We've had several requests for nursing-friendly holiday dresses. Which, as many of you know, is easier said then done. Most festive holiday fabrics (silk, lace, anything shiny) have very little give and therefore are tough to nurse in - even if the neckline is low. The best nursing-friendly dresses have a stretchy neckline - something with jersey, perhaps, so they easily pull down to nurse. However, these dresses can often look too casual. Finding something dressy (or that can be dressed up) and nursing-friendly is key.
Another pitfall? The wrap dress. These often appear nursing friendly, but in reality, many require partial unwrapping for full nursing access to 'the girls'. Um. Awkward.
Lastly....bras. As in, we need them. Milk is heavy.
So. If you are in the market for a nursing-friendly holiday dress, keep the following in mind:
1. Find dresses in stretchy fabrics.
2. If you want a wrap dress, be sure that it's drapey enough to allow nursing access without having to re-tie.
3. Be sure you can wear a bra (BTW - a strapless bra is very easy to nurse in...but be sure you have one that fits properly).
Here are some of my favorites for a bit of inspiration.....
The V-Neck Maxi by Rosebud (below, top left) is my favorite. Totally pooch-hiding, easy nursing access. Wear a pretty bra, or a plunge bra. Make it fancier with a long pendant necklace, make it warmer with a pashmina-type wrap. (Yes, I still wear those things!)
The Isabella Oliver dress in the middle is drop-dead sexy. And a perfect example of a drapy v-neck that wouldn't need to be re-tied.
Rachel Pally makes all of her pieces out of gorgeously stretchy material. Because of that, the black one-shoulder dress below would actually work for a nursing mom. You'll have to shimmy it down a bit to nurse on the covered side (and obviously would need a strapless bra), but it would be easy. The back of this dress is gorgeous.
Ruched & Draped Over the Pooch
Many nursing gals will have some kind of left-over post-partum pooch. The dresses below all have some kind of stretchy neckline as well as some ruching or creative draping that would help camouflage a pooch. Make sure you wear a pretty bra - after all of that pulling down, there's a decent chance yours will show. If you are wearing one as gorgeous as Cake lingerie's (here's mine and mine)....who cares? It's just part of the outfit.
Waisted Mini Dresses
If you are only a little bit poochy, these dresses can work. Play around with where on the pooch they should hit. The Kissy Batwing dress (top left) may actually work when tied under the pooch. (This dress also comes in black, which will further hide poochiness).
The little black dress, top right, with lace shoulders is an actual nursing dress, and, despite the lace, is a bit casual. I'd pump this one up with a glimmery belt and long gloves.
Similarly, the printed dress in the bottom row is also pretty casual, but has a cool vintage vibe. A shiny patent black belt, opaque tights, and heels will take this dress in the right direction. Or, if you'd like to keep the vintage look going, pair it with patterned nude tights, lace-up heels and a faux-fur wrap or jacket.
The last option is to find a pretty skirt (I'm loving the J. Crew Sequin Mesh Ball Skirt, $148, pictured at left) and throw it on with a v-neck sweater. You'll be comfy, warm, and look pretty. AND you'll be able to nurse.
Happy Holidays Mamas!!