When should you start wearing a nursing bra?

How dads can be supportive during breastfeeding

A nursing bra is a specially designed supportive bra that’s been designed for breastfeeding moms and pregnant mothers in their last trimester. Good nursing bras come with clips on the bra straps that allow you to pull them down quickly for easier access during breastfeeding without having to take off the entire bra.

Nursing bras are a good idea for anyone who plans to breastfeed. They will also serve you well if you plan to pump.

So, when should you start wearing a nursing bra? Well, apart from convenient nursing, nursing bras are also designed to support the extra weight and increased size of your breasts as milk starts to build up in them. For this reason, experts recommend wearing a nursing bra right from your third trimester of pregnancy and all the way till your little one stops breastfeeding.

Do you need a nursing bra?

First things first: do you really need a nursing bra?

It is possible for breastfeeding moms to survive without using a nursing bra. However, investing in nursing bras means buying convenient breastfeeding accessories that will make breastfeeding a much more comfortable experience for both you and your little one. Plus, as your breasts become bigger and heavier over the course of your journey, you are going to need extra support from a nursing bra if you want to avoid developing issues like back problems and stretch marks.

At the end of the day, the choice is yours. Some women will simply throw on a stretchy crop top and lift it when they need to nurse. Others will simply go braless during this time. However, if you are looking for comfort, extra support, and leak prevention, a nursing bra is a must have.

The best part is that nursing bras are more than just bras. The best ones are usually carefully crafted and designed to look and feel amazing on you. This way, you get an extra sexy undergarment that gives you that extra dose of confidence when you need it most. What’s not to love?

When to start wearing a nursing bra?

Well, it’s always good to plan ahead, isn’t it? That’s why expectant moms spend so much time buying all those newborn essentials as they get ready to welcome their little ones.

When it comes to nursing bras, though, things are slightly more tricky. The main reason for this is because it can be quite difficult to predict what size your breasts will be post-pregnancy.

For this reason, experts recommend buying a nursing bra between 36 weeks (8 months) of pregnancy to 2 weeks post-birth. During this period, your breasts will have reached their peak size, and you can expect them to stay the same size up to about 8 weeks post-birth. Getting a bra at this stage means you can count on them fitting your new mommy breasts properly. They will also offer the level of support that you need and be comfortable to have on all day.

That said, it can still be a hit or miss. If you want the to get a nursing bra in the most accurate size, consider getting it professionally fitted at about 2 weeks post-birth.

You can start wearing your nursing bras any time during your last trimester of pregnancy. This is when you start needing all the extra support you can get. Plus, the added comfort is always welcome.

Some women’s breasts will also start to leak as early as at the 37th week of pregnancy. In this situation, a padded nursing bra as well as a sleeping bra will come in very handy. 

How dads can be supportive during breastfeeding

Why you should use a nursing bra?

Consider using a nursing bra if:

1. Your breast milk is leaking

Some nursing bras come with nursing pads that help absorb leaking breast milk. This allows them to protect your clothes from wetness and prevent staining.

If your nursing bra is not padded, you also have the option of using reusable or disposable nursing pads. These come in various shapes, thicknesses, and sizes so there is something for every new mother's needs.

2. You have large, full, or heavy breasts

If you have large, full breasts, or if your breasts feel heavy, you absolutely have to get a nursing bra. Nursing bras will help support the cooper's ligaments in your breasts, preventing the sagging of the breasts. At the same time, you’ll get to enjoy some extra comfort that comes with the bra holding up the weight of your milk-filled breasts.

3. You have sore nipples

Over the last few months of pregnancy and the first weeks post-birth, your nipples can get extra sensitive and sore. If you have sore nipples, a good nursing bra can help protect them.

You can also speed up your recovery by buying a pair of breast sheels. Breast shells are useful breastfeeding products that are designed to be worn over the breasts at the base of your nipple. They are usually made of silicone. A nursing bra will help hold up the breast shells over your nipples to soothe you and help you heal.

4. When exercising

What about when you need to exercise as a breastfeeding mom? Well, there is a nursing bra for that! Wearing a sporty, supportive nursing bra is a must while exercising. This nursing bra is designed to support the movement of a pair of breasts that’s full of milk, making it a must-have for anyone who wants to shed the extra babyweight by exercising after pregnancy. 

Buying a nursing bra

Now that you know exactly why you need a nursing bra, you need to choose the right one for you. We have a detailed guide to help you do exactly that, so please have a look at it. That said, here are the most important things to look out for as you buy your next nursing bra:

  • Size: Be sure to get a nursing bra in your correct size. Always wear a bra that’s sized correctly as you nurse if you want it to be comfortable and to give you all the support that you need.
  • Fit: When a bra is adjusted just right until it fits you well, you gets lots of extra support for your breasts. There will also be minimal bounce when you move. Comfort: It’s not worth it if you are not comfortable in it, right? A comfortable bra will also be made out of the right materials that are natural, breathable, and not irritating to the skin
  • Designed for easy access: Can you use your nursing bra one-handed while holding your little one with the other hand? If not, it’s not worth it! 
  • Adjustability: Check that your bra comes with adjustable hooks and straps that will allow you to accommodate your ever-changing breast size and weight. This is essential if you want to avoid issues like chronic pain and stretch marks that will come as your breasts change
  • Padding: A well-padded nursing bra offers an extra layer of protection from leakages
  • Support: Need the extra support? Get a nursing bra that is designed for it, such as a double-strapped nursing bra or one that comes with an underwire
  • Material: The material you go for should be breathable, comfortable, moisture-wicking, and should not raise your body temperature. Cotton and natural materials are perfect for this.

Final Thoughts

The exact moment when you choose to start wearing a nursing bra is entirely up to you. However, consider investing in a few pairs by the time you are 36 to 37 weeks pregnant. This is usually when a woman’s breasts are about as large as they are going to be. It is also when some women start to leak, so if you are going through this, get a padded nursing bra for that extra protection.

With all the changes your body has gone through, it is easy not to feel as sexy as you used to. If you need a nursing bra that looks better than most conventional bras out there, one that’s good enough to give you a much-needed confidence boost, try our Lace Plunge Nursing Bralette.

SamanthaHoare - Feb. 09 2022


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