Breast changes begin in the first trimester of pregnancy, and most mothers outgrow their pre-pregnancy bras right along with their skinny jeans. If you’re buying new bras during pregnancy, make sure to buy ones that FIT. Do not buy loose bras or nursing bras because you always want to make sure your breast tissues are held properly and supported. Save all bras as you will be able to wear at some point in your breastfeeding career and as you lose weight after birth.
What Kind of Bra To Buy?
Nursing bras are designed with cups that open. You can open the flap on the cup so that baby can nurse while the rest of the bra stays in place. Here’s what to look for when you shop:
- Flaps should be easily opened with one hand. If you can refasten them with one hand, that’s even better depending on your cup size. Remember, your other arm will be holding a hungry baby. For discreet nursing in public, choose a bra with fasteners that you can open without looking at them.
- The bra should support the breast from beneath even when the cup is open. This makes feeding more comfortable and reclosing the bra less of a struggle.
- Avoid bras that open completely at the front for a feeding. You’ll have a hard time wrestling your breasts back into place when you’re done nursing
- Nursing bras should fit comfortably. Bras that are too tight can leave you vulnerable to plugged ducts and breast infections in the parts of the breast where straps or underwires block the flow of milk.
- If you do choose an underwire bra, be very particular about the fit. The breast’s milk-producing tissue extends all the way back to your rib cage and up into your armpit. Depending on your shape and if your stomach is high, you may not be able to wear an underwire. Don’t be upset. All nursing styles we carry are VERY strong and supportive as if you are wearing a wire.
- Cups should be made of a breathable fabric. This is usually 100 percent cotton or microfiber although some of the newer synthetics also allow the skin to breathe. Other synthetics trap moisture next to the nipples and encourage bacterial growth and soreness. Don’t buy a bra with a plastic lining.
- You’ll need at least three bras: one to wear, one in the laundry, and one in the drawer. Owning a few more means you’ll have to wash less often.
- At first buy only one of a particular style, to test it. When you find a bra you really like, purchase more of that style.
How do you know what size bra to buy? Since breasts change dramatically postpartum, here are some helpful guidelines:
- Your breasts will enlarge as your milk “comes in” after birth, so perhaps purchase one or two cup size bigger than what you’re wearing. These will get you through your first several weeks postpartum. Your rib cage will decrease once the baby is born so do not buy a larger rib cage.
- When your breast size settles down, usually after the second week, purchase additional bras that fit well.
- Most nursing bras have several rows of hooks at the back to allow for changes in breast size and in rib cage expansion during pregnancy. If you buy a bra that fits well when fastened on the second row of hooks, you’ll have room to get a bit bigger and a bit smaller. Because the flaps are open on the sides, there’s also some room for expansion in the cups of most nursing bras.
- Large breasted women need a bra with extra support. We have them up to an M cup.
Do You Really Need A Nursing Bra?
Some mothers prefer to wear a nursing bra while they are breastfeeding. They’re more comfortable with the added support of a nursing bra. For others, especially those who are smaller-breasted, become more casual about bras as time goes on. Some women even choose to go braless. This is a bad idea because the weight of the milk will pull your breast down and tear your tissues. Others may choose stretchy non-nursing bras that can be lifted above the breast and then pulled back into place after feeding.
Do you absolutely need the support of a good bra while breastfeeding? Will it prevent sagging and stretching? YES! Always support your breast no matter an A to an M cup. Not doing so will tear tissues from the inside even if you can see it on the outside.
Where To Buy?
You can buy nursing bras online at aBra4Me.com. They provide options that feature necessary qualities in pretty styles that you'll feel good about wearing. We carry the best nursing bras from Elila (Eilla #1613 Nursing Bra) and Leading Lady (Leading Lady #4338 Nursing Bra) at incredible prices. Pick one up for yourself or the new mom in your life today and enjoy 20%-50% off!