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Nursingwear

So, I absolutely love this new nursing line, Loyal Hana. The founder and designer, Shelley Suh, was nice enough to send me a few samples and I wore one of the billowy blouses out and about yesterday. And no, I am not nursing, but that is how much I love these new blouses–and how discreet the nursing access is.

Done in subtle, muted prints, Loyal Hana’s nursing dresses and blouses make use of barely noticeable zippers to allow for nursing access. There is no need for adjusting your top or your bra–just unzip and you have unfettered access to your nursing bra. The polyester material used by Loyal Hana has the appearance of silk, but is actually machine washable–in very cold water on the delicate cycle. Many of the line’s pieces are also available in cotton poplin.

loyal hanaMost importantly, for those of you postpartum moms out there looking for pieces that don’t scream “I am wearing a nursing top” when you put them on, this is your line. The blouses are lightweight and impeccably cut, allowing you to throw them over shorts, jeans, or leggings without looking like you’ve given up on fashion entirely. And the Anya Dress is reason enough to give this line a try, with its flattering pleated neckline and an array of covetable prints. While the line debuted for Spring 2014, many of the spring pieces are available in ideal colors for transitioning into fall.

As can be expected with small, new, independent nursing lines that are targeting the fashion-minded nursing mom, these pieces are on the pricier side. Loyal Hana’s tops hover around the $80 mark and the dresses are priced over $100.

Toss one of Loyal Hana’s blouses or dresses into your hospital bags and plan to wear it for the trip home. You’ll look extra fabulous in those “going home from the hospital” photos…and you’ll still have the easiest of nursing access should you have to pull over for a quick feed on the way home.


 

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figure8I made a classic rookie mistake my first pregnancy and in the final weeks, stocked up on an array of nursingwear…in size Small. After I pushed the baby out, I’d be wearing a size small again, right?

Not so. Indeed, I was just about the same size when I left the hospital as I had been when I walked in a few days prior. Forgiving nursingwear was what I needed and it hadn’t occurred to me to buy any. I had to “restock,” so to speak, and i didn’t get into that size small nursingwear until a couple of months later.

I thought of those days when I spotted Mother en Vogue’s new Corsage Nursing Tunic, which is exactly what a brand new mom needs during the days after giving birth. Let’s be honest–it’s a maternity shirt with nursing access. It’s cut in modal jersey and hangs 32″ from the shoulders, with enough pleating to accommodate a bump. But it’s pretty and Mothers en Vogue can always be relied upon to make nursing wear look as effortless and chic as possible. Pair it with your maternity skinnies for those “leaving the hospital” photos.

The Corsage Nursing Tunic is available in heather grey and tangerine, and priced at USD $65.


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Lena (1)What do you have scheduled for Valentine’s Day? Maybe a well-planned day of nursing, allowing you to have a glass of wine that night, pump and dump, but still have enough milk to get through the long night ahead? How romantic.

Belabumbum has nursing moms in mind this V-Day with the new Lena Nursing Bra and Lena Shaping Panty. These pieces are, quite obviously, cut from slightly exotic leopard print nylon and black lace. But, as mentioned, the bra is a wireless nursing bra designed by nursing guru Belabumbum and the panties offer a bit of tummy control. What nursing mom doesn’t want both of those things on Valentine’s Day? Pumping and dumping seems less crude if you are wearing this, right?

Belabumbum seems to have achieved the elusive “sexy, but practical” with this new set. Priced at less than $100, this could be a lovely Valentine gift purchased by you for you, or for you by someone else.


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Underwire or not? It is a very tough question. I’ve always been an underwire devotee and it was quite difficult to imagine suddenly not wearing underwire as a nursing mom. But I listened to what the doctor and the lactation consultants told me and during my first pregnancy, dutifully purchased a lingerie drawer full of soft-cup, underwire free bras. By Baby #4, I was ignoring the doctors’ and breastfeeding consultants’ advice and had bought myself a nice selection of structured nursing bras with both foam cups and underwire. It was what I liked wearing and by that point, that seemed most important. But I will always remember the horrified look on the Israeli lactation consultant’s face in Jerusalem when I showed her my Bella Materna Underwire Nursing Bra. She had never seen a nursing bra quite like that. “That bra is going to restrict your milk production and your baby is not going to get enough food.” Maybe it did, maybe it didn’t–but that very same baby is now a 55-lb four year old, so it does not seem as if I starved him.

