This guest reviewer’s name is Sara; she’s a mom to two beautiful boys and three fur babies. Her eldest just turned three and her youngest is three months old (so she might be a tad busy). They also have two dogs and a cat. (OK, make that really busy.) Aside from being a mom, she wears a few other hats. When she’s not running around doing pick-up and drop-off or taking her youngest to the doctor for weight checks, she’s a wife, business owner (check out Itsy Bitsy Necessities), a baby sign instructor, a blogger and a student. Oh, and when she’s not on maternity leave, she’s also an Educational Assistant. Yes, busy. Any why? So she can stay home an additional year to be there for when her son transitions to JK, and to just spend some extra quality time with her youngest. Family is important; she lives very close to her parents and grandparents and talks to her mom at least once a day. (Hmmm….sounds familiar…)
Sara received nursing tops from Belly Dance Maternity in exchange for her honest review.
As you can imagine, having a three year old and a three month old is a tad hectic. On top of the regular day-to-day craziness, my youngest is a little underweight for his age (according to the chart at the doctor), so throwing in extra feedings everyday can make things a little more challenging. It seems like I am a convenience store open 24/7 located near a very busy neighbourhood. As we all know, feeding a baby and staying covered up can sometimes be a challenge. I personally was a little apprehensive of this task because when I was growing up it was a running joke with my family that I was an unintentional flasher.
I may have, on one or more occasions, had a wardrobe malfunction.
For instance, one time we were at the beach and I got changed and thought everything was in the right place but soon had it brought to my attention that I was not quite all tucked in. So, as you can imagine, the idea of breastfeeding has always been a little nerve-wracking because, (a) I don’t want to flash the world; and (b) I was afraid my younger brothers would bring up my childhood mishaps. Nonetheless I was really pleased when Mommy Gearest gave me the opportunity to test out some proper nursing wear. I received a NOM Surplice Tee in navy and a NOM Ruched black-and-white-striped Snap Tank from Belly Dance Maternity, an online retailer that delivers to Canada and the USA.
The first thing I would like to mention about these shirts and Belly Dance Maternity itself is how friendly and efficient their customer service team was. I first received an email from Mommy Gearest’s contact asking me to go through the site pick out a few items I would like to try. Once I replied with my list, I then received another email from a customer service rep from the Buffalo location asking my size and for my address. Right after I replied, I received another email from someone in shipping who just wanted to send a quick note to let me know my parcel had shipped and then two days later I received it. This really impressed me especially since it was coming from out of country.
Of course, when I picked the parcel up from the post office I ripped it open right away to see what the actual articles looked like in person. I knew I was getting a navy shirt but did not know what colour of tank I would be getting. I was very pleased with the white and black tank I received. I tried my NOM Surplice Tee (long-sleeved) right away and fell in love. It was one of the softest shirts I had worn in a really long time, it provided me with a slimming fit and I really liked the weight of it. I mention the weight because unlike similar products, even though it was long-sleeved, it didn’t feel like it was going to be overly warm, and that is a bonus since no one wants to be hot and sweaty while feeding her baby.
Another feature I like about the shirts is the convenience and protection it provides. With the crossover front panel, I was able to easily access the “goods” for my son without walking down memory lane of flashing the world. Not only does it provide easy access, it provides you with a layer of security that moves out of the way with ease yet keeps you covered pretty much no matter how you are sitting/feeding.
A great feature that both the long-sleeved shirt and tank share is the length. I found both articles a bit longer than most of the tops that I own. This to me is an added bonus as I personally still like to wear my maternity jeans from time to time (because, let’s face it, they are super comfy and probably the nicest jeans I have ever owned). The extra length comes in handy as it hides that stretchy waste band or looks really cute with a pair of leggings (again going for the comfort factor!)
Another great thing about the tops I tried is that they wash nicely. The first time I wore my long sleeve top I spilt some salad dressing on it – I am known to be a little messy when I eat. As usual, I go to take my last bite and spill oily dressing. My first thought was “I ruined the shirt,” but to my surprise the stain came out! Any shirt that’s that easy to clean is a good one in my books.
The gaffe. Well, to be honest, I didn’t find too much that I didn’t like about the two Belly Dance Maternity shirts I tested. The one thing that does stand out to me though was the price. The long-sleeved top was US$75 and I don’t know about the rest of you but on my mat leave, a budget a $75 shirt has no place is tough. Even when I am working full time I rarely spend more than $30 to $35 on a shirt. [Editor's note: I frequently purchased nursing wear from BOOB Design, with shirts in the $75 to $150 range, so everyone's budget on mat leave differs wildly.]
Another thing that I think the manufacturer could do is provide instructions as too whether or not the extra material across the chest is to be pushed down for easy nursing, or pulled up. It is not a big deal, but it did take me a few tries until I felt comfortable with it. A little guidance in the beginning would have alleviated some frustration while I was out to dinner and trying to feed what seemed like a starving child. (I personally get a little more flustered when trying to feed and my son is screaming and other guests keep looking over, the last thing I need is to fight with my shirt.)
Oh, and one more suggestion I have for Belly Dance Maternity: make the garments dryer-friendly. It is recommended to hang/lay flat to dry – I don’t usually buy things I can’t throw in the dryer; if I did they would more often than not get thrown in the dryer by mistake as I may start the load and my husband will switch it to the dryer. It is very handy as a new mom to be able to throw a load in the laundry and no have to worry about special instructions.
So…where can you get it?
- Directly from Belly Dance Maternity