Triple Temptation: Nursing Bra’s

Possibly the least sexy thing about being pregnant has been the bra’s. Conflicting advice about under wiring do’s and don’t's is confusing enough, without the then hideous selection available. Personally, I needed larger bra’s pretty much from the off and struggled on in my usual ones until about 17 weeks, when I headed off to the shops and spent a necessarily brief (for my sanity) trip scoping out the available options in M&S and John Lewis. I found a selection of twee or cutsy polka dot, floral and generally hideous bra’s and a rude sales woman who flat out refused to sell me an underwired bra ‘because I was pregnant’. Cue me leaving without getting measured and buying a 2 pack of navy and white lace non-underwired, lace bra’s from M&S (36D at the time and they were nursing bra’s – all of the maternity ones were.) The only other bra I have bought in pregnancy has been a strapless nude (heavily underwired) number to see me through events and various stroppy/halterneck tops. (FYI, I went from a 32 C/D pre-pregnancy, to a 34/36 E currently, and that’s pre-feeding.) The other 2 have been on rotation depending on what is not in the wash.


Nursing Bra’s all from Figleaves.com £29-40

So with a new baby and the intention of breast feeding, I figured I’d need more bra’s – to help with the washing and also to try and make me feel better. I’m not obsessive about underwear and it’s certainly been a long time since I was wearing a matching set, but I know I’m going to feel a bit upset about my postpartum body and reckon if there’s anything I can do to make myself feel better, it’s worth shot. Plus, hopefully it’ll be a long stint of breast feeding, so on a cost per wear basis, these bra’s are going to earn their keep. I headed to Figleaves.com (first time customer) to check out their range after seeing a patient wearing a very pretty nursing bra and asking where it was from. It was Panache and I also found Elle McPherson’s range and HOTmilk. I was initially looking for a nude one but I bought all three of the above and sent the HOTmilk back, as it was too big (the others fit but have a little growing room, whereas the HOTmilk was slightly baggy.)

The service was great (free delivery and returns,) as was the range, so I wanted to share my finds. Have you bought any pretty nursing bra’s or can you comment on online sizing? I’d love to hear of any other brands that would be worth checking out…

Love,
Rebecca
xo

33 thoughts on “Triple Temptation: Nursing Bra’s

  1. Hi! I’ve been reading your blog for a little while, and have finally decided to comment-I’m a mum to a 15 month old and am also going through a house “project” so there has been a lot to interest me!

    Like you, I also liked the Elle Macpherson bras and found Figleaves so much better than the Mothercare and M&S options I’d previously found. I had a really stretchy EM bra which I lived in and was a godsend in the early days of feeding when my boobs would be changing size constantly. I also loved the Amorelia bras but only found them towards the end of my time nursing (I weaned off the boob at 9 months). They were comfy and pretty and I also got one of their underwired nursing bras-which after 9 months of pregnancy and 6 months of nursing in non wired, I was desperate for at the time!

    Congratulations on your beautiful baby! I hope all is going well. X

  2. Can’t comment on nursing bras, but Figleaves.com are fantastic for all kinds of sizes and shapes, have brilliant sales and a huge range, have used them for years. Definitely worth a look for anyone who hasn’t used them before.

  3. HEre am I waiting to see what happens ….. it it’s happened! I missed her arrival!!! Many congratulations – she’s a little beauty!!!!!

  4. Nursing bras are something I have really struggled with and I spent a lot of time (and postage costs!) buying and returning unsuitable options. They are horrendously unsexy but I’ve lived in my cheap, super stretchy and oh so comfy M&S bras. I also have an underwired one from Cake which is good when I want more definition and a crossover one from Amoralia which is handy for wearing with lower cut necklines. I avoided Elle Macpherson after reading some bad reviews online – have you found them to be ok support wise?

  5. Hi Rebecca

    Congratulations on your new addition! I have a 4 month old Beatrice – she’s growing so fast!!
    A friend of mine recommended the Anita underwired bras – also from Figleaves. They are not pretty, and have MEGA straps, but do help to make you feel a little less frumpy when you have clothes on! I went to a wedding when Bea was 7 weeks, and being surrounded by glamourous guests I did feel a little better for the additonal support the wire gives! Boobs still look enormous though! The sizing of the Anita bras is very small, so go up 2 cup sizes.
    I agree on the cost per wear, though also have 2 £8 bras from Asda which are surprisingly ok!
    Good luck with everything!
    Alice xx

  6. I had two Elle McPherson feeding bras, one black and one white and they were brilliant, expensive but worth every penny if you intend in feeding for a while at least.

