Product Review: Mon Petit Coulou Winter Cover

Winter is coming! But the cold weather is already here and our little ones are shivering! How to keep them warm when we venture outside…

The Petit Coulou winter cover is AMAZING! I discovered the company at the Toronto Baby Time Show back in 2017, when I was expecting Tiago. I was only 1 month pregnant, but we were already super excited about our bundle of joy. It was super cold outside already and I knew that keeping him warm was going to be a priority for me. As we ventured from booth to booth we came across the cutest winter car seat covers. Learning that the company was started by a grandmama from Montreal and made for Canadian winters was all I needed to be convinced of its quality…

Bebé T all snuggled and zipped up in his Petit Coulou!

What is the product?: The Winter Petit Coulou is an insulated car seat cover designed to keep baby warm without the need for a snowsuit. Just dress them as normal, secure them into the car seat and zip up the cover. Presto! All warm. 
There is also an extra insulation pad that you can insert into the car seat to add a little extra warmth. The cover is stretchy around the bottom, so it will fit all types of car seats. 

Why do I like it?: I love the Petit Coulou because it absolutely keeps Tiago warm, while allowing him to be free to move around inside if he wishes. It also blocks out the harsh winter wind and snow that might otherwise blow in his face with a snowsuit, as well as creating a cozy, dark cocoon where he can fall asleep while we’re driving. In fact, this is probably what I like about it the most – as soon as I get him in there, pop his pacifier in his mouth and zip it up, he’s out cold! I imagine that it reminds him of being in the womb. It’s his favourite place.

Because I know Tiago loves to be warm and snuggly, I have added in a jolly jumper car seat insert. This allows me to not have even the slightest worry about his little toes getting cold (because I don’t use shoes) and I often forgo a jacket and mittens. But this really isn’t necessary and just to make sure he doesn’t overheat when we’re in the car I unzip the Coulou and pull out the jolly jumper cover. This also allows the Coulou to open a bit so I can see him in my rearview mirror.

I love peaking at his little face through the opening and we always play peek-a-boo through the zipper before we’re off on our adventure of the day!

Are there any disadvantages?: When adding extra layers, like I do, be cognizant of how warm your baby is and make the appropriate adjustments so they don’t overheat. I choose to unzip and pull out the extra layer when we are in the car and if he’s fallen asleep when we arrive, I unzip everything so he doesn’t get too sweaty while he’s sleeping. 

Where can this product be purchased?: I purchased mine at the Toronto Baby Time Show, but you can purchase yours directly from their online store at: www.petitcoulou.com. They also have a larger variety of mid-season and summer covers for strollers and car seats too!

Product Review: Freemie Breast pump Shells

Pumping is hard and time-consuming. As an exclusive pumper, I have looked for just about every hack and convenience there is. My dream would be to own the Willow Pump, but unfortunately, it is not available outside of the USA and comes with a MAJOR and cost prohibitive price tag. Second to that is the Freemie Liberty pump which also allows you to be mobile and on-the-go while pumping, but similarly it is not available for shipment to Canada. I’m not sure why this is the case and I hope it changes. But fear not, NUK is here to save you. NUK has partnered with Freemie to offer their cups and attachments outside of the USA.

What is the product?: The Freemie breast pump shells, by NUK, are designed to work with your existing breast pump to allow you to pump hands-free. It is a convenient way to allow pumping mothers to be a little bit more productive and mobile throughout their day.

How does the product work?: You simply insert the cups into your bra and then insert your nipples into the cups. Following that, you insert the tubing into the cups and then attach the tubing that comes with it to the tubing from your own pump. Turn your pump on and it works just the same. This product is compatible with the following pumps: Medela (Pump In Style Advanced, Symphony, Lactina), NUK and Hygeia. Each cup holds about 8oz of milk. 

Why do I like this product?: This product has truly been a life changer for me and if you’re an exclusive pumper, I would highly recommend adding it to your ensemble of gear. I have the Medela pump in style advanced in a backpack, so I can just attach the cups, put the backpack on and go. Some of the things that I’ve done include driving, cooking, washing dishes, entertaining guests and remaining social while at somebody else’s house.

I would say that the strength of the pump is diminished only slightly; where I usually take 30 to 45 minutes per pump I take 45 to 60 minutes when I use the freemie cups to get the same amount. This is not entirely inconvenient for me because most of the time I’m doing something else anyway. It’s just so much more convenient than having to go into a different room or put off the project I’m doing. It’s also as quiet as your pump is so if you have a pretty quiet pump then and there’s no additional noise that comes out. 

Are there any notable disadvantages?:  The only disadvantage with these cups is that if you are not standing or sitting perfectly up right there is the chance that milk will spill out or flow back into the to the tubes and that could potentially get into your pump. They are also quite large and double your chest size- it’s obvious that you have something in your shirt, but if you just wear an oversized sweater you should be fine. 

Where can this product be purchased?: You can purchase this product through Amazon via my affiliate link HERE. It’s also reduced in price since I purchased it and is an affordable $60.95 CAD with Prime.

Product Review: Nature Bond Silicone Breastpump

Nature Bond Silicone Pump

What is the product?: The Nature Bond is a “Manual” breast pump. It’s manual because it’s not electric and only requires you to attach it to your breast with a little suction.  Its simple to use, easy to clean and relatively cheap. The material is BPA free plastic and it is able to hold about 4 ounces of milk. This particular model comes with a plug and a lid to ensure that your precious milk doesn’t spill anywhere. It’s easy to clean and sterilizer safe.

