June 07, 2013

Outfit for a playdate

I'm addicted to dresses. I love them! My favorite pieces are dresses and my wardrobe is dominated by them. They're the quickest, simplest trick to fooling people that you are somewhat pulled-together. And in actuality, they're super easy, socially-acceptable, adult one-pieces. No smoke or mirrors. No toiling over coordinating pieces. Just throw them on and go... unless you are nursing and most of your dresses won't work.

During this process of dressing my postpartum body to maintain breastfeeding accessibility, I've grown so tired of separates. And even more tired of dresses with button-fronts. My entire pre-pregnancy/post-adolescent wardrobe history includes a stockpile of safety pins to clip shut the button-fronts that inevitably gap. Even when I size up, I have the dreaded boob gap. So I've employed pins to keep everything under wraps.

I'd rather be pinned shut than risk flashing some skin to a classroom full of 18-22 year olds! But when you're breastfeeding and need to be able to quickly calm a hungry baby, or pump during a very short work break, extra obstacles are ill-advised. With my nursing-enhanced bustline, I am pretty loathe to wear v-necks or scoops deep enough to allow for access from above. Rarely are such necklines modest enough to fit my comfort zone and be professionally appropriate.

So my current solution has been to wear all those dresses that are still slightly too short (due to the aforementioned enhanced bustline "winnie-the-poohing" garments upward) with leggings. It's too hot for tights but somehow not too hot for leggings. I don't know if I feel comfortable wearing leggings in the classroom (where I will return on Monday for a condensed summer session!), but they fit the bill for most situations.

I wore the above ensemble, consisting of a See by Chloé dress that is currently closer to tunic length on me with a J. Crew cardigan, a pair of leggings, and flats, to a playdate. I went to the home of my friend who has a similarly aged son. She snapped a few photos of me with my baby and I did the same for her. We had lamented during a previous moms' group meeting that we're usually behind the camera, taking photos of the baby with everyone else. Having some (non-phone) pictures of us with our babies is something we'll both treasure! I can't believe it's already been six months. Time has flown!

And although I have no idea when I will be done worrying about maintaining a nursing-friendly wardrobe (the World Health Organization recommends two years), I am trying to find any and every option that lets me still dress like myself.


maggie said...

While WHO can recommend two years of breastfeeding, your daughter may not be aware of this recommendation! I breastfed my first child for 6 months exclusively and weaned at 11 months. I breastfed my twins exclusively for 5 months and weaned at 9 and 10 months. There are many factors that affect the end of breastfeeding, these weanings were to my mind mutually agreed upon: various signs of disinterest, etc. However, they were affected by me too: schedule, etc. I was a working mother and that affected timing too. I did not try to wean and the endpoints felt natural in each instance.

So the future is always a mystery....
All the best with these endeavors!

Jesspgh of Consume or Consumed said...

Great points! I definitely have said in response to the question "how long are you going to be doing this?" that it will be a negotiation between me and her that will likely fall somewhere between what both of us want and/or need. I just think it is interesting that WHO says two years when a lot of people balk at that idea. By then the child is eating plenty of solids too so I imagine it's with far less frequency and therefore a good bit less limiting for those moms who are still doing it.

It's likely that my supply and her desires will dictate the length, if not work schedules and logistics. Thank you for your wise words!

thatdamngreendress said...

I love all these prints together- I'm glad you guys took the time to snap each other's pictures! And those little `jeggings` of Emilia's slay me....
My nephew weaned himself at almost exactly a year- he just wasn't interested anymore, even as a bedtime snack!

Jen said...

I was not a working mom, so that simplified things, but I nursed both my children for over 2 years. Over time the nursing sessions will be greatly reduced as your baby eats other foods and is nursing more as supplemental nutrition and for comfort/closeness. Yes, the two of you will decide when weaning will occur, so don't let anyone dictate what you are comfortable with.
I found that wearing tops that were a little billowy in style/fit allowed me to nurse "from below" the top and that simplified my wardrobe choices. Again, as the baby grows and nurses less frequently and for shorter periods you hopefully will find that you don't have to dress for nursing quite as specifically.

Continued good luck with nursing and parenting! I am glad I was able to nurse my kids as long as I did; the benefits are many. Mine are now 16 and 19; my son attends CMU in Pittsburgh!

Sharon said...

I love these pictures of you two!! E is adorable and you look glowy. I love the print of your dress!

Jesspgh of Consume or Consumed said...

I know of a few babies who self weaned too! I definitely will follow her cues.

Thank you for the compliments. Those jeggings slay me too!


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