Have you thought about doing a roundup of dresses that might be suitable for breastfeeding? I'm sure there are brides to whom it might be relevant, and also bridesmaids! There are plenty of casual dresses out there that would work, but what about the bride or bridesmaid who wants a more formal/evening look? — Rachel
So here's what I learned in my 15 months of breastfeeding: all kinds of tops and dresses can are breastfeeding-friendly, especially once you get the hang of it. While I didn't don a wedding dress or bridesmaid gown during my stint as a nursing mother, I did experiment with a variety of necklines to find out what was the easiest to manuever my son around. You also want to wear something that can be folded back/pushed to the side pretty quickly — hungry babies are demanding!
Anything that's cut low is an obvious good match — and with gowns, I've found that sweetheart necklines and V-necks are the easiest. It might seem like it makes sense to go strapless, as strapless would = easier boob access, but you're also going to want a neckline that's offering SOME kind of support (especially if your milk decides to come in during the middle of the ceremony: ouch).
With all of this in mind, here's a collection of wedding gowns and bridesmaids dresses that could work for a breastfeeding mother (or even breastfeeding trans-dad!):
Unless noted, all gowns are plus-size friendly, and most of these choices are white gowns. Sizes are indicated in parentheses after each gown name — click on the photos to find the gown online!
Vintage-inspired and romantic gowns
To me, the Evelyn (2-28) gown from Ruche calls to mind the Guineveres of the world as well as all things ethereal: I can simultaneously see this worn in a sunset ceremony in the mountains and a Renaissance-themed wedding.
While it's only available in sizes Small-XLarge, the Gwen in Ivory and Gwen in Pink gowns are to diiiiie for. I'm obsessed with the tulle skirt, and the sweetheart neckline and lack of bust boning make this an ideal dress for quick breastfeeding.
Modern and quirky dresses
This dress is actually designed for maternity and nursing — so you could wear it while pregnant, while breastfeeding, or while pregnant and breastfeeding a toddler. It's budget-friendly ($99) and could also double as a good fit for a nursing bridesmaid, or a wedding guest.
This is another maternity and nursing combo dress — the top is elastic, so it stretches easily. WIN.
HELLO, easy A-line breastfeeding wedding gown (available in sizes 14W-26W)! This is kind of perfect for anyone still carrying baby weight — the top is supportive, the empire waist is flattering, and the dress is just gorgeous.
Despite the A-line design, I was a little unsure about this gown (currently available in sizes 6, 12, and 14) until I saw the zip-up back — assuming someone can help with the unzipping, it could easily be breastfeeding-friendly.
This off-the-shoulder dress (sizes 4-28) would be so easy to nurse in it almost makes me cry happy tears. Look at that sweetheart neckline! A simple popping out of your boob and you're set.
Ditto this gown (sizes 4-28) — the V-neck neckline doesn't look super rigid at all.
Halter gowns like this one (sizes 4-28) are SUCH a score if you're nursing — it buttons at the neck, so all you need to do is unbutton at the top and you're set!
This gown comes in sizes 2-32 and looks like it'd be extra easy — I'm pretty sure you could just fold back the top of the V-shaped neckline — no removing of straps required.
This is another option (sizes 2-32) that seems like it's a cinch to breastfeed in — boobs are totally available all the time thanks to the V-neck on this one!
Budget-friendly: under $300
This dress has an Empire waistline! Spaghetti straps! V-neck! A breastfeeder's dream dress, and for $268. Y'ALL.
Just when you might have been thinking the budget-friendly couldn't get better (that first one seriously set the bar pretty high), you find this dress for $178. The wide straps will lend extra support, and it's available in sizes 2-16.
I LOVE this plus-size option (available in 16W) for many reasons, and one of them is its $78 price tag.
I swear, nearly every gown in this collection of Bridesmaids dresses is breastfeeding-friendly — and all of them run in sizes 4 to 28! Here are three of my favorites:
This last one is especially great — the wrap can double as a breastfeeding shield!
And before you ask: someone totally makes sexy nursing lingerie:
Sexy strapless options are harder to come by, but you could always don something like this and change whenever the… mood strikes. And don't forget: when you're ready to wean, we've talked all about it on Offbeat Families. You can use cabbage! It sounds gross, but y'all: it totally works.