Ep. 58: Don’t Rag on My Mom Jeans

August 12, 2019

Listen Now:

In this week’s special segment, “Gripe Water,” Shanna and Laura take umbrage with certain mom shamers who need to lay the eff off. Also, Laura talks about her baby’s first cold and his six-month checkup, and Shanna has an exciting announcement about her baby’s development. Finally, they reveal their BFPs and BFNs for the week. Shanna’s baby is seven months old, and Laura’s baby is six months old.



Show Notes:

This episode's sponsors:

Episode Transcript


Shanna Micko: Hi. Welcome to Big Fat Positive with Shanna and Laura. On this week’s episode, we have our weekly check-ins. We have our special segment, Gripe Water, where we clap back at mom shaming, and we wrap things up with our BFPs and BFNs. Let’s get to it.


Shanna Micko: Hi. Welcome to the show. It’s episode 58. Hi, Laura.

Laura Birek: Hi, Shanna.

Shanna Micko: You want to start us off with your weekly check-in? How are you guys doing?

Laura Birek: We’re doing great. It’s week 26, which means my baby is six months old.

Shanna Micko: Oh, big boy.

Laura Birek: He’s a half year old. Oh my goodness.

Shanna Micko: What?

Laura Birek: Yeah, it’s so weird to me. We talk about this, but the longest shortest time thing is so true. It feels like an eternity and also like, what? He’s six months old already. I just feel like it’s such a big milestone, because also this is sort of when they start doing a lot of really fun stuff. He’s sitting up really well like I talked about last week and he’s smiling a ton and his personality’s really coming out

Shanna Micko: So fun. I love it.

Laura Birek: It’s so fun. Another thing that happens apparently right around six months is they start getting their first colds. Guess what?

Shanna Micko: Oh, no. Buddy boy.

Laura Birek: Little baby boy got his first cold.

Shanna Micko: So sad to see a baby with a cold and a runny nose.

Laura Birek: It was really, really mild. He was a little uncomfortable. I thought it might be teething, but then he had a cough. So he went to the Huntington Gardens and he was wearing a hat and he was wearing sunscreen, because you can wear a sunscreen now with wild abandon. Maybe not with wild abandon, but all the doctors say above six months is fine. I was like, yay, sunscreen. I put sunscreen on his face just in case, but he was in the shade basically the whole time and when we got home his cheek was so red that we thought he somehow got either like a sunburn or that it got rubbed against, because now he’s outward facing in his little carrier. 

The carrier kind of comes up to his chin and so we thought maybe it was like rubbing, because sometimes he numbs on the front of the carrier.

Shanna Micko: Oh, yeah. Best teething thing right there.

Laura Birek: So Corey and I felt kind of negligent and bad and then his cheek was really red and a little bit dry. Anyway, I end up FaceTiming with my mom I think the next day and my mom looks at him.

Shanna Micko: That’s right. You have a pediatrician on call.

Laura Birek: I do, but I wasn’t calling her for it, because first of all, I was embarrassed. How did we let our six-month-old get a sunburn? Second of all, his little cold was very mild. I wasn’t worried at all. No fever. He just had a tiny cough, still uncomfortable. You know what I mean? It was still sad to watch, but nothing you’re calling the doctor for. But we were just FaceTiming the next day and she looked at him and she was in Scotland I should mention. FaceTiming in Scotland. She looks at him and she’s like, he’s got parvovirus.

Shanna Micko: What?

Laura Birek: I didn’t even mention that he was really feeling sick and she’s like, yeah, he’s got the slapped cheek rash.

Laura Birek: I was like, what? She looked it up. It’s also called fifth disease apparently, because it’s the fifth most common disease babies get or kids in childhood get.

Shanna Micko: Interesting.

Laura Birek: If you look it up, there’s the distinctive slapped cheek rash where their little cheeks are bright red and I was like, I would’ve never known and I have a suspicion. You know how I talked last week how he’s sitting in high chairs now? I’m now like, shoot, should I be sanitizing these high chairs, because he’s for sure getting his mouth all over these high chairs? I’m like, oh, crap. Is it a coincidence that he gets this really easily communicable disease from other kids the first time he sits in a high chair?

Shanna Micko: That is not a bad idea, because we know how slobbery babies are. They make that product that is a little high chair seat cover and you can also use it in your shopping cart.

Laura Birek: Do you have one? I looked it up, but I didn’t…

Shanna Micko: Yes.

Laura Birek: You do? Which one do you have?

Shanna Micko: Who knows, because I used it with Elle? Because I am a lazy second mom, I have not busted it out with CeCe yet, but I do know it exists and we use it a lot. 

I put it in all the shopping carts. All of the high chairs.

Laura Birek: Okay, because I was wondering about that because I looked at them and then I was like, do I need this? Is this just a thing that I’m going to get that I never remember to put in the diaper bag?

Shanna Micko: It is a cumbersome extra thing to bring. I don’t think it’s completely necessary. I think bringing a pack of pure wipes or something if you want to.

Laura Birek: Maybe I should do that. I’m going to look into it. Listeners, if you have suggestions, I’d love to hear them because this is all new territory for me completely and we have yet to actually get in the shopping cart. So help me out. But anyway, so that’s basically what we’ve been doing and we had to miss Mommy & Me class because of the parvovirus and so we’ve been kind of staying in. We didn’t want to see friends. I think you asked if we could get together and I was like, “Quack. Quack. Baby has a thing.” But we took our little six month shots. I should say that’s actually what…

Shanna Micko: Vaccinations or selfies?

