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Best Nursing Clothing

  • Michael Brian

    Most of us just want to get back into our pre-baby wardrobe as soon as possible after birth, but most tops and dresses, let alone bras, aren’t super-functional for breastfeeding. So we turned to Amanda Cole, owner of the NYC-based breastfeeding specialty store Yummy Mummy, who’s also a lactation educator and mom of two, for some advice on buying a nursing-friendly wardrobe. 

    When and What to Buy

    Cole suggests that when an expectant mom starts to outgrow her regular bras, she consider buying a nursing bra instead of a regular one in a larger size. Although she may ultimately continue to grow past that size, once her breasts settle down after the first few weeks of nursing, it may come in handy. For moms who are in the their final weeks of pregnancy, Cole advises buying a couple of soft-cup daytime nursing bras and one sleep bra in styles that have a lot of give, to allow for comfort when milk is coming in and the breasts are engorged. Those bras should carry a new mom through the first month, at which time she might want to get fitted for a new bra if she doesn’t have one that works, since her breasts will have settled into a more regular size for the duration of breastfeeding.

    According to Cole, moms should look for comfortable and supportive bras in a soft, breathable fabric, since nursing can make some women run warm. If you rocked gorgeous lingerie pre-baby, there’s no reason why you can’t do the same post-baby, since there are a variety of sexy nursing styles these days.

    Read on for our top picks for nursing apparel.

  • photo courtesy of milkstars.com

    Milkstars Michelle Top
    We’re ga-ga for the entire line of Milkstars nursing apparel. This wear-with-anything Michelle top looks nothing like the typical nursing shirt (read: it’s so cute, you’ll still want to wear it after weaning), as the top lifts up to expose a bottom layer with cut-outs on either side (meaning no flashing your back flab or mummy tummy). Available in 10 colors, sizes S to XL.

    Michelle Top from milkstars.com, $66

  • Photo Courtesy of barenecessities.com

    Cake Lingerie Blueberry Soft Cup Nursing Bra 
    If nursing’s left you feeling about as cute as, well, a cow, then this super flirty, soft demi-cup nursing bra from Cake Lingerie might help you get your mojo back. Available in sizes 32C to 38E. Matching undies available for extra va-va-va-voom.

    Blueberry Nursing Bra from barenecessities.com 

  • Photo Courtesy of 1intheoven.com

    Mayreau ¾-Sleeve Stripe Henley
    This cozy, striped henley is just the kind of shirt we’d wear every day (a possibility during those first bleary weeks with baby). Access to “the girls” is achieved through the buttoned placket, which opens up to an inner half layer that allows for total discretion while nursing.

  • Photo Courtesy of glamourmom.com

    Glamourmom Nursing Bra Long Top
    Glamourmom nursing bra tanks and tops are a staple for nursing moms. Available in a range of colors, we’re huge fans of this longer style, which allows for ample belly coverage (read: zero exposure while nursing) and looks great layered under a t-shirt or cardigan. Fuller-busted moms can opt for the Full Bust Long Top, which provides greater support and flattering ruching detail, and moms in search of a little extra slimming power can snag a Tummy Control Long Tank. Nursing bra long top available in a wide variety of muted colors, sizes S to XXL.

    Nursing Bra Long Top from glamourmom.com

  • Photo Courtesy of dotestudio.com

    Dote Studio 9th Street Dress
    This romantic cap-sleeved dress from Singapore-based Dote Studio with a double ruffle hem and back tie works for both pregnancy and breastfeeding (and let’s you work it, to boot). Nurse by simply pulling up the top layer at the empire band to access nursing openings underneath. Available in red, fuchsia, black and navy, sizes S to XL.

    9th Street Dress from dotestudio.com

  • Photo Courtesy of bravadodesigns.com

    Bravado Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra
    Hands down, this is one of the most comfortable bras, nursing or otherwise, that we have ever owned. And don’t be fooled by the super soft and stretchy fabric—this bra is also surprisingly supportive, thanks to the removable molded foam cups that serve as cover for breast pads, and also prevent the uni-boob effect. Available in black, butterscotch, ivory and berry burst, sizes S to XL.

    Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra from bravadodesigns.com, $49

  • Photo Courtesy of store.yummymummystore.com

    Boob B-Warmer Hoodie
    In colder weather, nursing-friendly outer layers can be just as important as a bra or cami. For when you need to nurse outside or even just curled up inside on a chilly autumn day, this nursing hoodie from Swedish company Boob can’t be beat. The double-layer design provides easy nursing access and discretion, and the front overlap is lined with fleece to help keep you toasty. Available in caviar (black), cadet blue and navy, sizes XS to L.

