Best Breastfeeding Clothes

There are all sorts of breastfeeding clothes, from nursing shirts to dresses, nightwear to bras. Nursing clothes offer comfortable and discreet wear for breastfeeding moms while also ensuring that the baby has an easy time suckling.

Nursing Bras
A nursing bra that is comfortable and supportive is invaluable to a breastfeeding mother. There are a few options available depending on what level of support and comfort you need. The choices include underwire and non-underwire bras, pull-down bras, and bras with easy access flaps.

Underwire. Whether you want underwire or not depends on how comfortable it makes you feel. A lot of women can't stand the feeling of underwire bras. They do, however, offer more support than soft cup bras. When you're trying on the bra make sure that the underwires never dig into your breast as this could cause a plugged duct.

Flaps. You can get bras with flaps that meet at the clasp or flaps that come down from the top of the bra, near the straps. Whichever you decide to purchase, remember that these flaps should be easy to open and close under serious pressure. You're going to be operating these flaps single-handedly during many a 4 a.m. feeding, when visibility is low and you're groggy. If you could maneuver these flaps while flying a plane, you've found the right nursing bra.

Where to buy? A lot of women meet with frustration when shopping for a nursing bra. Find a maternity store or the maternity section in a department store. You can also shop online; make sure they have a return policy in case the bra doesn't fit right.

When to buy? Buy a nursing bra around your 36th week, as your breasts should be around this size while nursing.

Room to grow. You may want to buy a bra that's slightly bigger, as your breasts might get fuller as your milk comes in. You'll also need to put in breast pads to soak up any milk leakage.

What else to look for? It's a good idea to shop for cotton bras, as this will keep hot and sticky skin cool and dry. Make sure the fabric gives a bit. The bra should have wide straps that won't slip down. Also, be sure to have at least four nursing bras. Because your breasts are leaking, you'll have to frequently wash them and should always have a ready supply.

Most importantly, keep your baby in mind while bra shopping. The bra should fully reveal the breast, not just the nipple. This is important for proper latch-on.

Nursing Tops
A nursing shirt will help you nurse discreetly in public. These shirts are made with a front that has two 'layers.' The top layer drops right below your chest, and can be lifted to allow your baby easy access. You can also find nursing tank tops and dresses.

When deciding what to buy, you'll want to keep the same things in mind as when bra shopping. Remember to go for cotton and fabrics that will give.

Nursing Pads
Nursing bras and tops are part of good breast care, but breast care is not complete without nursing pads. Nursing pads are designed to either absorb or stop the flow of breast milk when not feeding. Some women have very strong let down reflexes and start letting down milk at the sound of their crying infant.

There are some concerns about nursing pads being visible beneath a bra. These are usually the absorbent nursing pads. A nursing mother might try switching to nursing pads that are designed to prevent milk flow. For example, blis nursing pads keep your nipple area dry and irritation free. Lilypadz nursing pads are designed to prevent milk flow (so that there's nothing to absorb), and use a revolutionary silicone pad that 'breathes' and is comfortable to wear.

If you'd rather go the natural route, then simply pressing your nipple area with your palms should be sufficient to stop the flow of milk.

Unsure about breastfeeding? Talk to other women about it in the forum

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