If you’re anything like me, when you’ve got a new baby in your arms you probably feel like more of a milk machine than a style maven. But after two bambinos, I’ve learnt a few tricks of the trade and thought I’d share my tips on what to wear when breastfeeding.
Stay True To You
For every new mother who gives birth and feels like she’s found her calling, there are just as many (me included!) who think, “Oh my god! What have I done?’ It can be such a daunting and overwhelming time that it’s easy to feel like you barely recognise yourself. This is why I think that your breastfeeding style should reflect how you’ve always liked to dress. Personally, I didn’t buy any tops specially designed for nursing, as they never looked like anything I’d normally wear. I also didn’t buy a nappy bag. Instead, I used a roomy tote that had lots of handy pockets and was easy to wipe down.
Get The Basics Right
Invest in at least four nursing bras as you will need to wash them more frequently and will probably need to wear one at night as well. It pays to get them properly fitted so that you can allow for your breast size to increase when your milk comes in.
You don’t have to go out and spend a fortune to get breastfeeding tops. In fact, you probably already have lots of pieces in your wardrobe that are perfect. An oversized tee, draped cowl neck top, button down shirt, loose kaftan or V-neck that can be pulled to the side all fit the bill. Just skip anything that is overly embellished or needs dry cleaning.
I felt really self-conscious of my postpartum tummy, so I bought a truckload of nursing singlets (like these ones from Bonds) to wear under my tops. Not only did they give me the support I needed, they also kept my stomach covered when I had to lift up my top and feed a hungry little one.
If you feel a bit uncomfortable about breastfeeding in public and showing too much skin, you can buy a specially designed nursing cover. Or you can rummage around in your wardrobe and find a favourite oversized cotton wrap, infinity scarf or pashmina that you can drape over your shoulder. In winter, a poncho is also a great option.
Say Yes To The Dress
You don’t have to stop wearing dresses while breastfeeding. Just get a little clever about what style you slip into. A wrap dress is perfect as it’s easy to loosen so you can feed bub without getting half undressed. Other options that work well are shirt dresses, anything that has a V-neck or a frock with straps that you can easily slip down. If you have a small bust, once your milk settles down you might also be able to get away with a strapless dress.
Dark Colours And Prints Are Your Friends
Let’s be frank. In the early days, your breasts will leak. Thankfully tops in a dark colour or pattern will hide a multitude of sins.
If In Doubt, Add A blazer
Some days there is nothing easier than pulling on your fave comfy tee. If that just happens to be on a day when you have to leave the house, simply add a blazer or jacket and you’ll instantly look more pulled together.
Put A Ring On It
Baby arrives and my brain leaves! I constantly struggled to remember which side I last fed from, so I started wearing a ring that I could switch from my left hand to my right as a visual reminder. A bracelet works just as well or if you’re a bit more tech savvy there are even apps to help you remember where you’re up to.
What are your top tips for how to dress when breastfeeding?