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When it comes to breastfeeding your baby, the right nursing bra can make a huge difference. Every pair of nursing breasts are different — and sometimes even different day to day! — so a little research into your own needs, preferences and size can go a long way. Think of your nursing bra as a piece of baby gear — you wouldn’t just google “stroller” and buy the first one that comes up, right?
To help you find the perfect nursing bra for your perfect nursing breasts, we asked for some advice from the lingerie experts at Journelle, which just started carrying maternity intimates from our favorite designer brands, including the best bras for pregnancy, nursing and pumping. Here are 5 things you should consider when shopping for a nursing bra.
Well Rounded readers get 25% off at Journelle stores and Journelle.com with code MAMALOVE through Dec. 25!*
1. Wait until baby’s here. While it’s tempting to get a head start on nursing bra shopping during pregnancy, your breasts will be at their largest a few days after giving birth, once your milk comes in. Think of your nursing bra as your own little gift to yourself at a time when baby seems to be getting all the goodies!
2. Buy at least 3 nursing bras. “One to wear, one to spare and one to wash,” should be your motto, says Ashley, a fit expert at Journelle. For sleeping, a nursing style without wire would be best. But no need to shy away from underwire for the daytime; there is no evidence it decreases milk production. Ashley suggests bypassing a nursing sports bra, at least until you’ve established your milk supply, since compression can inhibit milk production.
3. Consider form, fit…and fashion. The most important nursing bra size factors to consider are band support and cup encapsulation. Make sure to measure yourself directly under your breasts postpartum, since your ribcage may have expanded during pregnancy. Journelle also recommends a cotton lining for all your nursing bras. Finally, choose something you love looking at! Journelle believes (and we agree) that wearing beautiful and quality lingerie is actually considered “self care” — and we bet you could use some of that, right about now.
4. Don’t label yourself “too big” or “too small” for a certain style. Journelle’s experts emphasize that any style can work on any size breasts. “It’s really a personal choice and what you feel most comfortable in,” says Ashley. If you love a T-shirt bra, try the Natori Hidden Glamour nursing bra. If you’re a bralette kind of girl, the Cosabella NeverSayNever is a nursing bralette that looks and feels like the brand’s regular bralette. And if you need a nursing and pumping bra, the Dairy Fairy Ayla can do all your heavy lifting.
5. Support means everything. And that’s not just for your boobs! An in-person bra consultation with a Journelle expert can help you quickly figure out the best fit for your nursing breast. And while it may sound daunting with a new baby, Journelle makes it easy with their beautiful fitting rooms (perfect for nursing on the go!), amazing selection and caring, respectful and knowledgeable staff. Which will save you hours of online shopping and returning.
Shop our favorite Journelle nursing bras: