August is home to World Breastfeeding Week and we thought there’s no better time to run through some dos and don’ts and top tips for pregnancy, breastfeeding and nursing bras. We spoke to our lovely Becky who works in production as she’s the Queen of breastfeeding with official training under her belt, and she volunteered in her local baby clinic!
Here’s what she’s got to say:
I had my baby in 2012 and was frustrated with the lack of support available after the initial midwife and health visitor home visits finished. I attended my local Sure Start Centre and spoke to the staff, realising that I could train to become a Volunteer Peer Supporter so I contacted the NHS Infant Feeding Team in my local borough and signed up to their training. I finished the course in 2013, and volunteered weekly in my local baby clinic until 2016 when I started working here.
Non-wired vs underwired bras?
During pregnancy, soft cup non-wired bras are recommended. In the first trimester breasts can be very sore to touch (for some people this is one of their first signs of pregnancy!). With your body changes and growth over the 9 months, the underwires can get uncomfortable and if they aren’t fitting right they can also block the ducts in your breasts and may cause inflammation.
It is recommended that your nursing bra is a stretchy soft cup bra without wires. In the early days of breastfeeding, your boob size and shape will change a lot as your body moves from producing colostrum to the milk coming in. If wires get in the way of this, they can be uncomfortable if you experience engorgement or as before, might cause blocked ducts and inflammation.
Although non-wired bras are recommended, there is little evidence to suggest that underwired bras are complete no-no when breastfeeding. Plenty of brands offer ‘flexible’ underwired nursing bras to help accommodate any changes to the bust! If you decide to give one a go, make sure it fits you well and contains all your breast tissue in the cup (do a good scoop and swoop), the centre should fit flat against your ribcage and the underband needs to be straight (no rising up please!).
Dos & Don’ts
DO – Keep an eye on the fit of your bras throughout pregnancy; many women go through multiple sizes.
DO – Plan on getting fitted for your nursing bras in the last trimester.
DO – Make sure your nursing bras fit on the loosest hook to begin with
DO – Have another fitting for a new nursing bra around 3 months after birth, as by this point your breasts should have settled down and any further changes will be more subtle than in the beginning
DON’T – Wear a bra that’s too small – this can cause pain and discomfort to your already sore and tender breasts
DON’T – Feel forced into wearing a non-wired bra if you don’t feel comfortable, there are plenty of underwired options out there just make sure it’s correctly fitted!
DON’T – Jump straight back into wired bras when you finish breastfeeding, your breasts will undergo more changes as they wind down milk production.
When breastfeeding, support is so important so if you’re struggling, ask for help! Keep asking if you need to!
Don’t forget to look after yourself; you’ve just spent 9 months growing a baby!
Celebrate every small victory. Pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding journeys don’t always work out as you imagined they would so be kind to yourself!
Don’t worry about ‘popping’ right back to your pre-birth body.
Cleaning the house can wait, and if you aren’t up to visitors don’t be afraid to say no!
If you’re feeling depressed or overwhelmed, seek help. It doesn’t make sure you a failure.
If you need help doing bits and pieces, call on your friends and family for support.
You are a priority, you rock mama!
So mums to be and new mums, I hope some insight from Becky will help you with your breastfeeding journeys! As always, if you're unsure at all of the way your bras fit or you're not sure what style would be right for you, give us a call, email or message us on Facebook and we'll be happy to help.
If you're looking for further support or advice on breastfeeding, check out some of these organisations below:
The Breastfeeding Network - http://www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/
Association of Breastfeeding Mothers - https://abm.me.uk/
La Leche League GB - https://www.laleche.org.uk/