Nursing clothes have never been more fashionable! Gone are the days of smock-like tops and dresses. Today's best nursing clothes incorporate fashion trends so that new moms don't have to sacrifice style or their sense of individuality. They are even designed to be worn through pregnancy and beyond --- perfect for moms on a budget, too!
If you're thinking you might want to breastfeed baby, you'll want to think about choosing clothes early in your pregnancy that will carry you through those nine months and beyond. These seven tips will help you get the most value for your money, and ensure that you both feel and look fabulous during this exciting time in your life.
Here are some of our favorite looks from one of our affiliate partners, and one-stop-shop for all things nursing, Figure 8 Maternity. Be sure to use the code at the bottom of this post for an exclusive discount for The Breast Life readers!
1. Make sure there's room to grow. Look for tops and dresses that will accommodate your changing body. The best nursing clothes will be cut to allow for a growing belly, carrying you through most (if not all) of your pregnancy. Well designed nursing clothes are designed to skim the body without unnecessary fabric. Since it will take awhile to shed those pregnancy pounds, you'll be happy to have these clothes that give you some breathing room after baby is born.
2. Read the label. Hormone fluctuations through pregnancy and during breastfeeding can leave you feeling flushed and overheated. Choose breathable fabrics that will help to keep you cool and comfortable. Good choices include natural fibers, such as cotton and bamboo. Synthetics tend to trap heat in and will make you feel sticky (especially when holding a warm infant to your breast). A small synthetic content in fabric blends will help provide stretch and make the fabrics easy to care for (it's all about wash and go when you're nursing!).
3. Check the seams. It's important to choose nursing clothes that will be able to keep up with you, both your activity levels and your changing body. Well constructed seams are key. Give the seams (especially the side seams that will get the most stretch) a good tug and make sure there's good give and recovery (the fabric should keep its shape after pulling). You're going to wear the same things over and over, so it makes sense to ensure garments are well made and will withstand a busy pregnancy and even chasing after little ones.
4. Ensure easy nursing access. While you can certainly just pull up a knit top or undo a few buttons, well designed nursing clothes will allow for a more discreet nursing. In fact, many garments include such ingenious breastfeeding access designs that you can't even tell the garments are made for nursing. These tops and dresses may even have inner bralettes or camis that keep the tops of your chest covered for modesty. It's important that you can access these hidden slits and drop down your nursing bra cups with one hand, as more often that not you'll be holding a fussing baby with the other!
5. Experiment with trends. You don't have to sacrifice personal style just because you're pregnant or nursing. In fact, by investing in a few trendy pieces, you're investing in feeling good about yourself, always a good thing for new mommies. These are pieces that are meant to be true workhorses in your wardrobe for a year or so and then retired (or brought out again in a few short years for the next baby). So feel free to have some fun by trying some more fashion forward pieces.
6. Consider where you'll wear them. When investing in a pregnancy and nursing wardrobe, make a plan for where you'll be spending most of your time. If you're planning to work while breastfeeding, consider pieces that will transition from work to weekend. These would be more tailored pieces in neutrals that can be dressed up or down. Super stylish nursing dresses can look great both with heels or with tights and boots. If you're thinking of taking some time off after baby is born, or are a stay-at-home mom with toddlers at home, you can get away with lots of t-shirts and sweaters worn with skinny jeans and leggings.
7. Accessories are your friend. Scarves and shawls are a great way to add personality to your outfits. And when they can be used as a nursing cover, so much the better! Look for scarves that will drape across the body, giving you and baby plenty of privacy while nursing. The best nursing shawls will be made of breathable fabrics that will keep both you and baby comfortable while breastfeeding.
The following coupon code gives The Breast Life readers $10 off your purchase of $50. Hurry, as this great offer expires 11/18/2014!
Coupon Code: 619B-15P5
Do you have any tips for choosing the best nursing clothes? Is there a nursing brand that you would recommend? Would you try any of our favorite looks?