As often as I share products that I love here on Something Pretty, I try to stay away from the word “need.” Let’s be honest, clothing and beauty products are a lot of fun, but more often than not, they’re an extra little source of joy…not a need. That said, I hope it’s clear how much I believe in something when I say to my fellow nursing mamas in today’s post: girlfriend, you need this :)
Before Charlie was born, breastfeeding was one of those things that completely mystified me. I had friends who did it, of course, but until you do it yourself, it’s impossible to know exactly what such a unique experience is like. I hoped to breastfeed, but as with most aspects of birth/parenting, I did my best to hold it in open hands. I’m convinced that EVERY baby/mom/life situation is completely unique, and if a mama is feeding her baby in a nutritious way and she feels confident and happy with however she chooses to do that, then she’s doing the right thing for her family. I took a great breastfeeding class, attempted to read The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (and had to stop because the 300-ish pages of it totally freaked me out), and then pretty much crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.
I was so grateful that technically speaking, everything went really well for us–Charlie didn’t have any problems with latching and my milk supply was good. What I didn’t realize, though, was that even though we were in a good place physically, breastfeeding can take a pretty big emotional toll. It was lonely retreating to the nursery ten times a day to feed Charlie, especially in the middle of the night when it felt like the whole world was asleep except for us. Sifting through conflicting advice from lactation consultants was overwhelming until I threw up my hands and realized that we just had to try things and see what was best for US. Plugged ducts were scary and painful. I missed having my body to myself, especially after nine months of pregnancy. We rarely gave Charlie bottles since we didn’t absolutely need to, so he never really got the hang of it, and as a result, I’ve never been away from him for more than five hours.
But has it been worth it to me?
100 percent yes.
Because in those dark hours when the whole world was asleep, I wasn’t alone. My sweet baby boy, created by God and given to Dave and me to love and care for, was right there with me. No matter how exhausted I was, when I saw his little blue eyes and felt his tiny hands, I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be. When our pediatrician looked into my tired eyes at Charlie’s one-month appointment and told me “He’s doing great,” I swelled with pride for my son, and for myself for being the one to sustain him. Even when Charlie was crying so hard that eating was the only possible thing that could soothe him, and I was annoyed that I was the only one who could feed him, I think I also needed it…because knowing that my baby needed ME specifically reminded me that I was made to be his mama and I could take care of him. On the days when I felt clueless and like a failure at this whole motherhood thing (#often), I at least had that, and it carried me through.
I was so excited when I saw that ThirdLove launched nursing bras because not long after beginning this journey, I realized how much the society we live in is not really optimized to help women through the experience of breastfeeding. From ugly nursing bras and shirts to a mall whose “nursing room” is just a bathroom (um, not the same thing), nursing mamas deserve better. ThirdLove nursing bras are beautiful (hello, gold details!), functional (as well as the usual strap hooks, they clasp in the front to give women another option when nursing/pumping), incredibly comfortable, and their fit is second to none. I am not exaggerating when I say that I am switching my entire bra collection over to ThirdLove–both nursing and not. They are that good, y’all.
I am SO excited and grateful that Something Pretty readers can take 15% off of their ThirdLove purchase now through the end of the year with the code TL152017! I’ll definitely be taking advantage of it, and have my eye on this lovely set for post-nursing. In this post, I’m wearing the 24/7 Classic Nursing Bra in soft pink. See the slider at the bottom of the post for a few more of my favorites. (P.S. Wary of buying a bra online? Don’t be. ThirdLove has an amazing Fit Finder, a 30-day “try before you buy” program, and tons of much-needed fit options, like half-cup sizes.)
Nursing mamas, wherever you are in your breastfeeding journey (and especially if you’re reading this during a feeding, minutes after the post went live at 6 A.M.!), know that I am wholeheartedly cheering you on. You’re not alone :)
Thank you so much to ThirdLove for partnering with me on this post and inspiring me to share my breastfeeding story!