In this week’s baby bargainista column, Jenny discusses fashionable dressing for breastfeeding in public.
We’re lucky to live in a day and age when public breastfeeding is both legally protected and generally accepted, eliminating any barriers to this natural act. Any nursing mother can tell you that you quickly get over any lingering sense of modesty or decorum when faced with a hungry, screaming infant in a public space. The real challenge of public breastfeeding is finding a way to incorporate the need to occasionally whip out a boob while maintaining some semblance of a fashionable wardrobe.
Happily, there are more options than ever before. Nursing bras, for example, run the gamut from sports-style elastic to lacy underwire. Maternity stores such as Thyme Maternity and websites such as Milkface offer a variety of nursing shirts designed to make access easy and discreet. In addition to a good nursing bra and a few tops, I personally find the following nursing “accessories” indispensible:
1. A friend gave me the GoGoMama nursing tank and I love it. If you are lucky enough to fit into your pre-pregnancy shirts already and you need a way to cover exposed skin (for warmth or decorum) when necessity dictates that your shirt be lifted up or unbuttoned to nurse, the GoGoMama tank is perfect. The fabric is light yet clingy so that it can be layered under a long-sleeved shirt, t-shirt, or blouse.
2. Another happy evolution is the appearance of fashionably designed nursing covers (or “hooter hiders”) with beautiful patterns. Gone are the days when your only option for covering up baby’s mealtime was a flannel blanket festooned with duckies or bunnies. When I was expecting #2 I spotted a woman breastfeeding in a park café with a gorgeous Bebe Au Lait cover; I asked her where she got it, promptly picked one up for myself and I absolutely adore it. I only wish I had a reasonable excuse for buying a second in another fun, fashionable fabric!
3. In the spring and fall, and even on chilly summer nights, a simple poncho or wrap makes a great, cuddly cover-up while breastfeeding. They’re rarely out of fashion, and if you already have a few in your closet that makes it that much easier to coordinate with your wardrobe. I’ve collected a few over the years, and find that there’s nothing so cosy as snuggling a warm baby underneath like my own little secret!
Do you have a favorite breastfeeding “accessory”?