Motherhood

Pretty Nursing Clothes

Storq Nursing Clothes

Recently we got this note from a reader named Meredith: “Would you consider doing a post on clothes that are breastfeeding friendly but aren’t designed-to-breastfeed-in clothes? I’m lost.”

Good question! When I was nursing, I wore a small rotation of V-neck tees, wrap dresses and button-downs. (I wore this shirt a thousand times.) If you decide to breastfeed (and are able to), here are a few styles that might work…

You could also pair a regular shirt with high-waisted leggings, and then pull up your shirt to nurse.

What do (or did) you wear when nursing? I’d love to hear. Boob tanks also work well, H&M has a sweet nursing line, and Allette has pretty pieces. Congratulations to all the mothers or mothers-to-be out there!

P.S. Seven things that surprised me about breastfeeding, and nursing in public.

(Top photo of Storq’s nursing caftan.)

  1. I like so many women I really missed wearing DRESSES while nursing. I found this line (Nom Maternity) last year when I was pregnant with my son and loved that they work during pregnancy and after while nursing. My fav was THIS dress, https://nommaternity.com/collections/during-after/products/during-after-snap-tank-dress-navy
    I wore it with tights and a jean jacket in the fall and then in the spring / summer I paired it sandals. It is seriously the best thing to nurse in!!

  2. Elizabeth Figoni says...

    You should check out Maia Moda, a new line of clothing for nursing mothers! https://www.maiamoda.com/

  3. I just had my second son a month ago and a great trick is to buy tank tops and tank top dresses with built in bras. I got a bunch from Uniqlo. Then you don’t even have to worry about a nursing bra and you can just pull down a strap to start nursing wherever you are!

  4. Alina says...

    My style definitely (unexpectedly, to me) changed while I was breastfeeding- I never realized how much I loved crew neck clothing…. my go to for the beginning stages are a kimono style cardigan over a nursing tank (I found a cute one at Target, I have one from Asos)- basically like robes but you can wear them out of the house and they are cool for summer. Layering a tank under tee shirts and sweaters I did a lot (cropped tops look cute over a tank, I think). And then of course button-downs. Madewell makes great ones. Dresses (especially special occasion dresses) can be the hardest- I’ve had good luck with Asos. Roolee Boutique makes stylish nursing dresses. I wish I was a fan of v necks but I’m just not.

  5. Susan says...

    I was just reading this during my pump “break” at work! Between my two guys I’ve nursed over two years of my life, so I don’t mind spending the money on clothes I feel good in, but nursing clothes are not built for hourglass or pear shaped people! If I wear something that’s a tent on top I just look like a tent everywhere. Also, my babies were both super messy eaters, so I have to be careful to wear things that don’t look terrible soaked..

    I wear a lot of black. Being a nursing mom made me more goth.

  6. Jen says...

    Much as I love my BOOB maternity/nursing dress and other fancy crocks made just for nursing, I’m a big fan of wearing a stretchy low-cut tank that can be pulled down, underneath any top that can be pulled up. The tank keeps your belly/torso warm and covered and covers the lower part of your boob, and the top covers the top part of your boob. Very discrete.

    Another great no-purchase trick I love is wearing full-panel maternity jeans and leggings with a top that can be pulled up. The panel serves the purpose of the tank described above. Worked especially well in the early months. I’m 12 months pp and am below pre-pregnancy weight so the jeans are too baggy but the leggings still fit fine!

    All this said… man, do I miss wearing dresses.

  7. I’m a big fan of layering nursing camisoles with lightweight button up or any shirt really. This makes it easy to nurse discretely most anywhere

  8. Sylvia says...

    I used to just wear a stretchy camisole under all my tops. put baby under your top and pull cami down to feed, easy! And nice cos it means you don’t have to expose any tummy ;)

  9. zeezee says...

    i breastfed both my kids for more than 2 years, and i survived on shirt dresses and separates and nursing bras. low cut tops didnt really work for me as i found the pulling apart stretched the material ungainly. basically, just wear more separates and pull up the top, whip out the nursing cover and nurse!

  10. Liesl says...

    Every woman has her own comfort level with exposure, but since mine is pretty high, I thought I’d share.

    I usually chose something I could pull down. My daughter had a hard time latching, and being able to see her mouth on my nipple helped me make sure she was positioned well. Once she latched, you couldn’t see much, but I wasn’t too fussy if my nipple was exposed for a bit while we got the latch right. It felt funny at first in restaurants or other public places—especially at once brunch with coworkers—, but I memorized my state-specific rights as a nursing mother and then just went with it. I was shocked (and almost disappointed after all my rehearsal in the mirror) that no one challenged my right to bare my breasts in public. My comfort level increased with time and it was really empowering. I wouldn’t encourage anyone to give up on modesty if that’s what makes you comfortable—totally understandable!—, but if you’re covering up only because it’s what you think is expected, try pushing the boundaries a bit. You might be surprised!

  11. Debbie says...

    Another beautiful option that reminds me of the Storq dress pictured is the linen loungewear dress by Sleeper. I wear it ALL THE TIME. The whole concept of the brand is “walking sleepwear” so I wear it all day and night. I wear it belted or off the shoulder (for the rare dinner out), then un-belt it and I’m off to bed! And it’s perfect for breastfeeding because the buttons. It’s expensive, but I can justify the price because I really do wear it all the time.

  12. Traci says...

    http://amzn.to/2vY1WBi

    I’ve loved these tanks. For me, nursing puts me at a 36DD, and I can wear this as both bra & tank for belly coverage (and bonus, it’s snug enough to keep my belly from feeling like it’s spilling out everywhere). I’ll wear any of my regular tops and tees over them, though I do gravitate toward looser/boyfriend styles anyway.
    For reference, I’m 5’9″, size 28 jeans, usually size small/medium in tops.

  13. mary says...

    I mostly just wear shirts that you can pull up (nothing too tight). I have a few nice nursing bras from Nordstrom and Rosie Pope. I prefer the seamless ones. I used to be more strict about covering up in public, but it’s summer and nursing covers are super hot. My babies tend to hate them if they aren’t newborns. With my son I was a bit more modest about it, but I kind of don’t really care anymore with my second child. However, often times she doesn’t even want to nurse in public because she is too distracted (major FOMO! hehee). If I wear a dress, it’s mostly a wrap dress or a shirt dress with buttons. I also wear lots of tops and skirts.

    • Lux says...

      Same here! I have about seven Gap linen t-shirts that I wear loose and just pull up to nurse. Super easy and inexpensive – maternity/nursing clothing can be so pricey!

  14. Dianne says...

    What a lovely post! Joanna, I would love to see something on the site aimed at mothers who do not breastfeed. I applaud efforts to support mothers who choose to breastfeed their children, but I think many of us who use formula (for whatever reason) feel really marginalized by what seems to be a steady focus on breastfeeding at most blogs aimed at mothers. We have worries and fears and concerns too! I think it would be a really unique approach to choose to feature women who do not breastfeed or issues related to formula-feeding, as I think many of us feel stigmatized about this parenting choice (though not by your site–I don’t feel “put down” in any way by Cup of Jo, but it would be nice to see a wider range of experiences represented). Thank you for all that you do!

    • Erin says...

      Totally agree with you, Dianne!

    • Meagan says...

      I don’t think the intent is to marginalize moms who don’t breastfeed. The fact is, its hard to find clothing that allow you to feed your baby easily and still look stylish – this isn’t a list of clothing ONLY for BFing moms. Non-breastfeeding moms can take advantage of these style tips as well.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh yes! dianne, i’m so so sorry you felt this way. i actually wrote this line in the post with the hope that, while i answered a reader’s question about nursing wear, people wouldn’t feel marginalized in any way by that: “If you decide to breastfeed (and are able to), here are a few styles that might work…”

      I also used formula with both my children, and of course support any way that parents feed their sweet children! thank you so much for writing.

