DIY Nursing Bra

(Disclaimer … You don’t have to breast feed to be a good mom!)

My biggest fear before giving birth to my first child was breast feeding – how the heck was I going to do it? Would I make enough? What if I hated it? I didn’t realize how completely exhausting and physically uncomfortable I would be 24 hours a day.

I asked my husband the other day if he would rather give birth or breast feed a baby – he quickly responded, “Birth. I would definitely give birth.” Keep in mind he has been there every step of the way with each of our three babies, one of which was delivered without pain meds (due to labor being only 40 minutes). A man who has seen it all, chose birth over breastfeeding!

Nonetheless, I made a whole hearted effort to breastfeed/pump with each of baby. And by the third go around, I absolutely despised my nursing bras and tanktops!! They were so uncomfortable and looked ridiculous under all my clothes. I could never seem to find anything that cooperated with the expanding and “deflating” joys of breastfeeding; and I was not about to spend $50 on a bra I wouldn’t make a staple in my future wardrobe.

So I set off on a mission to make my own perfect nursing bra and here’s how I did it.

First, I decided sports bras are the most comfortable thing in the world (for me) because of their elasticity and ability to hold the cannons in place while they get bigger and then suddenly smaller. If you are making your own nursing bra, decide what kind of “regular” bra you like best before you go and buy! I then went to my favorite place on Earth, TJ MAXX, and found a great deal on an amazing sports bra. (The pads in it were removable!)

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The reason I liked this one so much is because of the clips!

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The next thing I did was rip the seam out of the bra where the front clip was attached. I do not own a seam ripper (sewing might be my next Everest) so I used the itty-bitty scissors from my manicure set.

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I then took one of my old nursing bras I hated (and wore once) and used my trusty manicure scissors again to remove the nursing bra snap clip.

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I attached the nursing snap clip onto my new “nursing bra”

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Even though I’m not a sewing pro, I used some heavy duty thread and of course a needle to attach the snap-clip in the very same spot where I removed the sports bra’s original clip. I even trimmed the original rough looking seam a tad.

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Here’s my finished DIY nursing bra!

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Don’t be intimidated if you can’t sew! This DIY nursing bra is so easy (coming from a non sewer) not to mention it is super affordable, durable, and COMFORTABLE!!

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You can also use this method with regular bras and tanktops.
**I recommend getting fitted for nursing bras when you are around 8 months pregnant!**

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Baby’s ready for food!

My son eats like a champion – a heavy weight, sumo wrestler champion. I was lucky (and diligent enough) to give him breast milk, but at five months old he suddenly reverted to his newborn habits – waking up numerous times a night and eating more than a growth spurt stricken teenage boy. He intently watched me eat, grabbing for whatever I was attempting scarf down.

IT WAS TIME – Time to start food!

With my first two babies we did a majority of packaged baby food -mostly because I was working/pregnant and didn’t have the time or energy for showers, let alone homemade baby food.

((Disclosure – parenting skills are not based on if you breastfeed, bath your baby daily, or buy packaged baby food.))

Instead if making my 5-month-old get a job to pay for his daily Thanksgiving feast, I made a decision I was going to make all his food this time around. A lot had changed since my first child needed spoon fed – I wasn’t working full time, I wasn’t pregnant, and I had a little “parenting” experience under my belt.

Making baby food seemed like an impossible and extremely overwhelming task at first. The very thought of making baby food was daunting and for some reason I had to muster up courage in order to make this DIY attempt! But here I am now – a self proclaimed baby food maker.

Numerous friends asked me about how I make all of my sumo wrestler’s food so here are my simple go to baby grub directions:

1. Purchase as fresh of fruit/veggies as you can! I tried to hit up farmers’ markets as much as possible. Most of the time I go to the local grocery store and buy regular produce. Some of my friends go to while foods/organic stores and others with more kids use a food delivery service (I would have food delivered if it was available in my area!). However sometimes what I want/need is not available fresh so I but frozen bags and that works just fine! Make sure you are feeding your baby food they are ready for. Here’s a link to a baby’s food introduction schedule

2. This batch is obviously peaches. I spent about $9 on these, but had to throw 2 out because they weren’t was fresh as I wanted after I cut them open.

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When I went to make my next batch, the store was out of fresh peaches so I bought a frozen bag and let it thaw (you can do the same with other fruits and veggies).

3. I cut the peaches into small chunks (skin and all) so they would blend smoother and faster. When I am preparing vegetables I boil them first until they are soft, then cut them into smaller pieces. (I’m sure someone will suggest a more earthy way, but this way works for me).

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4. Put a small scoop of your pieces in a blender. (I used a smoothie blender because I wasn’t about to go spend more money). Try to blend the chunks together. If they do not blend well add some breastmilk/formula until you can easily create a smoothie like consistency. Then keep adding scoops of chunks, blending inbetween scoops,
until everything is in your blender. I used 3.5-4.5 oz of breastmilk in this batch. The goal is to blend whatever you are making similar to the consistency of baby food – a little thicker is okay too! With the frozen foods they should be soft enough after thawing that they will not need to be cut.

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5. Get some ice cube trays! I got mine at the dollar store for obvious money savings reasons. I bought a bunch so I could make big batches at a time! That’s the easiest way to do it! Take a spoon and put your freshly blended baby food into the ice cube trays. They will slightly expand so fill accordingly.

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6. Place your repurposed ice cube trays in the freezer overnight. (I don’t cover mine).

7. The next day I grab a big Ziploc bag, write what I made, and twist all my perfectly portioned baby food cubes into the bag.