carriwell braCarriwell, the Danish maternity and nursing lingerie designer, has taken the nursing mom’s “underwire or not” dilemma and devised an ingenious solution with its new Carriwell Seamless GelWire Nursing Bra. The bra has underwire–but the underwire is crafted from flexible, conforming gel, which is intended to minimize pressure on the breast tissue. This bra doesn’t give you all of the benefits of underwire, but the increased support compared to soft cup nursing bras is undeniable. This is a great bra to wear in the first few days of nursing, when your milk is coming in and you are incredibly swollen, but you need something forgiving and supportive. The bras is cut from elastic microfiber and also includes bra extenders to make sure it fits in those first few weeks before your back size begins to drop back down. I plan to take this new bra to my ob/gyn for my next visit and get his personal stamp of approval–underwire lovers like myself need no longer suffer.

The Carriwell Seamless GelWire Nursing Bra comes in both black and white and is available in sizes Small, Medium, and Large. In the US, the bra’s retail price is $49.95 and it is available at Figure 8 Maternity. In the UK, the bra is available through Blossom Mother and Child iconfor £32.00.

Pregnant Halle Berry Stops For A SmoothieAnd by the way, I made a serious boo-boo on Wednesday when I posted a photo of Halle Berry in that gorgeous navy/white Chevron Maxi Dress. The dress is not from HATCH maternity, but instead is designed by Fillyboo Maternity. If you are all about replicating Halle’s maternity style, my correcting my mistake may save you almost $200. The Fillyboo Chevron Maternity Maxi is only USD $145–the HATCH version of this dress is USD $328.


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The maternity and nursing wear industries are frequently generating new ideas to solve dilemmas peculiar to pregnancy. The dilemmas are usually the kind only a woman who has actually been in the throes of pregnancy herself can successfully solve. I’ve covered a good number of these clever ideas in recent years–the zip on/zip-off over-the-bump waistband, the hands-free breastpumping bra, the tunic length body shaper/smoother with built-in breast support.
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The Bibee Dress is the newest of these ideas and it is a particularly clever one, designed to give the nursing mom an array of fashion options, while asking her to buy only one single dress. The Bibee Dress itself comes in basic colors as a maxi or a knee-length dress. It scoops underneath the breasts, providing easy nursing access. The exceptionally clever and fashion-minded piece is the Bibee itself–now that you have your dress, you can purchase interchangeable “Bibees” to button onto the dress and switch it up.
 
Add a basic solid-colored cowl neck for an on-trend color-blocked look. Or choose one of the bold patterns in an assortment of different necklines. The Bibees button on and off for easy nursing access and range from casual to more dressed up. The dress itself is definitely pregnancy-friendly, cut from a forgiving jersey that hugs your bump, but is thick enough that you don’t need to worry about additional undergarments underneath.   Better still, the interchangable Bibees signal an end to milk-stained clothing – simply carry a spare Bibee in your handbag and if you get milk on your dress, change your Bibee. A Bibee change takes seconds and can be done anywhere!
 
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The Bibee Dress is a piece of luxury clothing, priced at just over USD $225 for the dress itself and approximately USD $75 for the Bibees. For approximately USD $375, that gives you one gorgeous solid Cobalt maternity maxi dress, and a seemingly different second dress formal enough to get you through an evening wedding. And of course, both dresses are nursing-friendly, making the Bibee a wise investment.

*This posting is sponsored by Bibee Dresses.
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Rebecca Minkoff And Bravado Designs Launch A Nursing Tank Benefiting Baby Buggyrebeccaminkoffnursing

Rebecca Minkoff has joined with Bravado Designs to design two new nursing tanks in honor of Bravado’s 20th anniversary. I probably don’t need to write any further, just provide you with the link. And these pictures. And tell you the tanks retail for USD $39. Oh, and 20% of all sales for the new Rebecca Minkoff Nursing Tanks will be donated to Baby Buggy, which provides baby gear to families in need. And when you buy one of these tanks, Bravado will also donate a nursing bra to a new mom in need.

