Nursing Clothes

Breastfeeding clothes to make your life easier

Now that you have your baby in your arms, you're probably relishing your newfound relationship. It's common to parade your pride and happiness to friends and strangers alike, but you may want to keep some modesty when it comes to your body. If you've decided to breastfeed, you'll soon find that convenience and simplicity are your greatest allies at mealtime, and that means you'll need a change in wardrobe.


Nursing clothes are designed with your comfort and your baby's needs in mind: they should cover you up enough to keep you comfortable, but expose you enough to allow for easy feeding. Of course, as with any specialized clothing, nursing clothes can range from gimmicky to useful, from frumpy to sophisticated. The trick is to find the brands or styles that will fit, feel and function equally well.

The Best Designs for Nursing Tops

Nursing tops can offer the best of both worlds: the privacy of a conventionally-styled shirt and the convenience of a specialized nursing garment. However, unlike a baby sling or shapeless breastfeeding cover, the typical t-shirt or blouse design is more involved, which can make the nursing part more complicated. In some cases, moms will agree that the style is just too much of a hassle, while other designs respect the form and movements of a breastfeeding mother better. So, which style should you choose?

Many nursing shirts feature a two-layered effect, where the top half of the shirt that reaches just under the breasts is a stretchy flap that can be pulled up during feeding time. Alternatively, you can find a nursing top that can be unbuttoned down the middle and pulled aside to expose the breast. Many pull-down styles have a half camisole as an under-layer, which allows you to keep much of the breast covered, which may seem like a good feature, but look out for cheap workmanship or problematic details: once your baby is able to grab at things, she's bound to tear any delicate lace or rip flimsy fabric.

Whichever design you prefer, keep in mind that you'll need to work it with one hand and it should be sturdy enough to handle the washing machine and dryer. Look for breathable fabrics, and stay away from light colors, which are bound to get stained with your breast milk.

Breastfeeding Clothes for Fit and Style

It may seem like this is a case of priorities, but you don't have to pick style over comfort. In fact, you can find nursing clothes that make you look stylish and sophisticated without sacrificing the handy flaps, pouches or panels that let your baby get to your breast. The key is to understand how color and cut can work for or against you.

If you're looking for something to wear around the house, nursing pajamas are a good choice. Opt for breathable material, and if you'd like a flirty, feminine touch, try a v-neck style with an empire waist and shorter hemline. Lacy and silky lingerie will probably have to take a back seat to nursing bras until your breasts lose some tenderness and you're in a more comfortable phase of recovery, but you can still show your sensual side.

As for more conservative garments, look to high-waist dresses or long wrap shirts to accentuate the length of your body and offer an easy route to the breast for your nursing baby. A v-neckline will grace most pull-aside styles, while a square neckline (flattering on every body type) will be the cut of choice for the top-panel designs. Darker colors, flowing fabric and minimal details will emphasize the curves without revealing too many of the bumps. In the end, it pays to try a variety of styles and splurge a bit on some nice nursing clothes that complement your body and sense of fashion -- your role in life may have changed, but that doesn't mean your personality has to.