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A Breastfeeding Mom's Holiday Wish List

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Monday, December 04, 2006

This month the members of the "boobie brigade" and I are offering up our second installment of the breastfeeding blog carnival. This month, we're focusing on holiday gift guides for the breastfeeding moms. You'll find a post by Tanya at Motherwear titled "From Need to nice: Best Gifts for the Breastfeeding Mother, a post from Andi at Mama Knows Breast on why DVR has become a nursing mom's best friend, some tips from Breastfeeding 1-2-3's Angela on how to buy gifts for a breastfeeding mom without breaking the bank and a post from Sinead at Breastfeeding Mums that includes every nursing mom's biggest request...a good nights' sleep!

We're also joined this month by two guest bloggers from "I Don't Know" and Mama's Angel.

Since Anngela and Sinead have offered up quite a few suggestions based on their own favorite products, and since I already post product reviews here on the site...I've decided to shift focus and post a list of the things that I actually want, but have never tried.

A Good, but Pretty Nursing Bra

Blech. Nursing bras stink. They're expensive, they're ugly and they're often not very comfortable. In fact, nursing bras tend to make me think of the Sunday coupon section that always features those mail order bras that look like something out of a 1950's flick when all women looked like they had two missiles attached to the front of their chest. Sure, there are plenty of great options for average size moms, I've even seen some downright pretty ones...if you're no bigger than a C cup. But since the Lactivist was built for triplets, I need something that not only looks good, but that's also capable of supporting Dolly Parton.

Thankfully, the folks at FigLeaves.com know that just because you're nursing doesn't mean you want to wear one of those giant white granny bras. I've spotted several gorgeous nursing bras over there that are actually available in sizes larger than C.

Clothes, Clothes, Clothes!

While it's perfectly easy and acceptable to breastfeed a child without any special clothes, there's no denying that absolute ease that comes with breastfeeding in a public in a great nursing top. I'll nurse anytime, anywhere (and have, LOLO but I do try to wear a nursing top if I'm headed out on the town. While I have a couple of tops from Motherhood Maternity, I keep dreaming of going on a shopping spree at the Motherwear web site.

Unfortunately, nursing tops are not cheap. If you're a sales rack junkie like me, it's tough to swallow the idea of spending $30+ dollars for a single shirt. Thankfully, Motherwear has a clearance section. But there's another great option if you are a little creative. I went on my own shopping spree at Old Navy just last week and have decided that several of their items are MUST-HAVES for any nursing mom. With layering in style, it's pretty easy to load up on basics from a site like Old Navy, cut your own slits in some of the shirts and then open yourself up to a world of wardrobe possibilities. Just snag a tank top, a crew neck tee, a long sleeve tee, a Henley or even a Kangaroo tee, cut slits on each side, make a quick seam with your sewing machine to protect it in the wash and layer away. At about $10 per shirt, you could buy 5 "base" shirts and simply change what you wear them under, giving you a COMPLETE nursing wardrobe for $50.

And of course, what nursing mom's wardrobe would be comeplete without at least one shirt from The Lactivist? You could always try my personal favorite... "I'm Too Lazy to Bottlefeed." Another option, if the mom on your list happens to actually BE a lactivist is to snag the new "It's not about my right to breastfeed, it's about my child's right to eat" shirt. I'll post later with more details, but know that every penny earned from Lactivist sales in the month of December is going STRAIGHT to the Mother's Milk Bank of Ohio, which is in desperate need of funds.

Nursing Pads

While I've talked about nursing pads that I love and...well...hate, I'm intrigued by Lily Padz. I keep hearing about how wonderful they are and as someone that still leaks enough at night that I have to nurse Emmitt while holding a towel up to the non-nursing breast, I can see how handy they'd be. For those that haven't heard of Lily Padz, they are basically a thin, silicone pad that has a tacky side that's self-adhesive. They work by applying slight pressure to the nipple to keep you from having any leaking. They're also reusable, with the site claiming that a pair (about $18) will last for up to two months.

Nursing Pillow

A nursing mom quickly learns that if they're going to get any sleep, baby needs to be nearby. In my house, that means that Emmitt is in the pack-n-play about two feet from my side of the bed. For many moms, that means co-sleeping. To that end, I'm intrigued by the Nurse-n-Glow nursing pillow. Basically, this pillow positions baby properly on his side with a protective barrier from sleepy bedmates. Better yet, the pillow LIGHTS UP allowing mom to see baby for latching, checking, or adoration. ;)

Books

I'm a research junkie. I thrive on learning anything and everything I can about topics that interest me and that means that reference manuals take up quite a bit of space on my shelf. Since I'm pretty hard-core about avoiding medicine during pregnancy and while breastfeed (ok, ok, I don't like taking medicine period, but at least I have a really good excuse while pregnant or nursing...) I would absolutely love to have my own copy of Dr. Hale's Medication and Mother's Milk. I'd also love a copy of Dr. Sears Breastfeeding Book and would ask for LLL's Womanly Art of Breastfeeding if I didn't already own it.