Laura Birek: I was talking about the photos, but I also forgot that we should probably talk about his actual shots. That was on the list to talk about, but he took his shoots and his shots. So we took him to his little six month photo shoot.

Shanna Micko: Not his vodka shots, right?

Laura Birek: No.

Shanna Micko: Okay if you were waiting a little bit.

Laura Birek: Like six or seven years away.

Shanna Micko: Okay. Good, good, good.

Laura Birek: So he took his little photo shoot, which is fun. It was the first one he could sit up in. That was good.

Shanna Micko: Cute.

Laura Birek: Then we did do the six month doctor’s visit, so we went and one special thing that we were offered at this visit was our doctor offered to give us an early measles, mumps and rubella: MMR shot.

Shanna Micko: Is that a booster or the original one?

Laura Birek: It’s the first one he would get. Usually, they’re given at 12 months and I think either 18 or 24 months I’m not sure. There’s two. You get it twice as a baby now. 

Because there’s been a bunch of measles outbreaks all over basically, but it’s been in Southern California, at the four month visit, my doctor mentioned that if we wanted it we could get it at six months. But it would just be in addition to the other two, so he would have to get three jabs instead of two in his lifetime and I asked her what she thought and she was like, “Look, if I had a six month old, I would do it,” and I was sold. Let’s do it.

Shanna Micko: That’s great.

Laura Birek: So we got the MMR early and actually it’s making me feel really good and I should say anyone who’s like, you got a cold from it, the parvovirus came before the shots. He was actually over it by the time we got to the doctor, because it was a little bit late. The appointment was six months and five days or something. It’s not related and I’m just happy to know that he has a little extra protection, because there have been so many outbreaks.

Shanna Micko: Yeah, it’s scary.

Laura Birek: I like going out in public with the baby plus we are booking flights. Now we’re planning on going to Portland at some point this summer and Portland had a huge outbreak earlier the summer.

Shanna Micko: Oh, no.

Laura Birek: So it just makes me feel better to have the extra protection and so that was nice.

Shanna Micko: That’s good. I should ask my pediatrician about that at the eight month checkup, because no one mentioned that to me at the six month checkup, but that is a good idea.

Laura Birek: I think it’s sort of at the pediatrician’s discretion and it’s definitely not necessary. This is a new thing. I actually found out about it from Keri, our friend, who’s the pharmacist who we interviewed on the show way back when we were pregnant. We had been talking during the major outbreak news about it and how scary it was, because we both had young kids who were too young for the MMR and she ended up listening in on some state of California public health discussion between healthcare professionals and the official recommendations ended up changing in that call. They said that doctors can give the MMR vaccine at six months to basically anyone who they think might need it. It used to be if you were traveling abroad then you could get it at six months, but they didn’t offer it to anyone who wasn’t at risk by traveling abroad. But then they just changed the recommendations I think because of this outbreak.

Shanna Micko: Probably which is sad, but I’m glad that they are responding and adjusting to that. That’s great.

Laura Birek: So that’s how I knew to ask and it was worth it for us and I’m really glad we did it and he didn’t have any adverse effects from the shots or the multiple shots, because he also got three other jabs and he actually recovered from the shots really quickly as far as crying goes. He cried for a minute or two and then he was like, all right. I’m good. I was really proud of him. Anyway, that’s our six month checkup.

Shanna Micko: Woo-hoo!

Laura Birek: How about you? What’s going on with you? How old is your baby?

Shanna Micko: She is 30 weeks old and she just turned seven months.

Laura Birek: What a shock?

Shanna Micko: Yes.

Laura Birek: Our babies are still a month apart.

Shanna Micko: I have big news. Drum roll. Someone started crawling a couple days before she turned seven months and I knew it was coming, because I told you I’d been patient.

Laura Birek: Oh my gosh. For real?

Shanna Micko: I knew the process of learning. It was going to take three to four weeks, but a couple days this week she was at peak frustration, tons of screaming and I even said to Steve, “She’s going to crawl today or tomorrow.” I could just tell. She was just right there and she knew she was there and she knew she could do it, but couldn’t yet and then sure enough the next day she was like, “Boo, boo, boo, boo.” I was like, oh my God, my baby’s crawling already.

Laura Birek: Oh my gosh, is it a full crawl or is it army crawl? What’s going on?

Shanna Micko: Oh, no. Full crawl. She’s been scooching, army crawling. She’s been doing all kinds of stuff up until now. So I’ve been kind of waiting for the legitimate hands and knees left hand, right hand, left knee, right knee. She did that and here we go.

Laura Birek: That’s awesome. So she’s been a little bit mobile, but not as fast until now. You have to be on your toes now.

Shanna Micko: Yes, exactly. It’s amazing how quickly she’s learning. It was very wobbly the first time she did it, because she was on hands and knees practicing, like I can move my right hand. She couldn’t figure out the left. That was for a few days and then now she’s got them both and it’s wobbly and then two days later she was like, boom, I got this just everywhere.

Laura Birek: That’s so awesome.

Shanna Micko: I know.

Laura Birek: Go CeCe go.

Shanna Micko: Awesome. I’m hoping she’ll be a happier baby now that she can move her ass around my house and go where she wants to go.

Laura Birek: The question then is, are you baby proofed?