    • Dianne says...

      To Meagan and Joanna: thanks so much for your replies! Meagan, I totally agree–the post wasn’t intended to marginalize non-breastfeeding Moms and I didn’t take it that way. As someone who did try to breastfeed unsuccessfully, I understand the need for special clothing and think it’s great that Cup of Jo posts about it! My intention was to note that I have seen dozens of posts on this site (and others) related to breastfeeding, and while I think that’s great, I think it would also be nice to include posts aimed at the challenges faced by Moms who don’t or can’t breastfeed. I’ve been reading this blog (and loving it) for a long time, and I’ve seen many posts related to breastfeeding (which again, I think is great, and I fully support all efforts to make breastfeeding as accessible and comfortable and legally protected as possible), but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything about formula feeding. I think Cup of Jo strives to be an inclusive space and to represent as many perspectives as possible, and this is one area in which I think there is a lack of coverage. I know many Moms who don’t or can’t breastfeed and are afraid or ashamed to talk about their choice for fear of criticism or ridicule, and that’s not a good thing! This could be a great platform for these Moms to share their experiences, fears, etc. Again, thanks Joanna for your hard work on the site and your sensitive reply to my comment.

  15. Lynn says...

    My friend has been very successful with her line of nursing clothing.
    Look at https://latchedmama.com/

    • Meagan says...

      I love Latched Mama – I have a few of the drawstring dresses and I get so many compliments on them!

  16. Jennifer says...

    I like to have a uniform that i don’t have to think about (especially during bananas times like the ones that come with parenting an infant) so I wore the same thing almost daily: BOOB nursing tanks, button down plaid shirt (I like the ones from Tradlands best) and a pair of stretchy jeans.

  17. I just got that exact Storq dress and am IN LOVE. Still two weeks away from my due date so I can’t officially weigh in on the nursing-feasibility aspect of it, but it was designed for it so I have high hopes. I definitely imagine wearing it even post-nursing as well! Soft, chic, all that good stuff.

    • Liesl says...

      I nursed non-stop in my Storq dress, so good luck! It never stretches out and is definitely designed to be whipped down when you need to. I’ve thought about ordering more for non-pregnancy, non-nursing wear.

  18. looie says...

    On the topic of nursing I’d really like to know how people round the world fare with breastfeeding in public? My city has just launched a “breastfeeding friendly” campaign where cafes or restaurants sign up to a code of conduct and have a sticker in the window – I can’t decide whether I support it or not. The article linked describes the pros and cons a bit more if you are interested. Is this a UK thing or do other countries have this too? https://rainycitykids.com/2017/08/06/top-places-to-breastfeed-in-manchester/

  19. Saundra Williams says...

    I was looking for maximum coverage so I felt comfortable nursing in public. After spending money on fancy bras and nursing tops, I quickly discovered my uniform. A tank top (any tank top) with a shirt that you can pull up easily (almost any shirt you have that’s not too tight). That way, your belly is always covered by the tank and your décolleté and breast are covered by the shirt hiked up. I found a bra that has no wires or clips, just ones you can pull down, were cheapest and worked the easiest. Good luck!

    • Joy says...

      I did the same! Soft bras from Aerie and Walmart ($5!) were my wardrobe staples.

      As far as nursing pads, I finally made the switch to reusable ones party way through nursing my second child because I was so tired of creating so much trash from the wrappers and pads themselves. Took a chance on the cheaper brandless bamboo nursing pads from Amazon (instead of the pricier bamboobies) and they worked just fine for daily use. (Only a couple leaks on nights when baby started sleeping longer through the night.)

    • AJ says...

      I agree! My go-to ensemble has been a stretchy bra, a cheap stretchy tank top (like Air-ism from Uniqlo or Merona from Target) and a button down or zip up shirt on top.

  20. Hi! I know this handmade dresses from Lithuana, from a lovely and small brand (they are husband and wife) and I love their designs. Simona, the owner, is a mum of two, and designs most her dresses and jumpsuits so they are suitable for breastfeeding, even you can wear them weather you’re breastfeeding or not. Their prices are very reasonable also. I just love them (I have one and have ordered a second one) and thought you may like them too :) https://www.etsy.com/shop/OffOn?ref=hdr_shop_menu

    • Karen says...

      Wow thank you for the tip Anna, these clothes are amazing!

  21. Molly says...

    Don’t buy those high-waist leggings! They’re not nearly tight enough – they remind me of black tights that have lost their elasticity. I would recommend instead investing in some lulu lemon leggings. They have much better shape control and make you feel amazing. These just made me feel frumpy and didn’t do anything to hold my post-partum belly in.

  22. Jenna says...

    I LOVE these ASOS brand breastfeeding tops: http://m.asos.com/new-look-maternity/new-look-maternity-nursing-tee/prd/6918930?clr=black&SearchQuery=nursing%20top&pgesize=50&pge=0&totalstyles=140&gridsize=2&gridrow=1&gridcolumn=1.

    I’ve tried a few different styles of nursing tops & these are super affordable, are a simple, well-designed black top that doesn’t necessarily look like a breastfeeding top – and they make it easy to get your boob out quickly when an impatient thirsty baby is wailing and grousing at you, plus it’s easy to keep the rest of your breast pretty covered up! Unless you have a baby like mine who likes to pull at the neckline while he feeds to ensure maximum cleavage is visible to everyone (sigh).

    I’m not a fan of breastfeeding tops that are also maternity tops – good for the first few weeks I guess, but then the billowing stomach fabric definitely doesn’t do you any favours!

  23. Ali says...

    I googled “how to start a clothing line” one day while nursing my 3 month old a few weeks ago. There’s only so many breast feeding-friendly tops one can wear with the only pair of (cute, but neon pink Target) shorts that fit (hello, bloated C-section belly). I would love to create cute, affordable nursing clothes, or even start a curated site that sells all different brands of “nursing friendly” options. I love Storq; their clothes are so beautiful and classic, but dang they’re just a little too expensive!

  24. Diane c. says...

    I have a nursing tank from target that is 5 years old and is still in great shape. I think the trick to avoiding pilling is to look for fabric content that is mostly cotton. I have the H&M cotton nursing tanks too and they are holding up pretty well. Synthetics offer better support sometimes, but I find they tend to pill more easily.

    I find clothes that are labeled maternity/ nursing so frustrating! Those two things have such different sartorial demands! I’m six months into nursing my second and ‘I’ve spent countless hours on the internet looking for colorful and functional nursingwaer. A couple months ago, another mom introduced me to these tie back tops from Gap’s Gapfit line and it was like I heard angels singing!!! They aren’t even nursing wear; they are yoga/ workout tops that are open in the back.

    http://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?vid=1&pid=636925042

    I layer them over a nursing tank and this is what I wear 95% of the time. They are super easy to pull up to nurse and then also loose enough to act like a nursing cover. Also, you can tie the ends back to create a more flattering silhouette. And they come in lots of colors. And they come in tank top and long sleeved versions. I don’t usually like wearing synthetic material, but these tops are so soft and breathable that I don’t mind. It’s definitely more casual than work wear, but I find the long sleeved version is not too casual.

    I’m still on the hunt for a dress, though. How I miss wearing dresses! My problem is I prefer cotton dresses, and most of the cute stuff I find is some kind of synthetic. My perfect nursing dress would be cotton, A-line with pockets.
    .

    • I just gave up dresses, reluctantly, while nursing my babes.

      I found a nursing tank plus a loose shirt that I could pull up was the best for me – enough coverage that I nursed my babies anywhere, but comfortable enough that I didn’t dread getting dressed.

      My friend actually showed me how to make nursing tanks – just take a spaghetti strap cami, cut off most of the straps and use the remaining inch or two to form a loop on each side in the front – sew it down. Then wear a nursing bra and put the cami on top with the loops fastened in the nursing bra in the front. Much more affordable and comfy to start with a cami you love than be limited by the pricier nursing tanks.

