Sunday 24 June 2012

Common mistakes when buying nursing bras

Tips for buying a comfortable bra during pregnancy and breastfeeding

Why is it important to wear the correct bra size?

Pregnancy is a time when your breast tissue develops and you build up fat stores for nursing, so the breast can grow 1 or more cup sizes and also become a lot heavier.  Wearing a bra that doesn’t provide enough support at any time in your life can lead to stretch marks and permanently sagging breasts, wearing the wrong size can lead to plugged ducts and back pain.

What bra choices are there for pregnancy and breastfeeding?

Wired Bras - not usually recommended for pregnancy and the first month of breastfeeding because of the risk of damage, discomfort and possibly plugged ducts from the frequent breast size changes.

Maternity Bras - are designed for pregnancy only, usually an over the head bra that is seamless and very comfortable and will grow with you throughout the pregnancy.  They usually come in a small number of sizes that fit a range of cup sizes.

Seamless/Transitional Nursing Bras - provide the same comfort as a maternity bra but can be used after birth for easy access nursing.  They usually come in a small number of sizes and fit a range of cup sizes which makes them especially ideal for all the changes your body goes through during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Sized bras - There are some really pretty and even sexy nursing bras available that are sized, but can often be fitted to allow for the growth of the abdomen and cup size.  Not guaranteed to fit after your milk volume increases, but are designed to fit a larger range of band sizes to accommodate you from the beginning of pregnancy.  These are a real confidence booster.

Some common mistakes made when finding the right bra

The Band – The band should be parallel to the floor.  If it is riding up your back try a smaller band size (go up one cup size 38C to 36D)
The Cup – The cup should provide good coverage of the breast.  If it wrinkles it may be too big.  If your breast is spilling out of the top, bottom or sides it is too small.  Fit to your largest breast.
Shoulder Straps – They should not create a dent in your shoulder.  If they are then you need to get more support from the band so try a smaller band size

Top tips:

1.  If you buy a nursing bra at the beginning of your pregnancy make sure you fit it to the tightest band setting so that there is room for growth.
2.  If you buy your nursing bra at the end of your pregnancy or after the baby is born make sure it fits on the loosest band setting.  Bras can stretch over time, so this will allow you to tighten the band and not lose support.
3.  Your band should not stretch more than 1” or so away from your body, if it does try going down a band size (and up a cup size) example: 38C to 36D.
4.  When you put on your nursing bra open the cups.  Lean forward and scoop your whole breast into the cup before you fasten it.  You want to make sure that all of your breast tissue is inside the cup and not bulging out the top/bottom/side etc.
5.  If buying a sized bra when you are pregnant make sure there is a little room for the increase in milk volume that happens after birth.  This will increase the chance that you can continue to wear it when breastfeeding.  Remember that you may still have to wait until after your milk volume settles at about four weeks to wear it again.

If you have enjoyed reading this post you may want to read more about breastfeeding.  There are many bloggers taking part in the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Internet Scavenger Hunt and you can check some of them out here - 

Keeping with the theme of nursing bras I'd like to announce a great offer from BoobieMilk for National Breastfeeding Week (June 24-30, 2012).  Please use BREASTFEEDING to save 15% all week on Nursing bras, Nursing vests and Sleep bras by Emma-Jane, Carriwell and Hotmilk


Congratulations!!  You have found the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt Logo, and you can now enter to win the Grand Prize using the Rafflecopter below.

Here is the Rafflecopter
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  1. I breastfed my little girl for 23months in total as she stopped her self naturaly. My goal is to do the same this time around and allow my little one to self wean again :)

  2. When I was pregnant I thought I'd stop at abut 15 months but now I think I'd like to feed until two years then make a decision. We are moving country soon and I think breastfeeding will be really helpful as we try to settle somewhere new

  3. I am still going at 7 months and plan to let my baby self wean.

  4. I have breastfed Spud and Sprout for 16 months and still going strong.

  5. I fed my daughter for 16 months, my first son for 15 and we are on month 4 with baby. I hope to be able to feed him til he wants to stop. The older 2 just decided they had had enough.

  6. My daughter was breastfed for 15 months aqnd I'll breastfed my bump, due in Sept, until they don't want to any more. Was really shocked when my daughter didn't want to feed any more so i hope to be better prepared for that this time round.

  7. I breastfed my first son for 22 months and 2 weeks...I wanted to get to 24 months but was in early pregnancy and it was SO SORE I just couldn't face feeding any more :( He was down to about 1 feed every other night by then though.
    I am still feeding my 16 month old younger son and plan to feed him for as long as he wants/at least 2 years :)

  8. I have fed for 19 months in total now and still counting! My goal is to keep feeding my baby until he wants or needs it until.

  9. first son only a year - he lost interest, this one 7 months so far and hope to make it to two years and then beyond

  10. My goal was a few months, but after reading loads of blog posts for breastfeeding week I'm more inclined to go with the flow and let baby decide

  11. I've breastfed my son for 14months and counting, hoping we can get to at least 2 and then we self wean.

  12. 28 months and still going strong...

  13. I fed my first son for just over 7 months and am still feeding my youngest at nearly 16 months so 23 months (not concurrently) and no plans to stop as yet :)

  14. Forgot to mention - great post! I have no clue about normal bras never mind maternity/nursing bras. Am currently looking in to training to fit them myself :)

  15. In total, 28 months for me...and hopefully still quite a few more to add to that!

  16. Wow! Great blog, I read your articla carefully. I like your way of providing the information about where can I buy nursing bra. I appreciate you for this. Keep it up.