From a cover that looks like an apron to a square of fabric that you tie around your torso like a sling to dual-use covers/ scarves such as the Milkscarf there are several basic types of nursing covers out there. But what are the differences and which is best?
We’re probably not going to surprise you when we say the most important feature of a good breastfeeding cover should be that it needs to be very easy to use. If you’ve never breastfed before you might not have considered the ins and outs of nursing covers so we’ve put this handy checklist together:
Is the cover quick and easy to put on? Is it possible to put on while you are still holding your baby?
Imagine you’re out in a café your baby is hungry, crying for a feed. She wants a feed now – she doesn’t want to wait while you fumble around taking your cover out of its little pouch, unfolding it and tying the strap around your neck. And she certainly doesn’t want you to put her down while you knot a piece of fabric around your back and fiddle around adjusting it to the right size. Save yourself the flustering about at the crucial moments and consider how easy a breastfeeding cover will be to put on quickly.
Do you have to re-position the cover if you change feeding sides?
This isn’t ideal and can be a bit of a faff trying to balance holding the baby (or putting her down) and re-adjusting the cover so it’s slung over your other shoulder for feeding on the other side.
Is the material light and comfortable for your baby?
If you were going to have a cover over you when you fed, your biggest concern would be breathing easily without getting stuffy. You also would probably prefer a soft, light stretchy fabric over a heavy, stiff, scratchy one.
Can you easily look down to see your baby feed?
Being able to glance down to watch your baby feed to check she’s latched on properly, see if she’s falling asleep or just to maintain eye contact for bonding is essential. With some breastfeeding covers you will need to lift the fabric up to see your baby, others have a rigid neckline (boning) that slightly lifts the fabric away from your neckline so you can look down easily without having to free your hand to lift the fabric. As the fabric is slightly lifted, the airflow to the baby is much better and they are much less likely to feel claustrophobic or stuffy.
Plain or patterned fabric?
Patterned fabrics can look pretty, but some mums find that they would rather not draw attention to themselves and pulling what looks like a huge, boldly patterned curtain over themselves does exactly that. Some curious babies can also be distracted from feeding from the sight of the pattern which will be literally right in their face.
Is it big enough?
There’s not much point in a breastfeeding cover if it’s not big enough! Don’t forget your baby will get bigger over the next few months and likely to get more wriggly, so a generously sized cover may get more months use than a smaller one. Depending on how self-conscious you are of your post-natal belly you may feel more comfortable ensuring your sides are well covered if you need to lift your top right up to get access for feeding. Plus it’s less chilly in the winter!
How bulky is it to carry around?
You will probably have enough to carry in your bag, without wanting to squeeze in a bulky cover. With a scarf style cover you don’t need to worry about this – just wear it round your neck, or on a warmer day it can look stylish tied to the handles of your handbag.
So now you know what to look for the only question is - where to find it???
Not only have we given you a handy checklist, but we’ve also created the perfect breastfeeding cover extensively tested by real breastfeeding mums. Check out our Milkscarf - available in several gorgeous colours.
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