  25. Natasha says...

    The “Naked Nursing Tank” available on Amazon. I used two (charcoal & light grey) exclusively with baby 2, and really wished I’d had for baby 1. Really brilliant concept…so easy to nurse on the fly, and you just wear all your regular tops! Plus they are nice and long, the fabric is a good weight, and the snug fit helps you feel a little trimmer as your tummy slowly goes back to normal (and for when you pull up your shirt). I just got one for my sis in law I loved these so much. So grateful someone thought to make this product! I didn’t care much for regular nursing tanks…unclipping of bra strap was enough for me…didn’t want to wrangle a second strap or extra fabric on top of that. And yes, nursing is soooo hard in the beginning…even the second time around. I’d been through it once and even then felt ready to quit with baby 2 in those early weeks. But once it gets better it becomes so easy and wonderful. Medela makes great soothing gel pads, during the rough phase those saved me. I nursed both kiddos to 14 months. I used lactation specialists both times in the beginning – Worth their weight in gold!

  26. B Cres says...

    I’m a huge fan of the Undercover Mama nursing tanks. They clip to your bra and provide lots of coverage making nursing very discreet

  27. Elizabeth says...

    It was winter when my son was born. I wore a singlet under all my tops and I would lift up my top and pop my back boob out the top of my singlet. When my daughter was born I bought 8 linen button up tops (it was summer) and I wore them with a nursing bra that had material over my boob even when I unclipped the bra.

  28. Polly Hitchcock Sage says...

    I loved my boob nursing shirts. I’m too big to just pull shirts down. I would also use button downs and wear those cheap tank tops underneath them. But when you don’t want to layer, the boob shirts were best.

  29. Jess says...

    I’ve been living in Cadenshae nursing sports bras and hoodies and Loyal Hana nursing dresses and tops. Both amazing brands with strategically placed, discreet zips. Worth the money.

    • Ani says...

      I second the Cadenshae bras!

  30. Robin says...

    I bought a large number of cheap, long basic tanks from h&m, and I just wear those under my normal tops, tucked into my jeans (no need to wear high waist leggings!). I pull up my top and the tank down. Works perfectly and no fiddling with buttons. It also means there’s lots of material to cover me up, so I don’t feel too exposed. The only issue is dresses – dresses are normally my summertime uniform, but only a few of the ones I own button or are loose enough to pull down. I’ve thought about investing in a few new dresses but baby #2 is 10 months now – going to try to hold out ;).

  31. Thank you for these beautiful clothing choices! I would even wear some of them now (although my youngest daughter is 5!). And Joanna, I want to express a HUGE thank you as well for your thoughtful statement ‘if you’re able to’ in regards to breastfeeding. I tried with all of three of my daughters and wasn’t able to and was in a lot of pain, and had to choose formula. There is so much judgment out there towards all of us mothers, no matter what we choose; we can’t please everyone. I just wanted you to know that I always appreciate your inviting writing voice, and your consistently kind way of expressing interest and warmth towards all mothers. It means a lot.

    • Ramsey Fountain says...

      I second all that, Laura, especially what you said about Joanna’s “consistently kind way of expressing interest and warmth towards all mothers.” So true.

      My heart goes out to you for all that you went through in your efforts to breastfeed your daughters. You did your absolute best for your babies, and in the end made the choice that was best for all of you. You should be proud, and I hope that you are!

    • Tracy says...

      I came to the comments to make just the same point. Thank you so much for the “If you able.” Almost made me tear up with appreciation (and with painful memories of all the feelings), and my little one is 5 too!

    • Anna says...

      I came to say the same thing. Really appreciated. I’m in the UK, and find that so much of the comment online incredibly judgemental (and often vitriolic) towards women who either choose to formula feed or are not able to breast feed for whatever reason. I love the inclusivity you show towards all mothers/primary care-givers, and am so grateful for the supportive community you’ve created with your blog.

    • Ramsey Fountain says...

      You’ve probably already thought of this, Joanna, but I think it would be wonderful if you could do a piece on this issue of breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding, in particular highlighting the fact that some women just cannot do it (for very good reasons), and some, who have every right to make the choice that they make, choose not to. Why do we have to judge each other so? Why can’t we mind our own business? Anyway, as I mentioned in an earlier comment, I successfully breastfed in spite of some horrific obstacles (I’m happy to share the details with you if you are interested – it is in parts a pretty hilarious tale), but I am so distressed by the unkind and hurtful remarks of some women in their judgements of women who do not breast feed. Trust me, I get it, I’m a pediatrician and I am about as pro-breastfeeding as you can be, but I’m also a human being with a heart (well, I hope so!), and I cannot condone or countenance the harshness directed towards moms who bottle feed.

  32. Kirsten says...

    I loved Seraphine leggings when I was pregnant, and I’m looking into their nursing tops and dresses now. They’re having a great sale so hoping some of these will work!

    http://www.seraphine.com/us/

  33. Erin says...

    I always pulled my shirt up. I felt very discreet with the baby covering everything up. I always felt exposed when I unbuttoned blouses or pulled down v necks. I never used a nursing cover though. They were so clumsy and my babies always hated them. I did miss wearing dresses…tops with skirts never feel as dressy.

    • Ingrid says...

      I did the same. I always pulled my shirt up, for cover, rather than down.

  34. Amy says...

    I had nursing bras when my now-8-month-old was born but totally blew it with nursing tops! I thought all my maternity clothes would still work – didn’t stop to consider the logistics! It took a lot of trial and error but I ended up really liking the Canadian brand Momzelle. It’s pretty affordable too.

  35. Beth says...

    These are so lovely but hot tip for any big busted ladies- most don’t look like they would work – boo hoo!
    As a lady with large ones I’m a fan of maternity bras with underwire made of plastic not wire – you can buy them from specialty stores such as brava so the girls stay firmly north. These can be really Expensive but you only need a few so worth it!

    I was also a fan of very loose shorter shaped tops – matched with skirts with higher waists! You can simply pull the baby under without exposing your boobs or if you’ve been eating too many doughnuts.

    Also what is it with most maternity and nursing clothes being made of polyester?!??? Aghgh those hormones make me HOT! I ditched them in favour of normal fashionable cotton clothing.
    I think it’s really important to wear clothes that make you look good especially after a baby when you are vulnerable and your body doesn’t feel
    Like yours. It’s your armour !

    I’m pregnant with my second and specifically looking for fashionable clothes for
    After (even if they don’t fit now) – I want to come out of that delivery room feeling the best I possibly can- not hunting through my wardrobe wondering what on earth I’m going to wear. Bright happy clothes to hide those future
    Bags under my eyes! Haha
    Have fun baking any preggos out there !

    • Tori says...

      Beth – are you my soul animal? I have never read a post that could have been written precisely by ME! I’m also pregnant – with my first xx. Godspeed with your shopping :)

  36. Kris says...

    I’m chesty and just wore a nursing tank under flowy shirts, then pulled up the float top. Voila. The Glamourmom tank had better support than the target ones.

    • Hilary says...

      Yes, me, too! I wore almost all my normal shirts with a nursing tank underneath. You’re almost 100% covered – moreso than with nursing shirts alone.

  37. Melanie says...

    Other than a couple of Target nursing bras, I really didn’t spend much on “nursing clothes” – just made sure my shirts were comfortable enough to either pull up or down.
    But I felt that my nursing cover was invaluable – looked like an apron, but it made my life so much easier and I could wear either types of shirt. I felt so comfortable that I (the normally conservative person I am) would nurse anywhere including meetings (ha ha, I think it was making the male representative we were meeting with uncomfortable though).

    The cover had a mo

  38. Nat says...

    This is perfect and overwhelming at the same time. I’m 8 weeks pregnant with my first (total surprise just after our 9th wedding anniversary!). Great info for someone like me who is completely clueless about all things baby. Thanks!:)

  39. Ramsey Fountain says...

    Thank you SO much, Joanna, for your sensitive and thoughtful wording: “if you decide to breastfeed, (and are able to)”.

