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Finding The Right Nursing Bra

Shopping for a bra is not a favorite pastime among most women. It’s often a frustrating and time consuming process to find a comfortable bra that fits well. It’s even more daunting when a new mom is expecting and trying to figure out what bra to get. Or for a mom who has delivered her baby and has found that the bra she wore during pregnancy no longer fits. In addition, many women wind up wearing the wrong bra size. For nursing mothers, getting a bra that fits correctly is really important for comfort and success in breastfeeding. An improper fit only leads to an uncomfortable bra that could lead to plugged ducts and mastitis! Here is our expert advice for shopping for a nursing bra. 

When To Buy A Bra And Why

Moms start making milk in their breasts around 14 weeks into their pregnancy. Some moms will see growth in their breasts as early as this time. As they progress through their pregnancy, mothers can continue to change both in band and cup size until after pregnancy. After pregnancy, their band size will likely also change along with their cup size. Mothers can buy a bra during their pregnancy that they can adjust as their band size changes. Moms should never be uncomfortable! They can use a bra extender and consider buying a seamless bra to maintain comfort throughout pregnancy and the postpartum stage. We invite moms to come back to our breastfeeding center at 11-12 weeks postpartum for a bra that is more cup fitted. We recommend that moms have at least three nursing bras so you have one to wear, one in the wash, and one ready to wear in the event of a leak.

Getting The Right FIT

You’ve got to try it on. There’s really no other way to tell if a bra will fit you unless you try it on. Some bras are more narrow in the front while others fit wide under the arm. The difference in how a bra is cut has a large impact in how much support you get, and how well you are supported. This applies to both fitted and seamless bras. It’s best to be measured when you go to try on bras to ensure that you are looking at the right sizes. We recommend going to a store that carries a lot of different brands so you can try them on. Healthy Horizons has the largest nursing bra selection in the Bay Area, so there are many to try on! 

The Materials

Not all bras are made out of the same quality material. Less expensive nursing bras are made from either spandex or a spandex/nylon combo for a low price. These bras tend to be uncomfortable when worn for a long time. They also don’t have much support under the cups so the band tends to roll up when being worn. Sometimes a mom might get great support when the bra is new, but the spandex stretches out quickly overtime and the bra is unable to give her the support she needs. The design of these bras can make them have little structure and provide poor support. A bra that has a U shape rather than an H in the back helps the straps sit better on the back and prevent a squashed in look. Lastly, these inexpensive bras don’t always breathe well, which makes the bra feel clammy and even more uncomfortable. An example of a staple seamless nursing bra is the Bravado Silky Seamless which is made up of 100% elastane or 51% Nylon, 42% Polyester, and 7% spandex. 

Clasps, Buckles, and Padding

Bras like the Bravado Silky Seamless or Rock Candy Cake bra have a lot of clasps in the back, which can help accommodate moms through the end of their pregnancy and well into the postpartum weeks. These bras also have light padding in the cup that can easily be removed. Sometimes moms find that their breasts are more sensitive and find it helpful and more comfortable to have that extra cup. Moms have also requested bras with the cups because they help maintain a shape while wearing nursing pads. Finding the right nursing bra is essential to ensuring that your bra gives you the right support in the long run, is comfortable, and won’t cause problems down the road. The only way to ensure that you’re getting the right bra is to try it on. At our Healthy Horizons Breastfeeding Centers, we carry several brands of nursing bras to try on and do complimentary bra fittings. Some of the brands we carry are Bravado, Cake Maternity, Anita, Medela, Cache, and Le Leche League and Boob Sport Bras. We invite you to come by our center to find the right bra for you!

Complimentary Bra Fitting at Healthy Horizons Breastfeeding Centers!