When I received an email about the Au Fait Mama breastfeeding scarf, I couldn’t think of anyone better to test it out than Taya Griffin. You can read more about Taya – a lactation counsellor – on her website, and you can read more about her pre-natal breastfeeding class in this guest review.
I’m shocked and dismayed when I hear that breastfeeding mothers are still being asked to stop feeding their babies, cover up and leave stores and restaurants – it’s 2013…how is this still a “thing”? It’s no wonder mothers feel uncomfortable breastfeeding their babies in public even though it’s perfectly legal to walk around topless in Toronto.
Enter nursing covers.
I’ve personally never been a fan of these “curtains” designed to hide both baby and breast. I’m much more partial to a really good nursing top that allows baby to be out in the open and breast to be virtually covered. I’ve breastfed on the subway, in bars, in churches; and, most often, those around me were oblivious to the fact that I was breastfeeding as my nursingwear is so effective.
Knowing my obsession with nursing “fashion,” I was excited when Mizzz Mommy Gearest asked me to test out the Au Fait Mama Foster Breastfeeding Scarf – nursing “wear” that’s part cover, part clothing.
I far prefer this scarf to nursing covers. Since it acts like a piece of clothing, you can simply wear it as a scarf when you go out. No having to take a cover out of a bag, set it all up and then set your baby up – sometimes you just don’t have that kind of time! Simply drape the scarf and feed. Because it’s “clothing,” it’s also more discreet. Like nursing tops, onlookers would really have to go out of their way to investigate whether you were breastfeeding your baby. Unlike a nursing top, which you would have to change every day (what with leaking breasts, baby spit up, etc.), the scarf can be worn again and again, so you only need one.
I also liked how dark it was under there! This would be a great option if you are nursing a baby to sleep; when I peeked in, I could hardly see my daughter’s face.
I love that Au Fait Mama is a Canadian-based company. And any company that states the following about its clothes gets an A + in my books: “I hope that they will help them [breastfeeding mammas] feel better about themselves, breastfeed easier and longer.”
The bamboo jersey fabric is delicious. So soft and buttery. The nursing tops must be so comfortable to wear! I’m happy to put this over my baby’s head and I think she was happy about it, too.
I should have mentioned that I’m breastfeeding an active 2.5 year old. She’s used to breastfeeding out in the open so putting a cover on her only worked when she felt like it. If I had been using the nursing covers from the very beginning, she may have been more open to using it each time. That being said, I look forward to trying this out with a newborn.
The one difference between a nursing cover and the scarf is that the nursing cover generally has a little wire that keeps the cover away from the baby’s face/head. The scarf obviously does not have this feature. Some mothers may feel uncomfortable with the thought that the scarf drapes down into their baby’s face and newly breastfeeding mothers would have to put their head under the scarf if they were still perfecting their latch.
The colour that was sent to me was not my favourite (a kind of purple-y hue). It doesn’t show up on the website, so it may have been a sample colour. I’m a black and beige kind of girl and those colours are, indeed, options.
There was no way that I was able to make the scarf drape as beautifully as it shows up in the pictures. It would take hours to perfect that. I also got confused about the actual shape and where the long side should go versus the short side. In a rush, as you are pulling the scarf from around your neck and over baby, it can be a bit awkward. As it is, I feel like more detailed instructions or even a video would help me figure out how to create the shape that ultimately makes it different than simply draping a regular scarf or pashmina over your baby’s head.
At $56, while the scarf is cheaper than a good-quality nursing top (which typically range in price from $60 to $100+), it is more expensive than a nursing cover (ranging between $35 and $48). There is the option to continue to wearing it after your baby has weaned, though, so for some it might be worth the investment – especially if the colour is right for your wardrobe!