A Quick Guide to Breastfeeding Clothes

Breastfeeding is something I’ve covered fairly extensively on my blog. In case you missed them – my first post was about my disaster with breastfeeding and my second post about getting breastfeeding right! What I haven’t touched on is what to wear breastfeeding. It can be fairly daunting thinking about breastfeeding in public especially to begin with when you’re still getting the hang of it. This is why easy access breastfeeding clothes that can keep things discreet are a must. Before you go off spending a fortune on breastfeeding clothes, have a read here first and save yourself a few cents!

Nursing Bras

While I’m on the fence about breastfeeding clothes; I have to say a good nursing bra is an absolute necessity in my opinion. The best ones are not sexy or particularly flattering but you learn to love them! The reason they are so important is because a poorly fitting bra can cause blocked ducts and lead to mastitis. Also you’ll need the practicality of being able to unclip the cup to access the breast without having to remove the bra for feeding. It’s best to wait until 6 weeks post delivery to buy the more expensive ones as your size will fluctuate as you establish your milk supply. However, I bought the Bravado Seamless Nursing Bra before delivery because it expands as necessary and it has served me so well that I now own 3 of them in different colours. They are worth every penny and are not too expensive considering the amount of use they get. Definitely have at least 3 nursing bras as there can be a lot of leakage at the start, always wear a breastpad too! I have also found a cheaper alternative nursing bra that looks very similar to the Bravado, comes in a handy 3 pack and has great reviews; however, I have not tried these ones myself.

Breastfeeding Clothes

Breastfeeding clothes from ASOS
A few breastfeeding tops from ASOS. Image Credit: ASOS

I admit that I was so adamant I was going to breastfeed this time that I went and bought breastfeeding clothes. They really are terrible looking, see images to the left from an ASOS search of “nursing tops”. I found a few passable ones on ASOS and H&M but unfortunately most nursing or breastfeeding clothes are also maternity clothes so are made to accommodate a bump – ie not very flattering when bump is no longer there. So don’t waste your money on them, buy a couple of basic ones if you absolutely have to but you probably won’t be using them a couple of months down the line.

Look at clothes you already have

I still look in sadness at my wardrobe full of dresses that I just can’t wear any more – not because they don’t fit me but because I wouldn’t be physically able to breastfeed in them. High necks or zips at the back are not a runner in dresses. So hopefully I’ll get back to them at some stage. But you’d be surprised at just how easy (and discreet) it can be to breastfeed in your regular clothes. My go to outfits these days are skinny jeans or a skirt teamed with a vest top and any regular top or jumper. And you use the One Up One Down method which I will talk about next!

One Up One Down

So once you have a vest top (my favourites are the Penneys regular vest tops and especially the really long ones) on, you unclip your bra on whichever side you’re feeding on and pull down the vest under the cup (so your abdomen is always completely covered by vest) and pull up your top layer. It helps if they are similar colours. All that’s exposed is the part of your breast that baby is feeding from and that is covered by your baby’s head. It’s the handiest trick ever and there’s no messing with scarves or shirts or anything trying to cover up. This technique means you can wear probably 70% of your regular wardrobe! Even for occasion wear you can go for a skirt and dressy top and you’re sorted. If you really want to wear a dress then wrap dresses with a little cami top underneath are also a good option – in this case the cami can come up to keep you covered while you move dress to the side.  Another tip is to avoid tops that are silky/satin or show up stains easily – breastfeeding can be messy especially at the start! Tops with patterns or jumpers are your friend. And of course, some people are comfortable getting the boobs out to feed and don’t worry about outfits to cover up and that’s fine too!

What to wear for night feeds

I struggled with this one at the start. I wore my nursing bra to contain the leaking but it made feeding more complicated than necessary. Baby is cosleeping so my aim was to be able to just turn on my side and latch baby on. It also meant that when baby was feeding I wasn’t covered with my duvet as I didn’t want baby overheating buy then I was freezing myself! Now I think I have it worked out. I invested in a few cheap long sleeved cropped tops and wear one of my trusty vest tops underneath. I use breastpads stuck to the inside of the vest top for any leaks so it means I don’t need any bra – I go for the Lasinoh nursing pads day and night as they are by far the best I’ve used and I’ve literally tried them all at this stage. So at night, it’s simply an easier version of one up and one down for feeds. The long sleeves keep me warm too.

So they’re my top tips for breastfeeding clothes that won’t break any budget! Happy feeding and feel free to share any tips you have yourself on my facebook page!

Disclaimer: This post does contain affiliate links.

Just because you are breastfeeding doesn't mean you have to wear breastfeeding clothes. Check out my top tips on usuing regular clothes for nursing and my favourite nursing bra.

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