Breastfeeding definitely gives your baby the best nutritional start in life – even if it does present the odd wardrobe challenge. From nursing bras to easy-access tops, you’ll need to adapt your style in the next few months to accommodate regular feeds. Of course, that doesn’t mean to say you can’t still be totally on trend. Here’s how to nurture your baby and your looks…
A good feeding bra is a must to support your breasts and prevent them from sagging. It will also make feeding a lot more convenient. You’ll need at least three to rotate between washes. Breast pads can ruin the smooth line of an outfit so opt for feeding bras with softly molded cups to give a cleaner shape in close-fitting tops. Sleep bras are a good idea to support your breasts in bed and help them retain their shape when you stop breastfeeding.
Most women go up several cup sizes during pregnancy and breastfeeding. If you’re used to dressing a smaller bust, you may need to adapt your shopping habits. Tops with frills or detailing around the breast can look too fussy on a fuller bosom so it’s best to go for plain blouses or simple crew necklines.
Breastfeeding in public can be tricky enough without having to pull off layers. Tops and dresses that button at the front are ideal for feeding, while wrap dresses are a busy mum’s best friend! A stylish scarf draped over your shoulder will give you added privacy.
If you have the money it may be worth investing in nursing tops, which either have straps that release or a flap you can pull up or down. These provide easy access for feeding without having to expose the rest of your body and many are so stylish you’d never know. Most maternity clothing lines now produce them.
There’s no need to sacrifice your style come bedtime, either. Treat yourself to some nursing pyjamas to simplify night feeds. These include secret supports that can be unhooked like a regular maternity bra to feed your little one with minimum fuss.
Your breasts will be back to their former size before you know it. In the meantime, moisturize them regularly (after a bath or shower is best) to keep the skin supple and avoid stretch marks. If your nipples become chapped or sore speak to your pharmacist about a specialist cream.
Breastfeeding isn’t just great for your little one – it can have advantages for you, too. Producing milk burns up to 500 calories a day, which can help you to lose weight naturally over the months that you breastfeed. This extra demand can take its toll on your body however, which is why certain nutritional requirements increase during breast-feeding. Therefore, as well as having a healthy lifestyle, following a varied and balanced diet are very important. Taking in complement also a supplement such as Femibion2, providing well-chosen nutrients, of which folate and DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid) can be helpful as well to support you and your baby during this time.*
* For DHA, it is recommended for pregnant and nursing women to take an additional amount of 200 mg DHA daily, in addition to the recommended daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids for adults (250 mg DHA + EPA). Maternal intake of omega-3 DHA contributes to the normal development of the brain and the eyes of the foetus and the breastfed infant.