband makes money to help support our family, and I did, too, and I wasn’t in a position to just say, oh, I’m gonna start a business. And I don’t know if it’s going to work or not.

I’m gonna invest money into it. So for about four years, I worked two jobs. I was a real estate agent, which thankfully, was somewhat flexible. I definitely remember bringing my babies with me to show houses and all that, but you do what you gotta do. So I kept my day job for quite a while, and that created marital harmony, checking account harmony.

Reese – Yeah.

Kerry Gilmartin – That helped a lot, but it meant that I had to really work a lot to make it happen. The reason I did it was that it really didn’t feel like work. It sounds corny, but I just so believed in my product and in mom’s needs. I was so insulted that J and J or whoever these big companies were that were run by old men had never thought about me.

They thought about their margins and whatever other business things, but they had never woken up in a wet bed, soaking wet bed.

Reese – Yep.

Kerry Gilmartin – Like you and I have.

Reese – Yes.

Kerry Gilmartin – They did not get it, so when they are creating a washable pad that’s made of three layers of cotton, they don’t know what wet cotton feels like on their nipple. They don’t know how sore our nipples are. They don’t know how much milk it feels like you wake up in when maybe you wake up in two ounces of milk.

Well, that spreads over your entire bed. You wake up freezing, soaking wet. They do not get it from a gut instinct like we do. So when I married the ideas that I got from cloth diapering, which were waterproof fabrics.

Why doesn’t a nursing pad have a waterproof fabric on the back? When I married the ideas, that and the super soft bamboo that doesn’t get cold and clammy when it’s wet, and I figured out how to make a better breast pad, literally, there was nothing stopping me. I knew there had to be so many other moms out there that I could help that I didn’t think twice about it.

I wanted to do it, and I did it.

Reese – That’s so awesome.

Kerry Gilmartin – Yeah.

Reese – That’s so amazing.

Kerry Gilmartin – It’s been no question.

How Bamboobies Was Made with Mom in Mind

Reese – That’s amazing, and so how did you, obviously, you made these for yourself first, right, like you needed something for you.

Kerry Gilmartin – Yeah, so I did, and my daughter was six months old when I got started, and so I was like, tapering off in the leaking. You know, in the beginning, you leak a lot, and then, as time goes on, your body adjusts and calibrates and makes more like, the appropriate amount of milk. Thank God.

Reese – Yeah.

Kerry Gilmartin – And so I made these really thin pads that just absorbed a little and didn’t show up through my shirt and weren’t embarrassing looking. Well, my best friend had a baby around six months later, and I gave her our pads, and she came to me and said, these are just not cutting it. Like, you can’t imagine how much I’m leaking, and I didn’t know because I was out of that phase.

And it all goes so fast.

Reese – Right.

Kerry Gilmartin – So that’s when we started making an overnight pad. And we were the first ones to make like a light and heavy leaking pad even though that was normal in like menstrual land for menstrual pads, nobody was making two different nursing pads.

Reese – Right, right.

Kerry Gilmartin – And so believe it or not that’s because I was where I was with my baby when I started the company and where my best friend was six months later. We were like, oh, we need a heavy leaking pad. This is crazy. Sometimes it’s nuts, right.

Reese – Yes, that’s the amazing thing. It never would have occurred to me. I just, I mean, honestly, I was just thankful that you had them, right, that they were available. But it never occurred to me like, that, yeah, that’s so wonderful that she came back to you and was like, this isn’t, like, I need something better. Like, I need something heavy duty.

Kerry Gilmartin – They’re not cutting it. I’m leaking right through. This is not doing it. And I was giving them to her for free, of course, because she’s my best friend and neighbor, and she had 30 of them. Well, other people aren’t buying that many. They can’t just swap ’em out like that so.

Reese – Yeah.

Kerry Gilmartin – That’s when we started making the really one for heavy leaking for those early nursing days like, you know, the first month, six weeks before your body, like I said, gets kinda calibrated to how much milk it needs to make and everything gets figured out.

Reese – Well, and then for those of us that have, or had, over-supplies. I mean, you end up just using those overnight ones for months and months and months until you really, you know, and my over-supply lasted about 10 months. So I was using–

Kerry Gilmartin – Wow.

Reese – Yeah,it took a little while.

Kerry Gilmartin – Yeah, things come and go, too. Like, you could have a normal amount of leaking. Everything’s normal, but a small amount of leaking, and then baby starts sleeping through the night.

Reese – Right.

Kerry Gilmartin – And all of the sudden you have over-supply just because they’re not feeding all the time because they’re sleeping, and then they go through a growth spurt, and they need more milk.

