Breastfeeding Wardrobe Staples

Breastfeeding often means doing a lot of maneuvering with your clothing to get everything positioned just right, which isn’t always easy with some styles of clothing. Whether you’re on the go or lounging at home, here are some staples of a functional breastfeeding wardrobe to help nursing or pumping for your little one a seamless process.

Flowy tunics

The loose-fitting top trend is a huge benefit to nursing moms. Long, loose tunics give you easy access from the bottom of your shirt, and many of mine were even long and loose enough to act as a cover on their own. You don’t have to buy nursing-specific tops, either. I found many of mine online, like this Relaxed Luxe Tunic from Old Navy.

Wrap dresses

I’m not nursing anymore, but my favorite dress is still a wrap-dress I bought when I was nursing my son. It’s so flattering, even as my curves have widened over the years, and makes it easy to pull down the top to nurse or pump. This is the exact dress from Viva La Jewels, and it comes in several colors and a knee-length option as opposed to a full maxi-length dress.

Button-down shirts

When you’re going for a more business-casual look, button-down shirts are the perfect choice for nursing or pumping mamas. I like these relaxed-fit button-down shirts from Old Navy. They could easily be dressed up with a blazer or cardigan, or worn as-is.

Nursing camisoles

Finding a good nursing cami with support and coverage can be difficult, but this one from A Pea in the Pod has great reviews. With built-in cups and a variety of colors, these seem to be one of the best options. Many reviewers say it easily hides leaks, and the support is enough to replace a bra! I’d call that a win!

Reusable nursing pads

Reusable nursing pads are an eco-friendly option that is also safer for your skin than disposable nursing pads. They also have a better reputation for completely absorbing leakage. These Bamboobies Washing Nursing Pads from Target have OUTSTANDING reviews and come in a daytime or nighttime version. Even the daytime pads, which are lighter, have impeccable reviews for being super-absorbent and many reviewers have found they don’t cause skin irritation like disposable pads. Wearing these every day and keeping some of these on hand in your purse is a must during your nursing and pumping days.

What are some staples of your breastfeeding wardrobe?

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Best Gifts for soon-to-be Moms

The Christmas lists of expectant mothers might be a bit longer than usual, and probably different than her past Christmas lists. To help you with your shopping, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best ideas for the soon-to-be moms in your life.

Robot vacuum

The pregnant woman in your life needs a robot vacuum. Actually, everybody needs a robot vacuum, but especially soon-to-be moms. But vacuuming can be strenuous on a pregnant woman depending on the thickness of the carpet and the quality of the vacuum. Bending over for long periods of time and pushing a heavy machine through thick carpet can be exhausting. While she’s likely suffering from sleep loss, weight changes, aches and pains, a shifting center of gravity, and preparing for the baby, a robot vacuum can help her with one less thing she needs to worry about.

Owlet Baby Monitor

If you could wave a magic wand and give her more sleep, she would probably take that, but give her the next best thing by giving her an Owlet Smart Sock. Help her rest easier by letting the Owlet Smart Sock keep an extra watch over baby during the night. With an Owlet Smart Sock, mom can simply reach over and check her app to see her baby’s live readings. It is also designed to notify you if those levels go out of the preset range. Oh yeah, mom wants this for Christmas this year.

Diapers

It may seem too simple, it may seem too easy, but a mom can never have too many diapers. Even if she’s a cloth diaper-er, you can help her with this less-pretty part of parenthood. Getting her a variety of sizes would be super thoughtful, for it isn’t too uncommon that a middle-of-the-night blowout makes a parent realize that baby needs to move up a diaper size, but they can’t easily run to the store at 2AM. Trust me, they’ll be grateful.

Cozy blanket

Late-night feedings, early morning insomnia, or lazy-afternoon snuggles are all made better by a super comfy, soft, huge blanket. Chunky knit blankets are super trendy right now but also super soft, warm and cozy. You can’t go wrong with a plush microfleece blanket, either. Baby is going to get lots of baby blankets, but mom would be happy with a mommy blanket, too.

Restaurant gift cards

Gift cards may not seem like the most thoughtful gift, but to a pregnant woman, they are extremely thoughtful. Sometimes cooking is difficult. Various smells can trigger nausea, and when she’s already extremely busy, sometimes it just sounds good to eat some good food from a good restaurant. These will also come in handy when baby has arrived and she’s recovering.

What gifts did you love when you were pregnant?