    My other best buy was the two pack of jojomaman sleeping feeding bras, they are a lifesaver, the best £££ I spent! There are no clips or wires, it’s just like a crossover front bralet, super soft cotton and you just whip your boob out of it to feed in the night, no fuss, no fiddly bits and really comfy. In fact, after a few weeks I was literally able to do it in my sleep as co-slept with the littlest and so fed her half asleep :)

    Here’s the link, I can’t recommend them enough!

    http://www.jojomamanbebe.co.uk/sp+2-pack-maternity-nursing-sleep-bras-in-breastfeeding-underwear-and-products+a9252

    My other top tip, wear two stretchy vests, one to pull up and one to pull down at the neckline, this way you can feed when out and about without flashing your baby belly to the world :) … That and a big muslin or scarf for the early days when you are getting to grips with it!
    Xx

    • Actually I was recommended these sleeping bra’s (Mothercare’s incidentally) by my sister-in-law and so I bought a couple of almost like crop top bra’s from Primark to see if I liked them – £2.50 each! Only problem is the large isn’t really close to containing my chest right now! Might invest in some better ones, although I see the JoJo ones are also S/M/L sizes… I wonder if the L would be big enough…

      I’d really like to know more about co-sleeping… where did you find out about doing it safely? I daren’t ask the HV or midwives!

      • For more info on co sleeping check out http://www.isisonline.co.uk – it’s nothing to do withislamic extremism, instead it’s a collaboration between dry hand university, la leche league nct and UNICEF about infant sleep. Hope it’s useful.

      • Congratulations Rebecca! She is a beaut, and I hope you’re getting some sleep and enjoying the snuggles. I second the vest thing. I wore Emma Jane nursing vests (I bought 6 black longer length and they lasted two pregnancies and bf and I have passed them on to friends). I used them as layering tops when breast feeding and I loved the fact that I didn’t have to worry about exposing my belly to all and sundry. In the summer I layered with a sleeveless floaty tank top, in winter take your pick (jumpers, jersey tops, whatever). Also brilliant for sleeping in/slobbing around the house with a pair of PJ bottoms.

  7. Congratulations on gorgeous Bea! Just checking back in after a brief hiatus due to the arrival of my son 2 weeks ago. Couldn’t be more timely though…breast feeding boobs…just when I thought I might get some control of my body back! Mine went from 30E before pregnancy & have just apparently hit 32J! And the injustice of it all is that I really need wire more than ever! I do wish someone would do some proper research into that! I have some very pretty panache bras but realistically nothing is going to support these things now. Consequently I definitely felt sexier when I was pregnant!

  8. I feel your nursing bra pain! I have gone from 32 G to 34thelargestcupsize available please!! It’s a nightmare, but I do find that there’s a huge amount of variation in size between makes and so it’s just worth trying them on. I am now 8 weeks into my breast feeding journey, and the advice that I have been given by other mums with large busts is to wait until your milk supply settles, (which is meant to be around now but I don’t think I ‘m quite there yet) then get a well fitting soft underwired bra and use a nursing bra conversion kit available online to make your own. I haven’t done it yet…. Maybe when I do I’ll write you a florencefinds blog post on it and let you know how I get on……..!

  9. Why oh why are the majority of nursing bras and specialist nursing clothes so utterly hideous?! I had a tantrum in John Lewis about this, then got online (House of Fraser) and ordered the Elle McPherson one above – love, very comfy but not so supportive when you are really full of milk, a Hot Milk minimiser one – prob best support under clothes given it isn’t under wired but quite tight and looks a bit matronly and a spotty Freya one – gives kind of a pointy 50s pin up silhouette but wears and washed well. Sizing wise it varies per brand and I’d love to find some really gorgeous ones, pref with nice straps. The advice about wiring etc is so conflicting but surely if fitted properly it would be ok? As another poster has suggested, I might try to make my own now my little boy is 13 weeks and hopefully milk has settled.

    There’s definitely money to be made by a great company making pretty maternity/nursing clothes!

  10. Bravissimo sold me underwired bras when I was pregnant with Rory. They say to go back its fine because they are fitted in store by experts and I for one found their fitting spot on. They advise you to go back for refitting later on in pregnancy and then when your milk supply has settled. So not everyone out there is anti underwire thankfully.

  11. Hate hate hate nursing bras! I found the Bravado Bliss and Sublime bras good, especially for my shape (small back size, large cup size). The sizing is weird though – as far as I remember I was a 32 HI in these (32ff-G in other makes whilst breastfeeding). Our local NCT patch had a lady who did bra fittings and you could try on loads and loads (far better range then JL etc). At night I had to wear a soft bra due to leakage and thought the Cariwell seamless drop-cup ones were great. Once my milk supply was established and settled (and ginormo-boobs had reduced), I actually converted one of my pregnancy underwire bras (fitted in Bravissimo) into a nursing bra using a converter kit and some elastic. Really easy to do and blissful to wear an underwire. I never had blocked ducts from it.