Shanna Micko: I am just very lax when it comes to that. We’ve got stuff in the plugs. I make sure the area she’s crawling in is free of toys and choking hazards and stuff like that and I keep an eye on her all the time, but I do need to set up a legit yes space where she can really crawl and be free and I can actually step out of the room, because she’s safe.

Laura Birek: Because you know before when they weren’t mobile, you can just plop them down and if the three foot perimeter is clear, you’re fine.

Shanna Micko: I’ve got dogs to think about.

Laura Birek: Sucks.

Shanna Micko: She’s so curious about the dogs. She loves looking at them giggling. She’ll grab their fur, so I know she can’t be with them unsupervised. So I got to really get on my game with that and get something set up.

Laura Birek: Do you have a strategy yet or are you still figuring it out?

Shanna Micko: I have a strategy, but I haven’t pulled the trigger yet, because she hasn’t been fully mobile. I use these awesome gates. It’s the same thing I did with Elle. 

They’re called the North States Baby Gates. I think I talked about it in episode 51.

Laura Birek: I remember.

Shanna Micko: I’ve talked about creating a yes space and so what I’ve been doing now is just kind of dividing the room in half with those. So the dogs stay on one side and she stays on the other, but I actually have to secure them now in a way that the gates are stable. She can’t crawl over to the piano legs or the front door or the fireplace hearth. The corner on those bricks is insane, so I need to really set up a good space for her.

Laura Birek: I’m sure you’ll figure it out.

Shanna Micko: I will and I will probably share that info when it happens.

Laura Birek: I’d love to see a picture.

Shanna Micko: Speaking of pictures, I have one other quick update.

Laura Birek: I want to know.

Shanna Micko: CeCe went to the beach for the first time this weekend.

Laura Birek: That’s what I couldn’t do. Remember? You were like, “Let’s go to the beach.” 

I was like, “Sick baby.” I’m pretty sure.

Shanna Micko: Probably. I’m always jones to go to the beach, but we did and it was great. She loved it. She wore her adorable bathing suit, splashed in the water. But what I want to point out is as a second time mom, so sad to admit, when Elle went to the beach for the first time, it was like a ticker-tape-parade. We took all the pictures, all the videos of her touching the ocean for the first time in her frilly suit and her hat. It was a thing. I looked back at the beach day pictures from when CeCe went to the beach for the first time, because Elle is there now as a three year old and it’s a lot of chaos now. She wants to play in the ocean and me and Steve are divided on childcare duty. I got one picture of CeCe at the beach for the first time and it’s in her car seat sitting inside the beach tent. It’s so sad.

Laura Birek: That’s so funny. You know what that makes me think of? This is a deep cut and my memory may not be 100% on this, but we were Baby-Sitter’s Club fan.

Shanna Micko: Oh God, yes. Maryanne and Byron. Hell yes.

Laura Birek: Okay. Claudia was the cool artist. So there was an issue. I’m pretty sure it was Claudia where she starts to think that she’s adopted, because she’s looking through all the photo albums in her family and can’t find any photos of her as a baby.

Shanna Micko: Oh, no.

Laura Birek: The reveal at the end when she finally talks to her parents about it is they’re like, “No, you’re the second child. We just didn’t have time to take pictures of you.”

Shanna Micko: Oh, God. It’s a time tested second child problem. I guess I’m not the only one experiencing this.

Laura Birek:
I know. Even with our phones on us all times, you don’t have to develop anything. You still forget. I get it. It’s also just hard to get photos when you’re out and about sometimes, because it’s busy. You have that baby to take care of and you have that baby to take care of and that three year old to take care of and you’re at the beach and you have a million things you’re lugging. I don’t blame you for forgetting to take pictures.

Shanna Micko: Well, I will say I didn’t forget. I wished it would’ve happened, but I’m managing the baby in the waves and in the shallow part of the waves, I can’t take a picture. I can’t even take a selfie at that point, because it’s all hands on baby.

Laura Birek: Of course.

Shanna Micko: Steve is off with Elle doing all their stuff, so no one’s there to take a picture of us. It didn’t happen and the one little picture is her in the back of the little beach tent. She’s happy. She liked it back there. She liked being outside. She’s looking around. She’s got a happy look on her face.

Laura Birek: That’s cute.

Shanna Micko: So I have to recreate beach day.

Laura Birek: You do.

Shanna Micko: Pretend it’s her first time and take all the pictures and videos.

Laura Birek: I still remember that one time we went when Elle was a baby. Do you remember that time? It was a Tuesday or something. It was back when we both freelanced.

Shanna Micko: I think we went for my birthday.

Laura Birek: Whoa. That was it. Yeah. You were just like, “It’s my birthday. I want to do something.” We were both freelancers, so we’re like, “Let’s do it.”

Shanna Micko: Yes.

Laura Birek: We just went down to the beach. I took a lot of pictures that day.

Shanna Micko: It was so fun that freelance life.

Laura Birek: I know. I want to go. I haven’t been to the beach once this summer.

Shanna Micko: Let’s get our kids together and go to the beach.

Laura Birek: That’s a great idea. 100% we need to do that.

Shanna Micko: Let’s do it, but that’s all I have for check-ins this week.

Laura Birek: Okay.

Shanna Micko: Yay. Should we move on?

Laura Birek: Yeah, let’s do it.


Laura Birek: Welcome back to the show. Our special segment this week is Gripe Water where we openly complain about things that have happened to us, things we’ve seen online, things that we feel need to be called out. Shanna, what is your gripe for us this week?

