An often unexpected challenge of being a new mum is what happens to our bodies post birth. Amongst all the things we are trying to work out how to do for the new baby, we too have new things to master and understand. Specifically, boobs. Often overnight we have giant breasts that have gone up maybe three bra sizes.
Once the initial engorgement calms down and we work out the whole breastfeeding thing, we are often still left with bigger busts during our breastfeeding journey. And that can present all sorts of dressing and wardrobe challenges.
Prior to my babies, I was already a bigger busted gal (FF cup) and while I did go up one size after my first baby, luckily I already knew how to flatter a larger chest. I did have to master the breastfeeding wardrobe, though. As a stylist and mama to a baby and toddler, I have learnt a few things that balance the very practical need to feed baby along with wanting to feel nice on all those park trips and long ‘please sleep’ pram walks.
Lower necklines will help reduce the bust appearance and help not to look too top heavy. Opt for scoop or v-neck styles. This can apply whether you’re choosing nursing-specific clothing (with the clips or zips for feeds) or working with your old wardrobe or regular pieces. If you’re worried about looking too sexy with this new larger bust, make friends with singlets and tanks under your tops. Just make sure they’re not to tight to pull down for a hungry bub.
Casual button down style tops – like a denim chambray shirt are also a good option. A singlet underneath works well here too.
I’d recommend all breastfeeding mums and especially those who have really grown in the boob department, get a proper bra fitted. This can make an enormous difference to both your confidence and overall look. Personally, I loved using a flexiwire nursing bra which gave the girls some lift and space between the boobs and tummy.
All items found at Kmart.
I found separates the easiest way to be functional and stylish while feeding on the go (particularly once I was chasing a toddler while cradling a newborn ). It means you can show some shape (hello skinny jeans) and play around with the tops. Showing some shape when you have a bigger bust is important, particularly if you are also a shortie like myself. By shape I'm not at all taking about anything clingy. No way. If you are just working with regular tops a tip is to wear a singlet underneath and just lift your top, push down the singlet and bra for quick boob access without revealing too much boob/skin/ tummy.
I envy those who are feeding or about to be feeding during the summer months (I had winter babies) as there are far less layers and fuss to get baby on the boob. And so many fun, on trend and affordable options in store right now.
All items found at Kmart.
A bigger bust does not mean you have to hide away in black or avoid anything colourful or any prints. Yes, you absolutely can - and should wear stripes. Love me some stripes. If you are worried about the print making your chest look even bigger just stick to finer prints or thin stripes.
Listen to a snippet of Mia Freedman's interview with Tiffiny Hall on her post-baby body. (Post continues after audio.)
Another trick particularly when the budget is tight, is to raid your partner’s wardrobe. Once you know the necklines and pieces that flatter your bigger chest you might strike outfit gold if you ‘borrow’ his white shirt (hello tunic style top that is great with all your skinny jeans) or his V-neck knits (comfy, boob accessible) and great over tights or half-tucked into skirts.
Down the track
If you’re needing to get up dressed for work or smarter occasions and still top heavy, here are some more tips for general big boob dressing:
- Jackets and blazers: Cropped styles are generally more flattering with a bigger bust. Also it is more important it fits your shoulders, arms and waist rather than trying to squeeze across a large chest. Make peace with wearing unbuttoned so you can get the fit in the rest of the body right.
- Collars: If your blazer has a collar or lapel, wear something collarless underneath. And vice versa. Two collars is too busy and too much with your lovely chest.
There is so much to love and learn about being a new mum. While the baby is obviously the priority, I have also really come to appreciate the importance of self-care. If mama feels good and is happy, the whole household benefits. And never underestimate the power of a cute outfit after a crappy night!