I often commented while I was nursing Nat that I felt it was easier dressing a pregnant belly than it was to dress while breastfeeding. You need easy access but still good coverage, some layers but not too many, nothing that will slip out of place too easily when pulled by teeny hands, etc.While it does take some finagling and sacrifice (dresses, I eagerly anticipate our reunion), it is possible to not look like a total frump while nursing, and avoid those (often hideous and expensive) nursing-specific outfits. Here are 10 of my staples:
1. Printed v-neck – Simple and comfy with multi-directional access. I tend to prefer to pull my top up and my underthings down so that I’m mostly all the way covered (as opposed to pulling a shirt down, which leaves my entire chest exposed – because even when using a nursing cover, I prefer to have some coverage on top). But sometimes I need to pull down (if my shirt is tucked, for instance), and a v-neck has that flexibility.
2. Stepped-up tee – I love that this top is loose and floaty, but still structured – perfect for concealing a little nursling if need be. The bow detail at the back helps it easily be dressed up or down, which means you can easily feed your baby, hand him/her off to a sitter, and run out the door for a date without needing to change clothes.
3. Lightweight scarf (similar) – A scarf is great for looking pretty and put together, even when you may be a little more limited in your choices (I wear silk approximately never). It also works great as a nursing cover in a pinch.
4. Cardigan (similar) – I’ve definitely held up a lightweight sweater to the side when there were no scarves or nursing covers to be had and I was sitting right next to an older gentleman in a crowded theater. He was none the wiser. It’s also useful for buttoning up and pulling up while you pull a bottom layer (like a v-neck tee) down so you’re covered on top and over your belly.
5. Button down shirt – I remember hearing before nursing my babies that I would live in button down shirts. Such easy access! To be honest, button downs are actually not my very favorite for nursing; I happen to think it’s far easier to pull up/down than to fiddle with several buttons one-handed while holding a hungry baby. Still, they can definitely be useful, especially if you’d prefer to tuck a shirt into pants/a skirt. I just for sure use them with a nursing cover because if baby pops off, it’s far trickier to cover up than it is with a nice layer over the top.
6. Undershirt or Cami – I typically try to avoid these when it’s blazing hot, but they can be really useful, especially if you’re wearing a top you’ll pull up to nurse. Because then you can pull the shirt up, and pull the undershirt/bra down and your chest is covered (by the top shirt), belly is covered (by the undershirt), and boob is covered (by the baby). I like ones that are nice and fitted so they stay put while you’re shifting everything else around.
7. Chunky necklace – This one is great and not great all at once. You have to be careful to not knock your baby in the face with a chunky necklace. But my babies loooove to fiddle with something while they eat, and I’d much rather it be an interesting necklace than, say, my hair. Or skin. Also, get some hair ties.
8. High-waisted skirt (similar) – To go along with the tuckable tops (like v-necks and button-downs). It’s still nice to have a defined waist and a pretty, floaty a-line bottom even if you’re a little more limited with your tops.
9. Dress with a v-neck, stretchy neckline, etc. (similar) – Because skirts get old and completely undressing yourself is rather a hassle.
10. Nursing bra (not pictured, despite how fun it sounds to feature my underthings on the Interwebs) – Get an awesome one. Seriously. I wear a size that is really really hard to find in stores so with nat, I just soldiered through with a bra with a too-big band. This time, I researched and found one in my exact size (not just the generic S/M/L, bah) and ordered it from my bff amazon and is it weird to tell the online world that I’m in love with my bra? Probably? Definitely. But really, it has made such a difference and also kind of made my life (it’s possible I need a more exciting life).
11. Bonus! Baby! Because, duh. She’s cute.