Wednesday, February 24, 2016

4 essential mama tops for breastfeeding ease

This article was first published on Aquila Style.


Don’t limit yourself to maternity shops, mums. Try these types of tops for minimal fuss, exposure and equipment.

Image: Fotolia
When my baby was a few weeks old and I felt ready to leave the house, I remember looking through my wardrobe and declaring that I had nothing to wear. Maybe I had said that a few times before, but this time was different: my staple high-cut tops, t-shirts and pullovers were going to make breastfeeding on-the-go much more difficult. Though a hijab or nursing cover would provide sufficient coverage, I was looking for ways to dress modestly yet be able to nurse in public with minimal fuss, exposure and equipment. After a few months of experimenting, I found that these were the kinds of tops that worked best for me:


1. The basic blouse


NYDJ Contrast zip front blouse | $98 | zappos.com
GAP Navy Poplin shirtdress | $36.99 | ebay.com


A conventional blouse with buttons down the middle – easily found in stores – works just fine. A zipper is less common, but still readily available. I found these sorts of tops great for when I needed a more formal outfit or wanted to feel more put together.

Either way, you’ll need two hands for this kind of opening – which is sometimes not so handy when you have no hands left to keep baby from rolling off your lap. Zippers and buttons can sometimes smoosh onto baby’s face, leaving marks.


2. The cache coeur


Anna Field jersey dress, petrol | £34 | zalando.co.uk
Fizza silky kimono baju kurung, navy/burgundy | $40.66 | poplook.com

A wrap-around or cache coeur (“hidden heart”) cut makes it easy to manoeuvre access to the breast with one hand, and it’s just as easy to cover up when you’re done. Layer a cropped tank top underneath and pull it up while nursing for coverage.

The only drawback is that such tops are usually made from jersey material, which I find sometimes staticky and tend to cling too much to a post-partum body. Look for more structured materials that fall away from your body in the right places. For Eid this year, I got myself a modern take on the traditional Malay dress (baju kurung) which used a wrap around top made from chiffon instead of the usual long blouse.


3. The crop top



Chiffon loose cropped top | $9.60 | chickisslove.com
Navy white striped loose crop blouse | $16.67 | sheinside.com

These loose and boxy tops are my favourite; I find these to be the most versatile and useful. Layer a crop top over a tank top and it gives you easy access (just lift up the crop top) and enough wiggle room (slip one or two hands underneath to unhook and hook nursing bras). Plus, it even doubles up as a nursing cover.

Great for hot weather or babies who are not used to nursing covers, since baby can drink al fresco while there’s just enough fabric to keep you covered.


4. The DIY top

Heather Lehmann | made-by-rae.com
With the exception of cache coeur tops, you can also easily modify current pieces in your wardrobe to have the opening that you like best. Hem off your loose maternity tops or oversized t-shirts to make your own crop tops or send a few items that you love and wear often to the tailor to incorporate invisible zippers (one down the middle, two on each side, or horizontally).

This solution can be easier than buying new clothes – especially when you’re too busy nursing your baby to spend hours shopping!

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