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Tips For Finding the Perfect Nursing Bra

When I was pregnant, I knew that I wanted to breastfeed. I put so much time and effort into making sure that my daughter would latch correctly and was getting enough milk, that I neglected to put any effort into finding a nice nursing bra. I placed an order online for the size that I thought I was and that was the end of it.

I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t buy any new nursing bras this time around and am still currently wearing the same ones I bought over two years ago with my first daughter. They seemed to do well for the year I breastfed her, so why wouldn’t they do just as well now? 

Yesterday I was invited to the Leading Lady showroom here in NYC by Jenny Altman of ILoveAGood.com to get properly fitted for a nursing bra. Leading Lady has been manufacturing nursing bras for over 70 years, so I was sure that they knew what they were talking about when it came to finding me the perfect size bra. Never would I have thought that I could have gotten so excited about nursing attire, but when I stepped into the showroom , it was a nursing mom’s dream room. Any kind of nursing bra you could have imagined was in that room.

The company’s Director of Design and bra-fitting expert, Haidee Johnstone, brought out her measuring tape and measured me so that I could find the perfect fitting nursing bra. While getting fitted, Haidee told me that “proper fit is essential to the health of your breasts. The right fit will help prevent sagging, chafing and keep breasts dry, supported and comfortable.” I’ve always thought about what nursing will do for the health of my child, not what it could do for me as well.

Haidee was gracious enough to share her tips for achieving the ideal nursing bra fit. Now that I know that finding a perfect fitting nursing bra is essential, I wanted to share them with you as well.

  • Begin with three nursing bras or camis: One to wear, one in the wash, and one in the drawer.
  • You should be fitted for nursing bras, just as you would for all of your other bras. Your size will fluctuate over the first few months of nursing.
  • Re-measure yourself about 4 weeks after delivery, once your milk levels stabilize.
  • When looking for a nursing bra, fit, comfort, support and accessibility are the most important factors.
  • A proper fitting bra will allow your breasts to sit upright and centered on your chest, and the straps will remain in place while you are moving.
  • Fit is vital for maintaining good breast health and preventing plugged ducts.
  • Remember to replace your nursing bras if they have lost their shape or no longer fit. She recommened a new bra every six months.
  • Look for a style that matches your lifestyle. If you are active and on-the-go, select a supportive sport nursing bra. If you are often in professional environments, molded, padded styles will provide clean lines and complement business attire. If you are a homebody, leisure bras are extremely comfortable and can easily be worn throughout the day and night.
  • Size fluctuations vary so look for nursing bras that will work with the ebb-and-flow of milk supply. Styles with 4 hook & eye closures in the back and adjustable straps allow for greater size differentiations.
  • Don’t be afraid to try an underwire bra if that is the style you find most supportive. A properly fitting underwire bra does not restrict milk supply.
  • Your breasts and nipples will be sensitive, especially in the first few weeks. Select nursing bras made of soft, breathable fabrics that will feel comforting to your skin. An irritating fabric on an already sore nipple can be extremely painful.
  • Your nursing bra should make breastfeeding your baby easier by proving quick, convenient access to your breasts.

Haidee’s tips made me realize that my nursing bra from two years ago could have been putting a hinderence on my nursing experience with Avery. I left the showroom with not only nursing bras that looked great, but bras that I was confident fit well.

I know it’s super hard for new moms to get out and get properly fitted for a nursing bra. Why do you think I just resorted to wearing my old ones? If you don’t have time to run out, Leading Lady has a fit calculator and printable measuring take on their website to help make it easy and convenient!

Read more from Lauren at A Mommy in the City. For more updates, follow Lauren on Facebook and Twitter ! Check out more of Lauren’s  Babble posts at Being Pregnant and Baby’s First Year.

Disclosure: I was invited to the Leading Lady showroom by Jenny Altman of ILoveAGood.com and was given nursing bras. All opinions expressed are my own.

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