There are many choices of bras with little hooking flaps. How does a rookie mom decide? Allow me to help. With my 30+ months of breastfeeding experience and access to a dozen different kinds of bras, I have a few strong opinions for you.
At a bare minimum, you need three nursing bras. One to sleep in, one for daytime, and one that can do either in a pinch. Here are my personal guidelines on your nursing bra wardrobe:
The sleeping nursing bra.
The main job is to keep your breast pads in place. I like the Bravado basic thingie (top) and this bamboo one from bellabumbum (lower). The Bravado has more support but the bellabumbum is barely there and was perfect for the hospital.
The daytime nursing bra.
I like this one from Anita but wish that I didn’t buy white because it feels so culinary-school issue. It is comfortable and supportive. There’s also the DIY option nursing bra made from your favorite regular bra.
The specialty nursing bra.
Do you need a nursing bra for jogging or swimming? Maybe so. I got a Moving Comfort Fiona sports bra with velcro straps for use during and after my exercise class. Let’s just say that a regular sports bra is very inconvenient for breastfeeding. Picture it.
The sexy nursing bra.
Whether you want to feel extra pretty during the day or on a date or if you still need to keep pads in place during business time, a sexy bra is a worthwhile purchase. I love this one from Cake. Also, our friend the mominatrix shared her favorites here.
The nursing tank.
Ladies, I’m up in the air about tanks and shirts with such a singular focus to the extent that I wrote a nursing top smackdown about just them. In this context, let’s call them optional and move on.
Other hard-earned tips I have for you:
- Buy a soft-banded sleep bra before the baby comes around week 37 or so. But wait until about 4-5 weeks afterward to purchase the others. Get fit by a professional if possible. Here is a handy buying guide from consumerreports.org.
- Buying a bra online is tricky but possible. Many of the better websites will help you through the process and accept returns.
- White is boring and depressing. Nude is also boring and depressing but will show less under white tops. I prefer black and fun colors.
- Make sure to jump in your sports bra before purchase. After your six week appointment, of course.
- And, anything that can’t be opened and closed with just one hand is bullshit. Try the one-hand closure with each hand.
I’d love to hear what you think, either here or in our Facebook discussion.
Disclosure: I received some Bravado bras as a gift but bought the rest. All opinions are mine. All pictured boobs are not mine.