Contrary to what your Instagram ads say, you don’t have to buy anything new or unusual to breastfeed / body feed successfully. No special wrap/tie or double/hidden layered shirts. No shawls. Not even a breastfeeding bra (though some people appreciate the convenience of a bra made for chest feeding). Truth is, you already own clothing perfectly suited for feeding your baby with ease.
Items Already in Your Closet that Work Well for Breastfeeding
It’s important to remember that everyone has a different level of comfort when it comes to breastfeeding / body feeding around others or in public. Whether or not to “cover up” is personal preference and should not be imposed on anyone. The following list is provided both for reasons of convenience (wearing any clothes while breastfeeding becomes tiresome!) and for those who desire more coverage.
- Tank top undershirt – Form-fitting tank tops might just be the best, most versatile option for use while breastfeeding. No matter the season, layer with a tank top underneath (even if you wear one tank top over another!) to provide torso coverage when lifting your top layer up from the bottom. Depending on your chest size and the type of tank tops you own, the layering tank could serve as a bra.
- Cardigan – A cardigan with more generous, flowing fabric is perfect as a top layer, whether you decide to feed by pulling your undershirt down or up.
- Tank dress – Nearly any style of tank is ideal for body feeding, with just a small strip of fabric to pull over your shoulder. A tank dress provides ideal torso coverage. For more chest coverage, pair with a cardigan or scarf.
- V-neck or generous scoop neck – Any shirt with an ample neckline makes it easier to pull down for a feeding.
- Wrap or crossover style shirt/sweater – It’s like these shirts were made for breastfeeding! Many tops designed specifically for nursing come in this style, but you might already own one.
- Button down shirt paired with an undershirt – Any button down shirt is perfectly suited for easy access when body feeding. If you want extra coverage, you can layer another top underneath.
- Crop top – Great for layering on top of another shirt, a crop top provides top chest coverage when pulling down/away the layer underneath (tank tops are ideal).
- Tube top – Tube tops make a good base layer that provides easy breast access, and can also serve as a bra.
- Flowy top – Any loose or flowy top is great for simpler breastfeeding. Think boho, baby doll, and peasant styles.
- Shawl or scarf – Either of these can serve as a nursing cover.
- High-waisted stretch pants – If you prefer to feed by pulling up your top but don’t like having your torso exposed, a pair of high-waisted stretchy pants can provide the extra coverage you want.
- Shape wear – If you own shape wear made for your abdomen — and only if it’s comfortable to wear — use it in the same way you would a pair of high-waisted pants for torso coverage.
- Belly band (if you already own one) — Extend the life of your belly band by using it for belly coverage when breastfeeding.
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