Our friend Stephanie, owner of Purple Laurel, has put together a few guest posts for us this week. Yesterday she helped us understand the myths vs facts of postpartum wraps, today she’s put an excellent piece together about nursing bras. Stay tuned later in the week for an amazing giveaway, you won’t want to miss it!
3 Essential Nursing Bras For Every New Mom
The biggest mistake that new moms make when it comes to buying nursing bras has nothing to with sizing or fabrics. It has to do with the number of nursing bras that we buy. That’s probably not what you were expecting to hear from the owner of a store that sells nursing apparel and postpartum shapewear, but it’s the truth.
Department stores and other major retailers have made women think they need to buy five, six, even seven different styles of nursing bras during the postpartum period. In reality, most mothers who breastfeed need only three. Here’s what they are.
The Sleep Bra
Back when I had my son in 2012, I practically lived in my sleep bra for the first six months. And let’s be honest, you’re probably not leaving the house much during those first few weeks anyway—aside from weekly sprints through Target. And even when you do leave the house, you’re probably not wearing many form-fitting tops.
Sleep bras are your most basic nursing bra style, and they usually don’t come with any clasps or snaps. When you’re looking for a sleep bra, try to find one that’s made from cotton with an elastic band. I recommend sizing up, since you’re more likely to be engorged while you’re sleeping at night than during the day. Although sleeping bras with racerbacks tend to be popular, my personal preference is for sleep bras with more traditional straps. I love this option, which we sell at Purple Laurel, because it works as both a sleep bra and a pumping bra (which we’ll get to in a bit).
The Sexy Bra
Yes, moms can be sexy, too. In fact, putting on a nice push up nursing bra can be just what you need to start feeling good about yourself again when your hair starts falling out or weight loss stalls. (Ahh, the joys of being postpartum.)
When I’m looking for a sexy nursing bra, I look for something that’s full-coverage with an underwire. (Our Raspberry Bra is a great example of a style that has complete coverage but still looks sexy.) Demi-cups look great on models, but they just don’t provide enough coverage for breasts that are constantly fluctuating in size. And speaking of size, my recommendation is to allow for extra room in the cup and to measure your rib cage before heading online to scope out the latest styles. This is the one case where I’d recommend sizing down ever so slightly, since your rib cage will get smaller as time goes on. You’ll know the bra fits well if the band fits on the last hook. It should eventually settle on the center hook once your body returns to its pre-pregnancy size.
The Pumping Bra
The most overlooked nursing necessity is also one of the most important for moms who pump on a regular basis. Hands-free pumping bras are different from the pumping “bustiers” sold by most breast pump manufacturers. Hands-free pumping bras can be worn just like normal nursing bras, whereas strapless bustiers usually require women to undress and then zip themselves up in a restricting garment before they’re able to pump. A hands-free pumping bra can be worn underneath a regular shirt at work, which decreases the number of pumping accessories women have to tote around with them each day.
In the last couple years I’ve also noticed a lot of bloggers posting instructions on how to make DIY pumping bras. Having pumped for two kids of my own—and having made one of these DIY bras the first time around—I can tell you they don’t hold a candle to the hands-free pumping bras we sell at Purple Laurel. Legitimate hands-free pumping bras hold the shields/flanges tightly in place, with added compression that increases milk output. My favorite hands-free pumping bra is our Classic bra at Purple Laurel. It comes in a comfortable cotton/spandex blend and it’s designed in a way that actually helps reduce milk spillage.
If you couldn’t tell by now, I’m a little bit of a nursing bra junkie (and I have way more than just three styles in my dresser). But I also love talking to women about their own experiences, so if you’ve got questions or feedback I’d love to hear it. You can check out all of our nursing bras at PurpleLaurel.com or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I also hope you’ll sign up for our newsletter to get updates on flash sales and free shipping coupons.
Thanks again to the Ashleys for giving me the chance to speak to all you lovely ladies! I hope to hear more about what you’re looking for in nursing bras and postpartum shapewear in the comments.
Check back later for a giveaway featuring one of Stephanie’s products. Also, don’t forget to check Purple Laurel out on the web-