On my blog blurb I said my blog would be (amongst other things) about fashion, after all I’ve worked on women’s magazines all my career so style posts should be easy.
But they’re not.
Thanks to Asos and New Look’s fab maternity ranges I managed to dress the belly reasonably well. But when the baby came I seemed to lose my style mojo. And I hate to say it but I put this down to breastfeeding. It turns out my wardrobe of bodycon dresses and tight tee’s was not remotely compatible with nursing a teeny weeny infant. My main preoccupation became ease of boob access rather than looking and feeling good. I’ve decided it’s high time to bring my wardrobe bang up to date AND breastfeeding friendly.
Now I know for a myriad of reasons breastfeeding isn’t for everyone and that’s absolutely fine by me. A fed baby is a happy baby and all that. However, if you are breastfeeding or thinking of breastfeeding here are my tips on how to be a stylish nursing mama.
1. THE ESSENTIALS.
Above all else my two breastfeeding essentials have been a feeding cover up and a large lightweight scarf. Obviously if you’re someone of a less modest disposition to me then well done, I wish I was more like you, but for whatever reason (and I think this is a different post) I get a bit conscious showing lots of skin when I’m out and about.
For example I’m a big fan of this summer’s cold shoulder dresses. They’re super easy to feed in, just pull the dress down and woop there you go, but it exposes quite a lot of flesh so I’m more comfortable with a cover on. Plus, I find when I’m wearing the cover it lets you take your time making sure baby is sorted without everyone getting an eyeful of boob.
I also find the scarf almost more essential. Given the choice of showing a boob or a bit of pale, flabby stretchmarked muffin top I’d choose a boob flash everytime.
When wearing trousers and a top that you need to pull up in order to gain boob access, then I gently drape the scarf around my middle to save showing the world my post partum tum. Nobody needs to see that! Obviously if you’re wearing a cardie or have a jacket with you then you could use these, but I find I can gently tuck it in to the bra underwire and drape it around the side. Plus, because it’s lightweight it’s deadeasy to carry around and never leaves my nappy bag.
Initially you just don’t care. Whatever is comfy works, but I found once feeding was established I didn’t want to be relegated to a years worth of nun-esque sensible bras. The two companies I found that did the best nursing bras are Hot Milk and good old Topshop. Obviously though, don’t go for style over a good fit. Ultimately the fit is the most important thing so shop around.
3. BOYFRIEND TEES
Thankfully these are fashionable at the moment, they allow easy access and are super cheap thanks to Asos’s multi buy offers.
Shirts are a breastfeeding essential and thankfully are everywhere on the high street at the moment.
5. BREASTFEEDING TOPS.
H&M and Jojo Maman Bebe do great breastfeeding tops that allow super easy access discreetly. I didn’t want to overhaul my wardrobe to get loads of these as they’re not the most fashion forward of items but they’re great staple pieces and perfect for those first few weeks and days when you’re out and about.
6. DRESSES AND JUMPSUITS
You CAN breastfeed in public and wear dresses, it just requires some forward planning. Cold shoulder dresses with elasticated top bands are great as are tea dresses or any style of dress or jumpsuit with a button/zip up front. Thankfully this Autumn there is a wide selection of casual and formal styles available on the high street.
When the temperature drops I’d advise against jumpers and go more for cardigans, jackets, zip up hoodies and shirts. Having a November baby, there was more than one times I found myself shivering in a café because I had to take my jumper off in order to feed.
If you’re having to potentially compromise on your outfit to allow easy and discreet breastfeeding then investing in a stylish pair of shoes can give your outfit a fashionable edge and transform an otherwise simple outfit.