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Japanese researchers release a new device that redefines breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding has astronomical benefits for infants, but it can be extremely difficult in the early stages.

Nursing an infant can be mentally and emotionally taxing for nursing parents, a factor that discourages many. Even though breast milk is full of health benefits, it's not always fun or possible.

And while The World Health Organization advises parents to aim to breastfeed their children for a minimum of six months, there are many social, and economic factors that make that a challenge.


For lactating parents, it’s often one more thing to add to a list of overwhelming daily responsibilities. I've been breastfeeding off and on for the last three years of my life (and counting). While I'm immensely grateful for a life that supports my ability to breastfeed, it can definitely slow me down.

[rebelmouse-image 19470440 dam="1" original_size="300x307" caption="Gif via Giphy." expand=1]Gif via Giphy.

Thankfully, a Japanese company has created a new, wearable device that enables non-lactating caregivers to breastfeed so that they can more easily share in the feeding responsibility.

It's called the “Fathers Nursing Assistant,” and it's aimed at allowing fathers to breastfeed — but of course, it can work for anyone.

The device functions very much like a natural breast: It has a tank and a nipple style opening that allows infants to access milk in the same way they would from a naturally lactating parent.

But it's not just about easy use. All parents deserve the opportunity to bond during feeding regardless of gender. This device allows them to do that.

One of the most unique benefits of breastfeeding is the ability to be physically close to a nursing child.

Although children still receive nutrients while being bottle-fed, they crave the closeness that breastfeeding provides. It’s also just an excellent way to calm a fussy infant.

Fathers Nursing Assistant, was one of many items to debut in Austin, Texas at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival.

It was originally developed to make breastfeeding more egalitarian. But there's so much more to it than that.

"Breastfeeding is also effective at helping the parent sleep—a benefit that is currently skewed toward women," Dentsu said in a press release. "Focusing on breastfeeding, we aim to decrease the amount of burden on mothers and increase the amount of time infants sleep by enabling fathers to breastfeed."

As if reducing the emotional labor in balance involved in breastfeeding wasn't enough, the innovation also tracks baby's sleep and eating patterns and compiles the data to be viewed on an app.

This device has the potential to increase feeding options for dads as well as other caregivers who are not currently producing breast milk. And it's particularly useful for anyone who craves the proximity benefits of breastfeeding.

Interestingly, Fathers Nursing Assistant isn’t the first time a device was developed to increase equality in the responsibility of infant feeding. But it is, so far, the most simple and only non-hormonal option.

Egalitarian breastfeeding is important because it brings us closer to the equal division of household and parenting responsibilities. Fathers Nursing Assistant is one of many tools — like access to paternity leave and changing tables in men's restrooms — that reinforces the importance for all parents regardless of gender — having the chance to bond and engage meaningfully with their children.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

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