Reese – Yes.

Kerry Gilmartin – You make more milk. You make the same amount of milk, but it all gets used, so you don’t have as much leaking. And then some people with really low supply have told us they still leak, and it drives them crazy cause they’re trying to save every ounce.

Reese – Right.

Kerry Gilmartin – So there are all kinds of scenarios, but you do need a variety of solutions, so I think one of the reasons our product took off the way it did and gets the reviews it does is that it was invented by somebody going through the same problems, and her best friend, rather than, like I said, some old guy just crunching numbers.

Reese – Yes, well, and that’s, honestly, that, and I’ll talk about that in the separate interview. I mean, the separate video where I’m actually doing a review, but I came to Bamboobies after buying a couple of others, and that’s exactly how it felt where I, you know, I put on the other ones, and precisely. You put them on, and you’re like, who thought this fabric was a good idea? Like, did they put this on their nipples ever?

Kerry Gilmartin – No.

Reese – Like, not even before they’re wet. They’re just dry out of the box. You know, you wash them once. You put ’em, and you’re like, holy cow. Do they hate me?

Kerry Gilmartin – Yeah.

Reese – And at one point, I even to, you know, out of desperation, I was on my way to work, and I forgot, so I stopped at like a Rite Aid and bought a box of disposable ones. Oh, my god. I put those on, and of course, I’m, you know, sore, and I just thought, literally, these are like torture devices. These are, I mean, they’re just like I might as well put sandpaper in my shirt.

Kerry Gilmartin – Yeah.

Reese – You know, because, and again, those are disposable, so I respect the need for whatever, but my point is, again, I’m gonna go through this in the other video, but I just want to point out that these, I just want to show the viewers these before. Okay, so first they come in these beautiful, these adorable, okay, so these are the heart-shaped ones, which are my favorite.

Kerry Gilmartin – The hearts are fun.

Reese – The hearts are fun, and they surprisingly, they mold so perfectly to your breast.

Kerry Gilmartin – Yeah.

Reese – Like, they go so well under the shirts, and they’re so invisible. And then here’s the round one, and so it’s nice. And you can see kind of how thin and flexible they are, and I don’t know how well you can see this, but it super, super soft and fluffy.

Kerry Gilmartin – It’s so soft after you wash it, too. It’s unbelievable.

Reese – Yeah, so when I opened this up, and I felt them, I thought, yes, yes. That’s exactly what should be on my body at this point in my life under these circumstances. That’s exactly. And really, I mean, when would you not want it on your body for any reason? And so I thought, that’s exactly what I thought where I was like, hey, someone really put some thought into this.

Someone knows what I’m going through, and they made something for me, like, for my experience. So, thank you for that.

Kerry Gilmartin – My pleasure. I was in your same spot. I was like, how can this be that there’s not a solution? This is a human problem.

Reese – Yes.

Kerry Gilmartin – It’s like having your period. It’s universal. Why is there not a better solution? This is crazy.

Reese – Yes, so I’m not at all surprised it took off so well. So I’m super happy and excited for your success. And then we’ll talk about a few more of your products in a little bit, and I know you just have a bunch of stuff around, and there’s a bunch of stuff that I’m going to be doing that I loved.

Chic Nursing Shaul and Tips for Breastfeeding in Public

But before we get to that, I wanted to ask you about, because you mentioned you nursed your third baby for four years, which is amazing, so clearly–

Kerry Gilmartin – I mean, it’s very little in the end.

Reese – Of course.

Kerry Gilmartin- Like, I hardly believe I deserve credit for that last year. It’s just very occasional and just comfort nursing. And not just for him. Comfort for me, too.

Reese – Yes, yeah, well, but–

Kerry Gilmartin – It’s such a bonding thing.

Reese – Exactly, it is a bonding thing, and so I was gonna ask you. And clearly, we know how you feel about, you know, extended breastfeeding and nursing toddlers. But one of my other favorite products of yours that I got to try was the, your chick shawl, like the nursing shawl.

Kerry Gilmartin – Oh, yeah.

Reese – Yeah. And I just felt the same way when I put it on. I tried a couple of other ones. Okay, so when I went to my first lactation consultant, there was a mom nursing, and she had the, she had something that looked like it had like a wire that came around like this that like held it’s shape, so she could look down at baby. What hung from it was a really interesting type of, I mean, it was almost like a picnic table type of fabric where again, it held it’s shape.

It wasn’t like a soft flowy fabric cause again, I guess they wanted to make sure baby was getting air. But it was just the strangest, I mean, it was like she put on this mini tent.

Kerry Gilmartin – Yeah.

