Once you have a baby, figuring out how to return to your career and manage the work-life balance is perhaps one of the most difficult dilemmas you will ever face. There is no end to the advice available from experts, employers, moms, and often, random people who offer you their unsolicited opinions. Read it, listen to it, pick and choose from it, and I wish you my sincere luck in figuring it all out, I certainly haven’t.
What I have figured out is how to nurse and pump while you are working. There isn’t a lot of advice out there on how to do this successfully, although after years and years of honing my expertise, my hard-earned recommendation is this–it is really all about the shirt.
You need a nursing shirt that works simultaneously as a professional looking blouse and as a truly convenient nursing top. No matter how accommodating your place of employment, the fact that your HR staff put a Viking refrigerator in the breastfeeding room doesn’t help you out when you only have fifteen minutes between meetings and you are bursting. Instead, the ability to attach two breast shields to your body without having to disrobe or even take off your blazer becomes truly invaluable. Most typical nursing shirts don’t allow for this, but the clever new line of high-end nursing shirts and dresses from Milk Diary does.
Milk Diary designer Lana Hegstrom hails from New York and worked on Wall Street. Her line reflects this, as most of her pieces could be easily worn in a corporate boardroom. There is virtually no danger of inadvertently displaying your bra or your breasts with a Milk Diary shirt and if you’ve nursed for even a few weeks, you know how unusual that is with most nursingwear.
How did Hegstrom manage to design an entire nursing line without a single overtly “boobalicious” piece in sight? Zippers. Milk Diary’s shirts and dresses all have discreetly placed zippers that provide nursing access to both breasts at the same time without necessitating any kind of wardrobe maneuvering. So, although Milk Diary’s Pleated Fitted Woven Shirt appears to be a tastefully pleated piece of corporate office wear, it is actually a carefully designed piece of breastpump-friendly mom clothing.
Milk Diary’s prices are high, between $75 and $165, but no more than you might pay for a wardrobe that is first and foremost, office-appropriate. And office-appropriate is, to PF’s surprise and delight, exactly what this much-needed new nursing line manages to be.