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How do you breastfeed in a shirt?

Breastfeeding in public can be awkward and uncomfortable for the shyer among us. I’ve tried using a nursing cover but found all the fumbling stressful. Plus, my baby hated it.

That was when I found the 2-shirt method. It was a eureka moment for me and it led me down the path of looking at how I can nurse in public without revealing more than I want to.

In essence, you can breastfeed in a shirt by wearing 2 layers – a regular shirt on top and a nursing tank underneath. You can also wear a nursing shirt that is designed specifically for breastfeeding.

Let’s take a deep dive:

What you need to breastfeed in a shirt

For the 2-shirt method to work, you’ll need to layer two tops:

A loose shirt or t-shirt on top

Look in your cupboard for loose or stretchy t-shirts that you can easily pull up. If you don’t have one that fits your post-partum body yet, buy one like this that you can continue wearing later when you’re back to your regular size:

prAna Olson Top, Granite, LargeCheck it out on Amazon

You can also wear a shirt or blouse that has buttons down the front as your top layer:

prAna Women's Nieves Tank, Soft White, MediumCheck it out on Amazon

The underlayer

Nursing tank

A nursing tank is the perfect underlayer. Choose one like this Cake Maternity Toffee Nursing Tank, with a built-in bra that you can easily clip down:

Cake Maternity Toffee Nursing Tank Top, Shaping Nursing Top for Women Breastfeeding with Built in Bra, X-Large, NudeCheck it out on Amazon

Check out the best nursing tanks and camis on Amazon.

Other options for underlayers are:

Regular stretchy cami or tank

If you are choosing to wear a regular cami, you’ll need to make sure it is low-cut and stretchy enough to pull down under your breasts. You can even wear a cami that doubles up as shape wear:

Maidenform Women’s Long Length Shapewear Camisole Fajas Shapewear FL3266Check it out on Amazon

Nursing bra with naked tank

If you have larger breasts or need more breast support than a nursing tank can give you, wear a nursing bra with clip-down cups underneath. Kindred Bravely has an amazing busty range for large breasted moms:

Kindred Bravely Simply Sublime Busty Seamless Nursing Bra for F, G, H, I Cup | Wireless Maternity Bra (Grey, XX-Large-Busty)Check it out on Amazon

Check out my review of the best nursing bras.

To cover your tummy area from being exposed, you can wear a open-busted tank like this one:

The Naked Nursing Tank The Open Busted Breastfeeding/Nursing Tank Top, Layering Cami & Maternity Undershirt - Bamboo/Cotton – Midnight Black – XS

Read my review of The Naked Nursing Tank.

Or a belly band that functions as a body shaper as well:

3 in 1 Postpartum Belly Support Recovery Wrap - Belly Band For Postnatal, Pregnancy, Maternity - Girdles For Women Body Shaper - Tummy Bandit Waist Shapewear Belt (Midnight Black, One Size)

The 2-shirt method

  • Wear both tops, with the stretchy regular t-shirt over the nursing tank.
  • When you need to breastfeed, lift the outer t-shirt over your breasts.
  • If you are wearing a button-up shirt, undo the buttons to your navel.
  • Lift your baby to the level of your breasts and unclip your tank bra.
  • Let your baby breastfeed to their heart’s content.
  • When they are done, clip your tank up before you lower your baby.
  • Pull your shirt over your nursing tank.
  • And you’re done!

Check out this video on how you can use the 2-shirt method with t-shirts you probably already have in your closet:

Benefits of the 2-shirt method

  • It doesn’t get easier than this
  • You don’t need to use nursing covers
  • You can almost always find some tops in your wardrobe to make it work


  • Wearing 2 layers can make you too warm in summer
  • It doesn’t work well with bulky winter sweaters
  • You still show a little breast in that gap between your baby and your pulled-up outer shirt

If you want to wear only one layer of clothing or don’t want to show any skin at all:

Wear a nursing shirt

There are plenty of affordable maternity brands offering nursing tops and dresses. These nursing gear are specially designed to flatter post-partum bodies and have easy-access nursing flaps for breastfeeding without showing skin.

Smallshow 3 Pcs Maternity Nursing T-Shirt Nursing Tops White Stripe-Black-Grey MediumCheck it out on Amazon

Check out my favorite nursing tops for summer.

To wrap up

The 2-shirt method is an easy way to breastfeed discreetly in a regular shirt. But if it’s too warm for double layers, a specially designed nursing top is your answer.

Check out my review of some plus-sized nursing tops that are uber flattering.


Sharon James

3 thoughts on “How do you breastfeed in a shirt?”

  1. Pingback: The best tank to wear with your nursing bra

  2. Pingback: Why are nursing clothes so expensive?

  3. Pingback: Are nursing tanks necessary? 6 reasons why you need them.

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