The importance of a breastfeeding bra and why you need one

By Hotmilk Lingerie

Why can't I wear a regular bra?

Traditional bras don’t have room for the diaphragm to grow during pregnancy and they also have a traditional underwire which is not recommended to wear whilst pregnant or nursing. It’s important to use bras that have soft cups and have increased rows of hooks and eyes (traditional bras only have three). This allows your bra to have room for the diaphragm to expand during the months of pregnancy and the ability to tighten after the baby is born and the diaphragm settles. It also means you’ll be comfortable and have a beautifully supported silhouette! Having wider straps on a maternity bra is also important for support, especially for larger cup bras. This is definitely something to look for when choosing a nursing bra. Comfort is critical.

Why can't I wear an underwire bra?

We strongly advise against wearing underwire during pregnancy and the early days of breastfeeding, for the simple reason underwires place pressure on the milk ducts and soft, tender tissue, potentially blocking milk flow and leading to plugged milk ducts. This may lead to nasty infections requiring antibiotic intervention, which can interrupt your breastfeeding routine. Some maternity bras offer a flexiwire with a contour cup, which are great for extra support and shape, but only wear these types of bras once your breastfeeding is better established. Most maternity bras are technically designed to give you all the support you need, which is especially important for larger cup sizes. Make sure that the bra fits correctly and provides enough support, whilst also giving you a lovely shape. It’s also important to check the fabrics. Ensure these are soft and breathable and it also helps if the bra is cotton lined to ensure they don’t rub and allow your breast to breath. Cup pattern structures are also important to make sure they support your breast and make feeding simple.

Can I sleep in a maternity bra? 

There are certain nursing products that are suitable for sleeping in. A good sleep nursing bra should be seamless with double layered cups so you can wear it with, or without nursing pads. Plus, they should be super soft and stretchy to adjust with your breasts as the fill and empty with milk. These types of bras are perfect for the first few weeks of breastfeeding as you find your way with routine. Another option is a nursing camisole. These are also perfect for sleeping in and can be worn during the day as a normal top too.

My skin feels tender and is easily irritated. I need to feel comfortable.

We know what you mean! Seams and stitching across the nipple area or unlined bras can cause irritation on already sensitive and tender breasts. It’s important to make sure your bras have either concealed seams or seams designed to avoid the nipple area and therefore reduce the risk of chafing. As mentioned earlier, fabric type is also incredibly important. Keep your fabrics natural and soft, so there is less chance of irritation and sweatiness.

Why is it so important that nursing lingerie looks as beautiful as normal lingerie? 

As important as fit, support and practicality are, it’s also important that you look and feel feminine, sexy and empowered! Pregnancy and being a new mother can be challenging and wearing plain lingerie certainly doesn’t lift the spirits. Exquisite fabrics and laces, embellished with satin, diamantes and bows are all ways to make you feel as sexy as you can be. Remember to match your bras and knickers too!

Note: The views and advice expressed on this blog post are those of the author and are not representative of the Pregnancy Babies & Children's Expo.

Gain more Parenting Insights at our Expos

Get your Expo tickets today! View Expo dates