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I whole-heatedly recommend this bra for all breastfeeding mums... Breastfeeding can be tiring & tricky to master but I found this bra made a real difference (six weeks into breastfeeding- if only I'd found it earlier!). I've been using these bras daily for over a month now. I almost didn't buy this bra because it seemed too good to be true... It was less than half (even a third!) of the price of other maternity/ nursing bras I had tried (Elle McPherson intimates nursing & M&S) THE PRICE I think there is a lot of variation in price for this bra- I paid £11.00 for mine on Figleaves.com but I have also seen even better bargains on eBay. Frankly though even if I had paid the full £25.00 (the most I have seen it advertised for) I'd feel that was good value, especially compared to the prices of similar items THE SIZING The weird sizing nearly put me off. The bra is sold in 32B-F, 34B-F, 36B-F etc. So your cup size is irrelevant! Now, as all ladies know, it is VITAL to have a properly fitted bra or you might as well not bother. BUT the special design of this bra does give brilliant support regardless of its unorthodox sizing. An important feature of breastfeeding is that your cup size fluctuates massively throughout the day, especially once you are in a routine and the baby (or-mother of pearl!-babies!) goes 8+ hours overnight- come the morning you can wake up looking like Dolly Parton. So, please put to one side any reservations you have re sizing. I measured under my bust and I was 35" so I bought the 36B-F. It has seven hook and eye fastenings so you have more control than with a standard bra (and remember- you get the best genuine support by wearing your bra tighter round your back, rather than by hoiking up the straps!) THE ADVANTAGES The bra has a simple clasp fastening you can undo with one hand (very important with an impatient, hungry-bear of an infant!) and the cup part falls down, without you having to fiddle about with it or fold it away- good if you are trying to be discreet. The M&S bras I tried all had to be folded over and tucked out of the way- a real pain especially in the early days when I was struggling to get the hang of the whole BF business (now it's easy- I'm typing this review one handed while my little boy nurses!) The style of the bra is almost like a crop-top, so it has a good inch of fabric which sits flush to your rib cage.That might sound weird BUT it means that the bottom of the bra doesn't rub against your already quite tender breasts. A massive bonus! Brilliantlly, it can be worn over the top of your other bras to give extra support if you are doing a bit of gentle exercise post partum. When BFing you can be quite sore to start with so even if you are going for a stroll it can help to minimise any jiggling about. The bra washes well and dries really quickly: important as milkiness means washing very regularly. THE DISADVANTAGES This isn't a "pretty" bra- it's definitely functional underwear rather than lingerie- but chances are nursing mums would rather be comfortable... In any event, it is more "sporty" looking than "frumpy old lady"
When pregnant with my 2nd child, I stumbled across Emma Jane nursingy bras by accident. I wanted some nursing bras that were practical, yet feminine. Not something that looked like it involved industrial scaffolding. I found an Emma Jane maternity bra on ebay, for a very reasonable £3.99, new. When it arrived, I was amazed at how nice it was. The one I bought was a drop cup, which used a large hook and eye fastening on the shoulder. It fastened with the traditional hooks at the back. The straps were quite narrow (in a size 34c) and it looked for all intents and purposes, like a regular bra. The bra was white and made of beautifully soft cotton. Despite having no underwiring, I found it to be very supportive. It was brilliant for keeping everything uplifted and in the optimum position! When nursing, the cups were very easy to drop and re-attach afterwards - so no embarassing fumbling around trying to put yourself away at the end of a feed. It washed well at 40 degrees and kept it's shape even after months of use and washing. I was so pleased with my Emma Jane bra, that when pregnant with my 3rd child, I bought another one, so I had a black and a white version. Even after six months of feeding, the bras looked good and if I ever have a 4th child, I fully intend to use them again, as they are still perfectly functional. Considering the cost of some nursing bras, I don't think you can go wrong with the Emma Jane range and I would definitely recommend it.
When I was expecting my daughter I decided to get some breastfeeding bras and quite liked the idea of the zip, it seemed safer somehow than the traditional flip down ones. These bras were slightly prettier and lacier than many plain cotton bras (and it's nice to have something pretty to wear when you are feeling so unsexy with a new baby. On the plus side the zips did stay closed and not start to fall down when you were wearing them and this was a good, supportive bra - which comes in a good range of sizes especially good if you have a small back and large breasts. However when I tried to do the zip up one handed I found that I caught my skin in the zip a few times and it was more awkward to do up while holding the baby than my other breastfeeding bras, which just flipped and clipped.
If you are breast feeding, then a good bra is vital. Firstly, you will have huge breasts that need a lot of support, secondly you will need acccess to them at little notice, ideally without having to expose your flesh too much to everyone else. Furthermore, said access may be required when you are trying to hold a baby in one hand, which makes it all a bit complicated. Emma Jane maternity bras are the type offered by Contessa, which is how I encountered them. The first downside to flag up is that they have a size limit, the biggest you can get being about a size 40, although the cups certainly go as far as a G! if you have an enormous bump, you may not be able to find a bra in advance of the birth, this means muddling through as best you can and getting one once you're out and about again. (This is probably the case with other brands as well.) I'd recommend getting your bra from Contessa, Mothercare or any other shop that can actually give you a fitting - it makes all the difference. So, the bra. I've got two white semi industrial bras. They do have a bit of decoration on them, which is nice. The shoulder straps are comfy, but not that easy to adjust. The access is good - there are zips that run under each breast and which can be opened one handed. You then have to pull the cup away from your breast (I recomend rolling it up under your arm while you feed.) You can be passably discreet I think, although I've not tried to do any of this in front of an audience yet. The zips stay done up while you are wearing them, which was a concern of mine. The bras are nice and solid, and survive being washed very well. they give good support and are comfy to wear. They are however quite pricey - depending on where you buy and what offers are available, you can still expect to pay somehwere around the twenty pound mark for one of these, and you will need at least two. despite the price, I would have to recommend them just on grounds of ease of use.
It took me a while to find a feeding bra that was comfortable. Believe me when i say i tried and tested a range of bras - Boots, mothercare the local mother and baby shop. I found that either the fastening was a bit tricky and you needed both hands to unhook and hook up the cup which can be bothersome. Some made me feel suffocated and other bras seemed to provide little or no support after they'd been washed a few times. But i finally found two companies which do amazinginly comfortable feeding bras - Bravado and Emma Jane. Both are on the expensve side but i think well worth it. They do a range of designs with various techniques of unhooking the cup - zips, belts, clips. You can get hold of their numbers from the back of the baby books your midwife gives you. But they are truly the best.
A firm support nursing bra available up to size 42J. With zip opening and padded straps. 45% cotton.