Any new or first time mum who has had to get to grips with breastfeeding should sit up and take note right now, because here’s one of those ‘new mum/new baby’ must haves that’s, well… totally worth it.
Picture the scene: You’re pretty new to this mum thing. You’ve managed to get a good latch on your baby, and you’re just about comfortable with breastfeeding. You’ve arranged to meet up with a friend for lunch, since Junior sleeps pretty well between 11 and 1 anyway. You’re just settling in to your after lunch cuppa, and Junior wakes up screaming that newborn screech that could honestly have passer’s by believing you’ve never, ever, fed your child. Like, ever.
You reach over, pick up your baby, and start breastfeeding. While this is all perfectly great, and you realise you’re not even feeling as self conscious as you thought you were going to feeding in public – largely because no one even noticed! – you could seriously do without that little bit of midriff showing. In fact, you’re more uncomfortable about that little bit of muffin top than you are about nursing!
Sound familiar? Well, join the club. Many of us have been there.
As, it seems, has the founder of Breastvest, because in the words of Bigweld from iRobot, ‘See a Need, Fill a Need’ – this thing fills a very niche need indeed.
Now, whether you’re planning on breastfeeding or not, the Breastvest is also useful during pregnancy, I’d imagine. It’s not tight enough to cause positioning problems in baby - my SPD belt made my baby go from head down to transverse within 20 minutes of putting it on, this isn’t that tight – but it will probably help feel a bit ‘held together’. Also, if your tops are all peeking up in the middle a bit as your bump grows, the Breastvest is great at hiding your belly.
Then, when you’re breastfeeding, it’s length means your middle remains covered and protected from the cold breeze on your back, and it also means you can lift any top and turn it into a breastfeeding top without exposing yourself. The Breastvest doesn’t actually cover your cleavage. It sits under your boobs, meaning you wear your ordinary breastfeeding (or not) bra, or breastfeeding top, but you can also wear something normal and just lift it up. It’s a really clever idea.
The Breastvest is available in sizes XS, S, M, L and XL. It is also only available in black and white, although they do have occasional limited editions available. Breastvest is made from 95% viscose and 5% elastane, so it’s all synthetic materials, which may be a problem if you have skin issues or are prone to sweating a lot.
My only issues with the product are not product issues at all, but range issues. There are an awful lot of women in the world that are larger than an XL (UK size 16 – 18), and quite frankly, we need something like this more than the skinny size 8 – 16’s do! Okay, that’s not fair to say, since size doesn’t indicate comfort or self-consciousness, but post baby I’m nearer a 20 than an 18, and would have liked a slightly larger option, if I’m after comfort as much as function.
Also, the concept of layering isn’t new. Most breastfeeding mums I know wear a long low cut form fitting breastfeeding or normal vest, and then wear something else over it. It means you have extra straps and in warm weather can be too hot, and it definitely means you tend to feel bulkier with an extra item of clothing on, but it works well enough. The benefit of it is you can colour match your clothes quite well. I think Breastvest’s only real negative is that there’s only the very functional black and white consistently available.
- Very soft feeling material against your skin
- Great idea
- Provides fantastic cover over your midriff
- Easy to wash – just like clothes
- Provides that added layer of comfort that a newly breastfeeding mum may need
- The range of colours is very limited
- The sizes cater more for smaller people than for larger people who may feel they need it more
Like with pretty much everything ‘baby’, you definitely can get by without the Breastvest, but you may very much not want to. If it can make your life easier, give you more confidence and get you out and about sooner, then go for it. It may just be the difference you need to keep you breastfeeding for longer, and that’s just never a bad thing.