Do I want to wrestle my post-baby body into a swimsuit this summer? Not particularly. And that's one of the joys of living in a city whose "dog days" come in on foggy little cat feet: We can just bundle up and go hiking as easily as we can go to the pool. But this year, my daughter Penny is old enough to have preferences, and she'd like to swim. So I've got to woman up and find something ready for prime time.
The added wrinkle (besides all the ones on my forehead, plus the gray hairs, plus what has happened to my tush) is, of course, that Abby's still breastfeeding, so I have to not only look good, I need easy access to the smoothie bar.
Enter nursing-friendly swimsuits. Yes, there are plenty, and some of them will even feel like ... well, let's not go overboard (unless that's part of the swimming). They'll get the job done so you can join the rest of the family poolside.
I literally wear one of Glamourmom's nursing tanks every single day. But for nursing at the beach, their Tankini Swimsuit (shown above, $59 at Glamourmom.com) wouldn't be my choice -- I would rather have something with a little more style and a little less hauling-out-my-boobage-for-all-to-see. But the bottom gives great coverage, and their "guaranteed postpartum tummy coverage" is music to my ears.
The Babydoll Swim Tankini ($69 at Expressiva.com) is only shown in its maternity incarnation, but it's obviously also intended for postpartum nursing moms. And though I can't quite get a gander at it, I think the bodice is one of the better nursing options -- the opening is at the bottom of the bust, so you don't have to yank the whole breast out to get the job done. The bottom looks a little skimpy, though, so I'd probably pair it with boy shorts or a swim skirt.
This Classic One-Piece (from $30 to $60 at BreastIsBest.com) comes in several colors and patterns in addition to the ubiquitous black. Most of them make me want to tear my eyes out, but I might be a special case. The construction of this suit makes it easy to be discreet -- there's a double-layered top that opens between bust and waist, not from the top. Nice! There are other styles, too, all in the utilitarian mode.
Motherwear has three very nice options! I think the prettiest is the Goddess Tank Suit ($49 at Motherwear.com). Despite its entirely crunchy-sounding name, it's got sleek, modern lines, shirred sides (which allow for a little more room), and a neat-looking bodice that opens from the middle and bottom of the bust. It comes in this nice subtle pattern, too.
The sweet little Belabumbum Tankini ($89 at Tummystyle.com) has an empire-waist tie that opens for nursing (again, at the bottom of the bust). It's supposed to work for maternity, too, and at this price, it'd better also work 'til they go to college! I'm not sure it would work for the bodacious-breasted like myself -- even the model looks a little pop-outy.
Hey, this one doesn't even look like a swimsuit! The Sweet Sport Nursing Tankini ($50 at MommyGear.com) comes in a bunch of colors, has a matching sarong, and features a cute criss-cross back. The nursing openings are at the bottom, not the top of the bust. It looks like it gives great support. The under-sarong bikini bottom is ... granny-panty sized, which is a plus in this case. We may have a winner!
What do you wear for nursing at the beach? Which of these would you choose, or do you have a better option?