Affordable Fashion for the Breastfeeding Mother

That wonderful moment has finally arrived and your baby is nestled safely in your arms after spending nearly a year growing inside of you. Your body has stretched and grown right along with your bundle of joy, and may be soft and unrecognizable now that you are no longer pregnant. Whether you invested a lot of money into maternity clothes or not, you may be wondering what your style will look like now that you are a Mother. Breastfeeding Mothers also have to consider finding clothing styles that accommodate their new lifestyle.

Fashion is something that is easily overlooked in the days, weeks, and if you’re anything like me, months after having a baby. I felt frumpy and messy for the first few months and it seemed like I was topless AND covered in milk 24/7. I mainly wore my old maternity clothes, which didn’t make me feel very good about myself. When I started venturing outside, my daughter was around two months old, and I needed clothes that made breastfeeding in public easier, while also making me feel better about my new body. After searching my local mall from top to bottom, I realized there aren’t very many stores that carry clothing that is specifically for a breastfeeding mother without also doubling as maternity clothing. There are snap-down camis and bras, shirts with flaps and holes, dresses that stretch from here to there, and fancy woven tops that can be very, very hard to put on correctly.These clothes often have a hefty price tag to boot, and a lot of new mothers have to be careful with extra expenses as they now have a new life to invest in.

If you are worried that you won’t be able to afford all of the clothing that you need to breastfeed, I’m happy to say that in the past fourteen months I’ve gotten by with only four nursing bras, three nursing specific tops, and a whole lot of creativity. I searched within my own closet to figure out what styles worked for me without spending a fortune and I am happy to share them with you now.

1. The Sleeveless T-Shirt:

Affordable fashion for the breastfeeding mother- breastfeeding world nyc

If you aren’t comfortable showing a lot of cleavage, this is an excellent option. You can make one out of an old T-Shirt to save extra money. Your sleeve holes should be bigger around the armpit in order to breastfeed without ruining the shirt and a stretchy material works best. You can find the “Mere. Soeur.” (Mother. Sister.) shirt that I’m wearing here.




2. Double Shirt Method:

Affordable fashion for the breastfeeding mother- breastfeeding world nycThis one comes in handy if your baby dislikes nursing covers and you are uncomfortable exposing your breasts to other people. Simply wear two loose-fitting, preferably low-cut shirts, then pull the top layer up over your chest and pull the bottom layer (along with your nursing bra) down right before you latch your baby. As your baby gets older and his or her head gets bigger, it will be virtually impossible to see any flesh if you position your shirt the right way. The green shirt that I am wearing is a pre-pregnancy boyfriend tee from Target, while the striped shirt is a maternity tank from H & M that is tight-fitting enough to look normal after pregnancy. Even if I bought these brand new, it only would cost about $20 for both. Try a thrift store instead and you will save even more!

3. Loosely Fitted Tank Top:

Affordable fashion for the breastfeeding mother- breastfeeding world nyc

This is an edgier style, but can be versatile depending on the type of tank top you choose. In the picture above I am demonstrating the side pull (this will cover more of your breast), as well as the pull down method (which is fast and efficient if nursing in public does not make you blush). The best thing about this shirt is that I bought it long before getting pregnant, so not only can I breastfeed comfortably in it, but it cost me nothing in the process. I wear this style a lot while babywearing, which is another great way to discreetly nurse in public without using a cover.

Any of these styles can be worn year-round when paired with jeans and a blazer, or a skirt and cardigan. Whatever style you choose, have fun and get creative! You don’t have to buy a $30 nursing top, or continue wearing your maternity clothes in order to breastfeed and be fashionable. Dig into your closet and find what works for you. The most important thing is that you are comfortable and can feed your precious baby with confidence while saving a few bucks in the process.

Happy nursing, ladies!


We love to hear from you! What is your go to fashion item as a breastfeeding mother?

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Lissa James
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Lissa James

Mommy & Blogger at Bumblebee Lullabies
Hi! I'm Lissa James, currently living and loving in Seattle, Wa. I blog mainly about my experience breastfeeding, as well as attachment parenting, and postpartum anxiety and depression. I hope to encourage and empower other women through my writing. I am a Potterhead/The X-Files junkie, and I love to read and paint. I am currently writing and illustrating a children's book about breastfeeding! Find me on instagram @bumblebeelullabies and find my mama mermaid art @mermamame!
Lissa James
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