essentials for breastfeeding and the newborn days

I really enjoyed creating a capsule collection of pregnancy essentials but I admit, finding inspiring clothes for the post-partum period has been a little trickier. It’s easy to find beautiful maternity wear but generally, it’s quite difficult to find flattering, stylish clothes for the post-partum period. Yes, there’s a big gap in the market and it’s begging to be filled!

Before I shopped for new items I spent a few hours in my own wardrobe; separating the maternity wear from the nursing wear, the summer staples from the winter woollens. I re-discovered a few tops that are breastfeeding-friendly as well as button-down dresses that work with tights and boots. But still, there was a need for a few new pieces (especially basics) to see me through autumn and winter.

The key to creating a post-partum, breastfeeding friendly wardrobe, one that is practical, supportive and stylish, is to shop for now. You’ve just had a baby – you deserve to feel good in your clothes and you deserve to have clothes that fit and flatter today (even if they may not work so well in six months time). With this in mind, I’ve created a trans-seasonal wardrobe for the newborn season…

1. A loose-fitting white blouse is a timeless edition to your wardrobe, regardless of whether you’re pregnant, breastfeeding or bottle feeding. I’m currently wearing this boho-inspired blouse from Bohemian Traders; it buttons down the front and falls to the hips – it’s incredibly easy to wear when teamed with leggings or supportive jeans; slimline pants and a loose top is a flattering silhouette when you feel a little self-conscious about your belly.

2. I have a tub of Mum’s Butter on my bedside table and have used it daily over the past few months. When you’ve got a newborn you have significantly less time to groom yourself and whilst this cream is great for cracked nipples, it also works wonders for dry skin (great for the stretching belly during pregnancy, too).

3. The Seventh Duchess sent me their Goddess – Organic New Mother’s Tea when I was pregnant. I sipped it during the final weeks to prepare for labour and have been drinking a few cups a day since. It is incredible for hydrating the body, toning the pelvic and uterine muscles and boosting milk supply.

4. A tub of healthy biscuits to reach for when you’re starving and don’t have the time (or the free hands) to make something more substantial. Franjos Kitchen is the creation of three mums who wholeheartedly understand the importance of eating well in the first few months of motherhood. The range of biscuits includes pregnancy and lactation biscuits – yummy and nutritional…created by a cook and a naturopath.

5. Breast pads; because wet patches on your top is never a good look. I am currently wearing washable organic breast pads and these cotton ones. If you prefer disposable, TOM Organic recently released a pack of 30 made from organic cotton (recommend their maternity pads, too).

6. Nursing bras – where to begin? It can be difficult to find comfortable, supportive and flattering nursing bras and whilst the good ones are expensive, they are definitely worth the investment. This cake lingerie nursing bra (pictured) is comfortable and easy to wear, as is the Esprit padded bra. I also highly recommend the range from hotmilk, especially the first light nursing bra (currently on sale).

7. Do you need a sleep bra? Yes, you definitely do! Buy at least two as one will always be in the wash. They are also fabulous to wear in late pregnancy and during the first few weeks of nursing; because they are less structured than most bras they don’t cut into the skin and therefore lessen the chance of developing mastitis. The range from QueenBee is fantastic! Try the Aubrey OrganicMarika Cotton or Bamboo.

8. Leggings – preferably the belly lift and support variety. Consider these a pregnancy and new mama essential. I wore these during my pregnancy and they were the first thing I put on after birth. The support band was a godsend after birth and ensured that my lower back and abdomen was supported during the first few weeks. I also recommend these seamless maternity leggings – belly band can be worn up or folded down.

9. Perfect for supporting during pregnancy and flattering the post-partum belly, this nursing singlet is comfortable and easy to wear (washes well, too). If you prefer a tank top to take you from pregnancy to nursing, I love this striped number (I wear it often with a high-waisted linen skirt).

10. Much like the leggings, this blanqi belly support tank is an absolute essential. It was the most supportive “supportwear” I had during pregnancy and the first top I wore post-birth. Along with the leggings, it saved my back in those first few weeks and helped to strengthen my core (by drawing the abdomen in, I’m less likely to slouch).

11. Consider a cotton henley one of the easiest tops to wear as a nursing mother. Yes, it’s definitely casual with leggings but wear it with jeans or a high-waisted skirt, add a scarf and a pair of earrings and voila – dressed and ready to go. Nature Baby gifted me their organic cotton henley which is incredible soft and a brilliant cut – I wear it a few times a week. If you want to wear something a little more discreet when feeding, consider this or this.

12. A breastfeeding-friendly dress is a great piece to have in your wardrobe. This maxi wrap dress is easy to wear with a nursing tank and this and this is great for discreet feeding.

See my past posts on essentials for pregnancy and essentials for baby

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Showing 13 comments
  • Dee

    Thank you! I've just ordered a Hotmilk nursing bra 🙂

  • Reply

    I love that dress. I always find it hard to find nice clothes to wear while you are breastfeeding

    • Jodi

      Gorgeous dress, isn't it! x

  • Malayka

    Great list. I have about 3 months to go before this little one arrives and I've started to try and remember all the most important things I needed last time! I had a summer baby last time and I think it made breast feeding in those early months so much easier clothes wise (and finding pregnancy clothes!). This time around I can imagine having to battle lots of layers before every feed.

    • Jodi

      Currently battling layers which is fine at home but a little trickier when out and about x

  • Gaby

    Argh, I'm dreading postpartum dressing again… I had hardly anything that was breastfeeding friendly, and not much that felt flattering and comfortable. And I'm already struggling with winter maternity dressing (I was mostly pregnant in summer last time so wore lots of normal dresses and skirts). I think I'm going to need some maternity jeans this time around.

    p.s. LOVE the idea of those lactation biscuits, will definitely be getting some of those!

    p.p.s. are the support leggings comfortable? In general I don't like to wear anything too tight, and just think I might feel like I'm in a corset…


    • Jodi

      Go the mavi maternity jeans – I wore them throughout autumn/winter in Poet's pregnancy and then wore them post-partum, too. Queen Bee have a good range.

      The support leggings are really comfy. The fabric is really breathable and soft so doesn't feel restrictive at all. However, the support tank is a much, much firmer fit…not sure you'll like it.

      Yay! You're having another baby! x

    • Gaby

      Great! Thanks for the tip. Just one more question, what size did you get in the leggings? Can't decide whether I'd be small or medium… xo

    • Jodi

      I got a medium and they fit really well (I got them at about 22weeks pregnant). I put on about 20kg though so you might be better going for the small x

  • Mother Down Under

    I am so sick of my breastfeeding clothes!
    Last time my stomach seemed to snap back fairly quickly and I wore a nursing singlet and a cardigan most of the fall and winter.
    This time I have struggled with finding a nursing tank that is supportive but doesn't make me feel like I have squeezed myself into something a few sizes too small!

  • malase

    I had the same problem when I gave birth. And then I found this in a magazine:
    It saved me from buying nursing clothes.
    No regrets. Not sure if you can get it in Australia but if you can I definitely recommend it.

  • Brandi

    It really seems like maternity and nursing should be more combined. A low/stretchy neckline or a few buttons and a little flow to the material…if I could find the right dress, I'd live in it for years throughout the process. I have several like #7 and love them.

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