One of the hardest things about becoming mum to a newborn is that there’s not just a new facet to our identity – we actually lose all sense of self.
First, our body changes beyond all recognition; hopefully we love our blossoming shape – but either way it’s a very new and different one to what we’ve lived with for the past two or three decades! And on top of our new body – both before birth and then postpartum when it changes again – we must also consider our inevitable wardrobe adjustments…
During pregnancy, it’s simply (haha) a case of dressing for our bump. As long as our clothes are generous enough in the tummy department to accommodate a mahoosive great bulge, we’re good to go. There are actually some pretty decent designs out there now which, rather than being an insult to our appreciation of fashion as they were for our poor mothers, can instead be surprisingly flattering.
However, postpartum is potentially more difficult: I’m talking breastfeeding, obvs.
I have a funeral to attend this coming week, and I was sorted in the dress department – until I realised that my nice black dress (which I should fit back into by now *crosses fingers*) is not breastfeeding friendly. Dammit.
So, how to stay abreast of the trends whilst breastfeeding? Pun not intended.
I’ve put together a few tips to see you through the next few years – literally or metaphorically: it will feel like years. (Until the day of your final feed, and then it will have been all too fleeting…)
Firstly, if you want not to get caught out as I did with my funeral-attire-planning, simply stick to separates. You can’t go too far wrong if you’re wearing a top which can be lifted. Even if all else fails (by which I mean you inadvertently flash a rolypoly tummy – or, god forbid, a boob – at least you can feed.
Of course, though getting your baby fed may be your priority, your modesty is also a consideration. Using layers has been my go-to choice of attire, and has become my breastfeeding signature style. One-up-one-down tops essentially mean keeping yourself entirely covered, which is a blessing for those reserved mamas such as myself, or for the cold-blooded lady (also me).
Layering also allows you to work a capsule wardrobe through every season, and every eventuality: vest and cardi; shirt and jumper; vest and shirt – the possibilities are endless. And you can keep your finger on the fashion pulse by investing in a few key items in a classic colour palette, while opting for more in vogue colours for vests and tees.
For an alternative to playing it safe with layered separates, why not be brave and give a dress a go! Simply opt for low-cut or stretchy, with my personal recommendation being stretch over a low neckline.
Because let’s face it, our boobs have never been so perky (read engorged), and since this piece is supposed to about nailing fashion and staying on trend, I’d really love to be an advocate for the message that classy trumps all.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve flashed the flesh in my time, but I’m no longer a teen. Plus I’ve been known to talk in more serious posts about our boobs being functional rather than merely for society’s sexual gratification. #NotAHypocrite
Speaking of functionality, if ever there was a time in your life to embrace patterns, this is it! Why? Camouflage. And no, I’m not suggesting you attempt to hide those bountiful bosoms I just mentioned above; I am of course referring to the embarrassment of inadvertent milk stains…
Big Scarves, Capes, and Pashminas
Whilst camouflage and subtlety are desirable in my opinion, breastfeeding aprons are not only unnecessary, they actually draw attention. I’m not a fan. However, an oversized scarf is a fabulous alternative: they’re a classic piece which will never be out of fashion. Note: wispy, skinny scarves are not applicable here – they wouldn’t afford modesty for my pre-pregnancy (comparatively) flat chest, let alone now.
For more fashion tips, check out Fashion Fix Daily.
Do you have any breastfeeding fashion tips to add to avoid turning into a frumpy mummy during your nursing years?
For more breastfeeding posts, head over to Breastfeeding – Help, Advice, Support.