Finding the right nursing bra is a dilemma most new mothers face. It’s similar to selecting a regular bra, but with added features. A nursing bra is designed to provide comfort and accessibility during breastfeeding. Remember that your breasts tend to be fuller and sensitive with the changes that come with motherhood. Nursing bras provide more support, flexibility and comfort that regular bras do not. Good support helps lessen stretch marks. They take into account the fluctuating size of your breasts and the strain they have on your body.
It is suggested you purchase them at the beginning of your second trimester. When you pick your nursing bras, they should fit on the last hook to allow room for when your body develops along with the baby. Make sure they have at least 3-4 hooks to allow adjustment. If not, you have the option of getting hook extenders.
Just like with selecting regular bras, wear your most comfortable unpadded bra. Using a tape measure, take note of your bust and band size. The bust size is the circumference around the fullest part of your breasts around your back, while the band size is the circumference right under your breasts around your rib cage. Make sure that the tape measure is snug but not too tight. It is advisable to get a bra with a wide underband and full cups as they provide better support for heavier and fuller breasts.
As new mothers,comfort and support is a must! A proper fitting bra does not dig in or pinch the skin. It should not ride up or pull the shoulder straps. If it isn’t in the front and center or if your breasts spill out and dig in, go a cup size larger. If the straps or the band leave marks after removing them, adjust the band size and shoulder strap as needed. Conversely, if it the straps slip off or if the band is loose, tighten the strap and band.
The constant changes of your breasts during nursing affect the fit of the bra. A bra with some spandex accommodates these changes, but select a bra that is made mostly of breathable fabric such as cotton. Another consideration is the use of nursing pads in the bra to avert any leaking. You should allow space for nursing pads as well.
There are different bra designs to choose from: with or without flaps and with or without underwires. Nursing bras with flaps or pull away cups allow convenience and discretion while a mother feeds her child. These are ideal for all sizes. You can select the type of flap depending on the direction they are accessed and each flap has different materials that close them. Bras without flaps are also provide the same benefits but the mother pulls up the cup, which is normally made from stretch fabric. These are best for those with smaller breasts as they require less support. Remember to select a bra that allows the most access for your baby while breastfeeding. Bras with underwire provide more support, but seamless bras without underwires are more comfortable and protect you from engorgement issues. Don’t forget to be conscious of the fit, an underwire that digs can block the milk ducts.
If you have difficulty selecting the right bra for yourself, don’t get stressed! Feel free to ask us for advice.