It’s easy to get caught up in buying the obvious things for your baby: the crib, the stroller, the car seat, etc.
If you’re a nursing mom, one thing you might not have thought as much about is — what the hell am I supposed to wear?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many a mom has underthought this as well.
I will tell you right now that for your second (or more) baby, you won’t give this two thoughts. Nay. You’ll simply hike up (or down) whatever you’re wearing and get the job done. The only time this ever bit me in the butt was at a wedding when I was wearing an evening gown with sleeves (in which case, you have to take the whole. damn. thing. off.).
And, yes — I am sure that precious few of you are planning to attend weddings and such right now, given the state of things, but still — you do need clothes. And leave it to baby to erupt in a fit of hunger *right at the beginning of a socially distanced walk, even though you just fed him 45 minutes ago. (Plus — here’s an excuse to get a new pair of comfy pajamas!)
Either way, when you’re first getting started, it’s really nice to have some easy-to-nurse pieces in your arsenal. We’ve amassed our favorite nursing wear items in each category.
See also: our regular nursing bra recommendations.
Our Favorite Nursing Wear
This empire-wasted cami is perfect for postpartum mommies who still rock the belly bump. Mamas love it because it fits well (even for busty women) and is flattering when worn over a pair of maternity pants. A touch of lace on the backside adds a little flair to this nursing tank. Only regret… wish it came in more color options.
If you’re looking for a basic nursing tank at a great price, H&M makes a perfect 2-pack option. These tanks are made out of organic cotton jersey fabrics and have a lace trim at the top.
For the price, you can’t beat Target nursing tanks. I (Melissa) purchased many of these in all colors and wore them everyday throughout my nursing journey – perfect to wear under tops or to bed. The fabric is soft and stretchy and folds down at the strap. This tank runs true to size, so stock up on these! *For smaller busted women, can be used in place of a nursing bra.
Undercover Mama is so cool because you clip it onto any nursing bra hook and pull everything down at once — all while keeping your belly covered. See a demo here. Perfect for work, WFH, pumping, and covering your belly anytime you are feeding in public. (Many reviewers note that it runs small/tight.)
Gap Nursing Cami ~ $29
You can’t go wrong with Gap maternity and nursing wear — they make good quality pieces. This tank is long and slightly looser in the torso and runs a little big, so size down if you’re on the fence.
Rumina makes amazing gear for both pumping AND nursing mamas. It pulls down to nurse and pulls up to pump with the built-in, hands-free pumping bra. This makes a perfect undershirt — it’s so great, you might find yourself living in it.
Sometimes, you just don’t want your top to look like a nursing top. Seraphine makes a good basic tank with lift-up access for nursing. Soft, stretchy, breathable fabric grows with you from pregnancy to postpartum to nursing. This is a higher-quality top that will last.
Heading back to work soon? Feeling like your body hasn’t bounced back? This top is super flattering and can be perfectly paired with jeans, pants or a dress skirt for the office (or Zoom!).
A classic nursing tee with a v-neck wrap section at the front, which has a practical inner top for easier and seamless nursing access. We love H&M nursing wear!
Check out H&M’s entire line of nursing tops – they’re all so good!
All nursing moms need a good nursing cardigan for cooler days when you’re out and about. This cardigan doubles as a nursing cover. Score!
Udderly Hot Mama ~ $58
This classy nursing top pulls down from the neck, and an inside flap [found in all Udderly Hot Mama pieces] provides extra privacy. Our favorite part? You can remove the flap when you’re done nursing and keep this cutie for your everyday wardrobe.
B-Warmer Hoodie by Boob ~ $109
For those of you die-hard athletes working out in the cold, we found this nursing hoodie. The hidden panel under the breast gives easy access without having to get halfway undressed to feed your little one. *Boob makes clothing from organic, sustainable materials that are free from harmful chemicals.
If you’re looking for more postpartum-body-friendly clothing, check out our entire maternity clothing series.
Regular dresses are notoriously hard to nurse in. Here are some dresses just for you, mama —
Milk and Baby Nursing Dresses ~ $36-75
Every woman has a favorite dress — Milk and Baby have a ton of styles you can also nurse in. Pick your favorite!
*Lucie’s List readers, get 15% off dresses at milkandbaby.com by entering code Lucie15 at checkout.
Perfect for just about any season with the 3/4 length sleeves. Udderly Hot Mama’s inside flap provides extra privacy while nursing.
Seraphine Wrap Dress ~ $79
Looking for a versatile dress? Flattering during pregnancy and comfortable while nursing, the fabric on this wrap dress is anti-wrinkle and fits true to size.
This dress stretchy and soft dress is perfect for just about any and every occasion, and it can double as a skirt with separate tops. (Pssst — H&M also makes a dupe version for only $29.)
Savi Mom Sleep Gown ~ $29
A good, loose fitting sleep gown is a must-have in the beginning. Perfect for summer and for those hot, hormonal flashes, a sleeveless PJ is a necessity. *Note, runs small in the chest area — not ideal for large busted women.
Simple and sweet, you don’t have to spend a lot to get a nice nursing nightgown. This dress is 95% cotton and features a full inner sling and nursing clasps. Runs a bit on the small side, and it’s best to hand wash/dry this piece.
