Nursing bra, do I really need one?
If you want to minimize discomfort: Yes, you need a nursing bra!
A nursing bra is probably the one and only piece of clothing a new mama should not skimp on.
Why? Let me count the ways….
#1 is all about Comfort
If you’re pregnant, then you already know: Pregnancy and nursing boobs are completely different than “normal” boobs! To complicate matters, how they feel can change from day to day.
Your breasts will be swollen and feel sensitive throughout most of your pregnancy, but that’s nothing compared to how you’ll feel about 3 days after giving birth. You’ll have a whole new definition for Dairy Queen after your milk comes in. Your breasts will balloon out to about 2 or 3 times their normal size. All that stretching is painful and your poor boobs will feel hot and sore. A traditional bra will only cause more pain because the cups, the straps and the support bands do not stretch accordingly. They dig!
Comfort is always important in a bra but nursing bras are designed with this in mind.
Reasons # 2, #3 & 4 are about Breast Health
Traditional underwire is a no-no. Toss those things – they’re downright dangerous to a nursing mom! 😉 The rigid wire will constrain your poor boobs. Underwire will dig and be painful. Nursing bras with underwire are designed to be flexible, soft and expand. Please be aware that tradtional underwire bras could cause damage to your breast tissue and that could lead to infection, blocked ducts, or mastitis. If you really want underwire, then you should invest in a specially designed underwire bra for nursing mothers.
Traditional bras are not designed to wick away moisture and sweat. Nursing bras are usually constructed using wicking, breathable fabric. Moisture could lead to infection and will do you no good should your baby develop thrush.
Then there’s the wetness factor. Have you been warned about how much your breasts will leak? Another nice thing about nursing bras is that most are designed to hold your nursing pads in place. You’ll want a good supply of nursing pads because, at first, you’ll change these as often as you change your sanitary pads. A well-attached nursing pad in your bra will prevent irritation.
#5 is about Convenience
Nursing has to be convenient. So nursing bras are designed to let you get to a nipple with a quick release of a little hook or snap, with easy, one-handed access. Wearing a traditional bra, you’re forced to either stretch the bra down and lift your breast over the cup or pull the bra up over your the top of your breast. Either way, it’s very uncomfortable and could be downright painful.
Need more reasons?
#6 is how it looks
Or more precisely, how it makes you feel about how you look. Most nursing bras are pretty, and some are beautiful, while traditional bras will not fit a nursing mother properly and there’s nothing pretty about an ill-fitting bra. The straps over your shoulders are too thin on traditional bras. The cups are too close together. The band that runs along the bottom is narrow and will dig rather than support. And finally, my favorite complaint is that there are usually only 3 rows of hooks at the back and you may need 4 or 5 for a good fit. If you want to look and feel your best, invest in a beautiful nursing bra that flatters (but supports!) your gorgeous, engorged TaTas.
#7 is about the Fit
Your rib cage is expanding during pregnancy so you will need a bra that has extra rows of hooks to accommodate the changes after birth.
Several months later, after you’ve settled into a comfortable nursing routine, it’s possible your breasts might deflate a little and droop down over the support band. That’s when you’ll want to fling a ill-fitting, no-support, ugly bra in the trash. So be sure to find one with good cup support with a wide support band around the bottom with wide straps and lots of rows of hooks in back.
Reason #8 the only thing better is No Bra
But, is no bra is an option? It might not be a good idea, at least not out in public, because your milk will leak and leaking will cause a wet shirt front and your large breasts will ache from hanging. If you wear baggy shirts with no bra, your nipples will become irritated and might hurt even more from the friction… plus your shirt will always be wet. Hmm, all this sounds lovely, doesn’t it?!!
Shopping for Nursing Bras
Your best option is to find a good nursing bra and there are tons to choose from: You can find inexpensive but plain in the $20 range, to very flattering and fairly expensive running $75 or more.
You’ll find some of the best deals online, but I understand your worry about ordering something you haven’t tried on. I have a couple easy fixes for that: go to a website where you can be learn how to find your appropriate size OR, go to a maternity shop and get sized. After that, you’ll have to count on the vendor’s satisfaction guarantee regardless of whether you buy online or at a store, because the bra may fit well, but feel horrible. If you don’t like it, don’t be afraid to return it! You’ll want a good return policy. The second, and maybe more important thing about online shopping is you can read the reviews! Personally, I depend on reviews. In a store, all you get is the salesperson’s opinion. If she’s never been pregnant, do you want to gamble on that?
Here is one our favorite bras!
Please note: These are affiliate links which means I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase, however, all the opinions in the article are our own. We sincerely appreciate your support! Click here to read our affiliate policy.
Bravado Nursing Bras have a ton of reviews and their online product information is awesome.
Other Choices Include: