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Sweet Peas, Pods & Papas: All About Birth, B@@bs & Babies

Maternity and Nursing Bras

Pregnancy Information Desk: Maternity and Nursing Bras

One of our students asked if she should buy a nursing bra while she was still pregnant.  Here are some thoughts on why it’s something to consider investing in now:

  • You will probably want a clean bra to put on after your baby is born, so buying one that you can nurse in makes sense.
  • You will probably not want to be doing laundry as soon as you get home, so having a clean bra waiting for you at home is a good idea.
  • You may want to get used to it before baby comes – how it feels, how it fits and how it works are a good thing to figure out before the baby arrives.   Doing it afterward may be too much newness at once.
  • Right now you have time to try on lots of styles and do some comparison-shopping.  Shopping for nursing bras is not the best reason to bring a newborn out in a crowd, and you certainly don’t want to rely on the bra your husband picks out.

Having said those things, here are some suggestions on how to chose a good nursing bra.  Since they offer ample support, they also work well as a maternity bra.  It is likely that your breasts will start to increase in size and density before baby arrives.

First of all, think about your activity level.  Do you do regular exercise?  Are you active during the day?  Do you plan to go back to work? What kind of bra do you like to wear now?

Next, consider your budget.  What makes the most sense for you to purchase right now?

If you are on a limited budget, in the short term consider investing in a day bra and a sleep bra. You would rotate the wash cycle - one goes on, the other goes in the wash so it's ready to wear in 12 hours.

Even if you can only afford one bra – it’s important to keep it clean to prevent it from smelling like sour milk.  Going without a bra while it is in the wash will let you nipples enjoy the fresh air and reduce the chance of infection from being moist if you are wearing breast pads.  Debbie Gillespie, IBCLC, says, “Most new moms use disposable nursing pads so I suggest to moms that they change their nursing pads every time they open up their bras, to minimize bacteria.”

If you need to, wear another type of supportive, comfortable bra while you run your nursing bra through the wash.  For longer wear, you can hang dry it – as it heats up, you can save your bra and some energy by hanging it outside in indirect sunlight – the heat will have it dry in no time!

If you have a more flexible budget, you can consider buying one of each and feeling them out to see which ones you truly need more of – besides everyday bras, there are sports bras and sleep bras.  Maybe you will even splurge on a dressier bra that can be worn with a date-night blouse and has a little peek-a-boo camisole lace going on.  Who says that momma can’t be sexy anymore?

Here are some of the benefits of each one:
Everyday bra – made of a soft fabric, should offer could support and easy access for the times that you need to nurse in public.  Make sure that the fasteners will withstand several washes and that it offers good support if you need it.

Sleep bra – most often made from cotton, light on support, easy access for nighttime feedings.  Ultimately, you want to be able to open it in your sleep.  It usually doesn’t have fasteners, so look for a good product with fabric that resumes its shape after being stretched out around the breast for feeding.

Sports bra – made of a durable nylon-cotton blend for function and for breathability, with a little extra padding in the front to absorb leaks.
Look for fasteners with easy access and durability in the wash with this bra, too.  Most moms aren’t released to resume their pre-pregnancy activity level until after the six-week check up, so you could wait for six weeks to purchase a sports bra.

Date night bra – Date nights after baby usually mean bringing baby along if you are nursing on demand – there is nothing wrong with having an attractive bra that is also functional!  Details like peek-a-boo lace or pretty ribbons make them pretty under a v-neck top, and yet they are functional in that you can nurse baby as needed on your night out with Dad.  Look for good support and easy access when nursing in public.

Talisha Heiden, owner of Modern Mommy Boutique, offers this suggestion, "When buying a nursing bra before your baby arrives, it is a good idea to buy it one size larger than you measure right now."  Your breasts will grow a little more as they start milk production, and a well-fitting adjustable bra is an asset when everything around your breast area is feeling a little swollen.

Due to the engorgement factor that may last a couple of days to several weeks, I would also suggest that you avoid any bras with underwire when buying your first nursing bras.  The wire may not feel great digging into your swollen breast.  If you can go without the wire, there are several products out there that offer support and a comfortable wear in the early weeks.

Once your breasts figure out the supply-and-demand cycle your baby needs, you can adjust straps and closures to the correct sizes.
It’s easier and more economical to adjust the bra than to go out and buy a bigger or smaller bra size for different cycles in your breastfeeding relationship with your child.

Thanks to Talisha Heiden, owner of Modern Mommy Boutique, for letting me photograph her merchandise for today's blog post.  She offers a complimentary fitting if you need help buying a nursing bra.  And, if you are in the Phoenix area, please join us tomorrow at the Modern Mommy Boutique Grand Opening from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.


