Whether you’re new to breastfeeding, or you’re an expert who’s already had kids – you may be looking for some more convenient clothes to make your life a little easier when it comes to feeding your little one.
Here, I’ll suggest the best nursing dresses for different occasions from weddings to casual summer dresses. I struggled to find suitable dresses, especially ones that washed well and kept their shape.
I’ve also given some tips on what to wear other than dresses when it comes to nursing.
Best Formal Dress for Nursing
V-Neck Dress by Purpless Maternity
This ruched, V neck dress by Purpless Maternity has ¾ length sleeves and ruching to the side, which gives it a really elegant look.
The dress itself is made from 95% viscose and 5% elastane so it’s really comfortable and will flatter your figure as well as being easy to wash if you leak.
The neckline isn’t hemmed, so it allows you to pull it to the side and nurse with ease, no matter where you are.
The dress comes in 6 different colours, so there will be one for whatever occasion you decide to wear it. It can also be worn with leggings or jeans as a long top if you prefer!
- Easy to nurse in
- Comfortable material that’s flattering on any figure
- Easy to wash (machine washable)
- Easy to iron
- 6 colours
- Allows for room for growing bump if you purchase before giving birth
- Colour is darker than the one shown
- Creases easily
Best Nursing-Friendly Dress for a Wedding in the UK
Happy Mama Nursing Maxi Dress
If you want a bargain as well as a nursing-friendly dress to wear to a wedding, then this dress by HAPPY MAMA is a stylish maxi dress you should consider.
I particularly like that it’s finished with a tie around the waist to cinch you in and flatter your body shape.
It has short sleeves, hangs well at the front and comes in 30 different styles, from florals, to stripes, to plain colours so it definitely looks formal enough for a wedding.
Depending on the style, it’s either made from 95% Viscose and 5% Elastane, or 100% Polyester meaning that it’s quick-drying if you were to leak during the day.
These fabrics are also easy to wash as you can just throw them in the washing machine.
The dress itself allows for ease of nursing with the top just pulling to the side, but it’s subtle about it – it doesn’t look like a nursing dress at all!
- Subtle, ease of nursing design
- Waist tie
- 30 different styles
- Machine washable
- Quick drying fabric
- Short sleeved
- Allows for room for growing bump
- Heavy stretch fabric
- Those under 5”5 have said the dress is too long to be worn without heels, but the fabric is easy to hem
Best Breastfeeding Dress in the UK For A Special Occasion
Smallshow Nursing Dress
This nursing dress by Smallshow features a round neckline, ¾ length sleeves and 2 pockets.
It comes in 7 different styles and the sizes go all the way up to a size 22, which is a huge plus as it can be extremely difficult to find plus size nursing dresses or nursing dresses for those with larger chests. I was overweight after I had my second baby and was so happy to find this!
It’s made of really soft material so it’s comfortable, lightweight and falls nicely from the waist. It can be dressed up for a special occasion, or dressed down with a pair of leggings or tights.
It can even be worn after you’ve weaned your baby as it doesn’t look like a nursing dress at all.
It’s easy to nurse – the dress has a flap in the upper part of the dress, which can be lifted up to expose your breast and feed your baby easily and discreetly.
With its high neckline, it’s modest and will ensure that you feel covered. It’s machine washable and can be put in the tumble dryer on a low heat too to get rid of any milk or sick stains.
- Comfortable and modest
- Flap that lifts up for easy and discreet nursing
- Size range from 8 – 22
- Machine washable
- Can be put in the tumble dryer
- Can be ironed
- 7 colour options
- The length can differ on different heights, for some it is above the knee, others it is below
Best Nursing Maxi Dress in the UK
OUGES Nursing / Breastfeeding Maxi Dress
This maxi dress by OUGES comes in a variety of different colours and styles, with all different sleeve lengths.
It’s made from 94% Polyester and 6% Elastane which means that it’s a stretchy and comfortable fabric that won’t cling to you in the wrong places.
