Mummas, it’s time to talk about bras. Unfortunately, this is a topic many women fail to get right and learn the hard way how important it is to get the bra sizing right. Wearing the wrong bra can be the cause of unbearable discomfort and change of mood, besides leading to pain in the neck and chest areas, and sometimes even the shoulders.
This discomfort and aching could then lead to an improper posture, back pain, as well as breast pain and tenderness. When there’s an area where the bra is simply tight, it could result in skin abrasions, irritations, and chafing. Things get even more complicated when it’s the wrong-fitting bra of a breastfeeding mum since there could be an interference with the milk drainage due to an obstruction of the milk-making tissues, leading to a hangry baby.
And worse, you could get a higher risk of mastitis and blocked milk ducts – painful doesn’t come near enough to explain them. With all this in mind, there’s no doubt it’s crucial to be prudent with the choice of bra you make. Luckily, there’s a vast array of breastfeeding bras online you can find that are comfortable, well-fitting, adjustable without restriction, and with structured cups minus the wires.
How Do I Choose a Breastfeeding Bra?
If you’ve heard of the stat that getting the right bra size gives you about a 20% chance, you may very well be having this question. Even though we can’t take for granted what general research says, that about 80% of women wear the wrong bras, the real number must still be pretty high as it does take some knowledge when getting it right.
Especially if we consider the various designs and sizes available at the stores. In truth, there are no size standards, and you may get one size with one brand, and then a completely different one with a different brand.
Get the Numbers Right
To avoid any confusion, wrong purchases that may or may not be returnable or refunded, and pain and issues from the wrong model, it’s important to measure up prior to looking through the options of breastfeeding bras online or even in-store. For a start, it’s crucial to measure around the bust, as well as the underbust. Next, to find the size, subtract the number you get with the latter from the number you get with the first.
Check the Brand Sizing
Look up your cup size from the chart provided by the manufacturer or store. If you need additional help with selecting, you can also use the underbust number to find the bandwidth of the bra. This would come in handy with getting a comfortable and supportive fit. As all women are beautiful and unique with equally beautiful and unique bosoms, and bra sizes may be different than what you are accustomed to, don’t be afraid to ask for professional measuring at the store.
Mind When You Buy
No, I don’t mean the time of day when you do the shopping as the importance with shoes, but rather which period during pregnancy or post pregnancy. As it’s more than possible to experience size changes as you start breastfeeding your bub, it’s advisable to consider getting nursing bras of different sizes, or more specifically different cups, since after the baby arrives your breasts will get somewhat bigger with the milk supply.
You can expect to go back to the smaller size once you’ve established a breastfeeding routine. Besides the change in the first weeks of breastfeeding, it’s the same with the final few weeks of pregnancy when you can get a bigger maternity bra to accommodate the expanded rib cage.
If you feel like that’s too much of an investment to make, then the best of both worlds would be to get your standard fit bra that’s with cups one size bigger than your pre-pregnancy standard. When worn on the tightest setting, it would still feel comfortable enough, while offering you the needed room for when the milk supply enlarges your breasts during nursing.
Check the Ease of Use
Once the baby arrives, you’re going to have to learn how to multitask, all with one hand and arm as you’d be carrying your little one practically everywhere you go – even if it’s with the help of a wrap at times. For this, you need to make sure you’re getting a bra that’s easy to use and loosen up single-handedly, as it’s important especially during those nighttime feedings when you’re all lacking energy. Check the breast accessibility, as well as the design of some features, such as the hooks, the drop cups, and the clips.
See If There’s Discretion
Although breastfeeding is a natural thing we should all feel comfortable with, the truth is not everyone is. This could only add to the mum’s insecurity. If this resonates with you, and you want utmost discretion, besides the use of a wrap as the cover, check to see if the bra’s drop cups provide the needed coverage to your liking even when used.