Many feel that the breast may be best for feeding a baby, but some clothing can hinder your success and comfort while nursing. These useful breastfeeding wardrobe tips will help you to choose the proper clothes for nursing in public.
These days, most new mothers are encouraged by their peers and health care providers to exclusively breastfeed their newborn babies. Breastfeeding provides a baby with all the nourishment he or she will need, has loads of health benefits, and mom and baby a unique opportunity to bond. Usually a new mom is coached on how to get breastfeeding started while she and baby are still in the hospital. But once you take off that hospital gown and step into the real world, how is baby going to get access to that natural fountain of milk?
Clothes for breastfeeding
At first, most new moms stay largely at home, where modesty is not really a concern when feeding the baby. But eventually, moms all want to step out into the world and many mothers are concerned about breastfeeding in public. Which brings us to what to wear to breastfeed in public? Nursing clothes for breastfeeding can contribute greatly to a new nursing mom’s comfort and confidence level and even be a factor in deciding if she can breastfeeding successfully.
Nursing Bras Offer Breastfeeding Support
A good bra is the foundation of a nursing wardrobe. Nursing bras come in a variety of styles, from lacy lingerie-inspired numbers to cotton sports bra types. Generally, the bras have a snap that releases the bra cup so that the baby has access to the breast. It is best to try out several styles of nursing bras to figure out which one works best and feels comfortable.
It is generally not recommended that nursing moms choose bras with an underwire, as the wire can put pressure on the milk ducts and interfere with breastfeeding, though there are underwire nursing bras on the market. You should choose a bra that offers support, but is not too tight – your breasts will change size throughout the early stages of nursing, so you want plenty of room to grow. Pressure from a bra on your breasts can be uncomfortable and can lead to mastitis, sore nipples, or clogged milk ducts.
Easy Access Shirts And Blouses
Nursing moms may have to put dress-wearing on hold during their months of breastfeeding, since baby will need frequent access to her breasts. Many new moms find that simple t-shirts are the easiest to wear while nursing – you simply lift up the bottom of the shirt and let the baby stick his or her head underneath. Some women prefer a button-up blouse, unbuttoning the top few buttons and giving the baby access from the top. The t-shirt method tends to offer more modesty.
You can also buy shirts for nursing with layers that can be pulled back to reveal the breast. These tops are readily available at maternity shops or online specialty stores.
Access isn’t the only issue to consider when choosing clothes for breastfeeding – especially in the early days of nursing when a woman’s breasts often leak milk. During this time, it’s wise to choose a shirt with a busy pattern to camouflage the leak. Wearing a cardigan or button-up shirt over top a t-shirt can also provide a good cover-up.
During these leaky times, a new mom will also want to purchase nursing pads to soak up the extra milk. Several brands of disposable breastfeeding pads are available in most drug stores and reuseable breastfeeding pads are available in maternity specialty stores. Again, a process of trial and error will tell you which pads are best for you.
Cover-Up if You’re not Comfortable breastfeeding in public
Again, self-consciousness can sabotage a new mom’s milk flow, so if you’re not comfortable exposing a bit of skin in public, it’s wise to invest in a breastfeeding cover or apron. These aprons, which tie around the mom’s neck and cover her entire torso are available online or in maternity specialty shops. They do tend to be expensive, so crafty moms may want to make a breastfeeding cover for themselves. Another option is to drape a receiving blanket over the baby and breasts while feeding. The video below shows how to easily sew a nursing cover.
Breastfeeding can be a rewarding experience for both the mother and the child. Figuring out suitable clothes for breastfeeding can be stressful in the beginning, but if you follow the above breastfeeding wardrobe tips, nursing clothing choices won’t get in the way of naturally nourishing your baby.