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Breastfeeding clothes - suggestions needed

(32 Posts)
FrancesJ Tue 17-Sep-02 22:14:04

I've just remembered one of my biggest bugbears about breastfeeding last time (apart from the cracked nipples, etc, etc). Clothes! I think all I wore were my husbands shirts for six months, and I'm sure I'd have breastfed for longer if I'd had any sort of clue about what to wear with handy openings.

So...I wondered if anyone had any recomendations/great ideas about ideal breastfeeding garments. I'm not too shy, but found it quite hard to bf in public if I wasn't well and truly swathed, thus semi-suffocating baby. How do you discreetly breastfeed without pulling up your jumper? Do I have to wear cardies all winter? I've seen specific bf garments with little flappy access holes but never tried any on - and I'm on a very, very limited budget, so can probably only afford to buy one thing like that, and it would have to work. So I wondered what everyone here found 'worked' for them as a useful garment to bf in?

Bobbins Tue 17-Sep-02 22:51:08

i bought these tops by BooB. i think its a Swedish company, very plain and unfussy, but kind of stylish and slimming, with a separation/just under your boobs. These tops are not discreet in themselves, but I found if I wore a normal shirt over them they were really great. I was really paranoid about exposing anything. There used to be a UK supplier, but I think she's stopped. Expensive, but I found them a life saver and brought three and I still wear them. I'll find a link

Bobbins Tue 17-Sep-02 23:39:19

This is the company here . They are lovely, it's just a shame there is no longer a UK supplier

mcm Tue 17-Sep-02 23:52:15

Hi there,
Just read this thread while browsing through I find it useful to wear layered clothes? a smart open shirt with a loose type top/vest underneath. In this way, the loose under top can be raised to just above nipple level, and baby can be discreetly fed. I have become an expert at doing this, and have to say that I have had to use shields all the way through too! I am very proud of myself too I have to say as I never thought that I would be able to breast feed at all, not to mention doing it in public. Have just started introducing bottles now, and fine it very time consuming making them up etc. feel it time to wean as I return to work soon, and it will not be practical to fully breast feed then. Hope the clothes suggestions are of some use to you? I also found that having a "burp towel" around the baby allowed me to be even more discreet? This is what has worked for me,

mears Wed 18-Sep-02 00:04:00

I did not wear anything special for breastfeeding. T-shirts were great. Even if I wore a blouse I pulled it up from the waist rather than unbutton it. I was still covered as tops were fairly loose.

anais Wed 18-Sep-02 10:43:51

I never had any special breast-feeding clothes, and always found that even quite tight t-shirts were perfectly discreet. I fed for 16months and never had any problem with 'over-exposure'. I even fed in front of the vicar at the M&T group, and was held up as an example by one of my friends to her sister of discreet breast feeding!

tigermoth Wed 18-Sep-02 10:49:25

I think it's important to check the material of the item you are breast feeding in. You want something that is quick drying and won't show damp stains too vividly (dark colours and pattens are the best bets) so if a little breast milk lands on you or you leak, it won't be too noticeable.

Bozza Wed 18-Sep-02 10:49:37

I think the discretion part gets easier as time goes by. So I would start with baggy tops etc that pull up from below and progress to more fitted clothes if you feel comfortable, don't have too much leakage etc.

SueDonim Wed 18-Sep-02 11:42:48

I just wore ordinary clothes, too, t-shirts etc, and pulled them up a little. For 'extra insurance' that no one can see anything you could put a pashmina over your shoulders. It folds up small enough to put in your pocket or baby bag.

Joe1 Wed 18-Sep-02 14:12:18

I have one breastfeeding top and at times it can be abit fiddly. My favourite was one of dh shirts over a vest. But most of the time it was normal clothes and just positioned myself or put a blanket or sheet over ds as if he was sleeping to be descreet.

Alley22 Wed 18-Sep-02 14:41:40

When I used to breastfeed in public or on a airplane etc. I used to lay a cotton type blanket from my shoulder to my wrist, as I was holding him it would slightly cover his head but not enough to suffocate him, not that I was worried about what others thought, I was just very slightly nervous about b/f in public and found that this was a nice way to do it, and when I was at home it was hooded zip up jumpers! very easy.
Good luck

Demented Wed 18-Sep-02 14:52:20

I find shorter t-shirts easier than big baggy t-shirts. I find it difficult if wrestling with yards of t-shirt as well as baby! I haven't tried these b/feeding tops but they seem quite expensive for what they are.

