Once you get the hang of breastfeeding, it's natural to want to introduce devices like an electric breast pump. There are a variety of systems you can invest in, obtain through your insurance, or even score from a local breastfeeding Facebook group or friend. Most moms have the pump covered on their registry but totally skip over the apparel and accessories that can almost "level-up" your pumping experience, one of those being the nursing bra or tank top. You don't have to invest in a $500+ hand-free system if you invest in a $25-40 nursing bra or tank top. Hands-free bras and tanks make pumping at work easier, give your hands back for self-care, and could even decrease your pumping sessions by a few minutes with more consistent pressure/suction.
There are many types of nursing bras, ones with straps, strapless bras, ones that zip, and others that buckle. Each has its pros and cons and functions best with certain apparel. My favorite nursing bra is the Medela Hands-free bra and ones similar to it. They allow you to easily adorn the garment under a shirt without having to take your arms out or fully undress up top. This can be a very convenient feature for moms who have returned to work. Nursing tank tops like this one from Momcozy can work the same if the top or dress you wear supports this feature.
Having my hands back while pumping at home or work gave me time to practice some self-care while I was pumping. My go to practices were to light some candles or incense to set a vibe, drink a warm cup of tea, and listen to Jill Scott or a good book. Sometimes I'd get too relaxed and doze off, so be sure to set an alarm. Associating pumping time with resting and self-care vs tasking really impacted how I felt while pumping which impacted my supply for the better.
Another advantage of the hands-free bra and tank was consistent pressure and suction. I'd get lazy through a session or distracted and "loosen" my grip on my pump which impacted how far my nipple got into the flange which impacted how much milk was expressed. I found my session time actually decreased when I wore my pump apparel. Investing in pumping apparel led me to invest in nursing apparel which made both feats a bit more possible.
Lastly, the incorporation of a hands-free bra also helped me slow down which I'm sure every mom reading this could benefit from. I know society has us thinking we need the most expensive breast pump system to be cordless to move around and go go go, AND, sis SIT DOWN MANE. Add a nursing bra, a few tank tops, and pajamas to your registry to get on your road to wellness and resting.
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