How to Choose a Nursing Bra


How to Choose a Nursing Bra

By Terry Perusse.

Congratulations! Félicitations! Mazel Tov! You’re having a baby, or two, or more. Now you’ll be offered unasked-for advice from everyone on everything. What to eat. How to sleep. I’m about to give you the advice we’re asked for all the time at Broad: how to choose a nursing bra. And I have the boobs and the (now grown up) baby to back it up!

When to Buy a Nursing Bra

Cake Maternity Croissant underwire nursing bra

The Croissant nursing bra has flexible underwires and super soft cups, for maximum hold AND comfort.

During pregnancy, you probably won’t need a specialty bra. Instead, get a supportive bra that feels good and leaves room to grow in both the cups and band. As time goes on, your bra band can get tight as your belly grows and your ribcage expands. You can add a back extender to get more wear out of a bra, but be aware that you may need a few bras in different sizes as your pregnancy progresses. Shopping for a better size when you are about 20 weeks along can help.

Some prefer to shop for nursing bras in their last month, but since it’s hard to predict your postpartum size, waiting until baby arrives isn’t a bad idea. Most find their breasts expand mightily in the first days post-birth, then slowly go back to a new normal for nursing. Your nursing bra should be easy to open one-handed, so test the clips in the fitting room. How you nurse may also affect which nursing bras you choose. With my short arms and big boobs I loved the football hold, with the baby to one side, instead of in front. I lifted my breast out the side or over top of the bra, not using the shoulder clips at all.

A woman holds a small stuffed animal to demonstrate the "football" hold for nursing. The baby is held at the side of your body, with feet in the crook of your elbow.

There wasn’t a baby handy, so Terry’s demonstrating the “football” hold here with our store mascot, Gordon.

Size Matters

Most maternity retailers stock a limited size range. Some advertise their “plus size” line that runs “up to a G”. But depending on their sizing system, that might not mean much! Those of us with bigger boobs lose out. Demand and receive accurate measuring for all your bras. A good store offers broad size selection and thorough, honest advice on how to choose a nursing bra for your fluctuating boobs. While you’re pregnant, a bra should fit with some extra room in the cup for growth and post-birth engorgement. And if you’re already nursing, don’t forget to take into account when you fed last!

Wires Matter

Cake Maternity Tea wirefree nursing bra

The Tea wirefree nursing bra uses seams to give shape and support.

Some consider underwire the devil’s work. But a well-fitted underwire bra should support and encase breast tissue, never poke or damage it! That said, soft wirefree bras are key for sore or sensitive breasts. Wirefree nursing bras offer gentle support with a secure band, but won’t give the kind of lift, support and separation underwires do. Some pregnant or nursing people prefer wires because without them, sore boobs can swing, sway and bounce  — making them more painful than ever. If you’re concerned about mastitis, the wire/wirefree decision should be based on your needs and experience, the advice of your healthcare provider and the guidance of a good fitter.

Material Matters

Cotton is lovely, but man-made fibres hold less moisture near the skin, and can be washed and dried quickly. (Think exercise clothes: bike shorts work a lot better than a flannel sweatsuit!) You’ll want more than one bra, and you’ll need to wash one of them daily for the first few months. Even with nursing pads, leaks  — and baby puke, and…other…bodily emissions — are inevitable. Soak will be your new best friend!

Remember: fed is best, however it gets done. Be kind to yourself. Get good advice from your M.D., midwife, or a Certified Lactation Consultant. And find a great bra shop!

#Choose #Nursing #Bra