Nursing bra help - UPDATED with reviews of bras and tanks - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 10-15-2012, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
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I need help with selecting a nursing bra or two. Although I am expecting my fifth baby, I gave/threw away everything after the twins (#3 and #4), so I am basically starting from scratch. With my first four, I used the Bravado Original Double Plus, size small. Those were very worn, and are gone now. I liked them "okay" - I disliked the shape and how high the center of the front was, but they seemed like the only non-scary/non-orthopedic options nine years ago. Now, there are so many new brands and options, my head is spinning!


Facts: I am 20 weeks pregnant, and approx a 34E/F right now. I know I will be larger (much larger at first) when milk comes in, but I'd like to try to purchase something to use now (maternity) that I might re-use sometime (later?) in the breastfeeding period, if possible (these bras are pricey!) In the past, I have lost the baby weight relatively quickly and have been left with enormous breasts on a relatively small chest/small belly. This is not a complaint (!), but it can be hard to fit, especially with "nursing clothing" etc. With my first, I was fitted at 34J three weeks after baby, and I'm pretty sure that was accurate for the next two pregnancies/post partum periods, too. Probably more like a 34 G/H consistently after the initial hugeness subsided.


I tried on and bought a Bravado Bliss 34E/F a few weeks ago. Honestly, I would rate it a C-/D+. It stretched a LOT. The band is basically too big with less than two weeks' wear, and the cups are weird, too. I didn't love the shape (a little too wide/conical), but I was desperate and that was literally the only option they had in the (usually very great) breastfeeding store I use. $55 down the drain, unless I can swing a way to get them to credit me to try something else (unlikely).


So, I'm kind of back to square one. I would be OK with an underwire option, but also want a non-underwire option for the majority of the time. However, I am vehemently against the uni-boob look wink1.gif so sometimes only an underwire can solve that.


I would also love a sleeping option (maybe a tank?), but I don't want to ask too much at once. I think the Glamourmom large bust might work? I also have a Blue Canoe Jane's Plus Cup that is still passable, so not the highest priority.


Does anyone have opinions/experience regarding the fit/wear/use of any of these bras? If you were me, would you consider, and how would you approach buying, since these are all online orders? Or other ideas/suggestions?


1. Melinda G anything - but in particular, the T-shirt bra (underwire or soft cup), glorious contour, or cami sutra - I think I would be either in the fab! curvy or cool! curvy sizing


2. Bravado Allure or Sublime - keeping in mind my disappointment with the Bliss in a 34 E/F...


3. Bella Materna Anytime Adjustable Bralet (looks so comfortable for a sleep bra!)


4. Anything else/other options come to mind? I have looked at the UnBra but don't think it would be supportive enough (correct me?)


I am not opposed to spending more for a better, more durable/comfortable bra, but this "Bliss" experience has been less than blissful!


Many thanks for wading through this long post and for any input.

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#2 of 8 Old 10-15-2012, 12:22 PM
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I need larger cup sizes too.  Right after birth I'm an H or I cup that settles down to a G later in nursing.  I just got 2 Anita underwire nursing bras and I'm very happy with them so far. I got 5068 and 5035.  They are both a bit small right now (I got H cups and I'm 8 weeks pp, but I've read that the cup sizes run a bit smaller than average) I'm hoping they'll fit better in a month or so.  They both support me very well and there's none of the dreaded uni-boob (I hate that too)  They seem to be built to support the weight of larger breasts and don't stretch too much like so many large cup bras I've tried on do.


Good luck, I hate trying to buy bras and nursing bras are even harder.


Oh I shoud add that I bought these both through Amazon so I could use the free super saver shipping.  The bras are expensive enough without paying for shipping.

Kristy, wife to Josh proud mama to Katie: since 3/08 and Emma since 8/12.

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#3 of 8 Old 10-19-2012, 11:34 AM
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I have been using Elomi nursing bras for this baby and have Loved Loved Loved them.  They run about $50-60 and are underwire but have some serious support and don't get all bent out of shape.  When we wean, I'll probably go with them for regular bras too. 

