Breastfeeding: It's great for bonding. It's great for baby's health. It's great for losing pregnancy weight. We constantly hear about all the good that comes from nursing your little one, but what docs, friends, and fellow mothers often fail to mention is that your wardrobe might be your biggest milk blocker.
About 2 years ago, I set out on a mission to solve this issue. What I learned is that nursing clothes are actually everywhere. You just have to curate and be creative. (BURU actually does this for you!) The key is to find styles from your favorite brands that you love and that also allow you to discreetly whip out a boob for feeding time.
As a stylist and a breastfeeding-friendly buyer, here are the 5 easy access points I want you to know about:
Zipper fronts are a personal favorite. They offer one-handed access and a
little sex appeal on the side. If your bust line has grown
substantially while nursing or is always on the busty side, then I
suggest a more discreet zipper. A bold, exposed zipper can draw
attention in an awkward way. And let's face it, they are probably
getting all the attention they need right now.
2. Button Downs & Snap Fronts
Probably the most common access points associated with nursing-friendly ready-to-wear, button downs and snap fronts are classic and convenient, but they can also be boring. I encourage you to seek out unique varieties of these closet staples. For the Fall 15 season in particular, bow tie blouses and peter pan collars are popping up everywhere. Don't forget that buttons and snaps are not just for tops. Shirtdresses and wrap dresses with snap closures for added cleavage cover are ideal for this phase of motherhood. They also easily transition from day to night.
3. The MOM Crop
It appears the crop trend is here to stay (for the foreseeable future anyway). Not ideal for post-baby belly, so I have created my own version of the trend – The MOM Crop. With a boxy, cropped shape in a longer cut, it gives the feel of a crop without exposing any actual stomach. The key to keeping it breastfeeding-friendly is to find a wide or trapeze style hem for easy lift-up access.
4. Pull Down
Pull down necklines are mostly reserved for actual breastfeeding (aka one boob at a time). Unless the neckline is incredibly stretchy with Stretch Armstrong resiliency, a pull down is not the best for “pumping access". Be on the lookout for deep v's, stretchy scoop necks, and drape fronts in tops and dresses.
It may sound “backwards", but don't rule out the option to swing a garment from front to back if the back offers boob access. I think you will be pleasantly surprised by how many dresses or tops you own with pretty back zippers or buttons that still fit the body nicely when flipped. Darts will be your enemy, so look for relaxed shapes like a-lines and shifts. As a buyer, I love finding these styles because it gives moms a fresh look after she finishes nursing.
Most importantly, remember that the better you feel about yourself during this phase, the more likely it is for you to meet your breastfeeding goals. The key is to make nursing-in-style as easy as possible. Collect the items in your closet with zero access and move them to the back. Take 2 hours on a Saturday morning while baby daddy tends to the little one and pair 10-15 go-to outfits for a variety of occasions. Anything you can do to remove stress and frustration is good for you, good for baby, and good for milk supply.
Still having trouble? Don't hesitate to reach out. I am here to help – firstname.lastname@example.org.