5 Things You Should Never Wear When Breastfeeding

What NOT to wear when you know you’ll nurse baby in public.

Breastfeeding requires you to make a few adjustments in your life, and that includes changing your personal style for easy, discreet boob access. Yes, getting dressed when you know you’ll need to nurse baby is complicated. Baby can get hungry (or should we say hangry) at any point during your daily escapades, and the functionality of your clothes really matters. So knowing what to wear is important; and knowing what not to wear, even more so. Here are 5 pieces of clothes that you should keep in your closet when you know you’ll need to breastfeed.

1. DON’T wear dresses that pull over your head. If you don’t dress in a wrap, button down shirt, or a style that’s specifically designed for nursing like this one from Teat & Cosset, there is simply no way to get to your breast without taking off your entire dress.

2. DON’T wear a jumpsuit unless specifically designed for breastfeeding, like this one from Loyal Hana. Overalls work well with a nursing top layered underneath. We love this one from eco maternity brand Boob Design.

3. DON’T wear a non-breastfeeding top unless you have first layer underneath. Wearing a specially designed nursing tank will give you easy access to the boob and enough coverage to nurse in whatever you’re wearing. The brand Mitera makes a great one.

4. DON’T wear a regular bra. Comfort is key when nursing, especially in the beginning. Nursing bras provide comfort, breathing room and easy snap down straps for accessibility. They really help keeping your breastfeeding sessions on the low. Try this one from Cosabella or this one from Bravado.

5. DON’T wear light, flimsy fabrics. In the early stages when milk is at peak, leaking is inevitable. Darker colors will help conceal any accidents, as will wearing nursing pads.  We love these from Lansinoh and these from Bamboobies.

Bonus tip: DON’T leave the house without a scarf, wrap or nursing cover. In the event that you simply aren’t wearing the right clothes, a nursing scarf, like this one from Nuroo, or an oversize non-maternity scarf will help provide coverage in public.

Jenny Greenstein

Jenny Greenstein

JENNY GREENSTEIN is Well Rounded's Fashion Editor. She is a NYC-based personal stylist, and founder of Your Soul Style: a platform where style meets mindfulness. Through Style Coaching, Closet Cleanses and Personal Styling/Shopping sessions, she works with women ranging in age/experience but specializes in the motherhood space, supporting mamas and mamas-to-be navigate personal style during this beautiful (and complicated) time. As a mama herself, Jenny strongly believes that confident style emerges from within, and we owe it to ourselves as women and mothers to live in that empowered space. Stay connected with her via Instagram.

Comments {13}

  1. This article reads as if women HAVE to be discreet when breastfeeding. Why? Don’t make women feel as if they have to be completely covered in order to nurse. You’re just adding to the stigma associated with nursing uncovered. As a woman, you should be ashamed of yourself. At the bare minimum, you need to edit this to say that it is the woman’s choice to nurse covered or uncovered

    Megan
    1. Thanks for bringing up this important point, Megan. We absolutely support women breastfeeding in public however and wherever they want to!

      Jessica Pallay
  2. I agree!!! I get talking about how to be comfortable so you can actually get your breast out but other than that it’s up to each woman what works for them. There’s nothing discreet about motherhood (nor should there be!)

    Hayley
  3. I agree with previous commenters: convenience is a factor but how important it is to cover up is up to each parent and articles like this make it sound like we should all feel concerned about it. Nursing is normal and bodies are bodies, and it would be great if the mainstream got more comfortable instead of asking moms to accommodate.

    Also, I am nursing my daughter (who is now 17 months) and I almost exclusively wear non-nursing tops. I wear a nursing bra and either a shirt or dress I can pull down to nurse or a tank top under a shirt I can pull up. (I do find I tend to feel cold if my belly is sticking out unless it’s really warm.)

    Sarah
  4. I agree with all the previous comments, however not all mom’s are comfortable with non-discreet nursing. This article was helpful for those of us who are still a little shy about letting the girls out. Thank you for supporting all mom’s & all styles of nursing.

    Britt
  5. I guess I live in a city where breastfeeding is pretty normalized. I have never felt I could not breastfeed my baby in public however I needed to. I agree with the above posters.