There really is no reason not to buy one of the new Rebecca Minkoff Nursing Tanks. The tops come in two color combinations, the Indy (black/white) and the Luca (royal blue/white/black).


 

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What is your postpartum self going to wear to that fast-approaching summer wedding? I know from far too much experience that your options are likely not very appealing. You need something that looks halfway decent, but also allows you to breastfeed and/or pump mid-event without having to disrobe and leak all over yourself. In my case, it also usually needed to be long, as after pregnancy, my legs took a very, very long time to return to a condition that was OK for public consumption. Over the nearly six years I have been writing this blog, one of the most frequent questions I receive is where does a nursing mom find something nursing-friendly that can be worn to an upcoming special event. Oh, and it would be nice if said dress is actually pretty and perhaps even flattering.

mothersenvogueMothers En Vogue’s Cloud Nine Black Silk Nursing Maxi Dress looks like a really great answer to this persistent dilemma. It’s obviously black, which is good. The dress’s outer shell is 100% silk and the lining is made from a bamboo/spandex blend. The description alone sounds comfortable, forgiving, and exactly like something I’d want to be wearing while my body is literally engorging with milk. The breastfeeding access is provided through the sleeve, with a black nursing camisole underneath. If you aren’t comfortable in all black during the height of summer, add a brightly colored belt at the waist or fun shoes and you are suddenly on trend for Summer ’13.

The Mothers En Vogue Cloud Nine Black Silk Nursing Maxi Dress retails for USD $159.


 

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Nursing in a bathing suit–there really is just about nothing worse. It never goes well. First of all, you’re in a bathing suit. After recently giving birth, donning bathing suits is really just an abysmal activity, don’t let anyone tell you differently. But having to sit and figure out how to nurse in a skintight piece of nylon clothing that is not actually designed for nursing and involves strings or hooks or buckles? That’s worse than the bathing suit itself.

Do yourself a favor and don’t try and make do with your pre-pregnancy bathing suit this summer, even those that have a seemingly easily accessible top. Buy yourself a real nursing bathing suit, i.e., a bathing suit specifically designed for nursing. The Boob “Fast Food” Nursing Bathing Suit comes equipped with Boob’s trademark under-the-breast drawstring top. It’s easy, it’s discreet, it’s perfectly attractive, and it evens comes in three lovely colors, including black. As for quality, Boob is always a reliable, wise choice. Use this suit as your go-to, practical suit for the upcoming summer and save that halter-neck, low-cut one piece for a day when you happen to be at a pool or beach without your baby.

The Boob “Fast-Food” Nursing Bathing Suit is priced at a very reasonable USD $85.


 

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Last week, when I praised Maternal America’s new Spring 2013 pieces, I completely forgot to mention the undisputable highlight of the entire collection, the new Summer Weight Cotton Nursing Scarf.

MA’s winter nursing scarves were introduced just a few years ago and they’ve been hugely successful. Now, MA has introduced a summer version, made from 100% cotton. The concept is simple, but extraordinarily practical–design a stylish-looking scarf with a head-sized hole in the middle so a nursing woman can simply slip it over her head to wear and then unravel the scarf when it’s time to nurse. No worrying about toting a “hooter hider” around with you or, for those of us who couldn’t stand those hideous hooter hiders, no worrying about having to figure out how to keep a baby blanket draped strategically over your private parts while you also deal with a flailing, hungry baby.

And all this practicality and style costs only a mere USD $28. Figure 8 Maternity currently has the summerweight scarf available in black, navy, watermelon, and white. And by the way, this scarf makes a perfect baby shower gift if you’re looking for something not too pricey, but sure to thrill the mom-to-be. I, personally, would prefer this scarf over another baby onesie any day.

I really hope Kimmy K reads this. She stepped off the plane at LAX yesterday in this see-through, lowcut tank top. What she is flaunting is certainly enviable, but does she want her future son or daughter to see photos like that? The Maternal America cotton scarf in white or watermelon would have the been the perfect dose of maternal modesty for her ensemble, don’t you think?


 

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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.


 

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