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After trying out a few different (and a little too pricey) nursing clothing companies, I finally found some tips that helped me figure out my own nursing wardrobe - for very little $$. I’d been using my normal t-shirts with a nursing cami underneath, but, with my baby in a front carrier, doing a “pull up” was so annoying. It took about five minutes just to get the shirt up and then pull the nursing cami back down and then get it unsnapped. Again, annoying. One of the tips was getting shirts with stretch that could easily pull down or over. Genius!
So I headed to my local consignment shop (Value Village) to see what I could find. For $75 dollars I got fifteen shirts/camis ranging from casual to dressy (we’re talking silk!). I came up with my own method that has worked great for nursing in my Moby or pouch sling (or any front-carrier for that matter).
Here’s my method:
For starters, I’ve mostly given up on the whole nursing bra thing. Not only does it take me twice as long to get the goods out, but my breasts were more sore in them (and I mainly used sleeping bras). But a bra still works with this if you desire one. I found a bunch of cheap camis. If they had a shelf bra I cut it out. I then cut off the shirt at a length that would cover my breasts and a little of my stomach, but still short enough to easily pull up through a shirt while wearing my baby.
I then bought v-neck shirts, shirts with a stretchy neckline (as top picture shows), and button-up shirts. The button-ups I just leave unbuttoned minus one or two at the appropriate level, that way I don’t have to go through the frantic strain of unbuttoning them all at the moment of need.
The cut-off camis provide easy access and good coverage for a pull-down or pull-over technique. Not to mention this is cooler than wearing two full layers!
I just wish I’d had this information three months ago! It's all pretty basic - but for new moms like me, it can make a big difference in our nursing experience. :)
PP End Note: inexpensive nursing tank camis by Gilligan & Omalley (sold at Target and here on Amazon) are perfect for this as well. They unsnap easily at the top and double as a 'bra' that does not constrict lymph nodes (your body's means of eliminating toxins) or press on milk ducts as many bras do (leading to problems such as clogged ducts, mastitis, and yeast from lack of air/circulation, and discomfort as Abernathy experienced). The nursing tanks can be worn alone, or with another top over and are not too hot in the summer days. They also come in XXL sizes, fitting for women with larger lactating breasts. The circle openings may not fit all women's breasts comfortably, but they can be cut away on the inside or slid to the side of the breasts.
Read more by Michelle Abernathy:
What a GREAT idea! I will definitely be using this trick with baby #2! Thank you for sharing this!ReplyDelete
This is a great article and suggestions! I personally use the nursing camis from Target and Walmart and since they don't have the "circle" opening I'm not terribly constricted. But this is a great idea I might have to try out with some of my other "pre-baby" clothing!ReplyDelete
I used the target G-O camis with a thin little tee shirt over the top. Pull up, unsnap, voila. Side, back, belly all stay covered, child stays fed and happy, and nobody's sensibilities get the best of them.ReplyDelete
I have never fed in a carrier... though, it's something I'd like to master with the next babe; so this idea might very well make it to my repertoire of tricks for nursing on the go.
I have been mainly wearing camis with the little dresses from Old Navy that are knit. They are easy to pull down and the cami is easy as well. I love that I'm not the only one that can't stand nursing bras! I love the idea of cutting off the camis, though, because they do make me hot. Thanks!!ReplyDelete
I wish I could go without a bra altogether, but I did learn that if you have big boobage(E and up), nursing bras don't work at all. For anyone out there with big boobage, I highly recommend Goddess style bra #5056. Best support ever.ReplyDelete
Also, a reminder - there are many, many studies and research that are starting to connect underwire bras with breast cancer - the wires block the lymph nodes from doing its job (draining toxins). Wires are also terrible for breastfeeding, as it also blocks the mammary glands from producing milk. Save your sexy wire bras for special occasions, and wear wire-free for everyday
Brilliant! I have about a million (okay, more like a dozen) camis from pre-baby and have been wondering what to do with them. I never even thought of cutting them short to make my own nursing tops out of non-nursing tops! I'll definitely try it out!ReplyDelete
Good reminder, Melissa. An excellent book on this subject is "Dressed to Kill: The link between breast cancer and bras" http://astore.amazon.com/peacefparent-20/detail/1930858051 There is certainly ample research today on the lymphatic system to suggest that constricting it on a daily basis is not a good idea...ReplyDelete
Great post thank you for sharing hopping to see more updates on it.ReplyDelete
I don't like nursing bras. They are severly flawed in design. I do the same thing and most of the seasoned moms I know do this also.ReplyDelete
I think it might be time for me to go to my own local consignment shop.