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8. All the bags can store flat. When it comes time for my son to eat, I grab however many cubes he wants, put them in a bowl, and microwave them until they are thawed. Make sure to stir the food well and make sure there are no hotspots! (If the food is runny I add a little baby rice). Occasionally, I put the frozen cubes in the refrigerator the night before so they are closer to thawed (this rarely happens as my goal every day is just to survive).

9. You can mix different fruits and veggies! Or you can make a bunch or individual fruits/veggies and then mix them when you heat them up for your baby!

**My little guy is hungry all the time and I started adding meat to his baby food. I boil a couple chicken breasts and add chunks while blending up veggies. You can also roast a whole chicken or a small turkey and do the same thing. Just add to your baby food while you blend!**

Not only is this a healthier option for your baby but in the end it’s better financially! And it doesn’t take that much time to make a huge batch. No … I’m not one of those weird granola moms, we’ve given him some pre made baby food. This just works for us for many different reasons! Physical and financial health for the baby and the family! Besides, I think there are laws preventing a heavy eating, sumo wrestler, 5 month old from working – even if they are eating you out of house and home!

Motherhood does not come with sick days.

Back in my crazy career days (working nonstop) taking a sick day was next to impossible. There have only been a few times I’ve needed to call off – thank God for those legislated sick days! But on those much needed days, I slept off whatever illness hit me and was able to take a break from reality to recoup.

But there’s one thing your doctor forgets to tell you about having a baby – motherhood does not come with sick days.

Maybe that’s why the first trimester of pregnancy is full of exhaustion? Nature knows you are going to need every second of sleep to accommodate for a life of no more sick days?

Wouldn’t it be nice for once just to say “I can’t make it to motherhood today. I’m just really sick. Please figure it out.”

For the past couple weeks I genuinely wanted to call in sick to motherhood.  And why is it when our significant other is under the weather they seemingly get to take a sick day? My only guess – the mommy gene: the inability to ever get sleep or fully relax again due to having children.

No matter how high your fever is or how many times you’ve visited your porcelain friend, the kids are still going to expect dinner and their favorite bedtime story. “Mommy, I want bites I’m hungry!” “Mommy, I want books!”. Sweet children don’t understand that standing up to get them a snack will literally take every ounce of energy out of your body and just might kill you.

But we do it.

Even when we feel like getting our kids out of bed is going to do us in, we still do it. Even when we can’t feed ourselves, we make sure the kids get more than enough. Because that’s what us moms do – CEO’s of the family never get sick days! It’s a full time job and then some to keep the house running smoothly.

It’s hard enough to take a sick day when working a full time career, but when you’re a mom, kids allow ZERO sick days (especially if they’re really little).  At least the office gives us a set number of sick days (even though we aren’t always allowed to take them). Whether you’re a working mom or a stay at home mom we all have one thing in common – motherhood does not come with sick days.

A New Generation of Moms – “Mogul Moms”

My friends have always said, “Give Kim a few drinks and send her in to teach a sex-ed class and no teenagers would be having sex!” Maybe my friends say this because of the graphic depictions of birth I’ve privied them to, or horror stories of the days after giving birth.  Usually their eyes are about to pop out of their heads as I recall birthing details – “And that’s something they should teach you in birthing class!”

As frank as I am about giving birth, I have done it twice; within 12 months and 19 days of each other.  So obviously I “forgot” about all the pain of the first round and was ready to have another – a far far cry from the truth.  Don’t mistake me, bringing a baby into the world is beyond a shadow of a doubt the most incredible moment, I get choked up just thinking about it.  I classify having my kids as the “best day(s) of my life”.  But during pregnancy, when I was ready to punch most people in the face, colleagues said to me, “Trust me, all the pain over the past 9 (really 10) months will be worth it when hold your baby for the first time.” I stood there in disbelief and with my disheveled eyes and hormonal zit ridden face protested “Yeah, I’m so sure.” They were right.

Before I met my husband I had no desire to get married let alone have any kids – “There’s no way I’m giving up my body for anything or anyone!” I was going to be a career woman because that’s the way I was raised – “I don’t need a man!” That ALL changed the day I met my husband. I am one of the lucky ones; as soon as I met him I knew we would spend our lives together. Our marriage is a sappy “love at first sight” saga that makes most people puke a little in their mouths. That day changed my outlook on life and suddenly my road to being a mom began. After a year and a half of marriage, we took the plunge and decided to try to have a baby.

I always wondered what kind of mother I would be. My husband hypothesized I would be easy on our kids and he would be the tough one (False and False). In my head I envisioned being a mom who had dinner ready on time every night, singing and rocking my babies to sleep, and of course having the smartest kids in the world. Let’s get one thing straight – no kid will read by the time they are two and there is a very slim chance despite all your planning efforts you will have an immaculate dinner ready every night.

But after having two babies and surviving some of the “stuff they never tell you about”, I am still trying to figure out what kind of mom I am. I am also still trying to find that perfect balance of being a wife and being mom. But when you’re a “mom”, suddenly there are more responsibilities around the house, not to mention most moms work full time jobs also resulting in not enough hours in the day. Even stay at home moms can find themselves overwhelmed with a multitude a new items to check off their to do list. And I would be oblivious if I didn’t mention the ever increasing pressure from society and social media to be the “perfect mom”.

Being a mom is the most important job I will ever have, even though it wasn’t in my original career or life plan. This realization brought me to the determination that being a mother in our generation isn’t as simple as being a mom – being a mother now entails being a “Mogul Mom”. We are the CEO’s of our family, whether we want to be or not; Moguls in our right. We have power to change the world, starting with our children. But every now and then our generation of Mogul Moms needs support from each other. While being a mom is the most important job, it is also, the hardest job of them all.