Q: When do you advise buying nursing bras and what size should be purchased? Do I buy the size I was wearing previous to pregnancy or the size I am wearing in my last couple of months of pregnancy?
A: I usually advise moms to buy a nursing bra during the last weeks of pregnancy. Be sure it supports well, and that there are no places at all where the skin feels pinched. After trying one on and wearing it a few minutes, there should be no red areas or creases on the breasts or shoulders when it is removed. Take several sizes in the dressing room and try many different sizes until you find the perfect fit.
Cotton is a nice absorbent material. Underwires may cause problems for some moms, especially if the wires come up tight under the arms or cut into the breasts in any way. Use care if you select this style. Make sure you can open the flap easily and with one hand. That way you can open the flap and latch the baby on in public with little fanfare. If you find the bra is a little tight in the first few weeks, you can purchase a bra extender in the sewing department of most stores, use it a few weeks, and then as the breasts return to a more normal size, discontinue using it. I would also like to say that I don’t advise wearing a bra at all in the early days, in the hospital, or at night unless the bra makes you feel more comfortable and is a great fit.
By Ann Calandro
BSN, RNC, IBCLC Lactation Consultant