A breastfeeding bra, or a nursing bra, is essential for mothers who want to breastfeed. These bras offer the appropriate level of support and more comfort than a standard bra. You can purchase daytime and night-time breastfeeding bras that provide comfort and easy access. Understanding what to look for in a nursing bra enables you to purchase the right size and model, providing comfort, support, and ease of use.
Sizing a Breastfeeding Bra
Because your breasts change continuously throughout your pregnancy, and even for two weeks after birth, do not be too keen to rush out and buy a nursing bra, because you simply do not know how large your breasts will grow. So, wait until toward the end of your pregnancy, when you have a clear idea of what size you need. If you do not want to wait until after your little bundle of joy arrives, buying a nursing bra one or two sizes too large is the best option, as it gives you room to grow. The bra you choose should not be too tight, as this reduces the amount of milk you produce. Remember to leave ample room in the cups for nursing pads, to avoid embarrassing leaks. For those with larger breasts, choose a bra with thicker straps and substantial side panels, to spread weight and relieve any back pain.
Choosing the Breastfeeding Bra Type
You can choose from a wide range of breastfeeding bras, and the choice is largely a matter of personal comfort preference. You can opt for plain and simple designs, or bright and bold. A nursing bra for sleeping is soft and comfortable, offering only light support to allow you to sleep and rest without discomfort. It simply slips on and off, without hooks, providing easy use for night-time feeds. Tank-top bras have a nursing bra built into a tank top and feature discreet nursing clips for easy access. Underwire nursing bras provide extra support and are easy to open and close. However, some women find them less comfortable than other types, and although research is scarce, there are claims that underwire bras can reduce or even stop milk production. However, because of the extra support, underwire bras do make a good choice for women with larger breasts.
Selecting the Breastfeeding Bra Material
Cotton is the material of choice for breastfeeding bras. Good quality cotton is soft, breathable, and durable. It is also easy to clean and maintain. Organic cotton nursing bras are a good choice for Earth-conscious mothers and those who want to expose their infants to as few chemicals as possible, as organic cotton is not exposed to potentially harmful chemicals during the growth or production processes. You can also opt for synthetic nursing bras, which are not as breathable or soft but are very durable and stretchy. Alternatively, opt for a cotton-polyester blend nursing bra that provides extra stretch while retaining the benefits of cotton.