I had my daughter 5 days ago (Saturday 25th)! We are both doing pretty well, sleep deprivation aside. So she is nursing avidly and I have to figure out what to do about nursing bras? It's been my understanding that I should buy them once my milk has come in. It came in probably Monday and I was pretty engorged Tues and Wed but it seems to be improving a little today. I went to a breastfeeding support group on Wednesday and the facilitator there said the same as the lactation consultant in the hospital: I should wait 1 1/2 to 2 weeks for my size to stabilize before buying nursing bras (as opposed to waiting for milk to come in).
So what would you do in my shoes?
Several factors in play here:
I have a small frame (wore a 30 band pre-pregnancy and up to a 34 in pregnancy) but a large cup size (around a G now). Sleep bras or shelf bras/camis typically do not work well on me, b/c the size that fits around my boobs is too loose around my underbust to provide any support, so the prevalent advice to buy one of these for early nursing is not very helpful for me. Oh, there are a couple of places in town (at the hospitals) that fit nursing bras and they have a selection of these, so I'll probably try them on, but I don't really anticipate them working. Typically, bras that fit me have to be purchased online and run $50 a pop, so it's pretty important to me that I get a size that works on the first try, whereas if I bought a bra from Target for $12 and it didn't fit after a week it wouldn't be as big a deal.
I'm pretty darn uncomfortable. It's not comfortable for me to jiggle around without a bra, most of my bras don't fit right, and those that do are not good for nursing, so I can either a. take off the bra entirely or b. pull the cup down on one side to feed her, and soak through my shirt on the other side.
I have a couple of bras that still fit from pregnancy, though they are a little tighter than they were then. They were a little roomy when I bought them at 3 1/2 months pregnant and not as roomy towards the end of pregnancy. This tells me I gained only a partial cup size since my milk came in. And they were 2 band sizes above my pre-pregnancy size but still fit in the band (but for how long until it goes back down? If it does?)
So, any thoughts? Thanks ladies!
Thanks for responding, konayossie. Sadly, there is very little nice and stretchy softcups/tanks in my size, and even less that I can purchase in person. I wonder if I'll shrink. Seems doubtful. Everybody is saying to wait 2 weeks or more, not just the LC, so I guess that's what I'll do. I have managed to make some headway at nursing with my existing bras, though.
I ended up buying all my bras from the UK, I did have a bravado bra made up specially for me that I wore when the milk first came in. I also temporarily bought some cheap target nursing camis (size L I believe and unpicked/resewed the underband to make it smaller) - I did this before I gave birth so probably not helpful for you.
You will come down in size. Prepreg I was a UK 30E, at approx 10 weeks of nursing a UK 32 H (Royce) and then I got back into size 30. (I could only find small back sizes/large cup nursing bras in UK). Now after almost 5 years of nursing I'm basically the same size I was prepreg (just a slightly different shape). Good luck!
OP, you may find that nursing pads can help hold you over for the next couple of weeks -- I usually wear regular "non-nursing" bras 'cause they're cheaper and I don't usually bother with the fussy little nursing-bra clip anyway. Like you, though, I often soak through them while I'm nursing on the other side. If I tuck a nursing pad into that side, it soaks up the leakage while I nurse; then I just switch the pad when I switch the baby. It's not perfect, but it might save your clothes until you can get a nursing bra that really works for you. (Oh, and I should mention that nursing bras don't necessarily provide that much more protection from leaking through to your clothes. I find them to be about the same as any lightly-padded bra.)
I personally never had luck with Bravado, I don't know...it just didn't fit me right. I did find some that worked, they were Leading Lady brand nursing bras, one of them that i know they have in a 34G is the front closure leisure style. I'm not sure exactly what you're looking for whether its more support or just easy access, but that might be a good option while you wait for your size to get stable. It's more of a stretchy material versus an actual cup.
I'm sure you've gotten a bra by now, but thought I'd respond anyway since I just joined.
I sell nursing bras in my lingerie shop. A LOT of them. I also nursed my son and went from being the flat-chested girl in school to a 36G when he was born.
Melinda G is our number one seller for new moms because she makes a great stretchy soft cup (non-underwire) nursing bra. It's wonderful for the first few months because everything is changing and the material is stretchy enough to accommodate the changing size as well as still be supportive.
What you've been told about waiting for your milk to come in or your breasts to stabilize before buying a bra is (in my opinion) ridiculous!
When you're milk comes in, you are completely exhausted and overwhelmed from just giving birth and being a new mother. Let's not forget sleep deprived!
Every nursing mother is different. Some have breasts that change sizes between feedings, yes, really, a whole friggin' cup size! (That was me.) Others change sizes every couple of months.
While your breasts are changing, your ribcage is possibly returning to it's pre-pregnancy size. Some go through this quickly, others it can take 6 months or more - or not at all.
My advice is to get one or two bras or a nursing bra and a nursing gown with a shelf bra. Get a bra that is NOT size specific if at all possible right now. One that has sizes that are size range i.e. Small = 32 A-C sort of thing. A cup specific bra may be uncomfortable as your breast size fluctuates. You also have all these chemicals and hormones trying to get back to normal in your body so comfort is really important right now.
From what you mentioned about your size, I would get a Melinda G T-Shirt Soft cup Bra, Style 2115 in size M fab! Curvy or S fab! Curvy. You can do a search for the bra and find a shop near you to try it on. If you don't like Melinda G or can't find a shop near you, make sure that you buy one that is comfy on the loosest hook & eye closure. Your ribs are only going to get smaller (and bras have lots of elastic) so you want to be able to make it tighter as you shrink and it stretches.
DO NOT get a sports bra! Sports bras are made for doing sports, not all day wear. They squash your breasts into your chest wall to minimize movement while doing sports. A regular supportive nursing bra is by far much better.
After a while (three or four months?), go for a cup specific sized bra. Panache make some pretty nursing bras that go up to a J cup. Sophie Nursing bra, Style 5821 is very pretty. Comes in Beige with Black lace or Pink with Ivory lace over it. Alisha Nursing bra, Style 6091 is also nice - comes in a soft pinkish pearl.
One more thing... if you decide to get a nursing bra with an underwire, make sure it is made with the wire used for nursing. Some bra companies out there just made their bras with nursing openings and did little change elsewhere. The better ones changed the wires too - they are not the same type of wire.
Best of luck and congratulations.