Reese – It was just the strangest apparatus I’d ever seen. And then, I saw, I’ve seen the like, the infinity scarves that are supposed to double as a nursing cover. And I tried one of those, and it was so awkward, and I just, I got tangled up in it, and baby was getting tangled up in it. It was a very weird experience.

And then, I just started using, so I mentioned to you I was previously a hula dance, a professional hula dancer, so I have all these sarongs, right? Like, I have a collection of sarongs and pareos.

Kerry Gilmartin – That’s right.

Reese – Yeah, and so, my baby was born in LA. You know, it’s really hot in Los Angeles, and so I would literally have, like a really flexible tank top on and then throw my sarong over my shoulders. And so whenever she needed to nurse, I would just fling it over her in public.

Kerry Gilmartin – Perfect, yeah.

Reese – And so when I got your shawl, I was like, yes, this, this. This is it. This is exactly like super flexible, breathable fabric. But you can wear it when they’re not nursing, and it looks totally normal. And so I just wanted to ask like, so first of all, how did you come up with that?

But also, second, do you have any

Kerry Gilmartin – It’s a bit of a crazy story.

Reese – Oh, my gosh. Okay, so after that story, if you have any tips for new moms who are like super nervous about breastfeeding in public. And for some moms, I’ll say, you know, like, for some moms it’s really hard, and it’s okay if you don’t.

But if you want to, like, if you happen any tips or ideas that you’ve heard as you were making the shawl as you were testing it or anything like that, you know, since you probably talked to a lot of new or expectant moms.

Kerry Gilmartin – Yeah, you know, everybody’s different, like you say, we all have different tolerances, but I think the one thing that is common among all of us is that we have different appliances for different situations.

Reese – Right.

Kerry Gilmartin – Like in a certain situation, at a certain table at a certain restaurant in a certain town you feel fine, you know, especially with a six month old or older where the baby knows how to latch on like this. And everything’s good, and you don’t need to watch. You don’t need to help.

You need to pinch your nipple to get it in there right.

Reese – Right.

Kerry Gilmartin – To help at all. That’s one situation, right? And on the other end is you’ve got a six week old, and you and baby are both still learning how this works.

Reese – Yes.

Kerry Gilmartin – And maybe the lactation consultant told you, you need to pinch your nipple a certain way and you need to have the baby at a certain angle.

Reese – Yep.

Kerry Gilmartin – You’re like full of all these instructions in your mind that you’re not able to just naturally do it. And so you’re really working at it. That’s when actually the nursing cover that you talked about, I call it an apron style. Like, it has something that goes around your neck. It has this hoop.

You can see what’s going on. That’s actually helpful for them.

Reese – Awesome.

Kerry Gilmartin – Cause you’re really struggling with the latch, usually like, very early days and for a short period of time. That’s helpful. I never had one of those.

I didn’t like the patterns. I didn’t like the patterns drawing attention to me. Like, if I’m gonna be nursing in public, I don’t want everyone turning around when I whip out this brightly colored thing and looking at me whether they’re giving me thumb’s up or scowling at me, I don’t want them looking at me. So I’m embarrassed to say like, also maybe sort of proud that I listened to myself.

Baby needed to get fed. I went in the bathroom. Not very often, but I remember sitting on the toilet nursing because it was the most comfortable way I could get it done.

Reese – Yes.

Kerry Gilmartin – Baby wouldn’t be distracted. I wouldn’t be nervous. We would just take care of business.

Reese – Yes.

Kerry Gilmartin – And it’s a touchy subject as you know. I’m grateful that you brought it up. But that’s why I say, it’s so situation dependent.

Sometimes that may be the best thing for you and baby to do is to just go to the bathroom. Get it done. Have everybody be happy. Your baby can look up at you and look you in the eye.

Reese – Yes.

Kerry Gilmartin – And sort of smile while they’re nursing.

Reese – Yeah.

Kerry Gilmartin – And you get that moment. You also get that moment of privacy, like absolute privacy in a bathroom stall. So I might get vilified on Facebook after this or something, but I don’t really care.

You do, like I said in the beginning, you trust your instincts. You do what you gotta do.

Reese – Yes, I completely agree.

Kerry Gilmartin – Other times, I’d feel comfortable, but I remember, I don’t know. I think maybe it was like six months out with my first, and we were in an airport restaurant. You know how sometimes in an airport, like, in the airport by the gates they’ll have a restaurant with like a courtyard.

Anyway, we were out very much in public. There were tons of people walking by, and we’re in a restaurant, and I thought I could nurse. But we were just having problems. Like, that just happens sometimes. And there was some fussiness, probably on both of our parts.

