Nursing bras are essential if you are breastfeeding. However, do not go straight to buy them during the early phase of your pregnancy because you will find your size fluctuating quite a bit.
A woman who is usually a Cup A person, can become a Cup B person at the end of her pregnancy, and then becomes a Cup C person after her milk comes in (after giving birth). Then, after breastfeeding for a few months, she may find herself going back to Cup B again, and she might remain a Cup B even after weaning her baby, or she could further reduce back to a Cup A after a long period of breastfeeding.
So you see, it is really difficult to tell and therefore, it is not advisable to get many bra of the same size all at one go. It is better that you start off, say, by buying 2 pieces of Cup B (imagine you are that woman in the illustration above) during your pregnancy, and get 1 or 2 pieces of Cup C at the end of your pregnancy. Then after breastfeeding for a few months, if you need more bras, to get a few more pieces of the current size.
Here are some things to look out for:
1. How it’s ‘opened’
Basically, two ways – drop cup or front snap. Drop cup type is the kind that the flap of the cup is attached to the bra strap. It is the most common type of nursing bra. Front snap is the kind which the cup flap is attached to the centre of the bra (at the cleavage).
Other kinds include zip around the bottom of the cup (which I hate), and the pull-aside type, which is like a casual bra and to feed, just pull the cups to the side.
My personal favourite is the front snap and pull-aside sports bra type.
2. One Hand Operational
This is the most important thing! I have seen all kinds of hooks and snaps and even velcro (beware of scratching baby’s skin!). Whichever kind of bra you buy, whatever snaps or hooks they come in, make sure it can be opened with one hand because your other hand will be holding your baby.
I really dislike the drop cup type of bra with the kind of catch that hooks on the the bra strap that you cannot undo/re-attach with one hand. It is kind of difficult to explain here. Basically, one hand has to lift up the hook at the bra strap and the other hand insert the ‘eye’ at the cup into the ‘hook’.
There are drop cup bras with hooks that can be undone/re-attached with one hand. (See Picture) Do check it out when you go shopping. Test drive while trying them in the fitting room.
Zip bras are very difficult to deal with with one hand. Forget about those.
Needless to say, like ordinary bras, support is very important. Even more so when you are lactating because your breasts will be bigger and fuller. Buying the right size definitely helps.
4. Comfort and Fit
It is especially important during the first month of breastfeeding because your nipples may be sore, you might have engorgement (which is painful). The last thing you need is a tight-fitting bra squeezing your full breasts and rubbing against your sore nipples. Also do remember to take into account space for your breast pads.
Ill fitting bra not only looks bad (usually wide and spacious at the sides), it’s also uncomfortable to wear and does not give good support.
5. Fashion Bras
Nowadays there are plenty of ‘fashion bra’, e.g. tube bra and tee-shirt bra, that look trendy and fashionable. They come in all sorts of fashionable colours. We no longer need to condemn ourselves to flesh colour mommy-bra. Some of these bras are useful for certain top, e.g. tube bras are good for strapless tops. This means we have greater options for the kind of tops we can wear! Although fashion bras tend to be a little more expensive, I think the prices are coming down fast, so it is really good news for all nrusing mom. Just one point to take note : sometimes they may not be as comfortable as your basic nursing bra due to their construction.
Pull-aside sports bra.
For those of you staying in Malaysia, Fabulous Mom is an online shop with a good range of nursing bra at very reasonable prices. Plum and Peach now carrys their bras in Singapore.
Last Updated ( Oct 07, 2008 at 11:12 PM )