One of the top questions asked on our social media by mums planning or starting to breastfeed is – what do I need?! Boobs for a start! But what about clothes, we have some basic clothing suggestions to kick you off.
Can I breastfeed in it? Being comfortable and feeling confident when breastfeeding is so important, clothes that allow you to easily breastfeed can be a massive contributor to that confidence. Especially for new Mums who are just getting to grips with breastfeeding, not to mention feeling the pressure of feeding outside the safety of home and trying to maneouvre huge milk filled boobs out of awkward clothing! That confidence from feeling comfortable, looking great and feeling like yourself can also help make the difference between bronze and diamond boobs!
These are just some ideas for you to consider, breastfeeding clothing still comes down to personal preference, vests/ no vests, breastfeeding specific/ non-specific…..try a few different options at home and see what works for you!
1. First off you DON’T need to change your style! You don’t need to compromise or change who you are just because you are breastfeeding!
2. Secondly you don’t need to buy a whole new wardrobe either!
3. A good starting point is a couple of nursing bras- size and fit is so important. Initially you might want to look at some flexible bras that give greater allowance for changing size until your milk supply gets established. Then it is best to get measured, we would suggest you work out your BOB measurement ( https://booborbust.com/ ) before you head to a store so you have a rough idea of the correct size you are looking for (stores can sometimes suggest larger band sizes that don’t offer adequate support and the BOB measurement can revolutionise your bra size!)
Try Bravissimo, M&S, Nursing Bra Shop, Figleaves, Brastop, Molke. There are different types of nursing bras available, most with nursing clips, some with an A-frame design (the upper part of the boob is covered when the cup is pulled down), flexi-wire and flexible bras (i.e Molke).
4. Vests- you may or may not be a fan of vests and may be quite happy whipping a boob out, but vests can be great for confidence and really help make your existing wardrobe more nursing friendly. Vests can be worn under tops for OUOD (One Up, One Down – is where you lift the outer layer up and the pull the vest down or vice versa) , they can be used under pretty much anything, from shirts to dresses and jumpsuits. They also keep your tummy covered when you are breastfeeding which can be an added bonus! Most high street stores sell simple stretchy vests or you can buy specific nursing vests with nursing clips or there are more discrete options such as front panels, zips, slots ie the BShirt.
5. Your body will still be adjusting after giving birth and you will no doubt want to give it a chance to settle down if you do want to look for new clothes. So initially some of your maternity clothes may also be suitable for nursing, and in the early stages may be the most comfortable. Maybe some loose fit tees or shirts you have already in your wardobe mght be a good bet.
6. Your pre-baby wardrobe is probably very breastfeeding friendly, it is just something you have not had to consider before!
Possible feeding styles include wrap fronts, button front, zip front, twist front, double layers, split back, stretchy v neck, feeding through arm holes, bandeau top, wearing tops back to front, dresses/tops with straps that easily untie, dungarees and pinafores where you can feed out the side…. All of these styles can be found in tops, jumpers, dresses, jumpsuits, playsuits and from loungwear to occason wear and wedding dresses!
Also check out the fabric type for any that can easily be pulled down or to the side.
7. Breastfeeding specific clothing – so these may have panels that lift up, secret vertical or horizontal zips, hidden slots, wrap fronts with modesty panels and can be some of the most discrete. Don’t feel you have to buy breastfeeding specific clothing, it comes down to personal preference and what you find the most comfortable. You want to feel confident to be able to breastfeed and so these may be the choice for you. Breastfeeding specific clothing covers everything from funky dresses to hoodys!
8. Breast pads (I know technically not clothing but still super useful!) for leakage , especially in the early days. You can buy some lovely washable pads over disposable ones too. And a plentiful supply of muslins – so handy for your mummy bag for all sorts of stuff!
9. You can choose ethical breastfeeding clothing options, check out our ethical series of articles for more detail and ideas….
10. Nights can seem particularly long and sleep depraved, especially with a new born… as well as having a book or your phone for night time browsing and shopping, you want to feel comfortable and warm too! Long sleeves are a good idea as it can get cold at night. Try nightwear with a buttoned or wrap design for nursing access- lifting up layers can be a bit chilly! You could also wear a vest under nightwear as another option to help keep warm.
11. Practice breastfeeding in different clothing styles at home to see what you find the easiest and most comfortable, it is not always easy to find those boobs under lots of layers when you have a hungry little one screaming!
Practice in front of a mirror if you are feeling self conscious, but you can guarantee you will be the only one who is aware you are breastfeeding!
12. Find a couple of go to outfits that you know you can nurse and feel good in so you always have something you know you can wear.
You really can dress to your personal style and be able to breastfeed, and don’t forget you are doing amazing!
Our Facebook group shares the latest breastfeeding friendly finds so make sure you are a member! Click here to go to Facebook group
For suggestions of breastfeeding friendly outfits available on line Click here for our fashion Round Ups
We also have a Hot Favourites list, featuring mostly affordable and popular outfits from our Facebook group, clothes sell out when on our Hot Faves List! Click here for Hot Favourites List
We feature a number of small businesses and breastfeeding friendly brands on our website and social media, so here are just a few links you might like to check out….