Monday, November 9, 2009

Review: Simple Wishes Hands-Free Pumping Bustier

*Warning: this post contains photos of breastfeeding paraphernalia. While I do not consider said photos to be revealing or offensive, I want to give my readers a heads up in case this subject matter should make you uncomfortable. In that case, you may want to skip this post.*

I've always been envious of that Airwick air freshener commercial with the mommy octopus. She can cook, clean and handle an infant with ease thanks to her multiple tentacles. *sigh* If only I could multitask that well. Try as we might, us moms don't have nearly enough hands to juggle all of the balls that make up our daily responsibilities. Especially when we are tied to a breastpump for hours a day.

When Nate was a month old and I prepared to go back to work in the coming weeks, I invested in a top-of-the-line Medela Freestyle pump. It was supposed to be hands-free, meaning I could perform other tasks while pumping. Perfect, right?! I imagined myself typing emails and writing notes at work as I pumped. Or fixing myself lunch as I produced lunch in the form of breastmilk for my little guy. But when my A-list pump arrived, I realized the hands-free contraption was ridiculously complicated with a variety of little pieces and was not compatible with all nursing bras. So, while I loved the portable motor and rechargeable battery feature, I found myself holding the flanges to my breasts as I pumped. Hardly "hands-free", not to mention awkward.

It was as if my prayers were answered when I received a review opportunity courtesy of Mom Fuse for the Simple Wishes hands-free pumping bra. Developed by four sisters, businesswomen and new moms who felt something was missing from the market, Simple Wishes is a professional-mommy-friendly product.
For every mother who has ever wished she could be in two places at once, that she had an extra set of hands, or just that she could manage her hectic schedule and still find time for herself, Simple Wishes is the simple solution she's been waiting for. Simple Wishes Bustier allows multi-tasking moms the chance to be more productive while they pump, or simply to take a breath and recapture a moment for themselves. Stylish and functional, and grounded in innovative, thoughtful design, the Bustier is an affordable and quality alternative to the fussy and unflattering hands free alternatives on the market.
Simple Wishes was recently featured on the Tyra Banks Show and received the New Parents Guide Seal of Approval. Its been adopted by numerous celebrity moms including Camila Alves, Nicole Sullivan, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Rebecca Romijn and many more.

When I first opened the package (which was adorable, BTW!), I noticed how incredibly soft, stretchy and luxurious the fabric of the bra was. You could tell it was high-quality construction, unlike the cheap, flimsy options I'd come across before. The color was a soft, powdery pink which tickled my girlish fancy. I couldn't wait to try it on.

What makes Simple Wishes so revolutionary is the adjustable, completely customized fit. The back panel is made of velcro and can be adjusted by up to 10 inches, so you can achieve a snug fit around your ribcage no matter your unique body type and size. Included are optional straps, which you can wear in a tank, racerback or halter style to accompany any outfit virtually undetected.

There is a front double zipper panel to ensure the best fit of your breast shields, whether you are fully engorged or freshly emptied. If you don't need the extra panel, simple unzip and remove it. You can move your shields closer or further apart by up to 2 inches to secure the best seal. There are two generous, flexible circular openings in which to insert your flanges.

I found the overall fit dreamy. Who would have thought a pumping bra could be...flattering? Isn't that like an oxymoron? It hugged all the right places and was extremely comfortable to wear.

My flanges fit easily through the openings, which provided discreet coverage. No exposed nipples! If I were pumping at work, and someone were to walk into the room, I would feel a *little* less embarrassed since my goodies wouldn't be on display. The bustier also held the shields tightly in place. I bounced up and down, brushed my teeth and flat-ironed my hair while I expressed and those puppies weren't going anywhere.

Not only did Simple Wishes increase my productivity by allowing me to be truly mobile, but it also increased my output by an average of 1/3 ounce! I attribute this to its comfort and ease of use. It enabled me to take my mind off the "mooing" and go about my day. It's hands-free and "mind-free".

I pumped several times a day for Nate's first seven months, when I was working outside of the home. Now that I stay at home, I only pump here and there to have some breastmilk on hand to mix in oatmeal, smoothies, purees or whole milk. But Simple Wishes accomodates both lifestyles, whether you're on a conference call or changing a diaper. No longer do you have to squeeze pumping into your lunch break or baby's naptime. You can get more done in less time. Can you say "Supermom"?

There are just a few drawbacks to Simple Wishes that I should make note of. First, the velcro in the back can be itchy and irritating if not attached just so. When I first tried it on, the velcro dug into my back and I had to adjust it a few times to get it right. Once in the correct position, it felt like a second skin. There was just a learning curve to finding the proper fit. Secondly, as with most nursing bras, Simple Wishes is not something you can wear under form-fitting clothes or low-cut tops. The zippers may bulge under tighter shirts and the rise is rather high, which makes it impractical for V-neck tops. Lastly, from the website, it appears that pink is the only color option. It would be nice to have classic white, nude and black - as well as some cute prints!

Bottom line: All in all, I think Simple Wishes is an ideal solution for true, fuss-free, hands-free pumping. Whether you're a working mom who pumps daily or a stay-at-home mom who pumps once in a while, this bustier is something you will want to have on hand. It's attractive yet practical design makes it seem less like a chore. This simple wish is a dream come true.

BUY IT: You can order your Simple Wishes bustier online via their website (ARV $35). It is available in two sizes: XS-M and M-XL. All products come with a 1-year warranty against defects in materials or worksmanship. They also offer a 100% money-back guarantee within 30 days should you not be pleased with your product. So you have nothing to lose!

Disclaimer: As noted above, I received a Simple Wishes pumping bra from Kathryn at BigPicture PR via my membership at Mom Fuse to facilitate my candid review. I was not compensated in any other way for this post. The opinions expressed in this review are purely mine. You may have a different experience upon using this product.


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