OUR NURSING GEAR GUIDE IS PACKED WITH PRODUCTS THAT MAKE YOUR NEW LIFE OF PUMPING AND BREAST-FEEDING AS EASY AS LIFE BEFORE BABY (WELL, ALMOST)
Backstory: Customer satisfaction is the top priority at The Breastchester, owned by Rebbecca Rosen, RN, BSN, CLC, a lactation consultant and mom who’s been there. Says Rosen: “I strive to make your breast-feeding experience as beautiful on the outside as nursing makes you feel on the inside!”
Essential Item: HOTmilk Ruffle My Feathers Camisole ($60). Be your hot mama self in this sexy cami, a pretty lace bodice made with a comfy cotton lining. And proving that it’s not all style over substance, the camisole has a shelf support and one-handed nursing clips for feeding time.
Backstory: Affordable, healthy, eco-friendly items are the specialty of Punkin-Butt, run by an Oregon mom with strong beliefs in clean and safe items that preserve the earth’s natural resources.
Essential Item: Milk-Saver ($23.36). Pumping can be a lot of work. But sometimes, it’s no work at all—like when you spontaneously spring a leak at the most inconvenient of times, like in a meeting at work or going through the checkout line at the store. With the slim, comfortable Milk-Saver, you can not only keep drips from seeping through your clothing, you can also store that extra milk, keeping it from going to waste.
Backstory: A company geared just toward nursing moms, Udder Covers is “committed to making the most dependable nursing cover on the market.” They also offer gift sets with breast pads and bracelets that help moms keep track of when and how long they last breast-fed.
Essential Item: Udder Covers ($32). Keep covered while nursing in public yet still keep eye contact with your Baby—those are the biggest benefits of Udder Covers, plus they’re cute, 100 percent cotton, machine washable and have fully adjustable necklines.
Backstory: When mom of four Amy Maschue was nursing her babies, she wanted something modest and effective. “The typical nursing shirts looked like nursing shirts with that gappy panel that never stayed in place,” she says. “I always fumbled trying to get myself out of the odd ‘slit,’ which just ended up frustrating me and my baby.” The mother of invention is necessity, and so she developed Modest Middles.
Essential Item: Modest Middles ($29.99). No more worrying about your top riding up and your postpartum belly being exposed! This U-shaped tank top goes under your shirt and allows you to wear your nursing bra of choice while keeping your torso covered during feedings.
My Brest Friend
Backstory: Given that newborns and their mommies can clock 1,000-plus hours together at the bosom, My Brest Friend founders thought there had to be something better to keep everyone positioned comfortably than the sometimes-effective choices in the mid-’90s, like a bed pillow or rolled-up towel, so they set out to design a pillow specifically for nursing.
Essential Item: Original Pillow. This little wonder-pillow went through 50 prototypes before it was perfected, so you know it’s the real deal. With a wrap-around design to keep Mom and Baby securely in position, a back rest for good posture, a firm cushion to keep Baby from rolling, and arm and elbow rests, breast-feeding can be—dare we say—comfortable. Who needs a best friend when you have My Brest Friend? (Okay, you probably still need a best friend, at least for those times when you’re not breast-feeding.)
Backstory: Four sisters with years of combined experience at Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy banded together to create a family business that used each sister’s strengths—like in the areas of apparel production, operations, web design and sales—to create one standout company.
Essential Item: Hands Free Pumping Bustier ($35). For the multitasking mom, this bustier is an affordable and flattering answer to pumping sans hands. Adjustable straps and soft fabric make it comfy to wear, and the secure design ensures you don’t lose any milk.
Backstory: With a mission to help couples struggling with conception, Fairhaven Health offers clinically proven products that are designed to safely and naturally promote fertility and pregnancy wellness.
Essential Item: Nursing Time Tea ($14.95). You can drink to your health—and your baby’s—with this all-natural tea, which aids in lactation and soothes indigestion. Refreshing and good for you? Pour some more, please!
Backstory: When Judi Weinstein went back to work after having her first child and needed to pump, she found the process of pumping, storing, then feeding—which involved leaky plastic bags—to be an unnecessarily complicated way to handle pumped breast milk. Enter the one-step process of using the same bottle to pump, store and feed, and thus Mother’s Milkmate was born.
Essential Item: Rack & Bottle Storage System ($28.95). Keeping track of Baby’s bottles is easy with this system from Milkmate, which includes a rack to be placed in the refrigerator, 10 BPA-free bottles, 10 bottle cap plugs, 11 bottle caps (in case one rolls under the fridge!) and 45 removable freshness dating labels.
The Spoiled Mama
Backstory: Tamara Johnson, RN, founder and CEO of The Spoiled Mama, created her company to give mamas everywhere skincare products safe for both them and their babies. The enviro-conscious e-retailer packages products in recyclable materials and uses organically grown, USA ingredients whenever possible.
Essential Item: Fix That Sucker Nipstick ($14). It’s no secret that Baby’s sucking can leave moms with sore nipples. This 100 percent organic, all-natural, plant-based salve is just what the doctor ordered for a little relief. With healing herbs such as calendula and plantain, along with cocoa butter and shea butter, this balm moisturizes and soothes when you need it most.
Backstory: A small business located in the heart of Houston, MaternBaby offers quality products like Moby Wraps, FuzziBunz cloth diapers, swaddling blankets and breast-feeding hats.
Essential Item: MoBoleez Bonnet ($35). Keep wandering eyes firmly planted on your baby’s adorable bonnet—and not on your lovely lady lumps—while breast-feeding. Plus, the wide brim keeps your little one focused and not distracted by lights or commotion. Fun illustrations on the top of the hat are paired with cheeky messages like “Milky Way” and “Bee-licious.”
BumbleWee Nursing Wear
Backstory: With a goal to make all nursing moms feel beautiful while also making nursing in public convenient, comfortable and easy, BumbleWee Nursing Wear offers tops so stylish, no one will guess they’re nursing tops.
Essential Item: Cross Front Top ($40.50). This best-seller from Mothers En Vogue has a flattering shape, pretty design, and easy accessibility for milk maidens on the go. Long after Baby’s moved on to solid foods, you’ll still be able to sport this chic top.
Backstory: “After over a year of pumping and nursing in numerous situations, it’s easy to see why some mothers stop sooner rather than later,” says HadleyStilwell founder (and Hadley’s mom) Holli Harris, which is why she’s created cute, work-appropriate clothes that are conducive to nursing and pumping.
Essential Item: Signature Sheath ($75). Nursing may seem more difficult in a dress, but that’s not the case with this sheath, outfitted with hidden zippers for quick access. It’s perfect for moms with office jobs, and can go from board room meeting to dinner date to baby dinner date in a snap (or a zip, as it were).
— Haley Shapley
Haley Shapley is a full-time writer and editor. See what she’s working on and read her musings on a freelance life here.
What the heck does “Special Section” mean? Well, it means that these businesses paid a small (like, pretty darn small) fee to be included. THE FAMILY GROOVE strives to support mom and pop businesses by giving them a venue for their super cool sites, ideas and products—and, quite honestly, we strive to pay our bills, too. So we’ve taken seven articles a month (out of 25+) and made them fun and exciting ways to promote the next best thing, much like in the way a publicist would. We believe in the companies we feature. We research, vet, scrutinize, analyze and obsess over every single solitary company that is included in this section to bring you the grooviest of the groovy. We’re all in this brave new world together, right? And so we’ve got to support each other in any and every way we can. We hope you dig our finds as much as we do.
Posted in Bump Watch