She Says… Nursing Style

Since breastfeeding Emmett is actually working, I find myself nursing him anywhere and everywhere. So every outfit I put on has to have easy access to the milkmakers without exposing too much skin otherwise. In addition, when I go back to work and pump, I’m guessing I’m going to need to reevaluate my wardrobe so I can access the udders without getting totally undressed.

I have a nursing cover and use it sometimes, but to be honest I find it sort of cumbersome and Emmett doesn’t love having the fabric draped over his head. And it gets really hot under there really quickly. Not to mention the fact that it’s hard to gaze adoringly at my babe when he’s wrapped in a cape. I’m also somewhat anti-cover on principle… I shouldn’t have to hide my baby’s face just so he can eat! I try my best to keep covered for the sake of those around me (my personal rule is to avoid showing nipple as much as humanly possible) but I don’t stress about showing a little extra skin in order to feed my kid.

Side note: Have you seen this list of 5 times when breastfeeding is inappropriate? I couldn’t agree more.

Right after I had Emmett I headed over to Motherhood Maternity and got a few nursing tank tops. Mostly camis that I can wear under other things, but also a few tanks with super stretchy elastic tops so I can just pull them down without messing with clips/clasps. I liked those the best. As the weather is getting cooler I’m learning the art of wearing whatever shirt I want on top with a nursing cami underneath. Top shirt goes up and breast flap comes down; I’m totally covered in all directions. One thing I can’t figure out with this setup, though, is wearing a bra. I find that my nursing bra gets tangled in the nursing tank, and bringing down both flaps gets a little complicated. Since I have such small boobs, I end up wearing just the tank with nursing pads and not worrying about a bra. What do other people do? Wear both a bra and a nursing tank under another shirt/sweater? That’s getting to be a lot of layers…

I haven’t had too many “events” to go to when I knew I would have to nurse so I haven’t needed more than my casual tops. Except my sister’s wedding. Shopping for her wedding was a doubly whammy because I was a weird postpartum size/shape AND I knew I needed to nurse in all of the clothes I was taking with me, since the wedding was during the day and the kids were coming.

nursing2

While nursing Emmett on the couch one day, though, I caught a headline about Kate Middleton and affordable nursing fashion. Two of my favorite things! I’m half-embarrassed and half-proud to admit that as soon as I found out the designer (Seraphine) and the cost (actually affordable) of the dress she made infamous in her first official family photo, I ordered one lickety split. The company makes beautiful maternity and nursing clothes. I wish I had the budget to buy them all!

nursing1

Thankfully the dress was perfect (thankfully because I definitely didn’t have time to go shopping for another one!), and really flattering, even to my postpartum belly. The fabric was lovely and it was super easy to nurse in. It is slightly longer in the front as it doubles as a maternity dress. It was a smidge long for my short frame but I didn’t have time to get it altered, and wearing heels did the trick.

Now that the wedding is over, though, I don’t have much use for a gorgeous maternity/nursing dress. Does anyone want to buy it from me? Worn once, all drycleaned and ready to send to you. It’s this one in a size 4. Roomy enough to be worn all the way through a pregnancy, and perfect for postpartum as well. Comment here or email me!

Any tricks I’m missing for dressing to nurse? I still feel like my wardrobe is quite limited!

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18 responses to “She Says… Nursing Style

  1. I lived in Bravado nursing tanks with basically any shirt over it. You can nurse and not worry about your back or belly being exposed.

  2. I’m a D and wear either a tank or a bra – never both, so I think your fine. I also invested in a few nursing tops. I love Milk Nursingwear, they don’t have my favorite anymore, but this is similar http://www.milknursingwear.com/store/pc/Red-stripe-3-4-sleeve-nursing-top-2p3993.htm
    I also bought a nursing sweater by Pea in the Pod to wear to holiday events. Totally worth it for me since we did extended nursing (until 26 months), but I loved having a few things I didn’t need to think about. LOVE the dress.

  3. I would LOVE to buy it from you! I am the same size and due in June. My sister-in-law is going to be getting married approximately 1 week after I am due (yikes) and I am hoping to attend the wedding for a short time.

  4. I don’t have any fashion tips but wanted to say how happy I am that breastfeeding is now going well!! I applaud that you now feed anywhere and everywhere, cover-free. “I shouldn’t have to hide my baby’s face just so he can eat!” Totally agree!

  5. I love camis under shirts but had the same bra +nursing tank issue. I wanted to buy some undercover mama shirts but ended up finding a tutorial on making your own that connects to your nursing bra. Torso coverage withoutan extra step with a hungry babe!

  6. Love Bravado tanks under a regular shirt. No bra needed. Expensive but worth it.

  7. Yea for feeding babies when babies are hungry and not feeling like you have to hide so you don’t hurt people’s feelings. Good gracious the whole breastfeeding in public thing has been blown waaaaay out of proportion. We can’t look at breastfeeding mothers in public but we’ll watch Miley Cyrus twerk over and over and over?? Mercy.

