Breastfeeding Clothing!

I have been meaning to write about breastfeeding in public, and what to wear, for some time now and just haven’t gotten around to it. However what happened today made me think I really must! The first thing I will say is do not wear a top made of silk if you are heading out to a hotel brunch! If you leak it will go straight through the top and leave two nice round stains for the remainder of the lunch! Beautiful.

It is hard finding clothes that are smart, attractive and breastfeeding friendly. I can’t wear dresses and so many pretty tops don’t allow for ‘easy access’. I do have a feeding cover, or bib, which I find very useful and becoming quite a dab hand at using it.

My recommendation on what to wear would be, obviously, the nursing tops (Mothercare do some nice ones). But if they’re not your style I would always opt for tops that you lift up rather than unbutton from the top. The reason for this is that when feeding the baby will cover your exposed tummy and you top will keep the upper part of your breasts covered. I find that if I wear clothing that unbuttons from the top I expose so much upper boob that it feels like I’m flashing the whole thing!

Of course nursing bras are also the way forward, but in addition I have also found nursing tank tops really handy. I wear them under tops so that when I do go ‘up and under’ I am still modestly covering my now stretch marked and wobbly tummy! Don’t want to put the revellers off their brunch now! I wear ones from Noppies (a dutch brand) and can highly recommend them. I am not sure they are readily available in Mumbai, but you can always order on line from Motherhood (see links below)

http://www.motherhood.com/Product.asp?Product_Id=909230362&MasterCategory_Id=MC29&green=4294447B-32A8-52D7-08AC-E5FA58033789

http://www.glamourmom.com/

Bibs can be bought at Mom and Me.

Tailor Made Maternity Wear

In addition to the odd piece of clothing from Mothercare or Mom&Me, I thought it might be an idea to have a couple of my current wardrobe items remade to fit the pregnant physique. I have used a tailor in Santa Cruz before now (for my bridesmaid dresses), she was excellent but I knew she specialised in dresses and bridal wear. I also wanted someone that was relatively cheap since the clothes I would be having made would only fit me for a short period of time.

My driver, Nazir (who is a God Send by the way) suggested a tailor in Khar. He, the tailor, seemed exceptionally on the ball and knew exactly what I wanted right from the beginning. I was having 3 dresses copied (2 casual, one smart) and one dress made from my own drawing so quite risky really. Having the dresses copied was easy as he knew the type of material I should purchase to ensure a similar fit of the dress. I made a couple of adjustments to fit my ever growing tummy in and the tailor seemed to understand perfectly. Next stop, material shopping. I bought all the cotton materials and georgette from Glanz Fabrics on 14th Khar Dandar Road. It’s next to Costa Coffee. I bought my lycra from a tiny stall on Hill Road. The tailor advised me on how much I should be paying per metre so that I had a rough idea of what to expect. For guidance, cottons should be between Rs100-200 per metre, georgette is likely to be a touch higher at Rs200-250 per metre and lycra is about the same as georgette. Don’t forget linings where necessary.

The tailor advised that it would take 3 weeks to make the 4 items. I called a couple of days in advance of collecting the clothes to ensure they were ready, which of course they weren’t! He did manage to get two dresses ready by the agreed date, one dress 2 days later and I picked up the final dress when I returned from my Christmas holidays. Would I recommend this tailor? Yes, I would as his English is excellent, the craftsmanship is good and the prices are very palatable. He also understands customer service; although my dresses were delayed he did apologise! My only advice would be to stay on top of him, give him deadlines a week before they are actually required. Explain clearly how you want the dress to look.

Below are the dresses he made for me…you can make your own mind up.

Cotton Purple Casual Dress (copy of a Topshop dress)

Cotton Purple Casual Dress (copy of a Topshop dress)

Green Checked Cotton Shirt Dress (copy of an H&M shirt dress)

Green Checked Cotton Shirt Dress (copy of an H&M shirt dress)

Leopard Print Lycra Dress (copy of an old number!)

Leopard Print Lycra Dress (copy of an old number!)

Aqua Marine Georgette Cocktail Dress (designed by me)

Aqua Marine Georgette Cocktail Dress (designed by me)

Nikhaar Creations – (I used Nadeem)Shop No 1, Joswil Apartments, Opp Dominos Pizza, 14th Road, Khar, Mumbai – 400052
+(91)-22-61613316

Costs (for tailoring only, material is additional):
Shirt Dress – Rs795
Casual Dress – Rs995
Cocktail Dress – Rs1,195

Western Maternity Clothes

At 5 months pregnant I think it’s safe to say that I am now showing. I am still quite small compared to some ladies, but I have reached the stage where squeezing into those trousers just isn’t going to cut it any more. I did 3 things to re-jig my wardrobe, the first was to invest in Extender Belts, my sister kindly ordered me the extenders and the belly bands from Bumps.com and had them sent out to me. Sadly, Indian post being what it is, they never arrived! I have not been able to find anything here, but a close friend suggested I have them made by a tailor… watch this space.

The second thing I did was to play ‘swapsies’ with my friends. I passed to them top, skirts and dresses that I won’t be fitting into for a while and in return they kindly gave me some of their larger sized clothes. I got an array of pretty Indian print dresses, harem pants and floaty tops. All have seen me well into my 5th month and still going strong.

Even with these two things done I still wanted to wear a pair of jeans that fitted my new shape. After searching the old favourites like Marks and Spencer in Palladium I started to become a little frustrated. Finally I decided to try Mom & Me in Bandra. They have a great selection of jeans (red and green, skinny and normal), corduroys and leggings. I went for the red skinny jeans, they come with faux zip and front pockets and real back pockets, so under a top they look exactly like normal jeans. They also have the comfortable elastic tummy band which I am assured will last me right up to 9 months. And beyond!

Fauz style zip and pockets but very comfortable and flattering belly band

Maroon red skinny jeans from Mom&Me

Beautiful Indian Print Skirt from Mela

Belt Extenders
http://www.bumpsmaternity.com/Belly-Belts.html
£14.95

Bump Bands
http://www.bumpsmaternity.com/Belly-Bands.html
Two for £22.95

Indian Print Dresses and Harem Pants
Mela
2 Siffin Apartments, Pali Hill, Ambedkar Road, Bandra West
022 26497562
Dresses / items range in price from Rs 800

Mom & Me
Sharyans Corner, Waterfield Road, Opp Moti Mahal, Bandra West
022 6452 2690
Maternity jeans – Rs3,100