I’ve made no secret of the struggle I had getting breastfeeding established with both my boys. Piglet was tube fed from birthday so I spent a long 8 weeks expressing for him before he was finally able to latch. I was “lucky” with JJ and only needed to express for 2 weeks until he managed to get a good latch and feed solely from me.
Expressing can be very draining. With Piglet I had a single electric breast pump and found the process very tiring as I was up through the night expressing from each side individually. With JJ I used a double breast pump and was immediately happier with the process, but still spent a large portion of my day stuck in a chair with my hands full.
Bravado got in touch recently to see if I would be interested in trying out their Clip and Pump Hands-Free Nursing Bra Accessory. Knowing how much I wished I’d had something like this in the early days with both boys I had to say yes, because I really wanted to know if they are actually any use!
The accessory is an item that clips on to the usual nursing bra clips and holds your breast pump in place, leaving your hands free to do what you want. It clips on at the back in the same way that a standard bra does, with a comfortable selection of hooks to get the fit you need. Being made of cotton, modal and spandex it claimed to be super soft – and I was curious to find out.
At first glance – it does exactly what it says on the tin. I love that it is an accessory, not a stand alone product, so there was no need to remove my nursing bra before using it. It’s the little things like that which really make something like this work. It is quick and easy to attach and detach from the bra, and very comfortable to wear.
The unique design allows you to insert and remove the pump without having to remove the breast shields and fiddle around getting them in place. You can simple slide them in and the elastic enforced figure 8 opening holds them in place.
At first I found myself still reaching to hold the bottles, purely because that is what I am used to. It took me a little while to trust the accessory to do as it is meant to, but it really did hold them securely. My breast pump is cordless, so I was even able to walk around my kitchen to fetch a snack for Piglet while expressing – something that would just have not been possible before (I did keep the blinds closed for that though, I don’t want to scare my neighbours!)
I have continued to give JJ a bottle of expressed milk regularly, so that I can be confident he will be happy to take one if I want to go out for the evening. I am now able to reduce the time I spend expressing to get that milk as I can use the accessory to feed JJ and express at the same time. I won’t lie and say it is easy, there is definitely an element of juggling to be done to the the right position! But my hands are both free to move JJ to a better position, which is what makes it all possible.
The accessory, as well as the Bravado bras, comes in Small, Medium, Large or Extra Large. I was a little wary of this at first, as I am at the more “blessed” end of the breast spectrum and usually prefer a more specific fit for my bras, but I actually haven’t found it a problem at all and it fits comfortably. I also love my Bravado Silk Seamless bra, and despite it being completely different from my usual style it is now my go to bra. I have my eye on the Ballet nursing bra too!
Overall the Clip And Pump has been a really positive addition to my breastfeeding and expressing experience. It is comfortable to use and has made my life a lot easier. I just wish I’d had it from the start!
I was sent the Bravado nursing bra accessory for the purposes of carrying out an honest review. All words and opinions are my own.