The Ultimate Breastfeeding Clothes Resource Guide

The Ultimate Breastfeeding Clothes Resource Guide

*This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means that, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission)  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

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!

The Ultimate Breastfeeding Clothes Resource Guide #breastfeeding #nursingclothes

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.

It makes nursing easy and convenient

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. It’s not pretty. 

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.  

It can SAVE you money

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 (if you do it more, then hats off to you, milady), 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 really want 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.

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 whatever outfit you are wearing. 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, honest-to-goodness nursing dress.

Personally, I love to wear dresses. Plus many styles of dresses are quite forgiving and comfortable to frumpy 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. 

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. I’ve sqeezed every penny from those dresses!

Optional: Nursing Pajamas

Nursing pajamas are nice for hanging around the house during the postpartum healing period. During that time I don’t really  “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

 

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

These are all retailers whose nursing clothes I love. 

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!

The Ultimate Breastfeeding Clothes Resource Guide #breastfeeding #nursingclothes

Intermittent Fasting & Breastfeeding: My Experience

Intermittent Fasting & Breastfeeding: My Experience

*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional nor am I advocating Intermittent fasting and breastfeeding without your doctor and pediatrician’s consent and support. Everyone’s situation, needs, and health are different. I am simply sharing my experience while I was under the guidance of a doctor.*

 

Intermittent Fasting & Breastfeeding: My Experience 

I have a really hard time losing weight while breastfeeding. Like instead of losing weight, I gain it. While other women waste away while breastfeeding, I’m voraciously downing the last cupcake.

One thing that helped turn this around was practicing intermittent fasting (IF) following my 4th pregnancy and birth.

Honestly, it was perfect for me. No I didn’t lose a ton of weight quickly (because that would not be healthy or easy to maintain), but I reversed the trend of all my previous pregnancies and have slowly and continuously lost weight.

intermittent fasting and breastfeeding

The Struggle is Real

After each birth, I would try to lose weight, but I always had trouble losing while breastfeeding. Since breastfeeding is amazing and I love it, I refused to let my weight interfere with what was best for my baby (check out my breastfeeding guide here).

Once I stopped nursing, losing weight was a lot easier, but then I’d get pregnant within about 5 minutes (I had 4 girls in under 5 years).

After the birth of my 4th and last child Dec 2016, I was bound and determined to lose the weigt. I was going to finally overcome my inability to lose weight while breastfeeding.

So after getting the okay from my doctor, I had joined a gym, hired a personal trainer, tried to eat healthy, and worked my butt off for weeks and weeks. But my weight did not budge.

It was so incredibly depressing.

Then, I came across intermittent fasting while researching healthy eating, which was my main struggle. It was a revelation. There are so many health benefits to IF, it’s unreal (e.g. fat loss, increased lifespan, lower ideas risk etc).

I wanted to do it, but couldn’t find anything substantial about intermittent fasting AND breastfeeding. I didn’t want to risk my milk supply or quality, but I didn’t want to wait a year to lose weight.

But then I thought: women throughout history have successfully breastfed with limited food supply and in various circumstances. How could a couple extra hours of fasting a day impact my milk supply?

Talking to the Doctor

At my baby’s 3-month visit, I decided to ask the pediatrician about it. My milk supply was well established and my baby and I were in a great routine.

My pediatrician has always been very involved in my nutrition when I am breastfeeding, making sure I am getting all the vitamins and nutrients I need so my babies get what they need. She is very current on research and very concerned with healthy living. So I figured she was the perfect one for me to talk to.

I honestly figured that she would say “no” out of extreme caution. But she was really supportive of my plan to fast daily for 16 hours (mostly while sleeping).

I was going to eat between noon and 8:00pm each day while focusing on drinking tons of water and eating healthy.

I started the very next day.

Managing Intermittent Fasting and Breastfeeding

I woke up around 7:00am and got busy taking care of my kids. I wasn’t going to eat until noon, so I tried to stay busy. Honestly, that’s not hard as a mom, right?

After the morning routine, we went to the gym. By the time I got my kids checked into the kid’s center, worked out, gathered up my kids, and drove home it was almost noon!

I was definitely ready to eat and prepared a nice big meal. Then I ate 3 meals between noon and 7 and made sure to be done eating at 8:00pm.

I continued this and by about day 4, it was seriously no big deal waiting til noon to eat. In my experience, it was really easy to adjust to IF. Eating during an 8 hour window is so doable!

Plus, I found that feeling “empty” in the mornings helped me have more energy to take care of my kids and get stuff done around the house.

MY RESULTS

Milk Supply

To my pleasant surprise, my milk supply was unaffected by the fasting. I had plenty of milk and I noticed no change in nursing whatsoever. My baby didn’t seem affected one bit.

At times when I’ve lost weight more quickly–months after beginning IF–I have noticed a slight (and temporary) drop in supply, but that seems unrelated to IF and more to do with rapid weight loss. As of right now, I have a very healthy still-breastfed 15 month old.

Weight Loss

The weight immediately began to come off at about a pound a week (my breastfeeding sister has seen similar results), which is perfect.

Other than the first few days, I never felt hungry. I have lost 25 lbs so far and consistently lose about 1/2 – 1 lb a week.

I wasn’t necessarily drastically changing what I was eating right off the bat. But the best part of intermittent fasting is that it helped me get in control of my eating–which was key for me on my weight loss journey.

