#MOMLIFE Talk with Betty Cortes

Breastfeeding Advocate & Freelance Writer

 Wearing Freedom Bra - Eco Jersey

I had an opportunity to connect with mom and influencer Betty Cortes who grew up in Guam and is now enjoying life in the Pacific Northwest. To many of us, Guam seems like a far off place even though it is a US territory. Guam is the largest island in the Pacific Ocean, and one of the furthest places Americans can travel without leaving the country -- 19 hours to fly there from New York, and 8,000 miles away from the US mainland. 


A bit about myself

I’m a freelance writer based in Seattle and a mom to toddler Ariella. I grew up in the Pacific Island of Guam, and now live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest! I started the #MOMLIFE Column with the aim of creating an online community. It was a personal way to share resources and information and to stay connected with families from Guam. I want to raise my daughter with cultural influences of where I grew up.

Removing the stigma of breastfeeding in public

My number one wish as a breastfeeding advocate is to empower mothers and help remove the stigma around breastfeeding in public spaces, which includes high foot traffic spaces like malls and parks, and spaces as personal as the living room of one’s home.

It’s important that I share empowerment with women coming from traditional families like mine, where bearing skin or breast is considered immodest. We shouldn’t have to feel guilty by doing something that is so natural for our children.

I want women to know in these instances, WE are not the problem. The societal perception that makes breastfeeding in public taboo is the problem. By nursing where we please, when we please, we are embracing motherhood and allowing breastfeeding mothers to enjoy this special phase in their journey.  

Struggle with finding supportive bras

Being a larger chested petite woman, my pet peeve has always been buying bras with extra support, but not having the right support that is needed for my body. When I entered the work force, I knew sports bras just wouldn’t cut it, and sports bras were my life!

So, I took the plunge into wire bras. The ones I purchased were great, but within 6 months, the band wouldn’t hold its tautness. The underwires would start bending into an uncomfortable shape or the straps would dig into my shoulders, which would make wearing the bra uncomfortable at the end of a long day.

I'm so much more aware of my posture 

Posture is so important to me. Working at a computer everyday can cause one to be hunched over the keyboard. Certain bras like halter bras actually cause me to roll my shoulders down because of the way the straps apply pressure. The stiffness of muscles around my neck or shoulders trigger tension headaches for me, which is always an unpleasant experience.

Being able to sit, stand and walk with my shoulders back definitely helps when I’m not in proper spine alignment.

I want to avoid dealing with muscle stiffness or headaches, so proper posture helps me feel good and confident that I can accomplish anything I’m facing that day—even for things as mundane as doing loads of laundry in a messy house while chasing after an active toddler. 

Thoughts on Kinflyte's posture bra

After discovering it on Instagram, I have really enjoyed wearing Kinflyte! The Freedom Bra has given me the support I need in the right places — without the wires.

I especially love Kinflyte's material, band and straps, which smooth out any back and side flab. I love that the wider straps are actually helping me to sit and stand with better posture since I spend long hours at my computer.

The bra is flexible and completely comfortable throughout wear. It's a nice surprise not to feel the need to take it off before bed - something I would normally do with my other bras.

Embracing positive discourse when it comes to fashion

Where I grew up, there are women in my family who dress their body right and love and embrace their bodies, whether it be curvy, lanky, or petite. I never fully recognized the importance of body positivity and inclusivity until I became a mother. That's when I experienced more drastic body changes during these few short years. It has helped that "inclusivity" and "body positivity" have become buzz words where there is much discussion on the subject.

We are moving into an era of slow fashion - focused on perfecting fit and making high quality garments that are accessible to a wider range of body types, while continually to improve the functionality and practicality of our most fundamental wardrobe pieces.

I think women’s fashion is slowly changing by becoming better at telling women to love their shape first and foremost, while embracing the styles that designers have created. It’s an interesting time in fashion.

To connect with the #MOMLIFE community, you can find Betty @adaywithella