Nursing Friendly Dresses

Lately I have been trying to update my wardrobe a bit with some clothes that actually fit and don’t say maternity on the label.  I have been doing okay with tops and pants but skirts and dresses are my issue.  Dresses are especially difficult because I find so many that I really like but the majority of them are not nursing friendly. I am now on the prowl for some nursing friendly dresses that either unbutton on the front or are a wrap style that make nursing easy. Here are a few of my favorites that I have come across so far.

Nursing Friendly Dresses

What are your tips for finding cute nursing friendly tops and dresses?

By The Glow of The Salt Lamp

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I guess some people might say we are lucky because Edith has always been a good sleeper at night. Most nights she will start with a 3-5 hour (sometimes but rarely a 7-7.5 hour) stretch and then is up usually twice to nurse. Now don’t get me wrong we have had a few nights of cluster feedings but for the most part things have been going really well and I account a big part of this to nursing in bed.

20120914-044350.jpgMaybe it is due to the adequate sleep I get most nights but I have really come to love nursing in bed by the light of our salt lamp. I clear away the pillows and blankets, pick up Edith from her bassinet (now crib- but that’s another post) and bring her to bed to nurse side lying. I hold her close and soak up the closeness of this peaceful time. Our room is nice and dark with just the glow of our salt lamp, which is really wonderful for anyone looking for the perfect light for their or their babies room. Ours has a dimmer on it so I can easily control how light or dark I want the room to be and it is dim enough not to bother Neil while he sleeps or wake Edith up too much but bright enough for me to see her.

I love to hold her close and gaze down at her while she nurses with the dim orange light on her. It is a special time and if there is one thing I have learned so far it is to soak up these moments as they pass too quickly so I am soaking it up as much as I can. As she gets older we are trying to transition her to her own crib and feeding her in her room but most nights she ends up back in bed with us for at least one feeding and I am not sure I will be giving that one up anytime soon.

Do you have a nursing ritual or favorite place/time to nurse?

Breastfeeding In Public

A reader commented a few weeks back regarding a post on breastfeeding in public:

You don’t have to answer this or write a post on it if you don’t feel comfortable but just wondering… how do you feel about breastfeeding in public. I stopped breastfeeding when my baby was about 1 month old. We had many obstacles and the reason was not related to breastfeeding in public but I’m someone who didn’t even feel comfortable breastfeeding in front of my mom, never mind other strangers.
How do you feel about it? How do you make it work for you?

I hope if I have another child that breastfeeding will go better for me but do worry about how I’ll ever be able to leave the house and socialize with others when I just don’t feel comfortable with breastfeeding in front of others.

The other day in our play group we got to talking about nursing in public. For some women it was no big deal, others tried to avoid it if possible and then others commented that their spouses were the uncomfortable ones.

I was forced to jump into breast feeding in public five days postpartum when we decided to head out to the farmers market. I attempted to get in a good feed before we left but with a five day old, feedings tend to be more frequent and so instead of doing any real shopping I sat on a bench and nursed while directing Neil to which stands to purchase the produce we needed. It was a bit awkward and of course I didn’t wear a breast feeding friendly top. I tried covering myself with Edie’s muslin blanket but it kept blowing up but I managed. Tip: tie the ends together and slip over head- makes a perfect cover and means one less thing to buy/carry around. It was quite the challenge but I had to do what I needed to do for Edie regardless of how comfortable I was.

Over the course of the last 15 weeks I have had numerous public nursing sessions and to be honest my favorite place to nurse had become a park bench, especially during the farmers market. It is peaceful spot and Edie always seems to nurse really well, bonus I get to people watch while I nurse and get to enjoy the fresh air. I have come to really love nursing outside and will take that over nursing in the car any day.

Before giving birth I was relatively modest but child birth changed that all for me. Don’t get me wrong I’m still pretty modest but I am more relaxed about things. I know that breast feeding is the best thing I can give my baby and I unfortunately have a difficult time letting down to the pump (that’s a whole other post) so pumping a bottle to give E while we are out is not an option. That being said I had two options breastfeeding in public or staying at home until E stops nursing so frequently and/or eats solids. Since the second option would drive me crazy I had to figure out a way to make it work. As I said above I just jumped into it and it was awkward and slightly uncomfortable but now it’s second nature to me.

