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5 Qs with Gillian

Bump Envy

5 Qs with Gillian
Name: Gillian O'Banion Neighborhood: NoHo Occupation: Marketing and Branding Consultant, GLO Marketing Baby’s Sex: 2 Boys! How would you describe your pregnant style? My style is generally comfy and casual, and with 2 on board that hasn't changed! A winter pregnancy has been great because I can wear sweaters, jeans and boots, add some nail polish and lipstick, and feel put together. I've tried to keep it thrifty and not buy too much but of course I still wanted to look cute! A friend who is a new mom and stylist told me when shopping for any non-maternity wear, make sure tops are longer, not just bigger because areas like the shoulders will still be too big (hopefully!), but you need the length for a growing belly. I've lived in my super soft Uniqlo cashmere sweaters and my H&M maternity jeans. Have you had any challenges learning to dress your body during this pregnancy? Being unable to bend at the waist! Dropping anything is just so dramatic now -- there's a lot of sighing. Putting on shoes and socks is so much harder! I bought these great high top Nikes earlier in my pregnancy, but now they're seriously a workout to get on. So I've been loving my leather slip-on Vans. So far, what has surprised you most during your pregnancy? There have been lots of surprises, and some definitely more pleasant than others! One being how mobile I still feel at 7 months with twins. When I learned there were 2, I thought they would immediately take over and sideline me. It's definitely getting harder now, but I'm still keeping up a pretty good pace. What’s been your favorite pregnancy piece or brand to show off your bump? My fitted workout tops actually (from Gap maternity and Old Navy). Catching a glimpse of my big belly in the mirror while working out has literally made me laugh out loud, but it also reminds me to keep at it for both myself and my babies -- I need the strength to carry the extra weight around! It also does wonders to get rid of end-of-day cankles. And while I've appreciated bundling up this winter, I have to say I loved wearing my bikini while on vacation. It's pretty liberating -- you can't suck it in, so you just let it all hang out! What NYC experience are you most looking forward to sharing with your baby? A lot of our friends are having babies this year, so I love the idea of getting all of them together this summer on a big blanket in the park, and just watching them play. Gillian is wearing: Uniqlo sweater LOFT pants (similar style) Vince Camuto boots (similar style) J.Crew necklace Photographed by Desiree Walters Photography in a Soho townhouse, courtesy of Katherine Salyi / Nest Seekers.

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Products that solve your biggest breastfeeding challenges

Including a battle plan for clogged ducts!

When expecting a baby, there is a lot you can test-run in advance: Take that stroller around the block. Go for a spin with the car seat secured in place. Learn how to use the baby carrier with help from a doll. But breastfeeding? It's not exactly possible to practice before baby's arrival.

The absence of a trial makes it all the more important to prepare in other ways for breastfeeding success—and it can be as simple as adding a few of our lactation aiding favorites to your registry.

MilkBliss chocolate chip soft baked lactation cookies

MilkBliss lactation cookies

Studies have shown the top reason women stop breastfeeding within the first year is because they are concerned about their milk supply being enough to nourish baby. Consider MilkBliss Lactation Cookies to be your secret weapon. Not only are they wholesome and delicious, but they were formulated specifically for breastfeeding moms based on the science of galactagogues—also known as milk boosters. They also come in peanut butter and wild blueberry flavors.

$23

Evereden multi-purpose healing balm

Evereden multipurpose healing balm

Also up there on the list of reasons women stop breastfeeding: the toll the early days can take on nipples. Made from just five ingredients, this all natural healing balm is ideal for soothing chafed nipples, making for a much more comfortable experience for mama as her body adjusts to the needs of a breastfeeding baby.

$20

Lansinoh milk storage bags

Lansinoh milk storage bags

For a breastfeeding mama, there are few things more precious and valuable than the milk she worked so hard to pump—and it's the stuff of nightmares to imagine it spilling out in the fridge. With these double-sealed milk storage bags, you can be assured your breastmilk is safe and sound until baby needs it.

$12.50

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Nursing a baby is a 24/7 job, which calls for some wardrobe modifications. Because Belly Bandit specializes in making things more comfortable for the postpartum mama, they've truly thought of every detail—from the breathable fabric to the clips that can be easily opened with one hand.

$47

boob-ease soothing therapy pillows

Boob Ease soothing therapy pillows

For nursing moms, duct can quickly become a four-letter word when you suspect it's getting clogged. By keeping these soothing breast pillows in your breastfeeding arsenal, you can immediately go on the defense against plugged milk ducts by heating the pads in the microwave or cooling them in the freezer.

$25

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

A unfortunate reality of nursing is that it can really seem to limit the wardrobe options when you have to think about providing easy, discrete access. But by adding functional basics to your closet, you can feel confident and prepared for breastfeeding on the go.

$59

Bebe au Lait premium cotton nursing cover

Bebe au Lait cotton nursing cover

Nursing in public isn't every mama's cup of tea. But babies can't always wait until you've found a private place to get down to business if that's your preference. That's where a nursing cover comes in handy. This one is made from premium cotton and features a patented neckline that allows for airflow and eye contact even while you're covered.

$36

Lactation Lab basic breastmilk testing kit

Lactation Lab breastmilk testing kit

Curious to learn more about the liquid gold you're making, mama? The testing kit from Lactation Labs analyzes your breast milk for basic nutritional content like calories and protein, as well as vitamins, fatty acids and environmental toxins to help boost your breastfeeding confidence.

$99

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Is the Belly Bandit helpful for postpartum recovery?

I personally found myself wanting more core support in my early postpartum months.

My belly has been through some things.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum (yep, severe debilitating pregnancy-related vomiting), the pregnancies of each of my four kids, the 65 pounds of weight gain I have endured with each pregnancy, stretch marks, Occupational Therapy for pregnancy pelvic pain, unmedicated childbirth, and of course, postpartum recovery.

It's my personal opinion that this belly deserves some love. So starting with my second pregnancy, I've relied on Belly Bandit's postpartum belly bands (which I own in three sizes) to help support my core, reduce swelling, and begin to activate my midsection after nine months of being stretched to the max.

Here's why I love Belly Bandit:

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This viral post about the 4th trimester is exactly what new mamas need right now

"We are alone. Together. You are surrounded all the other mothers who are navigating this tender time in isolation. You are held by all of us who have walked the path before you and who know how much you must be hurting. You are wrapped in the warm embrace of mama earth, as she too settles into this time of slowness and healing."

Artist and teacher Catie Atkinson at Spirit y Sol recently shared a beautiful drawing of a new mom crying on a couch—leaking breasts, newborn baby, pile of laundry and what we can only assume is cold coffee, included. Everything about the image is so real and raw to me—from the soft stomach to the nursing bra and the juxtaposition of the happy wallpaper to the palpable vulnerability of the mother—I can almost feel the couch underneath me. I can feel the exhaustion deep in this woman's bones.

My heart feels the ache of loneliness right alongside hers. Because I remember. I remember the confusion and uncertainty and love and messy beauty of the fourth trimester so well. After all, it's etched in our minds and bodies forever.

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