Ask the Mamas: Nursing Friendly Clothing

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Mama Say What?! reader Sara B. asks: “Where do you buy cute nursing (or pumping) friendly tops? I hate wearing traditional nursing tank tops and cardigans every day!”

I bought a handful of cheap, thin camisoles in fun colors, detached and trimmed the straps, and turned them into “Undercover Mama”-style nursing tank tops. I just slip them over the clips of my nursing bras and they don’t add a lot of bulk or extra warmth under my normal tops, but they provide some good coverage when nursing in public. Here’s a link to the tutorial that gave me the idea! ~ Christina D.

Cute nursing tops are the bane of my existence! After nine months of frumpy tops and tank tops, I finally found some adorable blouses at Target! They are lightweight, trendy, and (this part is key) have buttons down the front. When paired with a stretchy cami, I am able to easily nurse my daughter with out having to totally remove my shirt or do that awkward ‘one arm out of the arm-hole’ dance. ~ Michelle W.

I actually loved my nursing tanks and wore them almost daily… but I am not a huge fan of cardigans and they wouldn’t have worked for me anyway. I bought looser fitting tops, usually from Old Navy or Kohl’s, that were easier to pull up for access, but still had great coverage when N would pop off. We didn’t use a nursing cover because it was too hot for both of us and he would take longer wanting to see what was going on constantly. ~ Cari H.

I’m very partial to Target’s nursing tanks! I usually wear those under sweaters or shirts and have always found them to be so comfortable that I didn’t feel the need to get nursing tops or shirts. ~ Mary Ellen M.

I never actually bought a real nursing top during the almost 13 months that I was breastfeeding. I bought quite a few of Old Navy’s basic tank tops since they have good stretch to them. They were good for layering under tops and sweaters. Anything button/zip up or wrap style tops were great too! You learn to be creative. ~ Kathy S.

I wear nursing tanks when I am home, and when I am not I just wear normal clothes. When I nurse her I just pull my shirt over my boob, and when I pump at work I do the same…. never really has been an issue for me. The only time it is somewhat complicated is when I nurse in public and have to pull my shirt up - sometimes it also comes up in the back and that can be weird. ~ Melissa T.

I sometimes wear nursing tanks underneath whatever shirt I’d normally be wearing; that way I can either pull it down or lift it up without worrying about showing my tummy or chest. I only have a couple nursing tanks though, I do the same thing with Old Navy tank tops and a few others I have. Sine I’ve been nursing two children for more than two years now, most of my regular, everyday tops are somewhat nursing-friendly. It’s a real treat for me to wear a non nursing-friendly shirt! ~ Cassie W.

I wore nursing tank tops when I was on maternity leave since I had no idea how big the girls were going to get after my son was born, so I waited to buy nursing bras. I had the tanks from Target, and they worked just fine with a t-shirt on top. I’d just pull the t-shirt up and unclip the nursing tank. After I went back to work though, I didn’t like how the tanks gave me uni-boob and I went looking for more stylish nursing shirts since I was pumping two to three times a day at work and nursing evenings and weekends. Mostly I did what Kathy did. I bought a bunch of the basic tank tops from Old Navy because they had excellent stretch to them. I could layer them under any shirt and just pull down the tank top without exposing my stomach. And the tank top didn’t get stretched out of shape. I also owned a couple of maternity/nursing tops from Lilac Maternity. They are really expensive if you pay full retail, but they often show up on the deal websites, and sometimes at Costco. I liked the lightweight soft cotton and didn’t have issues with the fabric getting stretched out of shape after nursing. ~ Alex T.

I also just wear camis daily (and even when I don’t have to nurse because I feel naked without them now). I buy all of mine from Kohl’s because they are cheap. Sometimes the fabric pulls away from the straps, but I can reattach them with a few stitches on the machine. As for the top layer, it just depends on the weather. I also choose to wear non-nursing bras after my milk regulated, but that’s just me. ~ Miriam R.

By Michelle W.

Michelle W. is a first time mama to Elizabeth, born in December 2012. She is the wife of a Marine, loves to sew, read, work out, and loves being a home manager (house wife). Her weaknesses are staying on a budget, almond sparkling wine, and Instagram. She tries to be the best wife and mommy possible, and believes there are no bad days, only bad moments.

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