Breastfeeding covers explained

Breastfeeding cover, nursing shawl, cover-up. Whatever you choose to call it, they all have one main job - to help keep your privacy if you want to breastfeed but are worried about being exposed in any way.


Relatives coming over, fancy a café catch up with your new mum friends, or got hours of expressing ahead? While there's no reason you shouldn't breastfeed your baby freely at home or in public, some mums will feel more comfortable knowing there's no way any bare flesh might be on show.

They can also be useful if you have an older baby who is easily distracted by their surroundings when feeding.

Whether a chic pashmina-style cover, a stylish poncho or cape, a breastfeeding sling, or a rigid-necked apron, there's a plethora of designs, colours and patterns to choose from.

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1. Cover Me Baby Cover Me, £25

The multi-talented Cover Me Baby Cover Me is an innovative take on a straightforward product.

For just £25, it’s a breastfeeding or expressing cover up, swaddle, sunshade, blanket or highchair cover – a bargain, if you use it to its full potential (plus, it’ll make your baby bag slimmer – double win).

It’s similar in functionality to the Elderflower & Delilah Feed 3-in-1, which is more expensive and has 3 solid uses. With a poncho-style design to feed in, it’s close in appearance to a more traditional breastfeeding cover-up like the Bebe Au Lait Cotton Nursing Cover, which has no additional functions but works very well as a cover-up.

The long list of uses of the Cover Me Baby Cover Me gives it a decent lifespan, so it scores big points in value for money.

Available from: Cover Me


2. Juno Jack’s The Lola Breastfeeding Hoodie, £32.99

Who says a breastfeeding wardrobe has to be stuffy? Not Juno Jack’s.

Its Lola Breastfeeding Hoodie was popular with our testers for its stylish finish – they loved its extra-long, fleece-lined design that wouldn’t look out of place in a non-maternity wardrobe – while it also offers the ultimate ease for breastfeeding, with nifty twin zips hidden in the seams.

It finds competition in the Stylish Mum Breastfeeding Hoodie, which is strikingly similar in design – the main difference being there are no zips in the Stylish Mum hoodie and it is made of 5% spandex, while Juno Jack’s has 35%, giving it more stretch.

A very close call in look and feel, it all comes down to whether you want to zips or not, but either way, a hoodie offers a modern, trend-led alternative to a classic breastfeeding cover-up.

Available from: Juno Jack’s


3. The Bshirt, from £19.99

Either worn under a regular top or on its own, a breastfeeding vest gives you more options when you’re putting together an outfit that’s nursing-friendly.

Unlike a conventional breastfeeding vest, which has a clip at the top to release, the Bshirt has a flap you lift up to reveal your breast. In this way, it’s easier to use, but this is reflected in the price tag, which is much higher than other vests on the market.

The quality is clear however – made from organic cotton and ethically manufactured in a family-run Fairtrade factory in India, it’s available in a range of colours in sizes 6 to 20 and with a long-sleeved option for winter.

Available from: Bshirt


4. Bebe Au Lait Cotton Nursing Cover, £34.95

Bebe Au Lait was founded in 2004 with one product – its Cotton Nursing Cover – and while the company has expanded its range to include all manner of must-have items for modern families, its attractive, useful nursing cover has stood the test of time and remained a best seller.

It’s virtually identical to the My Little Koala 100% Cotton Breastfeeding Cover – both have rigid necklines, enabling you to see your baby while feeding, both are 100% cotton with adjustable neck straps and have a generous coverage, so you can feel confident when you’re feeding there’s no skin on show.

The only difference is the price ­– Bebe Au Lait’s design is £5 more and the pockets (handy for storing tissues and snacks) are internal.

Available from: Amazon, Natural Baby Shower and Baby Planet


5. Stylish Mum Breastfeeding Hoodie, £34.99

After learning that the humble hoodie is the wardrobe staple breastfeeding mums miss the most, the clever folk at Stylish Mum developed the Breastfeeding Hoodie – a smart innovation that’s picked up Bronze in our awards.

While it may look like a regular hoodie, its folded design means your baby has quick, easy access for feeding with no zips or buttons to worry about.

It’s discreet, comfy, available in 6 colours and matching baby hoodies are also available – a cute extra.

