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Paula Kashtan

How To Buy: Nursing Bras

Think bra shopping just got a lot more complicated now that you’re nursing? We’ll help make things simple.

Pregnancy may be over, but that doesn’t mean your body is done changing — particularly not your boobs. With milk production and the ensuing (sorry) engorgement, you may find your breasts even _larger _than during pregnancy…at least for a little while. Whether or not you plan to nurse, it still might be a while before you’re back to your old bras.

The key nursing bra features are the unhookable cups, which fold down and allow a hungry baby easy access to your breasts. Look for clasps that are easy to undo with one hand — your other will be busy dealing with a squirming infant. 

Skip the underwire, at least while your breasts are still engorged — anything that pushes on them can lead to clogged ducts. Look instead for soft cups to provide support.

The material should be flexible enough to allow for changing breast size throughout the day — as you pump or nurse, your boobs will naturally shift in shape and volume. You’ll get used to it, we promise. The extra stretch also means you won’t need to invest in new sizes as often.

Nursing tanks are another great option. These have built-in bras with the same unhookable cup features as nursing bras, meaning you can expose your breast while keeping the rest of your body covered. If your breasts are especially large, though, these may not provide enough support.

Tip: if you plan to breastfeed but decide against a nursing bra (some moms find them more trouble than they’re worth), look for a bra that you can pull down below your boob while baby nurses, rather than up and above. While the first option probably feels easier, it can lead to clogged milk ducts. It’s also not great for the shape of your breasts…as if they need _another _strike against them.