Every breastfeeding mom has a secret. My secret is now out in the open.
The secret is that I breastfeed at any time and at everywhere — when I am dining, driving, travelling, shopping, watching TV, reading, blogging and when I am half asleep in the middle of the night. I nurse my baby, now 23 months old at weddings, social gatherings… At exhibition, sales and in the restaurant, at the park, shopping mall, at his older siblings’ public school canteen and even in the car park.
There is nothing ceremonial about this regular routine of me and my nursling except that I shall proudly say that I am a maven of discreet breastfeeding. Try to spot and catch me while I am at it but chances are, you won’t even noticed that I am actually nursing my baby… at least 95% of time.
And the other 5% isn’t because I have a wardrobe malfunction that would make you go, “She’s doing what???” I really am a modest Asian, after all, and exposing myself and trying to blame it on a wardrobe malfunction is just not my cup of tea.
So the 5% is likely that you are my friend and family or that you have known me as a hardcore breastfeeding mom in the last decade nursing all 3 kids that you have been conditioned and gotten used to seeing me breastfeed either one of my children that you don’t even noticed the act anymore.
Of course, it’s so much easier when one is nursing a baby, because with just a nursing cover, you can lift up your tops and let the baby nurse to his heart’s content without breaking a sweat.
It’s a different ball game once the child starts to journey into toddlerdom. He would want to lift up the curtain (i.e. the nursing cover) so-to-speak, to take a peek into the exciting world while he is nursing, exposing the milk factories that should be kept in privacy.
Breastfeeding an older baby often starts with the toddler making some fussy sounds of “Nan-Nan! Nan-Nan!” (which, in Hokkien means milk, breast or a combination of the two) which often sends the mom into a hyperventilation mode because it means she would have to stop whatever she’s doing to serve her royalty baby already, but the problem is they could be stuck at a place such as a glorious wedding or when the family is just about to visit the Orang Utan’s habitat at the local zoo!
Naturally, she’d usually try to distract with an offer of a sip of water or juice or a snack, failing which she’d have to nurse the curious toddler either by shuffling off to the nearest quiet spot to evade any attention (including that of the breastfeeding Orang Utan’s baby who may mistake her as his mom with less hair) or if she was at a Chinese dinner, to fight with the person opposite the round table to pull the edge of the dangling red tablecloth on her side of the table to cover her modesty. Poor diner seated opposite probably never understood why his rice bowl and chopsticks kept moving further away to the centre of the table and that the tablecloth just seemed to shift to the opposite side of the table as the night progresses!
Proving that tablecloth fighting with a random diner can be a totally stressed up session, we all need nursing tops and dresses to make that tranquil breastfeeding both a discreet and fashionable experience. Enter SPRING Maternity & Nursing apparels that has made my life immeasurably better with their choice of intelligent, gorgeous, bright-coloured and fashionable nursing tops.
My favourite from their collection of fashion staples is a maternity dress that doesn’t even look like a prego dress at all. This gorgeous dress comes with a slim red belt that cinch the waist and gives off the illusion that even mom of three like yours truly does have a waist. For a pregnant mom’s growing tummy over the course of a beautiful 9-month journey, simply wear the dress without the red belt and paired with a little cardigan or accessories such as a necklace can expand the versatility of the dress for different day and night look.
This dress also has hidden nursing slits through side access that makes tablecloth fighting with a stranger over a dinner a thing of the past! On another note, for the longest time, I forgot that I was a woman on the weekends because I just couldn’t wear dresses on those outings with the kids. Yes, I am a pants person but there’s just that girly feeling I want to feel going out dressed pretty in a dress and being able to nurse whenever I can and wherever I want to, and now this sleeveless knit dress sees to it that I can unleash my feminine side on these outings.
SPRING started in our friendly neighbour country Singapore in Oct 2003 with only a single maternity store and has since grown into one of Singapore’s largest specialty maternity and baby retailers. SPRING has more than 4 stores island-wide and 2 stores in Malaysia (under the brand name of CAMOMILE SPRING).
I also own their maternity pants which I still wear post-natal because they look chic enough to carry me from day to dawn, without looking too baggy like some maternity pants do. In fact I am not the only one who still wears a maternity pants almost 2 years post-delivery. Most of their customers buy SPRING maternity pants even after giving birth because they offer great fit, are versatile and oh-so-comfortable that one can wear them before, during and after birth.
I once told their staff that their maternity clothes look so chic that I wanna get pregnant again but with stacking bills and a busy lifestyle of work, family, Church, and kids, I’d just stick to the nursing section in their stores. The 2 stores in Malaysia are conveniently located at Bangsar Village 2 (BV2), KL and Setia City Mall (SCM), Shah Alam, but if you are a busy mama like this cow mama here, their SPRING online store is a much-welcomed, easy click-away shopping option.
The nursing apparel from SPRING that I have looks just like an ordinary sleeveless blouse except that when Baby B wants a quick Nan-Nan even during a visit to the museum, all of that feeding needs and loving bond between me, the breastfeeder, and him can be conducted happily through smart nursing access on both sides even on any bench I could find and out in the open without the need to lift up the blouse, hide in an obscure corner or stress over how I could try to cover up my modesty with an active nursling who may decide to stop breastfeeding halfway to play peekaboo with his siblings.
One of the KPIs of a mother (sorry, I always talk corporate, guess old habit dies hard, hehe) is being able to keep more savings for the family. When you can have the same functional closet that you can wear throughout every journey of motherhood and still look fabulous, instead of buying separate clothing for different seasons of life, the economist in me calls it a Brilliant Investment.
And of course, not having to worry about pulling off the whole red tablecloth to cover your modesty is a very tempting thought. LOL.