By Gabi Falanga
Breastfeeding is a whole new ball game for moms doing it for the first time. But one thing’s for sure, whether you’re getting used to feeding hungry new born or a demanding older baby, you want to feel comfortable while doing it. And while any sense of fashion may have gone out the window when baby arrived, you’ll probably still want to look and feel good when you go for outings.
We know that buying a whole new wardrobe for pregnancy, and then again for breastfeeding gets expensive, so we’ve come up with some ways you can use existing clothing when nursing your baby. It’s worth noting that sometimes maternity dresses and tops are designed to be breastfeeding compatible. Buying items that can serve more than one purpose is a good idea, especially given that maternity clothing can be pricey.
Spaghetti strap tops: Spaghetti strap tops or camisoles are a must-have in a breastfeeding mom’s wardrobe. They are versatile and comfortable – suitable to wear at home, out and about, or as sleepwear. Most of them come with some level of built-in support which means they can be worn with or without a bra. These tops can easily be pulled down so that baby has quick access to the boob. Try the “up-down” trick when you wear one under another top so that you don’t feel too exposed when nursing baby: Pull your shirt up, and the strappy top down and your midriff will stay covered while baby drinks. Some shops sell these tops with straps that clip off, to make nursing even easier.
Cross-overs and wraps: Wrap dresses or tops and dresses with a cross-over front are perfect for breastfeeding. Make sure that the garment has a deep enough wrap or cross-over so that you can comfortably get your breast out. Wearing a spaghetti strap or nursing bra underneath that can easily be pulled sideways means you can whip your breast out in one quick move.
V-necks: Tops with scooped or V-necks are wonderful breastfeeding options. You may need to buy them a size bigger than you usual so that there’s enough room to manoeuvre your breasts out. It’s a good idea to buy tops that have some stretch in them so that you don’t damage them by stretching them out.
Button up: Tops and dresses with buttons in the front are always cute and definitely an option for a breastfeeding mom. They can be a bit fiddly though, taking a bit longer to undo and button up again, so may not be the best option for when you’re out and about alone with baby and not enough hands.
Nursing clothing: More and more mom and baby shops have started selling clothes designed especially for a nursing mom. These include tops and dresses that have flaps in the front, hidden cut outs over the breasts, and even concealed zips. While these can be a more expensive option, they are super convenient and add some variety to your wardrobe. Consider buying higher quality options if you plan to breastfeed more children.
Scarves: Scarves are a lovely accessory to have in your wardrobe while breastfeeding. Not only can you use them to dress up your limited number of nursing-tops, but they’re good for providing some extra cover if you’re shy about exposing yourself in public.
Nursing bras: It’s a good idea to get some comfortable nursing bras. Ones breasts often expand significantly once baby has arrived and then settle somewhat after a few weeks. So while you may want to buy a bra or two before baby’s born, it’s a good idea to wait until baby’s a few weeks old to buy a few more.