The Elusive Nursing Wear

Maternity wear has improved quite dramatically over the years. A woman with a pregnant belly can quite easily find stylish clothes as compared to a decade ago. Whether one chooses clothes that are labelled 'maternity', or opts to wear non-maternity clothes that can accommodate a growing belly, there are few excuses for lack of good-looking choices.

Nursing wear on the other hand, has not really caught up in the style department. It is understandable because its design requires more thought and engineering in order to make nursing possible. I have noticed that what works for some women may not work for others because of a variety of reasons - body shape, breasts position, whether milk leakage (from other breast!) happens when nursing takes place, tolerance for exposure, and the nursing preferences of each baby. (I'm amazed how some mothers manage to nurse while walking - with their babies strapped in a carrier!)

With Bun, I hope to fully breastfeed her for at least a year, since her sister's eczema appeared soon after I stopped breastfeeding her at 11 months. As I am her main caregiver and she almost always goes out with me, ONE year is a long time in my (vain) books to be wearing the same few items of clothing! As I do not like traditional nursing wear (ugly plus expensive), I have been on a look out for inexpensive clothes that allow for easy nursing. I choose clothes with front-open access that allow me to nurse decently in public when wearing a nursing bib. This is my preference, as I find poncho-type nursing covers cumbersome.

So far, I've managed to score a few wrapped-front tops and dresses from random neighbourhood stalls and marked-down items at high street shops. This style is my favourite as it is flattering, and provides the easiest one-hand access for nursing. However, some wrapped tops don't provide enough cover, and I get around it (hur hur) by wearing a short tank-type bra that can easily be lifted up. Having pretty lace on it helps.

Another style I look out for is the zip-front. I now know that the length of the zip opening is important. It needs to be long enough - ending at least midway between breasts and waist - for nursing to be comfortable. Thicker zips are easier to manipulate, and preferred.

Finally, clothes with big buttons down the front. This option is a little more fiddly but with practice, I have been able to manage buttons with one hand. Although I haven't found any, I suppose large snap buttons would work well too.

There are other choices for discreet nursing of course. I know of tank-top and cardigan/jacket combinations, or elasticized tube-tops. I have yet to try either because they are not quite my style, but I can imagine how they can work beautifully for others.

What do you wear to nurse in public?


Dawn Lee said...

Love the stuff from dote studio! I wear them during pregnancy too, so they're good value. Many of the pieces are designed with empire line, so they're flattering. The pieces are designed by a local designer (turned out to be my friend's wife!). I have at least 5 of her dresses, and am about to buy two more!

Little Miss Snooze said...

Oh, great idea on the zip-front dresses!! (Not that I need these anymore! ;)

I'm always wearing simple tops and just pull up to feed, under nursing cover (just need to ensure Im seated back agst smthing to avoid indecent exposure...haha)

Unknown said...

I am more into tops. Bought one from Milky Way, 1 from Maternalove and another from Spring Singapore. I'm still not used to buying from online shops as I find it hard to estimate the fit... so Spring Maternity works best for me. I will check out Dote too... Hey, nursing mummies should look good too... :)

~Summer~ said...

Great nursing outfits! I actually love the zip front ones but seems like you definitely have to do it in a nursing room. Back in Sweden, I bought my nursing tops from H&M and well, let's just say the ang mohs and us do it openly in the public like in parks and restaurants. But here, seems like a big no-no unless you wish to attract stares. =)

Corsage@A Dollop Of Me said...

Dawn Lee:
Wow, 5! Certainly good value if you wore them during pregnancy! I received most of my 'pregnancy' clothes from friends. Most of the clothes were regular clothes with cuts that fit a pregnant belly. Just looked at the Dote Studio site and love the lace-sleeved dress! Pity it doesn't have my size :(

Little Miss Snooze:
I am always worried about not finding a spot to 'hide' so I make sure I wear something that can open up in front! heh. And yes, you are on to other things now - no more nursing fuddle-muddle!

Tracy Teo:
Thanks for sharing! I've not heard of Milky Way. Will check it out. And yes, we should look good too!

Ah, I WILL use a nursing cover with any of those outfits!I'm quite self-conscious so I wouldn't feel comfortable going bare-chested to nurse even if everyone else is doing so. (Unless it is just among close friends, that is!) I didn't know H&M carries nursing tops. I'll have to find out if the store her carries them!

Unknown said...

I also didn't know H&M carried nursing tops!

Wow Corsage, you seem to have lost all your preg weight! I'm jealous!

Corsage@A Dollop Of Me said...

No no! Am losing more hair than weight actually :(

Unknown said...

Someone told me that its best to get a nursing nightgown in a lighter color because it won't show the spitup so much. Will it be less likely to show a stain after it's washed?
nursing nightgown

Karmeleon said...

Any separates work just fine for me. Stretchy tops are even better.

Corsage@A Dollop Of Me said...

Separates are the most versatile! Unfortunately I do not like poncho-style nursing shawls that I require for cover all around.

Karmeleon said...

Oh, I never use nursing ponchos or shawls at all.

Nursing Tops Australia said...

When choosing your nursing wear, always consider fabrics, consider how washable the fabrics are and how easy they are to wear, which includes whether they're going to need ironing or not.