My husband and I embarked on a terrifying journey this weekend… flying with our 7-month-old son to Atlanta to attend a wedding!  I originally intended on researching and writing about breastfeeding laws across the U.S. to help nursing mamas prepare for travel this week but ended up having a reoccurring theme while preparing for this trip that I could not ignore (but stay tuned in the next few weeks because I still plan on writing about breastfeeding laws!).

The logistics of our travel ended up going better than I had hoped.  My son was eager to nurse during take off and landing, he slept the majority of the time in the air, and baby wearing made navigating the airport a breeze… all in all, my son did great and we arrived in Atlanta relatively unscathed!

My main struggle on this trip was not a crying baby on a plane, but a wardrobe lacking in formal options that have easy nursing access.

Finding nursing friendly clothing options… an easy task? Not!

Since giving birth to my son, the majority of my day-to-day outfits consist of yoga pants and a nursing tank.  I have worn a dress MAYBE twice in the past seven months, and both of those times were when I was out without my son.  If a dress does not have the right cut, it can be nearly impossible to breastfeed in without taking the whole dress off!

So I knew exactly what style of dress I was looking for when I began shopping: one with easy boob access that didn’t cost an arm and a leg (X2 since I needed one for both the rehearsal dinner and the wedding).  What I thought would be a quick trip to Ross ended up being a two week, three city wide shopping journey.

I currently live in a small town with limited shopping options, but I covered all the bases here first… and I came up empty-handed.  I did not find a single dress that I could easily breastfeed in!  The next town over has a bigger mall so I checked out all the major stores there.  While I didn’t find anything that was obviously breastfeeding friendly, I did find a dress that I was able to alter to meet my needs.

Nursing Friendly Dress

I have seen a lot of dresses in this style lately and figured that I should be able to cut two small holes for breastfeeding access and have the flap of extra fabric cover them. I added stitches around the holes to try to keep them from tearing further.

Altered Dress

Altered Dress 2
I am by no means a seamstress, so don’t judge my final product!

Now after my functional Pinterest-fail was complete, I still needed a second dress.  This time I drove two and a half hours to my hometown of San Antonio, Texas and SCOURED the malls!  I found that the majority of dresses in style right now have a swoop-neck style, rather than the deep V needed for easy breastfeeding access.  After a full day of shopping and coming up empty-handed, I returned to my in-laws’ house and shopped at my sister-in-law’s closet.  Luckily she had a dress that met my needs (and even matched my Sakura Bloom ring sling)!

Babywearing at a Wedding

While I ended up being essentially unsuccessful in my search for a formal dress with easy breastfeeding access, my eyes were opened to the struggle many women face in dressing stylish, while still having functional pieces that will allow easy nursing.  I have decided to start taking the (baby)-steps to creating a nursing-friendly wardrobe that consists of more than t-shirts and yoga pants.  I’ll check back in a few weeks and will hopefully have some progress to show!

We love hearing from you! What are your go-to, breastfeeding-friendly pieces in your wardrobe?

Don’t leave without checking out my previous post: “How a bottle saved my breastfeeding relationship”

Don’t forget to join us in our social media accounts to be up to date with the progress of our project!

And… Don’t forget to share your brelfies using our HT #BreastfeedingWorld 

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Amber Castro

Lifestyle Blogger at On Life & Leche
I'm currently a stay-at-home mom to my son who was born in January of 2015.I have my degree in Anthropology and spent the two years before my son was born teaching. After months of struggling with nursing, I was finally able to have the beautiful breastfeeding relationship I dreamed of.These struggles helped me find my passion for helping other mothers in their breastfeeding journeys and guided me to study to become a lactation counselor.

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