  8. Definitely look into the Bella Materna nursing bras. Though pricey, they lasted me through more than a year of nursing. They have a great pull-aside feature – no clips! – and are so comfy and perfectly supportive. As for working/pumping, look for faux-wrap dresses. They pull apart without stretching and make it super easy to pump without necessarily stripping.

  9. I love Skinies nursing tanks!!! Bought a couple with my first off of zulily & loved them. Just completed nursing my second for 10 months & they were the only tanks I wore out if the house. Hanging at home I just wore motherhood tanks with shelf bra. But going anywhere I wore the skinie tanks. My preference was to wear my bra OVER the tank (boobs sticking out holes of tank, very funny until your bras on!). Then just like you, shirt up, tank covering my not nice tummy , reach for bra clip & that’s it.
    The link to their page isn’t working for some reason but google them or try this: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Skinies/79115324518
    They were just on zulily a month or so again & I stocked up in hopes of a baby #3!

  10. My girls were so insanely large during nursing that I HAD to wear a ginormous nursing bra. Then I would wear a shirt over it. When it was time to nurse I had my handy short/light hooter hider to come myself up. It had the top part that billows out so I could always look straight down and see her face but remain covered up. A cover up will definitely come in handy if you are pumping at the office!
    I covered up for my own comfort, not for others, I didn’t want my ginormous boobs just out there for the world to see, especially like my dad or brother… too weird for me to deal with.
    I’ll also add that my daughter would get super distracted if we were around a bunch of people while nursing, so I always had to find a quiet corner no matter where we were. It worked out just fine for us.

  11. I just saw this last night on my local mom’s board:
    http://1hipmom.com/introducing-1-hip-mom/
    Reasonably priced, and I liked the over/under configuration.
    Similar to you, I am small chested and did the tanks with just the nursing pads (no nursing bra + nursing tank). I then did the nursing bras with some of my looser fitting tops, and lots of the tanks with cardigans.
    Good luck!

  12. I am interested! How much are you selling it for? 🙂

  13. Have you seen this modification? It’s not a new outfit, but it’s an easy modification to cute camis to make them nursing friendly. http://refashionmama.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/refashion-tank-top-to-nursing-tank/

  14. Wanted to add. When pumping I found a button down shirt easist to pump in. If you are worried about someone coming into your office, just throw your nursing cover on.

  15. Oh my goodness, if you haven’t seen them before you must check out Undercover Mama tanks. I LOVE them. My biggest regret? Not having several while nursing my first daughter. You are able to wear your favorite (supportive!) nursing bra and the tank (essentially) hooks onto the bra. I have nursed/pumped for a year each with both of my girls and getting several of these made it soooo much easier.

  16. You look gorgeous, and even without a cover you look pretty covered up in this photo.

    I am not comfortable nursing without covering all parts, but I am much more open this second time around. With R I always went to another room to nurse him (or the car if we were at a restaurant), but now I just turn my chair toward a wall if we’re at a friend’s house or use an A&A blanket as a cover if we’re out in public. I’m happy that I’m much more comfortable about nursing everywhere this time around – I even nurse while babywearing at least a few times a week (but again I do use a muslin blanket to cover us up).

    I just wear a nursing bra (wireless) or even a pretty wired bra (if I need some lift for a tighter shirt or dress) with a normal tank top and then my normal shirt. I just pull the bra and shirt down and my other shirt up. I don’t think I’ve ever unclipped my nursing bras! My tanks are all the regular cheap scoop neck ribbed ones from Old Navy so they are cheap but easy to stretch and pull down.

  17. Bravado nursing tanks are great. I’m dealing with some ginormous boobs these days (all days, actually, but nursing amplifies the situation!) and Bravado tanks and bras are great and very easy to hook/unhook. As far as a cover, the Hooter Hider is really good because the top is “framed,” for lack of a better word, so you can see the baby’s face as you are nursing, and it’s a really lightweight fabric. I used that with Miles and now with Stella. I didn’t know what the hell I was doing with Ethan and just tried to avoid any “public” nursing – nervous first time mom problems! 🙂 And I got a “travel” Boppy for use with Stella, since I’m doing a lot more nursing on the go (the life of the 3rd child) and that helps cover the lower half if I’m just wearing a regular T-shirt. Plus, it’s more comfortable for me and her!

  18. Thank you all! You are a wealth of information about how to keep my boobs happy 🙂

    @kasey, Thanks for that link! I haven’t seen that style before and I like it.

    @Marcie, I just emailed you about the dress.

    @Ally, A cami bottom that attaches to my bra would be perfect! I had no idea such a thing existed. Thanks! I’m off to check that out.

    @Lisa, Great suggestions, thank you! I haven’t tried the pull-aside bras and wrap dresses are a great idea for pumping at work.

    @Kate, Awesome, thanks! I’ll check Skinies out.

    @trout28, Ooh, thanks! This is exactly what I would design if I could!

    @Sepideh, I just emailed Marcie (who commented first) about selling the dress, but I will email you next if she ends up passing. Thanks for your interest!

    @Jessika, Hey, that’s genius! So clever. I’m definitely going to give this a shot, as I have a million different camis that could be used in this way.

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