No one wants to think about breastfeeding clothes, mostly because it’s practically impossible to know what to wear as a new mom. Between the nursing breastfeeding, spit-up, limited sleep and a body that’s still healing, finding comfort, style and function in your wardrobe can be a huge challenge.
Clothing sold as “nursing clothes” are often unflattering with folds and panels that are meant to conceal and provide easy access but can get caught, bunch up and look a little obvious, if you ask us. In our quest to look fab despite our role as nursing moms, we’ve come up with ten key tips on what to wear while you’re breastfeeding. Pick a few of our ideas, rummage through your closet and start looking like the put together mom you were always meant to be.
1. Plunge your necklines. When it comes to breastfeeding tops, check your closet for low necklines you already own. As long as the fabric has some give, you should be good to stretch them enough to get your breast out and over the top in order to breastfeed that baby of yours.
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2. Think outside the nursing bra. You know those sports bras you bought last year for yoga that provide not enough support to do much more than walk around the mall? Those can be your friend right now. If you’ve got a plunging neckline top that’s a little too low for your personal taste, put your sports bra on underneath and you have easy access with a high enough neckline that you don’t feel like your cleavage is spilling over onto your plate. These bras pull down easily, too.
3. Put a nursing tank under pretty much anything. To cover your back and belly when pulling up your blouse to nurse, wear a nursing bra under your regular tops. Lots of your shirts can be pulled up to nurse so, instead of wearing a nursing bra underneath, put on your nursing tank top which you’ll unlatch. The top layer goes up, the bottom layer pulls down and you’re covered while breastfeeding.
4. Flowy is your friend. Those adorable flowy half-shirts that are so trendy right now can go over a tank top and provide you with easy access from above or below. These are breastfeeding clothes at there very best.
5. Button downs come to your rescue. Whether it’s a Henley with just a few buttons at the bust or a full-on button down blouse for the office, you can expose whatever you need with a few flicks of the wrist, which make button-downs perfect as breastfeeding tops.
6. Always wear a scarf. Because it’s cold you should have one anyway, right? Plus, all those postpartum hormones cause all kinds of temperature fluctuations so we know you’ll use a scarf pretty much every day no matter what you’re up to. As long as you can get access to your breast, know that your scarf can provide some modesty and cover you up no matter how awkward everything looks underneath. It can also cover up the spit up on your shoulder. You’re welcome.
7. You can pull off strapless, we promise. You might think your days of wearing strapless maxi dresses is over but we have news for you: strapless dresses are totally breastfeeding friendly! Pair it with a cardigan for coverage and warmth and you’re set to go.
8. Wrap it up. Wrap dresses and tops (even faux wraps work!) are perfect for nursing and they’re super flattering, too. Look for styles with ruching in the waist to give your post-baby body a boost in all the right places. If the wrap plunges a little too low for your post-baby boobs (sometimes their porn star big, we know), put your nursing tank or thin sports bra on underneath to give you more coverage while not impeding the beauty of the ease of access you have.
9. Grab your statement pieces. When you’re nursing a little one, you want to have some cheap statement jewelry on pretty much all the time. Between the baby’s grabby hands and the fact that you want to distract people from breast milk stains and drips going south, a bold necklace will do wonders.
10. Try it all on. Prepare yourself by maybe having a glass of wine and then open the doors to your closet and commit to trying on at least half of what’s in there. Honestly, your body will have changed a lot but that’s no reason why something that worked for you before can’t serve a purpose again, even as breastfeeding clothes. Cardigans you used to button might be worn open now but paired with a skinny belt over top, you might just find your new look. Just as long as it can be worn with a nursing tank underneath, that is!