In Search Of Great Nursing Bras
I could really use some advice on finding good nursing bras. I am going to have baby number three in a few weeks and have had no luck finding bras. In the past I just bought some from Target or other department stores, but was never happy with them. This time around I literally can’t find a single in my size. When I’m not pregnant or nursing I’m usually a 32D. I really want to find a 32 or 34DD. We live in a small town so all of my shopping is done online. I looked at all the regular maternity sites (such as motherhood) and they have none my size. How is that possible? I’m not that picky. I want something that will give me decent support without looking like I’m wearing my grandmother’s bras. Where can I get such a bra?
Ugh, nursing bras. Mine are all still sitting in a box somewhere. Even as I’ve outgrown my regular bras, I cannot bring myself to haul out the nursing bras and wear them a moment before they’re absolutely necessary. Pre-pregnancy, I’m about a 32A, depending on the brand. I’m currently somewhere around a 34C cup. I will probably be a D or so in the early weeks of nursing before settling down to a B/C cup, if my prior experiences are any indication.
I probably own nursing bras in just about every band/cup size combination in between, though after the first couple months of nursing Ezra, I tired of the whole concept and just started wearing regular bras that I hiked up or down, depending on my shirt.
Point is, like you, I’ve never really owned a nursing bra that I loved. Like, L-O-V-E-D. They mostly came from Target or Destination Maternity and other than my nursing tanks and sleep bras (HEAVEN), I always tired of seeing the wide straps and edges of the cups poking out from under my clothes. They fit fine, usually, and I never had qualms about the hooks and or anything, but…blah. So not pretty or stylish or even that workable with a lot of my wardrobe. (I sound like I must go out half-naked in tube tops all the time or something, and I really don’t. I just own a lot of tops that are meant to be paired with less-substantial bras.)
Given that I’ll be giving birth in JUNE this time, instead of the fall, when I can hide my big-ass granny bras under sweaters, I should probably get on the hunt for some new, less-dowdy nursing bra styles. Here are some of the online stores with the best size/style selection, from what I can tell:
Linda the Bra Lady: Very nice selection of both the usual suspects (Bravado) and some actual “pretty” bras with lace and color (HOTmilk, Cake lingerie). They also carry some (gasp!) LOW-CUT NON-FULL-COVERAGE STYLES that one could possibly be worn with a t-shirt or sundress or plunging top, like OH MY GOD THE CONCEPT. Site also offers great fit guidance for brands that run big or small, and setting the size range to 32DD didn’t seem to limit the selection all that much.
Bare Necessities: Their nursing bra selection is weirdly buried in the site’s navigation (click bras, narrow by “nursing” from the style drop-down menu), but it’s actually pretty decent. Bravado, Elle Macpherson, Playtex and a couple brands that go all the way up to an H cup. Granted, once I narrowed the results by your size, the selection dropped down to 10 measly styles, but hey, if you find ONE brand/style you like and buy a couple of them, you’re already way ahead of me.
HerRoom: Another giant online superstore that has a great selection of nursing bras, but you’d never know it based on a quick glance through the sidebar navigation. (Select “more bra styles” alllllll the way down at the bottom, then pick “nursing” from the giant pop-up box of options. And I can’t even link directly to the category, even though there’s over 61 different offerings!) Again, most of these brands are available elsewhere (La Leche League, Anita, La Mystere), but HerRoom specializes in stocking or tracking down just about every size possible. For anyone else who finds that they’re a weird, not-found-in-nature-according-to-the-department-stores size while nursing, this is a great place to look for SOMETHING that fits, even if it’s not your ideal nursing bra style.
GAP: For more bargain-priced bras, the Gap carries a just a few very nice, basic nursing bra styles — though only for band sizes 34 and above. (As a 32A wearer who regularly buys and love Gap Body bras, I cannot make any sense of that.) If you think you can swing a 34D or DD, you’re in luck. They aren’t sexy-awesome lingerie or anything, but you can get a basic smooth-cup underwire bra for under $40, or even under $30 if you catch a sale. (HINT: There is almost always a damn sale.)
Commenters, any nursing bra brands and styles that you absolutely loved? Splurge-worthy or bargain options? Shopping tips for the oddball-sized among us?
If there is a question you would like answered by Amalah on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org.