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.

Motherhood is a practice in learning, growing and loving more than you ever thought possible. Even as a "veteran" mama of four young sons and one newly adopted teenager, Jalyssa Richardson enthusiastically adapts to whatever any given day has in store—a skill she says she's refined through the years.

Here's what just one day in her life looks like:

Jalyssa says she learned to embrace agility throughout her motherhood journey. Here's more from this incredible mama of five boys.

What is the most challenging part of your day as a mom of five?

Time management! I want to meet each of the boys' individual needs—plus show up for myself—but I often feel like someone gets overlooked.

What's the best part of being a mom of five?

The little moments of love. The hugs, the kisses, the cuddles, the smiles... they all serve as little reminders that I am blessed and I'm doing okay.

Are there misconceptions about raising boys?

There are so many misconceptions about raising boys. I think the biggest one is that boys don't have many emotions and they're just so active all the time. My boys display many emotions and they also love to be sweet and cuddly a lot of the time.

What do you think would surprise people the most about being a mom of five?

How much I enjoy it. I never knew I wanted to be a mom until I was pregnant with my first. My desire only grew and the numbers did! I am surprised with every single baby as my capacity to love and nurture grows. It's incredible.

How do you create balance and make time for yourself?

Balance for me looks like intentional planning and scheduling because I never want my boys to feel like they aren't my first priority, but it is extremely difficult. What I try to do is not fit it all into one day. I have work days because motherhood is my first priority. I fit in segments of self-care after the kids' bedtime so I don't grow weary.

What's the biggest lesson you have learned from motherhood?

I have learned that sacrifice is actually beautiful. I was terrified of the selflessness motherhood would require, but I've grown so much through the sacrifice. There is nothing better than living for something bigger than myself.

When did you first feel like a mom? How has your motherhood evolved?

I first felt like a mom when I was pregnant with my first son and I intentionally chose to change my eating habits so my body could be strong and healthy for him. I didn't have to think twice—I just did what I thought would be best for him. That decision being so effortless made me realize I was made for motherhood.

My perspective has changed with each baby as I've realized motherhood doesn't have to be one-size-fits-all. With my first son, I was a by-the-book mama and it was so stressful. With each baby, I have felt more freedom and it has made motherhood so much more beautiful. I have evolved into the mother that they need, I am perfect for these boys.

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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