Shanna Micko: Oh, man. This gripe really gets me. I came across an article talking about how Macy’s recently pulled a line of dinnerware from their stores and I’m glad they pulled it, but it was only because of internet backlash. This line of dinnerware called Pourtions.

Laura Birek: Shit, I saw this.

Shanna Micko: Yes, it’s called Pourtions, P-O-U-R and they are portion control plates, glassware appetizer plates, et cetera. So it’s meant to encourage you to eat smaller portions, which is already like, okay. Maybe that’s helpful for someone who’s trying to watch what they eat.

Laura Birek: Sure.

Shanna Micko: Let me describe one of these portion control plates I came across. So it’s a dinner plate and there’s a printed on circle in the middle, like a very small circle. The size of a softball maybe. That small inner circle has a label called skinny jeans and then outside of that there’s a bigger concentric circle that’s maybe the size of a baby watermelon and that’s favorite jeans and then the concentric circle around that is the size of the entire plate and the label is mom jeans.

Laura Birek: Fuck them.

Shanna Micko: They’re saying, “If you eat that tiny portion, you can fit in your skinny jeans. If you eat a little too much, you can maybe wear your favorite jeans and if you are a pig and eat a bunch of food, you got to wear your mom jeans,” which is problematic on so many levels.

Laura Birek: There’s so much to unpack here.

Shanna Micko: Yes, right? The food shaming and then, why are we bringing moms into it? Why mom jeans and why not dad jeans first of all? There’s just so many problems here.

Laura Birek: So setting aside the sizeism problem, this idea that skinny is better than not skinny, which is a whole other conversation that I don’t even think we have time for, this idea that mom equals frumpy bad and uncool that just the fact of being a mom is uncool, reminds me of that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s sketch, which I love back in the day.

Shanna Micko:

Laura Birek: I used to think this is so clever. They’re like mom jeans sketch. But now I’m like, ooh, this does not age well. This is not something that I feel is funny anymore. Maybe I’m just a humorless liberal who lost her sense of humor about anything, but I just find it so demeaning this idea that being a mom is inherently uncool and bad.

Shanna Micko: Gross or something. You eat too much. You’re just a gross mom.

Laura Birek: Not to mention the fact that I’ve had this revelation recently that the reason mom jeans “exists” these high wasted looser jeans is because you fucking had a baby so your stomach doesn’t look the way it used to and it’s not even about making your stomach look way or not. It’s like you need to have different cuts.

Shanna Micko: Exactly.

Laura Birek: I can’t wear the jeans I wore before not because I’ve gained so much weight. It’s not about disciplining your body into being like it was before. There’s no just like before for your body. You know what I mean? It’s not that your body is bad or wrong. It gets different totally around it.

Shanna Micko: I think the whole mom jeans phenomenon came about when the skinny low-rise jeans were a big thing. It’s like, there was this comparison, like the young, tiny people wear the low-rise skinny jeans and then the people who have had children push people out of their vaginas or C-section incisions have to accommodate their new bodies and the dichotomy is fine, but it doesn’t have to be bad and shameful.

Laura Birek: I will say I’m really glad the low-rise jeans trend is not happening right now.

Shanna Micko: Same.

Laura Birek: That was the worst and I totally wore the low-rise jeans and you could never crouch down and pick something up ever.

Shanna Micko: Butt crack all day.

Laura Birek: But back to the mom jeans. So you know how you were like, why doesn’t it say, “Dad jeans?” This is another thing that bothers me. I’m jumping on in your gripe is the whole dad bod thing.

Shanna Micko: Oh, yeah. The dad bod is desirable.

Laura Birek: Yes, but it’s the other thing is I saw an article that was like, is it Jason Momoa? I’m so bad with celebrities.

Shanna Micko: Jason Momoa is a celebrity. The Game of Thrones guy.

Laura Birek: I knew his last name was Momoa. I just was blanking on the first name. Jason Momoa was pictured somewhere shirtless and they’re like, “He shows off his dad bod,” and it was kind of shaming. But in that way that it’s not that shaming for him, but they’re like, “Look at his dad bod.” He looked like a fucking bodybuilder who just wasn’t on stage. You know what I mean? He wasn’t at a stage performing.

Shanna Micko: He didn’t have performance painted onto him at that moment.

Laura Birek: Corey showed it to me. He was like, “This is what the internet thinks the dad bod is.”

Shanna Micko: Wow. Because when I first heard of it, it was like, Leo DiCaprio was not even a dad, but for some reason I’m picturing him just walking out of the ocean like a Neanderthal with a belly.

Laura Birek: He dates women who could be his children.

Shanna Micko: True. Exactly. I think that’s what they mean by it.

Laura Birek: I’m just bitter, because he was supposed to be my husband. I was going to say first husband. We were supposed to fall madly in love and the only reason we weren’t in love was because he was so much older than I was and that’s the only reason Leo wasn’t in love with me.

Shanna Micko: Not the fact that he had never met you.

Laura Birek: None of that. If he had just had an opportunity to meet me, he would’ve fallen madly in love, however.

Shanna Micko: It’s never too late, Laura.

Laura Birek: Oh, no. It is. Because I am way too old for Leo DiCaprio.

Shanna Micko: All the tables have turned.

Laura Birek: I know.

Shanna Micko: Oh my God.

Laura Birek: Anyway, speaking of tables, he kind of have a dad bod. I’m with you on that. But again, it’s like kind of hot. No one’s like, ooh, mama kind of hot. Unless you’re sexualizing breastfeeding, which is a whole other problem.

