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Nest & Sprout Maternity | March 17, 2021

What makes breastfeeding clothes special?

What makes breastfeeding clothes special?

Breastfeeding clothes, or nursing clothes, are clothes designed for easy access to the breasts to facilitate breastfeeding. That’s really the simplest way to put it, but there is more than access – breastfeeding clothing is often designed to fit changing bodies and offer comfort from pregnancy through postpartum. Additionally, breastfeeding clothes are looser fitting in the breast area as your bust may change a few sizes during the day, or post-partum period. They are often made of a soft and stretchy material to reduce compression and improve support for your body. These are clothes designed for you with recognition of your new role in life – mama.

The biggest reason to consider breastfeeding clothes is comfort. Many parents find nursing shirts or dresses to be more comfortable use and access. They give full coverage comfort without having to feel naked or undressed. No longer do you need to expose your midsection, back, side boob, or undress to breastfeed.

The other reason many parents choose nursing clothing is because they don't want to stretch out their existing clothes. Sure, you can pull and tug on almost any neckline to get breast access, but after a while the shirt will begin to shift, and maybe you don't want to do that to your favourite dress. Maybe you want something that is easily accessible for this stage in your life.

Many clothes designed for pregnancy are also designed for nursing babies and postpartum. When you consider what essentials to add to your maternity wardrobe, consider if those items will be adaptable to breastfeeding. 

Clothes designed to support breastfeeding provide easy access for nursing or pumping. This includes adjustable necklines, zipper openings, peek-a-boo flaps, and clips for snapping down. These access points ensure that clothing can be moved out of the way, without damaging the item. 

Key Features in breastfeeding clothes

  • Easy Breast Access
  • Discreet Access 
  • Full Coverage Fit & Function
  • Stretch & Comfort for changing breasts and tummies.

Do I need breastfeeding clothes?

You can wear normal every-day clothes for your breastfeeding journey – but you may find that items stretch, don’t move the same, or lack the comfort you are looking for.

Special clothes for breastfeeding are not a necessity, but rather a nice to-have if your budget allows for the splurge.

You might find that having a few pieces in your collection for special events, outings, and doctor appointments gives you that comfort when out and about. Whereas at home, you can continue to wear what you love, and strip down as needed to feed baby. We’ll talk about essential pieces for your breastfeeding wardrobe in the coming weeks

Two Shirt Method

Many parents find the two-shirt method is a great choice for breastfeeding. A simple tank top, often a nursing tank with snaps, is paired with your favourite top.

To breastfeed, the top shirt is pulled up and the bottom shirt is pulled down to give access. This allows you to remain covered, wear your existing clothes, and improves longevity of your clothing. If the two-shirt method isn’t working for you, or maybe you want some added comfort of a hoodie, dress, or other custom clothing piece you can check out the selection of breastfeeding clothes. Every parent has their preferred style based on what works for their baby and breast shape.

Classic Leggings - Black
Classic Leggings - Black
Classic Leggings - Black

Classic Leggings - Black

$45.00
Nurture-Elle Sailor Nursing & Maternity Top
Nurture-Elle Sailor Nursing & Maternity Top
Nurture-Elle Sailor Nursing & Maternity Top
Nurture-Elle Sailor Nursing & Maternity Top
Nurture-Elle Sailor Nursing & Maternity Top
Nurture-Elle Sailor Nursing & Maternity Top
Nurture-Elle Sailor Nursing & Maternity Top
Nurture-Elle Sailor Nursing & Maternity Top
Nurture-Elle Sailor Nursing & Maternity Top
Nurture-Elle Sailor Nursing & Maternity Top
Nurture-Elle Sailor Nursing & Maternity Top
Nurture-Elle Sailor Nursing & Maternity Top

Nurture-Elle Sailor Nursing & Maternity Top

$49.00
HEA Plus Size Seamless Nursing Cami
HEA Plus Size Seamless Nursing Cami
HEA Plus Size Seamless Nursing Cami
HEA Plus Size Seamless Nursing Cami
HEA Plus Size Seamless Nursing Cami
HEA Plus Size Seamless Nursing Cami
HEA Plus Size Seamless Nursing Cami

HEA Plus Size Seamless Nursing Cami

$35.00
Light Wash Short
Light Wash Short
Light Wash Short

Light Wash Short

$49.99

How do Breastfeeding Shirts Work?

Breastfeeding shirts, or dresses work by providing access to the breast. This is done through a few main styles of access including lift up, pull to the side, snap down, and zipper access. We’ve outlined more about each style, and a few examples below.

How do Breastfeeding Shirts Work?

Most common in tank tops and nursing bras, snaps are added to the bottom of the straps that allow you to detach the shirt from the strap and provide access to the breast. There are some brands that offer shoulder snaps, and other zippered variations including buttons and clips.

HEA Plus Size Seamless Nursing Cami
HEA Plus Size Seamless Nursing Cami
HEA Plus Size Seamless Nursing Cami
HEA Plus Size Seamless Nursing Cami
HEA Plus Size Seamless Nursing Cami
HEA Plus Size Seamless Nursing Cami
HEA Plus Size Seamless Nursing Cami

HEA Plus Size Seamless Nursing Cami

$35.00
Undercover Mama Nursing Tank Top
Undercover Mama Nursing Tank Top
Undercover Mama Nursing Tank Top
Undercover Mama Nursing Tank Top
Undercover Mama Nursing Tank Top

Undercover Mama Nursing Tank Top

$29.99
CARRIWELL Nursing Top with Shapewear
CARRIWELL Nursing Top with Shapewear
CARRIWELL Nursing Top with Shapewear
CARRIWELL Nursing Top with Shapewear

CARRIWELL Nursing Top with Shapewear

$62.00

Brands such as Nuture Elle, provide a side seam access to provide an opening. Shirts are designed to be able to pull apart and easily access the breast. These shirts allow for a full coverage feeding access, and often have additional fabric layers to ensure everything stays together when not in use.

