Breastfeeding Basics: What to Wear

In the early days following Austyn’s delivery, I wasted a small fortune on nursing-specific bras and tops.  Now that she and I have found our public feeding forte, I hope we can save you from making the same mistakes! Please realize this is coming from a small-boob girl. What works for me may fall short for anyone who stopped shopping in the little princess department at an appropriate age. Nevertheless, the following are my tips and tricks for the new mom’s wardrobe. Tits & Tricks, if you will...

1. A double-dip on Monday might melt to a kids’ cone by Thursday.

One of my first mistakes was rushing off to buy new bras a few days after arriving home from the hospital. Breast-feeding classes and lactation consultants had failed to share with me that most moms become engorged after their child has finished receiving colostrum from them. My breasts were much larger than I had ever experienced, and I bought new bras because I assumed this was my new reality. After about a week, they shrunk back down to near-pregnancy size. That said, I suggest waiting about two weeks post-partum before padding your underwear drawer.

2. Slouchy Tees for the Win.

The biggest lie Pinterest and Motherhood Maternity tell is that your shirt has to come from the nursing section and boast some sort of fancy snap-down, side slit, or peek-a-boob feature. Instead, I prefer wearing a slouchy t-shirt. The shirt stretches over Austyn's head while she's eating, and I'm not stuck digging in the diaper bag for an extra blanket for coverage. As a bonus, I found these easy tees at Target for $5.99-$7.99, so I don't think twice when Austyn spits up or drools all over them. Feel free to size up for a bit more give.

Softest Crew T-Shirt


Target: 2 for $14 or $8 each

3. Bras are Flexible, Too.

After your boobs have found their new normal, you'll want to have enough bras to cycle through day and night. If you are accustomed to sleeping without a bra, it's good to know your breasts will likely leak through the night. To avoid water-boarding your favorite comforter, I suggest wearing a tight-fitting bra. Additionally, I have found breastfeeding in public to be easier if I lift my bra up instead of unsnapping a nursing-specific bra. My go-to breastfeeding underwear are sports bras or leisure bras which have an elastic band as listed below.

4. Bamboobies.

I didn't make that word up. Bamboobies is a Boulder-based company that makes reusable nursing pads from bamboo velour fabric. If you don't want to walk around with dark circles on your chest, these items are worth investing in. I have both the day and night versions, which are much more comfortable than Lansinoh disposable nursing pads. I found Lansinoh’s version to be itchy, and they were too similar to diapers or sanitary napkins to make me feel like an attractive female. Four pairs have been plenty for me, as I simply toss the used pads in with daily baby laundry. 

5. Full Coverage

While pregnant, I was looking forward to using my Milk Snob nursing cover while feeding Austyn in public. However, a friend lent me her Udder Covers wired nursing cover, and it comes easier to me. I despise the brand name, and I'm not crazy about the prints Udder Covers offers, but they make a good product. Although my first choice is to wear an easy shirt to stretch over Austyn's head while she eats, the wired nursing cover allows you to dress a little less basic. My very talented mom (Cookie to Austyn) actually created a pattern and sewed a wired nursing cover to replace the one I have been borrowing. It's custom Cookie!

6. Finally, if you clicked on this post hoping to find cute clothes to wear while breast-feeding, and the basic tee option isn't your cup of tea, allow me to introduce the following retailers:



Give me a shout below if you find a piece you just can't live without. & send pics!


Kelsey Harrison