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Sweet Pea Births

Chandler, Arizona

Sweet Pea Births

...celebrating every swee​t pea their birth

Blog

In Their Own Words: Courtney

Posted on August 26, 2016 at 7:08 AM Comments comments (0)
"In Their Own Words" is a blog series we share to bring you "real life" experiences from other mothers and their families.  Would you like to share your story? Please email me at krystyna{at}sweetpeabirths{dot}com to get started.

Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson

Today we are featuring a Q&A we did with one of our pumping and working-out-of-the-home mothers. She shares her insight gained from pumping for both of her sweet peas, for a combined total of 34 months...and counting.

What was your vision of what pumping at work was going to entail?
I thought I knew what pumping at work was going to be like. I thought it would be a nice break in my day to sit and think about my baby. It was inconvenient and awkward to constantly explain myself. I had read all these books about breastfeeding, gone to support groups, talked to a Lactation consultant, talked to friends, and when it came down to it, I still had to find my own way. 

All the knowledge helped, but each relationship and situation is unique. I knew it was going to be work, and I knew that I could do it. I didn't realize how long I would be doing it. 2 years. I pumped at work for nearly 2 years.

I think that the most important step of the journey was making the commitment and educating myself. The most important part of making that successful was being surrounded by people that supported that commitment, and talking about it.

What was the reality?
At first, I was lucky. I worked with a group of women who were extremely supportive, including my best friend, who was still pumping for her son, 7 months older than my daughter. We brought in a couch, and ate lunch one handed, pumping side by side, while chatting with our colleagues, who breastfed their children. This gave me confidence that I didn't realize I would need later. Everything was normal.

What I didn't count on was leaving that job and starting over at a new school. I knew that I would pump when I went back to work, but I never really thought about how long I would do it. My daughter was 9 months old when I started at my new school. Though still supportive, there was no couch and no camaraderie. I was isolated and lonely. At about 12 months, I was starting to hate it. I would pump in my car, but hooking up with the stupid hands-free bra in a car that had been sitting in the sun all day while trying not to expose myself to passers-by. What a sweaty, frustrating ordeal. But! I kept doing it until she was nearly 2, sometimes cursing about it, but I did it.

Who did you have to talk to to make it happen?
Empowered by the ease of my first experience with pumping at work, in my new school, I knew what I was entitled too, but most of all, I was open about talking to people about pumping and breastfeeding, especially  the”extended” relationship. I wrote a very professional, informed, and informative email that sent to the entire Administrative team at the high school where I teach. My principal thanked me for the information that I provided and we even chatted for awhile about the inequity of motherhood in the workplace and how we both hope to see it change in our lifetime. As a single guy, he had never thought about it. I developed a view of myself as an advocate and found ways to normalize and  remove the stigma of  breastfeeding and pumping at work for an extended time. The more I talked about it frankly with those around me, the less I got a reaction; which I think is awesome! That's normalizing, right? Now that I am pumping for my 2nd child, my co-workers don’t bat an eyelash when I say, “I'll be back in 20. Going to make lunch for my son.”

What kind of provision did your employer make; and was it easy, or did you have to push hard?
I took the lead on advocating for myself in the workplace. I took the attitude of, “If I walk in like I own the place, no one will question me.” When I wrote my email to my administrators and had follow up conversations, I made sure to be informed and provide links to state and federal information, guidelines, and statutes that supported me. I informed my administrators of what was legally expected of them and what I was entitled to. I also provided them with my pumping schedule, and the location that I planned to pump. It was more like, “this is what I’m doing, and this is why you have to let me.” It wasn’t that I expected backlash. I wanted to be clear and straightforward.
My department head was very accommodating in scheduling my prep period for a time that was best for me to space out my pumping. I believe that all of this seemed “easy” because I was well informed and took the role of educating and informing my workplace, advocating for myself, and for other mothers in the future. I didn’t expect them to know what to do, and I didn’t expect anyone to change they way they went about their day to accommodate my needs. My commitment to my child would come first if there were any issues, but there were not.

What kind of support did your partner provide that was helpful?
My partner is extremely supportive, but didn’t quite get why I feel dejected when he would tell me “just pump” when I was trying to schedule my life around feeding my baby. We talked about it, and I explained rather than getting frustrated and shutting down. I would describe how frustrating it was to try to hook up to my pump in the car, in the heat, with a hands-free bra, and a nursing cover, or how I couldn’t do “x” because it was too close to feeding time, or wouldn’t allow me time to feed... and then I ran across an ad for the Freemie on Facebook! He bought me a set. I loved it. Then I complained that I had to wash them every day, and he bought me a second set, so I didn’t have to wash them every day. Best. Husband. Ever.

