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The Ultimate Breastfeeding Clothes Resource Guide
Breastfeeding is tough. Which is part why 60% of mothers do not breastfeed for as long as they want to. While there are many reasons for this, one reason is that breastfeeding becomes too inconvenient and too difficult when life gets busy. If you want to be successful and nurse long term, creating a breastfeeding-friendly wardrobe is essential. Cute and versatile breastfeeding clothes will make nursing discreetly quick and easy regardless of where you are.
And the good news is that there are sooooo many amazingly cute breastfeeding clothes out there right now (see below for a comprehensive list). We’re basically in a renaissance for breastfeeding clothes. It’s an exciting time to be alive, ladies!
It’s worth the investment
Let’s just be honest for a sec–popping the ladies out isn’t exactly convenient in most clothes. You may be able to get away with what you have for the first month or two when you hardly ever leave the house. But once you are back into the normal routine, nursing quickly becomes incredibly inconvenient in most normal clothes. I have seen my fair share of moms who’ve had to pull their entire dress up to nurse their baby. And–let’s face it–I’ve been there too.
But you can completely avoid that hassle. Breastfeeding clothes (and nursing-friendly clothes) make discrete nursing easy and convenient. They also increase your chances of successfully breastfeeding for as long as you choose. And that means saving literally thousands of dollars on formula. Formula costs on average $1800 for a year’s worth. Yikes! In the end, investing in your breastfeeding success will save you money. For other breastfeeding tips, check out my post 6 Essential Tips for Breastfeeding Success.
Been there and done that
But alas, I can be a very slow learner at times. While I am a major breastfeeding clothes advocate now, it took breastfeeding 3 kids to figure out how much easier life is with them. With my first three kids, I looked at nursing clothes online, and while they were cute, I felt like they were a little expensive. I’ll get by on what I have, I thought.
But “getting by” meant many uncomfortable and awkward situations as I strained to get the milk bags out of uncompromising clothes. I’d be sitting in my car nursing a child with a dress or blouse pulled all the way up exposing my tummy. Or awkwardly trying to nurse with a cover while trying to navigate through about 5 articles of clothing, pushing this one that way and that one this way just trying to feed my child.
It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t fun.
So once I was pregnant with my 4th, I finally decided to splurge and buy actual straight up, honest-to-goodness breastfeeding clothes. And I’ve never looked back.
Welcome to Shang-ri-la, ladies!
It completely changed my breastfeeding experience. It was a whole new and wonderful world. It was awesome. And I pretty much told anyone who would listen that breastfeeding clothes are amazing.
No more awkwardness and stress while trying to nurse in public. No more fumbling with 6 articles of clothing and intense discomfort as I try to feed my child.
Not only was nursing very convenient, but nursing clothes are designed to make it discrete. Most are designed so that very little of your breast is exposed while you are nursing–and what is exposed is covered by your baby. I found that while in public, I could quickly, easily, and very discreetly nurse my little one (with no cover) without getting any looks whatsoever. Not only was it soooo much easy for me, but it’s like people didn’t even notice.
I’m still nursing my 14 month old and wearing nursing clothes every single day.
So, now that you know you need some breastfeeding clothes, let’s dive right in!
Breastfeeding Clothes: The Basics
Nursing clothes are made to make nursing convenient and discreet. Clothes in your closet may already fit the bill (hello, deep-v’s!), but investing in some great nursing pieces are totally worth it.
Assuming that you do laundry about once a week, here’s a basic guideline for what you will need.
- 5 + Nursing Bras (regular & sport)
- 5-7 Casual tops
- 1-2 Dressy Tops
- At least 1 dress
- Optional: nursing pajamas
While you don’t need to go out and buy a completely new wardrobe, you do want to make sure you have enough clothes to make breastfeeding convenient. If it’s not convenient, you’re probably going to stop nursing before you’d like to.
Also note that, if you are like most women, the first several months after giving birth you might want some more forgiving clothes as you work back to your pre-pregnancy size/shape.
Breast-feeding Clothes You Need:
5 or more nursing bras
These are absolutely essential. If you can’t whip your tatas out of your bra easily, it won’t matter what you are wearing. Breastfeeding is just going to be awkward. So first things first, get some nursing bras! For more guidance on selecting nursing bras, check out the article from The Bump.
