Finding fashion that accommodates the need to access your breasts for breastfeeding time can be a tricky scenario.
With a criteria of comfort, style and practicality on order, some of the existing pieces in your wardrobe will no longer be functional, so what should you be looking for when it comes to dressing during your time as a breastfeeding mama?
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This comprehensive guide shares some useful tips as well as some Australian stores where you’ll find some great options for both comfort and style.
The best breastfeeding tops for new mums
Set the foundation with a great maternity bra: While it is still possible to breastfeed using a regular bra, investing in a good quality, comfortable maternity bra will certainly make the job a whole lot easier. Bras and singlet tops with inbuilt bras that are designed for nursing mothers use clips, snaps and hooks which allow you to fold just a section of fabric down without compromising the structure and support of the bra itself. Many Australian manufacturers, particularly Berlei (pictured) do great nursing underwear.
Active mums need breastfeeding support too: Breastfeeding shouldn’t impact your ability to be active, however there’s no denying that the changes in your breasts mean you do need a little extra comfort and support. Aussie label, Active Truth has made a promise to make activewear for “every body”, and that includes pregnant and nursing mums. Their Mama Feeding Crop is made from breathable, moisture-wicking fabric that keeps you cool and dry, and the innovative magnetic clasps (rather than fiddly plastic ones), help take the juggle out of breastfeeding whilst on the move.
Layering helps: One way to continue to wear the fashion that your love is to layer it over a singlet or tank top with an inbuilt nursing bra. Doing this allows you to lift your top from the bottom without exposing your entire torso if you’d rather keep it covered up. Choosing comfortable cotton or bamboo fabrics as your bottom layer will top this style of dressing from becoming too hot, particularly in summer. Glow Mama Maternity (pictured) has some beautiful bamboo maternity items.
Buttons save the day: Button down shirts and blouses offer great easy access to your breasts for feeding, allowing you to remain covered up in other areas if that is what your after. There is no need to layer with a button down shirt, making it a great cooler option for warmer weather. Target (pictured) always stocks an extensive range of button up shirts and blouses.
Cross over and wrap styles work well: Whether in dresses, tops or jumpsuits a cross over or wrap style cut will allow you to breastfeed anywhere, anytime thanks to the easy access those styles offer. An added bonus is that they always look stylish and tend not to date, meaning you can use them for multiple babies, and even in between. Queen Bee Australia (pictured) has gorgeous wrap styles that can even work as maternity tops before bub arrives.
Low v or scoop tops can be easily pulled down: Tees and singlets are always comfort-plus making them a great option for breastfeeding mamas. Go for a low v or scoop neck if you want to pull them down, or any old style works if you’re happy to pull them up. Cotton jersey or bamboo work well, and they remain pretty wrinkle free once you pull them back into shape again. Peachy Mama (pictured) has a huge selection designed with breastfeeding mums in mind.
Zip down tops are a stylish option: Like with the button down options, a zip down style top or dress allows easy access … just a bit quicker! A stylish option for fashion-conscious mums, you’ll always find a great selection of zip down fashion at online store St Frock (pictured).
Bohemian style blouses re comfortable and on trend: Loved by celebs like Elsa Pataky, bohemian style, flowing fashion is a comfortable and practical option for new mums. Go for loose, cotton rayon blends for the best comfort and flow. Usually button down or tie up, these styles offer easy access and plenty of fabric to adjust for your best comfort while feeding. Elsa is a big fan of Byron Bay brand Spell & The Gypsy Collection (pictured).
Capes and kimonos dress up any outfit: With a few capes and kimonos in your wardrobe staple, you can dress up even the most basic of nursing tops. Comfortable and flowing, capes and kimonos are a perfect option for breastfeeding mums. Check out Birdsnest online (pictured) for some beautiful options for all fashion styles.
Jumpsuits and playsuits work too: Perfect for getting down on the ground with bub, and for bending to haul prams and carseats in and out of cars, jumpsuits and playsuits offer another comfortable option for mums in the feeding days and beyond. Often with a cross over or pull down style top, they make for great boob access too! ASOS (pictured) always stocks a huge range from casual to formal in all sizes and is worth checking out.
Add a scarf: Throwing on a scarf is such a simple and neat trick for breastfeeding mamas. Choosing a lightweight and comfortable scarf will not only add some style to any outfit, it is also a great option if you’re in a position where you think a little modesty is required … or a little spew clean up in desperate times! Always on trend, you’ll something for everyone in Myer’s collection (pictured).