When it comes to structured nursing bras, proper fit is essential. I highly suggest going at least once for a proper fitting. I didn't do this with my first. I guessed, and didn't get fitted until I was 10 months postpartum. Let me tell you, I felt like a new woman! What a difference it made to have my girls supported properly.
It is generally suggested by lactation experts that women not use underwire nursing bras due to the risk of blocking a milk duct. If you are a heavier chested individual like myself, you may find this to be impossible. There's just not. enough. support! I like a good, solidly structured bra, and that includes an underwire so the cups don't eventually lose their shape. I've had good luck at Motherhood Maternity, but I caution you to shop in store so that you can actually try the bra on. You need to know how well it fits and how supportive it will be before you buy. If you need a larger size, I suggest calling the store ahead of time to make sure they have your size in stock. Color options may be limited. My personal favorite:
|Full Coverage All Over Lace Nursing Bra|
Sadly it only comes in one color. For those seeking the suggested wireless option, I like these from H & M:
|MAMA Nursing Bra|
I'm sure there are plenty of other nice options, but these are my favorite finds for a momma on a budget.
Now on to nursing pads. I could go into a deep comparison of disposable nursing pads (for the record, Lansinoh brand was my favorite), but to be honest with you, I almost never wear them! I am a big fan of re-usable anything. I'm sure I will post about our cloth diaper journey some day. I would love to claim that it's because I'm environmentally responsible, but it's mostly a lazy desire to never have to run out to get anything in an emergency. I can always just throw them in the wash if I run low.
I bought a box of the Nuk Reusable Nursing Pads with my first baby, mostly because they were cheap. They were just alright. Nice and soft, but very visible through even a thick bra, and they leaked at night. I briefly switched back to disposable pads while I searched for the best ones for me. Then I heard about Bamboobies. They got rave reviews, so I had to try them out! I was a little hesitant when I saw the price, but trusted to great reviews and shelled out for a set. Aaanndd....I just was not impressed. They really do hide well under even very thin bras, but otherwise were no better than the much cheaper Nuks.
Since then I've trialed a few different types with blah results, and even tried sewing my own (even more blah results!), until I went to our local WIC office (check out my recipe posts for WIC approved foods!). They gave me a sample pack of these Bravado nursing pads, and the rest is history!
They are soft! They are huge! They are absorbant! Basically they are little circles of heaven for your boobies. Mine have since turned pink from accidentally washing them with my daughters clothes, but they are holding up well.
Those are a few of my favorite bras and pads! Check in again for Part 3: Pumping Essentials.
Feel free to comment or post any questions.
(All opinions are my own. I do not receive any compensation for product endorsments.)