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Nursing Chic

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Nursing Chic
By Roxanne Beckford, 
owner of one hot mama nursing fashions

Oh, yeah! Well, notwithstanding the number of times you’ll look down and see curdled milk on your blouse or all the days you won’t see the inside of a shower except, maybe, to clean it; it is possible to look good while being a human Dairy Queen (if only the other DQ was open 24 hours and available in bed).

After over five years (!) of almost continuous nursing (I did take a lactation vacation while in the last half of my second pregnancy), while working/not working/traveling/staying at home/going to black tie events, I’ve compiled the following suggestions.  Now, some people think there’s nothing more beautiful than the sight of a naked mother nursing her naked baby.  True.  It makes for a lovely, sepia-toned photograph in a magazine when the mom’s head is slightly turned so you can’t tell who she is if you saw her in a board meeting.  But I don’t want to see it in person in the mall.  That’s just me.  If you live in a nudist colony, more power to you. But I like to nurse (clearly a good thing, because so does the little guzzler) and I like to go places and see my friends.  I don’t want anyone to see my nipples.  Nor do I particularly want to see anyone else’s. (Exception: someone’s having a tough time latching on or pain while nursing and asks you for help…then you gotta look).  So you have to dress around the needs of your baby.

Here’s how to do it without wearing sackcloth. And for tips on how to nurse in public once you’re dressed and out the door, go to Rules of The Road for help.

  Remember this: you have a great body. How can I say this with confidence?  You produced a baby, and even if someone else grew that baby in their body, you’re now making the milk to feed that baby (yes, adoptive moms can nurse).  If that’s not a great body, I don’t know what is.

  Accentuate the positive.  If you’re self-conscious about your middle, wear dresses that show your legs. Take care of your hair (when you can).

  About your hair, don’t make the huge error I did and cut it all off when the baby’s a month old.  Thinking that shorter meant easier was wrong, plain wrong. Shorter means no ponytails or chignons (easy to do with dirty hair), washing and styling daily so I didn’t look like a boy and traipsing to the salon once a month so I didn’t have awkward growing-out hair.  Colour it instead.

  Get a uniform.  Sweats and sneakers sound ok, but they just don’t make you feel good.  Try a nursing twin set and jeans, or nursing dress and platform sneaks. Or tiny camisole top and swirling skirt.

  Use a sling, use if often, and get it in a non-goofy colour.  As I’ve said elsewhere, my pink and red hearts grew old, especially when people thought it was some sort of wrap.  Get a colour you’d actually wear (for me, that now means black or navy).  The sling will hide your breasts the times you absolutely have to expose it.

  In the early, still-spitting-up months, don’t wear solids.  And don’t wear black.  Spit-up practically glows on black.  Save it for when baby keeps down most of what goes in.

  Groom yourself.  Even if it’s only a swipe of lipstick and a pair of sunglasses.  Your best accessory is, of course, Little Lord Fauntleroy, and if he’s under 9 months or so, people won’t really be looking at you anyway.  But before you know it, they’ll be speaking to your face again, so be prepared.  A bit of colour on your smiling lips will dazzle anyone (even your husband may think you have on full war paint).

  Wear clothes that ease over your body rather than those that try to camouflage it.  Then you’ll look like a sloppy box instead of a woman-shaped person.  T-shirts are great nursing tops, but shapeless ones won’t do you any favours.  Make sure there’s enough lycra in the cotton to snap back after you’re done nursing.

  The other thing to watch out for is tops that cling in unattractive places.  Men like butts, so don’t hide yours with an extra layer that’ll bubble up.  Tops that end at your hipbones are also easier to lift for access.

  Make sure you subscribe to at least one magazine for childless women.  Glamour was my favourite, until they changed editors and somehow morphed into Cosmo, yech!  But there's still some decent ones out there.

  Adapt your regular clothes.  Overalls are adorable with a fitted t-shirt, and access is simple.  If it’s cold, or you don’t like showing your belly, or you’ll be in church, cut holes in a t-shirt or thermal underwear or a camisole and wear it under your top.

  Get some
nursing dresses and tops. At first I agonized about spending on a specialty item like that, and they were so ugly I couldn’t imagine wearing them if I wasn’t nursing, so I didn’t buy any until Cameron was 9 months old.  I sure could have used them that first long, hot summer.  Also, if you nurse for one year, you’ll save from $1,500 to $2,500 on formula, bottles, and doctor visits, so why not treat yourself?

  The most important secret for being a hot mama while nursing is this. Enjoy your baby.  Enjoy this time.  Be proud of yourself for what you’re doing — nourishing a human being.  That’ll put a little glow into your cheeks!  Want to be able to nurse in public?  Or just spend time in your living room with all those relatives crowded around? Check out
Rules of The Road for tips on nursing discreetly.

 Look, dressing for success was never easy, and now you’ve added someone with a voracious appetite to the mix.  No wonder you glaze over at the mall.  Have a fashion question?   Email me and we’ll solve it together.  Remember the Vidal Sassoon motto: If you don’t look good, you feel like poop (or something like that!).



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