For those who like to feel a little sexy (good for you!), here’s a great option that’s supportive as well. The top lifts up for under bust nursing access, but features absorbent cotton cups.
I cannot say enough good things about Kindred Bravely! They make excellent quality and inexpensive maternity and nursing wear.
The fabric on these pajamas is really soft and has the right amount of stretch, perfect for after my c-section (Melissa). The pants have a thick elastic waist band that holds its shape and works well during pregnancy also. The top is comfortable and easy to use during feedings, however, if you wear breast pads at night, know that they may shift a bit as the top is not super tight.
*Also comes in a nightgown, which I love for these same reasons.
*Check out more of our recommendations for what to wear after a c-section.
Night Dress by Boob ~ $59
Just lift the top flap for easy night nursing. *Boob makes clothing from organic, sustainable materials that are free from harmful chemicals.
We have more maternity pajama picks, too!
You’re probably not used to wearing a bra to sleep.
Now that you’re nursing, you’ve probably realized it’s nice to wear a bra so you can use nursing pads to prevent leaks. Sleep bras are designed to be comfortable (i.e., no underwire) and allow easy access for nursing. They are not particularly supportive or meant to be worn for running up and down the stairs, for example. They’re also better for smaller to medium breasted women.
Target, Auden Seamless Bra ~ $20/2-pack
Easy peasy, Target makes a good basic nursing sleep bra. Again, not very supportive or good for bustier women, but seems to work just fine for the majority.
Many larger busted moms find this bra to fit nicely. It also comes in a plus size.
Great for larger busted women, this underwire-free nursing bra is perfect for nighttime. The wide underband offers good bust support.
Majamas Organic Sleep Bra ~ $35, Top Pick
If you’re picky on your fabrics, this organic cotton sleep bra is very highly rated. Mamas love the fact that it has a supportive band around the ribs, the back is comfortable (not tight around the back of the neck) and your girls won’t fall out at night.
Because regular jog bras are REALLY hard to nurse in, trust me… with these, you can nurse and do yoga — all at the same time 🙂
For the price, this is a good quality nursing sports bra. It’s not the most supportive, but will do the job for many. Great for housework (ha!) or light yoga. You could also use this as a sleep bra.
I love Kindred Bravely’s quality and when I (Melissa) heard that they recently came out with a sports bra, I had to put it to the test. Designed for low impact but with lots of coverage, I was comfortably able to do some light jogging in mine. This nursing sports bra has clip-down cups and a sturdy t-back which can definitely be worn on the daily – not just for working out ;).
*Fits true to size, but easily adjustable as your bust and rib cage change
If you’re looking for something that will work for medium exercise intensity, this is the one for you. The straps adjust in the back to be changed to a racer back. Made of breathable mesh and sweat wicking pads – very important for nursing moms.
*Get 10% off + free shipping with code LUCIESLIST at checkout!
For additional nursing-friendly workout clothes, see our favorite maternity athleisure wear.
NEW from one of our favorite nursing fashion brands, Udderly Hot Mama. Their line of nursing/pumping tops and dresses are perfect for sizes 16-20.
The Camille tank is flowy around the mid-section with a zip-down front that’s easy for nursing and double pumping.
The Talia top is made for year-round use and the buttons easily open for nursing and pumping.
I would even wear this past the nursing and pumping days 😉
Scarves, Wraps & Shawls
*Interested in regular nursing covers? Check out our recommendations here.
Who says you have to wear a big nursing cover? Be stylish with an infinity scarf that’s made for breastfeeding and doubles as a fashion accessory too.
We love multi-taskers, which is why we love the Covered Goods nursing cover. For (roughly) the same cost as a regular nursing cover, you’ll be able to use this in more ways than one. Did I mention 14 very cute pattern options?!
Shawls are wonderful because they aren’t specific to nursing but add a few snaps at the shoulder and you’ve got a perfect nursing accessory.
An interesting twist on the nursing cover, the Cardimom is a sweater and poncho in one. When not nursing, simply lift the collar over your head to make it into a sweater, then lift back to make it into a poncho cover when nursing.
The Cardimom is multi-purpose as well. You can wear it during pregnancy and then postpartum while nursing, and it works great in the cooler months while babywearing. *Also comes in a tank & open weave style for warmer days.
Baby Wearing Shirts
This top allows you to wear your baby skin to skin, and when you’re done, it’s a regular top. The fabric is stretchy and soft, allowing your baby to root for the boob. This top is designed so that baby doesn’t slip sideways or downwards.
*Note, only wear baby when you are lying down or sitting – this is not a hands-free baby carrier. Weight limit = 15 lbs.
Have twins? Check out the twin set.
Lucie’s List readers, get 15% off this top at Milk & Baby by entering code Lucie15 at checkout.
Lalabu Soothe Shirt ~ $75
An alternative option to the Kangaroo Tube is the Lalabu Soothe shirt. It’s essentially the same concept – newborn pouch that becomes a regular shirt when not in use. With the Lalabu shirt, your baby sits in a pouch (vs. the Kangaroo top, where your baby is skin-to-skin), and the built-in nursing bra makes it easy to breastfeed.
Feel secure in wearing this out and about — as the pouch gives more support for moms — but keep one hand on baby for extra safety.
*Note: Runs small! Make sure to check the sizing and know that you’ll more than likely have to order a size up.
Not just for moms, check out the dad shirt here.