Thursday, May 22, 2008

Finding Style in the Simple Pieces

I saw this woman in NYC last week at ABC Carpet and Home. Sidebar: amazing store! Cost Plus meets Fred Segal. There was inspiration in every corner. They said they'll have their online store up in a few months.

Anyway, the mom. Yes, she had the Bugaboo stroller which is stylish on its own but Graco and the like are catching up these days using more sophisticated color palettes and design. What I loved about her was that she did "style" well by using basics. Every mom I know has these basics, it's just a matter of putting them together. Great, dark rinse jeans with a chic flat + fitted tee + casual, lightweight jacket + shiny, sleek hair and the topper--she wore it all well. The pieces were fitted and simple but put together with care. Find time to feel good about yourself by putting yourself together and planning an outing to somewhere your mind can wander a bit. Whether it's ABC or a book store. Finding your own style is just this side of easy and predictable.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Anatomy of an Event

I was in NYC this week for Bebe au Lait to talk to the magazines and attending bloggers at a "press junket" of sorts for award winning baby products. I introduced them to the Bebe au Lait Simple line and had great discussions about what it means to be "eco". It's not just about buying organic, it's also about reducing, re-using and recycling. To that end, I emphasized how these nursing covers are being multi-tasked by Bebe-au-Lait-Moms (and Dads!) worldwide: for nursing, pumping, sun shades, blankets and even changing mats. Now that's eco. One product that does many things and is easily cleaned.

Here are pics from the event in case you ever wondered what it takes to pull this type of thing off. First, product was sent from our warehouse in California to my hotel in NYC where I packed the items into bags for the journalists to pick up at our "booth" (that's my husband lending a hand, he's a friend of Bebe). Then we loaded the bags into the boxes so they could be carried the two blocks to the event the next day (again, my husband did this--I carried the flowers and cupcakes). Speaking of cupcakes (those are Red Velvet from Magnolia bakery--perfection), we have found that the attendees at these events get so tired that there's nothing better than having a sweet respite while listening to our information. Sometimes we call that a bribe :)
The rest of the pictures are the event itself and all of the action. It was really fun to be there to introduce the Simple line and see all of the other fun products now available for moms and babies. The 7 hours flew by and then we packed up, said our goodbyes, and headed home.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Pumping at Work

The Washington Post recently published an article on their website (See it here) about the trials and tribulations of nursing mothers who need to pump at work.

The article introduces a Washington DC law (The Child's Right to Nurse Act) passed in December 2007 that gives nursing mothers the right to a private and clean room outside of a restroom where they are free to express their milk at work.

We applaud the intentions of the lawmakers, but also mourn the fact that passing a law was necessary to get employers to provide a good space for nursing mothers to pump.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Celebration--Fete de Vin 2008

We are 19 employees strong now which sounds small to some, but huge to us! To celebrate and take a well deserved break, Claire and Ronnie (our owners), hosted a wine country tour and tasting. Even though we weren't all "tasting" per se, the views, the time together and the gorgeous Northern California weather were incredible. Here are some photos to share with you, Savannah-Chanelle was the unofficial favorite. If you're ever out this way be sure to visit and bring a picnic lunch.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

More than 75% of New Moms Breastfeeding in US

Breastfeeding rates are at a 20-year high in the US. See CNN's article about it here.

The Centers for Disease Control released some interesting findings about Breastfeeding: More than 3/4ths of new mothers are now doing it, the highest rate in 20 years!

The decrease in breastfeeding rates in the 1980's and 1990's is probably due to more women being in the workforce, and the improvement in baby formulas. In addition, breastfeeding was not encouraged as much in the past as it is now.

A few statistics of note:

In 1993-1994, only 60% of mothers were breastfeeding.

African American mothers saw the greatest increase in breastfeeding rates: 65%, up from 36% in 1993-1994.

European American mothers increased breastfeeding rates from 62% to 79%

Mexican American mothers have always led the pack: From 67% in 1993-1994 to 80% in 2008.

The CDC also reported that mothers who were rural, poor, under 20, and unmarried had lower breastfeeding rates.

In addition to the fact that breastfeeding positively affects IQ, breastfeeding is also more encouraged, and more accepted. Nursing in public (In the US, anyway) is beginning to gain more acceptance, and with the help of nursing covers, more women are nursing more often.

