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Can You Wear an Underwire Bra When Breastfeeding?

We found out if your breastfeeding tatas could get the support they need.

Can You Wear an Underwire Bra When Breastfeeding?

When it comes to breastfeeding, there are long lists of dos and don’ts. No coffee, no chocolate, no junk food -- and according to many websites and lactation consultants, no underwire bras. Underwire bras, experts said, could block the natural flow of breast milk, thus decreasing milk supply in the long run. So imagine my surprise when I learned that Bravado, one of the leading nursing brands, has launched an underwire nursing bra!

Once I started digging into the underwire issue, I learned that several other nursing brands now have underwire options available. Could this trend be an indication that this whole time, we didn’t need to forgo the amazing support that underwires provide us just because we were nursing?

Let’s find out.

First, you may wonder: what’s the deal with wanting to wear an underwire? If it’s not healthy while nursing, shouldn’t you just be okay without them for a while? Well, it’s not that easy.

For bustier women who really need support, an underwire is a must. And many new moms suddenly find themselves in this category, as breast size can increase 3 cup sizes when producing milk for baby. Under some clothing, especially professional work wear, an underwire bra with soft cup can also create a more attractive shape. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look and feel sexy, which an underwire bra can really help achieve. It’s an instant mood “lifter.”

The concern about underwires and breastfeeding has to do with constriction. Milk ducts are not just in the visible breast tissue -- they extend all the way back to your rib cage and up into your armpit. Since milk needs to move freely through these ducts if you want to avoid a decrease in supply and even mastitis, it seems logical to nix underwires from the breastfeeding mom’s wardrobe, but now that more underwire lovers (count me in!) are questioning this notion, it turns out there is no evidence that an underwire actually restricts the ducts. The real culprit? A bra that fits too tightly.

That said, even if you now have the green light to wear underwires while breastfeeding, you will still need to give easy boob access to your little one, which regular bras don’t necessarily do.

Bravado’s new underwire nursing bra Belle has features such as a unique and flexible underwire designed to support several breast sizes without constriction while moving with mom’s body for extra comfort. It also has Petal-Soft™ fabric for absolute comfort, full drop away bra cup design for maximum skin-to-skin contact, and super soft foam cups with gentle stretch to accommodate mom’s changing shape. This style has also been tested and certified by Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 requirements, which ensures products are free from harmful substances. It’s a modern, smooth, sleek lingerie design with pretty feminine details that allows you to give your breast ultimate support while also giving your little one easy feeding access wherever and whenever he or she needs.

Rebecca Agi, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant of Best Milk LA , was apprehensive when first hearing of underwires making their way into the world of nursing bras. But she was pleased with the extensive studies that Bravado had done to design the Belle. She does however advise breastfeeding moms to avoid underwires for at least the first 6 weeks postpartum for the body to normalize to its new functions. At that point the mom will also know what is normal, should she make a change in her bra and notice a difference in milk production.

Rebecca says the Belle provides a great option for women who need the extra support that only an underwire can provide. That’s because the underwire placement was designed to sit lower than a typical underwire. Plus, it’s a great alternative to professional mothers who need undergarments with structure while still needing pumping functionality.

Don’t forget to do what’s best for you, however. Make sure that you feel comfortable in your bra and that it’s a flexible fit and not too tight. If you notice changes in milk production or develop mastitis while wearing an underwire, take a closer look at the fit of your bra and any other factors that are known to contribute to these conditions.

In the age of the supermom - juggling family and career while making it all look effortless on social media - we can now also keep our breasts properly supported while looking sexy and feeding our offspring. That’s right, the myth has been busted, and we’re so excited about it that we don’t even feel the need to have that coffee we shouldn’t be having.

After 4 kids, this is still the best baby gear item I’ve ever purchased

I wouldn't be swooning over the BABYBJÖRN bouncer after eight years and four kids if it didn't work.

I have four kids 8 and under, so you might expect that my house is teeming with baby gear and kid toys.

But it turns out that for me, the more kids I have, the more I simplify our stuff. At this point, I'm down to the absolute essentials, the gear that I can't live without and the toys my kids actually play with. And so when a mama-to-be asks me what things are worth registering for, there are only a few must-haves on my list.

The BABYBJÖRN bouncer seat is on the top of my list—totally worth it and an absolute must-have for any new mama.

In fact, since I first splurged on my first BABYBJÖRN bouncer eight years ago (it definitely felt like a splurge at the time, but the five star reviews were really compelling), the bouncer seat has become the most-used product in our house for baby's first year.

We've actually invested in a second one so that we didn't have to keep moving ours from the bedroom to the living room when we change locations.

BABYBJÖRN bouncer bliss

baby bjorn bouncer

The utility of the seat might seem counterintuitive—it has no mechanical parts, so your baby is instead gently bounced by her own movements. In a world where many baby products are touted for their ability to mechanically rock baby to sleep, I get that many moms might not find the "no-motion" bouncer that compelling. But it turns out that the seat is quite reactive to baby's little kicks, and it has helped my kids to learn how to self-soothe.

$200

Lightweight + compact:

The BABYBJÖRN bouncer is super lightweight, and it also folds flat in a second. Because of those features, we've frequently stored it under the couch, in a suitcase or in the back of the car. It folds completely flat, which I love.

Entertainment zone:

Is the toy bar worth it? The toy bar is totally worth it. Not only is the toy bar adorable, but it's one of the first toys that my babies actually play with once they discover the world beyond my boobs. The toys spin and are close to eye level so they have frequently kept my baby entertained while I cook or take a quick shower.

Great style:

This is not a small detail to me–the BABYBJÖRN bouncer is seriously stylish. I am done with baby gear and toys that make my house look like a theme park. The elegant European design honestly just looks good in my living room and I appreciate that parents can enjoy it as much as baby.

It's adjustable:

With three height settings that let you prop baby up to be entertained, or lay back to rest, we get years of use. And the bouncer can actually be adjusted for bigger kids and used from newborn to toddler age. It's that good.

It just works:

I wouldn't be swooning over the BABYBJÖRN bouncer after eight years and four kids if it didn't work. But I have used the seat as a safe space to put baby while I've worked (I once rocked my baby in it with my foot while I reported on a breaking news story for the Washington Post), and as a cozy spot for my second child to lay while his big brother played nearby. It's held up for almost a decade with almost-constant use.

So for me, looking back on what I thought was a splurge eight years ago, was actually one of the best investments in baby gear I ever made.

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Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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