7 things to look for in a nursing bra

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Read on to know why an underwire bra is not such a good option for a breastfeeding mom

As a new mother you will have to deal with several immediate changes in your body. You would no longer fit into your old clothes, you might no longer have a hot bod and you will definitely not be able to flaunt your assets in your favorite underwire bra since a lactating mum’s breasts are never going to be the same again.

You’ll probably be juggling between feeding and cleaning the baby to realise later that an underwire is after all not your priority. Fortunately, you will have the humble nursing bra as your go-to friend even when you step out for a breather. But that doesn’t mean you have to settle for something boring. Women today have many options and choices to select from as opposed to their own mothers.

The fact is that over the past decade, the market for intimate maternity wear is addressing the need for comfort and sexiness in the same piece of cloth. But how do you select a nursing bra that takes into consideration both?

nursing bra

A good nursing bra should be flexible, allowing extra room when the milk comes in

Dr Priyanka Mehta, specialist gynaecologist, ePsyClinic.com, Delhi, says, “A good nursing bra is a worthy investment as makes the process of feeding very easy and comfortable for the mother.” She adds that nursing bras are easily available in stores or online for prices ranging from ₹ 700 to ₹ 2,000.

She lists the following 7 things a new mum must remember while buying a nursing bra:

  • It should be flexible, allowing extra room when the milk comes in
  • Its opening should allow plenty of room for your baby to feed
  • It should never constrict or squeeze your breasts
  • It should have four hook and eye fastenings, so that it gives an added comfort
  • It should also be wide and have non-slip shoulder straps for extra support
  • It should have a broad side and back for more support
  • It should also have a deep centre at the front for extra support and cups that easily unclasp

Needs of an expectant mother

If you didn’t know it already, you will be surprised to notice how much your breasts will change after your baby is born. It’s like they will develop a mind of their own! For one, you will notice an increased breast size during pregnancy and after the birth of the baby you will notice an even more enlarged breast size, especially in the case of breastfeeding moms.

This could be quite an uncomfortable situation for the new mum, not only physically but also emotionally. So, comfort and not size should be the most important factor while buying a nursing bra.

Remember that maternity support wear and nursing bras are easily available in the market and can be used from the beginning of pregnancy. “It is important to get a fitted bra. Nursing bras have drop cups and retainer straps to hold the strap in place while nursing the baby. As soon as your current bra starts to feel uncomfortable and your breasts become more sensitive, it is time to move into a maternity bra,” says Dr Mehta.

Most young mothers are advised to avoid wearing loose or too fitted a nursing bra. “If it doesn’t fit properly it can cause medical problems like mastitis or breast infection,” says Dr Mehta. She adds that due to this reason new mothers should avoid wearing an underwire bra while nursing.

Continue reading to know why an underwire bra is not the best nursing bra.

Say NO to underwire bra

Experts advise that buying new lingerie during pregnancy is a good idea but underwire bras are an absolute no as your breasts may get compressed and cause injury to you and the baby. Preity Adams (name changed), mother to one-year-old Abhay shares her horrifying experience. “Once a wire popped out and scratched my baby’s face. Fortunately, everyone thought it was his own nail which did it. But when I consulted the doctor I was specifically told that underwire bras are not nursing friendly and during the initial days, they are a big NO!”

She adds, “As you are so full of milk that you may engorge and leak, that using an underwire bra will just make matters worse. They also push your breasts up and since a new mum’s breasts keep changing their size depending on the milk stored in the breasts, it’s better to avoid them.”

nursing bra

You can wear your underwire bra once you stop breast feeding, but not as a nursing bra

There are three things that you must keep in mind before you get your hands on an underwire bra.

  • An underwire bra cannot be opened easily to feed baby
  • They will make your breasts look weird as your sizes are up and down
  • They are also not comfortable since you are so swollen and full of milk

Dr Vanika Bhaskar Prim, senior consultant, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Fortis Hospital, Noida, says, “A new mother can start wearing an underwire bra once she stops breast feeding the baby and not before.”

In addition, underwire bras are also known to cause breast tenderness, breast pain milk leakage and mastitis or infection of breast. “Most health care professionals would advice against a underwired bra as it can dig into the soft breast tissue and cause compression of milk ducts and mastitis or infection,” says Dr Mehta.

There are several good alternatives of underwire bras available in the market. “You could opt for the non-wired maternity and nursing T-shirt bra designed with soft smooth moulded cups that are ideal for wearing under fitted tops and also give good support,” says Dr Mehta. So the next time you head out to buy a nursing bra, make sure it ticks the fit, comfort, convenience, flexibility and support boxes.

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Written by

Deepshikha Punj