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Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Nursing Mom's Shopping Guide in Manila - Cover Ups!

*This is the 3rd of a series.
When I was a new nursing mom, nursing in public was something that I didn’t imagine that I could do. Still, I couldn’t control when Naima wanted to eat. I realized that I needed something to cover me up during these times. My first nursing bib was a complete cover-up from First Years. I requested my sister-in-law to purchase it from Canada. It was light blue in color and had a net in front so you could see the baby. But I didn't use it much. It was small and didn't go well with our tropical climate. The material was not light cotton.
During the early days, the internet was my best friend. I was happy to find nursingmom’s covers! I purchased one of Bessie’s early designs and have been using her cover ever since. However, I stopped using the cover when Naima turned 7 months. At this time, she was already a wriggly baby and was easily distracted by noises. She also didn’t want to be covered by anything! And since I usually nursed in private rooms, I opted not to use a nursing cover anymore.
Nowadays, as a 17-month old, Naima rarely nurses in public. She is busy playing, chatting, walking and eating. When she does nurse, we go to a quiet spot or I just turn my back on the crowd and nurse her. The nursing cover has served its purpose for me. I still sometimes use it when I need to pump in public or when I need a blanket to cover Naima with.
For moms on the look-out for nursing covers, I’ve compiled a list of bibs/covers/shawls available online and in brick and mortar stores. Happy shopping!

Brick & Mortar Stores:
Rustan’s is my all-time favorite baby shop. Their nursing room (in Makati) is very nice – well decorated and perfectly situated (in the middle of the baby section). Rustan’s Makati can be contacted through 8133739, loc. 251 while Rustan’s Shangri-la’s direct number is 6334660. They carry Nurse-Ease (1,550p now 995p) which is like a shawl that you put over your head and measures 36x38; Baby Martin (589.75p and measures 26x38) and Next9 (299.75p and measures 28x36). Rustan’s also carry Lilymoms wrap which costs 850p.

SM Baby Company is my most visited baby store. It’s near the condo - well, at least the Mall of Asia (5564354 and connect to Baby) branch is. The stand-alone stores are in Rockwell (8980928) and Podium (6374082). I actually prefer going to the stand-alone stores because I think the selection is better. SM Baby Company already carries its own brand of nursing cover that comes with wire/boning. It measures 34x24inches and costs 499.75p. They also carry the Owen brand (makes crib sheets) which has a see-through net at the neck. It’s made of a softer material, measures 27x35inches and is more expensive at 879.75p.

Two other baby/pregnancy stores that I’ve visited are Babyland and Procreation. Procreation is in Crossings, Shangri-La Mall and can be contacted through 6354410 loc. 25. They sell nursing bibs under their own label with boning at the neckline. These come in 4 colors and cost 799.75p. Babyland ( has several branches:
Robinson’s galleria – 6361912; ATC – 8072264; Festival Mall, Level 3 – 7721543; Mandaluyong – 531-1367 or 531-1217; Shoppesville, Level 2 – 7275276 and Glorietta II – 8671860. They sell Milksense nursing bib which measures 34x24inches. It has a wire around the neckline and costs 549.75p. It also comes in a set with an arm support pillow (not a C-shaped pillow), which costs 849.75p

Online Stores:
There are a great many online stores which sell nursing bibs. Two of them, Next9 and Lilymoms are also available at brick and mortar stores (as enumerated above).

Next9 by Jen CC Tan sells the most affordable covers. Her nursing bibs are 28x36 inches and cost 300p. Her bibs are available at Rustan's, Babyland and in her website.

As I mentioned, I purchased my second bib from Bessie of nursing mom. The size of her bib is 26 x 33in and costs 500p. Features of NursingMom's cover include: an adjustable neck strap that holds the cover in place, to keep you feeling secure while feeding; an open, rigid neckline that allows you to view baby and maintain eye-contact throughout the feeding session; a roomy inner-side pocket for storing breast pads, clean-up cloths, or your cell phone. I love her prints which she continuously updates. The covers are made with a single layer of fabric, providing wide coverage to ensure a discreet yet comfortable nursing session for you and your baby.