Since beginning IF, I have changed my eating habits a lot. But it’s been a really natural and gradual progression which means that it’s a change that has been easy to maintain.

Best Result of IF: Changing Habits

I never struggled to exercise–I love it. But breastfeeding makes me feel like I am starving ALL THE TIME. It was hard to control my eating because I want to eat everything in my sight.

With intermittent fasting, I felt like I took back control of my eating habits. It became easier to start making better food choices. Now I rarely eat sugary foods when before I ate them daily. It’s been a really natural transition into healthy eating habits.

Overall, intermittent fasting is easy (no counting calories or tracking food) and has been a great way for me to build healthy eating habits. It was an important early step for me in taking back my health.

If it interests you and you are breastfeeding, be sure to consult with your doctor/pediatrician first.

And then let me know how it goes for you!

Good luck, mama! 


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6 Essential Tips for Breastfeeding Success

6 Essential Tips for Breastfeeding Success

*This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means that, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission)  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

6 Essential Tips for Breastfeeding Success

Breastfeeding is hard. Magical, beautiful, bonding, and–for many moms, including myself–really, really hard. Especially when first starting out.

Setting yourself up for breastfeeding success as early as you possibly can will help eliminate a lot of the frustration and increase your chances of nursing as long as you want to with both you and your baby reaping the benefits.

But the tricky thing about breastfeeding is it’s not something you can really practice until game day.  You can decorate a nursery, buy all the baby clothes, and stock up on diapers.

But how can you really prepare to breastfeed a brand new baby? What can you do to set yourself up for success? Here are my best tips after breastfeeding 4 children.

 

6 tips for breastfeeding success

 

 6 ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR BREASTFEEDING SUCCESS

 

1.) Bring your nursing pillow to the hospital/birthing center. 

This may seem obvious, but in the rush to get to the hospital, many moms don’t think about the nursing pillow. I certainly didn’t. 

But the minute your sweetie is born, you’re going to start nursing. And you want to be surrounded by the tools you need.

 Note: Make sure you buy at least 1 waterproof protective cover for the pillow AND your normal covers.

 

2.) Use the lactation consultant at the hospital/birthing center.

If you are afraid to ask for help, you need to get over that right now. Use the lactation consultant and all the nurses to ask question after question, and get as much latching help from the get-go. When ANYTHING pops up, ask for help. 

If you feel that the lactation consultant isn’t helpful, get another one or find a nurse who is helpful. Many nurses are absolute treasure troves of breastfeeding knowledge!

 

3.) Have a support system in place. 

This is one of the most overlooked resources in this world of do-it-yourselfers, but is probably THE most important key to success. I’ve seen some advice given to hire a lactation consultant before you even have the baby.

But who can afford that!?!

For thousands and thousands of years, people successfully breastfed without having to hire in-home help. What people have had, historically, is a knowledgeable breastfeeding support system. There is a good chance you have experienced breastfeeders in your circle somewhere.

Women around the world have the same struggles, but the most successful breastfeeding societies have strong breastfeeding support systems.

Consider asking relatives, friends, or close neighbors if they’d be willing to help once the baby comes. The vast majority of experienced breastfeeders would be downright thrilled to help you out.

Heck, email me if you need help!

If you are feeling modest, I’m telling you–after labor, you won’t care who sees your ta-tas.

4.) Don’t stress out about a little formula supplementation.

I’m going to take flak for this, but it’s true. A little formula will not detrail your breastfeeding endeavors.

If you’ve done much breastfeeding research, you’ve probably heard that supplementing with formula will affect your supply. And it certainly will–if you do it regularly.

But let’s say you are in so much pain from a bad latch and are basically delirious from pain and lack of sleep (been there!). A few ounces of formula isn’t going to be the end of the world.

However, it may give you the chance to get sleep, give your nipples a break, and try again a bit later with a little more sanity at your disposal. You can have breastfeeding success with a little formula.

 

5.) Buy nursing clothes.

Perhaps you’ve already looked, but they seemed pricey. It’s worth it, trust me. You’ll thank me later when you can breastfeed discretely and with ease in a public place as opposed to pulling your dress over your head in a nasty public bathroom stall or your car.

I cannot tell you how much this completely changed my breastfeeding experience. For more on breastfeeding clothes, check out my guide here

 

6.) Get a suitable pump. 

Not everyone needs a pump, but you don’t need to be a working mom to find incredible value in a good pump.  

If you are a stay-at-home mom, but plan to be able to leave your child for a couple of hours, the medela swing is perfect. I loved it until I started working part-time.

If you plan on working or being away for 3 or more hours regularly, or you are not comfortable breastfeeding in public and want to bring bottles, I cannot rave enough about the Medela Pump on the Go.

I’ve cooked dinners, graded papers, and even done squats–all while pumping. You wear a pumping bra (I like this one) and can pump both sides, hands-free. It’s awesome! I feel like if I had gotten a double pump with my 1st two kids (I didn’t get it until #3) I would have been able to nurse them longer.

 

And Above All: Be kind to yourself, mama. 

Breastfeeding is not a stick to measure yourself up to anyone else.

Your mental and physical health is the most important thing you can offer your new baby, not breastmilk. Do the best you can, and love yourself. You created human life. That’s pretty amazing, mama.

I wish you great breastfeeding success! May the milk freely flow and the nipples be pain free.