Breastfeeding Clothes - 10 Tips for Dressing While Breastfeeding
Part of successfully breastfeeding is knowing the right things to wear. Whether you're just starting out or you're looking for some more flexibility in your wardrobe, we've got some great ideas to help you look and feel your fashionable best.
1. Wear a Nursing Bra or Tank
A good nursing bra or tank is the foundation of any nursing wardrobe. While you can choose to flip up or pull aside a regular bra, you'll find that your bras will lose support faster this way. Nursing bras and tanks have special clips, snaps, or hooks that help a section of fabric fold down without affecting the support structures of the bra.
2. Wear a Tank Top Under Clothes
If you have to open, lift, pull aside, or unbutton your shirt or dress, having a tank top underneath will give you a better feeling of coverage. Choose a tank top with wider arm openings or a lower neckline so that you can push the tank aside or pull it down to accommodate your needs. Your abdomen and half of your neckline will still be covered when you lift up or unbutton your top layer, so it's an easy trick to feel less exposed.
3. Choose Button-Down Shirts
Dressing for breastfeeding is about easy access. Button-down shirts are a simple way to quickly open your shirt when needed. Leaving the lower buttons done will help you feel more secure and less likely to show more than you intended. Button-downs are easier to dress up or look professional, so they're the perfect choice for working moms, too.
4. Wear a Wrap Dress
Whether you're looking for something for work or a night out, the wrap dress is a nursing mama's best friend. Most dresses are awkward to wear when you're nursing, especially ones that zip in the back, so a wrap dress is a perfect solution. With one layer of fabric draped in a crisscross over the other, you'll have no issues getting your baby to the goods while looking amazing.
5. Try a V-Neck or Scoop-Neck T-Shirt
If you're looking for something casual and comfortable to wear, you can't go wrong with a T-shirt. If you pick a shirt with a larger neck you can easily pull the neck down to bring your breast to baby. If you're worried about stretching the neck out too much, pick a shirt that's blended with polyester or lycra because they offer more bounce in the fabric.
6. Keep Wearing a Bella Band
If you've been swearing by your Bella Band during your pregnancy, you might be pleasantly surprised to find that it's still useful during the nursing years. Wearing a Bella Band will not only help you to transition through different jean sizes, but it provides extra torso coverage, too. If you prefer to lift your shirt from the bottom when nursing but don't want to be overly exposed, a Bella Band adds a layer of tummy privacy without having to wear multiple shirts.
7. Look for Crossover Tops
A crossover top is a great option for nursing moms. You can find crossover tops in specialty stores like Motherhood Maternity or even regular retail stores like Gap. With an easily pulled aside crisscross V-neck, crossover tops are a nice step up from a T-shirt but are still casual enough for daily wear.
8. Add a Scarf to Your Outfit
Would you like some extra privacy without the hassle of carrying a Hooter Hider with you everywhere? Scarves have been a fashion mainstay for a few years now and are a beautiful way to accent any outfit. Choose wider scarves in thin fabrics so that you don't feel weighed down—that way you'll have lots of coverage for when you're feeling shy.
9. Pick a Peasant Blouse
Peasant blouses can add a boho-chic flair to any outfit. You can pair a peasant blouse with a skirt, pants, jeans, or shorts and look casually gorgeous anywhere you are. With a wide neck opening and tie closure, peasant blouses can easily be opened and adjusted for nursing your baby on the go.
10. Go Topless
This one will only work at home, but it's certainly your easiest option. Skin-to-skin contact with your baby provides valuable bonding time, and you can't find better access for baby to nurse. If you catch a chill, just wrap yourself and baby up in a nice fleece throw, or better yet, snuggle in bed.
TIP: See also The Ultimate Guide to Survive Breast Pumping at Work.