  12. I totally agree with Gemma that there is still a huge (ha ha) gap in the market for nursing bras that actually make you feel semi feminine. I’ve literally just stopped breast feeding this week and literally feel like burning all my undies. I also got mine from Figleaves – a mix of totally functional ones (great for feeding but didn’t do anything for my self esteem), two from Hot Milk (though pregnancy ones, not feeding) and the Panache pink lace one you’ve got as your Love At First Sight, which was definitely my favourite. I had no idea I’d need to wear something at night at the beginning but also tried the Jo Jo Maman Bebe ones mentioned above. I actually found the M/L wasn’t large enough to contain my enormous boobs and the beast pads kept jumping around. In the end I got a couple of crop tops from Sainsburys of all places which were super soft and did the same job. The whole thing is massively about trial and error. You just need to feel comfy, be able to access your boobs really easily and not let them make you feel too yukky about yourself. One tip I was given at the beginning when the whole thing was really toe curlingly sore was to use chilled savoy cabbage leaves in my bra. I have no idea how it works, but it’s honestly amazing! Keep posting the pics. She’s honestly adorable! x

      • Once you get through the major cluster feeding sessions and growth spurts it settles down. You might want to get re measured about 3-6 months. However, there is nothing worse than engorgement if you miss a feed for some reason and being in too small a bra. I started wearing sleeping bras but after 2 bouts if mastitis in early days stopped and never got it again. Could be coincidence but I don’t think it was helping, but I do think they were on the small side. I can recommend bravissimo and hot milk for larger breast sizes (I went up to a H!) also once your supply settles try little lamb breast pads- reusable and they are made from bamboo- so soft!

      • They won’t shrink entirely but after the first three or four months they”ll calm down -.I went from an EE to D, sometimes C, which is still hideously big IMO (throws my idea of what will suit me right out) but at least it means you don’t need giant mahoosive bras!

  13. This definitely doesn’t fall into the class of attractive nursing bras (I don’t think they exist…maybe hideous nursing bras are a cunning plan to make new mothers feel incredibly unsexy and stop them having children close together…), but I have found the Medela nighttime bras amazing. I really struggled at night for a while as I needed to wear something (to hold breast pads in place if nothing else!) but normal bras just didn’t work once I was lying down (didn’t hold anything in place and were so so uncomfortable). However, the Medela bra was just amazing. Definitely not sexy, but helped with sleeping!

  14. Many congratulations.

    Also, topshop. That’s where I got my nursing bras. They were actually pretty.

    Two vest sounds a right pain. I wore a nursing vest from jojo over nursing bra usually with a shirt or cardigan or jacket.

    Good luck!

  15. I found the Elle McPherson bras great and supportive enough, also had a Freya spotty one that was pretty. It’s worth going back for a fitting after 3 or 4 months. Also the mothercare sleeping bra/crop tops work really well for me, we’re especially good for wearing at home in the very early days. Shock Asborber bras are also fab for when you feel like getting back into exercise – not feeding bras but no wires.

  16. One brand I’d recommend for pretty nursing bras is Mimi Holliday; I’m not sure what their sizing is like towards the larger end of the scale but they’re nice bras.

  17. I had a few from hotmilk for the early days when I didn’t go out as much. However I got so fed up of the look of them under tops that I caved and bought the Anita underwired nursing bra. The wires are apparently flexible do they don’t dig in. I found them really comfy plus they were seam free so actually looked fine under tops.

    http://www.anita.com/gb-en/Products,Anita_maternity,Breastfeeding,Nursing_Lingerie:5059_Nursing%20bra

    Oh and if you don’t suffer too much with leaks I much preferred the boots washable breast pads. The paper ones tended to fold up on me or move about although the lansiloh ones weren’t as bad. I hated the boots ones.

    Hope it helps!
    Rachie xo

  18. I wore some M&S bras from early in pregnancy, they were cheap and did an ok job. I think the relative lack of support was made up for by that pregnancy perkiness that you get! I am well endowed anyway and was a G cup pre pregnancy, went up to a HH at my peak. I had my baby in October 2012 and am pretty sure that by the spring I had started wearing mainly underwired bras again, particularly if going out and about. I could feed in a more upright position by then and would just pull my top up/down and pop my nipple out of the top of my bra. I wouldn’t recommend doing that in the early days but when milk supply settles and baby is an efficient feeder it’s pretty easy. I think I went through 6 feeding bras in total in 3 different sizes. I fed till 18 months and certainly couldn’t have stood wearing a nursing bra for all of that time. The best ones were from Bravissimo, they are really good at fitting bras and they had a nice comfy sofa for me to sit on and feed as well as a water cooler!
    You do get some post-baby use out of the bras, I use a black one now after a spray tan so as not to mark any of my ‘good’ underwear.

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