If being pregnant and becoming a new mum weren’t already enough to deal with, you also need to think about your breasts. Your boobs are going to change significantly during and after pregnancy, so finding a good breastfeeding bra is essential.
To help ease the stress, I’ve put together all the possible questions you might have about finding the right breastfeeding bra, plus other things you might need to know for supporting your breasts during pregnancy and nursing.
What is a Breastfeeding Bra?
The most important question if you’re new to this... A breastfeeding bra, which can also be referred to as a Nursing bra, is a bra designed to provide support to women during lactation. They’re made to guarantee safe and comfortable breastfeeding without needing to remove the bra, which is done through a latch on the cups that opens to expose the nipple. A very clever invention if I do say so myself.
What is the Difference Between a Nursing Bra and a Regular Bra?
The main difference between a Nursing bra and a regular bra is the latch feature designed to expose the nipple for easy breastfeeding. Whilst this is the primary difference, breastfeeding bras are also typically more supportive than regular bras, ensuring that engorged breasts are fully protected and comfortable.
When Should You Start Wearing a Nursing Bra?
It’s recommended (if you’re intending to breastfeed), that you start to use a Nursing bra in your final month of pregnancy. By this point, your cup size will be the same as when your milk supply is regulated.
With the significant increase in size, you're probably going to need to measure yourself all over again. Head straight to the guide on How to Measure Your Bra Size and do it all from the comfort of your own home before buying your breastfeeding bra.
Is it OK to Wear a Regular Bra While Breastfeeding?
Wearing the right bra after giving birth is really important, as blocked ducts and Mastitis become more of a concern. Underwired bras and those with firm structure can contribute to this, so it’s safest to avoid them in your early postpartum months. If you’re going to wear a normal bra, wear something breathable that prioritises support and comfort.
Although I'm great, I'm not a doctor, so to get more information on Mastitis, I recommend going to the trusty old NHS page. This will tell you exactly what it is, what to look out for and when to seek further advice.
Should I Wear a Bra After Giving Birth?
Yes, you should wear a bra after giving birth, but you need to be mindful about what kind of bra it is (see above). If you’re going to remember anything, remember this: a breastfeeding bra should be supportive, breathable and comfortable.
If you’re not breastfeeding and find that your breasts are leaking or feel heavy, try wrapping a towel or cloth around your chest to help stop breast milk being produced. Also be aware that touching your nipples will stimulate the breasts to produce more milk.
Should You Sleep With a Bra on When Breastfeeding?
This is one down to personal preference. If you’re worried about leaking during the night, then you may want to wear a breastfeeding bra. However, this can increase your risk of mastitis and plugged ducts, so do be cautious. Alternatively, if you like to sleep braless, there is nothing to say that you’ve got to wear one postpartum.
What Should I Wear to Bed When Breastfeeding?
Again, there’s no rule as to what you can or can’t wear to bed whilst breastfeeding. The most practical answer is something that has a front opening, to provide easier and faster access to the breasts. I would also recommend that you skip the breastfeeding bra and give yourself some time to breathe.
To most new mums, this will probably just mean a comfortable buttoned nighty or oversized buttoned top. However, I actually have a great recommendation if you’re looking for a gift to buy for a new mum.
Enter the DKNY Top and Trouser Pyjama Set, available in Black, Grey Heather and Navy. Yes, designer pyjamas, but it’s not as ludicrous as you think... These pyjamas are the comfiest thing anyone could possibly choose to sleep in, and with a simple set of front buttons, they’re perfect for providing easy access to a hungry baby.
Aside from being the ultimate combination of comfort and practicality, they’re also incredibly durable, making them completely worth the money. I’ve had mine since 2018, and whilst I haven’t used them alongside a baby, I have worn them probably much more than I should have done, and they still look and feel brand new.
This might just be that I love pyjamas and think that they make the best present (a not so subtle hint to everyone that knows me personally), but I truly think that helping to give a new mum a good night’s sleep with some added practicality is an excellent gift.
Does Wearing a Bra Affect Milk Supply?
If you’re wearing a restrictive bra or one with a tight underband or cup, then yes, your milk flow and supply will be affected. Wearing the wrong type of bra during your postpartum period can lead to clogged milk ducts, which is actually pretty dangerous.
Best Breastfeeding Bra
At BraForMe, we’ve got a really great range of Nursing bras, all designed to support you during lactation and keep you as comfortable as possible.
Goddess Keira Nursing Bra
My top recommendation is one of our newest bras: the Goddess Keira Nursing Bra in Nude. In my personal opinion, this is the best breastfeeding bra (or one of the best). It's recommended to use nursing pads alongside it, so with the combination of the two, you'll be completely protected, supported and comfortable.
It comes in a full cup style, with several features designed to ensure unrivalled support, such as side panelling, a wide elastic underband and full circle inner frame. Alongside this, it's crafted with moisture-wicking fabric and a secure squeeze release clasp, offering easy nursing and a drying effect. Absolutely everything you need for easy and secure breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding Bra Recommendations
- Freya - Pure Nursing Drop Cup Bra (available in Nude and Black). A smooth, seamless, wired bra with spacer moulded cups and a drop cup style to allow for easy breastfeeding.
- Naturana - Drop Cup Cotton Nursing Bra (available in White). Designed to provide optimum comfort and support post-pregnancy, this breastfeeding bra offers a wireless, flexible fit with nursing inserts and a drop cup. With wider straps and back closures in larger sizes, it's got everything you need to stay comfortable and supported, no matter your size.
Hopefully that's covered everything you need to know about finding a breastfeeding bra. If you've got any questions, can think of anything I've missed or have a breastfeeding bra you want to recommend, contact us here.
Psst. Did you know? We ship internationally! No matter where you are, we can provide you with your dream bra. Check out our shipping policy for everything you need to know about timings, prices and returns.
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