I recently wrote a post about maternity clothes and why they don’t need to cost the Earth and today, in aid of World Breastfeeding Week, I’m here with my top must have items for breastfeeding that won’t have you hunting for the £1 you dropped down the sofa a few months ago.
I’m hoping that in around 8-9 weeks time I will be a third time breastfeeder and so I kind of know what works for me and the way I breastfeed. It’s definitely worth considering whether you’ll only breastfeed at home or whether you plan to do it in public as well. Lots of women decide that being really open about it isn’t for them and they’d prefer to be more discreet, but others are more than happy to just, for lack of a better term, whip it out!
Either way, there are definitely a few staple items that I would suggest you have in your wardrobe if you’re breastfeeding.
First things first, you need a good base layer. One top that I’ve recently come across which is insanely good is the Bshirt*.
Most feeding tops require you to clip and unclip the straps but then the clips aren’t really that nice to look at. This top is specifically designed to either be worn as a standalone piece (think along the lines of jeans and a ‘naice’ top outfit) or it can be worn as part of a layered outfit (hello vest top and denim shirt) and it’s all without clips, yay!
The Bshirt offers an ‘O.U.O.D’ approach (one up, one down) which means you lift the really rather cute and lace detailed part of the top up, and the ‘down’ bit is already done for you as it sits perfectly under your nursing bra.
Not only does this allow for easy, discreet feeding you don’t have to faff and fiddle with clips, pulling three different bits of a top out of the way and it looks like a normal vest top!
It comes in so many different colours (have you seen the new “Red Sky at Night”, “Devon Mist” and “Sea Shell Pink”?) and the best thing is that the Bshirt only costs £20. This is absolutely one of those things that you will invest in for it to last for your whole breastfeeding journey, if not all of them should you have more than one baby. The fabric is super soft, doesn’t cling to your every curve and it’s so comfortable! The perfect piece to breastfeed fashionably.
Buttoned or Zipped Tops and Dresses
There are some seriously gorgeous buttoned tops and dresses around at the moment that are perfect if you want to keep up with high street fashion, don’t want to spend any more money on things that are specifically maternity or nursing and want to wear after your breastfeeding journey is over.
Buttons or zips are great down the front because they offer as little or as much access as you like and you can determine pretty much how much skin is on show. They’re easy to pull to the side although they are a little bit more fiddly than something that’s clipped!
If you’re ordering online it’s always best to double check that the buttons do actually work as buttons and aren’t just an added detail on a stretchy bit of fabric which has happened to me in the past! If you’re shopping in store you’ll obviously be able to try them on and see what fits best for you.
Similar to buttoned or zipped dresses, wrap tops and dresses are also fabulous for both maternity and breastfeeding. I’d try and scout out the wrap tops that can be wrapped either way and ones that actually do unwrap; typically you’ll find a small stitch holding the fabric together but if you’re a dab hand with a pair of scissors you can just snip that open. If you’re a super sewer, there’s always the option to add a hook or a button too.
These tend to be quite nice and flattering figure wise too which is always a bonus; hugging you when you’ve got your bump and slightly floaty for just after baby – and if you did buy a size bigger, you can always pop a belt round if you feel you need to accentuate your waist a bit more. Also perfect if you’re trying to find something a bit more formal for an evening out or an event you might be attending.
Crop tops are the saviour of all saviours. Who said that crop tops weren’t for mum tums? Trust me, if it means I can sit at home in front of my friends and family with a bit of belly hanging out and non squashed milky boobs then I’m doing it!
They’re usually extremely stretchy, extremely comfortable and perfect if you wanted a bit more support under a “pre baby” piece of clothing but don’t want to wear something as structured as a bra. They’re a great option in the summer because you can wear scoop neck vest tops, or the ones that are super airy at the side and use them as a layering piece such as with dungarees!
If you’re back to your pre-baby body, or you’re feeling more confident in your new skin, then you just need to pair them with some nice jeans or shorts because the access they can offer is invaluable. Oh, and they’re super comfy to sleep in too!
Yep! Nursing bras are suitable attire when you’re a full time breastfeeding mum. In fact, they’re more than suitable, they are almost absolutely a requirement (have you ever faffed with getting a normal bra off to feed your baby?).
There are so many gorgeous nursing bras on the market at the moment that they don’t need to be grey, frumpy and have lost all their life. Bravado have some gorgeous new ones out that I’ll be reviewing in the next few weeks and they feel sensational, look incredible and can make you feel just as good as that slinky number you wore before your little one arrived. There’s nothing wrong with feeling sexy when you’re breastfeeding.
I mean, it’s probably not your best option if you’ve got friends and family coming over but going topless is incredibly good for both you and baby. Lots of skin to skin contact and do you really need to wear clothes all the time?
Perfect if you’re spending a day indoors – let those boobies roam free. This is one of my top ‘must haves’ in the wardrobe, especially in the first few weeks. It’s glorious to be half naked when you can! Nobody needs the stress of any clothes at home unless necessary!
One for the autumn/winter months – which will be upon us sooner than we think, no doubt – is oversized cardigans or jumpers. Easy enough to move out of the way but also pretty good at hiding milk stains or leaks
What are your essential breastfeeding fashion items? Did you have a capsule type wardrobe or did you make something work for you?
*I received this product in return for feature in this post. All views and opinions are my own.