    I am a pediatrician and have counseled so many moms over the past 25+ years who have either preferred not to breastfeed for personal reasons, or who have struggled mightily with serious breastfeeding problems (babies who won’t latch on; raw, tender, bruised, and bleeding nipples; insufficient milk supply; miscellaneous medical/emotional/social barriers to successful breastfeeding, you name it, the list goes on). I have witnessed the sometimes devastating emotional toll that unsuccessful breastfeeding can take on a new mom, and it truly breaks my heart. Don’t we women have enough crap to deal with? I have also, I’m sorry to say, witnessed the pressure that some moms put on other moms to continue nursing even when there are serious complications that preclude successful breastfeeding. The insensitivity of that kind of pressure boggles my mind sometimes.

    I personally had serious problems with breastfeeding with my one and only child (I joke that mine was “the breastfeeding experience from hell”, i.e., everything that could go wrong, DID go wrong, lucky me), but miraculously I was able to overcome most of the problems we were having, and successfully nurse our baby for 10 months, thanks to the amazing support of the world’s best EVER lactation consultant (if you are out there reading this Peggy, you know who I’m talking about!!), and the support of my husband, family, friends and colleagues. I was lucky. Many women are not so lucky as I was to have that kind of support.

    • Amy says...

      Completely agree!! You sound like an awesome pediatrician and patient/family advocate!

    • Katherine says...

      Second this! I am not a mum, but am in the medical profession, and see this pressure all the time. It is lovely and wonderful if a Mum is able to breastfeed, but the pressure is immense, and some people don’t seem to realise it just doesn’t work for everyone all the time, despite the best will in the world. Either way doesn’t mean you are a better or worse mother.

  40. emmanuella says...

    Ooooooooo, we can request posts now?! Just in case that’s a yes, here’s my question:

    Where do I even begin to look for an engagement ring? My significant other asked me to pick out the ring because as he puts it “you’re the one wearing it so you should pick it out and love it” (so sweet). As someone who never wears jewelry though, I am completely lost. Any tips would be appreciated.

    P.S. sorry to put this on a maternity clothing post. I figure some of you ladies might have “been there, done that”

    • Katy K says...

      We really liked James Allen, an online retailer that had good customer service. I played around with their site and created a wish list of rings and settings and my now husband ordered one from my wish list. Our friends also did Blue Nile and had a good experience. These are all online but most have good return policies for the first 30 days. You could also go to a store in person just to try on if you don’t want to end up buying from the typical mall jewelry store.

    • Katy K says...

      ALSO – get yourself over to A Practical Wedding – they are the best wedding resource on the web! And buy their books once you do get engaged! They have lots of engagement ring posts for nontraditional things as well.

    • Ellie says...

      I would ask friends/family for recommendations for a wholesale jeweler in your city (if you’re in or around Boston, we love Nicole at Forever Diamond!). Wholesalers are typically in jewelry buildings or similar. Find one you like and feel good about and ask them to walk you through different shapes, styles, and settings. I also found it helpful to start at Tiffany for two reasons…first, they selection is very edited, so it’s not as overwhelming and second, it’s fun! I (and my grandson of a jeweler husband) 100% recommend buying wholesale…you get a lot more bang for your buck! Feel free to email me too: blog.awinkasmile@gmail.com

    • Sam says...

      I love supporting small business for jewelry – you get a unique piece that can totally reflect your style and you are supporting an independent maker. Britta Kauppila is an awesome jewelry artist from Minnesota that I know – you can check out her pieces and custom work on instagram @brittakauppila_metalsmith or website http://www.brittalynndesign.com/. Otherwise I suggest checking out your local art scene if you aren’t loving what is in the big box stores :)

    • My fiancé did the same thing for the same reason! Our wedding is in a week, and I wore a “placeholder” for the first month.

      We got mine from Brilliant Earth (highly recommend!), which was a lab diamond, so think like 3x the size for the same price and still a “real” diamond. But honestly, that was at my mother-in-law’s insistence. The placeholder he proposed to me with (a blue topaz cocktail ring), is just as precious if not more so.

      I liked having the ring that screamed, “engagement!” Bough because people have given me such wonderful advice and been so welcoming.

    • I highly recommend A Practical Wedding and Offbeat Bride! Great for practicality and representation

    • Anna says...

      I picked mine on Etsy! Hand-made and therefore unique + supporting small business/artist jeweler.
      I second the offbeat bride website, their advice is so…liberating! And even just seeing engagements and weddings that are unique and personal takes so much pressure off…

    • Rachel says...

      My husband and I went to a regular jeweler who also sold vintage jewelry, which was less expensive than the new stuff. I got a gorgeous art deco ring that I still love starting at. My husband ended up getting a vintage ring too! His choice. Anyway I recommend apracticalwedding.com for inspiration on creative and affordable options (no affiliation).

    • Liesl says...

      Joanna has recommended Bario-Neal before. My husband and I bought our weddings bands there, and I’ve considered them to reset my engagement diamond from the standard band my husband picked out (with the hopes I’d later personalize it). They’re reasonably priced, have gorgeous and unique designs, and use recycled metals. Have fun!

  41. Lucy says...

    I always pull my top up, not down and don’t bother with the cami underneath. I feel like baby covers up my boob with his head and my tummy with his body pretty well. And when I want more coverage I use a nursing cover. My problem though is dresses- I don’t want to be doomed to not wear dresses for the next year or two :p

    • Gitty says...

      My personal solution was: nursing with a top, exactly what you described. Nursing with a dress: dress comes OFF and I nurse in some place with a locked door- sorry that I don’t have a better answer!

    • Katy says...

      Just wear a wrap style dress or one that buttons down. I live in those this summer!

  42. Mallory says...

    2 babies and 3+ years of nursing so far, my fave nursing setup is high waisted jeans + regular Third Love bra + looser/flowy top. With the high waisted jeans, I feel covered enough to lift my top vs pull it down, and Third Love bras are soft enough to just pull down the cup. No more fussing with nursing bra straps!

    • Mei says...

      Thirdlove makes nursing bras now!

  43. Anna says...

    This is a great topic, though the ideal solution is going to be different for each woman depending on her preferences and the seasons of the year. I think summer is hardest because I don’t want extra layers. Also, the older my daughter grew (we weaned at 27 months) the less I needed to be ready to pop out a boob at a moment’s notice, so my options evolved over time. H&M has the best nursing basics and some surprisingly cute and clever dresses as well. One of my favorite hacks is to layer a crop top under a dress or shirt that opens in the front for more coverage.
    Now, can we talk about how often we walk around without noticing that one side or the other is unclipped…?

    • Robin says...

      Lol MUCH too often! Can’t wait to be able to go back to a good looking supportive bra again.

    • mary says...

      haha all the time. And I try to discreetly clip it when I finally notice, but it never works. I’m always fussing with my shirts!

  44. Emily says...

    I second the loyal hanna recommendation. I’m currently nursing and have been living in one of their dresses all summer!

  45. Alexia says...

    No Motherhood Around the World? 😫

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      we have more coming up soon!! :)

  46. Meredith says...

    This was my question!! Thank you Joanna and crew! So many great suggestions in the comments too.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yay, meredith! thank you!

  47. Elizabeth says...

    I wear ribbed tank tops under cardigans or baggy open sweaters to make it easy to access the boob and hide the goods. 😂 Low-cut t-shirts from Gap and old Navy are great too! Nursing makes me sweat, so I need cotton tops.

  48. I definitely preferred pulling my shirt up over pulling it down, but I know everyone is different. I will admit that I didn’t often feel stylish during those breastfeeding days. I felt so much better when I could finally wear a supportive underwire bra again!

