Saturday, February 21, 2009

Breastfeeding With Confidence - Discreet, Stylish Nursing Tops Go a Long Way

So there I was, a first time mum with a newborn baby, out for my first shopping trip with my tiny son in tow, and my sister for support. Things weren't going well. My son, Tom, wasn't exactly enjoying himself (which he proved by screaming the whole way across town) and I was feeling somewhat useless.

Thinking that a feed and a change were in order, I decided to dip into Mothercare for our first 'out and about' pit stop.

It shouldn't have been too much of an ordeal, after all, I was wearing a button-up breastfeeding top and the rest room was available so theoretically I would be able to easily breastfeed my baby without a fuss. I disappeared for a little while leaving my sister to potter around the store.

Sometime later I emerged, slightly flustered that my son was still screeching but otherwise triumphant, into the main shop. Luckily my sister caught me in time - I hadn't managed to button up my breastfeeding top! I know I err more on the lemon size than the melon size, but I'm sure that a few eyebrows would have been raised with one of them on public parade! Needless to say I felt a little stupid, and I was determined that breastfeeding needn't be such a kerfuffle! There are a lot of terrible designs of nursing tops out there that are neither stylish nor practical, but there are some good ones too.

So, here are my top tips for breastfeeding with style!

1. A good breastfeeding top or dress should give you quick and easy access without exposing your post-baby tummy. You can find some lovely breastfeeding tops that have an under-layer with vertical slits - these are great as they keep you completely covered, tummy, boobs and all, so you don't have to hide in the loos to feed your baby.

2. Make sure that any breastfeeding tops or dresses you buy have adjustment built in, like ties that allow you to haul it in when you go from tent size to your more self like pre-pregnancy shape. That way the top or dress will last you a nice long while and still look good.

3. Patterns and darker colours are good as when you get the odd leakage it won't show up on the clothes as much. I shudder to remember meeting a friend out in town with my newborn and experiencing that nursing pads were no match for the fountain that I produced before the milk level settled down! The embarrassment of having to walk through M&S pushing a buggy back to the car wearing my light coloured top with 2 huge wet circles that shouted "I'm a breastfeeding mum!" was the stuff of nightmares.

4. Avoid the popper type of breastfeeding tops - they are so fiddly when you are trying to balance a baby, a change bag and a buggy - you really don't want to have the "indecent exposure" I had! That's it - follow these helpful hints and you'll breathe a sigh of relief, good luck!

Lucy Jewson is the founder of organic clothing company, Frugi, which offers a wide collection of clothes for babies and children and a small range of breastfeeding tops all made from organic cotton. She started the company 5 years ago after realising that there were no baby clothes that would fit over her son's cloth nappy bottom.

Lucy has 2 children, aged 5 and 2, and is very eco-conscious. Lucy has ensured that the high ethical standards of Frugi clothing have always been met whilst making sure that the clothes are comfortable, stylish and practical.

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