To wonder why clothing retailers don't tap in to the market for nursing clothes?

(97 Posts)
quietbatperson Tue 13-May-14 12:17:32

It's hard enough sometimes finding affordable maternity clothes, but AIBU to wonder why aren't high street retailers tapping in to the poorly catered for market of nursing mothers? It's become a running joke at the local breastfeeding cafe that you can tell who shops in H&M as we're all wearing the same breastfeeding tops, and we're fed up with wearing jeans and tops all the time and would sometimes like to wear nursing dresses (especially in the summer). I know you can buy maternity dresses with nursing panels etc, but I really don't want to wear maternity clothes for months/years on end and just want to buy something designed for breastfeeding in, on the high street. I also don't want to layer all the time with vests, or flash my boobs by pulling necklines down, I just want clothes designed for breastfeeding in that aren't stripy.

I have spent a lot longer over the years breastfeeding than being pregnant and would have got so much more use out of them than my maternity clothes.

ArtFine Tue 13-May-14 12:43:05

Yanbu. I completely agree with you! I can't wait to stop nursing so I can wear decent stuff again!

Fruli Tue 13-May-14 13:01:19

Definitely NBU. I never bothered with BF tops and just hoiked up whenever necessary, but nursing dresses would be lovely - summer or winter.

Macocious Tue 13-May-14 13:08:16

I want dresses too! I've been on the lookout for nice cotton summer dresses with buttons down to the waist. Now just need to figure out what to wear underneath for a bit of modesty. I was thinking maybe a cropped boob tube that could be pulled up but yet to find anything suitable.

Another option is a stretchy jersey dress that could be pulled down with a loose cropped top over. Haven't found these yet either!

Pobblewhohasnotoes Tue 13-May-14 13:15:26

I'm pregnant with dc2 so am at the stage of despairing over finding maternity clothes.

I just can't believe that with the huge amount of women pregnant and bf in this country that many shops don't supply a maternity range, and one that isn't just sodding online!

Oh I don't want a fucking stripy t shirt! I want dresses that are pretty for summer, thanks.

ColdTeaAgain Tue 13-May-14 13:29:40

YANBU but as with everything retail it comes down to supply and demand I suppose. I think many just make do with normal tops - the old double layer trick, so much cheaper than buying specific clothes.

Macocious Tue 13-May-14 13:33:01

Something like this would be nice, but looks like it might be fake buttons which is no help!
Sun dress

TheScience Tue 13-May-14 13:34:05

Yes, nice, non-stripey, non-maternity nursing clothes would be good!

I tend to wear a lot of wrap dresses.

quietbatperson Tue 13-May-14 13:34:43

Phew, I was a bit worried about asking this in AIBU grin

I agree supply and demand must be an issue, but the reason I have to layer up is because I can find so few nursing clothes on the high street. Are we making do because we just have to and there isn't a choice?

PenelopeChipShop Tue 13-May-14 13:34:56

Totally agree about the dresses. In winter I tend to live in jeans anyway but my son was born in summer and i remember feeling very unstylish through my months of on-demand breastfeeding! Just in case it helps I did find a nice nursing dress on the site Milk and Mummy (I know rubbish name but it did have some good dresses at the time), maybe check there?

Mybellyisaneasteregg Tue 13-May-14 13:42:20

Yanbu

I haven't bought any nursing clothes as all I've seen have been so frumpy and after being in maternity clothes I just want to be in 'normal' clothes. So non-frumpy non-maternity nursing friendly clothes would be fab.

I tend to go towards stretchy fabrics that pull down easily and then cover up my top part with a shawl or scarf. I am always on the lookout for stretchy jersey dresses that allow for this.

SaveTheMockingBird Tue 13-May-14 13:47:28

Breastfeeding rates are low here, especially beyond a couple of months, so I guess there's just not the demand for it.
I share your pain though as I was always looking for dresses to BF in too.
I ended up wearing a lot of funky tunic tops, like Yumi etc, over leggings. It felt like wearing a dress, but it was easy to pull up the tunic and BF. YOu can wear a vest underneath to pull down, but I did'n't bother as I'm petite so baby covered me up anyway. Sometimes I even wore a nice waist belt to cinch in the waist and I just took the belt off to BF and then forget to put it back on again

Soupqueen Tue 13-May-14 13:50:41

YANBU

I'm still wearing maternity dresses. My DD is 7 months old and I'm 2 pounds above my pre pregnancy weight so really don't want to be wearing maternity clothes anymore!

