advert

Nursing Covers: The Yay to the Nay

Mar02

by

the yay to the nayLet me start by saying, I’ve got big boobs. Especially when they are filled with breastmilk. It is my belief that big-breasted women have a much more difficult time feeding their babies discreetly in public.

I’ve watched friends with smaller chests, gingerly lift their baby up to their unbuttoned shirt, casually fling a scarf or muslin swaddle around their neck, letting it drape ever so elegantly over their baby’s head. The baby’s head completely covers any sign of boobage, therefore making the mother look beautiful, natural and effortless all at once. There are no leering passing strangers or people thinking this mother should get a room.

I am not that mother. My baby’s face does not completely eclipse my Double Ds. Or my Fs, as they were deemed by a maternity bra fitter right after I had my second baby. I don’t lift up my child to breastfeed. She lies on my lap and the boobs find their way to her. Also, I cannot do this one-handed and continue to eat a meal in a restaurant or chat on the phone in a park. I need one hand to hold the baby and the other to make sure my nipple is positioned in my baby’s mouth. If I let go, my boob tumbles to one side, with my baby literally hanging on by her teeth.

With my first child, I always made sure to breastfeed in private. I just wasn’t comfortable whipping my girls out, even though I had no problem if others did it around me. With my second (currently three months old), a lot of my insecurity and self-consciousness went away and I now don’t really care if my friends and family get an an eyeful of my breasts.

When I am out in public, surrounded by strangers, it’s a different story. I want to be that person who feels totally at ease feeding her child in a crowded restaurant, but in reality, I haven’t yet developed a technique that makes me feel comfortable.

So I tried three different nursing covers to see if one of them would do the trick.

1. Bebe Au Lait Nursing Cover

The Bebe Au Lait Nursing Cover is a large patterned square of fabric that hangs from an adjustable strap around your neck. The neckline is made of their patented Rigiflex which leaves a gap that allows you to see your baby and promotes air flow.

Bebe Au Lait Nursing Cover has many patterns to choose from, but to be honest, the designs aren’t my favorite. They are all pretty bold and I’m not sure why I would want to call more attention to my torso while I’m breastfeeding than I would normally. But I did find one that was semi-acceptable. I liked being able to see my baby and not feeling like she was going to suffocate under a shirt. The Rigiflex definitely helped me position her on my breast and keep her there, although the fabric flapped around whenever she moved and I kept having to reposition it.

On the whole, I wouldn’t call the experience discreet, since the bold pattern and the hoop neckline call a lot of attention to yourself. I’m not sure why Bebe Au Lait Nursing Cover doesn’t offer their covers in solid colors. I would totally buy a black one.

Verdict: Okay

2. DRIA Nursing Cover

Best Nursing Covers: DRIA is our favorite

The DRIA Cover is more like a regular shirt, or more accurately, a fashionable cotton poncho. It’s a large rectangular piece of fabric with a hole in the middle for your head. Then it’s kind of left up to you how you wish to get your baby inside and feed her.

I picked a cover that was striped in different shades of gray with dark seams down the front. If it weren’t for the shape, it felt like something I would wear on a normal day, plus it is super soft and premium feeling. I liked that you could plop it over your head and it was pretty even on all sides so there was no need to keep repositioning it.

I had trouble breastfeeding without being able to see my baby, until a friend suggested that I lift up the bottom and drape the excess fabric around the baby’s head so I could still see what I was doing. This worked nicely and I felt comfortable enough to breastfeed in the middle of the Metropolitan Museum, on an outing, without feeling like everybody was watching.

As another use, I left the DRIA Nursing Cover on when I put my baby in the carrier, because I realized it would protect my shirt from spit up. My baby spits up every time she feeds, which is one of the things that makes breast feeding in public difficult.

VERDICT: YAY

3. Bamboobies Nursing Cover

I was excited to try the Bamboobies cover because I love their washable nursing pads and recommend them highly. Plus the nursing cover comes in solid black.

Their cover is similar to the DRIA, in that it looks like a soft cotton shirt. But rather than a rectangular poncho, the Bamboobies cover is two squares sewed together with the hole for your head over to one side. When it’s on, one side wraps around your arm and the other side drapes openly, which actually looks kind of elegant.

The problem is that you can only breastfeed on one side without turning the whole thing around to accommodate the other breast. I also found that there wasn’t quite enough fabric to do the draping thing that I was doing with the DRIA. Plus, it needs to be put on correctly which is hard when you have nowhere to put the baby down (this actually happens to me a lot because I often use a baby carrier instead of a stroller). With the DRIA, I could just blindly throw the thing over my head but with the Bamboobies I had to hold it out in front of me, figure out where the hole was and what side I wanted the open drape before putting it on.

But I do really appreciate that it can be worn as a shirt.

