So 12 weeks in and we’re still persevering with breast feeding. Initially I set myself the goal of 6 months and although there have been many days up to this point where I have so venomously and tearily wanted to stop and give up and numerous days when I thought I wouldn’t even make six weeks let alone six months we are still plodding on. One day at a time. On some days six months seems totally doable and on others it feels like the most overwhelming task ever. It might be when I reach the six month mark I choose to continue but until then I’m just trying not to put to much pressure on my choices and keep positive. However in the mean time one of the best pieces of advice I received from an old friend who also has her own IGTV discussing this (@carlynewson) was to ensure ‘I was dressed right’. The more comfortable you are in what you’re wearing the easier it will make things, particularly when venturing into feeding in public. Now I know for many people this is not a problem and they don't think twice about it but for me it has taken a large part of the last 12 weeks to truly get my head around feeding in public. I do feel much more confident with it now but there was a time when I thought I would never be able to leave the house again because of it. Anyway as an avid shopper and consumer you didn’t have to tell me twice to expand my wardrobe. I love to shop it is my one and major vice in life. And so began the breast feeding friendly wardrobe development, acquiring key pieces to help me get my head around this thing. Again with the power of hindsight I feel I could have maybe been better prepared for this or given it more thought during pregnancy but never mind! I think the main issue around pre-preparation is you don’t know how your body will look and feel postpartum. Will the weight just fall off? Will I be back in my jeans in a week? Where will the extra weight go? What will my tummy look like afterwards? So many questions..........it’s a mine field and the real answer is that nobody knows, so even though I feel I could have been more prepared this has definitely been more of a natural process that came with time, letting my body recover, not demanding that I get back in my skinny jeans straight away, confidence, a bit of research and a fantastic Facebook page called ‘Can I breastfeed in it?’. This page will decimate your bank account but equally give you the tools to become more confident. I would so highly recommend this Facebook group for any mummy to be, it is just brilliant and the women on there are all super friendly and supportive. They also have a really good website: https://www.cibii.co.uk/ethical-sustainable-breastfeeding-fashion-the-interview/ where they do weekly roundups of the new finds, hot favourites and support of small businesses. So what have I learnt? Clips, buttons, zips, flaps, cropped tops, all in ones, dungarees, stretchy material are all my new best friends. Also key abbreviations such as FOO; flop one out or OUOD; one up, one down help you to figure out the different ways of dressing your top half for easy access.
Lots of the main stores such as New Look, GAP, ASOS, H&M and Topshop all carry nursing lines. But also some smaller businesses such as:
The Milky Tee Company: https://www.milkyteecompany.com
Brilliant selection of tees with hidden zips making feeding super easy. They have just released some great sweatshirts which I have my eye on. #tiredisthenewblack
A New Zealand based company that specialises in maternity activewear that works to support women pre and post baby. Their feeding sports bras are a particular highlight allowing mums to feed confidently whilst working out.
Obviously it very much depends on when your baby is born as to the seasonal clothing you might need. Moving into the winters months I probably need to invest in a sweater or two! What a chore! However there are ways to tweak your pre existing wardrobe if this is more up your street or on a limited budget. You will need to be a dab hand with a needle and thread.
Below are my top 5 picks that I have found really helpful and just wanted to share with you as they have helped me feel better about getting out and about:
1. H&M MAMA 2 pack of nursing tops: https://www2.hm.com/en_gb/productpage.0534164001.html these are ideal to go underneath all your clothes or just to wear on there own or at night. Lovely and soft with hidden support, come in a range of colours and wash really well.
2. Primark: Seamfree Bra 3PK: https://www.primark.com/en/categories/womens/lingerie-and-underwear/bras/bralet/seamfree-bra-3pk/p/123718908
Great price for 3 and can remove pads from inside if you prefer. Not a huge amount of support but very soft and comfy, ideal for the early days and during the night.
3. Sweaty Betty Leggings: (don't directly support feeding but definitely supports postpartum confidence) I can't speak highly enough of these leggings. They are on the pricey side but really help to boost the confidence, I picked up a pair in the summer sale similar to these https://www.sweatybetty.com/shop/bottoms/leggings/power-gym-leggings-SB4550A_MonotoneCamoPrint.html?dwvar_SB4550A__MonotoneCamoPrint_color=monotonecamoprint&cgid=leggings&tile=33#start=33 and they are just great. Such great quality and really help to lift and hold in bits after baby plus they are high waisted so help to control the tummy to whilst making it appear smooth-ish! Plus really easy for bending and performing all baby related tasks.
4. GAP Crossover Nursing Top: https://www.gap.co.uk/gap/maternity-crossover-nursing-top/000553115.html?dwvar_000553115_color=000553115011&dwvar_000553115_fit=regular&cgid=#q=nursing&lang=en_GB&start=11 true to size and super comfy. Really easy to feed in and the style works with all other bits in my wardrobe.
5. Pretty Little Thing: Jersey wrap jumpsuit https://www.prettylittlething.com/black-jersey-wrap-jumpsuit.html I cannot recommend this item enough it is so comfy and so easy to feed in. Plus is can be dressed up or down dependent on what you are doing, Would so love it in another colour!
I also purchased some jean dungarees from e-bay (love second hand shopping), they are great and work really well as 'mum uniform' however I still haven't quite worked out dungarees and a baby carrier when I am on my own, can lead to a tricky toilet situation! You have been warned.
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