A GOOD Sling

While I haven't blogged much on it, we'll just say that my adventures in slinging have not been positive. I personally find baby wearing to be more difficult than breastfeeding. However, for many nursing moms, slings are a life-saver. That's why a good sling, be it a pouch style, ring sling or mei tai is likely going to work it's way onto every breastfeeding mom's wish list. Added to this gift should be a one hour consult with someone else that has successfully used that style of carrier. ;)

A "Just Big Enough" Diaper Bag

The beautiful thing about breastfeeding is how much less gear you need to carry around with you in a diaper bag. In fact, when I head out with Emmitt and leave Elnora home with Greg, I find that all I really need to do is throw a few diapers and some wipes into my purse. That's got me wishing for a new diaper bag that has some space for a spare outfit, but still isn't so big that you could pack a week's worth of gear in it. I could go crazy with a super trendy Fleurville Mini tote, but seeing as how they cost nearly $100 (and as I mentioned...I'm cheap) I'd probably settle for an equally cute mini tote like this one.

A Little (or a Lot!) Bit of Pampering

While breastfeeding is one of the most amazing things I've been able to do in my life, and I wouldn't trade it for anything, there's no denying how much energy it takes to nurse a growing child. If you add in my pregnancy days, it's been nearly five months since I've slept more than 4 and a half hours straight...most nights I'm lucky to get one good four hour stretch. Add in caring for a two year old and there is no "sleep when baby sleeps" option. Thus, a little bit of pampering would be nice. Maid service, a gift card for a nice restaurant that does take-out, or a Netflix gift certificate would be enjoyed by most of the breastfeeding moms that I know.

A spa trip would be fabulous, but consider whether or not the mom is able to be away from her baby that long yet... Or let her turn her own bathroom into a spa with yummy bath products that leave her smelling good enough to eat. (yeah, yeah, baby already thinks that, but let everyone else thing it too. Know a nursing mom that loves sparklies? Why not get her a hand-crafted necklace that's as gorgeous as she is?

Gotta Mention...

Ok, so I said I wasn't going to mention things that I already have, but I'd be remiss if I didn't suggest just a couple of things that I couldn't live without. Lansinoh...a Milk Bands nursing bracelet...and a great breast pump. Got any other great ideas? Throw a comment on here with a link to what you'd move love to get as a nursing mom.

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  1. Anonymous Anonymous | 9:45 AM |  

    Oh my gosh, that nursing bra was so great looking, I just ordered one! Thanks for the link!

  2. Anonymous Anonymous | 2:24 PM |  

    FYI- That's NOT a nursing bra, but a maternity bra. There are no hooks on the cups!

  3. Blogger Jennifer | 2:56 PM |  

    Huh? The first has the standard hook, the second says "This Royce nursing bra, with an easy action drop cup, should fit the bill."

  4. Anonymous Anonymous | 7:55 AM |  

    I got the one from the "gorgeous" link :) So pretty!

    p.s. you're tricky with all those links! LOL

  5. Anonymous WorkingMomOf2 | 8:11 AM |  

    I love, love, love Lilypadz!
    If I am not wearing them I too have to put a towel on non-nursing side (even thought baby is 7 months). Lilypadz are a life saver, especially at work and under clothes that would show bulky nursing pads.

    I have even been swimming in them!

  6. Anonymous Stacy | 10:45 PM |  

    I have mixed feelings about my Lilypadz. They're great during the day because, since they're thinner than other pads, you can't see any rings around your boobs through your shirt. They're also rewashable and can be used many times. However, I've found they're not so great to sleep in, because with all the tossing and turning most of us do, it's easy to break the seal against your skin and leak. Also, when you let down a little bit of milk can pool around your nipples. This isn't much of a problem walking around, but if you break the seal sleeping or removing the pad to feed, you can drip. So all in all, I reserve them for tighter tops worn on days out.

  7. Anonymous Anonymous | 5:03 PM |  

    I know where a lot of people can get the "hour of help" for the baby carrier - www.nineinnineout.org or www.wearyourbaby.com (check the "get help locally" page). for online help www.thebabywearer.com is great (lots of people in the forum, articles photos and vids too!)

  8. Anonymous Anonymous | 2:31 PM |  

    After leaking profusely with my first baby, I discovered and still value FreedomNurser breast shells to collect the milk. They're great! I can choose to keep the milk or just keep my clothes and nipples dry!

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