The advice about nursing bras I wish I had whilst I was still pregnant…

So, you’re pregnant! Congratulations! Or maybe you’ve just had a baby! Either way, you are most probably hoping to feed your baby in the most natural way possible – with your breasts. You may have heard that taking formula into hospital is potentially setting yourself up to fail at breastfeeding (which it pretty much is but that’s another blog post for another time!), well on the other end of the spectrum, buying a comfortable nursing bra in advance could be considered setting yourself to WIN at breastfeeding.

From the birth of your baby, your boobs will be doing some pretty amazing stuff. At first they will be providing colostrum (aka liquid gold) to your newborn baby to give them that vital boost they need after they transition from your womb into the big wide world! At the colostrum stage, you probably won’t feel like you are providing much in the way of nutrients but chances are you are doing a grand job. If you are worried at this stage, please do seek help from a midwife or peer support worker. Your baby will need feeding for most of the time they spend awake so your boobs will basically need to be available 24/7 and very easily accessible (for your sake!). Then, once your milk comes in (usually around 3-5 days but can vary mother to mother), your boob size will be all over the place. For this reason, I recommend a ‘one size fits all’ sleep bra during this time. A definite hospital bag ‘must have’. Click here for Amazon Nursing Bras.

Once your milk comes in, feeding your baby can get much easier. This next 3 months will be an important time for both your boobs and your baby. This is because your baby will be placing an order with your areola for how exactly much milk they require. This is why babies can remain suckling at the nipple for long periods whilst seemingly not actually drinking anything – they are merely telling your boobs to get cracking with milk production. It’s amazing how it all works really! During this time, it’s really not worth investing in an expensive bra. If you’re not happy sticking with the sleep bra linked above, then check out the nursing bras in George or Primark – knowing you’ll likely be replacing them by the time your baby is 3 months old.

When you reach the third month of breastfeeding, your supply starts to settle down. You suddenly don’t get that ‘fullness’ feeling you may have experienced before. This leads to many women thinking that they are “running out of milk”. Couldn’t be further from the truth. If you have been letting your baby suckle away and put in that order for milk then at this point you will have just the right amount to accommodate your baby. This will however mean that pumping additionally to nursing will become very difficult! Your boobs will now be back to more or less how they were before you had a baby in terms of how empty you feel. Some women don’t even need breast pads after this time! This means it’s time to go out and treat yourself to some nice nursing bras! Treat yourself after keeping a mini-human alive all by yourself for 3 months!

Most importantly – MEASURE YOURSELF PROPERLY. Don’t get measured in any of the high street shops (there are some exceptions such as Bravissimo) – you’re best doing it yourself. Find out more here.

Some fab places to look for nursing bras are:

Nursing Bra – Shop – Good prices on branded bras.

Hot Milk – a bit pricey but some lovely bras

Figleaves – similar to Hot Milk.

There will be more specific nursing bra posts to follow as well as reviews! Please share this with any friends who are pregnant or in the early stages of breastfeeding 🙂

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  1. gruffalogirl June 22, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Fab post and really informative!

    I can also highly recommend Bravissimo nursing bras for ladies with bigger breast.

    I’m a 28GG (currently tandem nursing a 1 year old and 3 year old). Pre babies I was a 28F.

    Bravissimo is the only place that do bras in my size ??

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  4. Joey December 4, 2015 at 8:06 am

    Wow that beginning sentence about taking formula into hospital is setting yourself up for a fail!!! How judgemental. I’m nearly at 4 months of bf and I’d have not gotten that far without the use of formula in the beginning because of baby’s poor latch. It broke my heart to use it but it helped in the long run

    • canibreastfeedinit December 4, 2015 at 8:22 am

      Yes going into hospital with formula is setting yourself up to fail with breastfeeding. Formula is a crutch many rely on when they struggle. To have it easily accessible in the hours after birth can potentially have a really bad effect on establishing breastfeeding and getting that crucial colostrum. Formula is still available at most hospitals though and it’s always something that can be purchased locally – it’s just about the mindset you go into hospital with. I wasn’t saying using formula was a fail generally. I was saying you’re setting yourself up for breastfeeding failure. Which lots of women do. It’s not judgemental, it’s a fact! I’m glad you managed to overcome the hurdles in the beginning. There’s no shame in using formula when there’s no other choice available.

    • pumpkinsandpinecones December 4, 2015 at 9:50 am

      Not sure how that could be perceived as judgemental? She didn’t even say it *would* mean you’d fail at breastfeeding, just that it ‘potentially’ could – which is true. Those early days are so important in establishing the breastfeeding relationship, but they can also be incredibly hard both physically and emotionally – and if the option of ‘just one bottle’ of formula is there then it could be incredibly difficult to resist – until you’ve been through it not many people realise that even that one bottle could cause problems (again ‘could’, not ‘will definitely’) and lead to the top up trap (

      I honestly don’t understand why you would take formula with you if you’re planning to breastfeed? I know a lot of hospitals don’t give out formula to everybody who asks these days (and why should they if you’re planning on using formula then you can bring it with you, same as you do with nappies etc.), but if you are attempting to breastfeed and it’s not working (because of poor latch, or in our case, complete failure to latch at all) then, in my experience, they will fall over themselves to get you to give formula – the hospital I was at not only practically insisted I give it (told me I was ‘starving’ my one day old son), but even offered me a choice of brand.

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