There are a few key things I wore during the early days of breastfeeding and through until the end that I’d love to share with anyone embarking on this journey. These were my preferences and I’ll tell you why and you can decide if you want to follow suit. Get it? Suit? Okay there are no suits but it’s still a pun.
Black, soft shirts
I can’t stress this enough. A slew of black shirts is primarily what I wore for at least a couple months after both babies. Why black? You might think it’s because it’s slimming. But no. I don’t care that I was not slim right after having a baby. But black was the best at hiding breast milk stains. Yup. I had a serious leakage problem and you might say, oh Myv, why didn’t you wear nursing pads? Because they hurt me. My nipples were so sore and having the cotton pads pressed, or lightly chafing against them was excruciating. And once they were wet it was even worse. I just wanted to be naked really but loose black shirts seemed like the safer bet without blinds on all my windows. Sometimes this meant I leaked on the floor. Or my knee. Or my foot. That’s okay, go feed the baby then wipe it up. And then the milk evaporates out of the shirt and I’m good to go. Until it had enough dried milk to be crunchy and then it got painful so I’d just change to another. So yeah, several of these are great to have around. I think I had about ten in various styles (tanks, long-sleeve, tee) and wore them on repeat.
Form-fitting or loose with a stretchy fitted hemline (like what hoodies usually have). Since I was lifting my top up for so much of the day I hated having something that was too loose on the bottom hem because it would fall down over baby’s face or weigh down on the manual pump (Haakaa) on the opposite boob and knock it off. So I liked anything that stayed up above my boobs on its own. Ladies with bigger boobs, maybe this isn’t an issue for you at all. Let me know. I preferred the form-fitting sweaters over hoodies because hoodies just had so much fabric to fight.
Wireless Bras / Bralettes / Old Sports Bras
So I got the nursing bras and I got really quickly annoyed with them. The pads inside would get twisted, and they were bulky and annoying to latch one-handed. I used them very seldom, maybe just if I were out in a dress I wanted to look shapely in. Every time I wore one though, I would get a bit of a clogged duct on the outside part of at least one boob. And it’s not like these bras were too small or super tight. It’s just more structure than I could really handle. So I went for the old sports bras and I’m talking olllld where the elastic is shot. And I got some bralettes that were a major go-to. In the winter I just wore tight tanks under my sweaters and no bra 90% of the time. Again, this post may not be best for the bigger-breasted. But for me that worked just fine.
I had a grey, casual nursing shirt that I used in the early days but it was a little cumbersome to move the fabric over and didn’t easily allow me to use the Haakaa and nurse. It was just a lot going on and I really preferred a tank top I could just pull up and let those girls fly free. But the nursing dresses I got were key. I just had 2 and that was just fine. I didn’t have a ton of events to go to. A birthday here and a wine tour there. But it was really nice to be able to draw on these two dresses at those times and feel I was stepping it up from the black tank top thing. So yes it was more fabric and movement but on a special occasion it was worth the extra effort. Now the shirt, with its sort of apron layer, was not flattering and there are definitely dresses that look pretty matronly but they have a lot of great options out there too. Be careful because I actually bought one of my dresses thinking it was a nursing dress (it said so in the Amazon description) but it actually wasn’t! There were no openings under the top layer of fabric to get to the goods underneath. But I really liked the look of the dress so what did I do? I cut me some holes. It was a very unfinished product underneath but who can tell? In the end, very pleased with that dress and got a lot of wear out of it.
Nursing Dress Alternatives
If you don’t want to go the nursing dress route, or you just have too many events to solely rely on them, don’t fret. You can totally wear non-nursing dresses, just keep access in mind! Some dresses you can slip the straps off your shoulders easily and let it down that way. Others you can sort of move the fabric from the middle toward the side. Try it out! I also enjoyed wearing crop tops which have been very in lately and go well with high-waisted skirts or pants. Lots of variety there and they’re so easy to lift up without exposing your entire body, like you would with an average dress.
What Not to Wear
- Rompers. Who has the time? Who wants to get that naked for every feed? Or pee for that matter?
- Long maxi dresses that don’t slip off the shoulder. You’re going to be lifting a lot of fabric and exposing a lot of butt.
- Tight, underwire bras. Why do that to yourself? Your boobs are going through enough.
- But actually wear whatever you want. I’m not your real mom.
That’s it. That’s what I learned. I hope that helps. Happy dressing, moms!