When you’re expecting a new baby, the list of things to buy is seemingly endless.
There are essentials such as vitamin supplements, diapers, baby clothes, and a car seat.
And then there are a gazillion over-hyped items that promise to make life 100% better for both mommy and baby.
Discerning what is worth spending your hard-earned money on, especially if you’re a first-time mom, can be quite tricky.
One of the purchases you might agonize over is buying a maternity bra. Why can’t you just use a normal bra? They serve the same purpose, right?
Uhmm, yes...and no.
There are many reasons to opt for a nursing bra during the pregnancy and nursing period.
Why a Regular Bra Won’t Do
Over the nine months of pregnancy and the breastfeeding period, a woman’s body undergoes many changes.
A traditional bra isn’t designed to accommodate changes such as an expanding diaphragm.
Regular bras are unsuitable during pregnancy and breastfeeding because they are designed with:
- Stiff cups
- Narrow straps
- A limited number of hooks and eyes
These elements make them tight, uncomfortable, and even unhealthy for a pregnant or lactating woman.
Nursing or maternity bras, on the other hand, are designed to accommodate a pregnant or nursing woman’s bodily changes.
Nursing bras have wide straps to provide more support, soft cups, and no underwires.
Additionally, they have more hooks and eyes (traditional bras have only three rows of hooks and eyes) to allow you to tighten and loosen the bra as needed.
Why Underwire Bras are a No-No
Perhaps one of the main reasons experts strongly advise against regular bras for nursing mothers is underwires.
Underwires place pressure on the milk ducts and the soft breast tissue. This can potentially block your milk flow, leading to plugged ducts.
Plugged milk ducts can cause pain, redness, and swelling in the area of the breast where they form. They can also lead to nasty infections that need to be treated with antibiotics.
There are some types of maternity bras that are designed with flexi-wire and a contour cup. This ensures that the bra gives you support while still retaining a beautiful shape.
However, you should only wear that type of maternity bras once your breastfeeding is better established.
Why a Nursing Bra is Ideal
The prospect of saving money by wearing your regular bras can be tempting.
However, investing in high-quality maternity bras is one decision you will never regret.
Here are a few reasons why you should buy nursing bras:
For Easy Access
According to pediatricians, newborn babies should be breastfed on demand.
For many mothers, this means that you will be whipping out your boobs every 1 to 2 hours to feed your newborn.
As your baby grows older, the frequency of breastfeeding will probably reduce. Older infants might feed every 90 minutes, and others might go for as long as 2-3 hours between feeds
If you are using a regular bra, having to fumble your breasts out to nurse your baby every so often can be difficult, annoying, and uncomfortable.
Regular bras, especially those with underwires, are just not structured to release your breasts or nipples on the go.
In fact, you may not be able to nurse your baby without disrobing or taking off your bra.
A nursing bra, designed with easy-to-undo clasps and flexible materials, making the process so much easier.
When you pair your nursing bra with the right top, all you have to do is undo the clasp and discreetly feed your baby!
For Maximum Support and Comfort
A regular bra might be fine when you are neither pregnant nor breastfeeding.
But as anyone who has been pregnant might tell you, breasts change a lot during and after pregnancy.
In fact, many women notice changes in their breasts even before they realize that they’re pregnant.
These breast changes include:
- Breast tenderness
- Rapid growth of breast tissue
- Feeling of heaviness
- Prominent veins under the skin
- Darker areolas
- Nipple discharge
During breastfeeding, the breasts also undergo changes such as:
- Cracked nipples
- Engorgement (accompanied by tenderness, hardness, and discomfort)
For most women, the breasts never look or feel the same after pregnancy and breastfeeding.
They might be either larger or smaller, less firm, or saggier. The nipples might also change in appearance.
It’s also quite common to acquire stretch marks on your breasts.
Your regular pre-pregnancy bra isn’t equipped to handle all these changes.
When you buy New Bloom maternity bras, you are assured of getting the perfect fit for your changing breasts.
New Bloom maternity bras are also made with 95% cotton for breathability and optimum comfort.
New Bloom maternity bras provide your changing breast with steady, gentle support, no matter your cup size.
For Maintaining Great Shape
Due to changes in breast size and firmness, many women might feel that their chests don’t look the same during and after breastfeeding.
Squishing your changed breasts into your pre-pregnancy bras might give you the dreaded uni-boob!
A well-designed maternity bra gives your boobs great shape throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding.
New Bloom maternity bras are specially designed with UGrow Technology. This enables them to adjust to your changing breasts all day long, maintaining a shapely silhouette.
Can I Sleep in a Maternity Bra?
Many women prefer to sleep in their bras, although experts caution against the habit.
If you still prefer to sleep in a bra while pregnant or breastfeeding, a nursing bra is the best option.
New Bloom has a purposefully crafted maternity sleeping bra. This bra can expand up to 3 sizes, which means you will sleep comfortably.
Additionally, you won’t have to buy more bras as your body changes.
The maternity sleeping bra is made with breathable cotton/elastin blended fabric.
If you suspect that your breasts might leak while you’re asleep, you can wear nursing pads inside your maternity sleeping bra.
Pro Tip: Pack New Bloom maternity sleeping bra for your hospital stay. It will give you the gentle support you need during labor and the early stages of breastfeeding.
How to Find the Best Nursing Bra
Getting the right bra is important in ensuring that your breasts are well-supported and comfortable.
An ill-fitting maternity bra can lead to a wide range of woes, from discomfort, nipple blisters, to clogged ducts and mastitis.
To always purchase the best fit, this is what you need to know:
Before buying a nursing bra, you should always get yourself professionally sized. You can get sized at your local lingerie store or a maternity boutique.
The best time to get a nursing bra is when you’re around 36 weeks pregnant. From this point to around eight weeks postpartum, your breasts are unlikely to drastically fluctuate in size and shape.
A well-fitting bra ensures that your breasts don’t bulge out of the cups. If this is happening, it is a sign that you need a larger cup.
The right bra should fit snugly on the loosest hook when you’re pregnant. That way, it will still be a good fit as your ribcage shrinks postpartum.
Pay close attention to how the band fits around your bust. If it rides up your back or the straps fall off your shoulders, you need a smaller band size.
Go for Quality
You can get maternity bras on almost any budget. However, if you go for the cheapest you can find, you’re likely to compromise on quality.
New Bloom maternity bras strike the sweet spot between great quality and affordability.
As a new mom, it is advisable to always have at least three maternity bras at hand. This way, you will have one to wear, one to wash, and a spare one.
Get the Right Bra Right Away
Going from store to store in search of maternity bras isn’t the most pleasant way to spend your time, especially when you’re heavily pregnant or nursing.
To save yourself the hassle, order New Bloom maternity bras online. You are assured of wire-free frames, seamless soft cups, and breathable fabric that puts your comfort first.
Being a new mom and nursing your little one is an exciting but challenging job.
With the right maternity bras, you will be so much more prepared to handle the challenges of breastfeeding.