  49. Ana says...

    I can’t say enough good things about ‘Loyal Hana’ https://loyalhana.com/ I found a couple of their tops in a boutique near me, and they are my favorite nursing pieces. They have these super discrete side zips that you use for access. So smart! Just wish they were a bit cheaper so I could get more. I don’t like the layering strategy much, because I seem to overheat while pregnant or nursing (most be an hormone thing).

  50. Sara says...

    I wore camisoles/ tanks under my shirts and would pull up the top shirt and the camisole down a little, which created the perfect little access spot for nursing. Worked brilliantly.

    • Amy says...

      Same! Especially nice early on, when flashing my stomach made me super self conscious. I never bought nursing-specific tops.

    • Caroline says...

      Same! My favorite combo is a black cotton yoga bra from Blue Canoe, a black cotton camisole from Skin or jcrew tank, and an oversized button front shirt from Madewell that I can lift or unbutton, depending on the situation.

  51. Buru (www.shopburu.com) is worth checking out. They buy & sell high fashion items from lots of different labels, specifically with breastfeeding moms in mind. They also have great sales!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      what a great tip, lana — thanks!

  52. Rachel says...

    Great timing! I’m 8 wks into BFing my 2nd and am having trouble finding what works this time around. My absolute go-tos my first time around were the gap maternity/nursing tanks with the everlane ryan tee over…both of which are no longer made :( .
    Currently scouring the reader comments, hoping to find someone’s secret weapon

    • Aimee says...

      Try the HM conscious nursing tank! Comes in a pack of 2 and I lived in those through all three of my boys!

  53. Molly says...

    Add-on question – any suggestions for work clothes (business professional dress code) that are pumping friendly? Like many others here, I’ve been defaulting to nursing cami under another shirt as my go-to outfit for nursing (first baby is now 3 months). I’m doing the same for work, but am getting bored of it, and of rotating the same 3-5 outfits (although that’s more a post-baby body issue)! I’d love to wear my old work dresses, but then would have to get half-naked to pump. Anyone with more experience have some ideas??

    • Tiff says...

      I guess it depends a lot where you go for your pumping sessions… but I worked retail mgmt. and just pumped in one of the dressing rooms… and often went half-clothed. I wore lots of dresses/tops that weren’t nursing friendly, but to me, it was just as easy to take off a dress vs. unbuttoning or whatnot. I totally understand if that won’t work for your situation, but it’s one of those things that I think can be made overcomplicated ;)

    • Katy says...

      I think this is the bigger issue! I don’t want to get undressed to pump twice a day…I wear wrap style dresses and button-ups most days. Works fine but there aren’t many options out there for pumping.

    • Meagan says...

      My go to pumping wardrobe are back zip dresses!! I can unzip and disrobe my top half to pump without getting fully undressed.

  54. Hannah says...

    My fave find so far (9mo into nursing) is that it’s totally fine to wear a normal bra. All the nursing bras fit me so weird, and I’m big enough that I couldn’t do a cute little bralette. So I bought some lovely unlined bras from VS and just pull down. I know they’ll be thrashed by the time I’m done nursing this babe, but boob sizes are always changing anyway 🤷🏼‍♀️

  55. Sasha says...

    I wore overalls, the baggy kind (it was the 90s! Full disclosure, I do still wear them). Tee underneath, pushed bib part to side, tee goes up. It was great in winter because my belly was still covered, and the bib part made it harder to see anything (not that there’s anything to see). :)
    Best part though, overalls are how I like to dress, so I felt like me.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      What a cute way to do it!

  56. Great post! I don’t have children yet but I love reading these types of articles. I am storing all these tips for the future! Thanks :)

    Sarah

  57. Lashley says...

    I’m on breastfed babe #2. For me, it works best to wear a camisole under a regular blousey or knit shirt and use the “up/down” method. I wear a DD bra when breastfeeding, so the “pull down” alternative ends up revealing more than suits me. Certainly, any woman should be able to breastfeed in a way that’s comfortable for herself and her baby, regardless of bust size – this is what works for us!

    • Molly says...

      I do exactly the same for the same reason!

    • Emily says...

      Me too! I’m a DD (or maybe bigger but I’m in denial!?) and I feel way too exposed for the pull down method.

  58. Emily says...

    This Athleta romper! I I’m currently nursing my third child and have pretty much figured out how to pick non-nursing specific pieces that are cute and totally nursing accessible. This romper, which I bought in black, has a wrap front that pairs perfectly with a black racetrack nursing sports bra from Target. The romper can be dressed up or down, is in a lightweight fabric that packs down small, doesn’t wrinkle and dries in two seconds if you get milk or spit up on it (which inevitably happens when breastfeeding), forgiving and flattering for postpartum body, has deep pockets that hold your phone perfectly, and built in shorts which make it perfect for getting down on the floor with little ones without giving anyone a show! I can’t say enough how much I love this and should order in the green. The best part is I love the style whether I’m breastfeeding or not.
    http://athleta.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=596199002&CAWELAID=120299870000031169&CAGPSPN=pla&CAAGID=43315877506&CATCI=aud-297609329436:pla-295801473779&tid=atpl000001&kwid=1&ap=7&gclid=Cj0KCQjwn6DMBRC0ARIsAHZtCeOrUUL13GJRUMHBQUwwrugdjf7sabXKbK5pwmof2k1ohMGttN1WzDIaAqjnEALw_wcB

  59. Claudia says...

    Once I was able to fit back into my pre-pregnancy clothes, I wanted to wear them again! So I bought a package of those men’s A-line undershirts and cut the arm holes wide so that it was easy to expose my boob. I’d then just wear that under my regular shirts and when it came time to nurse or pump at work, I’d pull up my shirt, keeping my belly covered but giving free access to the breast. Worked well for me!

  60. Alexa Moyer says...

    Oh, this is perfect timing! I am 13 weeks pregnant with my first baby and reading everything newborn-related I can get my hands on. Maybe someday nursing bras and tanks and tops won’t be so exciting, but right now, it’s the most exciting topic in the world to me :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      awwww :) :) :) congratulations on your baby news, you sound like such a loving mother already.

  61. Claudia Depkin says...

    Once I was able to fit back into my pre-pregnancy clothes, I wanted to wear them again! So I bought a package of those men’s A-line undershirts and cut the arm holes wide so that it was easy to expose my boob. I’d then just wear that under my regular shirts and when it came time to nurse or pump at work, I’d pull up my shirt, keeping my belly covered but giving free access to the breast. Worked well for me!

  62. Marni says...

    I am currently nursing my daughter and wearing mostly button downs. It takes 3 seconds to unbutton! ;-) I like the idea of a shirt dress. Maybe I will try one this fall. THat Everlane one is nice.

  63. Emma says...

    Oh my goodness. Why is there a large(ish) market for maternity clothes, but then next to nothing for nursing clothes? No one told me figuring out a wardrobe post baby would be more complicated than clothing during pregnancy. I mean reeeeeally!
    I surprisingly found wearing a normal bra to be easier than a nursing bra. Just give it a try. :)

  64. Sophie says...

    I’m sorry, these are not good options. I can’t imagine trying to unbutton a million buttons with a wiggly baby in one hand, and if your boobs are at ALL big you’re not going to be able to just pull down a little v-neck. Most of the shirts here are going to expose your entire upper chest, which isn’t great if you actually want to be covered up (like, if it’s winter, or if you’re somewhere conservative). I do target camis + a shirt on top, like someone else said, and I have a couple dresses from Milk Nursing Ware which are okay. It’s a market that is desperately in need of some improvement. Was looking forward to seeing some better ideas here!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Thanks for your note, Sophie! It has been fascinating to read the comments and hear how different everyone’s experiences are, based on breast size, style, comfort level, etc. I liked wearing deep V-necks or button downs because it felt hot and stuffy to have multiple layers when I was juggling my babies. But I totally get the point about wanting to wear layers for modesty and comfort. I’m going to research/brainstorm more ideas and let you know if I come up with anything novel! I agree, the nursing clothing market could really benefit from some disruption :)

    • Hi Sophie! I work with new working moms, helping with the adjustment back to work and am in love with this line of *actually pretty* nursing/pumping clothes called Allette (www.alletteboutique.com) …only wish it had been around six years ago when I needed it! It’s a bit pricey for clothes you’re only going to wear temporarily, but I just looked and they have a lot on sale right now. I realize I sound like I’m shilling for them, but promise I’m not. Best of luck to you! Lauren

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      these are lovely, lauren!! great find. i’m going to add their link to the post, if that’s okay with you! xoxo

    • Of course! They are woman-owned too (naturally :)) Thanks as always for the beautiful and inspiring content. (And hi!)

