Do I Really Need That Nursing Bra? Regular Bra vs. Nursing Bra (Wire vs. Wire Free)

Sometime during each of my (3) pregnancies, there always came that time when my boobs would grow to the next cup size, or two, and I would have to make the decision on what kind of new bra to buy. All these questions were constantly running through my mind. I tend to over analyze almost everything. Do I buy a regular, since I really do not need the nursing one yet? Do I go ahead and buy the nursing bra, because I will need it in a few more months. Do I really even need the nursing bra at all? Can’t I just breastfeed with a regular bra? If I do buy a nursing bra I should probably get the one with wires because the wire free nursing bra probably won’t be able to hold up my heavy boobs. Or can it? What do I do??!! Well, after my 3rd son and breastfeeding all of them for different lengths of time, I finally decided which bra worked the best for me.

With my 1st son, I was blessed to be able to stay home with him for his first 2 years of life. I breastfed him for 6 months. I made my regular bra work. With only one income, money was a little tight, so I did not make the effort to budget in a nursing bra. It was just easier to deal with what I had. We stayed home most of the time, except for the weekly errands run. So it was easy just to lift my shirt and bra and feed away. I did not even buy any nursing tops. I was new to the whole breastfeeding thing and I never really thought about how uncomfortable and hard I was making it on myself by not investing in a nursing bra or nursing tops. Looking back, I wish I would have. It was very uncomfortable to raise my shirt and have all my belly hanging out and even more so to pull my regular bra, with a wire, over my boob. Even at home!!

With my 2nd son, I had to return to work when my baby was only 6 weeks old. Thankfully, my Mom was able to keep him for until he was 7 months old. Then he was kept by an older lady that my husband and his family had known for years from church. I only breastfed him until he was 4 months old. Since I had to pump at work and because I learned from my first go around, I did invest in a nursing bra. But, I was still too stubborn to invest in any nursing tops. I just wore a tank top under all of my regular tops. Our dress code was very relaxed, like T-shirts and jeans. With the nursing bra alone, I was much more comfortable when nursing and pumping.

By the time my 3rd son came along, I decided that I was going to definitely invest in a nursing bra and nursing tops. I had a different job, so I had a dressier dress code. I did have to return to work when baby was 6 weeks old. This time, thankfully, my sister is able to keep him. He is almost 10 months old and I still breastfeed him. I only pumped at work until he was 6 months old. I send formula and baby food to my sister’s for him and I breastfeed when we are together. I even invested in a hands free bra so I could double pump at work with ease. Great investments!!

Regular bra’s do not have the give and flexibility that you need when breastfeeding and or pumping. While they may save some money, you may sacrifice comfort and enjoyment of breastfeeding baby. Nursing bras are a great investment. Even if you only use them for a short time, they are so worth it. I have used a nursing bra with a wire and without. I loved the nursing bra with the wire, until the wires broke in several different places. They provide the support that my milk filled boobs need, but after so many times of flap down and flap up, somehow caused the wires to break. I’m still not for sure how this happens. Just to make it last a little longer, I pulled the broken under-wires out and it still supported nicely and still worked great. Then, the plastic clip broke, so the flap on that boob could not stay clipped closed. So I used safety pins to hold that side up. After 2 days of this, I finally broke down and invested in another nursing bra. This time one without a wire. I’m going to be honest. I do not love it. It does not support very well, and I am constantly pulling my boobs up in the front and pulling my back strap down. There is a reason big boobs need wires. Even more so, when they are filled with milk!

So my conclusion is that nursing bras, with a wire, are the absolute way to go!! Just make sure that you invest in at least 3. This is a good rule of thumb with any bra, actually. One to wear, one to wash, and one to rest. Even if you do not plan to breastfeed very long, they are worth the investment. You can sell them once you’re done, if they are still in good shape.

What about you? What is your bra story and which do you prefer?

What’s in Your Pump Bag?

I breastfed all 3 of my boys, but I only pumped with my last 2. I was very blessed to be able to stay home with my first baby for 2 years, before returning to work. With my last 2, I returned to work after my 6 week maternity leave. During the next few months for each of my babies, I pumped at work twice a day. This go around, I seemed to have it all together! I purchased a great pump bag that was roomy enough to fit everything I needed plus some! Ladies, let me tell ya, it really is all about the bag when it comes to pumping!! I purchased the Medela Pump In Style Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump with Tote. Which I absolutely loved!! The double pump saved so much time! But that tote was not quite roomy enough for me and what I needed to carry. I did not want to have to carry a purse and a pump bag to work every day. So I found and purchased the Terra – Jay Elle by J.L. Childress Breast Pump Bag 6-Piece Set. I fell in love with that bag from the moment I opened the package it came in!! I was so excited, I switched bags right away and filled each pocket with everything I needed to carry as a pump bag and purse. The front has a small zipper pocket, just big enough for me to put my credit/membership card book in, as well as my car keys. The back has a long zipper pocket for me to carry my tablet and planner, wallet and checkbook. One side unzips to easy access my double pump motor. Inside the bag is a divider in the center where, on one side, the side with the easy access side zipper for my double pump motor is, and the other side is where I put both of my nursing covers, one is an apron like cover and the other is an infinity nursing cover that can also be used as a scarf, high chair/shopping cart cover, and/or blanket. I also kept a mesh bag that contained a package of extra membranes, extra boob pads, and my baggy with my tubing. On this side, I also kept my double pumping/hands free bra and breast milk collection bottles, I usually carried (2) to (4), and my wet bag. Also on the inside, is a medium sized zipper pocket where I kept breast milk storage bags, a pen pocket where I kept my Sharpie, a small little clear pocket, where I suppose you could slide in a name card, and 2 nice sized pockets. In one of those pockets, I kept Medela wipes. In the other pocket I kept a battery pack, a car adapter, and a wall plug in so no matter where I was I had a power source for my pump. I also kept extra batteries in that pocket as well. My pump bag also came with a 4 way divided cooler bag, a mesh bag, and a wet bag. It also came with a dry cloth and a jay elle C.O.D.E. Handbook.  I kept my breast shields/connectors in the wet bag. I love being organized and this bag made pumping just that!

What’s in your bag?