Thursday, November 28, 2013

From Boobs: Making Your Wardrobe Transition

There is always a ton of talk about all the things you buy for your baby that you probably do not need.  On the opposite end of that, there were a bunch of things we did not have that we definitely needed.  One of the biggest was clothes that made it easy to breastfeed.  No one really mentioned to me to invest in a wardrobe that was nursing friendly.  When I came home from the birth center, my nursing arsenal consisted of two sleep bras and two nursing tanks...that was it.  I remember wanting to go out of the house and all I had was this flimsy sleep bra and huge porn star boobs, I then proceeded to do what any hormonal new mom would...cry because I needed more bras.  Along with bras, I needed to figured out how I was going to dress my ever changing postpartum bod to facilitate feeding my little nugget.

The first couple of weeks:

When you bring your new baby home, you will be in maternity clothes still. If you are like me, you will be 9 months postpartum and your husband is folding a pair of super elastic preggo pants telling you how you look so sexy in them.  You will still be wearing your maternity shirts, too.  In fact, you will look about 6 months pregnant and will probably be asked as such if you do not have a newborn strapped to you.  There was always this whole line of maternity clothes that doubled as nursing wear and I never understood how so many women could be pregnant and nursing at the same time.  That isn't the case.  It is that so many women look like they are pregnant while they are nursing their newborn.

So what does a woman wear?  First, I suggest black.  You supply hasn't yet regulated so when your baby unlatches your tatas will still be spraying milk.  If you don't have on dark colors and your shirt does end up soaking wet, no one will look twice because they will assume your life is in a disarray with a newborn. You probably have a black v-neck tee laying around, my favorite were my American Apparel tees from my college days.  They were stretched out and soft.  I wore them under everything.  This would allow me to pull up my maternity shirt and pull down the v neck.  V-necks are your friend.  You will soon be shopping for only v-necks.  By having two shirts, you will also be covering up much of your tatas, this is nice in the beginning when you are pretty unsure of yourself and still trying to position your baby while not flashing innocent bystanders.

You made it a month:

So you are finally getting into the groove of things.  Breastfeeding is probably easier and you may have been able to successfully complete the big NIP (nursing in public).  Buy yourself a new scarf!  What random advice, right?  You have probably bought the most random items for your baby during your late night nursing sessions ($30 baby nail file...definitely need that), now is time to treat your self to something... that is actually still for the baby.  I like to add a scarf with my outfit because 1. They are fun and add color and 2. You are able to cover your top boob while nursing and they act as a deterrent for when your little octopus starts nipple lashing you.  My favorites are my American Apparel circle scarves...yep, I love American Apparel.  A circle scarf can easily be turned into nursing cover and who doesn't love a multi-purpose item.

Nursing tanks are super expensive so I found the stretchiest tank I had and just pull it down over my boobs.  It covers my stomach and it was free because I already had it!  Another favorite piece of clothing for this time frame is cardigans. They hide the side boob and act as a shield while out.  It gives you the option to layer without bulk as well.

You are heading back to work:

So, you cuddled, you napped and you recovered.  Maternity leave is over and you are heading back to work.  Think this means that you will be able to wear your fancy schmancy wardrobe again?  Not a chance.  I still had about 20-30 pounds making the commute with me each day so although I wasn't breastfeeding during the day, none of my clothes fit to make me look cute.

I had to go buy myself some acceptable pants that were not leggings to get me back in the office.  Add a blazer and some cute heels and you will look like new.  I find that it is easiest to stick to stretchy fabrics and minimal layers while working.  You still need to pump, which means you still need to have access to the boobs.  Make sure you phone is charged to occupy yourself during pump breaks and get a great bag to carry your pump in because pumping sucks and cute bags make it a tad bit better.

You have become a breastfeeding goddess:

The snap of your nursing bra triggers your baby to immediately latch on in Pavlov's dog fashion, your have compared NIP to a Victoria's Secret Ad, you have come to terms with your dwindling wardrobe and may have even nursed in front of your father-in-law.  You can practically do it all.

You know what clothes work for you and you may have even added some of those high-price nursing shirts to your wardrobe.  Your clothes are no longer frumpy and sloppy but fitted and fabulous and still functional for your baby.  It will only get better and easier from here and you know now to buy to those maternity/nursing shirts from the start.  Strand up some Busy Beads for your toddler and let the liquid gold flow.

The Must-Haves:
Your pre-pregnancy and maternity wardrobes are able to be altered to make breastfeeding easier, there is no questions there.  I still suggest two things that need to be added to make you comfortable: Great nursing bras and a hands free pumping bra.  A regular bra just doesn't cut it, you need to be able to snap down the cup to feed.  Your pre-pregnancy bras are probably no where close to fitting.  Get measured and stay tuned for my next post on how to choose the best nursing bra.  If you are working, or pumping exclusively, you need a hands-free bra.  If not only so you can Facebook while you pump to kill time

So tell me, did you buy a whole new wardrobe to nurse in or just figure out how to make your current one work?


  1. One thing I did for hands free pumping was take an old stretched out sports bra and cut slits right off to the side of where my nipple is and then I was able to make a free hands free pumping bra. I just shove the flanges through the slits, screwed on the bottles and got to business. Worked well without a hefty price tag!

  2. SO true about those early days. Black clothes 24-7. I lived in tanks, yoga pants, leggings, cardigans... even though it was summer. I just needed cozy sweaters!

  3. Great pieces! I have quite the collection of tanks here in my drawer after 5 consecutive years of nursing two kids. I've been able to master the art of layering these past few years.

  4. Those are all great outfits for the different stages! Love the Getting the Hang of Things outfit!

  5. Get fitted for a good bra is really universal advice, regardless of reproductive or breastfeeding state. A properly fitted bra is just so, so much more comfortable and makes your girls look nice.

  6. Wow, I wish I dressed like that when I had my babies! I was mainly walking around looking like a bleary, baggy mess! Luckily I have since pulled it together - most days ;)