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#4 of 8 Old 10-25-2012, 09:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Me again :)


I followed the advice above and ordered a wide assortment of bras/tanks, all with free shipping so I could try things out. I thought it might help someone else in the future if I posted my thoughts/experience on those that I've tried. Hope this helps someone else out there! :)


I ordered from Amazon and (which are, I believe, now the same company, both owned by Amazon). They both offer free shipping, and even ONE bra would've qualified me. Both shipments came quickly.


Part 1: Bras


(a) Bella Materna Anytime Adjustable Nursing Bralet (#1155), Size 34 E/F. Of the bras that I ordered initially, this was one of the two with best fit and comfort. However, I am not in love with the way it looks under clothing - the cup fabric is kind of wrinkly (could be a sizing issue, but I think it's overall the right size for me). I am not sure if I will keep it. It IS soft and comfortable, and I could see wearing it around the house/as a sleep bra, but it's pretty pricey for that alone ($54).


(b) Melina G Glorious Contour Soft Cup T-shirt Bra (#2160), in both the Fab Curvy Small (32 E/F) and Fab Curvy Medium (34 E/F). I really wanted to love this bra. Really. Fabric is nice and soft, and the band is comfortable. I loved the lower-cut cross-over styling, and thought it would be less visible under v-neck/scoop-neck shirts. Well, it is less visible, but the trade-off is that the shaping, for me, was HORRIBLE. Truly horrible. Admittedly, I may not have had the right sizing - the cups were too large in both the Small and Medium - but I think they would be right for nursing size (??). Overall, I think the Small was better than the Medium, but not enough to keep it. The problem was this: the cross-over styling meant that the cups were VERY wide-set, and made me look (a) saggy and (b) very wide ... like breasts pointing at 10 and 2 on a clock. Not what I had in mind. The support was OK, not great. Would've been better with correct size for my current cups, I think, but ... eh. Not keeping either one. I have thought about ordering in a smaller size (the regular, not curvy cups, but I just know that I will need that extra cup size when I"m nursing, and then my $54 will be wasted. So, probably won't.


(c) Melina G T-Shirt Bra (#2115), Fab Curvy Small (32 E/F). I can't for the life of me find the receipt for where I ordered this one (can I blame it on pregnancy?), but fortunately I really like it. It and the Bella Materna #1155 are the best fitting and most comfortable of those that I have tried this time. The cups are slightly large right now, but I think will be fine once milk is in/engorgement passes. Nice soft fabric, lots of adjustability (four rows of hooks on the back, etc.) The only negative is that it is fairly high-cut in the front/center, so it shows under some shirts. Bummer. It is very similar to the Bravado Original Small ++ bras that I used before ... but perhaps slightly slicker fabric (not all cotton, maybe?) and slightly nicer shaping. Also, the old Bravados that I had were SNAP openings at the shoulder; this has easy-to-use clips. I am leaning toward keeping this one, but no firm decision yet.


(d) Bravado Allure Underwire, 34 F/G. Against my better instincts, I decided to try this bra, despite very mediocre reviews and the bad "Bliss" experience. Thank goodness for free shipping and free returns!!! It's awful. The reviews were right - it's itchy, and I don't know why/what makes it so itchy. The cups were totally weirdly shaped - almost like a minimizer, it kind of flattened my breasts out into wider, flatter disks? and my breasts did not fit well in the cups. Perhaps this could work for a person with very specifically shaped breasts, but that person is not me. Can't return it fast enough. LOL.


Part 2: Tanks


I had good-to-great success with the two tanks I ordered, and may be adding more!!


(a) Bravado Essential, 32 F/G, "Flamingo Pink" (because it was on sale) - I have to say, LOVE. Fit is great (cups are slightly large now, at 21 weeks' gestation, but I know they'll be plenty full come nursing time - hopefully large enough after initial engorgement). Super-comfortable. Soft cotton. Supportive shelf bra (actually surprisingly supportive!) Color is fine (I'm not that into light pink, but it was on sale and hey, my cheapness overrode my so-called fashion sense, ha ha). Style is nice - rouching makes the neckline a nice height for me, personally - not too high, not too low - however that is a very personal choice and different people with different bodies might feel differently. Strong plus is that the bodice (belly part) is reasonably snug at 21 weeks, which gives me hope that it will not be baggy/dowdy post-partum. The only slight drawback is that I do not love the nursing clips - they are tricky to use, though I think I will learn. I don't know how to post a link, and I know we're limited in posting to other websites, but if you look on the Bravado website, you can see the types of openings/clips available. This is the one with the little circle tab that you open/close. Not one-handed yet, but I hope it will get easier. Totally worth the $30 I paid (no tax, free shipping). Hopefully I will not stretch it out too much during the pregnancy and can use it next summer!! Also - total test = my husband told me, "you look totally hot in that shirt! where'd you get it?" Proof in pudding!