Alley22 Wed 18-Sep-02 15:06:57

i agree, I only bought a few maternity clothes as I was huuuge when i was pregnant, 9lbs 6 baby and was carrying extra units of water. That included a good pair of maternity black trousers!

Front opening tops are easier than lifting up tops if you are out, not so bad if you're nice and comfy on the sofa..

Im not a prude but I fed in a different room (I suppose I did live at home with my parents) and I did if he needed feeding at anyone elses house. Thats why the blanket came in handy.. but to me b/f is a private thing and it was lovely to share that bond with him.

Tissy Wed 18-Sep-02 20:44:29

agree with mcm, a snuggish t-shirt with a loose over-shirt. The over-shirt hides the leak-marks when you forget the breastpads!

sobernow Wed 18-Sep-02 20:51:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FrancesJ Wed 18-Sep-02 21:17:40

Oh, hurrah! Thank you all so much for the suggestions. Long shirt over tighter t-shirt/shirt sounds like a very good idea. I'm thinking maybe I can treat myself to one really nice long, dark-coloured cardigan, and then wear my normal tops underneath. Hooded zip-up jumpers, too....yes! And then I'm not worrying about splashing out on clothes that I normally wouldn't buy (although the ones you recommend, Bobbins, look lovely, and I'd defn consider them over any others I've seen, but the getting sounds like it could be a problem

Goodness knows why I found it so hard to discreetly bf last time. It was defn 'fussy Mummy' syndrome rather than 'fussy baby' - I basically had to practically undress to feed her comfortably (not discreet), but then, reading this, I do think that I was going for the wrong sort of garment, and trying to feed under huge t-shirts/dh shirts just didn't work for me - kept losing baby, faffing around, until poor mite ended up sucking fabric. Layering things - much better idea for me I think - ooh, yes, and Sobernow, I've bought a nice sling already in the hope that I'll be able to feed in it, so judging by your post that was a good move.

Thanks lots everyone - just got to think about getting the baby out so I can see if bf without being arrested for exposure on the bus is a possiblity this time around

Lollypop Thu 19-Sep-02 20:36:18

I have to agree with many of the postings here a normal t-shirt did the trick. I fed DD anywhere (Including on the bus!) as nothing could be seen I had no trouble at all.
Having seen those feeding shits they seem to expose more than they hide. I did find hanging a cloth from my shoulder helped when wearing difficult clothing.

Clarinet60 Thu 19-Sep-02 21:00:45

LOL Lollypop! Chicken Korma.

jodee Thu 19-Sep-02 21:17:37

Lollypop's doing a brian!

karen99love Tue 21-Apr-09 13:31:29

Message withdrawn

MamacitaGordita Tue 21-Apr-09 13:39:14

A couple of bf vest tops might help you- I have this and you can wear it under other tops, or on its own. So pull up outer top and unclip vest top to feed. No exposing of chest OR tummy. (Good in the cold!) This bravado vest top is especially good because it is a proper bra, not just a crappy shelf bra. So no need for a bra underneath. I know you're on a budget, but I am too and found this top well worth the cost.


dorisbonkers Tue 21-Apr-09 13:44:36

I like Emma Jane maternity tops but now I've been feeding for 6 months I find anything I can pull up is fine. I live in Singapore so this means anything vesty.

KnitterInTheNW Tue 21-Apr-09 13:48:49

I just had a load of bf tops from the maternity section in H&M. They did the job nicely and I fed anywhere and everywhere. I didn't like doing layered clothes as I felt too warm most of the time.

greensnail Tue 21-Apr-09 13:51:12

I got a couple of breastfeeding tops cheaply from ebay which helped me when i was first breastfeeding DD in public - she's now 17 weeks and i now often just use a normal tshirt which works fine, but the breastfeeding ones helped me while i was getting my confidence up. Not worth paying a lot of money for them though.

dorisbonkers Tue 21-Apr-09 15:06:25

Another good tip from a friend is to buy cheap Primark camisoles (check you can yank them down enough) and wear under a top. You pull the top (shirt or jumper) up and pull the camisole down so basically you have a small slit, so there's next to nothing on show.

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