Breastfeeding is the ultimate plan mothers often have in their minds as soon as they saw the first glimpse of their baby through the ultrasound scan. Many experts have been really loud in advocating the benefits of breastfeeding and we are definitely on board with it! Not just your baby but you, yourself, can reap the benefits of breastfeeding. When it comes to breastfeeding, here is one thing you may want to consider having: nursing bra!
What Is A Nursing Bra?
A nursing bra is a type of bra that is design with the sole purpose of making it easier for breastfeeding mom to breastfeed their baby. But that is not all there is too it. Nursing bra is also used to support your breast like a regular bra, even more so now that you are pregnant. It is proven that women, especially those with large breasts, may suffer back and neck pain caused by the weight of their breast tissues. Hence, why wearing a bra that gives a good support is recommended.
What Is The Difference Between Maternity Bra and Nursing Bra?
When browsing for nursing bras, you may have come across what they called ‘maternity bras’. So what is the difference between these two bras? Just one small difference: nursing bra are usually equipped or designed with a drop cup that you can unclip whenever it is time to feed your baby. In the other hand, maternity bra don’t. Maternity bras are worn mainly during the early months of pregnancy to support your growing breast. We advice mothers to skip maternity bras completely and jump straight into nursing bra. Why? Given the function of both maternity and nursing bras are similar, why not choose the one with an extra use after you delivered your baby.
Is It Okay Not To Wear A Bra While Pregnant?
Definitely! To wear or not to wear a bra is a personal choice. So, it is up to you if you want to wear a bra at home, while sleeping or when brestfeeding and vice versa. To some people, wearing a bra while sleeping, for instance, is uncomfortable but for others, it may even help them sleep better.
Can Wearing A Bra 24/7 During Pregnancy Cause Any Harm?
No. Wearing a bra all day will not harm your pregnancy. If you are wearing a bra with underwire, you may start to feeling uncomfortable by the second and third trimester. That is why it is advised that pregnant mothers switch to nursing bra at early as 6 weeks of pregnancy.
Can You Wear A Regular Nursing Bra While Nursing?
Wearing a regular bra while nursing is no problem at all but you may find it slightly inconvenient especially when you are breastfeeding in public or when your baby is being fussy. During that time, you will want a bra that does not require you to take out your breast entirely, just a simple unclasp would make a lot of difference. Regular bras also cannot adapt to your physical changes. Different to regular bras, nursing bras can stretch to fit your growing breasts.
Another advantage of nursing bra is that it can help prevent any breastmilk leak to seep through to your clothes. If you are using nursing pads, nursing bra is a good way to hold them in place especially when you are sleeping.
Why Is Your Breast Growing?
Two words: Milk Ducts. Starting from 6 weeks onwards, your breast is already started growing in size. As your body prepares itself for the arrival of your baby, it develops milk ducts in the breast to start producing breastmilk. By the time you reach the second half of your second trimester, your breast should already start production. You may even experience leaking during that time. How much will it grow? Some mothers shared their experienced that their breast size grew up to 2 sizes bigger.
One Mother said she grew from 34B to 38D by her 33rd week of pregnancy!
Will Your Breast Size Return To Normal?
Yes and no. After your breast has stop producing milk. It will begin to shrink in size, however, they may not return to pre-pregnancy size. Your breast can remain slightly bigger than before but may not be as big as when you are breastfeeding.
Do Nursing Bras Effect Milk Supply?
Another reason why nursing bras are recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding mommies compared to regular bras is the presence of underwire. The rigidity of underwire is said to have the ability to put pressure onto your milk ducts which can affect your breastmilk production. This theory however, was not proven. Having said that, there are mothers who claimed to develop mastitis due to the underwire pressing against her milk ducts. For your information, mastitis is caused by blocked milk ducts but wearing a bra with underwire is not the reason. In actuality, it could be caused by the bra being too tight. Therefore, choosing the right size for your bra is important when buying any kind of bra including nursing bras!
When Is A Good Time To Buy Nursing Bra?
A lot of mothers-to-be may think that changing to nursing bra should wait until the third trimester or until after delivery. That’s not true at all! The best time to change into nursing bra begins very early in your pregnancy. In fact, it is recommended that you start wearing them as soon as you know you are pregnant.
What Should You Look For When Buying Nursing Bra?
4 things you need to look for when you are out hunting for nursing bra. Support, Flexibility, Easy Clasp, Hook and Drop Cup.
A good nursing bra should have good support. This is means you need to look for nursing bras that have broad sides and back. This is best to support your breast as it becomes bigger. Look for nursing bras that have non-slip straps too and a broad hook.
Flexibility is how much the nursing bra can stretch to match with your breast growth. You don’t want your nursing bra to become too tight or too loose. A good nursing bra should be able to fit you comfortably up to several sizes.
- Easy Clasp
The third thing you need to consider is where the clasp or clip is placed and how easy it is to clip and unclip it using 1 hand. Different design of nursing bra may have different location where the clasp and clip is. Some is attached to the strap, others may have it at the center where you have to open the cup sideways instead of downwards. Having clips that are easily detached using one hand can be very convenient for you during feeding time since your other hand would be occupied with your baby.
- Drop Cups
The best kind of nursing bra should allow you to drop the bra cup all the way down. This is to make sure you have ample of space for your breast during breastfeeding. Being able to open it up wide, makes it much easier to breastfeed your baby.
How To Measure Your Size While Pregnant?
As you know, your breast will be growing during pregnancy, so how do you measure your size when it is not fixed? Firstly, you may want to measure your under bust and across bust size. Under bust is the length around the band of your bra while across is the size of your breast crossing over the nipple.
You can measure it at any point of your pregnancy. If you are late in your second trimester, you can use the measurements to get your nursing bra size. If you are early in your pregnancy, you may want to buy 1 size bigger.
In the end, be it a regular bra, nursing bra or going braless, it all comes back to you and whatever is most comfortable for you because every mothers may have different experiences. So make it the an important part when you go look for a nursing bra.