    Also, I usually have leggings on, since I live in a place with pretty much 6 months of winter so I am not bothered about pulling my dress up. My only thought on that was to make sure any dress is stretchy because the first time I put on a non-stretch dress, my baby yanked on it because she was hungry and I was not being quick enough and she ripped it right down the front. I was very sad since it was also my first day wearing it, and I managed to get through the full day with no peanut butter or oatmeal getting smeared on it.

    Kim
  6. I like covering up when nursing- if there’s no need for me to flash those around me, then I won’t. Thanks for the clothing ideas.

    Mel
  7. Nothing in this article says that you have to cover up OR shames you into thinking that you do. This article is clearly written to promote options for women that prefer to cover up and also (IMO) help first time moms that are able to breastfeed understand that some outfits/types of clothing make breast feeding nearly impossible without getting naked. To each their own. Just because an article isn’t explicit about the fact that women don’t have to cover up doesn’t mean it’s written to shame anyone that chooses not to. Stop pushing your agenda on others. There is nothing wrong with this article.

    Heather
  8. I prefer to be discrete, my choice. But it would be nice to see some more affordable options. Personally, I would not pay $275 for a nursing jumpsuit. That costs slightly more than a week of daycare for me.

    Sindee
  9. Instead of “DONT”, perhaps a “we recommend” and your bonus tip needs major adjusting.. this article seems to be simply written for advertising purposes in hopes of getting compensation and could have been done in a much better way. Nursing clothes are great for those that choose to wear them, but a scoop/vneck have worked fine for me without a cover or tank top. I also adore “normal” light and stretchy dresses for nursing. Breast comes out the top and is easily accessible. I don’t feel shame for “leaving the house” without a nursing cover to hide myself while feeding a child.

    Samantha
  10. This article can’t be serious, I don’t respond in comments however, this article needed to be addressed. To suggest that women need to be discreet while breastfeeding clearly has never breastfed nor are supportive of women’s right do so, what a joke. A cover? For what? Why would you think that this is a necessity? The writer is setting up new moms for failure and instilling fear of breastfeeding, which by the way, is a natural occurrence. I’ve managed to breastfed my two children sans cover in public without issue, I did not worry about clothing choices, instead I was more concerned with drinking enough water, hoping they fed enough, comfort for both baby and I, not once did I say to myself, well, would my boob show and offend? NOPE! Through the two years that I the sustained the lives of my children I have read many bad advice articles but this has got to be the worst of the worst, the archaic statements and suggestions are the only thing offensive. It’s 2017 in case your writer forgot which year it was.

    Amber Beckham
  11. I whole heartedly agree with previous posters. This article reads as though you must be discreet while nursing. i agree with Megan that the article should be edited “for those who want to be discreet”. As a nursing mother and one who nurses openly in public, this article makes me feel sad because it subscribes to a societal belief that nursing ought to be done in private or at least covered up. Honestly, this article is a set backwards for nursing mothers’ rights and it’s truly disappointing.

    Erica
  12. The only thing I found that I agreed with in this article was that your clothing should be FUNCTIONAL while nursing. That does not mean that they have to be some sort of branded/marketed/designated for breastfeeding only article of clothing. To be completely honest, I found through my own first time mom trial and errors that my now almost 15 month old nurses SO much better without any stuffy cover or shield from the world. (We live in year round hot humid summery Miami, he would sweat and fuss and not productively eat at all while under a cover – no matter how light and breezy it was – and I bought a few.) Learning how to nurse a baby and sustain them, while remembering to drink enough water and feed yourself nourishing food, etc is hard enough – without having to worry about coverage in public or what some ignorant person may or may not see. I get the whole modesty or implied shyness perspective and thats fine, I went through it myself in the beginning and learned that I am more concerned with my kid productively eating rather than whether or not I remembered to adhere to a certain predetermined mandatory wardrobe change. I think an apology or edit is due from the author. This article is misleading, and certainly only written for a certain viewer, not to mention the economic demographic that the suggested items are aimed at – $275 for a single outfit?? How is that hardly affordable or attainable to the average reader? As a first time mom, I heavily relied on blogs and articles and Mommy websites, and content like this is something that would have hindered me from focusing on what IS important while breastfeeding.

    Katie

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