Tag Archives: babies

My Favorite Nursing Bras

I love nursing.

I haven’t talked about it in a while, but what a magical, wonderful thing.

The thing that can make the magic fizzle a little, though, is clothes: the wrong ones. When I’m wearing the wrong bra, or the wrong shirt or dress and it becomes a struggle to get the baby to the foodsource, well, no one is happy. Babies aren’t exactly known for their patience, and when your milk is starting to let down, well, you gotta move fast or it can become a miserable, damp soakfest instead of a cuddly, warm snugglefest.

So it’s important to wear the right thing.

Especially the right bra. Because besides issues of easy access for baby, you want to be comfortable. Breastfeeding can mean tenderness, engorgement, that weird tingly feeling (sometimes painful for me) during milk letdowns–feelings that by themselves aren’t always the most pleasant. Add to that a bra that isn’t comfortable, and it’s just . . . bad.

So for any of you moms-to-be out there, I wanted to shout out my top two favorite nursing bras.

1. Lamaze Cotton Spandex Nursing Bra (here is the link for a 2-pack)

I bought these bras on my sister Heidi’s recommendation over 3 years ago, and used them all throughout nursing Alice. I also wore them almost exclusively this past summer while nursing Ben. I still wear them sometimes during the day, but religiously wear them every night since they are the most comfortable nursing bra I’ve ever worn, hands-down. Here are the pluses and minuses to consider:

-They are soft, stretchy, and since they’re just fabric, there are no plastic pieces or hooks to irritate the skin.

-They pull aside so quickly! It’s the bra that offers me the fastest baby-to-breast connection–no hooking/unhooking/why-won’t-this-dang-hook-come-unhooked drama.

-They’re awesome for co-sleeping if you’re one of those (yep, I was) that likes to leave things open to baby in the middle of the night.

-Potential negative: they don’t offer a lot of support (no wires, just fabric), so they may not be ideal to wear during the day if you’re well-endowed on top. Of course, I missed the endowment train when it rolled through, so it’s not a problem for me.

-No special care required during laundering–just toss it in the wash and the dryer.

I highly, highly recommend these. I own four (two black, one white, one grey). After three years of heavy use they’re getting a tiny bit stretched out, but they’re still my absolute fave even in their current well-worn state.

2. Bravado Seamless Nursing Bra

If I’m not wearing the Lamaze bra, I’m probably wearing one of these. No wires, so it’s very comfortable, and it provides a little more padding and shaping, which is nice during the day when I go to work and wear clothes that are not my PJ’s. It’s very soft and has conformed to my body over time so that it hugs and supports me in just the right way. It has the typical hook-on-strap system to detach the cup part and pull it down for nursing sessions, but I can usually do it one-handed. If for some reason my hands and the hook are having a misunderstanding, it’s stretchy enough that I just pull the whole dang thing down.

Bravado just came out with a new design–their PR team sent me a free bra to try and I have worn it every day since I got it about a month ago, no joke. It’s the Body Silk Seamless Yoga Nursing Bra (available here). It’s very similar to their existing Seamless Nursing Bra (i.e., awesome).

I have four of these two–black, beige, pink, and the free yoga bra they sent me in grey. Having an abundance of bras is a huge plus especially early on in nursing (and if you’re a first-time mom) because when both you and new baby are learning to nurse, you can really move through that laundry if you know what I mean.

I haven’t shared a pic of my little Benjamin-bear recently, but his rolls have gotten monumental.

photo 2

What a little dumpling.

 

The pregnancy journey . . . boy versus girl, or #2 versus #1?

photo 2

This pregnancy has been so different from my pregnancy with Alice. I’ve been wondering how much of that is my slightly different lifestyle (less walking and more driving, less–read “no”–yoga classes, more Kraft macaroni and cheese), how much is because I’m pregnant with a boy instead of a girl, and how much is just part of a second (as opposed to a first) pregnancy.

What are these differences, you may ask? Lemme give you the skinny.

-MORE WEIGHT. I just had to put that in caps, because it’s really affecting how I feel. As of my appointment today–at 27 weeks, the cusp of the third trimester–I’ve gained 21 pounds. That’s reasonable and fine, I realize this, but it’s also more than I gained in my entire pregnancy with Alice (20 pounds). The mirror tells me I look fine, but I just feel heavy, large, gross, and generally unattractive.

When I was pregnant with Alice I heard other pregnant women say things like, “I feel so ugly,” or “I don’t feel sexy at all.” Huh, I thought. Poor things. I guess I got the magical pregnancy gene. Because I felt great–beautiful, sexy, and (at least after the first trimester) plenty energetic.

This is not the same.

I am a whale. In my mind. Which is where it counts. And whales, though endearing, endangered, and graceful in their own balloon-like way, are not sexy.

-More Kraft macaroni and cheese.

-Less documenting. Alas for the days when I had time and energy to blog and blog and blog . . . it was fun. And I love looking back on each week of my pregnancy with Alice. But what with work, writing novels, taking care of an energetic, galloping almost two-and-a-half year old who has been cooped up inside for far too long and a myriad of other things, little Benjamin just isn’t getting the same type of thorough analysis.

(Yes! His name is Benjamin!)

-Back to the whale part–this really hit me when my sister Heidi mailed me a box full of maternity jeans, that both she and my sister Erica had used throughout their pregnancies. Still living under the delusion that my sisters and I all have the same body (regardless of what our adult experience has taught us), I joyously stripped down and pulled on the first pair.

“Pulled on” is a misnomer–it implies I was actually able to, well, pull them on. To my body.

Let me give you the short version:

I couldn’t get into a single pair. And I was only halfway through my pregnancy at the time.

Hmm. I can’t fit into any of these jeans at 20 weeks, and both my sisters wore them through 40 weeks, I thought.

Weird.

My conclusion? My sisters and I all totally have the same body.

Can’t stop believin’.

-More indigestion. Evenings of stomach-related misery, though a recent purchase of almond milk may have been the ticket–it seems to calm things down. I love the Califia vanilla stuff–not too sweet, and it makes me feel like maybe my stomach isn’t trying to grow up to be The Hulk anymore.

-More Kraft macaroni and cheese. Did I mention that yet?

photo 1

-Less energy. I’m not romping about at 8pm anymore–I’m looking at the clock and thinking, “hmmm, is it embarrassingly early to go to bed?” Then I realize that I don’t have the energy to even ponder that question, at which point I pass out on the couch.

Anyway, that’s the short version. The long version also includes what makes this an emotionally different journey: a Downs syndrome scare that turned out to be a false alarm, a lot of uncertainty about what we’ll be doing and where we’ll be living this fall, and all kinds of intense tear-inducing stuff like that. But you know what? Tonight, friends are coming over to our apartment, we’re eating an Indian feast from our favorite restaurant, and then we get to go to bed (isn’t it amazing that we get to do that every night??? I LOVE BEDTIME). So . . . hurray!