I’m in the final stages of weaning my 14-month-old and am finally able to dress
as I please without having to accommodate a hungry baby. Let me tell you what I learned about dressing while breastfeeding.
See these lovely dresses to the left of the page? They weren’t so pretty when hitched up trying to feed an unsettled five-month-old!
BUT, there’s no need to exclusively settle for ‘maternity clothes’ (ie. clothes designed purely for breastfeeding).
Here are some tips for buying regular clothes that are also ‘breastfeeding-friendly’!
Look for loose necklines
Providing you are wear a nursing bra, any dress with a loose neckline can easily allow discreet nursing with the addition of a singlet underneath. To nurse, simply pull down the dress from the bust, pull up singlet and insert hungry baby.
These necklines are perfect for this:
Find some nice two-piece outfits
Two-piece outfits are ideal for nursing, as the baby can be nursed by either pulling the top up (an option not available for dresses) or down. Once again, this can be discreet with the addition of a singlet layer below the top. For instance, if the baby is being fed from underneath the top layer (ie. top layer pulled up), then the singlet underneath can be pulled down so the area under the nipple is covered, along with the stomach area. Conversely, if the baby is being fed from above the top layer (ie. top layer pulled down), then the singlet underneath can be pulled up so the area above the nipple is covered.
Make your own nursing covers
Nursing covers are available for mothers particularly concerned with maintaining modesty while breastfeeding. These can be especially useful in the early days of breastfeeding, when you are still mastering this skill and more likely to be self-conscious. Instead of buying a nursing cover, I used a muslin wrap to cover myself in the early days. By tying two adjacent corners of the wrap behind my neck, the baby could be fed discreetly underneath.
Add accessories to help your memory!
When breastfeeding, I was always conscious of alternating sides for subsequent feeds to avoid mastitis and unneveness. An old trick for tracking sides is to wear a bracelet or brooch on the side last nursed from as a reminder for the next feed.
Unfortunately, my eldest son never learned to breastfeed. Instead I pumped for the first six months of his life. Unfortunately, I was never able to master discreet pumping 🙂 Have you managed the art of discreet pumping? Or do you have any other tips for breastfeeding friendly dressing?