What is the product used for?: There are two ways in which this product can be used. It’s primarily used by breastfeeding mothers as a way to catch milk that is let down from the breast that is not being used to feed. With the added suction it encourages more milk to flow, allowing mamas to start creating a freezer stash or to save for later. You can also use it as an actual pump, pumping the body to stimulate a letdown.

How is it used?:

As a letdown catch – I have found that the best way to attach the pump, is to roll back the opening, squeeze the body, press the opening against the nipple that you are not going to use and release. Your nipple should be pulled in. Roll the opening back up and over your breast so that it holds. There should be a suction feeling and a tightness around your breast in order for it to stick on and hold properly.

As a manual pump – insert your nipple into the pump opening and squeeze the body of the pump over and over to encourage milk to flow.

Why do I like it?: There are a couple of reasons:

As an exclusive pumping mama, I rely on the easiest, most comfortable, most efficient ways to get as much milk out of my breasts as possible. I also have two caveats to my process: I am a single pumper and I have a leaky boob. I single pump because my bebe HATES when I pump and I, therefore, need to be able to detach from the pump as fast as possible to comfort him or move him around, feed him, etc. and I found that double pumping with a hands-free bra took too long to disassemble and was a little messy for me. Second, my leaky left breast means that any stored milk comes out almost consistently, but with an extremely fast letdown when my right breast is pumped. The regular catch containers I have are just not big enough to catch all the milk from my left breast. 

Because of the suction that I am able to get from the pump, after I have finished my right side and I am moving on to pump my left, I attach the Nature Bond pump to my right and I’m able to get at least 1-2 more ounces out of that side. This means that I am getting every last drop out of my breast even after using my electric pump.

Are there any disadvantages?: I found that it doesn’t actually work that great as a manual pump and I would not recommend it for that purpose. I would highly recommend it as a letdown catcher for nursing mamas or single pumpers. It is great to add on if you have a travel pump that you use, such as the Medela Harmony pump.

Where can this product be purchased?:

  • The best place to purchase this product is through Amazon. You use my affiliate link HERE.
  • You may also find this product in baby goods stores.
  • A more popular version of this product is the HAAKAA Pump, which you can also purchase on Amazon HERE.
  • You can also get a two pack of a similar product from Amazon HERE, which is a great deal and I wish I would have seen this before because it would make cleaning a little less stressful.
  • You can also purchase cheaper, knockoff products through the WISH app.

Product Review: The Postnatal Depletion Cure

What is the product?: The Postnatal Depletion Cure is a book by Australian Doctor Oscar Serrallach. He’s written it as a guide for women who he cannot see and treat at his clinical practice. In his medical experience treating many mothers over the years, he determined that there was a significant, yet undiscussed, difference between postpartum depression and postpartum depletion. In a nutshell, his book describes postpartum depletion as the severe and unfixable exhaustion that mother’s feel after having a child, often lasting several years. He has attributed this depletion to a lack of rest, recovery and proper nutrition following birth. He compares western society practices to more traditional cultures to depict the difference in how our society views and honours birth and the recovery of the mother and how the lack of care has contributed to an increase in maternal ailments. 

What is the product used for?: The book is used as a guide for mothers to explore postpartum depletion and aid them, in conjunction with their medical advisors, in recovering from birth and rebuilding their physical and mental well-being. 

How is it used?: The book is divided into four parts:
1. A definition of Postanal Depletion so one can determine if this is what they are experiencing.
2. A number of chapters focusing on rebuilding vital elements of physical well-being including nutrients, sleep, and hormones. These chapters feature real-life case studies from Dr. Serrallach’s clinical patients. I found comparing how I was feeling with some of his patients to be very helpful and comforting. 
3. A couple of chapters on physical recovery through food and exercise. 
4. A few finals chapters focusing on mental and emotional recovery. 

Why do I like it?: 
I had never thought about the postpartum period as being a sacred timeframe in my life; I had never thought that I would feel so unwell, alone, exhausted and desperate. I didn’t realize that I would need to make self-care one of my highest priorities. So I didn’t, and I fell deeper into depletion and deeper into anxiety and depression. When I was lost in the throes of sadness and despair, guilt and anger, this book was truly a gift to me. It helped me understand that what I was going through was not inexplicable or irreversible. It helped me to express and define what I was going through so I could get the support from my family and medical support that I needed in order to feel better. It gave me insight and appreciation for the postpartum period that I had not properly equipped myself with before. I didn’t know that in some cultures women are lovingly confined to their bedrooms for 40 – 60 days with only the breastfeeding of their baby and self-recovery to worry about. I had never heard about the “lying in” period or “mother roasting” that many indigenous and eastern cultures practice so regularly to help their mothers recover from birth and regain their strength and health.
The advice that Dr. Serrallach has provided in book equipped with the right questions and directions to provide my medical advisors so that they could support me in rebuilding my nutrients and vitamins that in turn are supporting me in my physical and mental recovery. 

Where can this product be purchased?: Click HERE to purchase this book on Amazon through my Amazon Affiliate Link. You can also review Dr. Serrallach’s Website and order direct by visiting: http://www.oscarserrallach.com.

In postpartum health,
Mama + Bebé