Our bodies undergo so many changes during the brief 9 month period where we grow our children within our bodies. It's not just our skin that changes; too many people focus on stretch marks or weight after baby. It's a beautiful thing that we experience, and God intended for us to be marked after this important time. These changes call for a different way that we care for ourselves though.
I argue that our breasts go through the biggest change of all. What didn't produce milk before now does. They are bigger, heavier, fluctuate in size throughout the day and over time. A good fitting bra during pregnancy and nursing is monumental in the short term and long term of your breast health!
I never knew how to fit myself correctly for a bra though. It's funny, the day when I bought my first supportive and comfortable bra in my 3rd trimester with Penny, it truly sunk in that my life would never be the same. I never shopped for supportive and comfortable; I always opted for cute or flattering. I felt like such an old lady when I explained to the "sizing expert" what I was looking for in a bra. Oh yes, how my world has changed. These days, comfort and support are #1 on my list (cute and flattering are a bonus). #sahmproblems
Ever since breaking the ice on having a supportive bra, I've been hooked (pardon the pun). After Penny's birth I lived in nursing tanks for the better part of her first year and purchased several nursing bras as "going out" / "fancying it up" occasions. My poor husband. I tried on a few different brands of retail store cheapies and finally snagged a couple Bravado Designs bras on sale at my local baby boutique. And my view of bras changed again. Prior to nursing I was a 100% underwire gal. All the time. I never had a problem with them and liked how it felt. Once I began to nurse I found that I will never look at underwires the same way ever again. I also found that the sizing I found most comfortable in nursing bras was completely different to what I used to wear. A big part of that, of course, is because my body changed after having children. Another part of it was that I never learned how to correctly size myself.
The Bravado Designs website has a really good video on how to properly size yourself - check it out. Are you the same size you thought you are?
- Function: you'll be nursing (or pumping) all day and you need to have quick and easy access. Bravado Bras have very well made clips that are durable and easy to clip on/off with one hand.
- Fit: a bad fitting bra is a sure fire way to cause more problems than just discomfort. It can lead to mastitis or plugged ducts. Because your breasts change size throughout the day as they fill and drain, your bra needs to be able to accommodate that change without putting pressure on the breast tissue. In addition to checking the sizing video above, you want to be sure that you're not spilling out of the cups when your full or empty.
I've had the chance to review 3 of Bravado Designs' nursing bras, here's what I thought about them!
The Bravado Bliss has always been my favorite nursing bra, hands down. It is thick enough that if I spring a minor leak it won't go through and you can't see nursing pad outlines. It is the closest bra that I've found that makes me feel close to my pre-pregnancy days. It has no underwire, which I love, but that doesn't stop it from making your rack look good ;) This bra is fitted by rib cage and cup size.
The Bravado Essential Embrace is my replacement for nursing tanks. It is made of thinner material (a combination of cotton and microfiber), but is still very supportive. Again, no underwire but fits like a good sports bra too. Because it is so thin, I usually wear it only at home or if I have a sweatshirt (or thicker shirt) over it, because it will show pad outlines and nip bumps. This bra is fitted by rib cage and cup size.
The Bravado Body Silk is my in-between; it is thin and breathable like the Essential Embrace but also features moulded cups that you can slip in to make it look more like a cupped bra (like the Bliss). It's one of the top selling bras that Bravado makes. This bra is sized in small through XL.
If you're looking for a good set of workhorse bras, these are my top picks. My Bliss and Essential Embrace have lasted me through two kids (and almost 2 1/2 years of nursing), without wear and tear.
Do you have a favorite Bravado Bra? Tell me all about it!
Disclosure: I received product in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.