|Nursing Merit Badge|
Today I'm interviewing Amy Bowers, the super mama mastermind behind the Mama Merit Badges. Her nursing merit badge (left) is part of our Breastfeeding Celebration Package giveaway!
What inspired you to create the badges?
When I was a mother to 3 very young children, I kept amazing myself with what I could do. I felt like I was growing and pushing myself more than ever before. Once, after a solo shopping trip at a big box store with all 3, I joked, "I deserve a merit badge for this!" Then, I went to search for them and they did not exist, so I decided to create them. They are meant to be funny and irreverent. Little nods for the very hard work of parenting. Like a pint of Ben and Jerry's, but not as fattening.
Any suggestions on where to put them?
They can be sewn on a diaper bag, tote or blanket, used in a journal or scrapbook, made into greeting cards, put into a shadow box, sewn onto a denim jacket or hat, or even worn on a sash. The uses are endless.
What is your personal breastfeeding experience?
When I had my first child, I wanted to breastfeed but had no support. I did not know anyone who nursed or even thought it was very important. After a big struggle, I eventually gave up.
With my second and third children, I knew that I would have to have a strong foundation of support from both friends and professionals. I sought it out, learned to advocate for myself and was successful - nursing one son until 2 and the other until 3. Having experience with both bottle feeding and nursing, I strongly believe that nursing was easier, more convient and made my babies happier.
What is your advice for new breastfeeding mothers?
Seek the support you need. Even if you have to come right out and ask for it in ways that make you feel uncomfortable. It is worth it! I feel like extended nursing made my kids super healthy, well adjusted and easy to travel with. The health and emotional benefits for both the mother and child are worth any initial discomfort or learning curve.
Also, learn to nurse in public with confidence. Seeing other women nurse in public bolstered my commitment and made me feel part of a community. It is really important for breastfeeding to be normalized and part of the public landscape - not pushed into restrooms or hidden under big blankets.
Any advice for mamas who want to start their own business?
I think whatever project a mama works on, she should be driven by her passion and deep interests. As moms, we have very little time to ourselves, so we should be selective and choose activities that feed our souls. If we do that - we will be successful.
Thanks Amy! Check out all of the Mama Merit Badges at the Mama Scout Etsy shop, or follow her adventures at the Mama Scout blog.
Also, don't forget to enter to win the Breastfeeding Celebration Package! It's easy- just follow using Google Friend Connect (right sidebar) and we will randomly pick a winner from our first 50 followers!