Another fashionable bib comes from Plume by Cher Anonas. Cher's bibs measure 24x33.5 inches and cost 650p. One feature of her bibs are D-rings which allow you to adjust the bibs. Her bibs are made of breathable and washable fabric; reversible (print/solid) and come with 2 pockets in front for small items.

From the INDIGObaby yummy mummies come an innovative nursing cover which Monica and Denise call the "Boncho". Their bonchos cost 565p and is a revamped breastfeeding poncho! Bonchos are available here. They've enumerated 4 different ways to wear bonchos which are not limited to nursing mommies.
1. Arm Love -through the arms
2. Shrug / Blankie -to keep you (or your little one!) warm and cozy
3. Teepee -with the buttons in front to create a teepee effect
4. Boncho -your revamped breastfeeding poncho!

If you're looking for INDIGObaby's original nursing bib, you can still get them from Dr. Zeka of HipMomsandBabies. The nursing bib costs 500p and are reversible - one side in cute printed patterns on one side with a complimentary solid color on the other. There are 2 pockets to hold small items and the bib also has an adjustable strap to keep it in place. This lightweight bib folds up easily for storage in your handbag or diaper bag. It can also be used as a lighweight sunshield/stroller cover , or a thin changing mat.

Another nursing bib available online is from ProudMama store. Their bibs cost 650p with dimensions of 31 x 20 inches. Features of their bib include an adjustable neckstrap to ensure the perfect fit; flexible boning in the neckline to ensure eye contact with your baby and to allow airflow - important in our warm climate.

If you want a wrap and can't get to the mall, you can purchase the Lilymoms wraps online. Features of the wrap are: a baby view which allows only mom to see baby; rings which adjust for a perfect fit; mom's exposed back & sides, including stretch marks (yikes!) are fully covered; a thumb loop inside ensures that the cape stays on even when baby moves and the wraps use cotton fabrics in up-to-date prints and plains.

Mommy matters also offers its own nursing cover called Moomy and me. The covers measure 24x34inches and cost 490p. Some designs are 30% off at 343p. The covers are made of 100% cotton fabric and has a peek-a-boo neckline to allow direct eye contact and provide additional ventilation for baby. They also have adjustable neck straps to fit most moms. The covers come with a bamboo knit jersey cloth on one corner of the cover for quick clean ups and has its own canvas bag.

Finally, if you don't like a bib or wrap to cover up your baby, Tiny Tots has come up with its own version of the Slurp and Burp called the Nurse and Burp. This cover is different because it is not a piece of cloth but is actually a sash with clever openings. The Nurse and Burp is described as:
made of two loops of half soft comfy cotton knit, and half woven burp cloth fabric. The stretchy part of the NURSE AND BURP fabric loop offers just enough coverage to comfortably nurse your baby, without flashing the world. Once in place you simply unhook your bra and unbutton or lift your shirt to access your breast. Once you’ve unhooked your bra, opened or lifted your shirt, you position your baby and slide the folds of fabric apart just enough to expose your nipple and the area that the baby needs to latch onto. Once baby is latched on you can arrange the fabric for optimal coverage. The NURSE AND BURP does not cover your baby’s head, it does not obstruct your view, and it does not significantly increase the temperature of your baby or you. When you finish nursing on one side, you can put your baby to your shoulder, to the woven burp cloth section, and burp away. When you switch sides, shift or rotate the loop to the opposite shoulder and you will have coverage on the opposite side. It folds up compactly and tucks easily into a diaper bag or purse.
This cover costs 550p, made of lightweight cotton and comes in 2 sizes: Small - which measures 40inches all around (for XS/S moms) and Medium - which measures 44inches all around (for M/L moms).

When I started my nursing career, there were just a few covers available in the market. But now, nursing moms have more options and are able to compare size, price and quality. There are even different types - wraps, bibs and sash. This is certainly a welcome development for shopaholic moms like me :D

*Update 5/31/2010 - shameless plug:
My online store also carries 2 brands of nursing covers - Next9 (at P300) and Cover to Clutch (at P750).  Check them out!

Other posts in this series:
All About Malunggay
Clothes, clothes, clothes!

1 comment:

Clarice Avinante said...

Thanks s much for this post, Jen! You're a lifesaver! :)

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