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Breastfeeding

Nursing Fashion

Good, functional, and modest nursing clothes are surprisingly hard to come by. I hated the vast majority of nursing clothes I tried -- I am picky.  

Below are my tried and true items, which made up my daily momiform while nursing.

Dwell + Slumber House Dresses

$58

I call these my mumus, and I have lived in them in all stages of pregnancy. Super soft material, pockets, dress up or down ability (though they are decidedly on the casual side), and nursing friendly with easy front snaps. I've worn them everywhere, and they are basically all I'm rocking for the third trimester. Patterns sell out often, so check regularly! I have two flowered ones (yellow & black in Cocoon) and one white with stripes (Classic). I prefer the Cocoon style, but the Classic is also nice.

Loyal Hana Cybelle Dress

$125 - but note that different colors/patterns often go on sale

My friend Emily, a high-end event planner who is a nursing mama and has to look super professional at the same time, swears by this dress for both maternity and nursing. It has quickly become a favorite in my maternity wardrobe. It is that perfect combination of feels-like-a-nightgown and looks elegant and flattering. I've dressed it up and down, and it washes beautifully. The fabric is lightweight, drapy but not clingy (it skims over curves), and travels well. The tiny zippers are super discreet but will make nursing in public so easy! And it has pockets.

I got it in Charcoal, size Medium. New colors and patterns are coming out all the time. And the customer service of this small company is excellent. (The owner emailed me just to ask how I liked it, and we even got into a little email convo after about maternity bathing suits!) I just love this dress!

Bun Maternity BB Basic Solid Nursing Tank

$30

This baby is a game changer. It enables the holy grail of being able to nurse a baby and yet still maintain a feeling of privacy and modesty, without a cover. The ingenious design allows you to simply unsnap and fold down the side you need. Underneath is a second layer of (thin, breathable) fabric, so only the smallest amount of nipple is exposed — quickly hidden from view by your baby’s head. I am asked about this ingenious top almost every time I nurse in public.

This is literally the only shirt I wear anymore. In summer, as is. In fall and winter, with a sweater or cardigan on top, and maybe a scarf. They are good quality, even after lots of washing/drying, and made in the USA, which I love. I have it in blue, black, purple, coral, and turquoise. The Medium fits perfectly.

Bun Maternity BB Basic Tee

$30

I love this tee! It's seriously user friendly -- you just pull up the first layer and pull down the second to nurse. The fabric is almost sheer, very thin, and a little drapy (perfect for skimming over the mushy postpartum tummy). The side ruching adds a cute touch. I have it in charcoal gray and coral, and I always get compliments. 

Jojo Maman Bebe Waterfall Cardigan

$69 (on sale for $21!)

I snagged this drapy, super versatile cardigan on Zulily, and it has become a staple of both my maternity/nursing and regular/non-nursing wardrobes!

 

The fabric is soft, just the right weight (light but substantial), and the cowl neck and length give it a touch of elegance that you can dress up or down. The color (navy) is super saturated, and it has held up beautifully through many washes.

 

Best of all, it makes a super nursing cover, baby wearing cover, or baby blanket in a pinch. Can't recommend this one highly enough, and I plan to get it in another color with my next pregnancy!

Undercover Mama Nursing Tanks

$34.99 for a bundle of 2

These ingenious strapless tank tops loop onto your nursing bra, and turn any top into a nursing top by allowing you to lift up your top layer and pull down the Undercover Mama top. I have them in multiple colors.

 

They're also easy to roll up and bring along if you are wearing a normal top and aren't sure if you'll need to nurse while out. I always kept one in my diaper bag!

Note, they are meant to fit snugly, so size up if you want a more breathable fit. I wore a Medium.

Regular Clothes That Work For Nursing

As any veteran breastfeeding mom will tell you, some of the best nursing clothes are not nursing clothes at all -- they're regular items that work for nursing. There are many more of these options for moms who don't have a huge cup size. For me, with a larger cup (F), there were fewer options -- but the bonus is they should work for many of you!

 

I'll share a few of my favorites, but here are a few things to look for:

 

  • A deep neckline

  • Stretchy fabric (think jersey, spandex, and rayon blends)

  • Underarms that can be pulled to the side without damaging the item

  • Drapy/loose tops that can be worn with a stretch-downable tank or Undercover Mama tank (see above) underneath

  • Dresses or tops with buttons down the front that can be undone and pulled aside to expose a boob

A Stretchy Jersey Maxi Dress

$30

This lightweight, super breezy jersey maxi dress by Caslon (which I got in black) isn't a nursing dress per se. However, the deep neck is stretchy enough that it can easily be pulled down over even a quite large breast! I got mine at Nordstrom, and it quickly became a go-to summer nursing outfit. It can be dressed up or down easily, and is ridiculously comfortable. 

Sadly, the exact one I got is no longer available. But I'm posting the style here anyway, in hopes that you can find something similar for yourself! The key to look for: a deeper neckline + stretchy fabric (mine was 95% rayon, 5% spandex).

Lilly Pulitzer Sleeveless Essie Dress

$98

This easy, breezy summer dress is lightweight, comfy, and can be dressed up or down easily. It's great in warm weather and completely covers even the sturdiest nursing bra. The three front buttons make nursing possible, too. Just be warned that it won't be the most modest of affairs -- you may want to find a private spot and/or cover up with a scarf or sweater to nurse in it. Still, a wonderful option to be able to expose a boob in a pinch!

Look for similar buttoned necklines and giving fabrics (this one is 60% Cotton, 40% Modal) in dresses & tops to discover more surprise nursing clothes! Lilly Pulitzer makes an Essie top, too, so check it out!

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