TheScience Tue 13-May-14 13:50:58

1/3 of mothers breastfeed for 6 months, so rates aren't that low.

quietbatperson Tue 13-May-14 13:54:39

If H&M brought out a nursing dress along with their stripy tops, I honestly think it would sell out as it's one of the few places on the high street you can buy anything just for nursing that hasn't also got bump room.

SaveTheMockingBird Tue 13-May-14 13:58:35

1/3 of mothers breastfeed for 6 months, so rates aren't that low.

Really?? That's a surprising statistic.
From what I remember, something like 2% of babies are EBF at 6 months though? And potentially only the ebf babies will need to be fed in public, hence the need for nursing clothes (if you are only bfing at home you could wear anything right?...I still bf my 3.5yr old and I just lift up whatever dress I am wearing, yank back the bra cup and feed her at bedtime!).....

MinesAPintOfTea Tue 13-May-14 14:00:58

YABU I ebf without any "nursing clothes" except bras. Dresses pulled down with a vest underneath and a scarf covering up or the standard 2-tops technique. I didn't want to spend money on clothes that would only be useful for a single season.

fluffyraggies Tue 13-May-14 14:02:07

There are a few bits on amazon. Not good quality, but a choice of colours. Tops with a vertical slit sort of hidden in gathers, cross over v.neck with false under vest bt ect.

I agree OP. At a get togther with my NCT group recently the only ones looking un-mumsy were the ones who weren't BFing. The feeding tops were blatantly obvious.

I've got by with deep v.neck stretchy tops/vest tops with a deep scoop neck and a few pretty scarves.

MerryMarigold Tue 13-May-14 14:02:44

I think YABU. I breastfed for a long time and never required nursing tops. You just lift your top up, no? It's much more discreet anyway. And you can wear any trousers or skirts? Why jeans only? Agree it's difficult with dresses, but it's not that long in the scheme of life.

quietbatperson Tue 13-May-14 14:05:29

Lots of babies are weaned before 6 months, but it doesn't mean they aren't still having breastfeeds, they just aren't exclusively breastfed iyswim. I still want to be comfortable in nice clothes even sitting at home and doing the school run, and I am likely to be feeding DS3 in public beyond 6 months, especially if I am out for the day with him.

TheScience Tue 13-May-14 14:12:54

Why would you think only ebf babies are breastfed in public? A 4 month old who gets a bit of baby rice or a formula dream feed is still going to feed often! DS1 didn't even manage 3 hourly feeds until past 6 months and on 3 meals a day. I still had to feed him in public when he was past a year old.

quietbatperson Tue 13-May-14 14:13:53

MerryMarigold I don't like flashing my stomach to the world pulling my top up - I get cold in winter and no-one wants to see my horrible stomach at any time of year anyway. You are right other trousers or skirts could do, but with the choice of just nursing tops being so slim and stripy I find it easier to just wear jeans with the tiny variety of tops available as they go with everything.
MinesAPintOfTea I really hate layering - I spend ages fiddling with my clothes afterwards trying to put myself back together, or the vest makes my clothes sit oddly, or I end up boiling hot. WRT to the clothes only being useful for a single season, you could say that about maternity clothes too, but we still buy them.
fluffyraggies I will have a look, thank you.

YABU. You don't need purpose made nursing clothes. Given that bfing is still a minority thing and the length of time a lot of women bf is relatively short, even compared to pregancy, it doesn't surprise me that retailers don't see the point of offering more bfing clothes than they do.

Also, by the time I had given birth I had had enough of limiting my wardrobe to maternity wear that I wouldn't wear when no longer pregnant. I certainly wasn't going to buy more clothes with a limited life span and of dubious style when normal clothes would do and look so much better. You don't know when you start out how long you are going to bfing either so anything you did buy might not be a good investment.

gurningpug Tue 13-May-14 14:35:36

I don't think I would buy nursing clothes TBH.

For a start is expensive enough having to buy maternity clothes that you're only going to wear for a few months (and I'm not the sort of person who can get anywhere near my normal clothes at 9 months pregnant grin). And then bfing bras are expensive if you buy good ones, and maybe a few different sizes over time.

I can't afford to buy nursing clothes as well, and usually I'm relieved to be back into my old clothes and feeling like me again. I just wear my regular tops, cardigans, jeans, skirts and just avoid dresses.

MinesAPintOfTea Tue 13-May-14 14:36:04

But special nursing clothes feed into this idea that bfing is complicated and expensive. I didn't buy many maternity clothes either although due to whale-size I obviously had to buy something.

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