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5 Things Moms Can Do To Take A Break

Being a mom takes a lot of time and effort. Whether you’re working outside the home or at home full-time with your kids, motherhood is still a 24/7 job. But everyone needs a break sometimes. (Unless you’re a robot. And robots don’t have children. Yet?) With that in mind, here are five things moms can do to take a break, in no particular order.

1. Go to a movie. By yourself. 

This is one of my most favorite ways to take a mommy break. To me, there’s nothing better than hitting a random movie on a weeknight and being the only one in the theater. (It’s happened before, and it’s glorious.) Going to the movie combines an outing with a brain break with amazingly buttered popcorn. It’s a win-win-win.

2. Join a book club or other monthly activity group.

If you crave the social interaction of humans over the age of eight, joining a book club, bunco group or other activity can provide you with a scheduled break every week/month. Doing so can be especially helpful if you’re naturally an extrovert and love a good group dynamic.

3. Take a class.

Maybe it’s yoga. Or maybe it’s painting. Perhaps it’s a continuing education class offered by a local college or university. Or perhaps it’s piano lessons. Finding an activity that brings you joy and fulfillment will help empower you to be a better mom, and give you something to look forward to on a regular basis.

4. Get outside.

Go for a hike or nature walk, or take a nice, long run. Sometimes the most exhilarating and empowering (and free, might I add) moments can be felt when experiencing the beauties of nature, and the benefits of crisp, fresh air.

5. Treat yourself. 

Whether it’s getting a mani/pedi, a massage or facial, or just getting your favorite ice cream, treating yourself is another great way to take a break. You could also go shopping and get a little something that you feel cute in, or you can do some serious window shopping. The most important part of treating yourself is acknowledging that you are amazing and deserve and little treat every now and then. Being a mom is tough, but so are you.

Moms, what are some of your favorite ways to take a break? 

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5 Things You May Not Expect When You’re Expecting

Obviously, there is plenty of advice out there about pregnancy, but there are still some things that might catch you off guard. Personally, I felt like I had researched and prepared quite a bit for my first pregnancy, but still found myself unprepared for a host of experiences and situations. Here are 5 of those things you might not be expecting when you’re expecting.

Insomnia

We hear all about how new parents get little sleep, but that sleeplessness often starts before baby even arrives. During the first trimester, sleeplessness can be caused by nausea and sickness, heartburn, and even anxiety. As your belly grows, finding a comfortable sleeping position becomes more difficult, but thankfully there is a plethora of sleeping pillows, wedges, and other aids to help prop up that belly and help you sleep better. And of course, the frequent trips to the bathroom don’t help the sleep-deprived pregnant woman, either. Sleep loss was not something I expected to experience until baby was born.

Unexpected Crying

Shortly after I found out I was expecting, I remember walking by a pet store and seeing puppies and breaking down into tears. I was literally crying because I saw puppies, and I’m not much of a crier under any circumstances, so this shocked me. And then I watched the Pixar movie Up, and couldn’t make it past the first 20 minutes. Yep, those pregnancy hormones got the best of me.

Food Aversions

Pregnancy cravings are common knowledge, but have you heard about food aversions during pregnancy? Just the smell of certain foods suddenly made me want to gag. I couldn’t eat eggs during pregnancy and couldn’t even stand the smell of eggs, even though they never bothered me before. And every time my husband came home with Mexican food I made him eat outside or in the car because I couldn’t stand the smell of that, either. I also discovered that apples gave me terrible heartburn, so even looking at them soon made me uncomfortable.

Social Shift

I made a lot of new friends during my first pregnancy simply because I was drawn to those with whom I had something in common. At church, I would naturally find myself talking to others who were pregnant, and soon we became friends. Even on social media, I noticed more frequent conversations between myself and other friends with whom I hadn’t spoken in a while, reconnecting based on our new shared experiences. It was nice to have other women in my situation to connect with.

A new appreciation for your own mother

I saw my mother in a whole new light when I got pregnant. The fierce love I felt for my unborn child was like nothing I’d ever experienced before, and I couldn’t imagine how much that love would grow as I watched my child grow. That gave me a perspective that I’d never had before – I could suddenly understand the reasoning behind the rules I had growing up, and perspective for how much sleep, time, and money she’d sacrificed for me. I remember crying as I called her thanking her for all she’d done for me, even into adulthood. Pregnancy is a very unique, transitional period where you get a glimpse of both life without children and life with children, allowing you to see into both worlds at once. This perspective made me appreciate the incredible sacrifices mothers make for their children.

What did you experience during pregnancy that you weren’t expecting?

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