Luckily I had some idea what breastfeeding my child would be like before he arrived because my sister had done it before me and I was accustomed to personal shopping for her. Breastfeeding specific attire can be expensive if purchased from a “mommy store”, so here are things you can look for to round out an awesome breastfeeding wardrobe without investing top dollar.
Just because your breasts have changed and at times have an overwhelming new responsibility doesn’t mean they should receive any less support. Having enough bras, in the correct size, with adequate support and the ability to breastfeed are ideal. Even if you don’t know if you will breastfeed six weeks or three years, investing in these bras and this wardrobe is paramount to your breastfeeding success. Bras are the most important part because if you can’t get your breasts out of your bra, then it doesn’t matter if you can get them out of your shirt. The key to this entire wardrobe is making those breasts accessible! By the end of this article you will know all my tricks.
I purchased six “breastfeeding” bras. The first 4 I purchased at Target for 9.99 each and they were a sporty looking cloth bra with clasps that connect the cup to the straps just like a breastfeeding bra would. I got a black/gray, nude, pink and navy blue. Getting a selection of colors assured me I wouldn’t need to purchase more in the near future and I felt cute matching them to my different underwear. Any bra that you feel comfortable in that clasps between the cup and the strap are ideal for breastfeeding, so this is a way to avoid paying high breastfeeding specific prices.
The other two bras are breastfeeding specific and are more comfortable for breastfeeding topless around the house, but can still be worn beneath clothes in public as long as I cover them because they are much thicker. The brand is Loving Moments and each of these cost around ten dollars as well at Walmart and are designed like a sports bra, but with overlapping cups that stretch to the side to release the breast. One is grey and the other, pink leopard print.
In my opinion, these are the most ideal designs. I own and have tried to maneuver breasts from traditional sports bras and real cupped bras that connect in the center, between the breasts. I won’t wear these anymore until we’ve weaned.
Basic spaghetti strap tank tops work really well for breastfeeding because they adjust and stretch to offer the breast to your child. If the straps aren’t adjustable, try it on to be sure it stretches enough. Built in shelf bra or none is your preference, but lace trim will only get destroyed by your stretching and laundering.
I also purchased two Loving Moments built-in breastfeeding bra tank tops from Walmart for 14.99 each in black and gray. These were ideal to wear when I did not want to have to think so much about what I’d be wearing or when I knew I’d be around people who may not be the most comfortable with my public breastfeeding anyway. They can be dressed up cute with a sweater and jewelry. I rather liked having them in my wardrobe.
Thrifted Tops and Sweaters
The reason I say thrift is because it’s likely that you need to buy quite a few pieces to make this wardrobe and you’ll have the most variety at a thrift store, especially for breastfeeding. The key to your success finding shirts to breastfeed in is that their neckline is low enough and stretches enough to release your breast. Consider the fact that you might also be wearing a bra and tank top beneath. All of the items must stretch enough to not restrict the breast or leave you uncomfortable. The second thing you can look for in shirts and sweaters are buttons. Either top to bottom buttons or just a few on top to release the breast is fine. With these two keys, you are sure to find enough cute things that can release a breast!
Other possibilities include wearing sweaters or shirts with high necklines, but with a tank top beneath. This way you would just raise your shirt and pull the breast out of your tank top. I’ve liked this option because it gives me a chance to cover my breasts or wear a big comfortable sweater and it acts as a nursing cover when I breastfeed!
The other possibility is wearing mid drift/cut off shirts over tank tops. I know a lot of new moms would be horrified to wear these due to excess stomach, but I was fortunate enough to lose the weight rather quickly and feel comfortable wearing the half shirt over a tank top. At least for working out and lounging around the home, it’s very easy to release the breast from!
Just as wearing things to accentuate your belly during pregnancy made you feel cute despite your condition, breastfeeding necklaces are another way to wear your new role proudly. At different phases in your baby’s development, you and he/she will surely appreciate your wearing one too. You can shop online for breastfeeding specific necklaces, Google DIY and make your own, or thrift shop some long necklaces with big attractive beads.
One of the most essential parts of my wardrobe has been a plain white stretch and velcro back support. I have since graduated to a cute floral waist training corset, but they serve the same purpose. Caring for a child all day and specifically breastfeeding hunched over, it’s been nearly impossible to keep my posture healthy. I really need the support some days to encourage my back to remain straight when I’m very tired. It has other benefits and scientific explanation as well, but I’ll let you do the research and decide which device will work best for you, if at all.
Black Stretch Mini Skirt
I already had a very plain stretchy black mini skirt that kind of resembles a black tube top and it’s been a wonderful addition to my breastfeeding wardrobe. I use it to wear beneath dresses! If I’m wearing a dress that does not have an opening for the breast to be released, either from the side (arm hole) or the neckline, than I wear the black mini skirt beneath it and pull my dress up to breastfeed. It has not been the most ideal option and is not great in the beginning of infancy, but when your baby has tried solids and you may not even have to breastfeed while you’re out it’s great! I wore a dress and the mini skirt to Lowry’s for Thanksgiving, a 100.00 per plate restaurant and was able to excuse myself twice during dinner to take my son to the ladies room where I comfortably lifted my dress to breastfeed on a couch!