Title:
NURSING UNDERSHIRT
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This invention is intended as an undershirt for nursing mothers. The invention consists of a form-fitting undershirt, which can have short sleeves, be sleeveless (like a tank top) or be a camisole type undershirt. The shirt has holes, which expose the breast area. The holes allow for opening a nursing bra and revealing enough of the breasts for nursing a baby. The undershirt covers the woman's back, upper chest and torso beneath the breasts. This undershirt allows a nursing mother to wear the nursing bra of her choice along with any shirt or blouse that can be lifted up or unbuttoned to access the breasts. Thus, a woman can nurse her baby in public without revealing her breast and/or other body parts. Use of the nursing undershirt does not compromise the mother's personal style of dress.



Inventors:
Lehane, Angela Nicole (Schertz, TX, US)
Application Number:
11/625325
Publication Date:
08/02/2007
Filing Date:
01/20/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D1/20
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ANDERSON, AMBER R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LAW OFFICE OF WILLIAM F. RYAN (SAN ANTONIO, TX, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A nursing garment intended to be worn under a mother's outerwear for nursing a baby comprising: a tubular body having a neck opening, a waist opening, arm openings and a hole for each breast.

2. The nursing garment of claim 1 wherein the holes for the breasts are pear shaped.

3. The nursing garment of claim 1 wherein the holes for the breasts are any geometric shape.

4. The nursing garment of claim 1 wherein the garment is in the form of a tank top.

5. The nursing garment of claim 1 wherein the garment is in the form of a camisole.

6. The nursing garment of claim 1 wherein the garment is in the form of a t-shirt.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Provisional application No. 60/763,444 filed on Jan. 30, 2006.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

REFERENCE TO SEQUENCE LISTING, A TABLE, OR A COMPUTER PROGRAM LISTING COMPACT DISC APPENDIX

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Many women choose to nurse their babies rather than formula feed for various reasons. A great number of nursing mothers are concerned about concealing their bodies while nursing, particularly in public. This invention relates to nursing women's apparel. The invention consists of a thin, form-fitting undershirt with openings for the breasts. The undershirt allows nursing mothers to wear the nursing bra of their choice and discreetly nurse while also wearing an outer garment of their choice.

Most nursing bras look like regular bras, but they have features that allow them to open and reveal the breasts separately for feeding a baby. See U.S. Pat Nos. 6,645,041, 6,361,398, 6,074,273 and 5,094,647. Nursing bras have hooks, snaps, or zippers for opening the bra cups. They come in a large selection of styles, fabrics, and sizes. With so many choices, a nursing mother is able to find nursing bras that fit well, are comfortable, reasonably attractive and provide the right amount of support. Since women and breasts come in different shapes and sizes, selecting the correct nursing bras is a very individual choice.

If a woman wishes to nurse her child without exposing her breasts and/or other areas of her body, she must do so by covering with a blanket, using specialized cover-ups for nursing mothers, or wearing specialized nursing attire.

Numerous devices have been invented to cover a mother while she is nursing a baby. These devices are a convenient upgrade to resting a thin blanket over a nursing baby. A blanket must be held in place, to avoid exposure, but the specialized nursing cover-ups stay in place without being held. One example is U.S. Pat No. 6,581,209, issued Jun. 24, 2003, to C. D. Bramhan. The device covers the mother while she is nursing, but it is obvious in it's appearance and can draw unwanted attention from strangers during a feeding. It also must be packed in a diaper bag before going out in public. Other examples of nursing cover-ups, which have similar benefits and limitations, are U.S. Pat Nos. 6,378,135, 5,592,692, 5,570,474, 5,544,364 and 5,038,411. These cover-ups cover the baby's head. Often, a baby is bothered by having a cover over its head and will fuss or attempt to pull the cover away.

There are many types of apparel designed for discreet nursing with the use of a nursing bra. These garments do not require the use of a separate nursing cover-up. One such garment has a horizontal access panel across the chest area. The wearer can gain access to the nursing bra through the panel and put the baby to her breast. Another type of nursing garment has vertical slits on the left and right sides of the front of the blouse or shirt for access. Examples of nursing apparel are U.S. Pat Nos. 5,182,813, 4,663,782, 4,660,227, 4,601,068, 4,566,136, 4,446,572, 4,280,228, 4,144,593 and 4,004,294. All of these inventions are useful for discreet nursing. However, these garments do not always allow a nursing mother to maintain her normal appearance of dress. A nursing mother is often longing for a time when she can once again wear her normal blouses and shirts. After all, she just finished wearing maternity clothes.

Several inventions have come about to allow a nursing mom to combine the nursing bra (or breast support) with an outer garment. Recent examples are U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,855,029, 6,854,132, 6,839,908 and 6,550,067. These inventions do allow for discreet nursing and allow a broad spectrum of women to maintain their normal appearance of dress. However, a woman cannot wear the nursing bra of her choice with these garments since they have built in support. Since choosing the right nursing bra is such an individual choice, the garments with built in support may not suit all nursing mothers.

None of the prior art suggests the intention of the present invention, which is to allow a nursing mother to discreetly nurse while wearing the nursing bra of her choice, the outer garment of her choice, and use no blanket or nursing cover-up.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is an undershirt for nursing mothers. The undershirt is a single layer of clothing with two holes, which expose most of the breast area. This allows for the use of a nursing bra and any shirt or blouse, which can be lifted to the chest area or unbuttoned in the chest area. This allows the option of discreet nursing in one's own clothes rather than wearing a nursing outer garment. No blanket or nursing cover-up is needed for discreetness with this invention. The undershirt can have short sleeves, be sleeveless (like a tank top), or have thin straps (like a camisole).

