From bump to breast
For many new mums one of the most important purchases they will make soon after their child’s birth is a comfortable breastfeeding or nursing bra. These bras will provide you with the added support that your fuller breasts need. It is recommended that you purchase at least two nursing bras to wear during breastfeeding, alternating between washes.
Nursing bras are specifically designed for fast access to your breasts, equipped with easy to manage hooks or zips to ensure that you can feed your baby whenever he is hungry without exposing yourself. You must make sure that your bras are properly fitted and that the flaps open completely, fully exposing your nipple and the surrounding breast. Wearing an ill-fitting bra may squash your breasts and in turn cause blocked ducts.
It is quite common for many women to experience leakage from their breasts in between feeds. Both washable and disposable breast pads are available depending on your preference, which can be discreetly placed inside your bra to soak up any leaked breast milk and spare any embarrassment.
For ease of access, it is recommended that women wear two-piece outfits rather than a dress for example, that would require lifting the whole thing up or unzipping from the side. Many of your usual tops will be absolutely fine for breastfeeding in, without the need to buy specially-made pieces designed to let you breastfeed discreetly.
Some women prefer tops with buttons to allow access to the breasts from the centre, but you may find that you prefer a stretchy top that you can comfortably roll up. It is a good idea to layer two tops, so that you can lift the top one up and pull the bottom one down – this way your breast is accessible but your midriff remains covered. Once your baby is feeding, it is most likely his head will cover your breast anyhow.
If you still feel conscious, you can also try draping a scarf or blanket across your shoulder, covering your chest should this make you feel more at ease. Just make sure that your baby can still breathe easily.
Tailor made breastfeeding clothes are available from various high street and online retailers. These clothes are specially designed to cover up a mother’s modesty and can make you feel more confident breastfeeding in public – although purchasing special breastfeeding wear is not essential.