Well it's been a while since I've talked about breastfeeding in a review but here we are, six months on, and Pierre is still on the boob-juice, even if he has also progressed on to his first fruit and vegetable purees. The early days, back in the summer, posed absolutely no problem on the clothes front - little strappy vest tops that you can just pull down are great for breastfeeding on the move. But now it's way more complicated. Not only is it too cold to flash your flesh and lift up your top for a feed, in this colder weather you end up wearing more layers so trying to get through layers of jumpers, Tshirts and nursing bras at feed-time is a real pain. To make it easier (and warmer !), I end up permanently wearing button-up cardigans and zip-up hoodies so that I can feed relatively easily and quickly as well as staying covered up so I don't freeze to death.
Well, this new breastfeeding garment, named The Breast Vest, is one of those things that has so obviously been made by "someone who knows". I'd bet money on the fact that this has been designed by a breastfeeding mum. (Just checked on the website, I'm right ! ) It may look strange to non-breastfeeders and is admittedly not much more fashionable than the Borat-style lime green man-kini, but it is so practical.
It's basically a vest top that only goes up as far as your bra. You can do exactly the same thing by wearing a dirt-cheap vest top under your jumper and pulling it down so it sits under your boobs during a feed ! (If you do this with your favourite tops, you'll totally wreck them, hence the dirt-cheap option.) I have done this myself, but the material inevitably cuts in and chafes a bit and you end up with a cleavage worthy of Pamela Anderson crossed with a Wonderbra ad which may go down well with the menfolk but isn't very easy for poor Pierre to latch on to ! The Breast Vest is actually designed for the job so you really gain in comfort.
It also means that you can wear what you like, knowing that you won't have to fight through extra layers of clothes at feed-time. If you have a button/zip-up top half, it's a piece of cake - you're straight through to the bra and can feed or express your milk (if you've gone back to work by now) quickly and discreetly. You don't get the roll of fabric in baby's way either, that you inevitably get with hitched up Tshirts, so if you love skin-to-skin contact, you'll be in your element. Alternatively, you can wear it as an extra layer under your normal clothes so that when you hitch them up out of the way for a feed, your bottom half stays covered and you don't flash your flesh in public !
As I mentioned earlier, it's great for keeping your tummy area warm during feeds but - and I'm sure all new mums will agree with me on this one ! - it's also a fabulous way of hiding any unsightly bulges when you sit down for a feed if you haven't shifted all your pregnancy weight yet (and let's face it, if you're not an A-list celeb, you probably haven't !). It could also be a good thing to wear in the early weeks of pregnancy when your boobs are likely to be very tender and wearing clingy tops is uncomfortable. It's also a great solution to those annoying tops - even the maternity ones - that always ride up too high and expose your baby bulge during the later months of pregnancy.
Admittedly, you won't really get much use out of it after you've stopped breastfeeding, but maybe you could buy yourself some nipple tassels and resurrect it as a burlesque dancer's outfit (for hubby's eyes only) !!
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £15
for more information : http://www.breastvest.co.uk
Available in six colours: black, white, cream, grey, royal blue and hot pink, breastvest comes in XS, S, M, L and XL sizes.