Nestled in the Ravenswood neighborhood (right near Bang Bang Pie and Mint Mini!) on Damen sits a shop that is, simply put, every nursing mother’s mecca.
Milk Supply opened in September 2017 and is Chicago’s sole breastfeeding support store. How such a store has only opened this recently in a city this size is beyond my current mental capacities as a mom of a young baby, but the important thing is that it’s here, and it’s here to help breastfeeding moms through their nursing journeys. Hallelujah and pass the oatmeal cookies!
After a loving and successful breastfeeding experience with her first son (now 21 months old), Krista Kinsley started down the road to become a breastfeeding specialist. Soon thereafter she saw a desperate need for a centralized, in-person location for nursing mothers to find supplies and expert advice on all things nursing. “I would go to the big box stores for nursing supplies for myself, and the options were not only limited, but the sales staff just weren’t trained or knowledgeable.” This, of course, is the point when I pulled up a glass of wine, kvetched with other moms, and went no further. Krista, luckily, has more gumption and we are the better for it.
The store is a curated haven for nursing supplies of all sorts: nursing bras that are the unicorn combination of beautiful, useful, and comfortable: pumping bras, nursing/pumping combination bras (I didn’t know that was a thing, but it’s a thing!), nursing tops/sweatshirts, pump parts (this is only physical location to get Spectra brand supplies in Chicago!), nursing covers, supplements, gorgeous and useful pump travel bags and so, so much more. Best of all, you can ask someone who is not only knowledgeable but also is in the trenches as a nursing mom any question without judgment, knowing you’ll get an answer you can trust.
All of this is enough to make a great store, and it is, but the mission of Milk Supply goes deeper than that by creating a supportive community for all moms. There are weekly drop-in lactation clinics with IBCLC*s for moms who may not have easy access to lactation consultants for $40 (an in-home consultation can run around $200) to answer questions. The store has a beautiful playroom for older siblings, changing table, comfortable nursing area, and even hosts music classes for babies and toddlers through Stomp & Shout. There’s also a back-to-work mom’s group that can help with the difficult transition of nursing to pumping.
It’s safe to say this little store has big-time soul.
For the expectant moms unsure of when they can or should purchase nursing supplies or apparel, Krista suggests stopping in around 36 weeks, when you can have an accurate idea of your future nursing bra size. You can find some maternity items as well as immediate postpartum goodies, too.
Whether you’re a first or 5th-time mom, from the time you’re expecting to when you finish your nursing journey, Milk Supply can support and lift you up better than your favorite nursing bra**. Come in for some nursing supplies and leave feeling part of a community. If that isn’t a mom win, I don’t know what is.
If you go
4955 N. Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
Find out more information at milksupplychicago.com.
*International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. Don’t worry. I didn’t know what that was, either.
**If you thought you were going to get through this article without me making that joke, I thought you knew me better than that by now.