    • Amy says...

      I agree, and for the length of time you’re sitting there nursing times how many times a day you do, stretching v-necks out or unbuttoning twenty times a day is not appealing!

  65. Jessica O'Malley says...

    I lived in nursing tank tops from Target for all 16 months of breastfeeding. Comfortable and easy to layer. Although now almost all of my photos around the house during this period are of me in these tanks and by the end of 16 months, they were looking pretty ratty.
    Ah, memories!

  66. Vicki says...

    I have ginormous breasts, and I can’t imagine what pulling a V-neck down would do to my poor shirts! I am a pull-it-up girl. :). I wear normal knit shirts, and though I have tried button-downs they are just too fussy (how do you undo all those buttons, and then do them back up again? With a baby in your hands?)

    • Amy says...

      Agreed, buttons aren’t the easiest. It’s nice to have options, tho. I’m nursing our fourth baby, now, and wear a few button-downs for outings when I know I can hand the baby off after he eats (so I can put myself back together) and when I’m out away from the kids and I know I’ll be pumping. I’m a 32J while nursing, so I’m anti-pull-down as well!

  67. Karen says...

    I also went for one up, one down. Simple tank tops over a simple nursing bra and a top, shirt, blouse,…to finish. Always worked for me. I liked feeling covered-up. When I was pregnant I bought 2-3 breastfeeding tops, but the double fabric-thingy where your boobs are, was just not my thing, it never felt quite right. With that being said, I think it’s really important finding the clothes you feel comfortable in, because breastfeeding and not being comfortable is an absolute no-go! With my first baby we went to a wedding when she was just a couple of weeks old and let’s just say I didn’t really think it through and I ended up in the car with a coat in front of the window, steamy windows, a very hungry baby and my dress being zipped down… Now, it’s a fun story, but I believe I actually cried at the whole situation (blamed it on the hormones as well ;-)).

  68. Katie Larissa says...

    Recently I bought a new dress to wear to my brother in law’s wedding, and after 9 months of nursing baby #2 after a short 7 month break from nursing baby #1, I really really wanted to just choose the dress based on looks and not nursing functionality. So I did, and it required those little sticky nipple petal things (what was I THINKING??!) and instead of being able to nurse in private, which was my plan since the dress had to be unzipped and the petals removed, my (very good, low maintenance) baby started WAILING as the bride came down the aisle and I had to rush to the woods (wedding was in a random field by some woods and the house was 1/4 mile away) and crouch in the brush and unzip that stupid dress and probably thoroughly flash anyone who was looking so I could nurse and get my baby to stop screaming. It was awful and yet I couldn’t stop laughing at myself for being so vain and choosing that dress. Also there was a bed of fire ants and I was bitten at least 20 times, but NEVERTHELESS I PERSISTED. 😂

    • Katie Larissa says...

      The moral of the story is to choose nursing-friendly garments, my dears.

    • Lisa says...

      How do they know? I had similar – decided to wear an un breastfeeding friendly dress to a wedding. My kid was starting on solids and would take a bottle so I thought I was sorted. Nope. Spent the whole wedding sat in my father in law’s car with my dress around my waist, feeding the baby

    • Karen says...

      Haha, and I thought my weddingstory was already something… So good that you could actually laugh with it!

    • Eve says...

      hahahahha dying at this story!

    • emmanuella says...

      But what a great story after the fact

  69. Amy says...

    I was lucky enough to nurse three babies for 1-1.5 years each (my favourite part of the whole baby-phase!). I tried all sorts of things – the tube-top type “tanks” that clip to your nursing bra, specific nursing-friendly shirts, nursing tanks, you name it. In the end, I found out that for three seasons of the year, I was most comfortable layering a shirt over a really stretchy camisole (doesn’t have to be a breastfeeding one!). Lift up the shirt, and as I unclip and tug down the nursing bra, the tank stretches down with it. In the summer I would sometimes wear (nice) nursing tanks solo or just wear a t-shirt and cover up with a muslin blanket if I felt more comfortable being discreet; lifting up my shirt without a cover if I didn’t care.

  70. Em says...

    I wore henleys so much while nursing my daughters that my husband now refers to them as ‘breastfeeding shirts’, even if a man is wearing it.

    I just weaned our second and after a combined 4 1/2 years of nursing I’m just finding out that I cannot stand to wear a regular crewneck shirt; way too constricting after so much time needing to wear shirts that I could just unbutton or pull down/aside.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      “I wore henleys so much while nursing my daughters that my husband now refers to them as ‘breastfeeding shirts’, even if a man is wearing it.” = hahahaha

  71. Hannah says...

    Along the same line as clothes, I LOVE these bras because my boobs are completely different sizes now so real bras look ridiculous. Also, they are great for both nursing and pumping. http://amzn.to/2vGRwFs

  72. susanne says...

    when nursing my first daughter i loved boob-clothing (and since you’re doing such an important job i think it’s ok to invest in boob-pieces!) and also had a few dresses by a brand called ‘milker’. i love to wear dresses and it’s pretty hard to find ‘regular’ ones that are ‘nursing-friendly’, especially in winter.
    i also wore a lot of shirts/blouses because they’re so easy to unbutton, but remember to by them in a size that will fit your big boobs ;-) (none of my old ones would fit during the first four months of nursing…) as i’m hopefully going to nurse my second daughter soon i’m also glad i invested in some good dresses etc. and am looking forward to wear them again this fall/winter.

  73. marie says...

    When I was nursing my older one, I splurged on a sweatshirt/knit top from Au Lait — they are now called Love Comma. I LOVED it. It was super comfy but nice enough to wear out, and it had subtle but really easy access for nursing. I have to say that I was particularly sold on the service. I had originally ordered a dress from there when pregnant, only to discover after giving birth that it was just not a good style for me. It was after the return window, but I wrote to ask about possibly exchanging it for the sweatshirt, and the owner wrote back and made it happen. I really appreciated that :) Other than that, I also used the cami paired with loose tops trick.

  74. Lauren says...

    I have just completed 5 years of pregnancy and/or nursing without a break. Whew! 5 pregnancies– 2 miscarriages, 3 births. I had three kids under three for awhile there! While I was nursing my three babies, I found that one easy thing was simply to layer a normal t-shirt over a nursing tank. But my best tip is to buy or make belly bands, which are usually sold as a way to wear normal t-shirts during pregnancy without exposing your belly. They fit under nearly every shirt, and without a big baby bump inside, they usually extend from mid-ribcage to high on the hips. It gives great coverage under any shirt without having to wear two shirts. My mom made me several in different colors, but I also had one I really liked from Target. Way cheaper than nursing tanks!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      what a great tip, lauren! you’re my hero for having three under three!

      also, i’m really sorry for your losses. xoxo

    • Jeannie Rodriguez says...

