Monday, July 24, 2017

Breastfeeding Essentials with Bravado Designs

I've gotten lots of questions from pregnant and nursing friends regarding what I wear to nurse in and what things have helped me as I've breastfed Henrik the last seven months. I figured the easiest way to share what has worked best for me is through a post devoted to nursing!

Before I get started, keep in mind though that what works best for me, may not work for you. I got tons of advice on nursing bras, clothes, tanks, etc. from friends before having Henrik and some things have worked better for us than others. It's all trial and error, really! As is 99% percent of parenting. Anyway these are just some ideas :)

So first and foremost, it's important for you guys to know that I choose to not nurse in public if I can help it (this obviously means I have much more flexibility in what I wear). I have ZERO problems with other women nursing in public, really truly. I love it when others breastfeed while out and about, I'm just not comfortable or confident enough to do it myself. Especially in the early months when Henrik required a lot of hands-on help from me to nurse. Nursing in the beginning was stressful enough as is so doing it in public added even more stress that I just didn't want to deal with if I didn't have to. Now it's a lot easier, so we could probably do it if necessary (and have a few times).

Whenever we travel, in particular, I try to make sure I wear something that is easy to nurse in should something happen and nursing is the only way to feed him. This generally means a loose shirt that is easy to pull up and high-waisted pants or leggings that provide more coverage. Dresses with buttons also work great. I'm always sure to have our Covered Goods nursing cover with us too for emergency nursing situations.

But what I have found to work best for us is to just feed him right before leaving the house and then bringing pumped milk along with us in a bottle if I know we'll be out long enough that he'll get hungry again. He's also now eating solid foods so that gives us some more flexibility with what he can eat while we are away from home.

So when we are home, I prefer to just take off my entire outfit (or at least just my top if I'm wearing comfy leggings or sweats) and nurse him in my underwear and/or robe. I like to be as comfortable as possible since I often end up holding Henrik for a while after he eats and dozes off.  And since I'm just in our house, I don't have to worry about being put-together. It makes my life a lot simpler if I am not planning my days' clothes entirely around nursing. I totally recognize not everyone's lifestyle allows them to do that, so I'm just enjoying it while I can! It'll be harder to only nurse at home or my parents' house when we (hopefully) have more kids.

Bravado Designs was kind enough to send me some awesome nursing bras and tanks for me to try and I was super impressed! They sent me some that pull to the side and the clip-down variety. I've tried both kinds and I think I prefer the clip-down bras and tanks. I have a hard time getting the pull kind to stay out of the way, but I have lots of friends who like that kind better so just try both and see what you like!

I think my favorite item they sent me was the Nursing Cami (get it here!). It's plenty long so there's lots of coverage and it's nice and tight without being uncomfortable (it has a very slimming and smoothing effect haha). It's also really soft and provides ample support with ZERO wires! Plus the straps are convertible so they can be criss-cross, if that's your style. It could easily be worn out and about layered or just as loungewear to bed. You can tell that all of their products are made of really high-quality material and will hold up really well with all the use that nursing bras/tanks inevitably get. I'm definitely going to be getting more of their camis. These would be especially great for when you're in the hospital because you don't need a top or anything over it!

They also sent me the Ballet Bra (get it here!), which is ideal for sleeping. It offers light support and adjustable straps. Plus it's also super soft and comfortable! And then the Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra (get it here!) is also great because it has removable foam inserts depending on your shape and fit preference and it includes a "conversion kit" to turn it into a regular bra when you're done breastfeeding. How handy is that??

What also really like about Bravado is that they provide VERY easy instructions on how to measure yourself to ensure that you get just the right size. I followed the step-by-step guide and everything fits perfectly! I would definitely recommend any of their products. You can learn more about their line of nursing items and purchase them on their website here!

Other items that have been helpful to me for nursing:

Boppy (get it here): Loooooove ours. Makes nursing much more comfortable for both of us. And we got this cute cover for it!

Lansinoh Nursing Pads (get them here): Helps protect my bras from the inevitable milk leakage.

Medela Harmony Pump (get it here): I've tried an electric pump and this hand pump and the hand pump wins by a landslide. I love that it doesn't have to be plugged into an outlet so I can pump easily in the car or wherever we may be. Much easier to clean too! And soooooooooooo much cheaper.

Robe: I have a toooon of robes but I think my favorite one for nursing is a black one from Nordstrom that is sadly sold out. BUT this one is nearly identical! And on sale. The dark color hides stains well, it's very soft and lightweight, and nice and long so I feel covered/cozy.

MAM Pacifiers (get them here): After Henrik is done nursing, I can pop this in his mouth seamlessly and it soothes him to sleep so I don't have to be the human pacifier.

Nightgowns: I wear one of these to bed every night (I have several and will probably be buying more). They are RIDICULOUSLY soft and pull down easily for nursing access in the middle of the night. You can wear any bra of your choice underneath easily or no bra, depending on what you're comfortable with.

I know that not everyone who wants to breastfeed gets to so I feel very fortunate that Henrik and I have been able to with relatively few issues. We definitely have had our hard weeks and frustrating moments, but now it is overall much easier for both of us and for that I am really grateful. But of course, fed is best! So never feel guilty about how you feed your baby <3 Whatever you do, you'll get no judgment from me and I hope from no one else!

Of course if you have any other specific questions, just let me know! I'd be happy to help answer :)

This post was sponsored by Bravado Designs. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Hoping: Henrik sleeps better tonight than he did last night. He's going through a growth spurt (it's always something) and it's taken a toll on all of us.
But: I've been pretty productive today so I'm feeling good! Ish.
Wishing: I had a McFlurry.
Days Until Christmas: 154!

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