Ladies, the brand new Arden Handsfree Nursing Bra from the California-based designer Emily Irony (aka “the Dairy Fairy”) is a mandatory purchase for nursing moms. Here’s why: it is the first nursing bra I have encountered that allows you to pump hands-free while simultaneously nursing your baby.
If you have not yet started nursing, you may wonder why this is such an clever invention. And you may also be asking why in the world you would want to be doing these two things at once. Isn’t nursing your newborn baby supposed to be a beautiful bonding experience? And won’t attaching a pump to your other breast interfere with that very special experience?
The answer to both of these questions is yes. But nursing really is so much more pleasant when you become practical about it and recognize that yes you are a new mom, but you are also a milk-producing vehicle responsible for sustaining another human being entirely on your own. While bonding should be your top priority, efficiency should run a close second.
The Arden Bra is a typical nursing bra with easily accessible cups, but also has a second inner lining equipped with holes, like other hands-free pumping bras. And as many of you already know, as you start to feed your baby from one breast, the Milk Ejection Reflex kicks in, and your other breast begins to eject milk just as quickly. With a pump attached to your non-feeding breast, you can collect all of that milk, aka “liquid gold,” that would otherwise simply leak into your bra or squirt all over your nursing pillow. I always presumed that if I had a way of collecting all of that lost milk, I would have had a few extra ounces of breast milk to store every day. And more breast milk in the refrigerator equals less stress, less anxiety, a happier, healthier baby, and a very content, better-rested mommy.
The Arden Bra has other appealing practical features. The lining is made from a nylon/spandex blend, which dries quickly. The outer lining of the bra is anchored by adjustable hooks that wrap across the front of the bra and allow you to loosen the bra based on how full or engorged you are. This is really an all-purpose breastfeeding bra, you may never need to take this bra off.
But, I must tell you, there is a reason I am using words like “practical” and “efficient.” My husband had a good description of this bra–it does not, he says “inspire romance.” This bra has so many hooks and is so very all-purpose and well-conceived that it misses the mark in one glaring respect–it’s not very pretty, and it’s not sexy in the least. But that is really the bra’s only drawback, if a nursing mom with swollen, leaking breasts even considers that a drawback. Once you’ve realized how badly you need this bra, you’ll tell your partner he/she will have to get over it.
The Arden Bra can be pre-ordered at Kickstarter.com for a reduced price of $58 (once the new bra hits retail stores, it will cost $68). The Dairy Fairy plans to ship the very first batch of Arden Bras in April.