As we prepare to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week, our friends over at Leading Lady, a premiere nursing and full figure intimate apparel company, shared some fun, interesting and useful facts about breastfeeding as well as a nursing bra guide so that you know what you look for when you make this important purchase! Whether you are currently breastfeeding, plan to, or have nursed your babies, read on! We encourage you to put these tips to use, and share with those who have supported your breastfeeding journey.
Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Bras
1) As early as your second trimester, your breasts are capable of producing milk. This is why many women feel their breasts are heavier and larger during pregnancy.
2) You can wear nursing bras during pregnancy. By the third trimester you should shop for nursing bras to be prepared for the baby. But don'??t be shy about wearing your new bras during pregnancy since they should be comfortable and support your current size. Look for stretchy leisure styles with give-and-take. Nursing camis are also a great choice once the baby arrives because they allow easy nursing access while still covering your post-bump belly.
3) Studies show that moms who breastfeed within the first hour of giving birth are more likely to have long-term success. So bring your nursing bras to the hospital because you will need them right away! If you experience any difficulty, ask to see the hospital'??s lactation consultant. And hang in there '?? you are giving your baby a wonderful gift!
4) Your milk levels will stabilize about 4 to 6 weeks after delivery. You should re-measure yourself for nursing bras around this time, and you may be able to transition into more structured styles
5) Your bra size may continue to fluctuate somewhat throughout the course of breastfeeding. Bra styles with 4 hook-and-eye closures in back and adjustable straps allow for these common differentiations.
6) You should not be afraid to try underwire nursing bras if that is the style you find most supportive. Just as you would with all other bras, you should ensure a proper fit. A proper fitting bra will allow your breasts to sit upright and centered on your chest, and the straps will remain in place while you are moving.
7) Your breasts will need constant support while breastfeeding, and you will likely want to sleep in a bra while nursing. Sleep bras, leisure bras, nursing camis or a nursing chemise made of soft, stretchable fabrics will keep you supported day and night, and make night time feedings easier.
8) Nursing bras can be cute and sexy too! You (and your partner) will be pleased to know that nursing bras are not all plain and matronly. From lace cup to lace trim, your nursing bras can be just as flirty as your regular bras!
9) Accessibility is one of the most important factors in a nursing bra. There are a variety of closure styles including cup clasps and hook-and-eye front closures. Play around with which style best suits your needs.
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10) You should replace your nursing bras about every six months or when they have lost their shape and support.
Nursing Bra Basics: Fit and Be Fitted
Leading Lady recommends beginning with three nursing bras or camis: One to wear, one in the wash, and one in the drawer. Bring them with you to the hospital. You will need them right away!
Begin shopping for nursing bras in your third trimester of pregnancy.
- When your current bra pinches or feels too tight, it is time to shop.
- Towards the end of your pregnancy and into your early nursing days, stretchy leisure styles with some give-and-take, camis and front closure leisure bras, are a good option.
You should be fitted for nursing bras, just as you would for all of your other bras. Your size will fluctuate over the first few months of nursing.
- Re-measure yourself about 4 weeks after delivery, once your milk levels stabilize.
- At this time, you will likely be ready to transition from more flexible bras into more structured bras.
- Leading Lady has created a handy fit calculator and printable measuring on its website to help make this super easy for you!
- When looking for a nursing bra, fit, comfort, support and accessibility are the most important factors.
- A proper fitting bra will allow your breasts to sit upright and centered on your chest, and the straps will remain in place while you are moving.
- Fit is vital for maintaining good breast health and preventing plugged ducts.
- Remember to replace your nursing bras if they have lost their shape or no longer fit. We recommend purchasing a new bra every six months.
Nursing Bra Style Tips:
- Look for a style that matches your lifestyle. If you are active and on-the-go, select a supportive sport nursing bra. If you are often in professional environments, molded, padded styles will provide clean lines and complement business attire. If you are a homebody, leisure bras are extremely comfortable and can easily be worn throughout the day and night.
- Size fluctuations vary so look for nursing bras that will work with the ebb-and-flow of milk supply. Styles with 4 hook & eye closures in the back and adjustable straps allow for greater size differentiations.
- Don't be afraid to try an underwire bra if that is the style you find most supportive. A properly fitting underwire bra does not restrict milk supply.
- Your breasts and nipples will be sensitive, especially in the first few weeks. Select nursing bras made of soft, breathable fabrics that will feel comforting to your skin. An irritating fabric on an already sore nipple can be extremely painful.
- Your nursing bra should make breastfeeding your baby easier by proving quick, convenient access to your breasts.
- Before nursing, sleeping in a bra may be a foreign concept. But when you begin breastfeeding, your breasts will need to be supported constantly. Sleep bras, leisure bras, or nursing camis are made of soft, stretchable fabrics that will keep you supported from morning until night, and make night time feedings easier. Leading Lady's nursing chemise is also a great sleepwear option.
- Your breasts may leak in-between feedings. This is very common and some women choose to wear nursing pads or select lined bra styles to prevent breast milk from seeping through their shirt.
To celebrate World Breastfeeding Week, Leading Lady is offering 20% off of their entire collection of nursing bras!
Tips provided by Leading Lady.
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