Having a baby can change your whole life, including your wardrobe! Some moms like to make sure their clothes are cozy and soft for snuggling their little ones, and I know all baby moms can agree that fabrics and colors that don’t show drool or stains easily fill our closets. But breastfeeding your little one can present a different challenge: that of how to give that baby access to your breast.
There are four different ways you can dress for nursing success. I wouldn’t say that any of these ways are better or worse than each other, but that it all depends on your style, preferences, climate, and budget. I use a combination of all of these methods, depending on what I’m doing that day and how I want to dress. Though I would say that no matter what you wear, clip down nursing bras are a must!
Pull Down Method
This way of dressing means you can wear whatever you want, so long as your tops aren’t too high-necked. You simply pull down the neckline of your top (or even your dress!) to give your baby access to the breast. Depending on the material of your clothes or the height of your neckline, this can cause some wear and tear on your clothes and give you some saggy necklines after awhile. This method is the easiest to use while babywearing!
Pull Up Method
You can wear the clothes you already have in your closet for this technique too! You simply pull up your shirt to reveal your breast underneath. Some mamas like to wear a nursing or regular tank under their shirts to keep their stomach and back covered while nursing. I’m not one for layering, so at home I just let my belly show, and in public I use a nursing cover (which helps keep my baby from looking around and getting distracted anyway). This method is super easy but doesn’t work too well while babywearing, and also doesn’t work while wearing dresses for obvious reasons.
Nursing Friendly Clothing
This category would be any regular clothing that is very friendly to nursing. Typically this would be button down tops or dresses, or even tops or dresses with just a few buttons at the top. These are great because you can just undo a few buttons to give your baby access and then button back up when they’re done. Some buttons are super difficult though; tops with snaps are by far my favorite in this category. This method is great while babywearing as well.
Nursing Specific Clothing
This is clothing that you would buy at Motherhood Maternity, BuyBuyBaby, H&M, or Target. These clothes have hidden slots, zippers, or other magic ways of giving your baby access to your breast while protecting your modesty. They are super convenient for nursing, usually very comfortable, and are made to be especially flattering while you are still trying to get rid of that mama pooch. They also usually work well while babywearing but not always, it just depends on the style and where the breast access is located. However these clothes are usually expensive (definitely more expensive than using what is already in your closet) and may not fit your usual clothing style, making you feel even less like yourself than you already do postpartum. If you can find some that look like something that belong in your closet, I do think it’s worthwhile to snag a couple to wear in those very early weeks (maybe the first month or two) while you and baby are adjusting to everything. It will making nursing (especially in public) that much easier for you both, and you’ll feel better in clothing that fits your new body a little better until you can fit back into your prebaby tops.
I hope this list helps you figure out how to best manage your nursing wardrobe! Let me know in the comments below what method you use or plan to use while nursing your baby, and remember if you have any questions you can always Ask a Bestie!