Are you an expectant Mom looking for ways to burn through your life savings in preparation for your new bundle of joy, in addition to all the baby gear and monogrammed blankets that you REALLY NEEDED? I have an idea – what about nursing clothes?! You need those too, right? WRONG. Well sort of. I am here to tell you that you really, really do not want a nursing tank top. I bought about 12 of them when I was pregnant with Teddy.
Why don’t you need one? Mainly because (spoiler alert) you are still going to look pregnant after you give birth. Like….really pregnant. Six months-ish. That big belly is super adorable when he/she is INSIDE the womb, but if you’re vain like me, you probably aren’t amped to show that jiggle off whilst also holding the baby. Especially because you will be showing off your body, like it or not, a LOT in those first few weeks when every friend and acquaintance wants to come over any meet your babe/judge the state of shambles your life and body has become.
So what I’m saying is, thanks but no thanks, universe, for suggesting we buy SKIN TIGHT TANKS to wrap around our big ole postpartum bellies just because it makes it easier to nurse. It’s true that you will, however, need some clothes to make nursing easier, should you choose to go down the nursing route.
My suggestion: nursing bras and easy access tops. Along with the 12 nursing tank tops I bought and never wore, I also bought approximately 15 nursing bras. BY FAR my favorite is the Medela Ultra-Soft Nursing Bra. It’s not fancy, it’s not sexy, it’s just comfortable, easy and gets the job done – which trust me, is ALL you will be caring about as you careen a screaming infant towards your bleeding nipples at 3 AM (sorry). NOT on the list are “Sleeping Nursing Bras” which are basically the same thing as the regular nursing bras except they don’t have the convenience cup clasp (or as I prefer to call it, boob dispenser) and “Padded Nursing Bras” – the last thing an engorged breast needs is some extra padding – and this is coming from someone who, pre-baby, would have considered her chest a “small B”….if we’re being generous.
In terms of easy access tops, I suggest looking for both shirts and pajamas that are convenient for nursing AND won’t make you feel like a hideous hag AND can still be worn post-nursing. You will be whipping out that boob constantly, so most dresses are out of the question for a while, unless you want to straight up fully undress yourself several times a day. The exception are loose, flowy dresses that you can pull an arm (and boob) out of one at a time. I have a few from Splendid that did the trick. For me, button down styles have become wardrobe essentials, especially in the early weeks when you still have a big stomach and don’t want to expose it constantly (even just to your husband) by lifting your shirt up.
For PJs – Eberjey has great cotton button down sets that are chic and classic, while Lunya has more sexy (but still comfy and washable) silk sets that are equally easy access. For shirts, any button down will work – my rotation of staples are from Rails, Cloth & Stone, Madewell, and J Crew.
Moral of the story – stay away from tight nursing tanks, stock up on nursing bras and button downs.