Coverage and Access Where You Need It
- What: Nursing tank tops
- When: Birth to weaning
- Why: Easy access, secure fasteners
- Where: Amazon
For the duration of my first pregnancy and nursing my eldest child for 15 months, I swore off clip down nursing tanks and bras. I’ve no idea what I was thinking. Probably I wasn’t thinking at all, because I spent all my time trying to keep him from screaming.
Now that I’ve had a moment to think about it, I had a nursing bra with actual snap closures for access. It unsnapped itself regularly while I wore it, without any encouragement from me. I assumed, incorrectly, that the hook kind of nursing bras and tanks would act similarly, so I didn’t buy any.
With my second child, I couldn’t take the nursing bra with regular shirt combination any longer. More importantly, I got self-conscious about my belly after two kids in twenty months, and I didn’t feel like showcasing my stomach each time I nursed. I needed something to cover my pregnant belly without exposing my tummy. I broke down and bought a couple of tanks on the recommendation of friends.
Boy, am I ever glad I did. I ended up with five or six by the time my third child came along. I wore them every single day. Because they came with a shelf bra built in, I rarely needed a nursing bra. I found them comfortable enough to sleep in and they offered unparalleled access on a moment’s click. I could undo and fasten them with only one hand, which was a major requirement as my other one held a hungry, sleepy, or eating baby.
In the winter I wore them under other shirts and sweaters. I could lift a regular shirt and still not expose any skin, which worked great for nursing on the go and at home. Plus the layered look made it seem like I had put some thought into my outfit, when actually I just grabbed whatever happened to be clean and on top of the pile.
I got my original tanks from Motherhood Maternity. After I got the basics in black, gray, and black and gray stripes, I expanded my options with more colors and details. I got one in a neutral pale pink trimmed with lace at the top and another in a muted plum shade.
I used them through two pregnancies and two nursing children, both of whom nursed for about 28 months. They got tons of use and I never had a problem, except when it came time to part with them. I gave them away after I finished nursing not because I didn’t love them, but because they had stretched out and didn’t fit well any longer.
My only major complaint is that most of mine came with thin spaghetti straps. Men clearly design them because no breastfeeding woman would choose anything narrower than a quarter for extra support. I did like that the straps adjusted to fit my changing (sometimes by the hour) size, but I felt you could make the straps broader and still offer the same flexibility. One of my purchases had thicker straps and I loved it most.
As a base layer or worn alone, I loved nursing tanks for their ease of access, coverage, and simplicity.