February 22, 2011

A double welcome to the HadleyStilwell website, and to my very first blog post! These posts will aim to be informative yet not too heavy – carrying around a child whether still in utero or in a baby carrier is quite enough weight for a new mother.

As a first-time mother during pregnancy, I can’t say I was thinking as far ahead as breastfeeding.  I was consumed instead by the weekly and monthly development of my baby, and devoured those automated e-mails from baby blogs and the chapters from What To Expect.  Anything after the big due date (and having the world’s best birth experience) just didn’t exist yet.

So, one thing that caught me completely off guard was the change in clothing needs literally overnight. Sure, I had a few old and bulky nursing bras from a friend, and one outdated nursing top, but I hadn’t thought through the fact that anything in my wardrobe that didn’t allow quick and discreet access to breasts (i.e. most of it) was instantly out of circulation, and given that my breastfeeding experience has lasted 1 year plus, that equals a clothing crisis!

And if you plan to combine breastfeeding with a job, double the need for breastfeeding and pump-friendly clothes. It’s one thing to not want to bare your breasts to your family and friends, and/or want to retain your sense of pre-motherhood style, but it’s another situation completely when you require combining the need for looking professional with quick and discreet access to breasts for pump (or breastfeeding) breaks in often semi-private locations...and in a situation where every minute away from work counts.   It’s no wonder there is a steep decline in breastfeeding when women return to work.

I think it was while pumping in a hotel room naked because I was wearing an impenetrable wool sheath dress/suit, that the inkling of HadleyStilwell was born. No wait, maybe it was the time I was sitting in a parked car with an unbuttoned blouse and a pashmina for a semblance of privacy. I can’t remember anymore. At any rate, if you plan to breastfeed for a year,  you will get more mileage out of investing in wardrobe staples that mix and match with your current wardrobe and with each other than you did with maternity clothes that you wore for about six months.  And my goal with HadleyStilwell designs is that you will want to wear them whether or not you are still breastfeeding. Lately I’ve been wearing the Signature Tunic with the matching skirt and either the Signature Jacket for more formal situations, or dress it down with a denim jacket, or switch out the skirt altogether for leggings or wide bottom pants. The other piece I’ve been living in this winter is the Fleece Cowl Neck Nursing Tunic.   It’s like wrapping a blanket around yourself except that it’s also tres chic…

HadleyStilwell designs help busy moms breastfeed or pump outside the home, not to mention provide quick pulled-together looks, but it's not just about the clothes. Watch for guest posts from various experts on breastfeeding and helpful links as well.  I bid you bonsoir and happy breastfeeding until the next post. ---Holli