Breastfeeding Clothes: What To Wear

Comfort and Function: 5 Types Of Clothing For Nursing Mothers

What Should You Wear When You're Breastfeeding?

You don't have to buy special breastfeeding clothes to be able to breastfeed comfortably. A button down blouse that you can quickly open or tee shirt that you can pull up to expose your breasts will work just fine. However, if you would like to purchase clothing made for nursing mothers, there are plenty of designs and styles to choose. With a slit or a flap in the front of the garment, nursing clothes can make breastfeeding easier and more discreet.

Tips For Picking Out Breastfeeding Clothes

  • When picking out pieces for your wardrobe, keep in mind that patterns, prints, and darker colors will help hide any unexpected leaks much better than solids or light colors. You may also want to wear breast pads inside of your nursing bra to help soak up any breast milk from leaky breasts and prevent stains from reaching your clothing
  • Jackets, vests, and sweaters are good to have on hand in case you need to quickly cover an embarrassing stain. They can double as a nursing cover allowing you to breastfeed more discreetly, too. Scarves and shawls are also great accessories that can cover leaks and help provide privacy if you will be breastfeeding in public.​
  • Try to stay away from tight fitting bras, tops, and blouses. Pressure from tight clothing on your breasts can be uncomfortable and could lead to sore nipples, plugged milk ducts or mastitis.

Types of Breastfeeding Clothes

From casual wear to professional outfits and even formal wear, you can find a variety of blouses, shirts, tank tops, dresses, and sleepwear made especially for breastfeeding moms. Breastfeeding clothes are found in maternity shops, department stores, or online. Here are some examples of the types of nursing clothes available that you might want to add to your wardrobe:

1
Nursing Shirts and Blouses

Breastfeeding Clothes: Nursing Tops
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Breastfeeding fashion has come a long way.  Nursing shirts and blouses come in so many different styles and colors.  Nursing tops may have sides that pull over, button down or pull up. There are also styles that don't look nursing tops at all. You might even continue to wear some of your nursing tops long after you wean your baby.  

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2
Nursing Bras

Breastfeeding Clothes: A Nursing Bra
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A nursing bra has flaps or panels that move over or pull down so you can breastfeed without having to take off your bra.  A good nursing bra will be comfortable, fit you well, and provide support for your heavy, milk-filled breasts.  When possible, choose a bra made from a natural, breathable, absorbent fabric with soft cups.

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3
Nursing Tank Tops

Breastfeeding Clothes: Nursing tank tops are a good option for day and night.
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The nursing tank top also called a nursing cami, is a great addition to your wardrobe.  With sides that you can unclip and pull down like a nursing bra, these comfortable tops allow easy access to your breasts for breastfeeding. You can wear a tank top on its own if you're feeling warm, or layer it under other items of clothing.  You can also wear these soft, comfortable tops overnight.   

4
Nursing Sleepwear

Breastfeeding Clothes: Sleepwear, Nightgown, Pajamas
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Whether it's a nursing tank and yoga pants, or a cute nursing nightgown,  sleep in something comfortable that allows easy access to your breasts for those nighttime feedings.  

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5
Nursing Dresses and Formal Wear

Breastfeeding Clothes: Nursing Dress
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When you want to dress up a little to go out to dinner or head off to a family party, you don't have to worry about what to wear.  Stylish and flattering nursing dresses and formal wear are available. 

Sources:

American Academy of Pediatrics. New Mother’s Guide To Breastfeeding. Bantam Books. New York. 2011.

Lawrence, Ruth A., MD, Lawrence, Robert M., MD. Breastfeeding A Guide For The Medical Profession Sixth Edition.  Mosby. Philadelphia. 2005.

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