Breastfeeding friendly clothing is an major bugbare for me. Most of it is absolutely hideous and don’t even get me started about breastfeeding bra’s (I have one incredibly comfortable bra that is so grotesquely ugly that when I am no longer feeding Monty I have vowed to burn it in somekind of cleansing ritual with my husband). However, one of the biggest challenges is to dress up for something like a wedding.
I don’t know many of my friends that have managed to avoid a wedding when either pregnant or having recently given birth. If you are breastfeeding, you have the challenge of accessing your boobs in something other than your everyday t-shirt and jeans and all my go to dresses didn’t fit for at least a year after I’d had my babies.
Not only do you have the challenges of a new and ever changing body to deal with. You are sleep deprived so need something really special to give you that extra edge, oh and of course you need easy and discreet access to plug in the baby.
The easiest option I can think of is a shirt dress (all hail the mighty shirt dress) as for the obvious reasons you can just unbutton. Many shirt dresses are also cut a line and or do not cinch in at the waist enabling you to skim the vital areas, however when I wear a shirt and unbutton to feed I often feel very exposed so if you go down this route you may want a large muslin to hand (also for any reflux issues). The new muslins from Bullabaloo are ideal I love the pattern and they are by far the softest muslins I’ve found and currently have 10% off your first order!
A skirt and top is another option, this gives you ease of access but if you have only recently evicted that baby, possibly your waist is the last place you want to be drawing attention. Don’t consider a pair of spanks either, getting them off and on in the loo could result in you wanting to reach for the gas and air again! Trust me I did it at a friends wedding and around an hour into the reception I yanked them off and threw them in the bin. Your waist will still be your narrowest point, you just need to get the right fabrics to flow over the mum tum or; if you had a boy the mum arse (my bottom was HUGE when I was pregnant with my first!). The issue for me is always that a skirt and top doesn’t necessarily make you feel ‘dressed up’.
You also want to avoid jersey and similar fabrics, I tried on an All Saints dress I thought would be perfect for a wedding around 4 weeks after having my second. I cried! It was not the vision I thought it would be, I looked like an uncooked sausage.
Another consideration is that you don’t want to be spending a lot of money, your body is still shifting shape and size. The dress I wore to a wedding 6 weeks after having Ophelia looked great then but now after Monty it doesn’t fit me well at all. It is a complete minefield, so when a friend said jokingly to me find me something for the wedding we’re going to I though OK I will…… several hours later I have managed to find 5 dresses under £100 (Autumn 2017).
1. Massimo Dutti shirt dress £79.95
This one is 100% viscose so the fabric will be flattering enough to skim over, for added help wear a slip under it (no spanks), Mark and Spencer’s do a slip with elastic in so you can pull down enough for feeding.
2. Hush shirt dress £75.00
This shirt dress is an entirely different cut. Wear as a looser fit and with the extra boobage you will be rocking and this will hang beautifully. Although styled here causally this is easily dressed up with a blazer and the right shoes.
3. Marks and Spencers Multiway strap maxi dress £69.00
Not a shirt dress but pure genius for breastfeeding and will hide all the bits you want to keep hidden. Also available in several colours and added bonus is you can customise the style to suit you. Just check the bridesmaids aren’t wearing it as it is listed as a bridesmaids dress!
4. Zara floral print tunic £39.99
This also comes in white floral but lets not upset the bride. The great thing with this dress is you can wear it with a tie waist or just flowing. Also because of the colourful print accessorising would be extremely easy and your likely to already have some shoes to match.
5. Little Yellow London Annabelle Dress £89.00
Don’t all gasp at once but this is actually a breast feeding dress and a. its beautiful b. it’s under £100. I nearly passed out when I found them, worth looking at the website as they have some lovely pieces.