VERDICT: OKAY

I wish I could say that my experience with the nursing covers made me feel comfortable enough to breastfeed anywhere, and anytime, but unfortunately that is not the case. In almost every scenario, I felt pretty awkward and ended up going into a restroom where I could just take off my entire shirt and let the baby go to town.

The closest I came to feeling and looking comfortable like one of my smaller-breasted nursing friends, was with the DRIA Cover.

********


If you’re looking for ideas and recommendations for a baby registry, don’t miss our Baby Registry Checklist.

Considering an online baby registry? We recommend our affiliate Amazon’s Baby Registry, which offers free 90-day returns on baby store purchases. You can even add items from other websites onto to your baby registry.


About the author


http://www.mommyshorts.com
Ilana Wiles writes Mommy Shorts, a popular NYC humor blog geared towards new parents. In addition to blogging, Ilana has worked as a creative in advertising for the past 15 years. She lives in the East Village of NYC with her husband, her two-year-old daughter and a rapidly growing pile of stuffed animals.


Subscribe to posts by Ilana Wiles

21 Responses to “Nursing Covers: The Yay to the Nay”

  1. abby Mar 02 at 2:12 pm Reply Reply

    I have both the apron style covers and the Dria. I so prefer the Dria. The apron style just screams I am breast feeding over here! The Dria at least leaves a momentary question. I have been a reluctant public breast feeder but we recently visited disney world with the big kids and I had to be a public breastfeeder and the Dria was a win win for that experience.

  2. GradBaby Mar 02 at 2:31 pm Reply Reply

    Thanks for these reviews!! I’m also a big-breasted mama and definitely have your issues with public breastfeeding – it’s not a modesty issue for me as much as it takes two hands and my boob has to be directed to babe’s mouth. . . and not everyone wants to see my large fleshy breast as we figure it out.  Even at almost 18 months, babe feeds like a newborn from my lap and it takes two hands.  

    The few times I’ve needed to feed in public I was actually best off with several layers of clothing (nursing tank, cardigan) and a nice scarf. I did what you described, I think, with the Dria – draped the scarf around babe’s face to cover my breast, while babe remained uncovered.  That seemed to balance modesty with the need to be physically involved during the whole process.  Next time, I’ll definitely check out the Dria!

  3. Melissa Mar 02 at 8:42 pm Reply Reply

    Okay. I am also an F…I would love a nursing bra review. I need underwire and something…hardy. People sending me to target…thanks but no thanks!

  4. Hi, I'm Natalie Mar 02 at 11:45 pm Reply Reply

    Admittedly, I’m one of those small-chested women who can nurse one-handed whilst covering with… nothing. Or a scarf, or whatever. But… I’ve still seen more blessed women rock an old-school receiving blanket while nursing in public – cheap AND multi-purpose. (Although that DRIA does look amazing if you have the $$ kicking around.)

  5. Hollienoel Mar 03 at 12:16 am Reply Reply

    Another large (larGe <– heh, see what I did there?) breasted mama here, and yeah it's a two-handed job. But the first time I tried to use a Hooter Hider (really with that name??) in July, in Miami, with a one month old, I almost had a sweaty panic attack and from there out, I just whip 'em out. Well not all the way out. I use the cheapest, thinnest camis from Wet Seal as a layer under my t-shirt. I lift the t-shirt up, pull the top of the cami down, unhook the nursing bra, and really only the business portion of my boob is out. That goes into the baby's mouth pretty quickly, and it's not so bad. 

  6. Melanie Mar 03 at 8:23 pm Reply Reply

    Thank you thank you thank you! We are almost done weaning my little peanut but we never figured out the how to about nursing in public and I’d like to have that as an option with future babes. I’m not saying less “blessed” women have it easy but for me it is still a two handed job!!

  7. Marnie Mar 04 at 10:35 am Reply Reply

    I’m somewhere inbetween on size, DD at my most engorged, C/D depending on band size now at 8 months in with baby #3. Big enough that I need both hands. I could never do the apron thing because, like a poster above, it screams ‘I’M BREASTFEEDING, LOOK AT ME BEING DISCRETE!!”. It didn’t help that I also struggled with babies that did not like being covered up in anyway shape or form so if I tried to cover them, the flailing and blanket or cover moving around was much more distracting.

    What I do now is try to wear cardigans to partially cover. If I’m not wearing that, I bring a receiving blanket. I have also used a jacket in a pinch. I don’t cover the baby’s head but I use it to cover my breast such that it doesn’t cover the baby’s face. So yes, you could technically see nipple if you are looking hard before/after latching but, if I’m nursing and someone glances over you don’t visually see looooots of flesh.

    The Dria and Bambooby look so pretty though! Although, I’d worry that people would think ‘why is she wearing the same shirt all of the time?’ since I’m cheap!

