As a nursing mother, I’ve realized that my entire pre-pregnancy wardrobe has been rendered redundant, at least until I stop breastfeeding. I’ve been on the lookout for pretty nursing tops and dresses, and was thrilled to discover Maternalove!
To be honest, the nursing wear I’ve seen in the malls can be a tad ugly boring unimaginative and some are downright ‘auntie’ looking. I’m fully aware that I’m not one of those yummy mummies who look as though they just stepped out of a fashion magazine. The only kind of modeling I’d probably be allowed to do will most likely be for buffet advertisements. It can be rather demoralizing, trying to squeeze into a top or dress that doesn’t seem made for women who have just given birth. All I want is a top or dress that doesn’t accentuate my post-pregnancy flabby belly, allows me to breastfeed easily and discreetly, and doesn’t look like it came from the local wet market or the fifties. Is that really too much to ask for?
I admit that I had my doubts about purchasing clothes for myself online. It’s tough enough to find clothes that fit me well when I try them on in the shops, let alone without being able to try them on or even touch them to feel the material. Thus, it was with much skepticism that I placed my first order with Maternalove. I dutifully took my measurements, compared them to their size chart, ordered two tops and a dress, then crossed my fingers and waited for my purchase to arrive. There were so many interesting designs that I had a hard time deciding what to get!
When the items arrived, I followed the washing instructions closely, as I’ve had bad experiences when I washed other pieces of clothing that I purchased elsewhere. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the colours didn’t run or fade, neither did the items shrink or expand in size after a wash. I must confess that I have since worn these items numerous times and they have been through the washer and even the dryer on multiple occasions, and have come out looking exactly the same. They are even as soft as the day they arrived after so many washes!
Ariel Nursing Top in Cobalt Blue
Ratings Guide ♥ Hmmm… ♥♥ So-so ♥♥♥ Not bad ♥♥♥♥ Like it ♥♥♥♥♥ Love it!
1. Comfort and Fit: ♥♥♥♥♥
The soft material is a definite plus and I love how comfortable the top is, even on really warm days. When I head out with my baby, he’s usually seated snuggly in his baby carrier, which I wear in front. This means that it can potentially get really warm for both of us, but the top is made of such good material that I am perfectly comfortable in it, even for long hours with the baby strapped to my chest.
Sizing was easy to figure out, as the size chart provided on the website is very accurate. This is a definite plus point as it makes shopping online much easier and I can rest assured that my items will fit me well.
2. Nursing Access: ♥♥♥♥♥
The nursing openings are very discreet and can be accessed simply by pulling aside the drape overlayer. I thought it was a very good idea to have those three buttons running vertically down the middle opening, as they prevent any accidental slips or ‘wardrobe malfunctions’. These buttons were easily opened and closed with one hand, which is important when you are holding a squirming baby with your other hand.
Close-up of nursing access
3. Quality: ♥♥♥♥♥
The stitching and workmanship are impeccable. There are gathers that fall prettily in front, making up the stylish and elegant overlayer.
Close-up of top
I was surprised to find that it is made from 95% rayon and 5% spandex as it felt similar to one of my bamboo cotton tops. I also love the top’s bright cheerful shade of cobalt blue, and it adds a lovely splash of colour to my wardrobe. This top is also available in Rose, and I’m extremely tempted to get it too, as good nursing wear isn’t easy to come by.
I had no problems with washing and drying the top at all. Although the washing instructions state that it should be dried flat, I threw caution to the wind after the first wash and popped it into my dryer, without any adverse effects. I do recommend following the washing instructions, since they come from the manufacturer direct, but as we don’t have a drying area in our flat, most of our clothes go into our dryer to save time and space.
Goddess Convertible Dress in Black
1. Comfort and Fit: ♥♥♥♥♥
The material of this dress is nice and soft, just like the top, and I was perfectly comfortable in it.
This is a convertible dress that can be worn in TEN different ways! I really wish I had this dress when I was pregnant, as it doubles up as a maternity dress too. This is definitely worth the investment, as it can be tied up differently to create a variety of looks, and no one will even know that it’s the same dress.
I tried the Butterfly Sleeve method for the wedding dinner I attended last week, and loved that it covered my shoulders well and kept me warm in the air-conditioned ballroom. The dress was also loose enough to allow me to pig out, even though my post-pregnancy belly still makes me look as though I’m in my second trimester.
The dress is basically a tube dress, with two extremely long pieces of fabric which serve to form the sleeves, although they can be neatly tucked away if you wish to wear it as a strapless dress. Just follow the wearing instructions on the website, which can be downloaded as a PDF file for your convenience.
2. Nursing Access: ♥♥♥
I found the nursing access on the tube underlayer to be a little small, and preferred to pull down the tube on the side from which I wanted to breastfeed. This may just be the way I prefer to nurse my baby, as he is in the stage where he struggles a lot under the nursing cover, and I found it faster to pull the tube down, rather than try to position him properly at the nursing access area.
3. Quality: ♥♥♥♥♥
The material used for the dress is the same soft one as the Ariel nursing top, and the workmanship is also flawless. I really love how cleverly simple and versatile the dress is. Personally, I think that this dress is the ideal Little Black Dress for both the pregnant and nursing mother, perfect for all occasions. If you prefer something bright, the dress also comes in Fuchsia.
As with the Ariel nursing top, I popped this dress into the washing machine, with no adverse effects. However, I chose to line dry it on our tiny drying rack, as the rack happened to have some extra space on it that day. It dried quickly despite the lack of sunlight in my kitchen.
I love both the Ariel nursing top and the Goddess convertible dress, mainly because of how comfortable they are. Discovering the Maternalove range of nursing wear has really been a godsend as good, affordable nursing wear is hard to come by, in my opinion. My current wardrobe is less than one-tenth of what I used to have, as I am limited to nursing wear, so it makes me very happy to be able to shop online for more clothes now. My friends who have seen me in these outfits actually commented that they didn’t know they were nursing wear, which makes me confident that I can still wear them after I stop nursing.
Maternalove is currently having its year-end sale, with up to 50% off storewide. For purchases above $300, you can enjoy an additional 10% off by keying in the code LESS10 during checkout. Both promotions are valid till 27 December 2012.
UPDATE: Maternalove has extended its sale period to 27 January 2013! Time to do some CNY shopping… 😉
Do take a look at their wide selection and get yourself an item or two (or more). If you need an excuse to shop, you can always think of it as a Christmas gift for yourself! Nursing, be it in public or in the privacy of a nursing room, is difficult enough without having to struggle with poorly made nursing wear, so I don’t believe in settling for ill-fitting ones. In addition, the Maternalove range is pretty enough to be worn even after you stop nursing, so you don’t have to feel guilty about expanding your wardrobe to fit your current needs.
PS. To my male readers: If your wife is currently pregnant or breastfeeding, a nursing top or dress (or both) will be a practical and thoughtful Christmas gift!
PPS. Do ‘like’ the Maternalove Facebook page for updates on new arrivals and sales.
Disclosure: I received the Ariel nursing top and Goddess convertible dress for review. All opinions are my own.