As the debate about breast feeding in public continues, new moms are all faced with the same problem: how to give their baby what they need in public, all while trying not to compromise their own personal style. If you’ve seen those frumpy, jersey wrap dresses that are pretty much the only option for nursing moms out there, then you know what we’re talking about.
Enter Andrea Newberry, a full-time mother of two who decided it was time to do something about the problem. With absolutely zero fashion experience (her previous career was in art restoration), she taught herself how to sew, watched a heck of a lot of Project Runway, and launched her site Leche Libre. That’s “free milk,” for those whose Spanish doesn’t extend past cerveza.
“Women everywhere were struggling with breastfeeding in public and getting harassed for doing what they need to do to take care of their children,” the mom told Forbes recently. “They agreed with me that the lack of stylish breastfeeding-specific clothing was directly tied to this problem. I wanted to help solve this problem. I wanted to make clothing that would make women look awesome and help empower us to fight the cultural oppression, which was infringing on our personal rights. So I decided to just go for it.”
After a personal $5,000 investment, Newberry was able to parlay her online pre-sale profits to start up production in Chicago, and sold out her first batch of designs earlier this spring. Now, she’s restocked, added more sizes, and is hoping to add a few more designs to the five frocks she currently has listed.
If all goes as planned, she’ll even launch a Kickstarter campaign next year to really get things going. If you ask us, it’s about time somebody did something about the sad state of nursing wear.
Sure, these dresses are all fairly simple – apparently all we were missing was a simple zipper or two in the front. Still, what a concept: a mother can provide for her baby and be stylish at the same time. Who knew?!
The dress on the left, which also comes in grey, retails online for $128. The dress on the right, which also comes in blue, retails for $169. We’d say that’s pretty reasonable consider that’s about what you’d pay for any other dress, AND we’d wear this whether we were breast feeding or not.
Chalk up a win for new moms everywhere. Now, if only we knew of a fashionable way to wear spit-up.