Breastfeeding

Nursing Apparel & Accessories

Having the right gear makes breastfeeding easier, more convenient, and more fun!

Here are my top recommendations. 

Apparel

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Kindred Bravely Simply Sublime Nursing Bra

This nursing bra is wire-free yet wonderfully supportive, thanks to a fairly thick, super stretchy material. It's easy to clasp and unclasp, comes in a variety of lovely colors, and washes well - wash cold, hang to dry. Removable soft pads provide excellent nipple coverage. It also comes in "Busty" sizes, which is crucial for the greatly endowed! (While a pregnant 36G, a Large-Busty was a perfect fit for me.) This bra is equally great for newborn time and further along in the journey, and at this price, you can get a few colors! 

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Kindred Bravely French Terry Racerback Nursing & Sleep Bra

A less supportive but supremely comfortable lounge/sleep bra that you pull down to nurse, I lived in this in the last few weeks of the third trimester (when I was still nursing my toddler), and it is perfect for newborn days. Super soft, washes well, and contains removable padding to keep nipples under wraps. The Busty sizes are great for those of us with smaller bands/larger cups. LOVE this bra!

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Cake Maternity Croissant Soft Wire Nursing Bra

$69.99 - amazon.com

My absolute favorite wired nursing bra for every day. This 100% cotton nursing bra is super soft, comfortable, and invisible under clothes, and super easy to clasp and unclasp for nursing one-handed. It washes well (I machine wash cold in a lingerie bag, though the instructions say to hand wash, and hang to dry) and comes in a huge variety of cup & band sizes, including small band/large cup combos that can be hard to find. 

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Anita Women's Underwire 5035 Nursing Bra

$69.00 - amazon.com

An excellent, very supportive wired bra for everyday wear, this was my go-to for maximum support. It's easy to nurse in (the loops make lowering the cups a breeze) and camouflages well under clothes. Also washes well and comes in a variety of sizes.

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Anita Maternity Women's Microfiber Underwire Nursing Bra #5068

$59.00 - amazon.com

This great everyday bra is slightly less supportive than the 5035 above, but still a go-to option for daily wear. The thin, stretchy fabric makes it a super comfortable choice, especially in warmer weather. Washes well and comes in many sizes.

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Seraphine Seamless Bamboo Maternity & Nursing Nightie

$59.00 - seraphine.com

I wore this incredibly soft, flattering and cute, and naturally anti-microbial nightgown almost every night through two pregnancies, and day and night postpartum. It has a light shelf bra with drop down clips that make nursing a breeze. It wasn't supportive enough for me to wear without a bra in the early newborn days when leakage was an issue and I needed Silverette nipple cups and breast pads 24/7, but it was great on its own later on in the journey. SO SOFT.

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Dwell & Slumber Modern House Dresses

$58.00 for Cocoon- dwellandslumber.com

I live in these house dresses during pregnancy and nursing (aka my constant state in the past decade) -- the Cocoon style is my favorite, but I also like the Caftan and Swing. All of them have pockets, wash well, will look cute both when you're not pregnant and until you're ready to pop, and are a breeze to nurse in. And they are sooooo comfortable. I've dressed them up with a cardigan and wedges, and dressed them down barefoot & pregnant around the house. The only tricky thing is they sell out quickly, so you have to keep an eye on the website to get the colors/patterns you want!

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Kindred Bravely Zora Nursing & Maternity Maxi Dress

I bought this maxi dress to wear while pregnant with my fourth baby and still nursing my third, and wore it well into the third trimester. After owning it in black for one day, I immediately ordered the gray and white stripe -- that is how impressed I was with it! It's a fairly form fitting, extremely versatile nursing dress with moderately stretchy, not super thin but not thick fabric and cute details on the hem and back. The chest part has a double layer, but the fabric is thin enough that you barely notice, and ample enough that it easily covered my enormous bosom, which is sometimes a problem with these types of styles. I lived in it this past summer both as a dress and to wear to the pool over a swim suit. I can't wait to have it post-partum! 

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Loyal Hana Cybelle Nursing & Maternity Dress

$118.00 - loyalhana.com

This comfortable, stylish and flattering dress has tiny zippers on the front to provide easy nursing (or pumping) access. It is my go-to for any and all dress up occasions, and would be perfect for work as well. I've worn my charcoal colored one to professional events, fancy restaurants and parties, and even a funeral. Best of all, it feels like a lightweight, crepey muumuu, and is just as flattering for maternity, even when you're about-to-deliver pregnant. Get one and wear it everywhere!

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Kindred Bravely Eleanora Bamboo Maternity & Nursing Lounge Dress

The thin, extra stretchy fabric makes this nursing dress a more fitted option for muumuu lovers like me, and an extremely cute one and comfy one! I wore it until the early third trimester, when I stopped for fear of stretching the material too much, and found it very easy and modest to nurse in. In the navy and white stripe, it definitely has a dressier look/fabric, which will be very cute with pearl earrings and cute flats down the road. The classic cut and knee length make it extremely versatile and flattering -- I may have to get it in black!

