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Exercising when breastfeeding definitely has its challenges, especially from the beginning, when your breasts fill up with milk quickly. Investing in a nursing sports bra that wears comfortably while allowing you to feed your baby easily will make your life much easier.
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When I first started exercising after having a baby, I just thought that a regular sports bra will do. It’s only for a short time, right? So I squeezed my engorged boobs into a few size smaller bra.
Hell of a lot of pain.
Once I realized there is no easy way to nurse my baby apart from taking it off (ever tried taking off a sports bra that is too small when you are all sweaty? Not an easy task, believe me 🙂
Nooo way I will be wearing this again.
Luckily, comfortable nursing sports bras do exist, and there is actually plenty of great ones to choose from!
Will breastfeeding sports bra decrease my milk supply?
If you choose the right size and fit, sports bra itself doesn’t have any negative effect on your milk. That being said, you should be very careful when fitting your nursing sports bra.
“If a breastfeeding mom wears tight clothes that clog up her breasts, this can have a negative impact on milk supply,” says lactation consultant Leigh Anne O´Connor.
An article on How To Adult further noted that squeezing your boobs into a bra that is too tight can block your milk flow as it compresses your breasts too much. This can lead to tp decreased milk supply as your body thinks more milk isn’t needed.
On top of that, a tight-fitting bra can potentially lead to other problems like plugged milk ducts and infections.
How to pick the best sports bra for nursing
Firstly, in order to find your ideal workout bra, you need to decide how much support you’ll need. Are you planning on low impact home workouts or are you more of a running lover? What bra cup size are you?
These are the most important factors you should focus on when choosing a nursing sports bra:
- type of activity – the more vertical movement you do, the higher the support you’ll need. Sports bras are usually available with three levels of support: low, medium and high support for use in the following activities:
LOW impact (walking, yoga, strenght training)
MEDIUM impact (moderate hiking or cycling)
HIGH impact (running, aerobics)
If you plan on running or performing a cardio workout that involves jumping (like aerobics), you better opt for a high impact sports bra that will decrease the pain of bouncing.
- the cup and band size – your cup size is probably already a lot bigger, so consider a larger cup size than your “usual”. Not only it will be much more comfortable when your boobs fill up. You will also need some extra room for nursing pads.
Larger breasts need higher support with thicker straps as they bounce and move more when you are active. Look for features like padded straps, encapsulating cups or wide underbust band.
Wearing a bra that fits is super important (not only during breastfeeding)! Trying to squeeze your boobs into a bra that’s too small can cause all sorts of problems from feeling discomfort to more serious issues like breast infection or rashes.
Make sure the cups fit smoothly across your breasts – no bulging, creases or digging into your skin.
Also, ensure the band is fitted correctly. You should be able to effortlessly slip two fingers underneath it.
Breathable, moisture-wicking fabric that moves sweat away from your skin and keeps you comfortable. Although standard cotton may seem better choice at first glance, materials like nylon or spandex will provide you more comfort when you start to sweat.
Or, if you really prefer natural materials, look for a bra made from a fabric blend with bamboo.
Bamboo fabric is odor resistant, regulates body temperature (to keep you cool when you workout) and has natural moisture-wicking properties.
It actually absorbs perspiration three to four times more than cotton!
4. Breastfeeding friendly
A good nursing sports bra should have easy drop-down cups with clips that allow the front panel to fold down for easy access while still supporting your breasts. Bonus points if they are easy to snap and unsnap with one hand!
Top 3 tips for a nursing sports bra
Athena nursing sports bra in botanic blue – $62.00
from: Love and Fit
Love&Fit; is an brand focused on active, breastfeeding moms . Their nursing bra collection is just amazing – they make beatiful, yet functional bras that have this nice, feminine look to them.
This piece of actiwear has just about everything you want to look for when buying a sports bra for nursing.
Easy access nursing clips, adjustable band, and straps for extra comfort. What’s great about the adjustable back is that you can switch between a firm and more relaxed fit depending on your workout intensity. Extra coverage on the top and the sides is exactly what you need to stay all tucked in! Goodbye rolls and bulges!
Plus, if you are a larger bust active mama, this nursing sports bra is a must-have for you.
Now you can get instant $5 off your purchase when you enter code EVA-LF5 at the checkout!
Cons: It can seem a bit pricey, but considering the superior quality, fit and finish, it could be one of your best investments. And let’s face it – having your girls in a bra that fits and feels just perfectly is priceless.
B.D.A Bra – $36.95
from: Belly Bandit
Belly Bandit claims this is “a perfect anytime bra” and I have to say they are so right!
Although it’s not a sports bra as such, I’ve picked it because I think it’s great for those light home workouts. I wear these bra styles a lot as they are super comfy and easy to feed your baby in without playing around with snaps. The simple slide-over design allows you to breastfeed easily and holds nursing pads in place.
This bra is amazingly comfortable thanks to seamless and wireless design with a wide band for a secure fit. Doubles as a sleep bra, too!
Cons: This type of bra is suitable for smaller bust, as it provides only light support.
The perfect light to medium support non-padded bra that stretches enough to fit multiple cup sizes. Great for pregnant and breastfeeding moms that experience breast size fluctuations.
Easy access for feeding thanks to clip-down cups, wide elastic chest band and adjustable straps provide a supportive and comfortable fit.
This is one of those nursing sports bras you’ll want to wear every day! Super soft, breathable fabric that wicks moisture away while working out will keep you dry and comfortable while exercising.
Most suitable for low impact activities like yoga, pilates or walking with ideal amount of support without digging into your skin or leaving itchy red marks.
Cons: although super comfy for all cup sizes, it would probably not provide enough support for bigger breasts during the workout.
Let’s get moving!
If you are serious about exercising after having a baby, do your ladies a favor and invest in one or two (ideally) nursing sports bras that are comfortable and provide enough support during your favorite activities. I’ve tried working out in a regular nursing bra as well as in a classic sports bra and believe me, it is far from comfortable!
There are many styles available suitable for just about every budget. Now that you know what features to look for, just make sure you follow the measuring instructions precisely.
What is your favorite nursing bra that you cannot live without? I would love to know!