This week we’re celebrating World Breastfeeding Week. And while the benefits of nursing your babe are too many to list, somewhere near the top of that list is definitely the convenience factor. When it comes to breastfeeding, all you need is baby and boob and you’re done...right? Well, not quite. A great nursing bra is pretty clutch too.
To help us break down the ins and outs of nursing bras (and trust us, there’s a lot of ins and outs when you are nursing...mostly outs), we turned to Olivia Capone Myers, style director at Destination Maternity. Below she helps us sort through the racks and racks of nursing bras, and gives us 5 styles that are a must for any breastfeeding mama.
When should a pregnant woman begin shopping for a nursing bra?
This varies for everyone and you may want to invest in new bras as early as the first trimester. In the beginning of pregnancy, sleep and seamless bras are essential purchases. I recommend our A Pea in the Pod® Unlined Nursing Sleep Bra and our Motherhood Maternity® Seamless Clip Down Nursing Bra which are both soft and stretchy and offer light support. These bras can be worn throughout your entire pregnancy.
What are the most important elements of a nursing bra?
Comfort, support and fit! Comfort is key, especially when shopping for a new maternity bra. Fluctuations in bust size and skin sensitivity make it extremely important to find a bra that has good support in a soft and comfortable fabric. Our associates are experts and all of our stores offer free bra fittings so we recommend an in-person visit to ensure you find your correct size and fit.
How do you know if a nursing bra fits right? Especially since your breasts are changing so much throughout pregnancy and postpartum?
It is important to understand that during pregnancy, your bust size will fluctuate and the size that you wore pre-pregnancy may not be the same during your pregnancy or after your baby is born. Having undergarments that fit well will keep you looking and feeling your best so taking advantage of a free bra fitting to ensure you find your correct size and fit is definitely recommended. Discomfort, pinching and gapping are all indications that your bra isn’t fitting properly.
How many nursing bras should you have in your wardrobe?
You should purchase at least four bras so that you have enough options to get you through when baby arrives. You may not be able to make a trip to the store or do laundry quite as easily.
Why do I need a nursing bra? Can't I get away with using a regular bra instead?
Nursing bras are designed for breastfeeding moms and expecting women alike, so if you invest in them early on during your pregnancy, you’re sure to get a lot of use out of them. If you are nursing or planning to nurse, nursing bras contain features like modesty panels and clip-down straps, making it more convenient. Our nursing bras, which come in an array of styles, offer comfort, support, and durability and feature fabrics and trims that are feminine.
Still undecided? Here are 5 of Olivia's favorite nursing bras.
Illustration by Talia Handler.