Monday, December 7, 2015

The Gothic Art of Breastfeeding

Okay... the title may be a little bit of a stretch. It’s not necessarily gothic to breastfeed, unless where you are from choosing to do so puts you squarely in the realm of the counter culture. However, finding fashion that works while you’re breastfeeding and trying to dress goth is a challenge.

I breastfed my eldest, my son, until he was two. For the last nine months of that I was also pregnant, with the dual challenge of trying to find gothic maternity and breastfeeding wear. This is partly what propelled me into the realm of the normal I think. I gave up trying to cope with depression and finding clothes that fit my ever changing shape. And let’s face it- your body does an awful lot of shaming with two pregnancies and breastfeeding in the span of two years.

First things first: People are going to stare. That’s just a fact. People stare when you breastfeed in public, whether you choose to cover or not. People stare when you’re a goth. Expect double the staring and double the eye boggles. I’ve found the best response when people stare whilst I breastfeed is to smile and wave. Occasionally, this opens the window for conversations and new friends, and other times they get the hint and stop rubbernecking long enough to focus on their own business.

I'm not going to go into a lengthy discussion on breastfeeding technique or anything, though I'm open to questions if you have them. I will link to some excellent resources at the bottom of the article for your researching pleasure.

There are a few things that can make breastfeeding and nursing in public a little easier on yourself.

Nursing Covers

These are lifesavers. Instead of struggling with a blanket your little one will invariably pull off their heads and therefore you and potentially sharing bits of yourself you might not care to, get a cover with a strap that goes around your neck. You can purchase expensive or inexpensive covers many places online in skull print, gothic baroque prints, like this one from Udder Covers.

Image Copyright Uddercovers

There are others out there that are cheaper as well, if you look. (You'll also find carseat canopies, covers for Boppy Pillows, and matching blanket sets too.)

Breast Pads

You may or may not find you need these. I myself found after the first 3-4 months I didn't need them at all during the day, and I only needed them at night until about 6 months. You'll need these if you're going to be away from your baby or unable to nurse for an extended time, because your boobs will get all excited and explode milk everywhere.  You can use disposable pads or these really neat pads from Bamboobies. They often do discounts or even freebie deals on breastpads where you only pay shipping. Bamboobies are made in the US and are reusable, so yay for being environmentally friendly!

Nursing Bras

You'll want a good one. Your boobs are going to be rock hard and enormous at the beginning. Mine are seriously always like a pair of effing cantaloupes. I wish I was exaggerating.  For the early, somewhat painful months, you'll want something soft and gentle, yet supportive. I actually wear a nursing sports bra for the first few months until things settle down. Then I break out the regular nursing bras. Some people hate nursing bras with wire, but I find I don't feel supported without it. It's never affected my milk supply, but it might you, so if you find things are getting weird, ditch the underwear and stick to a soft bra. Motherhood Maternity Bras are always pretty good, and Walmart now carries some soft ones too. In my area, we have no maternity stores so I always have to shop online, rely on Walmart, or travel to the next city over to do my shopping.


You can still look goth and breastfeed. You'll want to look for tops with drapey necklines, black ponchos (lace ponchos can be gorgeous), button up blouses, and underbust corsets. If you are brave, you can layer a camisole/nursing tank top underneath your regular top. Lift up the regular top (but not the camisole), and pull down the neck of the camisole. No one will see your belly and you can easily wear other, less breastfeeding friendly tops. Layering is your friend when breastfeeding! (I own that drape next top from Maurices, and it is one of my favorite go-to pieces when breastfeeding. Ditto the Chic Star top.)

Image/item sources: Black Poncho: Target, Drape Neck Tee: Maurices, Lace Button-Up: Bloomingdales, Corset Top: Chic Star, V-Neck Top: Dushara, via Pinterest, Stretch Satin dress from

Overbust corsets are a bad idea; it'll be hard and uncomfortable to get the girls out over one of those things. Underbust lets you wear a corset and still have easy access. Avoid corsets with the clasp closures and opt for the hook and eye style of closure. Your baby will most likely be uncomfortable and not like being pressed against the former. (I find that the clasp type closures constantly open up if the corset is laced too tight, so for that reason, even though I own a couple, I don't recommend them unless you're going to be wearing it only a short while.)

Corset pictures taken from Corset
Clothing will seem impossible to find, but if you look for stretchy tops that you can easily pull down at the neck, button up tops, or else layer a top over a camisole. Keep in mind as you're buying pieces to accommodate breastfeeding that your body shape and weight is likely to fluctuate quite a bit, so choose pieces with stretch and comfort in mind, and be cautious about splurging on super expensive pieces unless it's something you really love.

I hope this has helped give you some ideas of where to start. Thanks for reading!

Breastfeeding Resources

Le Leche League

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