(b) Glamourmom Full-Bust Long Tank, size S, Black. I would rate this a "like, not love." Considerably longer than the Bravado, which is fine (I'm OK either way - might depend on what I was wearing with it). I do strongly prefer the clips on this to the Bravado right now, but I think I prefer the fit of the Bravado to this. The Bravado is a pull-over style, shelf-bra (no hooks), which does mean I have to carefully pull over the breasts and adjust it - no big deal; the Glamourmom has four sets of hooks in the back. However, even on the tightest set of hooks, I didn't feel this one was quite tight enough.  I also felt like I was already pretty much maxxing out the cups, and no milk yet. Also unlike the Bravado, this one does not have a horizontal seam under the breasts (kind of an "empire" style), which could be a pro or a con depending on your body. For me, I LIKE that seam - I feel it helps define my bustline rather than it blending into my belly ;) but that's a very personal choice. Rouching between the breasts makes it not too revealing, but for me, it's almost too high -- but I think this is an artifact of a too-loose band being offset by over-tightened straps. So, bottom line, I am very on-the-fence about this one ... don't love the fit, but do love the clips. Just afraid it's not going to be enough cup size or support once there's milk in the proverbial house. Stay tuned ... who knows if I will keep or return?! I will probably post a separate question about this and see if anyone else has experience/thoughts on it.


Thanks for reading through my epistle. Cheers!

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#5 of 8 Old 11-07-2012, 08:49 PM
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Thanks for the reviews!  I am seriously considering the Melina T-shirt based on your feedback. We're about the same size, and i've never found a nursing bra I love. And I'm nursing my 4th!

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#6 of 8 Old 12-09-2012, 12:25 PM
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Random Nursing bra question ---  My breasts do not leak and I would love to find a bra with a bit of padding!  I hate the material nursing bras are made out of as it tends to be very thin.  It leaves my nips pretty exposed and I would like a little padding to keep them being so (well you know visible).   I have tired using pads even though I don't need them and have found them uncomfortable, also visible and they make me itch. 


Anyone every come across a padded nursing bra?? ever?

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#7 of 8 Old 12-17-2012, 11:35 AM
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I've never found one that was padded, but there are the sheer fabric variety, the tank top variety and then the similar to a regular bra variety (not padded, but thick fabric that doesn't usually show nipples). The problem with the latter is they don't fold down well and they tend to pooch out some. I didn't leak with my first either, what I did to pad a bit was wear a tank top over my bra. I like that anyway so that when I was NIP or pumping at work, I had almost no skin exposed. I don't really care that much as far as modesty, but it was nice to not be cold smile.gif Then I would just pull up my shirt, just pull the tank down over a boob(s) and unhook my bra. Did use nursing shirts that way!

And I'm another fan of the Bravado essential tank. I liked having some more "bra" bras too, but it was nice to have two of these especially for home and they offer good support.

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#8 of 8 Old 01-29-2013, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by wissa19 View Post

Random Nursing bra question ---  My breasts do not leak and I would love to find a bra with a bit of padding!  I hate the material nursing bras are made out of as it tends to be very thin.  It leaves my nips pretty exposed and I would like a little padding to keep them being so (well you know visible).   I have tired using pads even though I don't need them and have found them uncomfortable, also visible and they make me itch. 


Anyone every come across a padded nursing bra?? ever?

Bravado Bodysilk Seamless have removable 'pads' that are excellent for hiding the nips. They are amazingly comfortable, good stretch, and look decent. The pads they have are molded foam and don't show like most nursing pads. They slip into a pocket so don't fall out every time you lower the cup to feed. I have some that have lasted almost 4 years with frequent washing. Highly recommended!

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