The breastfeeding dress isn't actually great for mums

The internal pocket stows away a fabric cover – or “magic blanket” – for discreet nursing sessions.

The internal pocket stows away a fabric cover – or “magic blanket” – for discreet nursing sessions.

There's absolutely no need to buy breastfeeding clothes – especially ones that look as ridiculous as this.

Yes, there's the matter of choice and practicality when it comes to purpose-built garments for nursing mothers. (All that semi-disrobing can leave you with a bit of a chill.) But this particular design just looks, well, awkward.

Created by Daniela Bekerman, the teal and pale blue dress is cringingly titled 'Moveable Feast' and includes pleat-like "apertures" for easy access, roomy accommodation for your post-partum belly, and a removable cape. Yes, a cape, to hide your wee bambino's head while you dine. Another features an internal pocket that stows away a fabric cover – or "magic blanket" – for discreet nursing sessions.

We're about as enthused as the woman in the photo.

We're about as enthused as the woman in the photo.

"I love resolving problems through design," says Bekerman, whose dresses have been described as "thoughtfully conceptualised, if somewhat avant-garde" by Ecouterre. Others aren't quite so supportive. One Redditor says it looks as though it was snatched from the set of Disney's Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century. While Stylite writer Eliza Dillard says, "As if we don't police nursing women's bodies enough, let's make them look and feel ridiculous in these Jane Jetson-inspired frocks."

Advertisement

Many new mums have internalised shame when it comes to breastfeeding, and a sense of justifying or even apologising for their choice is common. They often feel exposed and vulnerable in certain establishments, knowing some people don't think of it as being socially acceptable to have a baby clamped to your bosom in full view of everyone. Bekerman has no issue with breastfeeding mums and merely offers a functional solution to practical concerns. If a mum prefers privacy for feeding, it's wonderful that there's a burgeoning market of clothing options that don't require she cover herself with a blanket or make do in a dirty, cramped toilet stall every time her baby wants some nourishment.

Yet even if cover-ups such as 'Moveable Feast' are only intended to be an option, won't at least some nursing mothers feel like they're supposed to be wearing one, or something similar, when they're breastfeeding?

Lately, efforts have been made to address the rampant nudity double standard. Amidst the #FreeTheNipple fervour, Facebook made a quiet policy change last year, allowing photos of actively breastfeeding mothers with bare nipples to remain on the site. And yet despite this, exposed breasts remain 'obscene' under many other social media rules, and in daily interactions offline. Activists have long said that breastfeeding in public plays an important role in normalising breastfeeding, and this complicated caped contraption does nothing to help their cause. 'Moveable Feast' may purport to promote privacy and comfort, but could it be doing the opposite?