Trial and error are part of the game when searching for a bra that feels good and offers maximum support. If you come across a gem that ticks off a few more boxes like –budget friendly, and looks pretty, it is a win. Finding a well-fitting nursing bra is more complicated than regular bra shopping, as you may already know. Why? Because both your cup size, and band size, fluctuate throughout pregnancy, and then again during breastfeeding.
Lucky for moms in 2022, the nursing bra market is flooded with lovely options! Hatch Collection nursing bras rank high amongst the pool. If you are able to get out of the house for an in-person bra fitting, great. You can rely on pros to measure you. A lactation consultant is another option. If you need immediate gratification or have a tight timeframe, go for an online purchase. Any website selling nursing bras will include a proprietary sizing chart, and instructions to measure yourself at home.
Nursing bras are great for a whole bunch of reasons. One of the biggies is that the cups are designed to stretch. They ebb and flow with your milk production thanks to stretchy blends of fabric.
When shopping, look for a bra with wide straps that will not dig into your shoulders. Also, a wide or even extra-wide back design will offer inherent support. When you try a bra on, make sure the band (underneath your breasts) does not pinch around the rib cage. This is important. Any pulling or pinching under the arms or along the breast tissue means the bra is ill-fitting. Milk ducts need to be free and clear of pressure. The last thing you will want to deal with is inflammation, blocked ducts, and mastitis.
Cotton or a cotton blend is preferable when choosing a nursing bra. Material with breathability allows air to flow through. Moisture trapping synthetic fabrics can be irritating and are best avoided. Not to mention, changes in your physiology that come with the postpartum stage could set you up to be sensitive to fabrics that never bothered your pre-pregnancy-self. (Remember her?)
Do you exercise? Will you be pumping? Is comfort the only criteria you give a hoot about? Is there a dress code at work –making contour and shape relevant for form-fitting wardrobe selections?
While the primary function of a normal bra is support, as a nursing mom you also need to incorporate convenience into the equation. When the baby screams and cries with hunger, you do not want to fumble to undo layers of garments. Expediency will make it easier for both of you. Nursing bra design has come a long way since the first patent for a “nursing brassiere” was recorded in 1943.
So, before you shop, define what it is you are looking for. It will only take a few minutes and narrowing down the applicants will bring the right candidate to you faster.
Let’s check out a few styles for all you mamas seeking nursing bra intel:
Everyday Nursing Bra
This Hatch Collection bra has a lot going for it. Features. Choices. All within one piece of lingerie. First, it’s wireless, and your milk ducts will thank you. Next it has a one-handed clasp, meaning one hand can hold the baby while the other hand unclasps the cup. There is a racerback option, so you can still style your straps accordingly. And most important, adjustable size settings are on the front straps, and four options for back settings.
$68, Hatch Collection
Great for Nighttime: Skin to Skin Bra
Wearing a bra to bed is a personal choice. When breastfeeding, you may find extra support makes you more comfortable overnight. This simple, elegant Hatch bra can obviously be worn day or night. But if it is an overnight bra you’re seeking, look no further. It is not called skin to skin for nothing. Bra testers reported feeling “naked” wearing it. The top of the bra has an elastic band for quick, easy maneuvering when you are half-asleep nursing your babe.
$38, Hatch Collection
This is a tank top with a built-in shelf bra that looks like the tank your non-breastfeeding-self has sitting in a drawer. Think: comfort. Only this one has some gadgets to help you nurse your little one. A front strap adjuster is the give and take for sizing adjustments. The clasp is made to be undone with one hand.
$78, Hatch Collection
Hands Free Pumping
Hatch does it again with another hands-free bra. This one is for all the mamas who need to run the pump to express. If you are new to pumps, it will soon be apparent that holding the shields to your body while the pump runs is time-consuming. This bra has slits to accommodate the shields, which rest in place while your hands are free to do whatever it is you need to be doing. It’s great for nursing, too, just pull the fabric up or down. The bra is seamless, no underwire. In fact, no hardware at all. Supportive, but also sculpts and smooths. Try it, you will not be disappointed.
$78, Hatch Collection
Breast milk leaks. And these pads are here to make it your business, nobody else’s. These are not disposable; they are meant to be hand-washed and worn until you wean your baby. They slip into any nursing bra, and are neutral colored, so they will not show through. Pretty clever, thank you, Hatch. To minimize chafing the fabric is soft cotton, a breathable fiber that will dry quickly (no moisture trapping). This is a 3-pack.
$36, Hatch Collection
All said and done, you must take care of yourself to take care of others. Convenience and comfort are rock star tenets as you navigate the path of mothering a newborn. You are delicately adjusting to a new normal. Consider your lifestyle choices to find the most suitable bunch of nursing bras. May they aid you, and your precious little one, for all the days and nights of your breastfeeding journey.