      Yep! This is what I do too… belly bands forever! :)

  75. margaux says...

    i thought i was going to love button-downs for nursing, but i found them to be a pain in the ass. it’s difficult to unbutton your shirt when you have a hungry, squawking, wiggly baby in your hands. i dreamt of coming up with a line of shirts (or just sewing my own) that look like button downs or henleys, but really have velcro holding the sides together, so opening and closing could be done quickly with one hand. (someone run with that, would ya?)

    i favored shirts with a wide, stretchy neckline – i found v necks, faux wrap tops and split-neck peasant tops (kinda like this: http://bit.ly/2ujzWYH) with had an elastic neckline worked great; i could easily whip out a boob without exposing my entire chest. my girls never liked being under the shirt while nursing (there was so much to see!), so nursing from underneath never worked for me. many of the off the shoulder tops/dresses that are so popular right now would be great, too. most of them can be worn on or off the shoulder, and the neckline is elasticized, so you can easily pull down to access the food source ( :

  76. Julia says...

    I just “stole” my husband’s button downs! They were NOT my size but seeing as I did not get out much in those early weeks, it was a terrific solution. Also, wide clothing was easy on my sore boobs…

  77. Kimberly Jewel says...

    I’d recommend buying relatively inexpensive shirts and leggings that you won’t be sad to see stained with breastmilk or toddler hands! I also lived in cotton “sleep” nursing bras from Lamaze and target.

  78. Sasha says...

    From a tip I got as a new mom at a LLL gathering, I wore sports bras in a bigger size, so I could easily pull up, without it being too tight. (I could never find an actual nursing bra that fit me). And I always just pulled up my sweater or tee or tank. Faster and easier than unbuttoning for me. I am petite and I think this method works well if you are on the smaller size.

  79. Katie says...

    I found Pea in the Pod Luxe nursing camis with lightly padded shelf bras for support were great and I could wear them without a bra under a cardigan or blazer. I also really liked a black sleeveless tank I got from Latched Mama, they are reasonably priced and it mixed and matched with lots of things I already had. My daughter was born in the winter and I wore a lot of buffalo plaid flannel shirts :) Also chambray!

  80. Stephanie says...

    I’m currently breastfeeding my son, and my response is twofold:
    1) My experience was that I was much more concerned in the first couple months with concealing everything but the nipple. It was winter then, but also I was still trying to figure it all out and the last thing I needed was to feel more exposed (physically or emotionally). But I stayed home for 4 months on leave and that gave me time to get the swing of things. That said…
    2) I basically wear normal clothes now (with a nursing bra underneath). I wear a lot of button-downs anyway, so that’s easy enough, but in normal shirts I just pull them up.
    I am that lady at the restaurant eating a cheeseburger with one hand and nursing my kid in the other. In those moments I feel like a superhero.
    For active moms, I’ve found the brand Moving Comfort (now Brooks) makes a bra that adjusts in the front and this works great for getting one boob out to nurse, but isn’t a flimsy useless shelf bra: https://www.titlenine.com/product/booby-trap-310139.do?sortby=ourPicks&refType=&from=fn

  81. katy says...

    1000% vote for pulling UP your regular shirt! Your baby’s head/body will block your belly, and the shirt will keep the top of your boob/nipple from ever showing. If you need a little more coverage, use a scarf or muslin blanket over your shoulder or side. You can wear any bra you want. It’s the only way to go in my opinion :)

    • Michelle says...

      Totally agree and I am huge. I never understand the hype of putting a blanket over the baby to nurse. Pull the bra up and wear a loose tee which you use to cover the breast while the baby does the rest

  82. I remember almost buying a nursing cover on Etsy, before deciding that a long, wide, flowy, gauzy scarf would be just the thing. I could lift up my shirt and drape it over the whole business (without worrying I was suffocating my daughter). I also used it to wipe her mouth and drape over the stroller for nap time. I don’t even think anyone would know I was nursing, but for the gulp, gulp, gulp sounds of my little piggy :)

  83. Susannah says...

    Oh, man! I struggled with this so hard when my daughter (my first!) was born in late February… I love my Boob Fast Food nursing bras and also live in the H&M nursing bras (less supportive, but good to have in the mix). But the clothes. Oh man, the struggle is real. After a year of maternity leggings it’s like this perfect storm of things were happening with your body (what’s my body shaped like now? how about… now?) that it felt almost next to impossible to find something that worked nursing-functionality wise, fit my new-and-ever-changing body, AND also dovetailed with my personal style in the least. Pre-babe, I pretty much only wore dresses, lots of vintage, fuller skirts/bohemian vibes and SO MANY of the nursing clothes are (understandably) button-downs and knit separates. Or, if there were nursing-friendly/specific dresses, they were A-line shirt dresses/pretty expensive. The whole nursing-tank-under-tunic with jeans or leggings thing was fine for the spring, but when summer hit, there was no way I could deal with another layer. I placed so many orders. I made so many returns. Then an internet rabbit hole (dove down while nursing, of course), led me to this dress: http://amzn.to/2vdgEmx

    I will admit: I cried when it arrived and it actually fit… and actually made me feel like myself (just with a new killer rack that must now be accessed by buttons). I don’t care what kind of strange fast-fashion alchemy makes this insanely flattering, vintage-inspired, not-too-sheer, floaty skirted, body kissing, waist cinching dress only cost $29… I bought 6 of them in different colors and haven’t looked back. Now…if only it had pockets :)

  84. Jessi says...

    I also favor the one up one down method. Lots of tanks with. Holy in bras (or not) and whatever shirt over it. After three kids I’m well over three years worth of breast feeding and find that this is the simplest way to go about things.

  85. Emily Hylden says...

    I’m in month nine 🙌🏼 Of breastfeeding, and find myself drawn to flowy or longer tops that I can lift up for feeding, and the extra material provides good coverage while out & about. It does necessitate both mom & baby being comfortable with nursing — he can find his way himself and has a good latch, I can just sort of guide his nose under there 😉

  86. Lisa says...

    I know you aren’t asking for bras, but I just have to give a shout out to Bella Materna. I love the Bella Materna pull aside bras for nursing. Their sports bra is hands-down my favorite nursing bra. The bras were expensive, but lasted me through two nurslings and stayed together enough for me to hand down to another mama.
    As a working mom, my primary concern was being able to pump without stripping. Faux wrap shirts with a camisole underneath, v-neck, wrap dresses – these are your friends! I lived exclusively in v-necks on weekends for a discreet boob out of the top nursing session. For moments when I wanted to keep a distracted baby on the breast, I nursed in my ergo. It was a perfect way to get through Target while nursing. :-)

  87. Becky says...

    The one up one down method is the norm in the U.K. I stacked up on a heap of thick vests from gap and then whatever tops I want on top. It feels much more discrete than shirts which always leave me feeling quite exposed.

    • Faith says...

      Yes! I was a huge fan of the one up one down approach- literally nothing on view at all!

  88. Lisa says...

    What a great post! When I had my son, I couldn’t find anything on how to dress for breastfeeding. Tons for pregnancy, but not this and to be honest – being able to get my boobs out easily had never really been a consideration when putting an outfit together.

    Similar to another poster I mostly went for nursing camisoles and tops I could lift up. I wasn’t really comfortable with pulling down the front of a wrap dress or button down. With the two layer approach you can cover your post pregnancy stomach, and not expose your chest. The only downsides were that it could be HOT and meant when packing to go away I had to take so many tops. It’s also best to try and find a top that’s loosish (easy to get up), not a ok much fabric (baby can get caught up in it) and doesn’t crease really easily (unless you’re not that bothered).

    Funny thing is – when I got to the point where I could wear clothes that didn’t require easy boob access, I bought a jumper as my first “normal” clothing purchase, post pregnancy and breastfeeding. It was beautiful, with a lovely open back. I wore it to a mom and baby group and a friend said “that is perfect for breastfeeding” and it was. Turns out it’s also pretty good for pregnancy (I’m expecting again) as it has space to grow. Oh well … one day I’ll wear normal clothes again.

  89. Inge says...

    These are great if you have small boobs. Not so great on big boobs… I bought clothes from the brand Mammae, they make breastfeeding clothing with special openings, so I could also feed discretely in public.

