Friday, March 14, 2014

Goldilocks and the Nursing Bras

This picture captures how I felt every time I'd look for a nursing bra.
When I became a teenager one of the things I looked forward to the most was getting the breasts that I'd been promised as a young girl.  I patiently waited and wore my training bras, while dreaming of the day that my breasts would magically arrive.  Well, years went by and I continued to buy my bras in the training bra section.  At 22 I realized that my delivery had come in a very small package.  When talking to my mom about how bad it felt, to be 24 years old and have the body of an 11 year old, she said, "Don't worry Mija, when you have your babies and breastfeed the milk will give you bigger breasts".  So I thought, O.K., it's better than nothing.

Once I was pregnant I once again began waiting for the larger package that i'd been told would arrive. As the months passed and I continued to wear my A bras I began to have deja vu.  Apparently, not all women grow larger breasts when they're pregnant, and of course I was one of them.  Once again I was told, don't worry once the baby comes and you're nursing they will come.

Ethan was born, I started nursing, and they finally came!  It was more wonderful than I could have imagined, the breasts I'd been waiting for since I was 12 years old had finally arrived.  After a few months of nursing, my milk supply normalized, and I started to notice that my breasts were getting smaller and smaller.  The reason I'm telling you this long embarrassing story is to let you know that the issues of bras and breast size have been something that I've struggled with for a long time.  I thought that once I was nursing I would finally be able to find bras that fit.

Prior to having Ethan I had bought some C sized nursing bras because I had no idea what size I was going to be.  They fit fairly well in the beginning.  As time went on the Goldilocks dilemma began to rear it's ugly head.  All of the bras I had bought were too big for me by the time Ethan was 4 months. So I went in search of comfortable, good fitting bras.

What I found truly disappointed me.  It turns out that most nursing bra manufacturers think that if you're nursing you must have extremely large breasts because I was unable to find bras that were smaller than a C cup.

I first bought the Elle Macpherson nursing bra.  The smallest size it came in was a 34C; I thought, since that's the smallest they come that must be my size.  It was fairly comfortable but the more I wore it the more I realized it was too big.  Having nothing else though, I continued to wear it.  Some positives on this bra (if they do carry your size) is that they're very pretty, the material is soft and comfortable, and if they sold my size I think I would have really liked it.
Elle Macpherson bra
I also bought a Cake sports bra in a size small.  It's supportive and comfortable and I'd highly recommend it if you're looking for a sports nursing bra, but I couldn't just wear a sports bra every day.
Cake nursing bra
I had my cousin Marianna measure me (she works at Victoria's Secret), and it turns out i'm a 32B. Take note nursing bra companies, NOT ALL WOMEN WHO NURSE HAVE LARGE BREASTS!  In case you're wondering I nurse/pump exclusively, so I am producing a lot of milk, I just do it without having a large chest.  At this point, after buying the first set of bras and then these two bras, I had spent over 200 dollars on bras that didn't fit.  I started researching online to see what the best bras for small breasted nursing mamas were, and all around the web mamas were complaining.  A lot of them said they just used tank tops with built in bras, but since I work full time and need to dress professionally for work, that was not an option I felt comfortable with.

One day, while I was browsing the aisles of Target I found their nursing bra section.  Lo and behold they had small nursing bras! I bought 3 and have been very happy with the sizing.  They fit my 32B breasts very well and are comfortable.  The downside is that they don't give me much shape and tend to flatten me out, it kind of looks like i'm wearing a sports bra, but at this point i'll take what I can get.  A side note for new mamas when buying nursing bras, do not buy bras with underwire.  They can cause clogged milk ducts, and after having my fair share of those, trust me when I say it's much better to have the sports bra look than golf ball sized lumps in your breasts.
Gilligan & O'Malley Nursing bra I bought the skin tone and
black with polka dot one.  They also have a grey one.

I just bought this Gilligan & O'Malley bra today and am excited
about the fact that it has built in cups.  Hopefully it will fix
the sports bra look of the other two.

Basics by Bravado! Stella nursing bra.  This one is very comfortable and I love
sleeping in it.  The one downside is that the elastic bands that connect the
straps to the bra have stretched out and are now very loose.

After finding dozens of way too big bras I have finally found my just right bras.  Thank you Gilligan & O'Malley and Basics for realizing that mamas come in all shapes and sizes, and even us small mamas need bras.
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