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 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 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 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 one. 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.