Invest in a Good Quality Nursing Bra | By Lisa Goodman 'The Bra Lady'
Every woman needs extra support during pregnancy. Not only do you need support from your family and friends, but also support for your ever-changing body. One way to support your body as pregnancy progresses and into the post partum period is through investing in well-fitted maternity and nursing bras. Every pregnancy is different, so there are no set rules as to when you might need a maternity bra. A good guideline is that as soon as your regular bras start feeling tight and uncomfortable, and/or your cup is overflowing, it’s time to go bra shopping. You may find that your cup size continues to increase throughout pregnancy, while some women experience a rapid growth surge during their first trimester and then little growth at all until the final months or when the baby is born and nursing begins. As a general rule, you should purchase a maternity bra that fits on the tightest eyes (the hook and clasp on the back) to allow room for growth. It’s best to use the expertise of a professional fitter to help guide you through this process. Most new mothers-to-be are prepared with all the baby gear they could ever need (and then some), yet they often overlook their own needs.
A quality, well-fitted nursing bra is just as important as a quality breast pump for breastfeeding success. Breast milk is the most nutritious food for your infant and all they need for the first several months of life. Nursing also helps a baby and mother form a strong bond together, so it’s worth taking the time and effort to find the perfect nursing bra. Just as with your maternity bra, the proper fit is very important for your comfort. The best nursing bras offer good support, but do not bind breasts in any way – a bra that is too tight could interfere with milk flow, especially in the early weeks when you are still establishing your milk supply. For optimum support, the band and the straps should be adjustable and fit snugly. Cups should ideally have some flexibility to accommodate your changing breast size as your milk comes in, and then as your breast size changes again through the different stages of nursing. The cups should open and close easily. You should be able to release a cup with one hand. The opening should allow plenty of room for your baby to feed. Your bra, whether open or closed, should never constrict or squeeze your breasts. A tight bra can cause your ducts to become blocked or even lead to mastitis. It is recommended to have a minimum of three nursing bras: two supportive bras to rotate when one needs to be laundered, and a comfortable, breathable nursing bra with no underwire and soft straps for sleeping.
Be sure to include a nursing bra in your hospital bag when packing for labor and delivery. Every pregnant and nursing mother should seek the advice of a professional bra fitter who can assist them with their investment in a few quality bras that will help make pregnancy and nursing more comfortable and reduce the risk of damage to breasts. Find a bra boutique that offers complimentary alterations to ensure the proper fit throughout your journey from pregnancy to motherhood. Protect your investment by always hand washing with Forever New Fabric Care Wash and never machine drying your garments. And have fun – nursing bras have come a long way over the years! It is now possible to find nursing bras that are fashionable, flattering, and functional. Every woman deserves the best support through every phase of her life – don’t blow your entire budget on cute baby clothes!