Hi there! Chances are if you’re reading this, you are most probably in the Can I Breastfeed In It UK Facebook group. This would mean you are well aware of what this blog is about and already reaping the rewards the group has to offer within its community ?
I’ll quickly introduce myself! My name is Natalie. I’m a first time mum to my 9 month old, Brandon Thor. Since becoming a mum, I have become quite the breastfeeding enthusiast/advocate and consider myself a lactivist. I’ve actually never been big on fashion – always just had a static unique style which revolved around finding clothing that flatters my voluptuous size 16 curves. Since starting the Facebook group I’ve learnt a lot about fashion and have developed quite an interest in it.
If by some twist of fate you have happened to stumble across this blog randomly or you have clicked on a link someone has shared, here’s a quick explanation:
On the highstreet today, there is no such thing as ‘breastfeeding fashion’. We have maternity clothes which have practical features for nursing, we have nursing bras which can kill your libido as quickly as David Cameron (if you are lucky enough to find your size) and we have expensive same-y nursing tops dotted about in specialist shops such as Jojo Maman Bebe. A lot of high street retailers seem to think a nursing mother will be using her maternity wear for the few months she plans on breastfeeding. Ok so yes, the statistics aren’t exactly in our favour (1% of women in the UK exclusively breastfeeding by the time their baby is 6 months) and natural term (2 years +) breastfeeding is considered a bit of a taboo and not really talked about with the exception of negative press, which means a lot of high street retailers are blind to our needs. Note how I haven’t actually mentioned online retailers yet – I’ll get to that later.
It’s not that we want our own specialist range of nursing clothing with special gaps and zips (although it couldn’t hurt). It’s not JUST about having easy boob access. Hell, we could just all start wearing button down shirts! It’s about going into a shop (whether it be on the highstreet or online) and not having to scour the store for the odd top or dress that answers ‘yes’ to the question that constantly goes through our minds: “Can I breastfeed in it?”
It could be as simple as retailers adding a nursing friendly filter on their online shops to make the experience that bit more straightforward and quick. The first retailer to figure out that little tweak will gain a nice influx of new customers. There is nice practical BF clothing there on the net – it’s just finding it which can sometimes prove tricky.
Since creating the Facebook group back in mid March, in the space of just 3 months, we are now counting over 3000 members. If this isn’t a sign of a gap in the market, I don’t know what is! A place where experience, clothing finds, reviews, accessories, new (relevant) businesses and more can be shared with each other! The group is truly a credit to its members.
A great BF friendly find could consist of many things – it might mean you can easily get a boob out over the top, it might be a top which provides the necessary modesty a new mum might need as she gets to grips with nurturing her child, it might be a dress for a special occasion which whilst being flattering on the mum-tum is also practical for easy boob access or something as simple as a pretty nursing bra.
This is just an experimental post to see whether this is a blog worth putting time into! If it goes down well then I will be on the lookout for guest bloggers, reviewers and I might ask to feature a photo or two from within the group (with permission of course!). Do leave a comment to let me know what you think and whether you’d be interested in reading more 🙂
Thanks for reading!