Do I have to wear a bra while breastfeeding?

Not at all.

If you usually go braless and don’t want to wear a bra while breastfeeding, you don’t have to at all.

But, there are many good reasons to wear a bra while breastfeeding.

Hear me out:

What are the benefits of wearing a bra while breastfeeding?

  • For support

Especially in the first few months of breastfeeding, your breasts go up and down in size like crazy. They are often engorged and heavy with milk. A  bra can support all this extra weight and help prevent sagging later on.

Read: The 5 most supportive wireless nursing bras for large breasts

  • For comfort

If you have to lug around your heavier, larger breasts plus a growing baby, it’s a matter of time before you start feeling the pull in your back and shoulder muscles. If you are wearing a bra, at least it can help hold your breasts up and take the burden off your muscles. Wearing a comfy soft bra also helps protect your nipples and sensitive breasts from the rougher material of your top.

  • To prevent milk leaks

There is nothing more awkward than to be talking to someone and see their eyes drift downwards to see 2 white milk patches spreading out on your shirt like an egg that has just been cracked open. And no, wearing a thicker top isn’t usually enough. Wearing double or triple layers might do it but an easier way would be to wear a padded bra or an unpadded one with nursing pads.

OK, fair enough you say. I’ll wear a bra. But can I wear my usual bra?

Of course you can! but you won’t want to.

Why can’t I wear my regular bra while breastfeeding?

  • Your breasts will change in size

Even during pregnancy, you’ll probably find your breasts growing in size. After the delivery, your breasts grow even bigger as your body start producing precious breast milk. Then they yo-yo in size as you and your baby get used to each other’s routines.

Regular bras are not stretchy and if they have underwires, are brutally unforgiving with any increase in breast size.

  • Your breasts and nipples are more sensitive

Even the softest cashmere top can chaff your nipples and irritate your skin during those first few weeks post-delivery. Everything aches, especially your breasts. And your nipples will be so sensitive from baby latching on at least 12 times a day.

Do you really want to wear your lacy regular bra? Even the softest regular bra can be too rough.

  • To prevent complications

Regular bras can be restrictive and the rigid underwires easily cause clogged ducts. This can lead to mastitis (breast inflammation) and reduced breast milk production.

Trust me, you don’t want any of these complications.

  • You will be an emotional mess

After the initial high of new motherhood, my hormones crashed on day 3. Hormonal imbalances, chronic sleep deprivation and overwhelm attacked me from all sides. It took me months to find my feet.

The last thing you need is to feel unnecessary discomfort. Why wear a regular bra that you have to squeeze into when you can wear something so much better?

Which leads me to:

Do I have to wear a nursing bra while breastfeeding?

You don’t have to. But this is one investment you won’t regret.

If you’re not sure what the difference is between a regular bra and a nursing bra, read this easy comparison.

Nursing bras are the most comfortable bras I have ever worn. In fact, I don’t think I will go back to wearing regular bras again even after I’m done with breastfeeding. My boobs have been spoilt.

What are the benefits of nursing bras while breastfeeding?

  • Heavenly comfort

Good quality nursing bras are specially designed for breastfeeding moms. They are made of amazingly soft stretchy material that expands and contracts with your fluctuating breast size.

Most of them are lined (usually with soft cotton) to prevent your achy nipples from chafing.

  • Convenience

All nursing bras allow you to breastfeed at the drop of a hat either via quick drop-down cups or pull-aside flaps.

When you have a crying baby in one hand, the last thing you  need is to be fiddling around with a regular bra to free your breasts.

If you intend to breastfeed in public, nursing bras are your best bet for discreet nursing.

  • Superior support

Most nursing bras are wireless but come with features like double layers, knitted in zones, wide straps and under-bust band to lift and support your heavier breasts.

Some regular bras might be wireless but they usually don’t have these supportive features.

Some nursing bras have flexi-wires that are more flexible than the usual rigid underwires.

Read: The 9 best underwire nursing bras that don’t cause clogged ducts

To wrap up

You absolutely don’t have to wear a bra while breastfeeding. But there are loads of benefits to wearing a bra. And there are even more benefits to wearing a nursing bra.

Read my simple guide on how to choose the right nursing bra for you.

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3 thoughts on “Do I have to wear a bra while breastfeeding?”

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  3. Pingback: Can I wear a strapless bra while breastfeeding? - The Sensual Mom

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