Nursing Bra 101: What Is a Nursing Bra, When To Use Them and More

If you are newly pregnant, congratulations! Nursing is one of the many things you need to prepare for after finding out you are pregnant. If you are a first-time mom wondering what a nursing bra is, when you need to buy one, how it should fit or when you should even use it, then this blog is for you. Below, we’ll discuss when you should purchase your postpartum shapewear pieces, how they should fit and more.

pullover seamless sleep bra


What is a Nursing Bra?

Nursing bras are supportive undergarments designed for women who are breastfeeding. They typically have removable flaps over the nipples, which gives an infant quick access at feeding time. These flaps are what distinguish nursing bras from traditional bras. 

Timing Your Purchase

Many pregnant women want to get all of their shopping done before giving birth, which might include bra selections. While you might want to get one or two before the baby arrives, it’s a good idea to shop for most of your nursing bras after. Your breasts and rib cage will be at their largest size after delivery. You’ll be able to size your nursing bra with ease at this point. 

You might also consider purchasing postpartum shapewear at the same time. A little treat for Mom is undoubtedly deserved. Our postpartum shapers will not only flatten your tummy, but they are also designed to help in the healing process. The compression styles will encourage blood flow and circulation, and can even assist with common conditions like abdominal separation. 

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Focusing on the Band and Cup Size

If possible, try a nursing bra on before purchasing it. Your size and shape will change as you nurse postpartum. Ideally, you want a bra that isn’t too tight but still offers the appropriate support.

You may want to select a cup size one size larger than your average size. During a fitting, you’ll feel what works for you. Engorged breasts are tender and can be quite surprisingly large, and the cup should cradle them without too much restraint.

Most experienced moms suggest buying at least three nursing bras. Wear one and keep one ready to go. The third one will inevitably be in the wash.

Thinking About Everyday Use

high tech clip cup nursing bra

When you’re nursing a newborn, you only have one free hand. Hooks, zippers, clips and snaps tend to be the most popular styles for busy moms. Flaps that need to be slid to the side may seem practical, but they can be bothersome as they create bulk on one side. Trying a few different fastener types before deciding on a purchase is a good way to narrow down the choices.

Debating Between Support Types

Most women prefer wireless nursing bras. The wire can be restrictive as its purpose is to provide structure, which might not be necessary while at home with your baby. Plus, the underwire could contribute to blocked milk ducts.

multipurpose pullover seamless bra

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Adding in Pads

Don’t forget to buy a set of nursing pads along with the bras. These pads capture any leaked milk from the breasts. A wet nursing bra is uncomfortable and can chafe. Additionally, it’s important to keep your breasts clean while you’re nursing to prevent bacteria growth that can then be passed on to your baby. Nursing pads are disposable, which saves you from extra laundry.

Deciding on Material

Comfort is the key when you have a newborn. In fact, some mothers may not even wear a nursing bra until a week or so after giving birth.

When you do decide to wear a supportive garment, however, think of soft materials. Polymade and any other stretchy materials are what you want for a nursing bra. It should feel smooth against the skin as your body supports the infant’s needs. Avoid scratchy materials that might irritate the skin and cause a rash or irritation.

Nursing Bras Support Moms in Multiple Ways

As babies grow strong from mom’s milk, women maintain their comfort with supportive, nursing bras. You can always buy more nursing bras a few months after your baby is born as breastfeeding continues through the first year. As you use nursing bras, you’ll develop a great idea of what features are important to you. The support that nursing bras provide is priceless!

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