Breastfeeding ain’t easy, y’all. From hormone swings to cracked nipples to engorged breasts to clogged ducts to tongue ties to reflux to intolerances…there is no limit to how torturous the process can be.
(For the record, it’s also wonderful, and convenient, and special, but let’s be real – when you’re in the throes of it at 2 a.m., with a newborn baby who’s cluster feeding for the fourth straight hour…you’re not thinking about any of those warm, fuzzy aspects of breastfeeding.)
And on top of all that drama (not to mention the drama of having just had a baby), you suddenly find that none of your clothing makes sense anymore. After nine months of stocking an entirely new wardrobe of clothes to fit over your growing belly (and booty, thighs, arms), you now have to find an entirely new wardrobe of clothes that will allow you to easily uncover your boobs, but keep your belly and back covered.
Say what!? I was so excited to get back into my “cute” pre-pregnancy clothes, only to find that A) they still didn’t fit (hmph), and B) they were completely impractical!
Plus, I can’t say I was all-too-thrilled to be spending more money on another temporary wardrobe. I was lucky to be able to nurse both my babies for their first year, but to be honest, I was taking it day-by-day both times. I had no idea how long we were going to make it on our breastfeeding journey, so I hated the thought of buying a bunch of new clothes, only to quit breastfeeding the next week and have no use for them.
So, I made it my mission to find clothes that were both nursing-friendly, and still wearable after we were done breastfeeding. Through a combination of actual nursing-specific clothing and regular clothes with some key features, I think I succeeded – I stopped nursing my daughter four months ago, and I still regularly wear much of my nursing gear!
My 6 Favorite Nursing-Friendly Clothing Items:
1. Motherhood Maternity Nursing Tanks
Nursing tanks are a staple for any nursing mom. The easiest way to assemble a nursing-friendly outfit is to throw on a nursing tank, and then layer a loose, stretchy top over it. I tried a few different brands of nursing tanks, and these ones worked best for me. They go on sale often, so buy a few of them at once if you find them at a good price!
2. Latched Mama Nursing Romper
OK, I’ll admit when I first saw this nursing romper, I thought it sounded kind of ridiculous – it’s a romper, but the legs are so baggy, so that it looks like a dress. This is intentional! It means you can bend, climb, jump, and do whatever you need to do with your little ones, and not worry about flashing anyone.
It’s also made of the softest fabric I’ve ever felt, and is so stretchy and flattering and comfortable. It’s one of my favorite dresses to wear, even now that I’m not nursing!
3. Latched Mama Nursing Wrap Maxi
This is my absolute favorite dress: nursing or not nursing. I get so many compliments on it every time I wear it, and people are always blown away when I tell them it’s actually a nursing dress. It’s also so versatile with the different ways you can tie it, so you can make it look different every time you wear it.
I love this brand in general; it’s a little on the pricier side (I’m usually a Target girl, so anything over $20 is “pricey” to me), but I’ve been so impressed by the quality of the fabric and how they’ve held up after over a year of use. Plus, it’s mom-founded business, so I don’t mind spending a little bit more to support another mom!
4. Soft V-Neck Tops
If you’re looking for non-nursing specific gear, the key is finding tops with a deeper V-neck, and made of soft, stretchy fabric, like these Gap Softspun Tops. I have an arsenal of shirts like this, from plain, solid-colored tees from Target to the Luxe V-Neck Tees from Old Navy.
5. Button-Down Shirts & Dresses
The other key feature to look for in non-nursing wear is button-front tops. I often wore button-down dresses or loose henleys with a nursing bra (or even a regular bra – just fold the cup under itself when it’s time to nurse) if I was going out to dinner and needed to look “nicer.” Just unhook the first couple buttons, and voila: nurse away!
6. Milk Snob Nursing Cover
If you haven’t already heard of Milk Snob, where have you been?! These multitasking nursing/car seat covers can also work as a scarf if you bunch it up enough. Plus, the company was born right here in Collin County by an Allen mama! This is my go-to baby shower gift, because I couldn’t have lived without it when I was nursing my baby.
So if you’re a new nursing mama, and wondering what the heck you’re supposed to wear now, hopefully this can help you build up your new postpartum wardrobe with confidence that you’ll keep on wearing these items well beyond your nursing time.