4.20.2007

It It Too Much To Ask For a Little Support... In a Pretty Shade of Pink?

I am going to cover a topic today that I have never read about on any blog, in any magazine or in any medical journal... nursing bras. I mean, come on! They stink. They are ugly and they look like something my Grandmother wore in 1932. They look like the prototype that first came out for bras (when the first man thought it would be beneficial if women had something to strap her twins down so he wouldn't have to walk around excited by her body all day long... men are so selfish.)

We have such an array of bras to chose from when we are not nursing. We have little bras, we have big bras, we have red, green and blue bras. There are bras that give you cleavage and there are bras that allow you to run without knocking yourself out. We have back support bras, and front support bras. There are water bras, push-up bras, separate and lift bras, and "has she gotten a boob job?" bras. We have bras with lace, bras with flowers and bras with sports' team logos on them. There are bras for everyday use and bras that are meant to only be worn for an hour and then lay on the floor. We have bras we wear for special occasions, and bras we wear hoping for a special occasion. There are even bras that can apparently perform miracles... but I have not found one nice nursing bra!

Buying a bra should be an Olympic event. It takes some people years to find one that fits right and does not pinch, bite, crowd, harness or cause pain. First though, you need to have a complete stranger who makes minimum wage in the lingerie department at Nordstrom's feel you up and measure you. Honestly, a man would never be caught DEAD having his personals measured and sized up by a stranger... unless it was a female and she was more attractive than Shamu that is.

Who really likes bras? I mean, I know WHY we wear them (visions of National Geographic women haunt my mind when I think of actually going braless... I personally do not want my boobies touching my belly button.) but do we ENJOY wearing them? I vote no. I take very good care of my bras. I hand wash them (OK, I only hand wash the "gonna get me lucky-which will possibly lead to pregnancy-stupid bra!) ones and the others get tossed in the washing machine... but I do air dry them all so that they do not lose their shape. I fold them and place them delicately in my drawer (OK, I wad them up and toss them in the sock drawer-only to curse and scream when I cannot find the one black bra that goes with that one black top that I have that I want to wear today because I am feeling a little frisky and I want my husband to notice my cleavage and not my cellulite.) But still...

The last few days I have been on a mission to find a few nursing bras. I have decided that the world is a cruel cruel place. Once a woman goes through 9 months of pregnancy... and yes, I know pregnancy is supposed to be a beautiful thing, but let's be honest with ourselves shall we? Pregnancy makes women look just odd. My husband has learned to avert his eyes when I walk naked from the bathroom to the closet everyday because if I catch him even glance at me it will send me into crying fits of "Don't look at me!" I compared myself to a naked sea lion the other day and my sister had to agree. Nice. But anyway... pregnancy is not a great body image builder, and then you go through birth and are left with a deflated balloon for a tummy and torpedoes for boobs and you don't know what to make of yourself. The sympathetic makers of nursing bras have obviously taken all of this into consideration and made an arrangement of the ugliest, most uncomfortable nursing bras for a woman to chose from... I bet male politicians are behind this obvious attempt to bring women down. First they screw us with the no equal pay thing, and now nursing bras. Sheesh!

I purchased a nursing bra the other day at a baby store and decided to wear it yesterday, as my regular bras have been screaming for some relief from my pregnancy induced breast augmentation. When I put it on I thought it felt rather snug, but figured I would just have to stretch it out. I have this same belief with jeans... if I just do enough squats and lunges after I put them on, surely they will loosen up around my rear. Anyway, after a couple of hours I had to take the nursing bra off. I felt defeated. I am normally a 36 C and so I was buying a 36 D for nursing-which has been my routine for the last 2 kids. My first born, I went from a perky 34 B to a saggy 36 C... life is just not fair. This bra was so tight that I started scanning the Internet for a 36DD! My husband was excited (I don't know why... it is not like he is going to be able to-WHATEVER!) I was very sad because once you go into DD's, the pretty factor is out the window for bras. I was looking at a future of Cross-Your-Heart support with 4 inch thick straps, and 17 clasps in the back. *Big Sigh*

I figured I needed to return the bra I had purchased and started to fold it up and put it back in the original packaging... and what do I see? I had accidentally brought home a 36 B! I was not growing to enormous proportions at all! I was just going blind in the nursing bra aisle at the baby surplus store! What a relief!

I called my sister right away to tell her the good news... that I was able to withstand a couple of hours with only B cup boobies! Yes, my girls were relieved when I took off the bra and I felt like Hilary Swank in "Boys Don't Cry" with an ace bandage wrapped tightly around me... but I had stuffed these suckers into a B cup and survived! So I say BRING ON LABOR! I am no longer afraid! I stuffed my C's into a B for a time and came out rejuvenated! It is the little things in life, or in my case, the larger... but not so large that I have to go to DD's, that make me smile.

By the way, if any of you have found the perfect nursing bra-please let me know. I am looking for one that does not have any of those stupid flowers all over it (that will ultimately show through when I wear a white shirt) and no lace. I am partial to the ones they probably hand out to women inmates-white or beige and plain. Nothing that will excite my husband too much-now, that is a tall order!