    B-Warmer Hoodie from yummymummystore.com, $89

  • Photo Courtesy of boutique.belabumbum.com

    Belabumbum Lotus Nursing Chemise
    In those first weeks and months, yes, there might be days where you don’t make it out of your pj’s. But who cares when your pj’s are as cute as this nursing nightie? To nurse, just undo the clasp. Available in 10 color combinations, sizes S to XL.

    Lotus Nursing Chemise from belabumbum.com

  • Photo Courtesy of japaneseweekend.com

    Japanese Weekend D&A Wrapped Around You Nursing Top
    We’re fans of the Japanese Weekend D&A (During and After) line, which carries women through pregnancy and nursing in one fell swoop. This classic top flatters as it drapes (but doesn’t cling) to mama’s body. Just pull aside the neckline for easy nursing access. Available in ruby and black, sizes XS to XL.

    Wrapped Around You Nursing Top from japaneseweekend.com, $50

  • Photo Courtesy of duematernity.com

    Juliet Dream Scarlett Dress
    This empire waist dress with ¾-sleeves is an easy and flattering wardrobe staple that will move with you through pregnancy and nursing. The Scarlett Dress comes with a rope belt with an O-ring that can be tied any which way. We love it with jeggings, as shown, or just a cute pair of flats. Available in steel, sizes S to L.

    Scarlett Dress from duematernity.com, $98

  • Photo Courtesy of saksfifthavenue.com

    Le Mystere Sexy Mama Nursing Bra
    From one of our fave bra-makers comes the new Sexy Mama nursing bra. Offering light to medium support, the Sexy Mama is available with or without underwire, with light padding. Available in ivory and black, sizes 32C to 38F.

    Sexy Mama Nursing Bra from saks.com, $66

  • Photo Courtesy of milknursingwear.com

    Milk Athena Nursing Dress
    We’re all over this nursing dress that doesn’t scream, “Milkmaid!” The gathered waist is flattering for new moms still carrying extra weight, and the nursing opening is cleverly accessed by moving aside the placket. Note: this dress runs large, so consider ordering one size down. Available in purple, boysenberry and black, sizes XS to XL.

    Athena Nursing Dress from milknursingwear.com, $64

  • Photo Courtesy of 1intheoven.com

    Mayreau ¾ Sleeve Mia Shirt
    From one of our fave designers, we’re major fans of this maternity—and nursing-friendly shirt. Nursing access is achieved by lifting the inner sheath. Available in aloe, nude, dark heather gray, black and putty. 

  • Photo Courtesy of breastfeedingmoms.com

    Majamas Organic Sleepy Dress
    The Sleepy Dress from Majamas (makers of another fave, the Easy Bra) is designed to be worn to bed, but it’s cute enough to be worn as a dress in front of company or even out in public for those days when getting dressed just isn’t happening. Available in black, merlot, cocoa and royal, sizes S to XL.

    Organic Sleepy Dress from breastfeedingmoms.com

  • Photo Courtesy of destinationmaternity.com

    Medela Comfort Nursing Bra
    This bra is one of our faves for packing in your hospital bag and during those early weeks when breast size can fluctuate dramatically. Uber-soft, it offers light to moderate support and is easy to pull over your head. Bonus: this racerback-style bra is truly comfy enough to sleep in.

    Comfort Nursing Bra from destinationmaternity.com, $34

  • Photo Courtesy of yummietummie.com

    Yummie Tummie Nursing T Tank 
    For new moms who want both easy nursing access combined with shapewear, this nursing tank from Yummie Tummie is just the ticket. Designed to help conceal the last of that baby weight, it’s also super comfy, as well as long enough for you to rest assured that your belly will remain safely covered. Available in nude, black and white, sizes XS to XL.

    Nursing T Tank from yummietummie.com, $68

  • Photo Courtesy of store.yummymummystore.com

    Melinda G Fab Curvy Nursing Bra
    Cole of Yummy Mummy recommends this soft-cup bra especially for chesty nursing mamas, as it offers the support of an underwire bra, only without the wire. Available black and nude, sizes Small (fits 32E-32F) to Very Voluptuous (40E-F).

    Fab Curvy Nursing Bra from yummymummystore.com

  • Photo Courtesy of milanmaternity.com

    Milan Maternity Lucia Shirt
    This faux-wrap top from Milan Maternity makes for a cute (and affordable!) transition piece between the third and “fourth” trimester. Its single-side ruching disguises a postpartum belly, and the outer wrap layer moves aside easily, allowing you to lift the inner nursing sheath.

    Lucia Shirt from milanmaternity.com

  • Photo Courtesy of store.yummymummystore.com

    Peek-a-boo Lace Trim Nightgown
    We love these flattering nighties from Israeli designer Noa Vilenski. Trust us that they’re just as comfy as your hubby’s worn-in tee, but prettier and way more functional. Available in charcoal and black, sizes S to L.

