If you're new to nursing or preparing to pack your hospital bag then this breastfeeding clothes guide is for you.
The key to dressing when breastfeeding is easy nursing access. So what to wear when breastfeeding?
Nursing bras will form the foundation of your breastfeeding wardrobe.
What are Nursing Bras?
Nursing bras are specifically designed to allow breastfeeding access without having to remove your bra.
How do Nursing Bras Work?
Nursing bras have a few different mechanisms for easy breastfeeding access:
- Pull aside: These feature a crossover front that is easy to pull aside due to its stretchy fabrication.
- Front fastening: This makes them easy to put on, comfortable to sleep in and allows for that all important skin-to-skin contact with your baby during feeds.
- Drop down clips: This is the most common method for breastfeeding access. These feature a clasp at the top of the cup which you undo and then pull the cup down.
What are the Different Types of Nursing Bras?
There are many different styles of nursing bras to suit your breastfeeding (and fashion) needs:
- Everyday nursing bras. The most common type of nursing bra is a seamless, wirefree style with drop down nursing clips. It is advisable to avoid a rigid underwire bra as they could inhibit blood flow and hamper milk production leading to clogged ducts or mastitis. A seamless, wirefree style is comfortable and can stretch a couple of cup sizes which is essential in the first few weeks when your milk comes in.
- Nursing sleep bras. A sleep bra provides comfort and support and helps keep breast pads in place while you sleep. They are generally a pullover style in a stretchy fabric with a crossover or button front for nursing access.
- Lace nursing bras. When you need to treat yourself, there’s nothing prettier than a lace bralette. Styles can be full lace cups or just have a delicate touch of lace trim.
- Strapless nursing bras. Your fashion solution for strapless and one-shouldered tops and dresses.
- Nursing sports bras. A nursing sports bra essentially is the same as your regular sports bra but has drop down nursing clips for breastfeeding access.
- Pumping bras. If you are returning to work but still on your breastfeeding journey, you will probably need to pump as your breasts can become engorged. A pumping bra is designed to keep the breast pump flanges in place while you use the breast pump. Remember to wear a buttoned shirt or a nursing top to make this an easier task.
Nursing pads are absorbent liners that are placed inside your bra to prevent milk leakage from staining your clothing. A wet patch on your top can be embarrassing for an unaware first-time mum.
Leaking is more common in the early days of breastfeeding when your milk comes in. Nursing pads are designed to draw moisture away from the skin so as soon as you start to feel any wetness that indicates they should be replaced with a new one. When your milk stabilises you will probably only need to change them a couple of times a day, though if you experience heavy leakage you may need to change up to five times a day.
A breastfeeding cami is the ultimate layering piece and keeps a post-pregnancy tummy hidden while nursing. Many incorporate a built-in support bra so there is no need to wear a separate one and feature easy pull aside nursing access or drop-down nursing clips. Wear a cami under any loose top or tee and, voila, you have an instant nursing top. Some nursing tanks feature compression to help the recovery phase after birth.
New mothers are often sleep deprived with newborns feeding around every 2-3 hours and the last thing they need is fussy clothing when trying to breastfeed at night.
A sleep bra can provide support and comfort and help keep breast pads in place. Leakage is inevitable and causes discomfort to the skin not to mention having to change the sheets.
What to sleep in? Choose something that is comfortable and practical for breastfeeding. Traditional pyjamas or just love a nightie, read our tips for choosing nursing sleepwear.
Nursing Tops & Dresses
Nursing tops and dresses are specially designed to allow breastfeeding access without having to completely remove the entire garment. Whilst a specialty top or dress is not necessary, it can be particularly awkward if breastfeeding at a special event or if you need to pump at work. Nursing wear is designed with clever openings to make breastfeeding as fuss free as possible.
There are many different methods the clothing employs for breastfeeding access. The most popular is our signature snap button nursing method. Simply undo the snap buttons on the shoulder and lift up the inner modesty panel to nurse with minimal amounts of skin exposed.
First coined by Blanqi, nursing leggings are your new mama comfort uniform and are designed with a high waist to conceal a postpartum tummy when nursing. Many nursing leggings also offer compression to help your body recover after birth. Our most popular recovery leggings feature a durable power wave knit construction to provide gentle stimulation to help shift pregnancy weight deposits.
Not everyone is comfortable with breastfeeding in public. Nursing covers can provide that extra bit of privacy especially when a mother's room is not available. Babies can be easily distracted and as babies recognise colours and patterns early, a nursing cover can provide an insulating and familiar environment.
Many nursing covers can also be worn as a scarf and are good to have on hand for covering any milk stains or leakage.
When breastfeeding your nipples can become sore, dry, cracked and itchy. Nipple creams are designed to soothe and soften. We recommend to look for natural formulations that don’t need to be wiped off before a feed.
Here's a little offer for our nursing mamas
enter BREASTFEED5 at the checkout to receive 5% off your first order!