We met Melanie of Udderly Hot Mama on Twitter. We love her breastfeeding supportive tweets; then we saw the beautiful photo above and knew we had to connect! Despite being busy with her 2 children, Melanie kindly agreed to our interview.
(Please note: This is not a sponsored post but rather a post that grew out of our genuine curiosity.)
1.Tell us a little about yourself, where you live and what you would love to do if you had an entire hour to yourself!
I grew up in Canada but when I graduated college, I decided to try my luck in Hollywood. As a result, I’ve had some interesting jobs in my life, including that as a publicist for actors and comedians. (I was even part of a Bravo reality show because of it).
Before Udderly Hot Mama, I worked in the news as a radio anchor and then a newspaper reporter. But when I gave birth to my now 2.5-year-old daughter Deanna, I was inspired to change careers. She didn’t take a bottle till 11 months old and desperately I missed wearing cute clothes. The only nursing tops I found weren’t so stylish and I needed to be able to feed on a moment’s notice so regular tops were out of the question. I decided to take a leap of faith and launch a nursing top company that would give moms what I didn’t have: stylish and functional breastfeeding shirts.
I now reside in Phoenix, AZ, after a four-year stint in Harrisburg, PA. If I had an entire hour to myself, I think I would take a nap! I’m a night owl and that doesn’t go away when you have kids. I try so hard to go to bed early but usually fail miserably. So, a nap is always at the top of my list.
2. You just had your second baby. Tell us about the birth and your first few weeks with him.
I live by the saying (wo)man plans; God laughs. And so that happened yet again with the birth of my sweet son Nicholas. I had planned to have a C-section at 39 weeks. With my daughter, I’d had an emergency C-section because she was sunny side up and I was told my odds of baby No. 2 being in that position were pretty high.
So I decided it would be easier to work the baby’s arrival around my schedule. He clearly had his own plan, however. I went into labor 17 days before my due date and had a c-section 18 hours after that! I was actually in denial that I was in labor. I went to the hospital in the middle of the night but was sent home again. The next day I saw my doctor and she said, how does a 4:30 pm birth sound to you? It was a quick and easy surgery. I couldn’t believe how great I felt just days afterward. The first time around, it was a full 6 weeks before I felt human again.
The first few weeks have been a lot easier than I thought they’d be. He’s a good sleeper and a great eater. Nursing has been so easy and enjoyable!
3. Is there anything you have found surprising in the adjustment from having 1 child to being the mother of 2?
Before my son was born, I did a lot of reading about how to effectively integrate a new baby into your life when you have an older child. But even with all the tips and tricks up my sleeve, I still had my work cut out for me. When my husband brought Deanna into the hospital room to meet her little brother, she burst into tears. I was not expecting that reaction.
I think the biggest surprise is how I already can’t picture life, as crazed as it can be, without my little baby. But I was not expecting that everything I do in a day must be planned out in advance. The logistics are complicated. For example, where do I put the baby when I need to have one-on-one time with my daughter? What do I do with my daughter when I’m feeding the baby? At first, she would cry and beg me to hold her when I was feeding him. Now she’s actually getting used to it. I am so relieved.
4. We can tell from your your tweets, and your business choice, that you love supporting breastfeeding. What makes you so passionate about breastfeeding?
It’s funny because I wouldn’t say that I consciously set out to be a breastfeeding advocate. It just happened. My mom breastfed me and both my younger sisters and so it was just commonplace in my household growing up.
When I got pregnant with my daughter, I never even thought about using formula. I just assumed I would breastfeed (at least God didn’t laugh at that plan of mine!). I was lucky that breastfeeding worked for me because I know now that it doesn’t work for everyone. Some moms are incredibly tenacious and will pump 8 times a day just to provide their babies with the best. Those women are amazing in my book.
I felt that for me, at least, formula was very expensive and if I had free food flowing from me, I might as well use it. It was only when I started breastfeeding that I realized what my mom had been talking about all those years ago: it creates the most incredible bond between mother and baby. You are nourishing this little life and he or she is growing and flourishing and healthy because of you. I can’t think of anything more special in this world.
5. Is there a piece of your own clothing line that has become your favorite over the past few weeks?
Because I live in Phoenix and the temperature is currently hovering around 110 degrees, I have been living in Udderly Hot Mama’s Sassy Scoop Necks. On days when it’s only 100, I wear the Chic Cowl Neck, Swanky Snap Front or Tantalizing Tunic. The fabric is great because it breathes and is very forgiving with my post-pregnancy figure. I can’t wait till the weather cools off and I can wear our longer sleeved tops.
It’s been so incredible wearing the tops as a nursing mom. They are so great for nursing in public too. I was at a bookstore and the baby was hungry but I didn’t have a nursing cover with me. The patent-pending flap provided so much coverage that no one even noticed what I was doing. These were the shirts I dreamed of having back when I nursed my daughter. I’m just thrilled that women everywhere can now nurse with ease in Udderly Hot Mama shirts!
Melanie Herschorn is the founder and designer of Udderly Hot Mama nursing tops and mom to a two-year-old girl and a baby boy. Melanie is also a journalist and has worked in both broadcast and print media. Her goal is to make breastfeeding easier and more stylish for moms everywhere. For more about breastfeeding and other parenting topics, check out Udderly Hot Mama’s Blog and follow on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Melanie and her family live in Phoenix, AZ.