Break out of the maternity bra matrix






WHAT IS THE NURSING BRA MATRIX ?

   The Nursing Bra Matrix is the world of limited bra sizes, wrong bra-fitting advice and uncomfortable maternity bras.
   It is the world where nursing bras come in a miserable range of band and cup sizes, where you squeeze your breasts into these sizes and imagine that you must be a mutant because you need a 60(28)G. Such a size does not exist.... or does it ? It´s a world where you think that a nursing or pregnant woman can´t be comfortable in any bra. 
   All this is an illusion.
   The biggest mistake that 80% of women (and bra fitters) make is to wear a band that is too loose and cups that are too small. A loose band gives zero support, and may cause milk duct blockages by climbing up on the breast tissue from below. To compensate for a too loose band we tighten the shoulder straps, which further distorts the breast support, and adds to the discomfort. A cup that is too small cuts off the breast tissue instead of encircling it -- that makes the breast tissue migrate away into the underarm area. In short: bouncing bust, bad shape, and discomfort !


WHAT IS YOUR CORRECT BRA SIZE ?

90% women wear the wrong size. 90% online calculators give wrong sizes and a lot ofof bra sitter fit wrongly -- they are just looking to sell whatever sizes their brand produces.
To correctly calculate your band and cup sizes, follow these directions. For more explanations, read about the Bra Matrix and Bra Myths.

DO USE YOUR PRE-PREGNANCY BAND SIZE

You will return to your pre-pregnancy underbust measurement from just a day to within a month after giving birth. Till that happens, use a bra-extension. The band must be snug, since it will be doing 90% of the supporting.

WHAT KIND OF NURSING BRA DO YOU NEED ? 

   The requirements for a good nursing bra are the same as those for a pregnancy bra. Read here about what you need to look for to get the best support, comfort and shape.
    Unfortunately many breastfeeding bras come in stretchy cottony fabrics. Stretchy fabric is not what the breasts need, since it does not give support. A heavy lactating bust may by it's own weight cause blockages in milk ducts at the bottom, or a skin rash from chafing --- if the bra does not support and lift it. Breastfeeding bras should never be stretchy !

WHAT SHOULD A WELL FITTED NURSING BRA LOOK LIKE ?

Read my post on how to tell if a bra fits. A nursing bra should follow all these points, and give you a good shape.

WHEN TO BUY A NURSING BRA ?

     In the last moment possible before giving birth. The bust can grow and change till the last days, so buying in advance is usually a mistake. So, go bra shopping around two weeks before your due date.

     It is also a mistake to put off shopping for a nursing bra till after the birth. It might be a long time till you have the strength and the will to go shopping, and to buy a bra you need to spend some time in the store ! 
HOW MANY NURSING BRAS WILL YOU NEED ?

    That is again lottery. Most breasts decrease in size, but while some women go back over time to their pre-pregnancy size, some don't. Either way, you will need to keep up with size changes, and so youwill need several bra sizes.

    Do not buy those "one size" "grows with your breasts" stretchy bras, since they offer no support !

    Do not buy anything in advance, since size changes are unpredictable.
    At any time you will need to have at least two bras, since you will need to wash them often !

DO NURSING BRAS HAVE TO BE UGLY ?

   Definitely not ! Brands such as Freya and Panache offer pretty nursing bras (and these brands are also known for their fantastic size range). Hot milk is a brand that offers some very sexy nursing bra models.

YOU CAN TRANSFORM REGULAR BRAS INTO NURSING BRAS:

   It is not easy not find nursing bras in the full size range. However, you can buy a regular bra (or use the bra you wore during pregnancy) and transform it into a nursing bra. This is quite easy and does not require special skills or much time. Here is an easy tutorial.


THE FIRST FEW DAYS OF NURSING:

    The first few days are called the period of “unstabilized lactation”, that means that the milk production has not yet regulated itself to the needs of the baby. The brasts may “go crazy” and on some days and may be full to the point of engorgement, and on some days may be empty. During that time many prefer not to wear a bra at all for the first few days.
    It is a good idea to have two bras with different cup sizes for this time, to wear on the “emptier” and “fuller” days.



  This post is a part of a series on pregnancy and nursing bras. Other posts in this series are:

BREAK OUT OF THE MATERNITY BRA MATRIX
Why are they so ugly and uncomfortable, and how to find your right size.

GIVING THE BEST SUPPORT TO YOUR BREASTS:
Whether to invest in bras for pregnancy or for nursing, on measurements, fabrics and other maternity bra FAQ.

DEBUNKING PREGNANCY BRA MYTHS:
On underwires, wide straps, and “bras that grow with you”. 

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A PREGNANCY BRA:
You don't need a bra especially labeled “for pregnancy”, look for an everyday or sports bra with these characteristics.

RECOMMENDED BRANDS & MODELS OF NURSING BRAS
A round-up of the best and the over-rated.

WHERE TO BUY BRAS FOR PREGNANCY & NURSING:
Now that you know what you need, a guide to where to get it.

DIY: TRANSFORM A REGULAR BRA INTO A NURSING BRA:
Only very basic sewing skills required !









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