5 Style Mistakes to Avoid when you’re Pregnant and Breastfeeding

There’s no need to compromise on style when it comes to dressing for pregnancy and breastfeeding. Follow these great style tips from Milk and Love, and save time and money searching for maternity and breastfeeding clothes that are both comfortable and stylish.

Style mistake 1: Synthetic Fabrics are NOT your friend

When shopping in the early stages of your first pregnancy it can be tempting to purchase a gorgeous, expensive statement piece that you expect to wear a great deal during pregnancy and early motherhood.

Unfortunately, if that gorgeous and expensive statement piece is made out of a synthetic fabric you may find you will glow every time you wear it for all the wrong reasons. Growing a baby in your belly and then breastfeeding tends to play havoc with your body temperature. Most women often end up feeling a lot hotter than they normally would. When you’re also living in a warm climate like Brisbane, it is one of the hardest things to manage during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

The best way to manage the heat (and the unfortunate ‘glow’ – i.e. red faced and sweating), is to always choose natural fabrics and bio-based fabrics such as high quality cotton, Bamboo, Modal and Tencel fabrics to help your body stay cool.

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Style mistake 2: Getting caught up in the excitement of cheap but unflattering ‘bargains’

The second big mistake first time mums often make is buying cheap ‘statement’ pieces and not enough high quality mix-and-match neutrals. It’s important to understand what styles you enjoy wearing, and stick to a colour range that you can mix and match. Cheap statement pieces tend to be exciting to buy, but then you get home and like a nasty smell that you can’t get rid of, they sit in your wardrobe, clashing with all of your favourite clothes, and every time you try them on they just don’t sit well or feel flattering. The cost per wear is far too high for something that you feel awful wearing.

If you want a statement piece then add a bright scarf or necklace, but for clothes, high quality tops and dresses that wear beautifully and that you can mix and match and wear throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding will make all the difference. As Vivienne Westwood famously said “”Buy less. Choose well. Make it last. Quality, not quantity. Everybody’s buying far too many clothes.”

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Style mistake 3: Putting off buying comfortable maternity clothes

In the early stages of their first pregnancy many first time mums feel almost guilty about buying maternity wear until they really need to. They put up with uncomfortable suit pants, and wear their suit skirts for ages. By the time they go out and buy some maternity work clothes and jeans it is such a relief. But why wait? If you are going to buy them anyway, surely it makes more sense to buy comfortable maternity clothes earlier and enjoy them for longer.

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Style mistake 4: Buying maternity clothes that aren’t breastfeeding friendly

When you’re a first time mum there is a lot to get your head around. How your baby is growing in your belly, what size they are, the ultrasounds, the healthy eating and cravings. Many first time mums don’t start to plan or think about things like birth and breastfeeding until the third trimester. But by then they have already bought a whole wardrobe of maternity clothes. If only they had considered it earlier they would have bought more maternity tops and dresses that had breastfeeding access as well.

Another thing you don’t realise until it’s too late is that it takes some time for your baby belly to shrink back down – it’s a good idea to plan to be wearing your maternity clothes for a 4th trimester because you’ll probably still have a baby belly for a while. By the time many mums have given birth they are so over ‘making do’ with their maternity clothes that they really don’t want to see them again. Perhaps if they had thought through their maternity wardrobe, and invested in key pieces that they loved, the early motherhood stage wouldn’t feel quite so daggy.

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Style mistake 5: Buying clothes that you’re not comfortable and confident breastfeeding in

Many first time mums also end up buying quite a lot of feeding tops and dresses because their babies like to feed on and off all the time. Clothes with easy, discrete nursing access which allow you to whip it out whenever and wherever you happen to be are a lifesaver.

There are two things to look out for when buying nursing tops and dresses. Firstly, check the breastfeeding access. If you’re buying online, check the pictures, if you’re buying in a shop, check that you can access enough breast for your baby to easily breastfeed. Some tops have gaps for breastfeeding access the size of a 20c piece, which makes breastfeeding very difficult, if not impossible!  Then there are the tops that require you to pull aside multiple layers – pull one up, pull one down, open your bra and then try to breastfeed while holding it in place. Unless you’re an octopus this doesn’t work well with a hungry baby.

Secondly, choose a level of coverage that you feel comfortable with. For some mums this may include having their stomach and chest covered, and as some babies don’t like nursing covers, this may make tops and dresses with a discretion layer, or a double layer a wise choice so you still feel clothed while nursing in public. Other women like to have full breastfeeding aprons for complete coverage, and other women are confident lifting up or pulling down any kind of top. It really is a personal choice – but feeling comfortable and confident breastfeeding whenever you need to and wherever you are, is the most important thing.

That’s it! What are your style lessons? Share your experiences in the comments.

Many thanks to Corryn from Milk and Love for this comprehensive guide.

Milk and Love Corryn

Corryn is a mum of two energetic little boys and is passionate about helping new mums access research-based information about Pregnancy, Birth and Breastfeeding. Corryn is also the Founder and Owner of Milk and Love, an online boutique in Paddington, which specialises in eco-friendly Maternity, Breastfeeding and Early Motherhood clothes and complementary products.

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