Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Nursing Bras: Underwire vs. Soft Cup

     The age old question for nursing mothers is "to wire or not to wire".  Most Lactation Consultants agree that wires are not healthy for the nursing breasts.  In fact, most wires are not healthy for any woman's breasts.  Wires in nursing mothers can cause plugged milk ducts which can lead to breast infection (mastitis).  Mastitis can lead to abscess and early weaning.  Why are wires not good other women?  Most women wear ill-fitting bras which when removed leave an ugly uncomfortable red mark where the wire was.  This is your first clue that the bra is unhealthy for your breasts.  Even if you are not nursing, this can cause or aggravate cysts.
     So how do you get a bra that lifts without a wire?  Not all soft cup bras are created equal.  Just because you tried one soft cup bra that made your boobs droop, doesn't mean that none of them will work.  Every style of bra is not made for every woman.  If you are a perky B, C, or even D cup, you have it pretty easy in finding a soft cup that supports you.  Lightweight styles will work for most B and C cups, but once you get to D, you need to take stock of your breasts.  If they sag, you need more support!  If you are a pendulous D or any DD cup, you will need a bra that offers under support in the form of a wide band, molded cup or side seam support like the Amamante Smooth and Shape Nursing Bra, Bravado BodySilk Nursing Bra, the Bravado Double Plus nursing bra or the Bravado Sublime Nursing Bra.  For F, G and H cup moms, you should go with Fancee Free's 94305 or the Bravado Sublime.  Once you are in an I, J, K, L or M cup, your options are limited.  (Yes, there are cup sizes larger than DDD, but we'll talk about that in another blog.)  Previously, the best option for the best price was the Fancee Free 94305. It has the structure you need as well as a foam under-support that lifts without a wire.  Now, Elila offers a bra that offers similar support with a lower frame under the arms and fully adjustable straps, the Elila 1613.  The Fancee Free bra is perfect for the fuller bust size unless you are petite as the padded shoulder straps work great for supporting the weight of the breasts, but do not allow for enough adjustment for petite mothers.  If you are petite or prefer the lower frame, you should go with the Elila bra over the Fancee Free. 
     Still not convinced?  I do have a few clients who won't give up their wire.  If you are a B-F, the main wire bra I recommend is the QT Foundations Nunderwire since the wire is removable so mom can wear it for date night, but take it out for around the house.

Here's to an informed decision,
Tanya

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