13 Aug 2012
Breastfeeding – the bra necessities
There’s a school of thought that says there’s no point getting anything but the cheapest, most basic boring nursing bras for breastfeeding. After all, you’ll only wear them for a limited amount of time and you’ll leak all over them anyway. This is not a school of thought I agree with…
Firstly, there’s breast pads to protect (oh, the glamour) and besides, it’s only milk, not indelible ink. Secondly, I’m a firm believer in lovely underwear being a great shortcut to cheering me up, and when hormones are fluctuating madly and getting dressed counts as a major achievement, I don’t want an elasticated bandage monstrosity, I want something pretty as well as practical.
And lastly, given how important proper support is on an ordinary day, I’m not about to forgo it when I’m feeling ultra- sensitive and asking more from my bra than normal.
So while none of these are in the two for a tenner category, here’s a few of my likes and nitpicking niggles for the bras I’ve tried.
• Bravado Body Silk Seamless nursing bra – easily the comfiest breastfeeding bra I tried (and the comfiest bra I’ve worn, come to that) so also great for sleeping in if necessary. I was sent one of the new collection to review, in honeysuckle, a rather lovely pink although I liked the look of turquoise too. While the design’s fairly functional, the colour and soft material make it stand out. Unlike some others, it’s not so high cut that you can’t wear it under a vest either. My only small quibble is that the clips are a bit stiff and the pads it comes with are great for giving a smooth finish but less easy to fold down, so I simply removed them. It comes in small, medium, large and extra large, with a guide to how those sizes translate to standard cup sizes. £29.70.
• Elle Macpherson Intimates Maternity Cloud Swing nursing bra in jet. One of my favourites – a pretty black lacy number that’s a bit sexier than most. The lowest cut, it’s still very supportive even for larger cup sizes and very easy to snap open. It’s not a cheap range but I picked mine up in a sale on Asos – RRP is £40.
• Hot Milk Show Off Maternity Nursing Bra in Midnight blue – I wore this a lot towards the end of my pregnancy as well. It’s probably one of the most supportive and while that does mean it’s a bit higher cut, the deep blue lacy effect stops it being too functional. The extra material means there’s more to tuck away during feeding though. Good overall though not quite the winner for practicality, prettiness or comfort. I also snapped this up in the Asos sale – RRP is £35.50.
• Mammae Purple Promise from the Classic Collection – this is definitely the glam end of the world of breastfeeding bras. With a different design than the standard pop and fold down style, this unclips more like a front-fastening bra, and has a patent-pending ‘eye’ opening, so you can just have discreet access if you want and extra support. Depending on the top you wear, it might be trickier to access but with an ordinary vest, it meant there was just a flash of pretty bra on display rather than me. It’s underwired so felt much more supportive, although it wouldn’t appeal to everyone, and comes in a B to an H cup. But there’s no getting away from the cost, which starts at £75. I was sent this to review, but however gorgeous it is, as it costs more than bras I’d buy even when my size doesn’t fluctuate, I’m not sure I could justify splashing out on it at the moment.
• Melinda G Nude Glorious Contour Nursing Bra – I bought from flash sales site Zulily.co.uk reduced from £31 as it’s not as easy to track down in the UK. The nude colour isn’t the most exciting, the style is more plunging so it works well under V necks. It’s quite a loose cut with plenty of room for pads but not hugely supportive.
Image courtesy of Mammae and Topinambour/Flickr