Check out these "Modest Middles" designed especially for nursing moms...it lets you use your own nursing bras, regular blouses or t-shirts and you don't have the lumps or wrinkles you would with a regular tank underneath. Love it!
I was JUST about to recommend "Modest Middles" which I found waaay too late into my nursing career. It is now part of my standard baby shower gift giving.ReplyDelete
Wow, it all sounds a little bit like hard work? Why don't you try HOTmilk Lingerie? They often have great specials through their stockists - just google them. A lot of their camisoles can be worn as outerwear and have a bra in them already, so the savings are huge, no need for layers of over heated clothing too. Not to mention the fact they'r made from lovely soft cootn and are gorgeous! Good luck!ReplyDelete
I tried this trick after reading the article and it worked great! However, instead of cutting out the shelf bra, I just cut large holes in it. This way I could pull up the outer layer of the tank and access the nipple through the holes. Almost nothing shows that way!ReplyDelete
Or in lieu of the Modest Middles, simply wear the 'belly band' you used during pregnancy to extend the wear of your non-maternity pants. It covers as much of your midsection as you want it to, but without adding any bulk to your chest (which is important to this DD nursing mom!)ReplyDelete
I do like Rachel and just use my Belly Band. It was the BEST investment in nursing wardrobe ever.ReplyDelete
I don't worry about anything I am wearing with that thing.
I've also NEVER liked nursing bras. It always took me longer to unfasten and refasten. I always wear my normal bra and just lift it up over my breast and pull it back down when done.
Instead of cutting up camis - you could just buy some bralettes. I love the ones I got at GAP:ReplyDelete
I prefer to pull my shirts up, but when I'm wearing my son it's nice to pull down.
They make nursing shirts or did you know that and was going for a cheaper option. I got mine at Khol's. I have two and they are amazing and weren't very expensive at all.ReplyDelete
Interesting post. Would love to find more resources like this. I will have a look at your blogroll - hope you have one! :-)ReplyDelete
What a great idea! Thanks for taking the time to post this!ReplyDelete
I have been looking for years for a bra that was designed so the straps don't slide off my shoulders. FINALLY no more digging inside my shirts to find the damned straps and haul the girls back up!! This wonderbra backless bra is comfortable (i.e., no underwires)and the straps stay put because they are somewhat canted in the back.ReplyDelete
Thats what I have done. I bought cheap tanks with sewed in bras at Target and wore shirts with vnecks or a low cut shirt. I am not about expensive unless I am planning on wearing it for a long time in duration.ReplyDelete
I too have found it easy to go from the top than the bottom. This winter I have been wearing a double-zipper hoodie. I reach in the top and but my top down under my hoodie. THen I unzip my hoodie from the bottom and nurse my little one. In the summer I have found stretchy thin fabric shirts (like the ones above helpful, and bring along a light summer scarf. I position the scarf in such a way that I'm covered very well and pull my shirt/tank down from the top. I am also overweight. Pants are hard to find that stay up because everything is low rise. And with my large middle, pulling a shirt up (even when layering because shirts are so short these days) I am completely exposed trying to pull up. And its hard to match layers to be the same color, and I feel it draws too much attention that my shirt is up with mismatched colors/patterns. For the scarves I put it on like a shawl or I tuck it under my arm on the nursing side, like it go over the top of my "nurse" (as my kids call them) and then wrap it around my neck normal-like. Scarves and stretchy shirts have been much cheaper than nursing clothes (which i can't find in my size anyway) and I also sew and convered nursing tanks ($10 at walmart) into nursing bras.ReplyDelete