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November 11, 2014

Mama Must-Have: A solid nursing bra (or two, or three!) #review

Two months ago, we welcomed our second daughter into the world. The past 8 weeks have been somewhat of a wonderful whirlwind: exciting, exhausting, blissful, stressful and well, hormonal, to say the least. It's taken weeks to feel somewhat normal again, and you'd think I'd remember that, since I've gone through this before. Well, I didn't -- and it's true, every pregnancy, delivery and recovery is different.

There are very few things that new moms or postpartum moms need; of course, we need support, company, reassurance and food and water, but in terms of tangible THINGS, the list is small. For moms that are planning on breastfeeding or pumping, though, here's what you absolutely do NEED -- a nursing bra. And not just any nursing bra, a solid, comfortable, easy to wear nursing bra. Or two. Or three. (For moms who have nursing bras from a previous pregnancy, tip: try them on. I thought I was well equipped. Wrong. None fit properly.)

Soon after having Isabelle, I went to a local boutique and bought my first-- and favourite-- nursing bra. At the time, the brand Bella Materna meant nothing to me. I bought a few different brands, but always favoured this one, black bra and had to do laundry a couple times a week so it was always clean. Fast forward a couple of years and it was time to buy nursing bras again. I went back to my trusty favourite and actually tried on a few others from the collection. I bought a few...well, a bunch. I only do laundry once a week, so I wanted to make sure I always had a bra at my disposal. While I like some styles more than others, each is supportive, comfortable, affordable and even decent looking! Note: none of these models are me. Ha, ha.

Comfort Shape Nursing Bra: This is the first bra I bought, years ago. I bought two more this year. This fabric is stretchy and soft and the clips are easy to open and shut. Still my fave!

Smooth Wirefree Nursing Bra: This bra reminded me of a ballerina. It's a tighter fabric, yet still soft. If you're ordering this one, aim for a size up. I like the fact it's wirefree, but still has shape and support under the breast.
Anytime Nursing Bra: I love the comfort of this one, although I rarely wear it outside of the house because I find it's not as supportive as some of the others. That said, when I'm staying home, it's a go-to. It's super easy to wear and nurse because it has no clips -- just pull open and feed. I enjoy wearing this one as a sleep bra, too.

Nursing Sports Bra: Breastfeeding moms who exercise need a bra that has even MORE support, yet easy access. The fabric of this bra is super taut, offering support so you can jump, dance and run. The elastic around the back is larger and more supportive, too.

Sexy T-Shirt Nursing Bra: Va-va-voom! I ordered this bra because I've never thought of having a sexy nursing bra. I've also never worn a nursing bra with underwire. I don't find this one as comfortable as the rest for long-time wear, BUT, if you're going out and want extra lift with support and ease to feed, this is your pick. I love the detail along the cup line and see the little rings between the cups? Those are called Infinity Rings and transform the bra from a nursing bra to a regular wear bra after you've finished breastfeeding.

It's true. I own all these bras. Most I purchased myself, although I did receive two for review. It's a bit of an investment, but, I figure I'm going to be wearing these for about a year (I hope), so it's important to have well-structured under-garments.

Here are some other things to know about Bella Materna: you can order easily online, which I love. Use the simple size chart to get proper measurements. If you receive your order and it doesn't fit, you can easily return. Customize your bras with additional back clips, or infinity clips, as mentioned above. And, opt for a matching panty should you wish. You can also read the many reviews posted online from past-purchasers. There are great tips there.

Breastfeeding is NOT easy. It can be frustrating, tiring and sometimes painful. Having the proper gear and equipment can make this experience so much more positive. It's thanks to companies like Bella Materna for making this journey an enjoyable one for me.

So if there is one thing (or two, or three) that you need, it's a good nursing bra. Treat yourself.


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