Purchasing a standard bra can be stressful enough – and even then fitting experts say that most of us are not wearing the right size. One study published in 2010 revealed that as many as 80% of women are wearing the wrong bra size.
So one can only imagine how many women are wearing the incorrect nursing bra once their bubs arrived.
The Peachymama team has been there – and we have learned a lot from our own experiences and those of other mamas who have been kind enough to share their knowledge of nursing bras and breastfeeding clothing over the years. So…… here are our top five tips to help you find the right nursing bra so that your breasts can receive the comfortable support they deserve while you’re breastfeeding.
1. Buy Your Bra After Baby Is Born
There are maternity bras (for while you are pregnant) and then there are nursing bras. No mama should assume that her maternity bra size will be the same as her nursing bra size.
To make matters even more difficult, the nursing bra size you initially have will almost definitely need to change over the weeks and months that follow.
During the first few days, your maternity bra may fit you (if you care to even wear it at all). But after your milk comes in, your breasts can grow to be a full cup size – or two – in a matter of hours.
Just to make things more interesting, your breasts will then adjust to how much milk your baby needs and will eventually plateau – that is, until your baby’s feeding needs change once again. Which brings us to our second tip:
2. Buy A Bra With Stretchy Cups
A lot of the bras marketed to breastfeeding mums are attractive and seductive, but as many nursing mums will admit, being attractive and seductive is the last thing on their minds (especially since intimate times with your loved one are generally a “no-no” for at least the first weeks of your baby’s life). But the other issue is that these bras are not flexible and will not accommodate your fluctuating breast size.
While they are great for those times you want to feel sexy, as far as functionality goes, you will want to choose a bra with flexible, stretchy cups. These cups will grow with you and they will shrink with you too. They are your breasts’ best friend.
3. Get Measured By A Professional
Just as every non-nursing mama should have herself measured by a professional, you should also be measured by a nursing bra expert before purchasing your next nursing bra. Most nursing bra aficionados will tell you that you can get yourself sized for a bra at the 36 week mark, but again make sure that you choose stretchy and accommodating cups over cute restrictive cups. Your breasts will be changing sizes by the hour for six to eight weeks after baby has arrived.
Here are a couple of quick sizing suggestions:
- Your breasts should never “overflow” the cup or have the cup dig into them
- Your bra should not leave red marks on your skin or chafe your skin
- You should purchase a bra which is comfortably snug when on its loosest hook
- Wear the bra for five minutes in the store to make sure it is comfortable
4. Buy Different Types Of Bras
There are the “daily bras” which should provide you with more support, and then there are the “sleep bras” which you can pick up for less money and wear to bed.
The main purpose of a sleep bra for most mums is to have somewhere to place the breast pads which will absorb any leaked breast milk. Your daily structured nursing bra, however, requires a greater investment of time and consideration.
The structured bra should have wider straps, thicker bands and additional hooks and panels to make it easy to unhook and feed. Whether or not it has underwire will depend on you and your comfort. There is no evidence that underwire is not good, but keep in mind that a “too tight” bra with underwire can block the milk ducts and interfere with feeding as well as lead to blockages, infection and pain.
5. Choose Bras To Complement What You Wear
You want your nursing bra to be easy to wear underneath your clothes. Whether you choose a basic cotton nursing bra or one which is lacy and detailed, most are suitable for wearing beneath the specially designed breastfeeding clothing available at Peachymama.
Our best advice in the nursing bra department is to go for comfort and support first, and to have appearances come in second.
To learn more about dressing while breastfeeding or to check out our latest styles, we invite you to visit https://www.peachymama.com.au/