Those first few postpartum weeks can be some of the hardest on our sense of beauty. Not only is it hard to find clothes that fit, it's hard to find clothes that fit AND are comfy AND are flattering AND are nursing friendly! I'm sure glad those babies are so dang cute... they make even feeling icky and frustrated worth it!
But if we can improve how we feel in our nursing clothes, all the better right?
Today we are bringing you suggestions on must-haves and nice-to-haves to conquer your wardrobe while nursing your babe. Whether you have a large cup size or a small one, there is something out there for everyone! Bras, tops, dresses, and even accessories make our lists below.
Here are our BEST TIPS, with recommendations included by members of our Facebook group Frumpy Fighters!
#1: Get the right sized nursing bra
It's still important that your nursing bras fit well. Bra bands carry 80% of the weight of your breasts, and straps just 20%, so remember to have a snug band with well adjusted straps.
If you're currently pregnant, buy at least one good nursing bra in your current size. This usually works because most women's breasts are larger during pregnancy and that translates to the size you'll be after your milk supply has come in and settled to normal levels. Early or middle of the third trimester is the perfect time to do this.
#2: Get a good quality, supportive nursing bra
Finding a GOOD nursing bra is definitely harder than finding the right size. They just don't make nursing bras very supportive! Ugh.
A good nursing bra is made with soft, stretchy materials, lots of hook and eye sets in the back for extra adjustability and clips at the top of the cup to pull down it down when nursing.
You may consider getting a seamless bra that is not based on cup size for those first initial weeks when your breasts are tender and constantly adjusting. This can help with milk flow and comfort. These are also great sleeping bras!
Padded bras are best for every day as they help cover nursing pads and enlarged nipples from breast changes, but Corina found some great inserts to use inside unlined bras if you like that option better (listed below)!
Underwire is also so helpful, especially for larger cup sizes. There are lots of options on Amazon for both bras with underwire and bras without underwire.
Here are some suggestions straight from Corina!
I recommend trying out the "Anita" brand. Why? After shopping online for a couple of weeks and trying on what's available on Amazon this brand was 1) the comfiest 2) the most supportive/flattering 3) the cheapest for the quality.
I especially have noticed how comfortable their straps are. Other brands I tried dug into my shoulders. Anita brand makes the straps wider and softer.
Here are the two I kept:
(No-Underwire) Anita Women's Polka Dot Nursing Bra (Cup sizes C - H)
I love how comfy they are. And the polka dot one is cute! Support is so-so since it doesn't have an underwire. But if you're smaller than 34DDD this one could work really well for you!
(With Underwire) Anita Maternity Women's Microfiber Underwire Nursing Bra (Cup sizes B - F)
This one is a home-run for support! I'm in love with it. I will literally wear it whether or not I'm nursing. Please note, it does not have padding even though it looks like it does. It's a very thin microfiber material over the cups. What I've found to work really well is to use these breast cup inserts when wearing lighter/thinner tops. It basically transforms your thinly lined bra to a padded t-shirt bra.
I HIGHLY recommend owning this bra if you struggle to find bras that really hold your breasts up nice and high (a common issues sizes larger than 30-36 A and B). Just use the breast pad inserts I linked above and you'll be able to use this bra with anything you wear.
Kindred Bravely Brand
I recently ordered this one to try after they were mentioned by a Frumpy Fighter for larger cup size support.
What I found was that it was super comfy and high quality, but the low-cut was going to be an issue for my shape. I didn't want "spillage" to be a problem so I opted to return it. I was on the fence though... it was definitely a solid option because it had excellent support and was comfortable.
I'd recommend ordering in a couple sizes on Amazon so that you can return for free if you find it doesn't work for you.
And a final recommendation by another Frumpy Fighter for larger cup size support (but which I haven't tried personally):
Bravado! Designs Women's Bliss Nursing Bra (Cup sizes D - G)
A great option for larger cup sizes.
#3: Get helpful paraphernalia
There are many items that can help make dressing and pumping easier!
I absolutely loved having some good nursing camis. I used these almost exclusively with both my kiddos for the first couple of weeks. Since my body was doing so much adjusting these were comfortable, offered full coverage, and I just tucked nursing pads in them that I could throw in the wash as needed.
I've had these for a week and love the shape they provide when worn over a nursing bra. They have thick pad inserts which can be removed depending on the bra you're wearing. I'm in my third trimester, carrying big, and they cover my tummy really well too. Since they are so stretchy they'll work postpartum too.
When I worked part time after my first was born it didn't take long before a pumping bra was a necessity. Hands free pumping is the best!
Whether you have an unlined bra or cami or not, bra pads and nursing pads are so handy! I had washable ones I loved, just swapped them out as they got damp and threw them in the wash with all the tons of other baby things. ;)
Nursing covers are a must-have for me when out and about. By the time my second was born I had discovered these knit covers that also double as a car seat canopy. Not only did they do double duty, but they did it well!
#4: Have a few nursing tops, but adapt your regular clothes too
You might feel like you have to dig around to find clothes specifically for nursing. You might not even know such a thing exists! There are quite a few brands out there that make breastfeeding clothes, but don't forget that by choosing carefully you can make a lot of your current clothes work just as well!
- Regular clothes that can be adapted for nursing
- Any tee with a nursing cami underneath (nursing camis unclip at the bra so that you can keep yourself covered when you pull your shirt up to nurse
- Wrap tops or dresses
- Button-down tops or dresses
- Nursing clothes (mine and readers' favorites)
If you're looking for some more inspiration here's a blog post with some more nursing-friendly outfit ideas.
Are you new at breastfeeding or an old pro? Let us know if these suggestions are helpful for you or if you'd like any other recommendations!
This post contains affiliate links. I earn a small commission on purchases you make using my recommendations at no cost to you!