Do You Need To Buy A Nursing Cover? Plus 5 Stylish Options If You Do Decide To Cover Up

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If you're new to the world of breastfeeding, you're probably overwhelmed with lists of "must-have" tools and entire encyclopedias of "tips and tricks" to make it easier. And though it's certainly valuable to learn from the experts and those who have tread the waters of nursing before you, at a certain point, you just have to do what works best for you. And all of those "must have" lists? They're not always as essential as you'd think. Take one of the more controversial products on the breastfeeding market for example, the nursing cover. Do you really need to buy a nursing cover? Obviously, the answer is up to you.

Though there are many different kinds of nursing covers on the market, they are all intended to make moms (and others) feel more comfortable when nursing in public.

The biggest question to consider when contemplating whether you want to buy a nursing cover or not is the why behind your purchase. Are you required to buy a nursing cover to feed your baby in public? Absolutely not. In fact, according to the National Conference of State Legislature, breastfeeding anywhere is legal in 49 states, and nothing is mentioned about whether or not the mother is covered.

If your motivation to cover up is that it makes you feel more confident and secure, then by all means, buy a nursing cover. They're great for bringing with you on the go, and using when you don't want to deal with the distraction of other people. On the other hand, if your baby doesn't love to eat with a blanket over their head, or if you'd rather not use one, don't. I've nursed in public covered and uncovered and, honestly, feel equally comfortable both ways.

If you want to shop around before committing, here are a few cute nursing cover options that you'll actually like to use.

1Multi-Purpose Nursing Shawl

Target

Although the term "nursing shawl" doesn't start the product off on the most appealing foot, the Bambooies nursing cover ($30) from Target is actually as fashion forward as it is practical. You can wear it as a scarf or cover-up when you're not nursing and then pull it down when your baby needs to eat.

2Stylishly Covered

Covered Goods

The camo nursing covers ($35) from Covered Goods are so much more than a cover-up. They double as infinity scarves, car seat covers, shopping cart covers, and more.

3Breezy and Light

Honest Co.

The organic cotton nursing covers ($39) from The Honest Co. double as infinity scarves as will with extra breathable cotton that won't cause your baby to get too stuffy and uncomfortable.

4Soft And Weighted

Bed Bath and Beyone

The extra soft and over-the-shoulder weighted design of these nursing covers ($30) from Bed Bath and Beyond let you nurse hands free.

5Strapped And Ready

Udder Covers

These floral covers ($35) from Udder Covers come in a wide variety of prints and have the traditional strap to let you nurse hands free.