Shanna Micko: Oh, gosh.

Laura Birek: How many gripes can we fit into one?

Shanna Micko: So many gripes. But anyway, so I just want to point out a few of the other clever dinnerware that this line has.

Laura Birek: Is that any quotes?

Shanna Micko: Yeah, another one has the inner small circle is, “Feed me,” and then the outer big circle is, “Feed bag.”

Laura Birek: God, like you’re an animal?

Shanna Micko: Exactly. They have these in wine glasses too. There’s a wine glass with a small amount that says, “On the lips,” and then a higher line that’s, “On the hips.”

Laura Birek: I knew it. I knew that’s where you were going.

Shanna Micko: Oh my God.

Laura Birek: Just awful. First of all, there is such a thing as portion control with wine to avoid getting wasted, but the problem isn’t the calories in the wine.

Shanna Micko: Yeah, exactly.

Laura Birek: It should be like, “Drive home safely,” versus call a cab.

Shanna Micko: It’s not like it’s a milkshake or something. Then there’s a postable. The inner circle is al dente and the outer circle is al dante.

Laura Birek: Did anyone actually buy? I know Macy’s was stalking them, right?

Shanna Micko: They were and they stopped. Someone called this out, which is great.

Laura Birek: Good.

Shanna Micko: So they stopped. The company does still exist. They have a website with all of their products. You can check them out if you want to have them at your wedding, because they have special wedding items.

Laura Birek: Cute.

Shanna Micko: It’s very cute, so this exists in the world.

Laura Birek: I don’t know. There’s just so much negativity. Why add more?

Shanna Micko: Yeah, exactly. Anyways, moving on. Laura, what’s your gripe this week?

Laura Birek: All right. My gripe is kind of pointed at a specific person who shall not be named.

Shanna Micko: Whoa.

Laura Birek: I don’t actually care, because I’m so annoyed with her. I hope she listens and figures it out, but there’s no way she would.

Shanna Micko: This is a side of Laura I’ve never seen before.

Laura Birek: You have to believe that she’s rubbed me the wrong way so many times that I feel this way, because I’m not so easy to judge I feel like, and I feel like I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, but the crux of the problem is that my gripe is really that I hate getting bad advice from people who think they’re an authority who aren’t. Okay. So the context is this. I normally go to a Mommy & Me class at the Family Room in San Reno. I love them. 

This is not about them. The Family Room in San Reno, free advertisement for them. If you’re in the LA area, take their Mommy & Me class. They are so great and they really give you evidence based advice. Fantastic. That’s what I like. But I discovered that there was a Mommy & Me class nearby that was on a different day and I have a baby that’s very social and so I was told this is a very fun class. You should go to it and it’s mostly music, which is great. So you go and you just sing songs for like an hour.

Shanna Micko: Is this the one where they make you exercise?

Laura Birek: Oh, yeah. It’s the sneaky exercise class. I think I talked about that and the sneaky exercise also good. You do Ants Go Marching, you end up doing lunges. You’re doing chest presses with your baby at some point. That’s all fine. The problem I have is at the end when they have a discussion topic and part of the problem is that it’s a really big group and a very big room and it’s drop in. It’s week by week. People don’t necessarily know each other. So I don’t think it already creates a good environment for having heart to hearts. It’s all kind of very surface level and some weeks they have a topic and recently the topic was outdoor summer safety for the babies. Good topic. It’s summer. We should learn about things. So we were talking about what to do in the sun and what to do with bugs, especially if people were traveling back to the east coast or the south and I had actually just looked all this stuff up. I don’t remember why. You’re Googling a lot. I Googled about sunblock and I Googled about bug repellent. Oh, no. I know because someone in my other Mommy & Me was asking about bug repellent. So I looked it up, found all the official recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, read up on other sites as well, like Mayo Clinic, et cetera and so I felt pretty confident about what I knew. But I was listening and the woman leading the discussion was a lactation consultant and there are a lot of very lovely lactation consultants. But their job is to consult for lactation to help you with breastfeeding.

Shanna Micko: Yes.

Laura Birek: Their job is not knowing really much about baby care or what the best bug repellent is. We are talking and this lactation consultant chimes in and she’s the one leading the discussion. To be fair, she’s not the usual one. There’s usually another lady who’s really, really nice and seems to have great resources. So she was kind of filling in. But so people were asking, “What kind of bugs repellent can you use?” The AAP says that you should use DEET basically: “You should use DEET or Picaridin if you’re in an area where bites are likely because the risk of a mosquito born illness or a tick born illness getting your baby is higher than any risk that the DEET presents.” They have all these advice about use the lowest percentage that you can and use it for limited amounts of time and all this stuff. She gets up there and she starts telling people that you should never use DEET and that what you should use is Avon’s Skin So Soft, which by the way, the American Academy of Pediatric says do not use.

Shanna Micko: I knew it.

Laura Birek: Consumer Reports tested it and it actually attracted more mosquitoes.

Shanna Micko: Oh my God, was it just a big marketing ploy to sell that because everyone accepts it? It’s a lotion, by the way, if you don’t know.

Laura Birek: Yes, it’s like a fragrant lotion. I’ve never actually used it, but also, Avon is an MLM. Right? She didn’t try to sell it to us, so I think she just thought it was like a more all natural choice. Already that caught my spidey sense tickling, because I was like, wait, what? Then someone asked about sunblock and she said, “Okay, you can totally use sunblock after six months.” I was like, okay, good. She’s going there and she says, “As long as it does not have zinc oxide in it.”

