When you're working and a new mom, it's hard to balance the responsibilities of your baby and your career, and it can be especially challenging to find clothes that move easily from work to home life. With diapers, spit-up, and breastfeeding, adapting your professional wardrobe may seem daunting. These signature pieces can help make the transition to working motherhood easier for you.
1. A Black Tuxedo Jacket
Less fitted than a typical women's blazer, a tuxedo-style jacket has a lower closure, a longer hemline, and longer sleeves. The combination of all of these features makes it a great option for the postpartum figure—it looks professional while not drawing attention to your changing body. Also, the more relaxed fit of women's tuxedo jackets allow for breast changes due to feeding your baby, whereas a fitted blazer will not. The jacket will continue to fit you as you move through the stages of postpartum recovery, especially if you choose an open-style jacket that mimics the tuxedo but does not have buttons. Black is the most adaptable choice, as it will match any style of top as you move from your maternity wardrobe back to your pre-pregnancy clothes.
2. Ponte Pants
Fitted dark jeans or slacks can be challenging to find right after the birth of your baby, and nice pairs are expensive. You don't want to spend a few hundred dollars on well-fitting jeans and slacks only to not need them in a few months. The best choice for working moms are ponte pants with a tapered leg—they are made from thick, stretchy material. They are also easy to wash, are colorfast, and are forgiving to all different shapes. The material does not wrinkle easily, and if you choose dark colors, they will also hide stains if you happen to spill milk during an at-work pumping session.
3. A Well-Fitted Nursing Bra
Nursing bras are a constant struggle for new moms because your breasts change size constantly and because finding bras that will actually lift and support while also allowing you easy access for feeding and pumping is no small feat. However, pumping at work will be much easier if you have a good bra. Try getting fitted for one at a local department store and avoid purchasing ones that aren't comfortable or don't fit well just because they are less expensive—you'll end up passing it over for comfier options. Choose one you can stand to wear all day; this is an investment, but you'll be grateful for it later.
4. Printed, Flexible Tops.
Solid-colored tops are often staples in the professional workplace, but it's best to leave those behind until your supply has regulated itself a little better. Many new moms have trouble with leaking milk, and solid-colored tops shows the leakage clearly, which can be embarrassing. Choose soft-structured shirts with animal or floral prints. Prints will hide any mess from leakage easily, and the stretchy fabric allows for easy access. It's best to layer your tops—wearing a simple, low-cut shirt may end up being inappropriate in the work environment because of how breastfeeding affects your breast size throughout the day. Low-cut tops are great for access when you are pumping, so to remain without typical work dress codes and have the convenience, layer with a nursing tank top or wear a blouse that crosses or unbuttons down the front. You can also choose to wear scarves as a method of layering your nursing clothes.
Working as a breastfeeding mom comes with some challenges, but you should never be fighting your wardrobe. With these suggestions, you'll be mastering the art of pumping and staying professional at work.