Updated October 2018
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.).
But 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
$ — Leading Lady Empire Waist Nursing Cami ~ $18
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.
$ — H&M MAMA 2-Pack Nursing Tank Tops ~ $25
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.
$ — Target, Medela Nursing Cami ~ $25
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.
Target also sells a Gilligan & O’Malley tank ($19) which I’ve also worn and is another great option. It’s cotton vs. spandex fabric, so choose your fave!
$ — Undercover Mama Undershirt ~ $25
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, pumping, and covering your belly when 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, them 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.
$$ — Rumina Nursing and Pumping Tank ~ $38
Rumina makes amazing gear for both pumping AND nursing mamas. It pulls down to nurse and pulls up to pump with the built-in, hands-free pumping bra. A perfect undershirt for wearing to work. This tank is so great, you might find yourself living in it.
$$ — Seraphine Black Nursing Tank Top ~ $39
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.
$ — LaClef Crossover Front Wrap ~ $19
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.
$ — H&M MAMA Nursing Top ~ $25
A classic nursing tee with double layers to simply pull up while not revealing your tummy. You seriously won’t know this is a nursing top. We love H&M nursing wear!
Check out H&M’s entire line of nursing tops – they’re all so good!
$$ — Free To Live 3-Pack Criss Cross Cardigans ~ $43
All nursing moms need a good nursing cardigan for cooler days when you’re out and about. This cardigan doubles as a nursing cover. Score!
$$ — Seraphine Side Snap Nursing Top ~ $45
Another sweet top from Seraphine, this side snap top is for moms who want easy nursing access without the look of a nursing top.
$$ — Momzelle Sara Top ~ $45
Flowy fabric and a discreet opening make this top a favorite. Great selection, customer service, and frequent sales make Momzelle a staple for your breastfeeding wardrobe.
$$$ — Udderly Hot Mama ~ $58
This classy nursing top pulls down from the neck. 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.
*Lucie’s List readers, get 15% off this top by entering code LL15 at checkout.
$$$ — Wrap Top by Boob ~ $79
This hidden panel wrap-style top from Boob is simple and stylish. Their clothes are made from organic, sustainable materials that are free from harmful chemicals and OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certified.
Regular dresses are notoriously hard to nurse in. Here are some dresses just for you, mama —
$ — Happy Mama Jersey Dress ~ $24
Lightweight and soft, this dress is perfectly comfortable for a more casual event. It comes in 19 color options; everything short of camo 😉 Just make sure to use the measurement instructions when ordering, as it typically runs small.
$$ — Milk Little Black Nursing Dress ~ $59
Every woman has a little black dress — here’s one you can nurse in.
*Lucie’s List readers, get 15% off this dress at milkandbaby.com by entering code Lucie15 at checkout.
$$ — Udderly Hot Mama Wrap Dress ~ $74
Perfect for just about any season with the 3/4 length sleeves. Udderly Hot Mama’s inside flap provides extra privacy while nursing.
*Lucie’s List readers, get 15% off this dress by entering code LL15 at checkout.
$$$ — Seraphine Wrap Dress ~ $89
Need a versatile dress? Flattering during pregnancy and comfortable while nursing. The fabric is anti-wrinkle and fits true to size.
$ — 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.
$ — Leading Lady Nursing Chemise ~ $36
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.
$$ — Kindred Bravely Pajama Set ~ $49
I cannot say enough good things about Kindred Bravely! They make excellent quality and inexpensive maternity and nursing wear.
The fabric on these pajamas is really soft and has the right amount of stretch, perfect for after my c-section (Melissa). The pants have a thick elastic waist band that holds its shape and works well during pregnancy also. The top is comfortable and easy to use during feedings, however, if you wear breast pads at night, know that they may shift a bit as the top is not super tight.
*Also comes in a nightgown, which I love for these same reasons.
*Check out more of our recommendations for what to wear after a c-section.
$$ — 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.
$$$ — Belabumbum Summer Pajama Set ~ $66
Do you live somewhere HOT? Perfect for pregnancy and for nursing with one handed drop down clips.
*Get 10% off + free shipping with code LUCIESLIST at checkout!
$$$ — Belabumbum Tallulah Nursing Chemise ~ $66
For those who like to feel a little sexy (good for you!), here’s a great option that’s supportive as well. The top is your typical clip pull-down, but features absorbent cotton cups. I like it because it’s knee-length for us [ahem] mature women.
By the way, Belabumbum makes excellent quality pieces that are both beautiful and functional. Check out their entire line of maternity and nursing wear.
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.
For information on regular nursing bras (i.e., non-sleep bras), check out our recommendations here.
$ — Target, Gilligan & O’Malley Seamless Bra ~ $29/2-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. Note, runs small…so order big!
$ — Motherhood Maternity Sleep Bra ~ $16
Many larger busted moms find this bra to fit nicely. It also comes in a plus size.
$ — Kindred Bravely French Terry Sleep Bra ~ $29
Great for larger busted women, this underwire-free nursing bra is perfect for nighttime. The wide underband offers good bust support.
$$ — Majamas Organic Sleep Bra ~ $32, Top Pick
If you’re picky on your fabrics, this organic cotton sleep bra is very highly rated. Mamas love the fact that this sleep bra has a supportive band around the ribs, the back is comfortable (not tight around the back of the neck) and your girls won’t fall out at night.
Because regular jog bras are REALLY hard to nurse in, trust me… with these, you can nurse and do yoga — all at the same time 🙂
$ — Motherhood Maternity Sports Bra ~ $19
For the price, this is a good quality nursing sports bra. It’s not the most supportive, but will do the job for many. Great for housework (ha!) or light yoga. You could also use this as a sleep bra.
I love Kindred Bravely’s quality and when I (Melissa) heard that they recently came out with a sports bra, I had to put it to the test. Designed for low impact but with lots of coverage, I was comfortably able to do some light jogging in mine. This nursing sports bra has clip-down cups and a sturdy t-back which can definitely be worn on the daily – not just for working out ;).
*Fits true to size, but easily adjustable as your bust and rib cage change
$$ — Brooks Fiona Bra ~ $50
Most nursing sports bras are better for low impact, but this bra is perfect for a high impact workout. The band underneath is adjustable and the large straps on the shoulders are very comfortable. *Note, this bra is not actually sold as a nursing sports bra, but with the removable velcro straps, MANY moms recommend it as such!
Moving Comfort also makes the Jubralee, which is similar but has a different back.
$$ — Belabumbum Sports Bra ~ $53
If you’re looking for something that will work for medium exercise intensity, this is the one for you. The straps adjust in the back to be changed to a racer back. Made of breathable mesh and sweat wicking pads – very important for nursing moms. This bra adjusts for your ever-changing cup size.
*Get 10% off + free shipping with code LUCIESLIST at checkout!
$$ — Hot Milk Sports Bra ~ $70
This full-support sports bra designed for high impact sports comes from Hot Milk, one of our favorite nursing companies. It expands/tightens at the band around the rib cage, and Hot Milk’s Coolmax cotton blend lined cups wicks moisture away from your body. Everyone loves this jog bra…
Belabumbum Active Cami ~ $39
Our research has found that nursing-specific workout wear is hard to find. But we did find this built-in bra tank top, which pulls down from the elastic band at the top and is forgiving around the belly. Belabumbum does make a few other active wear pieces, check them out here.
*Get 10% off + free shipping with code LUCIESLIST at checkout!
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.
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?!
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.
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.
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.
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). 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.
LatchPal ~ $13
With one hand, the LatchPal breastfeeding clip secures your top up and away from baby’s face.