Krystyna' Favorite Nursing Bra : by Elle McPherson - After nursing 3 children in a variety of situations, this is hands-down my favorite bra.  Offers great support and easy access along with pretty styling.
Krystyna' Favorite Nursing Bra
by Elle McPherson - After nursing 3 children in a variety of situations, this is hands-down my favorite bra. Offers great support and easy access along with pretty styling.
Krystyna's Favorite Nursing Bra : by Elle McPherson - also available in black, I have one of these in my drawer to wear under my black blouses or dresses.
Krystyna's Favorite Nursing Bra
by Elle McPherson - also available in black, I have one of these in my drawer to wear under my black blouses or dresses.
If you can only buy one bra... : this is the one I suggest.   The Glamourmom® Mbody™ Starter Nursing Bra, while  not the "prettiest" - it is the most functional and comfortable thanks to the  breathable, absorbent, stretchy cotton/elastane blend.  It is cool also comfortable for sleeping, too.
If you can only buy one bra...
this is the one I suggest. The Glamourmom® Mbody™ Starter Nursing Bra, while not the "prettiest" - it is the most functional and comfortable thanks to the breathable, absorbent, stretchy cotton/elastane blend. It is cool also comfortable for sleeping, too.
My second choice if you are only buying one bra : By Cantaloop™: Super soft & stretchy fabric adjusts to breasts' changing shape.  With no irritating seams and an integrated inner cup, this is another versatile day to sleep bra.
My second choice if you are only buying one bra
By Cantaloop™: Super soft & stretchy fabric adjusts to breasts' changing shape. With no irritating seams and an integrated inner cup, this is another versatile day to sleep bra.
Talisha's best-selling nursing tank : By Cantaloop™:  Same soft fabric and benefits as the nursing bra, this tank is great for moms who like to layer and/or keep their bellies covered while they nurse.
Talisha's best-selling nursing tank
By Cantaloop™: Same soft fabric and benefits as the nursing bra, this tank is great for moms who like to layer and/or keep their bellies covered while they nurse.
Everyday Bra : Bravado Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra - offers ample support through pregnancy and breastfeeding: "everyone loves this seamless nursing bra that molds to your shape"
Everyday Bra
Bravado Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra - offers ample support through pregnancy and breastfeeding: "everyone loves this seamless nursing bra that molds to your shape"
Everyday Bra : Bravado Bliss Nursing Bra -  offers ample support through pregnancy and breastfeeding:  it "is the perfect foam cup t-shirt nursing bra that features our proprietary Flexi-Fit™ support channel, giving you an elegant shape and exceptional fit for everyday use"
Everyday Bra
Bravado Bliss Nursing Bra - offers ample support through pregnancy and breastfeeding: it "is the perfect foam cup t-shirt nursing bra that features our proprietary Flexi-Fit™ support channel, giving you an elegant shape and exceptional fit for everyday use"
Easy-Open clasp : Close-up of the clasp on the Bravado Bliss Nursing Bra
Easy-Open clasp
Close-up of the clasp on the Bravado Bliss Nursing Bra
Sleep Bras : By La Leche League - this slip open style worked well for me and I loved the easy access at night!
Sleep Bras
By La Leche League - this slip open style worked well for me and I loved the easy access at night!
Sports Bras : Some comfy and supportive options: 
By La Leche League in Gray;
By  Milkalicious in White
Sports Bras
Some comfy and supportive options:
By La Leche League in Gray;
By Milkalicious in White
Easy Clasp : Close up of the easy-open closure on the Milkalicious bra - very easy to open and close with one hand.
Easy Clasp
Close up of the easy-open closure on the Milkalicious bra - very easy to open and close with one hand.
Some pretties : By You! Lingerie
Some pretties
By You! Lingerie
More pretties : By You! Lingerie
More pretties
By You! Lingerie
Yes - even nursing moms can wear leopard! : By You! Lingerie
Yes - even nursing moms can wear leopard!
By You! Lingerie
Nursing Bras with Bling : By HOTmilk - luminous nursing bra in champagne with gardenia lace
Nursing Bras with Bling
By HOTmilk - luminous nursing bra in champagne with gardenia lace
Bling in jet black : By HOTmilk - blaze nursing bra in microfiber fabric
Bling in jet black
By HOTmilk - blaze nursing bra in microfiber fabric
They even make them strapless! : By La Leche League - this microfiber option also comes with clear-straps for extra support when you need it.
They even make them strapless!
By La Leche League - this microfiber option also comes with clear-straps for extra support when you need it.









Disclaimer:
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.




2 Comments to Maternity and Nursing Bras:

Comments RSS
Angie Baker on Friday, April 08, 2011 9:28 AM
Great Blog Krystyna! I bought my nursing bra's before Tinsley was born and unfortunatley didn't do much research. I found this information helpful and will definitely take a look at some of the ones you pointed out - thanks!
Reply to comment
 
Krystyna on Wednesday, April 13, 2011 3:20 AM
Hi, Angie. I am so glad you found this informative. I am quite impressed by the variety of options Talisha has in the store - the "big box" stores with all their floor space seem to carry maybe one or two brands with limited options. I hope you find something comfortable, supportive and pretty, too!

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