Nursing clothes
September 4, 2009 8:41 PM   Subscribe

I need breastfeeding tops. Please tell me where I can find some that won't cost a ton of money.

So I currently have two infants at home, and I'm breastfeeding. One is generally crawling all over the place and often trying to hurt himself in new and inventive ways, while the other is wanting to nurse pretty constantly. For many reasons, nursing tops are pretty essential for me right now, but I'm having a hard time finding them for less than exorbitant sums. There are a few websites that I've found, but they're very expensive and generally have terrible return policies. What with the two babies and all, I don't have a whole lot of money to spend on this, and I really don't want to spend a bunch of cash on clothes that I can't try on. Any ideas, MeFi mommies?
posted by LittleMissCranky to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (19 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Big loose "A" shirts as undershirts, big button down shirts from Goodwill.
posted by tilde at 8:46 PM on September 4, 2009

Best answer: I presume that you've looked at places like goodwill or Value Village? I got some nice maternity clothes at my local Goodwill Fashions. (I actually never used nursing tops---I just pull up my shirt---but I presume that doesn't work for you.)
posted by leahwrenn at 8:47 PM on September 4, 2009

Best answer: Target carries nursing tank tops that can be layered under something else (say a button-up shirt). They're cheap and comfortable - lots of my friends also liked them. The Gap and Old Navy have maternity sections that I recall having nursing tops as well. I think the online versions have a better selection.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 8:47 PM on September 4, 2009

Here are the tanks I was mentioning from Target.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 8:52 PM on September 4, 2009

(not a mum, though I am female)

How come regular button down tops don't work?
posted by titanium_geek at 8:52 PM on September 4, 2009

Best answer: No ideas on nursing clothes specifically--I had a friend with a connection at Japanese Weekend who got me a couple of things, but that brand falls right into your Very Expensive Website pile, and I had a few things I ordered from eBay, and I honestly found them to be ineffective and very futzy with their little hidey-holes and ruffles and fasteners.

One suggestion though, in case you don't find anything you like or you do but can't buy a whole week's worth of them: my go-to outfit involved a tank top (of the men's undershirt variety) layered beneath an overshirt or jacket of some sort. That second, thin, slightly loose layer allowed for really good coverage whether my concern was discretion (which it really never was), an easily distracted feeder who was happier with some fabric to play with or hide under, wanting to nurse in a sling without exposing my flabby belly to the cold air, or what have you.

In fact, I started out by wearing my husband's old undershirts, which were too-big enough that I could pretty much pull up my overshirt and pull the armhole or neck of the tank aside to expose my breast underneath. Totally easy. Later on I spiffed up the wifebeater wardrobe a bit.
posted by padraigin at 8:53 PM on September 4, 2009

Also, the stuff from Motherhood is pretty inexpensive.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 8:58 PM on September 4, 2009

Best answer: There's a resale shop in the small but progressive town of Carrboro, NC, specifically for infant goods (toys, clothes, equipment) and they also have some nursing tops. Maybe there's a shop like that in your (mysterious) town too?
posted by amtho at 8:58 PM on September 4, 2009

Oh, I'd also search Craigslist - this is the kind of thing that people only need for a certain amount of time, you know?
posted by amtho at 8:59 PM on September 4, 2009

Best answer: I don't know where you are, but in our area (SF Bay Area) there are maternity-specific consignment shops.
posted by mosk at 9:06 PM on September 4, 2009

You could wear very low-cut tops, and just pop your boob out the top.
posted by debbie_ann at 9:21 PM on September 4, 2009

Best answer: I'm also nursing right now (well, not right now- he's in bed), and my wardrobe consists of all of my normal tops layered over the Target nursing tanks. I love them since I can hike up my shirt, but keep everything but the business part covered. I think they work just as well as and are slightly more convenient than a nursing top-nursing bra combo. Plus, they're only around $15. I have one for every day of the week.

Also have you tried nursing in a sling? I never got the hang of it, but it has the potential for some good mama coverage and extra mobility for baby chasing.
posted by rebeccabeagle at 9:23 PM on September 4, 2009

Best answer: Japanese Weekend. Seriously. No other nursing shirts will do.
I got 4 JW tops on eBay (new!) and wore them every day for 6 months. They got washed a lot. They held up. My Target, Old Navy and Motherhood tops did not last.

They're still in such good shape that I could probably eBay them. I'm passing them along to a pregnant friend tho.

(BTW, I learned about JW from a previous AskMe.)
posted by k8t at 9:41 PM on September 4, 2009

Best answer: Oh, and if you want to go really cheap, Forever 21 tops (just get the large size), are cheap, cute, and pull-downable. I tried H&M and Target tops and they don't look as flattering (on me at least) in the larger sizes.

Remember that soon enough, you won't be a milk machine for short feedings. Nowadays with my 10-month-old, I'm in much greater control of when he nurses. I don't feel compelled to wear nursing shirts except on airplanes anymore.
posted by k8t at 9:44 PM on September 4, 2009

Best answer: I cut the bottom half off a regular tank top and wore a button down shirt over it. I had plenty of both in my closet so no need to buy anything except a few good nursing bras.
posted by Ochre,Hugh at 10:42 PM on September 4, 2009

Best answer: I've heard good things about glamourmom's nursing tanks. They aren't exactly cheap, but there is a 'colors of the month' section with discounts on a few select styles.
posted by logic vs love at 11:49 PM on September 4, 2009

Best answer: What size are you? I have about 6 tops (including a few Japanese Weekend brand) ready to go to Goodwill and would be happy to send them to you. MeMail me if you're interested and I can send you some pictures.
posted by cocoagirl at 3:26 AM on September 5, 2009 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I have a nursing top in a size small (Motherwear brand, and it's really not small at all -- more of a medium in department store sizing) I'm happy to send you. MeMail me your address if you want it.

That said, there's a reason I only bought one -- I had such better results with the layered tank-and-tee (where the tank comes down and the tee goes up) or tank-and-button-up-shirt (where the button-up gets unbuttoned at the top and the tank goes up) in terms of convenience, modesty (my own issue, I know), expense, and looks. You could try a henley tank with a lower-cut tee over it, and keep the henley unbuttoned and pull the tee up for nursing. Or in the winter, a cardigan over a tee -- the cardigan makes a nice little curtain.

Those kids are sure close together! No wonder you're Cranky. Hang in there; mine are a year and a half apart, and now that the little one is over a year, no one nursing anymore, both sleeping through the night, it's a lot of fun.
posted by palliser at 8:42 AM on September 5, 2009

Oh, and I didn't mean a nursing tank -- I'd wear a nursing bra, then a stretchy tank (stretchy enough to pull down below the bra, if one strap came off the shoulder), then a tee.
posted by palliser at 8:44 AM on September 5, 2009

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