Reese – Right.

Kerry Gilmartin – The baby was fussy. I was fussy. And I’m sitting across from my husband, and he’s a little bit nervous and anxious that somebody’s gonna see something.

I’m like, I don’t care if anybody sees. I have to satisfy, you know that feeling, you have to fix the problem. Your baby is hungry. You have to feed them. Nothing else matters.

Reese – Yes.

Kerry Gilmartin – And I was trying to make it happen between my nursing tank and another sweater or something, and the waiter kept coming over with water and taking our order, and I was just like, ugh. And my husband was upset, and I was like, I cannot please everybody. I can’t please you. I can’t please the waiter. I can’t please the baby at the same time. It’s impossible.

Reese – Yeah.

Kerry Gilmartin – So I really did struggle with it in the beginning, but it’s very situation-dependent. I think probably would have been best, like I said, in that situation to just say, forget it. I’m gonna go find a quiet corner in a concourse where nobody’s gate is getting called to board and find a quieter spot.

But it just is what it is, and I think you kind of live and learn.

Reese – Yeah.

Kerry Gilmartin – But the genesis of the product came because this sounds a little bit crazy, but if you have one of these you might be able to understand. I was actually out on our deck. We lived in the mountains out here in Colorado where we live, and it was getting cold at night.

And I was folding laundry, and I had a skirt that was a big kind of loose-fitting skirt that I wore a lot of times when I was pregnant and postpartum because it didn’t have a tight waistline. And I put it over my neck thinking it could keep me warm. And then I kind of pulled it down, and I was like, this kind of looks like a shawl.

Reese – That’s awesome.

Kerry Gilmartin – I know. So in the early days, we actually marketed it as that. Like, as a maternity skirt or shawl, and they marketed it at whatever.

And then we honed it down. But the product, believe it or not, it was a little bit shorter and narrower. It was a little bit smaller, but it was fashioned after a skirt of mine.

Reese – That’s amazing.

Kerry Gilmartin – I know. Yeah, and shawls weren’t in then. Like, now, you can buy a shawl at a regular women’s clothing store. That was maybe eight years ago. They weren’t a thing.

So luckily the trends have caught up with the idea, and, you know, being all black, it’s just so forgiving. Even if you never nurse in public and you just wear it postpartum, it’s super forgiving. It does not cling to your belly.

It’s just a really flattering like, piece of apparel.

Reese – Yes.

Kerry Gilmartin – So I think people like it no matter what, but it is really nice that it works as a nursing cover, too. People are using it as a car seat cover. They’re using it as an impromptu swaddle or a cover for the changing table.

Reese – Yeah, yeah.

Kerry Gilmartin – Like, the public changing table. They throw it down. It’s like multi-purpose piece of fabric, so.

Reese – That is fantastic.

Kerry Gilmartin – Yeah.

Reese – I want to confess also, so that all those viewers hear this, but in the beginning, I mean, I did a lot of nursing in the car, you know, because I just, right, we were. We were just trying to figure it out that latch still.

Kerry Gilmartin – It’s better than the bathroom.

Reese – Yeah. Yeah, I don’t think, I’ve never nursed in a public restroom, but I mean, the car isn’t super comfortable really, but most, more importantly is that when I started nursing, so my baby was born eight and a half pounds, and so she was not like a little tiny, tiny baby. She was–

Kerry Gilmartin – She was healthy.

Reese – Yeah, and she was like, by a couple weeks, a month out, she was like in the 90th percentile for her weight because she kept drinking up all that milk I was making.

Kerry Gilmartin – Yeah.

Reese – And so when I saw a lactation consultant, one of them recommended a nursing pillow, and you know, like, we found something that worked. It was literally, like, I couldn’t feel comfortable nursing her without doing everything that worked. So I had to have my pillow.

I had to have her just in the right position for a pretty solid like month until I started feeling a little bit more comfortable.

Kerry Gilmartin – Yeah.

Reese – You know what I mean, and so it was like, so if we went out, I brought the freaking pillow with us. Like, it was in the car. And that’s why I kept going back to the car because I was like, oh, she’s hungry.

I’m just gonna go. Hubby can keep shopping or do whatever we were doing, but we were always kind of close to the car and a little tied to that pillow, but like, it was what I needed.

Kerry Gilmartin – That’s all right.

Reese – Right? Yeah, and I think, you know, reminding moms that, yeah, it is situational. And the point is to feed and bond with your baby. Like that’s–

Kerry Gilmartin – Yeah, nothing else matters but being flexible and making sure that you and baby are happy. Nobody else matters. Not the strangers in the restaurant, not your husband, not your mother-in-law.

