She doesn't have a budget for a short term wardrobe

Play Clothes for Nursing Moms

by Dollar Stretcher Contributors

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Play Clothes for Nursing Moms

Please help! I'm nursing our baby but don't have a lot of money to spend on clothes designed for a breastfeeding mom, especially clothes for when we visit friends. I'm tired of oversized t-shirts. How can a nursing mom stay at least a little bit stylish on a budget?

Restyle Existing Wardrobe

If you can sew, I wonder if restyling a few pieces of your existing wardrobe is possible. For example, tank top straps can be cut off at the front and have buttons stitched on and button holes made on the tank top. I admit tank tops are probably only for teens, but it can be worn underneath a buttoned up shirt. Wear a regular bra underneath. It can be converted into a nursing bra the same way. And there are always "nursing covers" that are, basically, fabric rectangles!
Anelia (via Facebook)

Stay Away from Clothes Specifically Made for Nursing Moms

My tip (after nursing four children) is to wear "wrap" style tops and dresses because they enable you to "unwrap" to nurse. Also, wearing a large scarf or pashmina, you can unwrap it and use it as a cover up when it's time to nurse. Definitely look for stretchy, jersey, non-wrinkle style materials. I am a petite size and was able to find many empire waist or "baby doll" style tees and shirts that did not need to be tucked in. Clothes specifically made for nursing moms tend to be priced very high and not go on sale. Therefore, looking for these styles at consignment stores, yard sales, and end-of-the-season sales will save you some money.

Practice Smart Layering

After nursing four babies through many seasons, I have finally learned how to do it. Layer a light spaghetti strap tank top under whatever shirt you want to wear. When it's time to feed baby, you can move the shirt up and the tank down. Your baby will be able to latch on with ease. I have about five tanks to do this with and they have lasted three or so years.

Shop Maternity Stores with Coupons

On an errand to the maternity shop (a well-known chain store) for my daughter, who is a brand new mother, I was surprised to see "nursing tank tops." They were not cheap, but the clerk told me that there are coupons available pretty much continuously. The tops come in black, white, and gray. One of these could be paired with a variety of things already in your closet for a look very different from an oversized t-shirt. And the shirt or sweater worn over the tank top can be left open, so it doesn't matter if the over-garment is a bit snug.

Keep It Discreet

As a mother who nursed her five children, this is what I did. First of all, I didn't wear clothes that I had to unbutton down the front. Basically, my clothes became two-piece outfits, so that I could lift up the top. The baby covers you and a good trick is to practice in front of a mirror and not look at what you're doing when the baby latches on. You'll get good at this. People tend to follow your gaze. Many times, people would come up to me to see the "sleeping" baby and even my husband didn't realize the baby was nursing.

Also, I am able to sew, so when I bought a dress, I'd try for one with a seam under the bust line, like a high-rise waist. I'd open the seam and put in an invisible zipper. People never suspected especially since I was wearing a dress. I did this with a dress I wore to a wedding, but I only opened the side seam instead. I took the baby into the women's lounge to nurse her. Baby basically slept through everything!

The biggest caveat is to not make a production out of what you're doing. Blankets over the shoulder may seem modest but are like a blinking neon light to the rest of the world. Enjoy this special time.

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Enlist Help of Other Moms

Check on Freecycle. You can post items that you are looking for. Check local resale shops. Some areas even have consignment shops that specialize in baby items and maternity/nursing clothes. Also, ask friends who are moms. I have heard of friends passing along clothes they weren't using to other friends. If you are on Facebook, let your friends know that you are looking for gently-used nursing clothes.
Michele in Weare, NH

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