Trying to juggle fashion, nursing-friendly clothes, and the weather getting colder can be difficult. It’s usually one of the two: stay warm and fashionable, but don’t have easy access; or wear something nursing-friendly, and feel like you’re still in maternity clothes—except now they look looser and frumpy! After getting it wrong a few times (anyone try to nurse in a dress that zips up the back?!), you begin to look at your closet in a whole new light. Sure, one option would be to invest in a whole new nursing wardrobe. Unfortunately, many nursing clothes are dual-purpose for maternity and nursing. By now you’d love to be back in some of your favorite tops. Read on for my favorite ways to make the clothing you love work for nursing, with only investing in a few nursing staples.
There are a few key pieces that I invested in when beginning my nursing journey. They have been crucial in picking out what to wear! First, I highly suggest getting fitted for a good nursing bra or two. Second, nursing tank tops have been on constant rotation. They are the perfect layering piece that make many of the clothes in your current wardrobe work for you, rather than against you! Along with your nursing tanks, you may also find it beneficial to invest in a couple solid or printed tops, like this hoodie below, to layer with your other outfits we’ll cover.
Furthermore, when temps begin to cool we often go for layering and warmer tops. I LOVE sweaters and hoodies, but unfortunately nursing in them is not so easy. This is where I have invested some money into nursing tops—a hoodie similar to this one, can be a simple way to dress warm without having to layer on too much.
Another tip? Try reutilizing your old belly bands from pregnancy into mock tank tops underneath your shirt. Paired with a nursing bra, they are the perfect layer to add a little modesty without a whole lot of bulk.
The Nursing Top & Open Layering Piece
This is an easy combination that I rely on heavily! It is extremely versatile and can be dressed up or down easily. Get creative with your open layering piece—try kimonos, vests, sweaters, cardigans, dusters, blazers or even go super-casual with a zip-up hoodie. Just open or unzip your top layer, and unclip or open your nursing top; it couldn’t be easier!
Button Down, Henley, Surplice, or Wrap Tops
Shirts with buttons may as well have been made for us nursing mothers. This also opens up a wide variety of clothes you can work back into your wardrobe. From a classic white button-up, to your old comfy flannel, to the ever-versatile chambray shirt you keep in your closet. Just unbutton the top view buttons, and you’ve got easy access. Henleys, or other shirts that quarter-zip or button are also great as they can be undone just to the point you need. Wrap tops or surplice tops are also great to convert into a nursing top. Many are draped are tied just right that you can easily loosen it and pull to the side for access. When looking at these style tops, make sure they aren’t sewed shut.
Loose, Flowy, & V-Neck Tops
With a few simple accessories, such as a belly band or even a nursing tank underneath, many seemingly non-nursing friendly tops can work for you. If a shirt is loose enough, you can easily pull it up and over, while a belly band or a nursing tank helps with modesty by covering any exposed areas. Likewise, a v-neck top may be able to be pulled down low enough.
But what about when I need to wear a dress?
Strapless, off the shoulder, wrap dress or the shirtdress – there are so many dresses on the market today that are surprisingly nursing-friendly. The classic button-up shirtdress is simple, comfortable, and easy, while an off the shoulder top is trendy, edgy, and you guessed it…also easy to nurse in! This wrap style dress worked perfectly to nurse indiscreetly.
Never Underestimate Accessories!
Accessories can not only make or break an outfit, but they can also help you breastfeed! For instance, a fashionable scarf may add texture and another layer to your outfit, while also providing a convenient cover should you need one. A bracelet can add a bit of shine but can be moved from wrist to wrist to help you remember what side to begin your nursing session on. There are even cute necklaces like these, for baby’s fidgety fingers to play with while nursing, and later chew on, helping you tackle the distraction issue as baby ages. Necklaces, earrings, and other accessories all add interest and can dress up simple tops.
What are your favorite cool-weather nursing items? Please share!