Reese – Yep, yep.

Kerry Gilmartin – It’s hard.

Reese – Yeah, it is. So yeah, so just to all the moms out there. You might find yourself huddling in some dark corner somewhere to make it work. That’s fantastic because you’re making it work. And it’s working of you, so, you know.

Kerry Gilmartin – Yeah.

Supporting New Moms About Breastfeeding

Reese – You do what you gotta do. Okay, so I think we’re gonna wrap up here, but I do want to ask you one last question about, so you go to trade shows and you hear feedback from your customers. And I’m just wondering if you have any thoughts about helping to support new moms or help normalize breastfeeding a little more.

You talked about in the beginning, I mean, I’m sure you have a lot of opinions about this, and we could probably talk for hours. Butbut again, and maybe the answer is we just talk about the stuff more so that new moms do hear that, or expectant moms, do hear, you know, breastfeeding, in the beginning, will probably be really hard, but it’ll get easier.

Kerry Gilmartin – Yeah.

Reese – Right?

Kerry Gilmartin – So we actually have started a campaign just maybe four or six weeks ago with the hashtag breastfeeding challenge. And it is a hybrid, so there’s normalized breastfeeding, which is one thing. Like, breastfeeding’s normal.

We need to do it. Some of that has to do with nursing in public. What we did is we wanted to take this discussion topic, which we’ve had, which is it’s okay to say that birth is gonna be hard. It’s also okay to say that breastfeeding’s going to be hard, that your first trimester postpartum, if you want to call it that, or fourth trimester, it’s gonna be hard. It’s not just diapers and sleep.

It’s also figuring out how to live together and support each other, not just breastfeeding but everything. So we started, you know, the ice bucket challenge?

Reese – Yes.

Kerry Gilmartin – We sort of took that idea, and we wanted to morph it to say, we challenge our friends to talk about how breastfeeding was a challenge. And so we want people to post pictures of them breastfeeding whether it’s early or late, you know, four years or one month, and talk about the challenges so that their friends know about it because we’re not talking about it enough.

Reese – Yeah.

Kerry Gilmartin – And that’s why moms are surprised, and that’s why they give up.

Reese – Yeah.

Kerry Gilmartin – And that’s why they have a hard time with it because nobody told them it was gonna be hard. People told you birth was going to be really hard, right?

Reese – Right.

Kerry Gilmartin – And so you were prepared. You were like, channeling your inner strength. And you were getting ready for it, and you were taking classes and you were muscling up for it, right? And then that’s over.

You’re kind of like, whew, I did it. No, yeah, you did, but there’s like, you finished one marathon. Now, it’s time for another.

Reese – Yeah.

Kerry Gilmartin – And so preparing people mentally, emotionally, and factually for the challenges of breastfeeding is really important, so we have a tagline that’s we’ve got your friend. You need support. We’ve got your back.

We’ve got your front. This hashtag of breastfeeding challenge is for moms to talk about it so that all their friends know and support each other. There’s over-production. There’s under-production. There’s mastitis.

There’s nipple trauma. There’s like, nobody knows that before they have a baby. And I don’t know if the establishment or doctors or what is trying to hide it, but it’s not helping.

Reese – Yeah.

Kerry Gilmartin – So just talking about it whether it’s socially in the real world or socially online I think is really helpful. We’d love it if your readers use that hashtag, breastfeeding challenge to post about their particular issue and how they got over it or how they didn’t get over it. That’s all helpful.

Reese – Oh, my gosh, that’s it. I’m gonna use it. I’m gonna post some pictures.

Kerry Gilmartin – Awesome.

Reese – Yes, absolutely.

Kerry Gilmartin – Good.

Reese – That’s so cool. I think that’s fantastic, and we’re definitely, we’re gonna, I’m gonna do some hashtagging. I’m gonna be promoting some hashtags. Awesome, well, I think that’s it for me.

Reese – Thank you so much again.

Kerry Gilmartin – Great. Thanks for having me.

Reese – Yes, absolutely, and for all you viewers out there, again, there’s a separate video that covers a whole bunch of their products. Tell us your website because–

Kerry Gilmartin – Well, it’s buybamboobies.com, B-U-Y-B-A-M-B-O-O-B-I-E-S.

Reese – Perfect, and I’m sure the link is below, too, but just in case.

Kerry Gilmartin – Yeah.

Reese – And yeah, so I’ll have a bunch of product reviews for you that are super fun and very cool, and yeah, I look forward to all the new stuff you create, and congratulations on all your success.

Kerry Gilmartin – Thank you, you, too. I really appreciate the conversation.

Reese – Thanks.


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