Sunday, January 11, 2009

Day 4 - Stylish, Sexy, Pregnant Mama - on a budget

Take time to buy some quality nursing bras. Many first time moms are not sure when to purchase a nursing bra or why they even need one! Here's the facts - you need one (or several)! Nursing Bra's are no longer the frumpy white bra's you may have seen in the past! Several

Why do I need a nursing bra?
  • Most moms experience an increase in breast size during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • Although this size change will vary greatly from woman to woman, the increase is usually at least one band size and one cup size. For example a woman who wore a pre-pregnancy size of 36c could expect to need at least a 38d.
  • A nursing mother needs to select the correct size to avoid mastitis and plugged milk ducts.
  • Wearing the correct nursing bra size will help prevent neck and shoulder aches and pains.

When should I purchase a nursing bra?

  • It is usually best to wait until a few weeks before delivery to purchase your nursing bra however remember that your ribcage will continue to expand to accommodate your growing baby. A good choice is a bra which has several hooks on the band so that you can use the smaller hooks once your ribcage shrinks back after the baby is born.
  • Your cup size will also continue to increase as your body prepares to produce breast milk.
  • We do not suggest waiting until after the baby is born to purchase your nursing bra.
  • Approximately 3-5 days postpartum your milk will come in and temporarily increase you cup size due to engorgement.

How should my bra fit?

  • Most maternity and department stores have trained staff to help you choose the correct bra size.
  • All the breast tissue should fit inside the cup. You should not see any part of your breast spilling out of the cup or side seams.
  • The band should not rise up at the back. If it does you may need a smaller band size.
  • If you choose an underwire bra, the underwire should fit around the breast and not pinch or squash it. Many lactation professionals suggest than nursing moms wear softcup bras as the underwire can cause a clogged duct by digging in to the breast tissue.

How can I measure myself? Yes - here's how (you'll achieve best results if you measure yourself while wearing an unpadded bra).

  • First you'll need to calculate your band size. To do this you'll need to measure around your rib cage just below your breasts. If you're measuring yourself be sure to check that the tape is level all the way around! Add 5 to this number and this will be your band size. For example if this measurement is 29" you'll add 5 and your band size will be 34. If this number is an odd number you'll generally need to round up to the next even number.
  • Next you'll need to determine your bust/cup size. You'll need to measure around your bust at the fullest point. Again, you'll need to make sure that the tape is level all the way around. The difference between the band size and the bust/cup measurement is your cup size. Each one inch represents one cup size. For example is the band size is 36" and the cup measurement is 38" you would wear a 36b.

Difference in Cup Size

1 inch A cup, 2 inches B cup, 3 inches C cup, 4 inches D cup, 5 inches DD cup, 6 inches E cup, 7 inches F cup

You'll find that different bra styles may fit you slightly differently so you'll want to try on a few to ensure you find the most comfortable one. If you're still unsure of your size or just want a second opinion - most stores have trained professionals who are happy to help you or contact your local lactation consultant.

Now for the fun part - shopping. As we mentioned earlier, nursing bras have come a long way. Two of our favorite sexy and stylish brands are PassionSpice and Eve Alexander.

I know you experienced moms have discovered many other stylish nursing bras so please post your tips to share with your fellow Stylish, Sexy, Pregnant Moms. Remember, when you comment with a tip you're entered to win a Belly Bandit. Don't forget to leave your name and email address (or email it to us so we can notify you if you win.

Check back tomorrow as it's the last day of this series and we'll be talking about "hitting the stores"!