Shanna Micko: Wait, what? That’s the thing you’re supposed to use.

Laura Birek: It is literally the thing that everyone says you should use, like the American Academy of Pediatrics, Mayo Clinic, Environmental Working Group. Talk about Crunchy, the Environmental Working Group says it’s the safest and I was just sitting there being like, what?

Shanna Micko: What did she recommend instead? I’m dying to know.

Laura Birek: She didn’t say. I actually raised my hand and was like, “Why is that?” She’s like, “Well, new studies show that they absorb it and their bodies can’t handle it.” That kind of stopped me, because I was like, maybe I haven’t seen those studies. I go home, I search, I cannot find anything about those studies and I’m fuming, because I realized she gave all this advice that was literally the wrong advice and she was in a position of authority. There is a Facebook group for this particular Mommy & Me class. 

So I went on and actually was like, “Hey, I just wanted to let people know that here’s the guidelines, you can read up yourself and it does actually say to use zinc specifically and not to use the chemical sunscreens.” A couple people liked it and responded, so I’m like maybe it got out there. I was kind of was kicking myself for not speaking up in class, but I also felt like, maybe I didn’t know. You know what I mean? She said, “Well, the new studies say.” Okay, so that was one week. The next week I go and it’s an open discussion. There’s a bunch of moms and there’s a lot of moms of really new babies in there and people who are brand new to the class, who’d never seen her before, that sort of thing. She was like, “Does anyone have anything to talk about?” Everyone’s hesitant. Then finally someone’s like, “Yeah, actually I’m wondering, has anyone tried sleep training?”

Shanna Micko: Oh-oh. Duh, duh.

Laura Birek: A couple of us raised our hands and there were like three or four of us. Me being the big mouth I am, I raised my hand. I was like, “Yeah, actually I just did it and I highly recommend it. It’s awesome. I was really skeptical about it, but it really worked super well for us. I know that everyone’s different, but for us it was really, really good and I feel so much better and he feels so much better. Everyone’s so much happier.” I go through my spiel. You heard about it in the last two episodes or three episodes or whatever. I don’t have to go into too much detail and then another mom is about to start talking about how she did sleep training and this lactation consultant butts in and starts. I’m getting so mad thinking about it. It’s just like, “Well, what you’re talking about is the Ferber method and it’s not recommended. You should just know that if you do that, you’re probably not going to be able to continue breastfeeding, because it really ruins your chances of breastfeeding.”

Shanna Micko: Oh my God.

Laura Birek: Then she’s like, “Babies are supposed to be waking up two to three times a night, every two to three hours. It’s normal and you just have to deal with it.” Basically, all the stuff you hear from these people…

Shanna Micko: My stomach is hurting so bad just listening to this.

Laura Birek: She’s going through all this and she looked at me. She’s like, “I’m glad it worked for you and it was such a caddy. I’m glad.” She wasn’t glad it worked for me. She’s like, “You should all do your own research, but I don’t think it’s the best idea, especially not for kids younger than six months,” which four or five months is what people tend to say. Sure.

Shanna Micko: Yes.

Laura Birek: Later I find out, because I totally walked up to the woman afterwards and was like, “She shot me down, but I just want you to know it really worked well for us.” She’s like, ‘Yeah, my baby’s six months and he’s still waking two or three times a night and I feel like I’m losing my mind.” I was like, “Just try it. It’s fine.” Then I ended up running into a bunch of the other moms. They all went to lunch afterwards and I went and picked up lunch at the same place on my way home and they were like, “Oh my God, I can’t believe how she shamed you.” 

I was like, “Thank you.” Because at first I was thinking I was really ready to stand up for myself, but then I was like, ooh, am I just feeling grumpy, because she called me out? You know what I mean? Am I just being defensive? Another mom actually did chime in and was like, “Well, we did it. We didn’t pay for any courses. We just did it and it was great and since then it’s fine.” You could tell this lactation consultant was so mad and she literally shut the conversation down. She was like, “Does anyone want to talk about anything else?”

Shanna Micko: Wow.

Laura Birek: Wouldn’t let other people talk. I was so mad, but one of these moms at lunch, she was like, “Yeah, I raised my hand, but I didn’t say anything afterwards because I couldn’t. But we did it with my first baby.” Her current baby was 11 weeks old, so they weren’t doing it yet and she told me that she actually had gone to that particular lactation consultant with her first baby, because she has low supply and she wasn’t able to continue breastfeeding her child, which again, we should remind everyone is totally fine. It does not make you a bad mother for not being able to breastfeed unlike some lactation consultants tell you, because apparently this woman had shamed this other mom. So she said during her little speech about how sleep training was bad and how it might ruin your breastfeeding, apparently she looked right at this other mom.

Shanna Micko: Ooh.

Laura Birek: She was like, I know that was directed to me. I know she was looking at me being like, that’s why you can’t breastfeed, because you sleep trained and it was all unrelated. 

She had low supply before. She didn’t try to sleep train and then not be able to breastfeed. She wasn’t able to breastfeed from basically the beginning.

Shanna Micko: Lactation consultants can be amazing. I’ve gotten some incredible help from them, but some of them need to get off their damn high horse and stop shaming moms. Why not take into consideration the frustration and pain and struggle that moms are going through with babies that are waking up so much at night and their own mental health and physical health?

