"To Bra or Not to Bra?" That is the Question.
Honestly, my “bra energy” was low at the beginning of my pregnancy. Wearing a bra during the first trimester wasn’t so bad, it was going into the second and third trimester where wearing a bra felt suffocating and just downright uncomfortable.
Was I the only one who felt this way? Nope, turns out a lot of preggo mommas felt the urge to just rip off their bras in the middle of the day and let their “hoohas” hang. How could we not? Our body was expanding, the skin stretches and tight constrictive clothing will only cause farther irritation and none of us, wants to find ourselves scratching our boobs in public.
Nursing Bras vs Maternity Bras
To begin with, finding the perfect bra takes research and research means time and energy. Two things a mom-to-be or a new mom most often lacks thereof. With the physical changes our body goes through throughout pregnancy, we’re naturally drained and can’t be bothered to find something we honestly wish we didn’t need to wear. Then there’s the bodily changes you’ll experience after delivery, where your breasts, being one of the most sensitive parts of your body, requires a lot of attention. And so does your baby.
Therefore, being well prepared by understanding the difference between the nursing bras and the maternity bras helps a ton. Nursing bras essentially are made to provide convenience for mothers to nurse/pump. Similar to maternity bras, they both have broader straps, breathable cotton material and they have complete coverage giving moms utmost support. However, what differs a nursing bra to a maternity bra (for some), is that they have a section of the bra that flaps open/down to allow easy access for breastfeeding.
All Hail Boss Mama Real-Support Bras
Clearly I’m gonna sound bias (sorry not sorry) but THANK GOD FOR BOSS MAMA!! Boss Mama came into the market a little over 4 years late because trust me, they would’ve saved a lot of confused, uncomfortable moms like me who just wished they had the real deal, the Boss Mama’s Real-Support Bras.
With Boss Mama, the bra energy is real here, that’s because Boss Mama did their homework. They didn’t want to just provide comfort, but they did that on top of leaving women feeling GOOD about their bodies. Their Real-Support Bra is a triple winner, it’s perfect for nursing, pumping and expecting moms and it’s wire-free so moms no longer breastfeeding or pumping can still enjoy the bra past postpartum! Because boobs take on a whole different shape then what your body may look like, their size ranges all the way up to 2XL and even catering to petite but busty mommas! I want to cry for that sort of inclusivity.
Why Underwire Bras are a No-no
Firstly, underwire bras worn throughout the day can be very uncomfortable. However, when you are pregnant, underwire bras are going to make you feel constricted and you are encouraged to wear clothing that’s comfortable, practical and breathable to accommodate your bodily changes.
If you’re breastfeeding, here are some reasons why underwire bras are not condone:
- During postpartum, your breasts are tender. The underwire of your bra can put unnecessary pressure to your breasts and it can even dig into your skin.
- Underwire bras can lead to clogged ducts and mastitis as there’s pressure on the breast tissues.
- You might even experience discomfort or piercing pain when nursing.
When Should You Swap Regular Bras for Maternity/Nursing Bras
As soon as you’re pregnant, your body begins to rapidly prepare itself for childbirth. Your breasts will become fuller and bigger and a lot of women start seeing changes in their bodies as they enter their second trimester, some even earlier.
Here are some telling signs when you should start investing and wearing nursing bras:
- Just as you’re about to enter 2nd trimester, start buying maternity/nursing bras.
- The moment you start feeling constricted and uncomfortable with underwire bras, it’s time to swap for wire-free maternity bra.
- When your breasts starts feeling heavy and tender, that’s another telling sign to lose the regular bra and find maternity/nursing bras that are designed to provide support for your changing body.
Is it Safe to Sleep with a Nursing Bra on While Breastfeeding?
Yes, it is safe. Prior to being pregnant, you may have been sleeping braless for years. Yet, as soon as baby arrives, you may need to start considering wearing a nursing bra to bed as your breasts will only get heavier into the night as that’s when most milk comes in. Wearing a comfortable nursing bra makes all the difference in the world as even while you sleep, you get proper support for your full breasts and it also allows you to keep your pjs dry from unnecessary breastmilk leakage.
Tips to Finding the Perfect Nursing/Maternity Bra
If finding bras were difficult for you before this, I promise you finding nursing/maternity bra is far less complex. The key is always comfort.
1. Invest in your Breasts
Your breasts is going to be the main star of the show throughout your breastfeeding and pumping journey. So it’s only suiting they get the best fit and maximum comfort. Good quality bras that are durable and lasts long are usually much pricier than your regular bra. That’s because it’s multi-functional and with Boss Mama’s Real Support Bra, you can guarantee, it doesn’t skimp on style either.
2. Buy a Well-Fitting Bra
As you’re breastfeeding, you will notice your breast size will continue to change throughout postpartum. However, avoid making the mistake of buying bigger sizes with the presumption that you’ll be “comfier”, as most often, the underbust bra bands will also be wider leaving you with an all-round ill-fitting bra that just doesn’t sit in place nor fits right.
Instead, scout bras that have atleast 3 layers of hooks for security and levels of tightness on the clasps so you can adjust accordingly to your body. A tip: Invest in bra extenders too as this is a great way to save money and making the most of your nursing/maternity bras throughout your pregnancy all the way into postpartum…and more!
3. Say Goodbye to Underwire Bras and Sports Bras
Although they’re more appealing, underwire bras are more detrimental than they are pretty to breastfeeding mothers. Sports bras are also create the same tension and pressure on breasts so it’s best to refrain from wearing one while you breastfeed. Yes it’s designed to give you support, but it’s restrictive movement can also cause severe discomfort and pain plus, it is not accessible for your baby to latch easily for feeds.
4. Invest in a Considerable Amount of Nursing Bras
Securing yourself up to 4 or 5 nursing bras is not only convenient but also hygienic too. All nursing mothers will experience breastmilk leakage and if you’re not using a good breast pad, the leakage might seep through and dampen your bra. Prolonged dampness around your nipple will cause dryness and this could lead to cracked nipples or infection, thus gives mothers a painful breastfeeding experience.
Procure yourself with different shades too to go with your outfits or simply to lift your mood!
In all honesty, I am so pumped and ready to tackle pregnancy round 2 if it ever happens (Insya Allah) all because of Boss Mama. My breastfeeding experience was rewarding but the journey was nothing short of a struggle with me trying to be patient and work around my barely functionable pumping bra and nursing bras that would often ride up and flaps that I would have to awkwardly tuck in under my bra to make sure it doesn’t get in the way of my baby’s latch.
So to know that one bra does it all with Boss Mama's Real Support Bra, I am a happy mama.
I hope these tips help you understand why investing in a good nursing/maternity bra is priceless and that wearing one during breastfeeding is completely safe. Sleeping in it too.
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