best bathing suits for postpartum moms who breastfeed their babies

Breastfeeding-Friednly Swimsuits: The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need

Nursing your newborn at a beach can be fun and frightening at the same time.

You are about to wear a swimsuit again, but your body has changed, and the old ones you rocked before childbirth don’t work anymore. 

You’ve determined it’s time for a new suit, but you are not sure about going with function or with style.

To help, here’re some quick tips on how to get nursing swimsuits that accommodate both.

There’s no “best” in nursing swimsuits

Never forget that, by giving birth to a child, you are already a champ in many aspects.

Your body has just had the most amazing and somewhat intimidating experiences ever since adolescence. No one knows your post-baby body better than you. It’s constantly changing and adapting.

Breastfeeding is a challenging job for many, both physically and mentally. According to CDC, only 24.9% of moms provide exclusive breastfeeding to their newborns. If you are one of them, props to you for providing “your baby with wonderful nutrients and antibodies that have immediate and long lasting health benefits.”

When you finally decide to put on a bathing suit and take your newborn outside, there’s one extra thing to worry about: you need suits that both cater to your breastfeeding needs and also flatter your shape and curves.

there's no such thing as best swimsuits for nursing

Oftentimes, all those so-called “nursing bikinis” that claim to work best for others are just some nice-looking bubbles waiting to burst, they may not work on you at all.

Instead of going with swimsuits that don’t fit, why don’t we face the truth and figure out our real needs and get ourselves some real styles we can actually enjoy our summers in?

Not the best ones, but the right ones though.

What actually makes a swimsuit breastfeeding-friendly

the elements and essentials of a nursing friendly swimsuits

“It may come as no surprise that your post-breastfeeding breasts may barely resemble your pre-pregnancy ones,” Sara Lindberg writes in a Healthline article. “You may find your breasts (and nipples) are larger, smaller, different sizes, softer, more pronounced…”

So when it comes to bathing suits, don’t limit your selections to just a one-piece, a top & bottom combo, a halter, a high waist, or a suit specifically built for nursing.

Any swimsuit can be considered nursing-friendly when it’s got some of these below features.

1. Easy-to-reveal/remove cups

Some nursing swimsuits have A-framed cups with clasps at the top. But for a normal suit, it should be fairly easy for the cups to be pulled aside/down, untied, or uncovered, so you can have your breasts available whenever your baby needs them.

2. Supportive but not in a boob-compressing way

The suit should have cups that can offer enough support and hold your breasts comfortably without causing shoulder/neck pain, or even worse, clogs.

3. Adjustable fit

Your breast size may go up or down throughout the feeding phase, it’s normal.

To deal with that, the top of the bathing suit should have designs (shoulder or back straps/zipper/paddings/etc.) that give extra space and adjustability for size fluctuations.

4. Safe with milk leakage

When leaks happen and you don’t have your breast pump by hand, swimsuits with light colors, repeated prints/patterns, and ruffles can help cover and make milk stains unnoticeable. 

And suits with removable paddings are great options too, they may not be as good as nursing pads, but can come just as handy in times of emergency.

5. Made with stretchy, breathable fabrics

While elasticity is the magic that makes a bathing suit last many seasons and fit various body types, suits made with stretchy fabrics will provide more sizing flexibility, so you can relax and focus more on taking care of your child.

6. Coverage for the right area

Whether your insecurities are about the tummy, the butt, the waist, or just the arms, the suit you choose should offer just enough coverage for whichever you want to hide.

These are what you should look for in regular swimsuits, but to get a full understanding of your nursing needs, learn more about yourself by asking the right questions.

Before buying any nursing swimsuit, answer these 19 questions first

questions you should ask before considering shopping for a nursing swimsuits
  • Are you still in your postpartum period? How old is your baby?
  • Has your breast/cup/ size changed during the past few months?
  • Can you still fit in the swimsuit you bought pre-baby?
  • How often do you breastfeed in a day?
  • Do you want your scar from your C-section or stretch marks covered?
  • How much coverage do you need? (abdomen, butt, arm, etc.)
  • When was the last time you waxed/shaved your bikini line?
  • Will you go into the water?
  • Do underwired bras make you uncomfortable?
  • What do you usually do with padding? Remove them or keep them?
  • How much support do you need?
  • Do you still have to pump breast milk?
  • Have you had leaks/sprays before?
  • Which style of swimsuit do you prefer? (one piece, swimsuit sets, halter top, etc.)
  • Will you be aware when you are leaking?
  • Have you had clogs before?
  • Do you wipe your nipples before feeding?
  • How often do you plan to wear the suit?
  • What price range would you consider reasonable?

Be specific.

No one knows your post-baby self better than you.

Take the above quizzes if you are not sure about what kind of suits you should get.

Lay out some facts about your body, your situation, and what you may or may not like/need. 

Beware of all the ads, they are nothing but blatant hard sells and false representations.

And if it’s your first time being a mom, don’t just count on your past experiences with certain brands, your swimsuits of choice must be based on how confident you currently are with your body,  what styles you are more comfortable with, and how you expect to nurse your infant while you are out there.

Nursing Swimsuits to Shop for If You Are Breastfeeding

Criteria we used for the following recommendations

  • The top is easy to uncover/pull down for boob access.
  • The cups are soft and supportive, with optional padding and underwire.
  • The shoulder straps are adjustable.
  • Suits that emphasize tummy, butt, bikini line, thigh, etc. coverage are favored.
  • The suit should at least contain 60% of stretchy fabrics.
  • The suits should come in various price ranges. (under $50, $50 to $100, above $100, etc.)
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