Laura Birek: Maternal preference should have a place at the table. We should not be beholden to just being martyrs to these children. Yes, we have to suffer a little bit. We all end up suffering a little bit for our children. That’s fine. That’s part of the deal. But to make us martyrs, it just pisses me off, because it’s like… Help me articulate it, Shanna. I know you know what I’m thinking.

Shanna Micko: It’s very arrogant is what it is and it’s not coming from a place of compassion. Look, I did a sleep training and my baby’s still breastfeeding. You did. Your baby’s still breastfeeding.

Laura Birek: Still breastfeeding.

Shanna Micko: It’s simply just not true.

Laura Birek: It’s not evidence based. 

If I recall, Emily Oster has it in her book about if sleep training affects breastfeeding and it doesn’t. But anyway, it makes me not want to go back to the stupid class.

Shanna Micko: Well, I wouldn’t either. Find something else to do, girl.

Laura Birek: I know, but I like the songs also. I kind of want to go back and confront her.

Shanna Micko: That you could do, because I do want to hear a follow-up to this if you do that.

Laura Birek: Oh, boy. I know.

Shanna Micko: I will say that a lot of the public libraries have free story time and music and we did that a lot with Elle. So maybe that’s something you could consider instead. No one was shaming me at those. That’s for sure.

Laura Birek: I might need to do that and step away from… For me, it’s less about me because I don’t care because I did my own research with the sleep training. We did it already. You know what I mean? I did my own research with the damn sunblock, but I’m concerned about these vulnerable new moms who are completely sleep deprived, who this is their first sort of group outing and this is what they get.

Shanna Micko: Yeah, that’s everywhere. It’s online. It’s in groups.

Laura Birek: Yes.

Shanna Micko: It’s really everywhere. New moms are so vulnerable

Laura Birek: Susceptible to this bad advice.

Shanna Micko: It’s already hard enough. I just remember feeling like I’m failing at every turn and then feeling good without having all of those voices coming in. So yeah, it is. It’s really hard.

Laura Birek: That’s my gripe. Actually feels good to talk about it and I should say that if you are a person who doesn’t want to sleep train, that is also fine. You do you. This is sort of the main problem. I don’t care if you do or don’t sleep train.

Shanna Micko: Exactly.

Laura Birek: You bed share. I don’t care. If that works for you, I’m so happy for you. But mom shaming each other, it needs to end.

Shanna Micko: 100%. I agree.

Laura Birek: All right. I feel cleansed, purged. Shall we move on to our BFPs and BFNs after the break?

Shanna Micko: Let’s do it.


Shanna Micko: We’re back and we are ready to share our BFPs and BFNs this week. Laura, what do you have for us?

Laura Birek: I’ve got a big fat positive.

Shanna Micko: Woo-hoo.

Laura Birek: This is baby ibuprofen.

Shanna Micko: Yay. So good.

Laura Birek: Once your baby is six months old, you can give them ibuprofen. It’s not just Tylenol and as listeners know, I love my ibuprofen.

Shanna Micko: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Go to hell: that should be like the sub line of our podcast.

Laura Birek: It’s good for when you need it, it’s better than nothing.

Shanna Micko: Yes.

Laura Birek: But it’s much better when you can take some ibuprofen and so my little guy he’s been teething I think and also he had this little cold and I think that was making him congested and he was definitely gnawing on anything. I was like, man, he’s teething. He’s so uncomfortable and I was like, I should pick up some ibuprofen. I got some, I gave it to him and within 30 minutes he went from so fussy and just teething and drooling. I was trying to distract him by everything and nothing was working and he was just whining about everything and grumpy to smiling and happy and laughing.

Shanna Micko: Ooh, that’s amazing.

Laura Birek: It was amazing and also it made me feel kind of bad, because I was like, buddy, you’ve been in pain and I haven’t been helping.

Shanna Micko: It seems hard to tell.

Laura Birek: But the ibuprofen was awesome. Ibuprofen lasts longer than the Tylenol, so that’s a bonus.

Shanna Micko: If they’re really suffering, this is probably more like fevers and stuff, the good thing is that you can alternate Motrin or ibuprofen and Tylenol every couple hours or whatever so they got a steadfast jolt of pain relief.

Laura Birek: Yes, it’s so awesome. You obviously have to wait the interval with each drug, but you can do ibuprofen and then two hours later Tylenol and then four hours later ibuprofen again, because it’s six to eight hours between the ibuprofen. Anyway, love that baby ibuprofen. Also, I got the generic brand and my baby loves it. We gave it to him a couple nights in a row because of the teething and we weren’t giving it to him all day, but in the evening I think it was really bothering him and it got to the point where he brought it out and started shaking it so that we could mix it up. He would laugh and he was getting ready. He holds onto the little syringe while we plunge in his mouth. He thinks it’s candy.

Shanna Micko: That is adorable. I love it.

Laura Birek: I’m so happy for it. I’m so happy to live in a world where ibuprofen exists. I think it’s a miracle drug and now my baby can partake in it. Obviously, not too much. We’re not trying to dose up my baby and I think it’s hard on the kidneys. So we don’t want to go too crazy, but when he needs it, it’s great.

Shanna Micko: That’s so awesome. I’m so happy.

Laura Birek: So is he.

Shanna Micko: I bet.

Laura Birek: How about you? Do you have a BFP or a BFN?

Shanna Micko: I have a BFP this week.

Laura Birek: Oh, good.