13 comments:

Suburban Oblivion said...

I used these and liked them, although the ones at Motherhood Maternity were ok too.

http://www3.jcpenney.com/jcp/Products.aspx?DeptID=40379&CatID=40442&CatTyp=LFS&ItemTyp=C&GrpTyp=PRD&ItemID=0fc724f&ProdSeq=5&Cat=underwire&Dep=Lingerie&PCat=Maternity&PCatID=40385&RefPage=ProductList&Sale=&ProdCount=7&RecPtr=&ShowMenu=&TTYP=&ShopBy=0&RefPageName=CategoryAll.aspx&RefCatID=40385&RefDeptID=40379&Page=1&CmCatId=40379|40385|40442

Dana said...

Don't you wish Victoria's Secret made nursing bras?

Cris said...

Dana... yes! you would think that V.S's would make nursing bras---seeing as it is their bras and panties that cause most pregnancies in the world. I need to write a letter...

SO... thanks for the link-and they were on sale! I ordered one-look out world, here I come in my grandma nursing bra!

Michelle said...

I like the Medela seamless softcup (available in black or white): http://www.breastfeed-essentials.com/bras.html

I used their guide to measure for fit and it worked (everybody does it differently).

But for 2 months or so after giving birth I am HUGE (like an F cup, I swear), and I have some beat up, ugly white ones with the 4 clasps in the back and the extra wide shoulder straps to get me through that time. My husband thinks it's GREAT, especially if the baby is taking an extra long nap and then they get really firm. Unfortunately, my chest becomes a no-touch zone...or I begin spraying like a garden hose...is this TMI???

Shae said...

Goddess makes some good bras.

Are there any nursing bra specialty shops in your area? You could call La Leche League and ask.

We have a great boutique at the hospital where I had my babies.

Unfortunately, I also get enormous (F or G) so there's still not a huge selection. But I am usually ecstatic when I get small enough for a DD.

My husband can hardly keep his hands off of me right after the baby comes. And all I want to do is yell and slap him.

Kasia said...

OK - not had any kids, so I don't know nothing about no nursing bras...

...I have to say Michelle's comment was a revelation...

...but anyway. I have a terrible time finding bras, because I'm barrel-chested and small-boobed (just TRY finding a 40B or 42A at Target - I DARE you). So I found a really good specialty bra shop near my house. They do have someone fit you, but it was an elderly lady and she didn't feel me up or measure me - she just looked, brought in a few bras, and we went from there.

If you can believe it, I wound up buying prosthetic-friendly bras - they have a little sleeve to slip in a prosthesis for women who have had a mastectomy. The place isn't cheap - no specialty store is - but for something like bras, where quite frankly I need to be comfortable, I think it's worth it to go scout out the specialists.

Anonymous said...

If you don't mind the sport bra style, there's the Bravado brand nursing bra. They do come in solids as well as the leopard print and the flowers.

There's a Medela one that I think is meant as a sleeping bra for when you're engorged with milk, but I used it all day. It also slips on overhead like a sports bra. I bought mine from JCPenney's and it was a lot cheaper than a lot of the heavily constructed specialty nursing bras.

I've nursed four babies and have tried different brands every time. None of them were really ideal. Just don't get the one with the silly educational picture patterns for the baby to look at printed on the bra!

Shauna said...

I was just lamenting about nursing bras last night when I found that one of mine had gotten trashed in the laundry. I really don't want to buy another to replace this one, but that means I'll need to be more on top of laundry, which just hasn't been happening lately...

I hate nursing bras. They're so ugly and devoid of anything remotely feminine. Thank goodness they're cheap. (I get mine from motherhood.com)

Cris said...

Kasia... look at all of the wonderful things you are learning on my blog! haha!

Cris said...

Michelle... you are not new here-you should know that I am the QUEEN of TMI! :) A size "F"? I would want to see that! Not really, but you know what I mean

Toni said...

Back in Feb- I went and got measured- thought i was a DD- nope DDD or F, like that's any better! The industrial cables they used to make this torture device is killing me by the end of the day- but the girls look FABULOUS! That's all that matters, right?

Laura The Crazy Mama said...

My sis bought a sports bra type at motherhood and put it on for during labor, which was a smart idea, she was able to nurse the baby right away and take pictures and get the icky gown off right away, not suffer the naked embarassment thingy, and still look halfway decent for the pictures (It just looked like she was wearing a tank-top). My sis in law copied her and did the same thing a couple of months later. They both looked so nice that I can't wait to try that trick! My sis in law bought the same black sports bra type that my sis did. I know they don't offer superduper support, but the sporty kind of bra helps to make you feel more normal and not so grandma-y. Also, when you're growing and shrinking so much in the first few weeks, the bra kind of moves with you. The set sizes with all the support don't really take growing and shrinkage as well. IMHO, those have been the best ones for me. I've gotten them at target and at motherhood maternity, they are both fine. I do like getting them a little on the smaller side because they are still comfy but don't sag when I'm shrinky-er.

Suzanne said...

I still say...you are too funny!
Glad you found one! :)