Pumping can be a huge part of a breastfeeding mother’s life. I pump at work and occasionally at home to maintain/boost supply with our little Peanut. When Pickle was little, I pumped for the first five months while her mouth grew big enough to be able to nurse. I’ve spent hundreds of hours attached to a pump over the last five years – but both as a mother of two and an employee, I don’t have the time to just sit and devote time to pumping. I have to be able to multitask while I am providing that nutrition for my child.
When I was pumping with the Pickle back when she was a baby, I tried and ordered a very simple halter-style pumping bra. It was a lot like a sports bra that had a halter strap that goes around the neck, and a cloth band that goes around the breasts, much like this.
The practical problem with this is that I usually try to, you know, wear a shirt to work. In order to use this bra, I had to take off my shirt (and usually my nursing bra) to wear it, or had to wear it underneath my clothes all day – and since it rides so high on the back of the neck, it was always visible. As such, I ended up only using it a few times before giving up and just holding the flanges.
Now, I’ve been lucky enough to try the Simple Wishes Signature Hands Free Pumping Bra (LINK) It is a bustier-style pumping bra:
The first advantage of this is that I could simply pull up my shirt, put on the Simple Wishes bra over my nursing bra or tank, and still be warm (and as modest as possible while pumping) – no more stripping down. I know this sounds like a small thing, but the pumping room at my office is freezing, so this is a huge benefit!
A really huge benefit of the Simple Wishes hands free bra is how it is sized. The company provides a great tutorial video on how this works (LINK). In essence, the back is similar to a regular bra, but it has Velcro instead of hooks, so that it can be resized up to ten inches to accommodate a wide range of sizes. You can also resize it as you go through the course of nursing – changing breast sizes is a common issue as your supply adjusts and engorgement wanes, and you don’t have to go out and purchase a new pumping bra if/when it happens with this product. There’s also a removable zippered panel in the front – this is great for if your breasts are closer together vs. further apart.
My favorite part of the Simple Wishes bra is very basic – it gave me back time. I had two hands free to work while pumping, or to hold/care for my little ones if I was at home. I wasn’t tied down to the pump like I was in the past, I could type or read, use my phone, and so on. I think that one of the big reasons that women discontinue pumping (and, in turn, breastfeeding) is just that they hate being stuck helpless while pumping, and this bra can really help avoid that from happening.
I washed this before wearing it, and had absolutely no issues while doing so – I just followed the instructions, washing it on cold and hanging to dry. It’s been soft and comfortable, and not constrictive. It’s done a great job at supporting the pump flanges – I’ve used both the standard Medela flanges and the Pumpin Pals flanges with it, and both have worked great.
I’d strongly recommend this pumping bra – for less than $40, which is less than you would spend on a single bra at Victoria’s Secret, you get a great pumping bra that should easily be able to last you the whole time you breastfeed/pump. The company also has a great 30-day money-back guarantee, which is rare for such a product. All in all, a great buy!