Shanna Micko: It’s not just this week though. It’s kind of been ever since CeCe transitioned to her crib and out of her Merlin Sleepsuit, which I loved. I loved that thing with Elle. I loved it with CeCe. It was so great. But once they roll in it, you can’t use it anymore. I’m like, oh my God, what am I going to do? I just felt like she was too cold and just the jammies and I actually tried putting her down to sleep in just a footed pajama and it almost just felt like she was too naked in there. I felt like she thought she was too naked, because she was used to having both the SNOO swaddle and then the Merlin. So now I’m just like, “Hey, baby. Float out in space with nothing.”

Laura Birek: I know.

Shanna Micko: I felt so sad for her, so I resurrected a product that I used with my first baby, which is the Halo Sleep Sack.

Laura Birek: Oh, yeah.

Shanna Micko: These are really awesome. I love these. They’re a zip up sleep blanket. You can put your baby and it has arm holes, but then the rest of it’s like a little loose sleeping bag, basically. You put it over their jammies and zip it up and it’s like a blanket that keeps them warm, but it doesn’t ever go over their face. You don’t have to worry about them. It’s not like a loose blanket in the crib, because we’re not supposed to keep our cribs clear of anything.

Laura Birek: No blankets till they’re one, right?

Shanna Micko: Yeah, exactly. This is the thing that I thought would help keep her warm and give her a little extra comfort and so we’ve tried that and they’ve been working great and I’m so happy about that.

Laura Birek: Is there something special about the Halo brand itself?

Shanna Micko: I don’t know. I haven’t tried any of the other ones. Any of the other ones are probably just fine too, but that’s the one that we happen to use. So maybe my BFP is sleepsacks in general, because there’s probably other great ones out there.

Laura Birek: Well, because we have a whole mélange sleep sack. We were gifted a few and handed down a few and some are definitely superior to others. We have one Aden Anais. I never know how to pronounce that brand, but you know the brand. One that’s made out of that really, really light muslin fabric that I like, especially in this hot weather I think maybe he doesn’t need as heavy as a blanket. Then there’s other ones that are heavier and every night it’s like such a decision to pick the sleep sack and trying to figure out what’s right and some of them were more snug than others and then my mom gave me crap about the sleep sack. 

She thinks maybe that’s the reason why he’s not closer to crawling now, because he is not even anywhere close to crawling. She’s like, “He should be practicing at night and it’s not letting him get his knees under him.” But I had the same problem as you is that I tried putting him just in footy pajamas in the crib and he actually felt cold. When I came in for the dream feed, I’d feel between his shoulder blades and he was feeling kind of chilly. So I was like, I need to do something else. I guess I could turn the temperature of the room up, but you’re supposed to keep it cold. You’re supposed to keep it between 68 and 72.

Shanna Micko: Exactly. Having air circulation is supposed to be helpful with SIDS prevention and stuff. I have a very consistent sleep sack program and I can see where you’re coming from, like what’s good? What isn’t? I’ve settled on these Halos. We do have thick fleece ones and so for a while I was going back and forth like, should I use the thick fleece one with just a long sleeved onesie? Then I’m like, it’s too hot. It’s getting real hot here in LA. So I just bought some thin ones. They have the Halo Sleep Sack thin cotton, so she does a full footy pajama, the thin cotton sleep sack and we keep her room at probably around 69, 70 degrees and that’s been working well for us and we just roll with it.

Laura Birek: That’s great.

Shanna Micko: It has not inhibited her crawling at all.

Laura Birek: That’s right. I’m going to have to talk to my mom about that.

Shanna Micko: She’s a mover and a groover.

Laura Birek: I was like, what do you propose I do, because we already keep his room at 72 because that feels cold to me. I can’t get it lower. It just feels way too cold and I know that 72 is the top of the range they tell you, but we’ve tried. We can’t do it. It’s just too much. I don’t know why. I feel like there’s something about the way the AC runs. It still measures at the right temperature, but it just feels colder. It’s psychological probably. Anyway, I will tell my mom that CeCe did it despite the sleep sack.

Shanna Micko: Crawling before she was seven months, so I think she’s okay.

Laura Birek: All right.

Shanna Micko: So that’s my BFP for the week.

Laura Birek: Fun.

Shanna Micko: Do we have anything else to talk about or are we going to wrap it up?

Laura Birek: I think we should wrap it up.

Shanna Micko: Okay. Let’s do it. If you guys have anything you want to add to the conversation, you know we love hearing from you. What are your gripes lately? 

What are your BFPs, BFNs? Please reach out. Laura, how can they reach us?

Laura Birek: We are on the social medias at BFP Podcast. That’s Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at BFP Podcast. We also have a closed Facebook community group that you just request to join and I will add you. The reason it’s closed is so we can have private discussions and I know that a lot of pregnancy related stuff, you don’t want the whole world to see your bump picture or to hear about some weird symptom you have. So join our community. Big Fat Positive Podcast community is what you’ll search for on Facebook and I’ll add you. We also have a website, bigfatpositivepodcast.com

Shanna Micko: If you love the show, please spread the word. Let your pregnant friends or new mom friends know about us. We so appreciate the word of mouth and maybe go on over to the platform you listen and leave us a review and a rating. We would appreciate that. Big Fat Positive is produced by Laura Birek, Shanna Micko and Steve Yager.

Laura Birek: Thanks for listening, everyone. We’ll see you next week.  

Shanna Micko: Bye.

Laura Birek: Bye.