Nurture-Elle Sailor Nursing & Maternity Top
Nurture-Elle Sailor Nursing & Maternity Top
Nurture-Elle Sailor Nursing & Maternity Top
Nurture-Elle Sailor Nursing & Maternity Top
Nurture-Elle Sailor Nursing & Maternity Top
Nurture-Elle Sailor Nursing & Maternity Top
Nurture-Elle Sailor Nursing & Maternity Top
Nurture-Elle Sailor Nursing & Maternity Top
Nurture-Elle Sailor Nursing & Maternity Top
Nurture-Elle Sailor Nursing & Maternity Top
Nurture-Elle Sailor Nursing & Maternity Top
Nurture-Elle Sailor Nursing & Maternity Top

Nurture-Elle Sailor Nursing & Maternity Top

$49.00
Nurture-Elle Sleeveless Pleated Top (Multiple Colours Available)
Nurture-Elle Sleeveless Pleated Top (Multiple Colours Available)
Nurture-Elle Sleeveless Pleated Top (Multiple Colours Available)
Nurture-Elle Sleeveless Pleated Top (Multiple Colours Available)
Nurture-Elle Sleeveless Pleated Top (Multiple Colours Available)
Nurture-Elle Sleeveless Pleated Top (Multiple Colours Available)
Nurture-Elle Sleeveless Pleated Top (Multiple Colours Available)
Nurture-Elle Sleeveless Pleated Top (Multiple Colours Available)
Nurture-Elle Sleeveless Pleated Top (Multiple Colours Available)
Nurture-Elle Sleeveless Pleated Top (Multiple Colours Available)

Nurture-Elle Sleeveless Pleated Top (Multiple Colours Available)

$49.00
Nurture-Elle Cowl Nursing & Maternity Long Sleeve Top
Nurture-Elle Cowl Nursing & Maternity Long Sleeve Top
Nurture-Elle Cowl Nursing & Maternity Long Sleeve Top

Nurture-Elle Cowl Nursing & Maternity Long Sleeve Top

$52.00
Cadenshae Bamboo Workout Tee
Cadenshae Bamboo Workout Tee
Cadenshae Bamboo Workout Tee
Cadenshae Bamboo Workout Tee
Cadenshae Bamboo Workout Tee

Cadenshae Bamboo Workout Tee

$64.99

Zipper Access – Some shirts have hidden openings that are kept close with a zipper. These zippers can be opened to provide access, and often feature low-profile zippers that are discrete.

V-Neck – Designed with extra rouching and material, a v-neckline is often used in nursing clothing to allow you to easily move the fabric aside and provide access to the breast. This is a great style to look for in regular clothing, but nursing-specific styles will be designed to ensure there is enough access and room in the pull of the shirt.

Sometimes this style is paired with an additional layer that features a side seam or shelf access for additional coverage and comfort. 

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Momzelle ‘Momlife’ T-Shirt
Momzelle ‘Momlife’ T-Shirt
Momzelle ‘Momlife’ T-Shirt

Momzelle ‘Momlife’ T-Shirt

$24.95
Cadenshae Casual Hoodie in Khaki
Cadenshae Casual Hoodie in Khaki
Cadenshae Casual Hoodie in Khaki
Cadenshae Casual Hoodie in Khaki
Cadenshae Casual Hoodie in Khaki

Cadenshae Casual Hoodie in Khaki

$85.99
Momzelle ‘Dandellion’ Nursing T-Shirt
Momzelle ‘Dandellion’ Nursing T-Shirt
Momzelle ‘Dandellion’ Nursing T-Shirt

Momzelle ‘Dandellion’ Nursing T-Shirt

$35.00
Floral Cold Shoulder Nursing/Maternity Top
Floral Cold Shoulder Nursing/Maternity Top
Floral Cold Shoulder Nursing/Maternity Top
Floral Cold Shoulder Nursing/Maternity Top
Floral Cold Shoulder Nursing/Maternity Top
Floral Cold Shoulder Nursing/Maternity Top

Floral Cold Shoulder Nursing/Maternity Top

$37.00

Other variations include multiple panels, combinations of the above, and sometimes snap variations. Every brand makes a different variation that best suits the style of clothing. You’ll probably find a style that works best for you and feels most comfortable as a reflection of who you are. 

Find a style that feels most comfortable to you.

Nest & Sprout Maternity's Special Touch

At Nest & Sprout it’s important to me that you find the perfect fit and are happy with your purchase. If it doesn’t fit, return or exchange the item for one you love.

I spend lots of time selecting styles and designs that will still fit and flatter you well after pregnancy. That stretch and ruching that grew with your beautiful bump, will also shrink with you. It’s unlikely you will hop back in to your pre-pregnancy clothes the week after baby. No one but you (maybe your partner) is going to know you are rocking those maternity clothes months after baby while your body settles and shifts back to normal… whatever normal is.

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