- Regular bras: If ever there was a time to make sure the ladies are properly housed, it’s when they are full of milk and literally feel like they are about to burst. My personal faves are Motherhood Maternity nursing bras and Kindred Bravely Nursing Bras.
- Sports bras: If you work out, these are a must. To be honest, these nursing sports bras from Motherhood Maternity are my absolute favorite nursing bras, period. Not just for working out. I wear them all the time with casual deep v’s. I also really love these bras because they are like the a sports bra/regular bra combo. They have the support and comfort of a sports bra, but straps like a normal bra.
5-7 casual nursing-friendly tops
- Nursing Tops: I recommend getting at least one honest-to-goodness nursing top. This top from Undercover Mama is my favorite. It’s long, comfortable, and it actually clips right onto your nursing bra so it is INSANELY easy and convenient to nurse. It’s long and flattering and makes nursing and running around after kids easy. Undercover Mama is a fantastic and reasonably priced brand to get cute and comfortable nursing clothes.
- The Deep V: These are perfect casual wear and are not nursing specific, so you may already have them around. I’ve really like these ones (note: you will want to order a size up). Pair with jeans, leggings or a cute skirt and you are golden. Personally, I love this skirt–like LuLaRoe but way cheaper and it comes in a zillion patterns/colors. Downside of the deep-v is that the top of the breast is exposed if you are concerned about being super discreet and like to nurse without a cover.
- The Button up Top: Not nursing specific, but still super convenient for nursing.
- Nursing Tank Tops: Wearing these handy tank tops under your clothes make most tops nursing-friendly. Downside is that you have to lift your top up and fumble with more articles of clothing. But if you are on a tight budget, these are the way to go.
2 “dressy” nursing-friendly tops
At some point, you are actually going to need to dress up somewhat and get out of the house. If you work, I’d get several tops. Even if baby is not coming with you, chances are you will need to breastfeed at sometime while wearing the outfit. Even though my baby never joins me while I teach evening classes (obviously), I nurse her right before I leave and right when I come back.
A nursing dress
You may not wear dresses all that much, but when you need to wear one, chances are it’s going to be hard to nurse unless it’s an actual nursing dress. Personally, I love to wear dresses. Plus many styles of dresses are quite forgiving and comfortable to postpartum bodies.
This is probably my very favorite dress and it comes in 4 colors! It’s also Undercover Mama so it clips right into your bra for super convenient and discreet nursing. While it’s a maxi dress, it can be cut with sharp scissors to any length you want. For me, I like my dresses mid-length. So I just cut off the bottom and the fabric just curled up nicely with no need to hem! I
I also REALLY love the dresses at Milk and Baby. I have bought several and while some were kinda pricey IMO, the convenience of nursing clothes seriously makes it worth the price.
Optional: Nursing Pajamas
Nursing pajamas are nice for hanging around the house during the postpartum healing period. During that time I’m not up to get “dressed” yet, but it’s nice to have something comfortable to wear when answering the door and for when people stop by to see the new bundle of joy.
Recap: My Favorite Items
- Bras: Motherhood Maternity (especially this one)
- Nursing Top from Undercover Mama
- Nursing Dress from Undercover Mama
- Deep V’s with cute pencil skirts
BREASTFEEDING CLOTHES RESOURCES
List of Great Breastfeeding Clothes Websites
- Milk & Baby: Great selection and super cute clothes. I have a few dresses from here and I always get compliments when I wear them. People are so shocked when I tell them they are nursing dresses!
- Milk Nursingwear: This retailer also has a massive selection of great clothes.
- Latched Mama: While the clothes are pretty simple, they are affordable and well made. My 3/4 sleeve dress has held up really well.
- Amazon: Amazon has an impressive array of breastfeeding clothes available including many of the above brands plus some very inexpensive options (just be aware of quality and fit issues with cheaper selections).
Clothing Retailers with Nursing Clothes Selection
Welcome to the world of convenient & discrete nursing!
My friend, learn from my errors and make sure that you have a breastfeeding-friendly wardrobe to set you up for breastfeeding success. Clothes make all the difference in making nursing both convenient, easy, and discrete. Nursing is hard enough without clothing choices making it inconvenient. By investing a a few items, you can change your whole experience.
Good luck, mama!