breastfeeding in a strapless formal - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 07-06-2010, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
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I have to wear one for SILs wedding. The best I can come up with is to find a room, undress to my waist, and cover with a nursing shirt. I'm confident that I'll be able to find a place at the church, so I'd make sure to feed her before leaving for the reception. Then I have a good excuse to leave the reception early is there's no place to do it there. I'm not that comfortable NIP to start with; I usually try to find someplace private. I think I'll definately need a room with a dress like this. Does anyone have a better idea?
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#2 of 12 Old 07-06-2010, 01:28 PM
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Sounds like a good idea to me. If you were more comfortable NIP, I would say that you could just pop your breast out over the top of the dress and drape a blanket over you. But most churches have a private area to nurse. Even if they don't have a dedicated nursing room, surely you could find an empty nursery or classroom.

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#3 of 12 Old 07-06-2010, 01:34 PM
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Do you need to keep the strapless dress on for the entire reception, or can you change into something more nursing-friendly after the ceremony is over? Maybe keep the dress on as a "skirt" and add a blouse or sweater (and change into a nursing bra!) when you feed her at the church before leaving for the reception. Also, depending on how shy you are, you might be able to nurse in the "sitting area" of the ladies' room at the reception. Most nice catering halls have a room with nice chairs and mirrors (for fixing hair and makeup) just outside the room with the toilets, so you'd be in front of other women but no men.

Is there any way to convince SIL to let you wear a slightly different style dress (say, a skirt and liftable top) of the same fabric as the other bridesmaids, or is it too late for that?

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#4 of 12 Old 07-06-2010, 02:53 PM
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You might be able to find a tailor who can modify your dress to make it nursing friendly. I had a friend who was able to modify a strapless bridesmaid dress into a "nursing style" by adding a panel underneath so she could partially drop the top without exposure.
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#5 of 12 Old 07-06-2010, 03:11 PM
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I had the same problem at my cousin's wedding recently. A last minute "how do I nurse in this thing" kind of moment. I ended up buying a pretty black beaded cardigan (sort of 1950's style) that was fancy enough to match the dress. I used that to cover up while nursing.

But, try and find some place cozy and private if NIP is not something you feel totally comfortable with.

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#6 of 12 Old 07-07-2010, 06:07 PM
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I recently did this too. I nursed in the changing room at the church immediately after the ceremony as I had to unzip the dress a little. I was very full because we had pictures for several hours prior. DD dribbled milk onto the bodice of my taffeta dress and it left a spot so I wore a pashmina wrap on my shoulders for the reception. I'm glad I didn't nurse right before the ceremony or I would have had to walk down the aisle with a wet spot on my breast!

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#7 of 12 Old 07-07-2010, 08:42 PM
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I would say that you could just pop your breast out over the top of the dress and drape a blanket over you. [/QUOTE]

I have some really pretty summer veils. I love wearing strapless shirts in the summer, and I just put the veil around my neck and let the fabric cover from my shoulder to my breast. My LO stays cooler and I have full coverage.

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#8 of 12 Old 07-07-2010, 09:04 PM
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How much can you modify the dress?

I was a bridesmaid when my DD was 3.5 months old, and while my dress looked pretty close to standard, it had some serious modifications. The dress was made to be strapless and to lace up the back, I asked for wide, shirred straps to cover my nursing bra (no *way* was I getting through without a good bra), and a side zipper. I did still wind up slipping off to another room to nurse, but I was comfortable, and getting in and out of the top of the dress was quite simple.

A pretty cardigan or a fancy scarf are also good ideas.
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#9 of 12 Old 07-07-2010, 09:21 PM
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could you wear a nice shawl so you could pop a boob over the top and drap the end of the shawl over to cover up the exposed breast?

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#10 of 12 Old 07-07-2010, 09:48 PM
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I've had to breastfeed in a strapless dress twice- once for each of my sisters' weddings. These were formal dresses that I couldn't even unzip without assistance. With the first wedding, I nursed my baby right before I put the dress on and then again right after pictures, before the ceremony. I was able to find a private place which was necessary because I could not feed discreetly (or even almost discreetly) in the dress. I changed fairly quickly after the ceremony because he needed to nurse again and the inside of the dress was SOAKED in breastmilk (my son was just a couple weeks old). My sister completely understood why I changed and was perfectly fine with it.

The second wedding was outdoors with no chance of privacy unless I went off in the woods and found a log to sit on, but that might've ruined the dress... I had a cardigan and my husband helped me unzip so I could nurse and used his suit jacket to help me cover up a bit. The issue was having to pull a boob out the top of an unzipped dress. I can usually just lift my shirt and since baby covers my breast and tummy, nothing shows. It really was not so discrete, but the baby got fed and nobody said anything.

My advice would be to find some privacy or see if you can change once the ceremony and formal pictures are done. I'd probably even use the bathroom to nurse in if it were quite clean (gasp!). Not that I think you should have to use the bathroom- I just would've preferred that to being partially clad in front of 100+ people. Not my favorite breastfeeding memory.

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#11 of 12 Old 07-15-2010, 09:06 PM
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I breastfed in my strapless wedding gown! I just went into an empty room at the reception and popped a breast out over the top. The undressing can alo work! It's definitly possible.
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#12 of 12 Old 07-15-2010, 11:17 PM
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I bf'd my 2 yr old in a strapless bridesmaid dress. I didn't even find a private room or use any cover, lol. i just sat down, had my dh unzip me a bit, and i pulled a breast out over the top. No one complained and I got a couple of smiles. My DD was a flowergirl with a big poofy dress so I"m sure we were quite the sight!

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