If you told me a few years ago that I’d use my nursing wear for as long as I have – altogether between two kids, going on 30 months (with no end in sight) – I’m not sure I’d have believed you.
See, although I always planned to breastfeed, I was met with this recurring nightmare that I wouldn’t be able to. And without the help of the amazing nurses and lactation consultants at Toronto East General Hospital’s breastfeeding resource centre, I wouldn’t have.
When The K Man was born, he had a perfect latch - and things went pretty well in the first 48 hours. Then I had no milk. My colostrum was gone and I had nothing for him. He stopped peeing and pooing and had urate crystals; it was terrifying. It took daily visits for two weeks, a hospital-grade pump, proper instruction on self-expressing, special milking tea and some formula supplementation (through an eye dropper), and then everything clicked. My body actually seemed to go into overdrive. I could have fed an army of children.
Fortunately, my milk came in right away with Miss Q. And, boy, does this girl love to nurse! I don’t know how long she’ll want to breastfeed, but – for now – we’re both fine with the arrangement. After all, she’s only 16 months old and the WHO, Health Canada and Unicef all recommend at least a two-year commitment.
All this to say that it’s a darn good thing I invested in amazing nursing wear from the get-go. There are some stand-outs in my breastfeeding drawer, but my Bravado bras and every top I own from BOOB are the best.
BOOB Design is a company from Sweden. Here’s how it started: sister A watches sister B breastfeed her newborn baby on a cold, windy day in the Land of Meatballs (Stockholm, specifically). Sister B is exposed to the icy northern wind from the boob down, and sister A thinks of a solution. BOOB Design is born!
There are tons of organic options. Probably 90 per cent of my BOOB collection is organic. I like the idea of my baby’s face near organic fabric. The company also strives to make every item of clothing with the least environmental impact; more than 80 per cent of the fabrics and components used are considered “green.”
I own two B • Warmer hoodies, a long-sleeved V-neck T-shirt, a turtleneck, a wrap-style tunic, a baby-doll 3/4-sleeve shirt and two basic tanks. All of them – every single one – fits the same way. This means that if you bought one piece from BOOB that fits well, you could conceivably buy the rest of your BOOB wardrobe online, without trying it on. As a busy mom who can’t always find time to get into the city where BOOB is available, I appreciate standard, consistent sizing.
I also appreciate great style. I hated the thought of sacrificing style when I was pregnant, and felt the same way when I embarked on my breastfeeding career. With BOOB, you get style and comfort. Sweet.
They’re long in the torso. I actually have a short torso but my muffin top appreciates the extra length.
The colours have held up really well over multiple washings. As any nursing mother will tell you, spit happens. And anyone practicing baby-led weaning, like I do, should also be prepared to have solid food splattered everywhere, including on her shirt. These tops have been washed sooooo many times, and the colours are still vibrant and the blacks are still black.
The lift-up flap on every BOOB nursing top is easy to use (and even work with a small breastfeeding pillow!). My friend Taya just posted a review of some of her favourite nursing wear and she writes about zippers that expose just the nipple. If you are a larger-chested mama, however, avoid the zippers. I found they complicate matters because you need to get a good hold on your breast and the zippers can move around and cinch and do all manner of uncomfortable things.
The B • Warmer is PTPA-approved, and it should be. It’s got this great layer of fleece that just covers your chest, and the rest of the hoodie is a nice, stretchy organic cotton.
The line doesn’t run cheap. They are investment pieces, unless you find them on sale. But I’ve worn nothing but nursingwear for two-and-a-half years of my life so I don’t mind spending a bit of money to feel comfortable and confident. (And avoid wearing the same thing every single day.)
I can’t put any of my BOOB tops in the dryer. I try not to go dryer-happy anyway but, realistically, I’m busy and sometimes I just need things to dry fast because I’m doing eight loads of laundry in one day.
My older B • Warmer has no drawstring for the hood, but my newer one does. I have to say that I wish BOOB would return to the original design without the drawstrings. They tend to dangle in my baby’s face and I end up tucking them inside the neck while I’m nursing.
So…where can you buy it?