Greetings from the ‘other side’ of pregnancy. Yes, it turned out the swelling midriff I’ve been carrying around for the last nine months did actually contain a baby. And what a perfect bundle of pure joy – and milk – our brand new little son Heath is.
After navigating some new style rules as I dressed to accommodate my growing bump, it is now time to turn my attention to housing these two…how shall I put it…bouncing breasts.
All the guidebooks advise forgetting any semblance of style for the first week or so after giving birth and spend your time in bed Yoko Ono-style getting plenty of skin on skin, learning how to feed and bonding with baby – advice I strongly heed – but there are still some steps you can take to make it easier, more comfortable and with a nod to your former fashionable self. Based on a straw poll of one, with a few of weeks worth of experience fresh in my mind, here are some nursing style tips I hope you’ll find helpful…
1) In the latter stage of pregnancy invest in a couple of tops that will fit both your big bump and be suitable for nursing as soon as you’ve given birth: This is because you simply won’t ‘snap’ back to your pre-baby figure immediately and will want to feel comfy and secure in familiar clothes. The Seraphine long line popper nursing tops in black and purple, and grey knitted bamboo breast feeding top were style savers for me, they comfortably covered my mummy tummy and were hassle-free to feed in while getting the hang of things. I lived in them at the end of my pregnancy through to the first fortnight with my newborn.
2) Don’t bother splashing out on nursing bras before your milk has come in: I thought I was being super organised buying a few pretty nursing bras in advance of giving birth, but they have been rendered useless because I bought the wrong size and they are past the date of return. You may be a little shocked by how many cup sizes you crank up with your new milk-filled puppies, plus you’ll need space to accommodate a breast pad as well. I would recommend buying one nursing bra at least two cup sizes bigger and broader across your back to use in hospital and wear in bed, and hold fire on getting any others until you’re milk rocks up. And you’ll know when you’re milk’s come in, believe me. The best, most comfortable and practical nursing bras I found are the Pink & Mocha Seraphine Nursing Bra and the Seamless Black & Purple Nursing Bra, both of which look great but most importantly provide quick and easy access for nifty nursing.
3) As you get more practised at nursing, invest in a couple of tops that will give you the confidence to feed in public: After hibernating in the safety of your own home for a week or two, you’ll be starting to feel more like the old you and will want to venture out for some fresh air and to introduce your beautiful baby to the world – and this will inevitably involve feeding him in public. Gulp, it’s a scary prospect. I’m not one for erecting a tent around myself to feed, as I think it draws even more unwanted attention to you, but I quietly thanked the stars for this Seraphine top that makes breast feeding more discreet. I have this style in 3 colours and they are my spring/summer staple.
4) Make sure you own one cosy wrap: Another key piece in your nursing wardrobe should be a stylish waterfall-style cardie. This versatile wrap is ideal for cosying up with your little one at home, as well as providing a bit of a privacy shield when breast-feeding on the go. I love my Seraphine Grey Cotton & Cashmere Waterfall Maternity Cardigan – the cashmere has a gorgeous luxury feel and the buttons mean it can be worn in a variety of ways, from a cowl neck to draped open over a vest top a summer’s evening. It is a classic and I have worn it endlessly, both for off-duty days during pregnancy and nursing.
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