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Latched Mama V-Neck Boyfriend Nursing Tee

This is my go-to nursing top, which I wore almost every single day in the first year of my third baby's life, and beyond! It's a double layer nursing tee that is on the longer side (I'm 5'2'' but with a fairly standard torso), so as easy to wear with leggings or yoga pants as joggers or jeans. The drapy fabric is just the right thickness to dress up a little (add a cardigan, scarf, or soft blazer) or just lounge in, and is loose enough to wear in pregnancy, though I stopped wearing mine around week 30 or so and switched to looser items. It comes in some great colors - wine is my favorite (no surprise, ha!) - and washes excellently. Get multiple colors! (The 3/4 sleeve length is cute, also, but a little on the warm side on non-winter days.)

Accessories

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A Nursing Bracelet to Track Sides

$20.00 - sashkaco.com

A comfy bracelet that won't snag on baby is a very helpful tool for tracking which side you last nursed on in the early, sleep-deprived days. With my second I used a bangle from Stella & Dot. With my third, I used a pretty beaded Original bracelet like these from Sashka Co., which are not only comfy and chic, but also provide sustainable jobs to artisans in Nepal - pretty cool! I've seen silicone options, too, but personally wanted something a little cuter to brighten my spirits!

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A Touch-Activated, Self-Dimming Nursing Night Light 

$22.99 - amazon.com

A dimmable, touch-activated nightlight that has an automatic dim-to-off function is a must-have for night nursing. The key with night feeds on demand is to keep things as dark and quiet as possible, to avoid day/night confusion. When baby stirs, touch the light and keep it super dim. Activate the "dim to off" feature once you have baby latched on, and by the time she's done, the light will be off and you can gently place her back in her safe sleep spot (for me, an in-bed cosleeper) and get back to sleep yourself. The light I got six years ago is no longer available, but this one by JolyWell has excellent reviews on Amazon, so I just ordered it and will report back with my honest opinion!

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Baby Bliss Organic Bamboo Nursing Breast Pads

$14.00 for 14 - amazon.com

These washable breast pads are a must-have in the early days, when leakage abounds. They also help keep Silverette nipple shields in place (see below) and keep the pressure of your bra well distributed on the shields to prevent the edges from digging into your areolas. I far prefer these to the disposable kind. Machine wash & dry in a lingerie bag -- never loose! (I once jammed my washing machine because a pad was put in loose and got out of the washing barrel -- the repairman was confused as to what it was when he found it in the mechanics of the machine!)

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Silverettes Nipple Cups

These silver nipple covers are the reason I was able to nurse my second and third babies! With my first, I switched to pumping exclusively because of nipple soreness/difficulty latching that led to my nipples being chewed into a bloody pulp. Our latch would have eventually worked if I could have stuck it out, but no cream (even Rx) or method (even tongue tie clipping!) could heal my painful, damaged nipples enough for this to happen. How do I know this to be the case? Because my second baby was identical. The difference was that I had a lactation consultant who recommended these silver nipple shields. Wearing them 24/7 (with breast pads over them) was a TOTAL GAME CHANGER. I am evangelical about them and recommend them for every breastfeeding mom. My nipples still have scars/pieces missing, but I can painlessly nurse -- my second for almost three years, my third going on two -- which has been an incredible blessing! For more details, go here.

I recommend these so often that the (small, woman-owned) company gave me a coupon code for friends and readers: PS5 will give you $5 off on silveretteusa.com. They are also available on Amazon, and now come in two sizes.

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Milkies Milk Saver/Catcher

$27.95 - amazon.com

I got this silicone contraption as a baby gift, and it is fabulous! You tuck it into your non-nursing side while you nurse in the early days, and it catches and saves the precious drips of liquid gold that come out. In my case, these were so plentiful that I was able to freeze a very respectable emergency breast milk stash made of drippings! I have tried the Hakaa, which is also very popular, and still prefer this for ease of use. Just whatever you do, DO NOT stand up/bend over once you're done nursing, or the milk will go EVERYWHERE!!!

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Medela Pump & Save Breast Milk Storage Bags

$7.99 for 20 - amazon.com

As a 9-month exclusive pumper with my first, I tried many different types of breast milk storage bags, and these were my favorite. They also come with a plastic adapter so you can easily pump right into them. I never had any problem with these, even when frozen for long periods of time and then thawed, and I found them quite easy to fill up as well. 

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Elvie Wireless Breast Pump

$280 - elvie.com

I HATE PUMPING. After exclusively pumping for 9 months with my first (I rented a Medela Symphony from the hospital for that), I absolutely loathe pumping. This splurge of a pump is by far the best and only pump I can tolerate. You stick it in your bra and it gently yet effectively pumps milk. You're hands free, so you can wash dishes, fold laundry, etc. while doing it. I didn't need to do any breast compressions/massages while using it, and it was quiet and easy to clean to boot. If I have to pump, this is what I use. I wish I had one with my first two -- modern technology is amazing!

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PumpEase Hands Free Pumping Bra

This was a crucial accessory in my exclusive pumping days. It is essential for pumping with a traditional (not wireless) pump, as it leaves your hands free to do breast compressions/massage when necessary to increase output and prevent clogs, and also whatever else you need them for (e.g. laptop, phone, eating). Far superior to just using a nursing bra, and more convenient as it will catch any soon-to-sour spills and is easy to wash after use. Highly recommended to keep with your pump at all times!