A dead ringer for the Juno Jack’s Lola Breastfeeding Hoodie, the main difference is Juno Jack’s has zips, so is potentially fiddlier, and judges say the Stylish Mum material is slightly thinner, so perfect for warm weather.

Available from: Stylish Mum and Amazon


6. My Little Koala 100% Cotton Breastfeeding Cover, £29.95

If it’s the reassurance of a full coverage breastfeed you’re after, you can’t go wrong with a more traditional nursing cover-up, like this My Little Koala 100% Cotton Breastfeeding Cover – a Runner-up in our awards.

Like the Bebe Au Lait Cotton Nursing Cover, it’s available in a number of contemporary prints, it has a hooped neckline for an intimate feed with your little one and adjustable neck straps, plus it’s slightly cheaper.

It’s super easy to use – once you’ve adjusted the straps to fit, simply throw it over ready for a feed. With the addition of some pram pegs (sold separately for £8.99), it can also double up as a pram cover, a handy extra.

Available from: My Little Koala and Amazon


7. Frugi Top and Tie Cardi, £45

Style and breastfeeding friendly are not mutually exclusive in an item of clothing and the Frugi Top and Tie proves it. Frugi specialise in well-made organic clothes and their bump to breastfeeding collection is packed with practical and fashion-forward maternity-friendly items.

Similar to the Bshirt in the way it works – the Frugi top has a panel that can be lifted to reveal a hidden bandeau underneath that pulls down for discreet and easy feeding.

A higher price point than many similar designs, MFM tester Joanna was won over: “This top and the cardi is simply lovely. I wouldn't usually spend so much on a nursing top, but the quality is persuasive – after several washes it still looks brand new.”

Available from: Frugi.


8. Elderflower & Delilah Feed 3-in-1, £45

The beauty of the Elderflower & Delilah Feed 3-in-1 lies in its simplicity; it’s an easy-to-use, super soft breastfeeding cover that’s designed to be worn over another top – it’s open at both sides, but has ties to adjust the fit.

It’s a one-size-fits-all garment, so it can be worn while pregnant and it also works as a car seat and buggy cover. Most like the Cover Me Baby Cover Me in look and functionality, the Elderflower & Delilah looks more like an actual top, but at £45, it’s £20 more expensive and has less uses.

Designed by mums for mums, the Feed 3-in-1 is effortless to use and with a growing number of admirers, it’s definitely worth a look if you’re planning to breastfeeding more than one child.

Available from: Elderflower & Delilah


9. Cheeky Chompers Multimuslin, £28.99

Muslins have long been a mum’s best friend for their endless uses and Cheeky Chompers have supercharged them to produce the Multimuslin – a brilliant product that’s making waves with parents.

Similar to the Cover Me and Elderflower & Delilah’s Feed 3-in-1 in how hard working it is, it’s thinner and lighter than both, so it’s uses don’t completely overlap, setting it apart from the other cover ups on our list. It’s a high price in comparison to a single muslin, but including two cute hippo-shaped rings that link together, you can use it as a: breastfeeding cover, pram cover, teething rings, burp cloth, swaddle and blanket.

When it comes to price-per-use, this product will more than make back what you paid for it.

Available from: Cheeky Chompers, Amazon and John Lewis


10. Seraphine Oatmeal Pure Cotton Textured Knit Nursing Shawl, £55

Scoring major points for style, we’d expect nothing less from Seraphine, a brand with a star following, counting Kate and Pippa Middleton, Jessica Alba and Thandi Newton as fans.

Long enough to swathe your baby and cover your tummy, the Oatmeal Pure Cotton Textured Knit Nursing Shawl is 100% cotton and has poppers that fasten at the shoulder, making feeding time a stress-free, discreet, bonding experience.

In part similar to a conventional cover-up like the Cover Me Baby Cover Me, and in other ways similar to a product that looks like a standard top, like the Elderflower & Delilah Feed 3-in-1, the shawl is a hybrd between the two and can also be used as a swaddling wrap.

The brand says the shawl can be worn in 6 different ways, including a scarf, which is an added bonus. While it’s not cheap, Seraphine’s legion of devotees sing the brand’s praises for its quality and longevity.

Available from: Seraphine