As more awareness is raised about the benefits of breastfeeding, we're likely to see even more women breastfeeding their babies more often.

Breastfeeding Improves Baby's IQ!

Heard the news yet?

An international team of scientists has concluded that breast milk and breastfeeding are beneficial to a baby's IQ.


This confirms what many people have long believed, and several other studies have attempted to prove.

On average, breastfed babies had a 5 point IQ advantage over babies that were not breastfed. There is still controversy as to whether the breastfed babies score better because they are breastfed, or because breastfed babies have moms that further influence their babies' IQ development.

Regardless of the reasons, whether physiological or psychological, breastfeeding is a smart practice to raise a healthy and intelligent baby.

Breastfeeding in Public

Most new mothers worry about the idea of nursing in public. While we at Bebe au Lait believe women should have the right to nurse in any place where they see fit, there are a surprising number of people and organizations that do not share this belief. Most of these anti public breastfeeding arguments boil down to the fact that the breast is exposed, and as such, can be considered offensive. The voices on the other side of the argument deny these claims, and of course have several arguments to counter the anti public breastfeeding movement.

Let’s take a quick look at these arguments:

Anti-Public Breastfeeding Movement says:

  • Breastfeeding requires baring a breast, and as such, can be considered offensive.
  • Breastfeeding releases bodily fluids, and is not appropriate for the public.
  • Breastfeeding attracts too much (wrong) attention.

Pro-Public Breastfeeding Movement says:

  • Because it is essential to nurse a baby several times throughout the day, it is not always practical to nurse in private.
  • Private spaces (such as bathrooms) are not always clean and comfortable, or even set up properly to allow women to breastfeed.
  • The breast is not exposed during breastfeeding, as the baby usually covers the nipple, areola, and lower portion of the breast.
  • Babies have the civil right to be fed when necessary, and mothers have a civil right to provide breast milk to their babies whenever necessary.
  • Women should not be ashamed of breastfeeding, or the attraction it creates.
  • The law is mostly on our side.

We have now seen both sides of the argument, and you probably already know what side you’re on. Let’s take a look at the legal side of the argument, and more specifically the laws governing public breastfeeding.

In general, the law is on the side of women who choose to breastfeed in public. However, here are some important facts to consider:

Private property is different from public property. In other words, owners of private property have the right to decide what appropriate behavior on their own property is. Because of this, some businesses have been known to deny women the right to nurse on their property. Always be respectful of a private property’s owner’s policies on breastfeeding.

Nursing in public is likely to draw attention to you at some point. Please understand that some people have strong opinions about this practice, and by breastfeeding in public, you may be subject to negative reactions, comments, or stares.

In many cases, the argument against public breastfeeding is nullified if some sort of cover-up is introduced. You will find that businesses are much less likely to have a problem with you breastfeeding on their premises if you cover up. In addition, you will likely receive fewer negative reactions and fewer stares if you cover up.

For a detailed summary of the laws in place governing public breastfeeding, please click over to the National Conference of State Legislatures’ page about the 50 states’ specific breastfeeding laws.

If you do choose to nurse in public, let’s take a look at some courtesies and solutions you can extend to those around you while engaging in public breastfeeding.

  1. Please try to be discreet in public. While we believe in a woman’s right to decide how much (or how little) to cover during nursing, many people do not share the same view. It does not help our position if we offend the people we are trying to convince.
  2. If nursing on private property, please ensure it is OK with the owners or managers of the property. If you happen to be a patron at a business, please be respectful of the policies in place. However, don’t forget about your own position! Make it known that you have no intention of returning or referring your friends to a business that discriminates against you choosing to breastfeed on their property.
  3. Try to avoid arguing with people who take offense to breastfeeding in public, as it will likely anger the offended person, upset your baby, and do nothing for your cause.


Our Bebe au Lait nursing covers are excellent solutions for women who wish to breastfeed in public without exposing the breast to people in the vicinity. Even some of the anti-public breastfeeding crowd has embraced our nursing covers as a solution for mothers who wish to nurse in public.

We have a wide variety of designs available under two brand names: Bebe au Lait, and Hooter Hiders.