If you're in your last stages of pregnancy with your first child, you're probably looking forward to being able to fit into your pre-baby wardrobe again -- after all, as cute as today's maternity styles often are, there's nothing quite like slipping into your favorite pair of jeans or wearing an elegant, form-fitting dress for a night on the town. You'll definitely feel like you're being reunited with old friends when reintroduced to the pre-pregnancy contents of your closet, but you should also be prepared for the fact that your lifestyle as a parent will have a definite effect on your wardrobe needs.
This doesn't mean that it's time for your skinny jeans and other favorite items to go to the thrift store, but it does mean that you should make room in your closet for certain post-pregnancy wardrobe items. For instance, you'll probably need to add a few articles of clothing designed to make a breastfeeding mom's life easier. Following are five of them.
Button Down Shirts
A top quality button down shirt automatically makes even an old pair of jeans look a bit more polished, and many new moms appreciate being able to quickly create a more pulled-together look. Another advantage of this style of shirt is that it makes it much easier to breastfeed and offers more discretion than pullover tops. Also, the bottoms of pullover tops tend to get stretched out quickly when worn by breastfeeding moms, but this isn't an issue with button down shirts.
Deep V-Necked Shirts
This type of shirt is best for when spending time at home or in another casual environment. Get the soft, stretchy kind that pulls down easily when it's time to feed baby. You'll probably want to buy multiples of this particular style because they can be paired with almost any other separate. For instance, they work just as well with a pair of casual yoga pants as with tailored slacks or a nice skirt for when the occasion calls for a more upscale look.
A Large, Roomy Cardigan
Not only can a large, roomy cardigan offer a bit of camouflage for those few baby pounds most new moms end up with after pregnancy, but they make it easier to breastfeed comfortably and discreetly. Make sure your cardigans are made of soft, breathable fabric instead of itchy wool that might irritate your baby's tender skin, and do yourself a favor and buy ones that are machine washable. New moms have better things to do than schlep clothing to the dry cleaners!
Every new mom's closet should contain at least one good breastfeeding dress. You may need several if you work in a conservative field such as banking or real estate, or you may need only one if your workplace is casual or if you're a stay-at-home mom. Two-piece dresses are a good choice, or, if you like the way that one-piece dresses look, go for those with large armholes, openings under the arm, or buttons down the front. Wrap dresses are also good options for nursing mothers. Avoid anything that has a back zipper or other features that might make breastfeeding challenging as you look to buy women's breastfeeding dresses.
Breastfeeding sleepwear can be anything from your favorite flannel pants paired with loose cotton T-shirt to a pretty nightgown with buttons or openings designed to make midnight breastfeeding a snap. To help simplify your life as much as possible, have plenty of breastfeeding-friendly sleepwear on hand -- chances are good that each one will require washing after only one wear. Having multiples helps ensure that you've always got something clean to wear at the end of a long day.