When I found out I was pregnant, I freaked out. I knew I wanted to have kids eventually but having one so soon was definitely not my plan. It was 2009 and the economy was melting down like a Twitter celeb on Ambien. I lost my job at an art restoration firm in Chicago. No one was hiring—and even if they were, a pregnant woman was not their ideal candidate. So just like that, I went from the cool-kid city life to being a stay-at-home mom. I loved being a mom, but I was losing myself as a person.
Mom’s aren’t cool (think about mom jeans and ‘yo mama’ jokes.) I have to admit something here—I really liked being cool. It felt good. Now that I was a mom, I was surprised to feel less cool. I remember thinking, “This is weird! How did I go from cool to uncool, just by pushing a baby out of my vagina?”
My baby was totally rad and breastfeeding made me feel powerful. My baby’s doctor swore I was making pure cream, judging by the little rolls of chub on my little one’s wrists and ankles.
So why did I feel deeply uncool? I looked in the mirror. I was wearing a pastel blob-dress, camouflaging my body under layers of draping knitwear. Why was I wearing it? It was easy to breastfeed in. I just had a baby, I shouldn’t care what I look like, right?
Wrong. When it came to motherhood, I felt on point. When it came to me, I thought, “Where did that confident person go? I think I knew her once, where is she? This is not OK!”
I was learning to sew at the time, so I made a dress with easy breastfeeding access. Wearing it made me feel powerful and smart. I could easily integrate breastfeeding into my life with my couture intact. The feeling was so good that I wanted to empower other women to breastfeed in style, too. I had zero experience in the fashion industry, but decided, “What the hell, I’m going to go for it!”
I’ve spent the last four years learning fashion design and business and launched Leche Libre a year and a half ago. It turns out a lot of moms feel the way I did, and I keep selling out of my small runs.
So if you’re a breastfeeding mom and want to represent your killer #momstyle and reclaim your cool, I’ve got your back. Here are my top five tips on how to be cool in your new #momlife.
How to be a cool mom
1. Embrace it
If your body looks different than it did before baby, don’t stress. Your body is powerful and beautiful just the way it is. Rock out with it. Confidence is cool.
Have a drink. Despite a lot of fear mongering, new research suggests alcohol is fine to drink in moderation while breastfeeding. The rule of thumb? If you can drive, you can nurse. Find what keeps you calm, whether that’s a good glass of vino, exercise, meditation, or chatting with a friend. Relaxation is cool.
3. Ask for help
Reach out to your community when you need to. Friends may really want to help but don’t know how. Life collaboration is cool.
4. Get a night out
Ask daddy, grandma, or a pal to watch baby so you can get out once in a while. Go out with friends or have alone time at a spa. A happy mama makes a happy family. Self care is cool.
5. Treat yourself
…to some rad nursing apparel, that is. Choose clothing that will allow you to breastfeed your baby and step out in style without losing your edge. Check out my new collection available through my Leche Libre Kickstarter! With your help, we can empower women everywhere to confidently breastfeed—shame-free—whenever they want, wherever they go in effortless style. Because moms are cool.
— Andrea Newberry is a stay-at-home mom turned self-taught fashion entrepreneur. She lives and works out of a funky two flat on the west side of Chicago with her husband and her kiddos, six-year-old Thora and four-year-old Otto. Her line of stylish, nursing-friendly clothing, Leche Libre, is inspired by her dedication to making moms’ lives easier, and it’s fueled by her rebellious punk rock aesthetic.