    Lace Trim Nightgown from yummymummystore.com 

  • Photo Courtesy of breastfeedingmoms.com

    Majamas The MJs Pajamas
    For some, nursing can bring on night sweats. These pajamas, made with a wicking fabric, feel cool against the skin. The super soft fabric has cut-outs in the shirt so that you can stick a nursing pad in the breast pocket for extra protection. Available in a range of solid and patterns, sizes S to XL.

    The MJs from breastfeedingmoms.com

  • Photo Courtesy of japaneseweekend.com

    Japanese Weekend Vested Interest Cap Sleeve Nursing Top
    Flowing tops are so in right now. This striped nursing top and flowing open vest with tie back detail makes us actually want to get out of the house, and works well for work. While they look fab together, the pieces can also be worn separately. Available in black stripe or gray stripe. 

    Vested Interest Cap Sleeve Nursing Top from japaneseweekend.com

  • Photo Courtesy of glamourmom.com

    Glamourmom Mbody Starter Nursing Bra
    This nursing bra from Glamourmom is a great option for expectant or new moms whose breasts may go from big to bigger and back again. It’s breathable, absorbent, and stretchy, adjusting over two sizes. Available in black and nude, sizes 34B to 40G.

    Mbody Starter Nursing Bra from glamourmom.com, $39

  • photo courtesy of milkstars.com

    Milkstars Randa Dress
    Have a fancy event? Stylish and flattering, this sleek cowl-neck dress with shirring and cap sleeves takes nursing apparel to a whole new level (nursing access is through the cowl-neck). Available in 10 colors, sizes S to XL.

    Randa Dress from milkstars.com, $85

  • Photo Courtesy of milknursingwear.com

    Milk Roll-Sleeve Henley Tunic
    This hippie-inspired tunic-length top works for both pregnancy and nursing, and would look super cute with leggings or skinny jeans. The sleeves roll up and can be fastened with a button tab. To nurse, just pull the deep neckline to the side. Available in teal, boysenberry, seaport blue, and brown, sizes XS to XL.

    Roll-Sleeve Henley Tunic from milknursingwear.com 

  • Photo Courtesy of bravadodesigns.com

    Bravado Essential Nursing Bra Tank
    We love that this everyday nursing tank from Bravado comes with a full molded bra inside and ruching in the front, so you won’t look like you’re perpetually headed to the gym with a cleavage-crushing sports bra on. Available in white, black, chocolate, dark plum, lagoon blue, passionate pink and jade, sizes 34B to 40G.

    Essential Nursing Bra Tank from bravadodesigns.com, $49

  • Photo Courtesy of bellabelliesmaternity.com

    Juliet Dream Flow Top
    This tunic-length top is perfect for expectant and new moms who want some flowy lines to camouflage postpartum pounds. It comes with an adjustable tie in the back and side ruching on the ¾ sleeve. To nurse, just pull aside the top. Available in charcoal and teal, sizes S to L.

    Flow Top from bellabelliesmaternity.com

  • Photo Courtesy of bellydancematernity.com

    Ripe Maternity/Nursing Tube Tee
    We adore this maternity/nursing tee from the Australian design duo that make up Ripe Maternity. The side ruching helps to disguise any post-pregnancy pounds, and nursing is easy and discreet, courtesy of the double-layered neckline (just pull the bottom layer up to for nursing access). Available in plum, sizes XS to L.

    Nursing Tube Tee from bellydancematernity.com, $67

  • Photo Courtesy of dotestudio.com

    Dote Studio Lindsay Pocket Top
    This Dote Studio hip-length swingy top with pockets, scoop neck, and cap sleeves makes us feel chic just looking at it, let alone wearing it. We love the clever nursing access: vertical openings hidden along the princess seams allow access to nursing openings in the underlayer). Available in beige, sizes S to XL.

    Lindsay Pocket Top from dotestudio.com

  • Photo Courtesy of store.yummymummystore.com

    Elle Macpherson Intimates Maternelle Bra
    This wireless bra from the Elle Macpherson Intimates line is both pretty and practical. Extra eyes let you harness “the girls” a little tighter if need be. Available in tan, black and jewel pink, sizes 32C to 38DD.

    Maternelle Bra from yummymummystore.com

  • Photo Courtesy of herroom.com

    HOTmilk Lingerie Her Tangled Web Tantalized
    Hello, hot mama! This wireless nursing bra from New Zealand-based HOTmilk Lingerie brings the sexy back. It’s also functional: the three rows and six columns of hook-and-eye closures in the back accommodate shifts in weight, and the cotton-lined cups offer great support and coverage. Available in black mesh overlaid with rose pearl embroidery, sizes 32B to 42H. Matching panties available.

    Her Tangled Web Tantalized from herroom.com

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