Nursing Tops Aren't Necessary, But They're Worth It

Nursing Tops Aren't Necessary, But They're Worth It

Nursing tops, designed specifically to facilitate breastfeeding, claim to offer convenience and discretion. But are they truly a necessity, or just another item to add to the ever-growing list of baby-related expenses? Let's look into this question, drawing from a variety of sources and experiences to help you make an informed decision.

What Are Nursing Tops?

Nursing tops are garments specifically designed to make breastfeeding easier and more comfortable. These tops typically feature discreet openings, such as flaps, zippers, or layers, that allow for easy access to the breast without the need to remove or lift the entire top.

This design not only provides convenience but also ensures privacy and modesty for the nursing mother. Over the years, the design and variety of nursing tops have evolved significantly.

Personal Experiences with Nursing Tops

Personal experiences with nursing tops vary widely among mothers, reflecting the diversity of lifestyles, preferences, and circumstances. On one hand, some mothers find nursing tops a valuable addition to their postpartum wardrobe. On the other hand, some mothers feel that while nursing tops can be handy, they are not a necessity.

Here's what a few mother's had to say:

nursing tops are comfortable, especially in warmer weather

Nursing tops are nice, but not necessary

nursing tops are nice when out of the house, but not necessary at home

Pros and Cons of Nursing Tops

The debate over the utility of nursing tops can be better understood by weighing their pros and cons.


  • Ease of Breastfeeding: Perhaps the most significant advantage of nursing tops is the convenience they offer for breastfeeding. With special openings designed for easy access, these tops simplify the process, making it less cumbersome and more discreet, especially in public or work settings​​.
  • Modesty and Privacy: For mothers who prefer to cover up more while breastfeeding, nursing tops provide an additional layer of privacy. This is particularly appreciated by those who are modest or uncomfortable with exposing their skin during nursing sessions​​.
  • Versatility: Many nursing tops are designed to double as maternity wear, making them a versatile choice for both pregnancy and postpartum periods​​.
  • Variety of Styles: Modern nursing tops come in various styles and designs, allowing mothers to choose options that align with their personal fashion preferences​​.


  • Cost: The cost of nursing tops can be a deterrent, especially when considering their potentially limited duration of use, depending on how long a mother chooses to breastfeed​​.
  • Not a Necessity for All: As some mothers have pointed out, it is entirely possible to breastfeed effectively without the use of nursing-specific tops. Alternatives like loose, flowy tops or layering can work just as well for many​​​​.

Alternatives to Nursing Tops

a loose shirt that can be an alternative to a nursing top

While nursing tops offer specific benefits, they are not the only option for breastfeeding mothers. There are several alternatives that can be just as effective and, in some cases, more cost-effective.

  1. Loose Flowy Tops: A popular alternative is wearing loose tops that can easily be lifted or maneuvered for breastfeeding. This option provides a comfortable and accessible solution without the need for specialized clothing​​.
  2. Layering with Tank Tops: Another common strategy is layering. Wearing a tank top under a regular shirt allows mothers to lift the outer shirt for breastfeeding while the tank top provides coverage for the stomach and back​​.
  3. Regular Clothing Adaptations: Many mothers adapt their regular clothing for breastfeeding. This could mean choosing tops with buttons, wider necklines, or stretchy fabrics that can be pulled aside for nursing access​​​​.
  4. Custom Solutions: Some mothers have found creative ways to modify their existing wardrobe, such as adding buttons or zippers to their favorite tops to make them more nursing-friendly.

When to Buy Nursing Tops

Deciding when to buy nursing tops is as important as deciding whether to buy them at all. The ideal time for purchase can vary, but there are a few key points to consider:

  • During Pregnancy: Many nursing tops are designed to double as maternity wear. Purchasing them during pregnancy can be a practical choice, as they provide comfort during the later stages of pregnancy and ease the transition to postpartum nursing needs​​.
  • Postpartum Period: It's also sensible to buy nursing tops after giving birth, especially if your preference for style or comfort changes post-delivery.
  • Planning Ahead: If you intend to nurse for an extended period or have more children, investing in nursing tops during pregnancy can be economical, as these garments can be used for subsequent pregnancies and nursing periods.

Choosing the Right Nursing Top

a large selection of nursing tops

Selecting the right nursing top involves more than just picking the first option you see. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Design and Functionality: Look for tops with easy access for breastfeeding, considering the type of opening that suits your needs and preferences.
  • Comfort: Since you'll be wearing these tops frequently, comfort is key. Choose fabrics and fits that feel good on your skin and are easy to wear for long periods.
  • Durability: Given that nursing tops may be worn and washed frequently, opt for durable materials that can withstand regular use and laundering.
  • Style and Versatility: Consider tops that match your personal style and can be worn in various settings, from casual to more formal occasions. Versatility in nursing tops ensures that they remain useful beyond the nursing period.
  • Fit and Size: Ensure the nursing top fits well, especially since your body may undergo changes post-pregnancy. A good fit is essential for both comfort and ease of nursing.

Cost vs. Value Analysis

When considering the purchase of nursing tops, it's important to weigh their cost against their value. While they can be more expensive than regular tops, their benefits like convenience, discretion, and ease of use during breastfeeding might justify the cost for many mothers.

However, if you're on a tight budget or unsure about the duration of your breastfeeding journey, investing in a whole new wardrobe of nursing tops might not be the most economical choice.

Alternatives like adapting existing clothing or opting for more versatile maternity-nursing hybrids can offer more value and reduce expenses.

Final Thoughts

Whether nursing tops are worth the investment depends on individual circumstances, preferences, and lifestyles. For some mothers, the convenience and comfort they offer make them an invaluable part of their postpartum wardrobe.

For others, more cost-effective and adaptable alternatives fulfill their nursing needs just as well. Ultimately, the decision to invest in nursing tops should be based on your personal nursing journey, comfort requirements, and budget considerations.

No matter the choice, the most important aspect is that you and your baby are comfortable and happy during the breastfeeding experience.

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Author, Founder @ Latch Luxe

Stefanie Statler

Stefanie Statler is an author and the founder of Latch Luxe, with a loving husband and daughter. She is a dedicated advocate for breastfeeding mothers and understands the challenges and joys of motherhood firsthand. Email me at

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