  90. I’m currently breastfeeding and 100% sympathize with you Meredith — I did NOT want to buy a whole new wardrobe! Nursing clothes are expensive and, I found, often uncomfortable. (Plus, just the names are a turnoff! There was no way I was buying anything from a company called “Udderly Hot Mama.” Uggh.)

    My go-to is to wear a camisole under a regular t-shirt as a sort of “DIY nursing top.” I can just pull one side of the top shirt up, pull one side of the camisole down, and voila: boob out with minimal exposure. I did this with regular cotton shelf camisoles (I buy them from Pact Organic) usually paired with nursing pads or a soft bra underneath, but you could also buy actual nursing tank tops if that’s more comfortable for you.

    Good luck to all the mamas out there, breastfeeding or not! If you’re trying your best and your kid is healthy, you’re doing great, no matter what.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      “Udderly Hot Mama” = oh my gosh!!

  91. Bethany says...

    I was always so stymied by those clipping bras and shirts – could never get the hang of it. I had three shirts from Boob (the Swedish brand) that I wore to death. Those combined with these nursing bras (http://amzn.to/2vdCFSw) saved my life!

  92. Taylor says...

    As someone who was approx. a 34H in the first year after nursing, I would layer a nursing bra (usually HotMilk–they carry large cup sizes), then a slim basic tank top from H&M, and then my regular (often loose/swingy) top. I would wear the tank top more as a tube top, without the straps on my shoulders, so that I could pull it down and then pull up my outer shirt to nurse, or to pump at work. That way it kept my stomach covered as well as most of my breast. I just didn’t feel comfortable pulling down my shirt because my breasts were so large, and also this way I didn’t need to invest in any nursing-type clothes. For next time I do have my eye on some tees from Mama Bird because they look so cute and comfy!

  93. Morgan says...

    Figure 8 maternity online carries Boob and other stylish nursing options that don’t appear maternity-looking. It’s been a challenge for me to find options for tandem breastfeeding twins without being completely topless at all times.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, you’re my hero, morgan! i love boob, too, and wore their tees when i was nursing. sending a cuddle to those sweet twins of yours! :)

  94. Amanda says...

    As I was finishing nursing my second (and last) I came across these Undercover Mama tanks. They attach to whatever bra you are wearing turning any bra into a nursing tank.

    Honestly still wear them years after I stopped nursing because they get that cami look with whatever bra you want to wear.

    https://www.amazon.com/Undercover-Mama-Nursing-Tank-Breastfeeding/dp/B006MJL6ZG

  95. Emily says...

    Thank you for this feature, and more importantly, thank you for acknowledging that while most of us strive to breastfeed, we are not all able to for many reasons.
    My first baby is due in a few weeks and I plan on breastfeeding if I can, but it’s nice to be reminded that it’s ok if it doesn’t pan out.

    • Jacqueline says...

      Emily, you’re already ahead of the game. Breastfeeding is/can be HARD. Being kind to yourself is a really good first step, no matter how long the journey lasts.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      congratulations on your baby news, emily!! hope you’re feeling well.

      i also loved this instagram caption from miss moss:
      https://www.instagram.com/p/BXfvgCdF28A/

    • Eleanor says...

      Congrats and best of luck! Our hospital had lovely volunteers wheel us out of the room when it was time to go home, carrying our gifts and baby and waving like you were a tiny parade. My volunteer talked to me the whole way about how I was already the best mother… if I breastfed for a day, a week, or 3 years. I didn’t make it long due to a supply issue and her words helped me tremendously. Now at age 4, my daughter is smart, kind, and beautiful. No one has asked how she was fed as a baby, as long as they’re loved that’s all that matters :) Best of luck to you.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, what a guardian angel, eleanor!

    • Christine says...

      I second Emily’s comment! I had a very painful, difficult experience breastfeeding and it broke my heart to give it up. Even years later, when I come across an article that assumes breastfeeding is the best/only choice, the sting of feeling like a less-than mother is still there. Joanna, thank you for being so inclusive. It may seem like a small thing, but it meant more than you know. Emily, best of luck to you! Loving your baby is what’s most important! xo

    • Elisabeth says...

      Came here to say this. I had a lot of trouble breastfeeding. After years of witnessing “breast is best” marketing absolutely everywhere, Joanna’s subtle wording of “if you want to, and are able to” was balm to my soul that’s still a little bit raw from not being able to do it the way I wanted to, even though my son is now a healthy and brilliant (if I do say so myself) 5-year-old.

    • Annie says...

      This little mini-thread has been wonderful. I’m seven weeks into my journey and it’s been hard. I keep telling myself–and my husband tells me–that every day is a victory and that if I don’t make it as far as I hoped, that I’m still a good mom! Pressure to breastfeed is real, man! I second your comment–thank you, Joanna, for writing in an inclusive way!!

  96. Jacqueline says...

    I had this down to a science. Target has these “slimming” (they’re not slimming, but they are nice and supportive, thick, stretchy material) nursing camis. I wore them underneath any normal shirt, and when I needed to nurse, I pulled the shirt up, and unclipped the cami part down. Bam. No flashing cleavage or belly, but complete boob access for baby, and I didn’t have to buy a new wardrobe… just about 6 camis (black, grey, and white). Only caveat: I did not wear a bra. I was something in the DDD range when I was nursing, and found the camis supportive enough, and worth not adding a layer of fuss. Hope this helps!

    • Jacqueline says...

      Looks like the brand name is actual Medela. Here’s the product link if that’s allowed: http://bit.ly/2ujp9h2

    • Melanie says...

      I did the same thing! Worked like a charm. Didn’t have to spend a ton of money.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      great tip!!!

    • Alex says...

      Yup – this was my breastfeeding hack as well – cheap nursing tanks.
      I’d wear them until the fabric got yellow and dingy in the boob area (from leaking and stretching after a couple of months) and then just replace them.

    • Hannah says...

      This is exactly what I ended up doing, after too many breastfeeding shirt malfunctions(😬). It was SO much more comfortable and no fuss. I was also in the DDD range and found them beautifully supportive for every day.

    • Kara says...

      This is what I ended up figuring out was best for me as well (took months, though, so what a helpful post and comments).

      I ended up buying two of these (pricey but I used them for over a year and will be able to with my second baby as well): http://m.shop.nordstrom.com/s/ingrid-isabel-seamless-maternity-nursing-tank/3821422
      What I loved about those nursing tanks is they gave some shape to my boobs and didn’t just look like I was wearing a shelf-bra-esque cami under my shirts. Some women may not care about that, but I appreciated the feeling of normal-ness that gave me.

    • Heather says...

      Jacqueline and Kara (and anyone else), did you find that your tanks held up well in the wash? I bought several tanks and bras from Target when I was nursing my first baby, but they all pilled horribly after just a couple of wash/dry cycles. (I needed to wash them frequently because of leaks, but I didn’t have time for hand-washing/air-drying.) I’m pregnant with my second now, and looking for nursing tanks/bras that I can toss in the washer and dryer without them looking horrible afterward.

    • Christina McFadden says...

      I loved the Medela nursing cami’s from Target!! I was also pretty large while nursing 34DDD and these were supportive and provided just the right amount of coverage.

    • Kara says...

      Heather, that happened to my Target tanks, too! The cheaper tanks I bought initially seemed to get worn out so quick. Unfortunately I can’t tell you what the dryer would do to the Ingrid & Isabel tanks because I only hung to dry. But they washed just fine in the machine with my other clothes and would dry after a day. I wore washable fabric breast pads so when I leaked I wouldn’t have to wash the entire tank. (That you couldn’t see because of the cup lining in the Ingrid & Isabel tank!)

    • Heather says...

      Thank you for the follow-up, Kara! I’m realizing that I should probably just get used to the idea of line-drying; perhaps it’s unreasonable to expect that any bra (or bra-like tank) can go through a hot dryer repeatedly without showing wear.