  8. Myriam Mar 04 at 10:53 am Reply Reply

    I agree that smaller breasts make it a lot easier to be discreet when breasfeeding in public. With a large B-small C while breasfeeding, I could do the one-hand hold while eating in a restaurant, or waking if necessary. I never felt the need to cover up, for for those who do there are however other accessories that can be used to help cover up that are not “covers” per say e.g.: 1- baby hats (http://www.merehelene.com/fr/allaitement-chapeau.aspx). It hides the main area but is less cumbersome than a blanket or cover… 2 – t-shirts with slits, like Hollinoel describes, but all in one piece… 3 – your baby carrier, in a sling position. Mayve you can review these next time to, that would be interesting to compare!

  9. Sarah Mar 04 at 12:16 pm Reply Reply

    I have not been out of the house in less then 2 shirts since my babies were born. I wear some type of undershirt/cami, which I pull down, and a loose shirt, which I pull up. Baby covers the nipple.

  10. mary Mar 04 at 4:05 pm Reply Reply

    thanks for this!  i have a dria, but i haven’t figured out how to see my baby while he’s nursing.  can you say a little more about your friend’s advice: “lift up the bottom and drape the excess fabric around the baby’s head so I could still see what I was doing”?

    • Myriam Mar 05 at 10:28 am Reply Reply

      It means that with the baby on the breast, you tuck the extra fabric on the top portion of your breat, like you would if you were lifting up your shirt. That way, the baby is covering the nipple and bottom part of your breast, and the cover is collected on the top-fleshy portion of your breast. When the baby unlatches, you quickly pull the cover over your breast to hide. Does that clears any confusion?

  11. Anne Mar 04 at 6:18 pm Reply Reply

    i actually love the bebe au lait covers. i agree the loud patterns leave something to be desired, but i love the wired neck. i’ve tried the gauzy receiving blankets, and shawls, but i can’t stand not being able to see my daughter while she’s nursing. i use the bebe au lait in public all the time, and although it’s obvious that i’m nursing, i feel perfectly comfortable, and often get kind smiles from strangers.
    the other covers are cuter, no doubt, but i would miss that rigid neckline. it’s a must for me!

  12. Elena Mar 04 at 9:56 pm Reply Reply

    Another advocate of the two-layered pull-up/ pull-down technique! Most discrete in my opinion – it just looks like you’re snuggling your baby, which you are. Plus baby’s not suffocating under the cover, or brushing it aside once she’s old enough.

  13. Kristine Mar 05 at 3:09 pm Reply Reply

    Thank you for this post! I too have ginormous boobs & struggle with public feedinds. I use the bebe au lait cover &I don’t love it for the exact reasons you listed. I also have a nursinf scarf from Motherhood that is ok, although I can’t see. I feel like with big old boobies you need to be able to see because the nipple is more towards the bottom and not as easily accessed by baby.
    thank you again for this post!

  14. Michele Mar 05 at 4:18 pm Reply Reply

    The link you posted to the Bebe au Lait cover has a black option. I really like this cover and use it all the time, but I don’t mind that people know what I’m doing. I just don’t want them to see everything.

  15. A Mar 06 at 12:28 pm Reply Reply

    I loved the Bebe au Lait cover, mine was an off white eyelet lace pattern. I guess my boobs were medium – around a D to an E depending – and the cover worked great. It worked as a burp cloth too and since I had a really forceful letdown I could do that into the cover so as to not choke the poor baby.
    I also didn’t mind if people knew I was breastfeeding, actually most people were really nice and friendly! I think most people appreciated that I was covering up while feeding the babies.

    When my boobs got a little more manageable I also liked the cami/shirt combo with a receiving blanket just in case.

  16. Amerique Mar 15 at 11:50 pm Reply Reply

    I have big boobs and I use the tank top under a shirt method. I pull my top shirt up and tank top down only exposing enough for the baby to latch on. Once she is on I pull the tp shirt down so it drapes on her cheek, keeping everything covered. It is easy to pull the top shirt down if she lets go. If your under shirt is the same color as your top shirt people will not even know you are nursing. I have had more people walk up and try to see the baby not knowing I was nursing.

  17. Dria Cover Mar 21 at 5:15 pm Reply Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing such an honest review.  We appreciate it.  If there is anything we can do for you. Let us know.  Good luck to all of you ladies finding your perfect cover!

  18. Anastasia Apr 09 at 5:36 pm Reply Reply

    That’s pretty much my situation. DDD breasts and not a lot I can do to be discreet.
    I personally don’t care if people know I’m breastfeeding. That doesn’t bother me. I just don’t want them seeing my breasts. I don’t care what other moms do, this is just me feeling uncomfortable with other people seeing my skin. So the Bebe Au Lait was just fine for me.

Like us on Facebook

Close