How to choose a nursing bra

March 2,2016
How to choose a nursing bra

We’ve been receiving lots of emails from women wanting affordable, comfortable, practical and fashionable nursing bras. And we are very happy to say they’ve finally arrived. We now have a style of nursing bra to suit every woman. But if you’re not sure what to look for in a nursing bra read on as we demystify nursing bras.

With pregnancy comes an increase in breast size (and shape) and if you’re already on the well endowed side it can be a daunting prospect that your breasts will increase in size. Wearing a well fitted, supportive bra may help reduce the stretching of breast tissue that can lead to sagging.

What’s the difference between maternity and nursing bras?Many people use the terms interchangeably. However technically a maternity bra is pre-nursing. A maternity bra doesn’t have the drop cups or detachable straps like a nursing bra (afterall it’s pre-nursing so no need to accommodate a hungry baby). So a maternity bra is often designed for comfort and support with seamless cups and cotton lining. Once the baby arrives a maternity bra needs to be exchanged for a nursing bra.

Do I need to buy maternity and nursing bras?

Yes and no. Yes, if you want to try breast feeding or pumping milk you will need a nursing bra. If that’s the case then we suggest you bypass buying a maternity bra and wear a nursing bra before the baby arrives. It’s one less item on the list to buy and you will get much more use out of a few good nursing bras before and after baby than you will with a maternity bra.
If you’re not planning on breast feeding or pumping milk we still recommend that you buy a few nursing bras. They are built for comfort and whilst your body is changing your breasts may become more tender and heavy and if that’s the case you’ll want something comfortable that can be adjusted for the changes that you’re going through.

When should I buy a nursing bra?You can start wearing a nursing bra at any point in your pregnancy. Some women start at the end of the first trimester, others after they’ve given birth. We think you should start wearing a nursing bra when your everyday bras become uncomfortable or once you outgrow them. Nursing bras are designed for comfort and support so if you’re suffering from tenderness, or are more sensitive then we suggest swapping to a nursing bra once the first signs appear.

Can I wear underwire?Most nursing bras are designed as soft cups (they are underwire free) however if you prefer an underwired bra nursing bras now do come in a variety of styles and fashion colours. In the past it was recommended that pregnant or nursing women avoid underwire incase it blocked the milk ducts or caused mastitis. Today you can wear any style of nursing bra you wish, nursing bras with underwire use a lower gauge wire and are more flexible, moving with your body. However if the bra is uncomfortable or causing you pain stop wearing it. Pain or tenderness at this stage can lead to complications so listen to your body.

How should a nursing bra fit?

A nursing bra is fitted the same way as a ‘normal’ bra. The backwing should be snug but not tight, the underwire should be flat against your torso and the straps shouldn’t dig into your shoulders. If you are spilling out the cups, (on the sides, at the top or below) then you need a larger size. It’s incredibly important that you are comfortable. Rubbing, chaffing, or pain are signs that you need to change your bra they aren’t to be endured.

What is a sleep bra?

Whilst breastfeeding some women prefer to wear a soft cup bra or crop top to bed. This ensures that nursing pads stay where they should and some women find it more comfortable to sleep with a little more support. Most of our maternity/nursing range could easily be worn as a sleeping bra. When looking for a bra to sleep in, avoid anything with an underwire or padded cups.

How many nursing bras do I need?

We recommend 3 nursing bras as a great foundation. Whilst breastfeeding your breasts may leak milk so expect to change your bra more frequently than usual. By having 3 bras in rotation you can always have one on, one in the wash and one on stand-by.

Plus Size Bras have recently increased our selection of nursing bras and with prices from $9-$45 you’re sure to find something that suits your style and budget.

If you need advice or help with breastfeeding the Australian Breastfeeding Association is a wonderful resource. They have local meet-ups across Australia, an active forum where you can ask any questions as well as a helpline that you can call.

Categories: Pregnancy Topics

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