For many new moms, receiving their doctor’s “all clear” to return to exercise is a major milestone moment in their postpartum path toward recovery. While the power of endorphins is no secret (thanks Legally Blonde), new research now even credits those mood boosting hormones with the power to help ward off symptoms of postpartum depression. But when you’re exhausted and serving as your sweet baby’s grocery store open 24/7, just thinking about confining yourself to your pre-pregnancy activewear (only to navigate a hasty removal at your baby’s first sign of rooting) is a workout in itself.
This past June our lives changed in an instant with the arrival of our first baby, sweet Jaxon River. In my pre-mama life and throughout the first half of my pregnancy, I taught barre fitness classes five days a week. An absolute passion project, it killed me to stop teaching when I was 20 weeks pregnant. Thus, I did what any inexperienced first-time mom does and decided to lock myself into a new teaching commitment set to start once our baby was eight weeks old.
Well as one might have guessed, I began to rethink my decision as the weeks drew closer to time for my new class to start. Living in a matronly uniform of nursing tanks and oversized V-neck t-shirts, I remember barely having energy to dress myself. The task of finding an outfit I could easily nurse our baby in before and after class, yet still feel comfortable and confident enough to move in front of an audience seemed like an impossible task. While options for nursing clothes in general are scarce, the marketplace for nursing friendly activewear (that is on trend) is beyond barren. As desperation drew in, I sleepily scrolled Amazon.com one last time and stumbled upon Sweat and Milk and their Lululemon-esque strappy Oceane Sports Bra… I’d found my answer at last!
I’m sure other new nursing moms will agree, finding comfortable clothing that allows you to easily feed a hungry baby on demand, but also feel like yourself is priceless! Sweat and Milk accomplishes that with their assortment of supportive sports bras, strappy back maternity camisoles, drapey crossover tops and even high-waisted postpartum tummy friendly yoga pants. Each Sweat and Milk item is thoughtfully designed to ensure easy breastfeeding and freedom of movement for an active lifestyle (whether that’s on the go, in the gym or simply chasing your baby around the house). Created by mom, marketing boss lady and yoga instructor, Lucy Chalmeton, Sweat and Milk offers breastfeeding mothers quality, on trend athleisure wear that they can rely on to be functional and fashionable. And as any mom can attest, having one less thing to worry about is a beautiful thing!
Check out some of my favorite tried and approved Sweat and Milk items.
Slimming high-waisted black leggings are the new skinny jeans of my mama wardrobe. This pair, crafted of fade resistant, antimicrobial nylon and body-hugging spandex, has the perfect high-rise coverage ideal for frequent shirt lifts to feed baby. The criss-cross back detail is a sassy addition and the matching leggings for baby girls are just too sweet. A 7/8 inseam feels right on trend. Best part? They’re currently on sale!
The first Sweat and Milk bra I tried, the Océane, is the O.G. of this line and has sold out over three times! Now new and improved, the Océane 2 offers essential clip down nursing clasps, an adjustable back for a custom fit and sexy strappy back (three words not often found in the description of a nursing bra). Available in staple black and now a deep merlot red, my Océane 2 bra is so comfortable, it’s the only one I want to wear when I teach class. Thus, it’s been washed and line dried countless times and still looks new! For reference, while breastfeeding I am around a size 32C and the size medium fits great!
While Sweat and Milk’s newest bra design, the Sicily, might look like a flirty bralette, it still packs the support of a sports bra for low impact activities like yoga, barre or Pilates. Adjustable straps and adjustable back closure allow you to find your perfect fit. I love the subtle strappy front and back design. A nursing bra you can truly wear all day (and won’t want to take off!) the Sicily offers clip down nursing clasps and removable foam cups for added coverage. I also ordered a size medium in the Sicily.
As Baby Jax is now nine months old and still loves breastfeeding, I’ve had some time to adjust my wardrobe and now no longer put much thought into what will work for breastfeeding on the go. I’ve said a temporary “Bye, Felicia” to restrictive high necklines and dressing to feed baby has become second nature with my arsenal of go-to pieces. Here are a few non-nursing specific activewear gems I’ve stumbled upon along the way that are great for your breastfeeding life now and afterwards!
Lululemon’s Through the Movement Tank
I’ve really come to appreciate low arm holes no longer just for their breathability, but for their quick access to nurse baby! This attribute was definitely not something I thought of before breastfeeding, but I was thrilled when I learned I could still wear some of my favorite flowy tanks without having to strip down for every feeding. If you’re wearing a jacket, you can somewhat discretely nurse in these styles as well. This particular style, Lululemon’s Through the Movement Tank, has the perfect exposed back for showing off a strappy Sweat and Milk sports bra too! PSA: It’s also on sale!
Beyond Yoga Twisted Racerback Tank
Whether I’m headed to teach a class at the gym or just out of the house in general, I reach for this silky soft Beyond Yoga Twisted Racerback Tank time and time again! Another tank with low cut arm holes and an exposed back perfect for showing off a strappy sports bra, this easy to nurse in style features a deep V neck line. It’s cute tied up like the model shows or worn loose in a flowy fashion. It comes in multiple colors (and I want them all!) and is currently on sale for 50% off on Beyond Yoga’s website!
Zella's Sloan Slouchy Hoodie
I love the chic comfort and sporty style of cropped hoodies and it just so happens these cover up options work great for breastfeeding too! You don’t have to strip down to feed and you can stay fairly covered in the process. Cropped hoodies are really on trend right now so you can find them in a range of fabrics and price points, but I love this fresh Pink Ice color of Zella’s Sloan Slouchy Hoodie for spring. Pair a cropped hoodie with some high waisted leggings, a clip down nursing bra and some trendy tennis shoes and your sweats are suddenly stylish and ever so efficient for feeding little one!
What qualities are most important to you when you shop for nursing athleisure wear?