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.
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.
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
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