Long, long ago, I used to really enjoy wearing dresses to look, wait for it…dressed up! A blouse and skirt was all well and good as a daily teacher uniform, but for Sunday Mass, outings, and special occasions, dresses felt 100 times more flattering and appropriate for the occasion. Also, way less complicated, as all I had to do was grab the one piece of clothing off the hanger and find coordinating shoes and accessories.
Enter the wonderful world of breastfeeding, and suddenly, dresses seemed to be outside my realm, unless I wanted to risk baring it all (um, nope), or spend my time nursing the baby in a bathroom stall in a state of half-undress (again, no thank you). I have spent the last two years nursing, and/or pregnant, so I have had considerable time to rant and rave about missing dresses, as well as to actually find dresses that work. By work, I mean that they fit the following criteria:
1. Do not require me to remove half the dress in order to nurse
2. Can easily allow me to access the goods for the baby
3. Are not too revealing
4. Are pretty and comfortable
Turns out that is easier said than done. But my trusty fellow Facebook mamas came through with some wonderful suggestions, recently, and I’ve been able to expand my repertoire with some more nursing-friendly dresses.
There are three basic types of dresses that I have found work for me. ALL these dresses, needless to say, will require nursing under a cover or a scarf (please and thank you).
My favorite version of this dress is Lands End’s Fit and Flare dress. It’s a soft, stretchy jersey, and comes in some really fun prints and solids. I have it in both the sleeveless and 3/4 sleeve, and love both. Because the bodice is a criss-cross/wrap style, they are easily pulled away in order to nurse. If you buy it during a sale, it’s a steal. Highly recommend. Sizing runs large, so keep that in mind.
Another great-looking dress in this category is Banana Republic’s Gemma Dress. I don’t own this one, but will invest in it at some point, should it ever go on sale!
These dresses are so cute and can work well for breastfeeding, though they do take a few extra seconds to unbutton every time you nurse. Keep that mind if you have a particularly hungry, impatient, squirmy babe. I have a couple of these types that work well in my summer wardrobe.
Now, this is another option, and I only own one of these types of dresses, from the Liz Lange Maternity line at Target. It works ok, but the style of the dress is nothing to write home about. There are several sites that make dresses with special openings built into the dress for easy nursing access. The one from Milk Nursingware looks comfortable, and Seraphine makes some too, though they’re a little pricier.
Hope this is helpful for anyone who is looking for dresses they can nurse in! Please let me know if you have any other sources I’ve missed!!