The question we have been asked the most since we launched This Is Mothership is ‘Where do I find clothes I can breastfeed in?’ It’s a struggle that so many of you have – you feel more yourself but can’t wear your old clothes without discreetly being able to feed. There really is a shortage out there of nursing friendly clothes that are flattering and fashionable and the brands that do sell them seem dated and out of touch with what us mamas really want. You don’t want your nursing outfit to make you look like you are still pregnant! I didn’t even attempt to look for nursing outfits and just worked out the easier way that I could wear my pre-Belle clothes and feed her in them.
There are a few tricks I’ve learnt along the way that will hopefully help:
1. Wear a thin strap vest under your top. You can then lift up your top, pull down the vest to just under your boob and feed away while you are still covered up. Make sure the vest underneath is a light fabric, like cotton or silk, and go for a discreet colour to the blouse on top. For example, if you have a white t shirt on, then wear a nude vest so it doesn’t look bulky and show through.
2. Look for anything with any front opening – buttons, a zip down the front or clasps – a shirt, a zip up hoodie or dungarees.
3. Don’t wear a dress that isn’t nursing friendly! I had an incident when Belle was born where I somehow forgot to make my outfit breastfeeding friendly, ended up in a shopping centre with a dress on. I went to feed her and realised it would involve me lifting my entire dress up and sitting in a cafe with my polka dot (not to sexy) knickers (wish I could insert the hand over eyes monkey emoji here!) I ended up hiding naked in the toilet feeding her. So steer clear of dresses!
4. Put on your regular top, then lift it up and tuck a muslin under the bottom of your bra all the way around your torso so it hangs down over your stomach. Then when you lift up your top to feed, and open your bra your stomach will be covered up by the muslin and the top will be covering the rest of you.
5. Follow my motto: If in doubt, whack ’em out. Don’t be ashamed to share them in public, but if you do feel self conscious then purchase an oversized scarf (check out Lily and Lionel for really pretty scarves in a light breathable fabric) and lay it over your baby and shoulder so you can feed underneath it.
I’ve put together a selection of nursing friendly dresses with hidden panels that will work for any occasion. Dress them up with giant oversized jewellery, heels and red lipstick, or dress them down with a leather jacket and Converse.