It has a V neck and waist tie as well as a zipper on the side and it even has pockets! It gives off a really classy look that can be worn to the beach, on a date night or just around the house.
The sizes go up to 3XL – which is the equivalent to a UK 22-24.
Although this dress isn’t explicitly a nursing/maternity dress, with the belted wrap in the chest area of the dress it makes it really easy to nurse your baby without having to take anything off.
The material will stretch at the neckline to pull it aside and expose your breast, then once you’re finished feeding your baby it springs right back into shape.
- Stretchy material that snaps back into place and makes nursing easy
- Up to 3XL (UK 22-24)
- Machine washable on a cold wash
- V neck and waist tie gives a classy look
- Zipper on the side
- Customers who wear smaller sizes (UK 6-8) have said that size S is too large for them
- Not long enough for taller women (5”10+)
Best Nursing Summer Dress
Mamalicious Maternity Nursing Dress
(Check Price at ASOS)
You no longer have to choose between comfort and style with this maternity nursing dress by Mamalicious.
It comes in a gorgeous black and white abstract print with a point collar, tie waist and ruffle skirt that looks super fashionable as well as being comfortable.
You can dress it up with a pair of heels or boots, or dress it down with a pair of trainers.
It’s a button-down shirt dress, which means that when it comes to nursing you can quickly undo a few buttons to breastfeed without having to struggle taking things off.
The dress itself is made from lightweight viscose which will keep you cool during the warmer months, drapes well, is breathable and highly absorbent too – so it’ll soak up any milk leaks and the dark colour pattern will hide it well too so there’s no need to feel self conscious!
- Both stylish and comfortable
- Button down which makes it easy to nurse baby
- Made from lightweight viscose – great for summer
- Absorbent and darker colour pattern means leaks will be hidden well
- Machine washable
- Length can be awkward on petite women (5”2 and below)
Tips On How To Dress When Breastfeeding
Before becoming a mother, the ease of exposing your breasts may not be something you’ve thought about when buying pieces for your wardrobe.
When you’re taking care of a baby, the need to nurse can arise at any time so it’s important to ensure that your clothes are both comfortable and convenient.
Aside from the dresses above, there are a few more things to consider that will make your life a whole lot easier when it comes to breastfeeding your baby:
Not many new mums realize the importance of a nursing bra. Pulling up a regular bra to expose your breast can put unnecessary pressure on your breast that can lead to clogged milk ducts (source: Clothing and Textile Research Journal).
Nursing bras are a lot easier to latch and unlatch at the cups and are made of absorbent material which is great, as although nursing pads can help, they’re not 100% effective and milk is likely to leak through to your bra.
Vest tops that are made from stretchy materials make the perfect nursing top, as you can just pull them down to nurse.
They can be worn under things that aren’t made for nursing, such as jumpers, but keep you covered and comfortable.
Sleeping Nursing Bras
Although you may not usually wear a bra to bed, when you’re nursing it can be a good idea to wear one to keep your breast pads in place, as you’re most likely to leak during the night due to the higher levels of prolactin (source: NHS).
The difference between normal nursing bras and sleeping ones is that the ones you wear to bed don’t have the latch at the front – you can just pull them down to save fiddling around in the dark.
As well as a nursing bra, you may want to consider sleepwear that is specially made for nursing, such as a nightgown. This will help you to nurse as easily as possible and get back to sleep once you’re done.
Button down shirts/dresses
f you don’t want to wear clothes that are made for nursing, then opting for dresses or shirts that have buttons can be a good idea as you just undo a few buttons and you’re ready to go.
A wrap dress or top would work well too.
Tip: Add a scarf! One of my favourite tips from nursing mothers is to add a scarf to your outfit.
Scarves can give you more privacy when nursing if you’re not comfortable doing it out in the open, and it saves you carrying a modesty blanket with you everywhere.
There are also a few things that you probably shouldn’t wear when you’re nursing:
- Regular, underwired bras
- Extremely tight tops
- Multiple layers
After reading this article, I hope you’ve found all the information that you were looking for.
Good luck on your nursing journey – you’ve got this!