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Clothes for Nursing Moms

Because your nursing infant might need to eat as many as 12 times a day, your clothes have to be easy to maneuver. When mealtime comes and you're out running errands, wrestling with several layers of tight clothing extends your little one's discomfort and makes you conspicuous. A shopping spree probably isn't necessary. A mix of pre-pregnancy and maternity clothes will likely make a suitable wardrobe for the coming months.

Nursing Bras

The majority of nursing mothers—even those who were small-chested before pregnancy—benefit from the support of a nursing bra. Because a tight or poorly fitting bra can constrict your milk ducts, interfering with milk production, finding the right undergarment is worth the search. AskDrSears advises avoiding bras with underwire, which can also affect milk production. You'll need one or two larger bras in the first weeks after giving birth and another that fits after your nursing routine is established and your breast size decreases a bit. Look for bras with cups that you can open and close with one hand.

RELATED: 9 Pretty Nursing Bras

The First Layer

Hanging out at home, you won't need much more than a bra and T-shirt, or even less. In public, though, you might feel most comfortable wearing a thin undershirt that conceals your torso and some of your breast when your top layer of clothing is lifted away. A tank top or T-shirt with a deep V can be pulled down to give your baby access to your breast, or you can make a quick and affordable breastfeeding layer at home. In her book titled "The Better Way to Breastfeed," Robin Elise Weiss suggests doctoring an old T-shirt by cutting slits in the fabric where it covers your nipples to make holes just big enough to reach in and unhook your bra's flaps.

The Top Layer

Whatever stylish top you choose, it should be easy to pull up or easy to pull down, or it should open in the front. Button-front flannel shirts, cardigans and zip-up hoodies all work, as do loose peasant-style tops, blouse-like tank tops or stretchy, wide-neck blouses. Some of your maternity shirts will likely fit the bill, and your partner's button-down shirts might work too. If your current wardrobe offers few options, take a suggestion from Weiss and buy affordable nursing tops at a confinement shop or borrow shirts from friends who've recently had children.

Making More Wardrobe Choices

Skinny jeans might accentuate your slimmer-every-day waist, but when you're dressing each day, consider how well your pants or skirts will work with your preferred nursing position. For example, if you prefer sitting cross-legged on the floor, a short skirt or tight pants might dig uncomfortably. A formal event or a job with a strict dress code can also throw a wrench in your wardrobe planning. Look for nursing dresses, which feature discreet openings without sacrificing style. And get in the habit of accentuating your outfit with a printed scarf or cozy pashmina. Not only does the right one complete your look, it acts as a privacy shield during public feedings.

RELATED: 10 Must-Have Breast-Feeding Accessories

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