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In my world, getting dressed every day is a feat that I really don’t have much time nor mental energy for after baby is born. So finding tops that look and feel good, can withstand the abuse of constant baby spit-up and washings, and allow easy breastfeeding access is a serious priority.
Here is a list of the criteria I use to make sure that a shirt should be in my closet during the breastfeeding months:
1. Comfortable fabrics
Baby is going to snuggle in, so if I wouldn’t want to snuggle it, I won’t wear it.
2. Wrinkle free
I need the freedom to be a hot mess without looking like one.
3. Easy to clean
The amount of cleaning needed is astonishing. Really. (Hint: Oxyclean is a boss. How to: spray the stain with water, add some oxyclean and rub in, let it sit for a few hours then throw in the wash. Be careful not to keep it on too long or it could bleach the fabric.) Also, many bonus points if patterns or fabric type hides stains and spills easily.
4. Adjustable neckline
I need a neckline that can be pulled down, or to the side, or otherwise opened enough for full breast exposure. I find that it is much quicker and easier to pull a breast up and over the bra/neckline than trying to pick up a shirt and go under it. Cowl-necked tops are a favorite, not only because they are easily pulled around, but also because they are smoke and mirrors gorgeous for this post-baby body.
5. Nursing covers
Although I love and salute all of the women who are open to full breast exposure, I am all about my nursing cover. I also use my Moby Wrap as the cover when I’m wearing it. And I have a great scarf that doubles as a nursing cover that I love. Any pieces that can double duty are a win for me.
6. About the bra
While I love the support that nursing bras offer, I find that the clip-down feature of the cup is just an extra step, and one that I usually don’t bother taking. If I’ve got my nursing cover on or am somewhere private enough, full exposure is fine and MUCH simpler. If I need to, I’ll cover with my hand, a burp cloth, or the Moby Wrap or scarf. Thankfully, I’ve noticed that pulling the bra down doesn’t make it any worse for the wear.
7. Natural fabrics
I try to do this, but it can be tough to find tops that are all of the above AND completely free of synthetics. This one isn’t a deal breaker, but when I do come across 100% cotton, bamboo, or hemp, I’m in.
8. I can’t love you
Really I can’t. With all of the spit up and breastmilk and stain treating these shirts will go through, the chances of coming out alive on the other side of this season are slim to none. So I’m not wearing anything I can’t part with when I’m done breastfeeding.
Rather than be sad about all the things that you can’t wear, stick with the above list to make shopping for your breastfeeding wardrobe—and getting dressed each day- fast and easy. And of course, go through your current wardrobe- you might be surprised how much you already own that meets the breastfeeding criteria.