To help make the situation more comfortable I have nursed in the privacy of the car, covered with a muslin cover or breastfeeding cover, or found a relatively private public spot. For those who are feeling uncomfortable breastfeeding in public I encourage you to get a breastfeeding cover it makes things much more private. When you go to friends houses ask to use a private room to nurse in (not the bathroom because really would YOU want to eat in a bathroom? I didn’t think so.)

My biggest tip is to get out and do it! The more you do it the more comfortable you will be so start out small with maybe even just going in your backyard or on your porch to start and then head out to the market and then over time make your excursions longer and you will find that breastfeeding in public will get easier.

What others have to say:

How do you feel about breastfeeding in public? Do you have any tips or a story to share?

If you have a question for us please email us info@naturallyfamily.com we’d love to hear from you!

 

Breastfeeding Class & My Experience So Far

We briefly covered breastfeeding as part of our Natural Baby Care Class and actually we learned quit a bit from our Doula(Sarah), however she suggested that we also sign up for a breastfeeding education class. So I registered us for a 2.5 hour breastfeeding education class.

We arrived at the class to find eight other couples and our instructor. The first thing we learned from the class is that we were so glad we took private childbirth and natural baby care classes because you never know who you are going to end up with in a group class. Unfortunately, we ended up in a class with a number of couples who thought that the sight of breasts in breastfeeding videos were funny among other things that we don’t need to get into here. But, let me tell you, they made my jaw drop.

Anyways, on to the good things that we learned from our amazing instructor who is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and the breastfeeding coordinator for the Vermont Department of Health, among other things.

Things we covered in the class:

  • Hospital practices that support breastfeeding
  • Who to call for lactation support
  • Breastfeeding Basics
    • Positioning and Latching
    • How milk is made
  • Breastfeeding Videos
  • Challenges and Solutions
    • The first week
    • Perceived low milk supply
  • Separated from Your Baby
    • Expressing milk and breast pumps
    • Storing breast milk
    • Introducing a bottle- paced bottle feeding
    • Considerations for your day care provider

Honestly I am writing this nearly 2 months after having taken the class (I had the best intentions of writing this earlier) and now I don’t completely remember the details of what we learned.  Overall I felt like the class really covered what you needed to know about breastfeeding and how to actually breastfeed from positions to latching and we watched a few videos that provided good examples of positioning and proper latching.  We also covered a number of challenges and how to overcome them and where/who to turn to if you find yourself struggling. Lastly, we covered breast pumps, storage and what to do when someone else is taking care of your baby.

What I have learned from breastfeeding:

We are going on almost 4 weeks of breastfeeding now and let me tell you it really does get easier. Don’t get me wrong, we still have some challenges, but it does get easier.  Although Edie did pretty well at latching right off the first few days of breastfeeding were the most challenging and I ended up with sore, bruised nipples.  I also struggled with finding a hold that worked for both Edie and me.  When I left the birth center I felt pretty comfortable with breastfeeding but when I arrived home I started to have a few doubts so I watched a few videos online to help me.  I soothed my sore nipples by expressing a little breast milk onto my nipples (oh and my milk came in within 72 hours of Edie’s arrival) and I changed my hold from the cradle to the football hold and found it made all the difference.  A few days later we had an appointment at our pediatrician with the family nurse practitioner(who is also a certified lactation consultant) and she observed me breastfeeding and was impressed but made one suggestion that has been a game changer- bring the baby to the boob NOT the boob to the baby.

Since making these changes I have had almost no more nipple soreness and breastfeeding is going really well.  The only challenge that I have had since making these changes is cluster feeding which is exhausting and at times frustrating.  I ended up having one huge breakdown during our first week home after a particularly exhausting evening/night of cluster feeding that lasted around 7 hours.  Today I still find it challenging at times to sit and have back to back nursing sessions especially when we want to try and get out of the house or when I am exhausted and want to sleep but overall things are going well and I am loving breastfeeding.

Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post all thoughts and opinions are my own.