The holes in the undershirt expose most of the breast area. The holes can be any geometric shape. A pear shape is the preferred shape for the holes in the shirt because it works best with the shape of a breast. The pear shape also gives adequate access to nursing hooks that are often at the top of the bra cups.

The undershirt should be formfitting and lightweight for easy layering. Since the undershirt is formfitting, there is no bunching under the outer garment. The undershirt should be long enough to prevent the belly and waist area of the mother from being exposed if she lifts her outer garment to nurse. The undershirt covers the upper chest area if a mother is nursing while wearing a button-down blouse.

This invention is economical, functional, comfortable, and discreet. It allows a mother to discreetly nurse in comfort without a significant investment in nursing attire. The mother's ordinary clothes and nursing bras are used along with the undershirt. When the mom no longer nurses, there is no nursing outerwear to give away, sell, or place in storage.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1A is a perspective view showing the front of a nursing undershirt, according to the present invention.

FIG. 1B is a perspective view showing the rear of a nursing undershirt, according to the present invention.

FIG. 2A is a front view of a nursing undershirt with sleeves being worn.

FIG. 2B is a front view of a sleeveless nursing undershirt being worn.

FIG. 2C is a front view of a nursing undershirt in camisole form being worn.

FIG. 3 is a view of a woman wearing a shirt and pulling it up to reveal one side of her nursing undershirt and nursing bra underneath.

FIG. 4 is a view of a woman wearing a button down blouse and opening it to reveal one side of her nursing undershirt and nursing bra underneath as she unhooks the nursing bra.

FIG. 5 is a view of a woman discreetly nursing her baby while wearing a button down blouse with her nursing undershirt and nursing bra.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In the drawings, FIG. 1A shows a nursing undershirt 10 with the principles of the invention. The front of the nursing undershirt 10 has holes 11, which allow the wearer to unhook her nursing bra and present her breast to a hungry baby. The holes could take on a number of different shapes, but the pear shape (as shown in the drawings) works best. The pear shape is suitable for the shape of a breast and allows room for the mother to reach for a hook on a nursing bra if it is located at the top of the bra cup. The pear shaped holes should be located in the area of the breasts. In manufacturing this garment, there should be at least two sizes of holes available. One hole size (measuring 4.9 inches from top to bottom and 3.75 inches from left to right at the widest part) could be used for bra cup sizes A through C and another hole size (measuring 5.25 inches from top to bottom and 4 inches from left to right at the widest part) could be used for bra cup sizes D and larger. It is comfortable for the entire breast or most of it to protrude out of the designated hole. The breast openings 11 should have stitching around them as the neck openings 12, arm openings 13 and bottom of the shirt 14 do.

The nursing undershirt itself should come in several sizes just as regular undershirts do. The nursing undershirt should be formfitting, but not confining. The nursing undershirt should be long enough to cover the mother's belly.

The nursing undershirt can be constructed of any form-fitting fabric, but 100% cotton or a blend containing mostly cotton would be preferable since it is cool, breathable and non-irritating. The fabric should be thin, lightweight and soft. The nursing mother should be able to wear the undershirt without having a feeling of bulkiness from the thin layer. The nursing undershirt should not be noticeable to others while the mother is not nursing, unless the top of it is peeking out of a button down blouse as can be seen in FIG. 4.

The nursing undershirt can be made in a variety of colors or patterns to allow the nursing mother to coordinate the undershirt with the outer garment that she wears over it. The nursing undershirt's color is exposed while the mother is nursing. If the outer garment and undershirt are the same color, it would be difficult for anyone to notice that an undershirt is even being worn.

FIG. 1B shows the rear view of a nursing undershirt 10. The rear of the shirt is formfitting, and looks just like a regular undershirt.

FIG. 2A shows the front of a nursing undershirt 10 with short sleeves.

FIG. 2B shows the front of a sleeveless nursing undershirt 10. During warm weather, it is preferable for the nursing undershirt to be sleeveless to keep the mother cool.

FIG. 2C shows the front of a nursing undershirt 10 in the camisole form. Like the sleeveless undershirt, the camisole would work well in warm weather. If the mother is wearing a sleeveless top or camisole as an outer garment, this form of the nursing undershirt is preferable for appearance.

FIG. 3 shows a woman 15 wearing a shirt 16 and pulling it up to reveal one side of her nursing undershirt 10 and nursing bra 17. The nursing bra 17 can be seen in the nursing hole 11. The action of pulling up the shirt and unhooking the nursing bra while wearing the nursing undershirt is no more difficult than doing so without an undershirt. However, the nursing undershirt keeps the torso beneath the breasts covered. While nursing a baby, only a portion of the breast is not covered by clothing. That part of the breast is hidden from view by the baby's head, and there is no need for the mother to cover herself with a blanket or cover-up.

FIG. 4 is a view of a woman 15 wearing a button down blouse 18 and revealing one side of her nursing undershirt 10 and nursing bra 17 underneath as she unhooks the nursing bra. The nursing bra 17 can be seen in the nursing hole 11. If a mother attempts to nurse her baby while wearing a button down blouse with just a nursing bra underneath, the upper chest area is exposed. The nursing undershirt covers the upper chest area.

FIG. 5 is a view of a woman 15 discreetly nursing her baby 19 while wearing a button down blouse 18 with her nursing undershirt 10 and nursing bra. The woman's upper chest and breasts are hidden from view. Her nursing bra and the holes of the nursing undershirt are not exposed since the baby's head blocks the view. She appears to be holding a baby and unless someone is located very close to her, they probably would not notice that she is nursing.

The drawings demonstrate the goal of the nursing undershirt, which is to allow a mother to discreetly nurse while wearing the nursing bra of her choice, the outer garment of her choice, and use no blanket or nursing cover-up.

The preferred embodiments described are intended to capture the principles of the invention, but not to limit its scope.