Nursing bras aren’t just for breastfeeding, I found them essential when I was in my first trimester of pregnancy. I didn’t know if breastfeeding would work for me or not as it was far too early to tell but I still wanted to purchase one, this is because some of them are wire free! In the early weeks of pregnancy I suffered terribly from morning morning (all day) sickness and I found that my regular bras with wire would dig in and feel tight, this would cause me to feel more sick. Most of the first trimester I went bra free because i just couldn’t stand wearing one, but then I bought a non wired, non padded bra because y’know I still had to go to work and I probably should wear one. I then wore wire free bras all throughout my pregnancy.
Even now 2 years on I still have a range of nursing bras and I will tell you which ones I’m currently liking. I know that it’s hard when your pregnant and budgeting as you kind of put yourself last as i did. Bras came at the end of my list and i couldn’t afford a new one for a while, but i saved up and i felt so much better when i had a proper bra that fit. For a decent nursing bra your looking at spending between £15-£30 for one bra.
It’s also important to get measured pretty regular throughout your pregnancy and breastfeeding as I know that I have changed sizes at least 3 times so far and its not just a small gradual change it’s a big one so you do need a new bra. During pregnancy your rib cage expands to make room for your baby so you go up at least 1 back size. When you’ve had your baby your rib cage will then shrink back down so you will need a smaller back size to support your boobs otherwise you will probably get backache.
If possible try and stay away from second hand bras on ebay as they can be stretched out of shape and be unsupportive. The back band probably won’t be true to size either due to stretching.
The main places that I look for nursing bras are Mothercare, Debenhams or M&S because i like to go in store and get measured, i understand that it isn’t convenient for everyone if you don’t live near one. I tried to measure myself with online charts and a tape measure and it was such a faff, I came out different each time.
It’s good to have a couple of options throughout pregnancy and beyond, these are the 3 types of bra that I recommend:
- a non wired non padding comfy bra. Essential for pregnancy when you don’t want to wear a bra at all but have to.
- both a black and a white lightly padded t-shirt bra. These are usually none wired but I’ve found that I like the little bit of padding for shape and support once I start breastfeeding. Your breasts are a lot bigger at this stage and painful so you want them comfortable and secure. Also tshirt bras don’t leave unsightly bumps through your clothing.
- a fancy one just to make yourself feel good, as after all this time in plain bras it’s nice to wear something abit more special. It will make you feel like your old self again just a little bit even though you have leaking boobs.
For the non wired and non padding one I like the Mothercare Blooming Marvellous range. You can normally get them in cute polka dot designs and sometimes they get reduced very cheap in store. I think my 2 pack got reduced down to about £6 at the end of the season sale, so I would definitely check in store before buying online if you can. I feel that these bras are very comfy and wash very well. Buy here
M&S do a really nice lightly padded black and white bra set. They are non wired but very supportive and comfortable to wear. These are my everyday staple. buy here
I remember last year seeing the most gorgeous nursing bra i have ever seen, It was by my idol Dita Von Teese. She has her own lingerie brand called Von Follies who did a collab with Destination Maternity. My favourite was absolutely stunning and called the Grande Dame bra, I didn’t get it because I thought that I would be done nursing soon but here I am a whole year later and still sad that I never bought this bra. You can still get one of her nursing bras in limited sizes here but it’s not as nice as the original one that i fell in love with. It was only a limited edition collection so I guess that you have to move quick with these things.
If your looking for something fancy that you can buy now then Hotmilk are doing it for me, I especially love this ivory one and this champagne one. They also do a really pretty leopard one. I don’t like ones that are too frilly and all lace as I find them uncomfortable and they show through your tshirt and look all bumpy. I usually just wear a plain t shirt bra but everyone deserves at least one special one. I don’t own a Hotmilk bra but I definitely want one, the material looks very soft so it would be interesting to see what they are like in the flesh and if they are worth the price.
If you have a favourite nursing bra please mention it in the comments as I would love to know which is your favourite and why – Jodie X