The perfect nursing bra - shoulder straps, cups, fastening, material
It's important to have a comfortable and practical nursing bra. This is partly to protect and support your breasts and partly to facilitate breastfeeding. And perhaps most important of all, a good nursing bra helps prevent complications during breastfeeding.
Most women's breasts increase by a cup size during the first months after the birth. During the first weeks of breastfeeding, your breast size might vary from day to day. This is very subjective, however. Further reading: Breastfeeding – getting off to a good start
Here are 10 useful tips for choosing the optimal nursing bra
• Avoid wearing any underwired bras during pregnancy. The underwiring can press against your breasts and cause blocked milk ducts.
• Bear in mind that if you lift your bra over your breasts during breastfeeding, the milk flow will be restricted where the bra presses against your breast.
• It's important to wear a comfortable, functional and well-fitting bra, especially during the first months of breastfeeding. Buy one or several bras before the birth so you're ready to start breastfeeding.
• The wider the shoulder straps, the better the support. Choose bras with firm, broad, padded shoulder straps, which are often easiest on the shoulders and neck.
• Ideally, the cups should be made of cotton and be elastic but firm. Cotton is one of the most breathable materials, and it's also soft.
• Avoid seams and lace around the nipples, as they could chafe your sensitive skin.
• The edging material around the breasts and under the fold-down cup should be elastic.
• When you fold the cup down, it should leave enough of the breast exposed to allow baby's mouth to latch on properly.
• It helps if you can open and close the bra with one hand if it has hooks. Ideally, it should open vertically.
• Avoid velcro fasteners, as they can sometimes pop open accidentally.