Ashley York (@whimsyandwhile) is our guest writer this week! A friend and mama who shares her post-birth experiences and why she chooses certain garments for nursing, living in, & raising her kids.
Before my daughter, Olive, was born, I knew that two things needed to happen_
The first thing was a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After C-section). I was determined that under no circumstances was I going to let another unnecessary C-section happen.
The second thing that needed to happen was breastfeeding. She needed me to and I needed to be able to.
My pregnancy and postpartum journey with my son was rough and I wish I had had the knowledge and support system I did while I was both pregnant with Olive and after she was born.
After a rather smooth pregnancy and in my experience, pleasant birth, I was ready to feed my daughter. She latched perfectly and I had a lot of support from lactation specialists if I needed to troubleshoot or if something just felt awkward.
I owe so much gratitude to my doctors, doula, partner, and family.
But there’s another piece here - I am truly grateful to have had a few crucial garments from Conscious Clothing through maternity and postpartum for breastfeeding!
The first item I ever purchased from Conscious Clothing was the Brook Dress and it immediately became a staple. I learned to wear it all summer, then layer it through fall and winter - and then I learned to LOVE it and grow into it through my maternity with Olive!
I was able to wear this all the way up to my 9th month of pregnancy! I didn’t buy one single piece of maternity clothing with her.
After she was born, the Brook dress, along with the Artist dress, the Luna Wrap Dress, and a now discontinued jumpsuit I had from Conscious Clothing, were all seriously amazing and extremely crucial to the success of my breastfeeding journey with Olive! Each piece made breastfeeding extremely accessible anywhere, any time. All but the Wrap Dress have front snaps and the Luna Wrap Dress has a beautifully accessible V! I never once bothered with a nursing tank top or anything like that other than to sleep in.
I also have a pair of the linen Sunset Pants that were great because while not a dress, they were so airy and comfortable for summer and those postpartum hormones. My womb had to shrink back down a bit before I could wear them but when I could, they were great to just wear over a loose or stretchy fitting tank!
I have been wanting to write a post like this for quite some time to be able to share my love for Conscious Clothing not only for their high regard for slow and sustainable practices, but also how inclusive this company is for all women of all shapes, sizes, color, and for the mamas, too!
Olive is currently 19 months old and we are still nursing. The above photo was taken at her first birthday party and I was standing in all her unused pumped breastmilk that I gave her a milk bath in after her cake smash. The Artist dress is perfect for the hottest of summer days with your little one!
I also wanted to add that being able to own these pieces at all is a privilege. I’ve bought pieces on my own and I’ve also been gifted pieces. All are truly treasured and loved.
In my humble opinion, if I had to tell you to choose ONE of their pieces, it would be the Brook dress for the versatility of use during the seasons and you’d get most use out of it. But the Artist and Luna Wrap are very close runners up!
And one more word of advice - if you’re wearing one of their beautiful jumpsuits, they’re super great for nursing - but do wear something else underneath if you will be babywearing, especially with a wrap. Lesson learned the hard way! It’s very difficult to use the restroom with a jumpsuit on and having a wrap or soft structure carrier and a baby attached to your body!
I hope you all find this to be useful, but please feel free to reach out to me with any questions. If you look through my highlights on Instagram, you can also see videos of all of these lovely pieces in use!
For additional maternity & postpartum suggestions, see our previous blog post_ For the Mamas.
Ashley is a seeker of all things beautiful with an emphasis on slow and sustainable living, along with building a deeply rooted connection to her family and work.
Ashley aspires to share useful information on living in a meaningful way and the ways in which she keeps home.
psst: she’s wearing the Cypress Skirt in this photo!