If you’ve never nursed or purchased a nursing bra before, the prospect can be a bit daunting. Finding the perfect everyday bra can be tricky enough, so the added complexities of nursing and post-baby bodies can pose a challenge. Read on for some basic nursing bra information and tips. Have more questions? Shoot us a message and one of Grace’s bra experts will get back to you!
When do I need to buy a nursing bra?
You generally don’t need to purchase a nursing bra until close to delivery. (Before this, consider a maternity bra.) At this point, you should buy one that fits well around the rib cage and is one cup larger than your current size (to allow for engorging). Buy two bras at this point: one to wear and one to wash. For more information on maternity bras, check out our All About Maternity Bras blog.
What should I be looking for in a nursing bra?
A proper nursing bra will not pinch or ride up. It does not cause pain, and allows room for your breasts to swell throughout the day as you nurse. It retains its original elasticity and cup shape, and is not worn so that it can no longer support you properly. When purchasing a nursing bra, make sure to leave room for a nursing pad. Your breasts will leak when you are getting close to lactating, and pads will prevent staining or moistening of your bra.
If you are having difficulty finding the correct size or style, go for a professional fitting. If you are able to visit a Lady Grace store location, we might even be able to help to convert your favorite bra into a nursing bra with the expertise of our seamstress.
How long will my nursing bras last?
Because your body is constantly producing and releasing milk, the weight of your breasts fluctuates throughout the day. Due to these changes, plus the constant up and down on the cups, nursing bras are built to work overtime. They may be able to handle a lot, but their lifespan is also shorter than that of your regular bra (which is already only about 3-6 months.)
Can I wear the same nursing bras for the entire time that I nurse?
Your breasts will be fullest in the early stages of nursing, when you’re feeding your baby most often. They will begin to decrease in size as you nurse less frequently. Based on the length of time that you breast feed, you may have to purchase new nursing bras as you go. It is important to remember that your body may not revert back to its pre-nursing size in the same manner that it approached it. We urge women not to buy too many bras early on, as you may find that they just don’t fit properly for very long. It generally makes more sense to buy a few, and then let your needs dictate future purchases.