When you’re nursing a new baby, you know it’s important to have clothes with easy access to your breasts. If you don’t want to scurry off to the car so you can awkwardly lift up your entire dress for the next feeding, nursing friendly dresses will be your BFF!
After purchasing a whole new maternity wardrobe, the last thing you want to do is splurge on new postpartum and breastfeeding clothing. However, with a few staple items, you may not need to.
When you’re used to choosing your daily outfits based on your own mood and activities, it can be a tough transition once you have to dress based on breast accessibility. However, you don’t have to sacrifice your individual style on dresses made specially for nursing that you’ll never wear once you’re done nursing.
If you look for some specific features, you can buy dresses that are nursing friendly, and that you will also love to after your breastfeeding journey comes to an end.
Now, if you want to stop wasting money on drab, ill-fitting nursing clothing that you hate, keep reading to learn how to find nursing friendly dresses that will fit seamlessly into your wardrobe and make you feel like the bombshell you are!
Learn even more strategies for building a versatile postpartum wardrobe on a budget here.
Where to Start When Choosing Nursing Friendly Dresses
When you’re shopping for nursing friendly dresses, start by thinking about what cuts are going to work for your body shape. Click here if you don’t know your body type and you need help figuring it out.
Necklines are going to be the key for breastfeeding, so finding a combination of neckline and silhouette that will work for you is the ultimate goal. Sleeves or wide straps are also helpful for concealing the straps of your nursing bra.
You should start your search at the stores where you normally shop and tend to find pieces that you love. This will ensure that you’re likely to score dresses that will fit your unique personal style, and that you will continue to wear once you’re no longer breastfeeding.
Features of Nursing Friendly Dresses
There are a variety of styles and silhouettes that work best for nursing.
Wrap Front Dresses
Wrap dresses are fabulous nursing friendly options because they provide easy access for feeding. The bodice is typically made of two pieces that cross over each other in the front and can be pulled to the side at baby’s meal time.
This cut is very common (and flattering) and therefore easy to find in your favorite store. Look for styles that have a hidden closure at the bodice for accommodating milk-filled breasts and preventing wardrobe malfunctions.
You can also wear a nursing tank underneath for extra coverage if the neckline is particularly plunging.
Button Down Dresses
Buttons are another feature that makes a dress nursing friendly. Be sure to check and make sure that the buttons are functional before buying what you think is a nursing friendly dress, or you may end up with an unpleasant surprise when trying to feed a screaming hungry baby!
Three to four buttons should be more than enough to allow easy nursing access, but you can also go for a chic dress with buttons all the way down.
Buttons are a great way to add your own personal flair as well, as you can choose wooden, faceted, shapes or any number of other fun button styles.
Dresses with stretch may be the sneakiest category of nursing friendly dresses. Elastic necklines allow for many choices such as v-neck, square neck, sweetheart and more.
Knit dresses also allow for the dress to be easily pulled down as long as the neckline isn’t too high.
A quick test before purchasing a dress will tell you how stretchy the fabric is and how easy it will be to pull it down for feedings.
Straps or Sleeves
For most nursing moms, a comfortable and functional nursing bra is a must, which means you need a way to conceal the straps. Sleeves or wide straps make this easy, and thankfully there are plenty of beautiful and stylish dress choices that will keep those bra straps hidden.
Best Nursing Friendly Dresses for 2021
Now that you know exactly what to look for, you’re ready to begin your search for nursing friendly dresses!
If it still feels a little overwhelming, don’t worry! We’ve rounded up a bunch of great options for you in a variety of styles to make it as easy as possible.
Nursing Friendly Maxi Dresses
Zesica Wrap Maxi Dress– Boasting a fun bohemian print and lots of color options, this dress is a perfect nursing friendly option. The high slit also keeps it from feeling frumpy!
Free People Marissa Henley Dress– With its functioning buttons and sleeves to cover nursing bra straps, this casual maxi dress is ideal for breastfeeding.
SweatyRocks Square Neck Maxi Dress– If you want to feel right on trend this season, a square neckline is a fabulous option. The elastic on this dress will make it nursing friendly as well!
Nursing Friendly Midi Dresses
Billabong Wrap Front Midi Dress– Sneak in feedings with ease in this gorgeous, lightweight, nursing friendly midi dress!
Sopliagon Shirt Dress– A shirt dress is a great option for nursing because it has buttons all the way down the front, so you can undo as many or as few as you want. You could dress this one up with a belt or wear it as-is for a casual-cool look.
Onedreamer Square Neck Midi Dress– The slit, puff sleeves and floral print make this dress a fun and trendy choice this season. Plus, the smocked bodice makes pulling it down for feeding a breeze.
Nursing Friendly Mini Dresses
Abercrombie & Fitch Wrap Mini Dress– The flirty ruffle makes this nursing friendly wrap dress extra special!
Locryz Button Front Mini Dress– You will feel like a sexy mama in this nursing friendly mini dress with functional buttons and super soft fabric.
Aqua Gingham Smocked Mini Dress– This dress has so many fun details, but the smocked bodice and tie straps make it the perfect nursing friendly choice!
Nursing Friendly Wedding Guest Dresses
Baltic Born Meghan Velvet Wrap Maxi Dress– This velvet dress has a luxurious feel while still being nursing friendly with its wrap design. With 15 color choices, there’s something for every wedding guest!
ZAC Zac Posen Button Front Gown– This gorgeous formal dress boasts a dramatic back design but the buttons on the front are what makes it perfect for nursing at your next formal affair.
Needle & Thread Bijou Rose Smocked Gown– The details on this gown are perfection and the smocked bodice is nursing friendly for that final feeding before you hit the dance floor.
Nursing Friendly Plus Size Dresses
Nemidor Plus Size Wrap Dress– This nursing friendly plus size dress is functional and flattering and it comes in 10 lovely print and color options!
Torrid Button Front Skater Dress– This edgy dress could easily but dressed up or down, and the buttons keep it nursing friendly.
Eloquii Smocked Bodice Ruffle Day Dress– This nursing friendly plus size dress makes feedings a cinch with the smocked bodice, and the ruffle strap will keep your nursing bra covered.