Motherhood is a beautiful journey that requires much thought in many details. In the whirlwind of concerns that accompany childbirth—hello, sleepless nights and parenthood acrobatics—let’s kick the wardrobe dilemma off the worry list, shall we?
Thankfully, transitioning from your everyday style to maternity style is easier these days. You can use most of what you already wear during your pregnancy. You can easily style an oversized white shirt worn as a cover-up or a breathable shift dress for utmost comfort.
After childbirth, your style changes yet again. Now you need to consider the ease of breastfeeding while recuperating and receiving guests who want to celebrate with you and your cute little bundle of joy. Gone are the days when there was shame in breastfeeding around people. Now you can discreetly feed your baby while enjoying time with your loved ones without stressing about it. All you need is the right outfit to aid this process.
The realities of being a new mum
Motherhood brings numerous changes, and things are not quite the same afterwards. From the very start, mothers already worry about many things, whether small or big, and these issues impact their mental health. The worries of lost opportunities, the extent of nurturing required, psychological & physical exhaustion, depression etc., are just a few of what a mother must work through. Naturally, fashion is the last thing on your mind as a mother.
Sharing her experience, Moyin, a first-time working mom, admits, “To be honest, you can lose yourself as a new mum. With so much going on, fashion and appearance become the least of your problems. I also struggled with postpartum depression, which greatly impacted my fashion sense,
Despite breastfeeding being beneficial for mothers and children, it comes with stigmas and inconveniences, particularly when choosing the right clothes. Mothers need comfortable, convenient, and safe clothing, especially in public. A lot is going on in and out of her body that everything else should be made more manageable, but these challenges can make the experience more difficult for many mothers.
Nneka, a mother in her early 40s, reminisces on what it was like when she was breastfeeding. “I had to consider comfort, ease of access to the breasts, and possible wet patches,”
The 2023 world breastfeeding theme “Let’s make breastfeeding and work, work” draws our attention closer to the issues at hand, how can breastfeeding mothers feel comfortable and confident enough to breastfeed at work?
It is our joy to see you healthy and thriving after childbirth, so here are seven staples in your wardrobe that will make breastfeeding easy and comfortable for you. These pieces are easy to navigate and can be effortlessly removed and washed with no hassle.
The best part? These staples do not sacrifice style, making it possible to look and feel your best while breastfeeding.
7 Staples for breastfeeding mothers
Wrap tops and dresses
For Moyin, whose wardrobe required a whole change while breastfeeding, wrap pieces were her go-to.
A wrap dress is a timeless wardrobe staple that seamlessly transitions through occasions, making it a perfect choice for breastfeeding mothers. Flattering on various body types and lengths, it accommodates changes while retaining style and confidence.
Similarly, wrap tops share this versatility and class. A lovely pairing with pants, skirts, or shorts provides endless styling options you would enjoy wearing. The crisscross design also offers discreet nursing and easy removal, making it a valuable staple. With added nipple patches for coverage, a bra might not be necessary as the tie feature guarantees a secure, well-fitted silhouette.
Consider a lovely wrap dress or top when picking out your outfits for work or heading out for some well-deserved fun time with friends.
Shop Wrap Pieces.
Button-down shirts and dresses
The timeless button-down piece is wisdom passed through generations and remains foolproof for breastfeeding mothers. You require quick access, which button-down pieces offer – just a few buttons undone, and you’re secure. This versatile piece adapts to any occasion, dressing up or down effortlessly.
Following the button-down is the classic shirt dress. It offers easy breastfeeding access and a chic aura. Versatile and event-ready, it doubles as a kimono for added coverage outdoors. Paired with any shoes, it navigates through any scenario with ease.
Priscilla, a first-time mom in her 30s, confirms the value of nursing-friendly clothing. Buttons, zips, and stretchy fabrics were pivotal in her breastfeeding journey.
Zip up pieces
As a breastfeeding mom, having clothing items with front zippers around the bust area is like hitting the easy-and-stylish jackpot. It’s all about that quick one-swipe access when your little one needs it – a major lifesaver! Just a heads-up, you’ll want to watch out for your undergarments so you don’t accidentally catch them on the zipper. We don’t want you struggling while your baby waits for their three-course meal.
Nneka always preferred clothes that either buttoned down or zipped down in front. She also liked free hems and easy-to-lift-up jeans because they were easy and comfy.
MOT Jodi Dress
Low-neck blouses and dresses
Try a simple, casual, scoop-neck t-shirt or V-neck dress for an effortless and alluring breastfeeding style. A helpful tip is to opt for a fabric that offers more stretch, ensuring you can breastfeed comfortably without worrying about tearing or stretching the neck area too much. Thanks to their breathable design, these tops and dresses are super comfy for indoor and outdoor activities.
Go for milkmaid pieces – they’re great because they usually have soft, eye-catching prints and come with front-facing strings or buttons that you can easily undo for quick nursing access. Milkmaid blouses look great on your favourite jeans, high-waist mini/maxi skirts paired with sandals give you a relaxed and chic look.
This staple seamlessly combines nursing and style in perfect harmony. Aside from its comfort, it offers versatility for various occasions and allows for personal styling.
Opt for a slightly oversized fit, ensuring ease of movement and elegance. A stretchy sweater dress is an excellent option, easily matched with sandals or sneakers for a relaxed look or high heels for a formal touch.
Jumpsuits & Playsuits
A button-down/zip-up jumpsuit or playsuit can be stylish, breathable, and easy to nurse. Moreover, utility jumpsuits offer the added perk of multiple pockets, effortlessly keeping essentials for both you and your baby close at hand. A loose jumpsuit with a front zip counts for a stylish and comfortable look. It gives you enough room to move about without constraint and is a good alternative for when you don’t want to think of matching a top with bottoms.
MOT Ify Playsuit
Link – https://industrieafrica.com/products/striped-silk-jumpsuit
A nursing shawl, poncho, or scarf is a fantastic accessory for every nursing mother. Its versatile coverage seamlessly complements any outfit and can even be styled to infuse a touch of elegance. Moreover, these accessories boast the added benefits of being easily removable and washable, embracing practicality and convenience for on-the-go breastfeeding moments.
As you assemble your lineup of these stylish must-haves to complement your daily activities, remember to include breast pads in your arsenal. These often-overlooked essentials play a significant role in ensuring your comfort and confidence during this time. Whether you’re out and about or relaxing at home, having breast pads on hand can help you feel more at ease and prepared for any situation.
“With breast pads, I would always choose floral patterns or fabrics that would hide wetness. Because when the breasts were engorged, and the baby wasn’t around or suckling enough, the milk would come out on its own.”, Nneka shared.
A good breast pad keeps your bra and clothes dry when the milk is overflowing, or if you experience breast leaks between feeding periods, milk may leak. These pads absorb the leaks and come in various sizes and shapes. They are also reusable, so points for sustainability. What’s more, breast pads are known to help alleviate fabric irritation while breastfeeding.
“For someone like me who has a skin condition called textile dermatitis, I react a lot to certain fabrics, so I had to get a breast pad that suited me well. Avent breast pad is what I used, and I enjoyed it.”, Moyinfoluwa added.
So, armed with these tips and essentials, you can journey ahead with a relaxed and comfortable attitude. As you create special memories with your loved ones, you have everything you need to embrace the experience fully. Whether you’re sharing quality time indoors or exploring the outdoors, you can do it all efficiently and confidently, making this journey even more enjoyable for you and your little one.