Look good while breastfeeding? Nope. Not possible.
A common misconception of women is that they cannot look good during maternity and even after. More so, they believe that being chic and fashionable while breastfeeding is not achievable.
While it is understandable why so many think looking good is not a possibility once a woman has become a mother-- with all the changes in the body, lack of time, lack of sleep, stress-- it is by all means still possible to look chic and put together at the very least.
During nursing, there are a lot of changes women make in their wardrobe. Clothes should be “nursing friendly” especially if going outside. Moms should be able to easily feed baby without the hassle of removing layers and layers of clothes.
Fortunately at this day and age, there are so many options for nursing mothers. Nursing bras, dresses, tops and even bottoms now exist-- and they come in tons of different designs, textures, styles. Women can comfortably breastfeed and at the same time look like they’ve put in so much thought in their clothes.
Breastfeeding clothes are impressively made and the best part is, with great quality nursing wear, the breast slits are seamlessly hidden and sometimes even made as accent pieces to the clothing.
Not only that, there are tons of maternity clothes that extends even after giving birth. Maternity clothes that are also nursing clothes not only offer women who are still not back to their pre-baby body more comfort but also helps keep the cost of a new wardrobe lower.
Breastfeeding and Women
Breastfeeding is both a beautiful thing and for many, quite stressful. According to a journal published by the office of the Surgeon General in the United States published a Call to Action to support breastfeeding, there is an undeniable gap in information dissemination when it comes to breastfeeding.
A paragraph of the journal shares, “Mothers are also uncertain about what to expect with breastfeeding and how to actually carry it out. Even though breastfeeding is often described as ‘natural,’ it is also an art that has to be learned by both the mother and the newborn. Skills in how to hold and position a baby at the breast, how to achieve an effective latch, and other breastfeeding techniques may need to be taught. Not surprisingly, some women expect breastfeeding to be easy, but then find themselves faced with challenges. The incongruity between expectations about breastfeeding and the reality of the mother’s early experiences with breastfeeding her infant has been identified as a key reason that many mothers stop breastfeeding within the first two weeks postpartum. On the other hand, a misperception that many women experience difficulties with breastfeeding may cause excessive concern among mothers about its feasibility.”
The stress women feel with breastfeeding their babies come from the gap in expectation versus the reality of breastfeeding. Many nursing moms are told that it will just come to them so they expect it to be straightforward. However true for some, it is not the case for everyone. In fact, most women have trouble with breastfeeding especially on the first few days.
It is already daunting enough to feed another human being, what more a helpless baby. To add to that overwhelm, there has been for the longest time such a controversy and stigma with breastfeeding.
For instance, breastfeeding shaming-- where women are shamed for nursing in public; or the pressure people put on women to breastfeed and how giving formula milk or not breastfeeding your baby is “bad motherhood”.
While all these things can by no means be addressed at this very moment (or maybe even in the next ten years), women can do something about the stresses they have during breastfeeding.
When it comes to the information gap, there are other ways around it thank goodness for the internet. Blog sites like Kelly Mom provide information about breastfeeding. Having a read around the blog helps moms-to-be learn more and manage their expectations and be prepared for the wonderful (yet difficult) world of breastfeeding.
When it comes to societal pressures, it is always best to shut it off your system. Be it a stranger, a relative or someone close to you, let them know that you do not appreciate being called out or pressured for something very personal to you.
In addition, feeling good and looking good are great add-ons to make the road of nursing a happy and enjoyable one. Make sure though to prepare so you won’t have to be caught off-guard.
Nursing Clothes: A Modern Mom’s Best Friend
While there is truly a lot of hurdles women go through when it comes to nursing, there is a silver lining and the benefits of breastfeeding always, without a doubt, outweighs the social outcasting and the feelings of stress that can often come along with it.
The bond created by nursing is inexplicable and that closeness helps babies develop in an almost miraculous way-- their immune system gets stronger, their muscles and bones develop better.
For mothers, breastfeeding too has a lot of advantages. Nursing signals to the brain that the baby has already been delivered and the ovary shrinks faster. In addition, it also helps women lose weight quicker because breastfeeding burns a lot of calories.
Something women can look forward too is the wide selection of maternity tops, dresses and bras to choose from. When back in day, clothes and bras for breastfeeding looked boring or ill-fitting.
At present, women no longer have to make do with the little available designs for nursing tops, dresses and bras. Nursing tops come in a wide array of designs, styles, textures and can fit any body type.
Nursing bras too have had an upgrade over the years-- women can choose whatever style they want be it sexy, cute, simple or chic. Textures normally seen in regular bras and expensive lingerie are now options for nursing bras.
Nursing Clothes Sizes
Nursing clothes, like maternity wear are usually the same size as your pre-pregnancy clothing. Nursing bras on the other hand, are measured a little bit differently than non-breastfeeding bras.
As a rule of thumb, if you’re a size 10 prior to being pregnant, then you will still be the same size unless you have gotten very big (not just belly size) during the span of pregnancy-- the same logic that applies to gaining weight even without a baby.
Measuring for the right bra size has never been easy-- with or without factoring breastfeeding in. There are tons of misconceptions with bra sizes and it is usually not as simple as getting a big bra cup as breast size increases.
To measure for bra size properly, there are a few things to do that can help:
Start by measuring your band size. First off, before going nursing bra shopping, measure yourself so you know exactly what size will fit you. This will save you time and the extra effort and possible frustration. To accurately measure your band size, use a measuring tape and wrap around the circumference of your body below the armpits and above the breast area. Another option is to “measure your band size by measuring your ribcage (directly underneath your breasts). If you choose this option, add 2 inches to whatever your measurement is.”
Measure your cup size. Do the same as you did before but instead of around the armpit area, measure the body with the breast included. Make sure that it’s the fullest portion of the breast.Subtract the earlier figures you got from your band size from the figures you just measured. Nursing bra express adds that:
“ If your band size is 36 and you have a 40 inch mid-breast circumference, then you have 4 inches worth of cup size. Each cup inch stands for a bra cup size…. A, B, C, D, etc. You would be looking for a bra around 36D. If you are between cup sizes, always size UP.”
If the Difference is: Your Cup Size is:
1/2" - 1" A
Nursing Fashion Tips to Staying Chic
Thank goodness for nursing dresses and the different styles from nursing tank tops, plus size nursing tops, nursing tank tops with built in bra to nursing dresses and blouses-- that looks great for a sexy, sultry, chic, cute, or casual look.
Remember though to look for good quality clothes, as reminded by the Breastlife. “Hormone fluctuations through pregnancy and during breastfeeding can leave you feeling flushed and overheated. Choose breathable fabrics that will help to keep you cool and comfortable.”
Remember, style should always be partnered with comfort and one cannot be without the other. Quality nursing clothes are not always expensive-- with the right tools and mindset, looking chic is not an impossibility but a goal that is as achievable with the proper research and knowledge on nursing clothes.
Motherhood is a beautiful albeit stressful and scary time for any women and so is nursing. Do not let it become an unsavory experience.