How much time should a mom plan for each pumping session? Any tips for better/easier letdown?
I usually pump for about 15 minutes. If I reflect on how I got to that, I started by pumping until I wasn’t ejecting any more milk. That would usually take about 20-25 minutes, which was about the length of my commute to work. I discovered that I was pumping more than the baby was eating, I would end up engorged on the weekends. I cut down to 15 minutes and now I end up about even with what baby consumes while I am gone.
To trigger letdown, at first I would just talk about my baby with my colleagues. Especially pumping side-by-side with another momma, let down was not difficult to achieve. Now, I start to let down a few minutes before I start pumping. When I changed schools, it was a little more difficult. I didn’t have that camaraderie any more. On more stressful days, it would take a little longer to trigger letdown. On these days, I sit quietly, turn off distractions, and breathe. Looking at pictures hasn’t worked for me in the past, but closing my eyes and visualizing nursing my baby has helped.

How long did you make the pumping commitment work - how did that match your expectations?
When we decided to breastfeed my husband and I talked about it. I wanted to do at least a year, but thought about continuing the more I learned about extended breastfeeding. Hubby was super supportive of extended breastfeeding, so I made the commitment to nurse as long as my daughter wanted to. I ended up weaning her when I became pregnant. She and I made it 22 months. I am now on month 12 of nursing and pumping for my son. I know that I probably sound like an ad for Freemie, but with Freemie, I don’t see myself stopping until he’s not nursing during the day anymore.

What words of advice would you give to someone who is ready to go back to work and wants to pump for their baby?
Be informed. Inform others. Have a plan. Have a backup plan. Keep perspective. This is for your baby, everybody else can take a number. You are legally protected. Get comfortable saying things like “expressing milk” and “breastfeeding” to complete strangers. They don’t understand euphemisms. I’ve pumped in many places that weren’t schools and I’ve never been told that they couldn’t help me. I hope it was because I was confident and informed. If I were being completely truthful, I smiled inside when I saw someone squirm. I thought to myself, “I’m making them change. This is good.” This is your right and my right to provide for our children. The more we make people uncomfortable, the more comfortable they become and the more “normal” feeding babies breastmilk will be for future generations.

As for the bottle, ask friends to borrow different types of bottles before you spend a fortune. Both of our kids like the Dr. Browns bottles, but that isn’t what we had a full set of. . .
I took twelve weeks off with both of my kids. With my daughter (first born) we tried a bottle with her the week before I went back. This was not soon enough because she wouldn’t take a bottle and I went to my first day back thinking, “my baby isn’t going to eat.” She did, and everything was fine, but I was stressed, which made it harder to pump and made it harder for me to do my job. I think even two weeks out would have been good. 

Don’t be the one to give baby the bottle. Have a partner, friend, or family member do it so the baby will actually try. I had to leave the house to get my daughter to even attempt a bottle. From our experience, don’t wait until they are starving. Giving a crying baby a bottle for the first time didn’t work out for us.

Bottom line? Be confident. Be informed. Inform others. Find your path. Ask for help. Be an advocate.


Thank you to Courtney for sharing her breastfeeding journey today <3 I hope it has touched you and inspired you in some way, and that you will take heart and courage in your own breastfeeding journey.

UPCOMING EVENTS:
Phoenix La Leche League: Live, Latch, Love
As part of the LLL area conference
August 26th, 5-7 PM
Embassy Suites Biltmore
 
La Leche League Conference
August 26-28, 2016
Embassy Suites Biltmore

Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson
Disclaimer: 
The material included in this blog is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog and related videos contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of Birthing From Within or The Bradley Method®. The views contained in this video and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of Birthing From Within, The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

Top 5 Breastfeeding Products

Posted on August 19, 2014 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (0)
I really enjoyed making these videos with Talisha from Modern Mommy Boutique last year.  Since it is Breastfeeding Awareness Month 2014, here is a look at her recommendation for the Top 5 products you need as a new nursing mama.  

If you are in or near Chandler, Arizona, you can pick these up at her store in front of the Chandler Fashion Mall.  If you are out of state, she ships or you can of course, choose your favorite on-line retailer.  

Scroll down to see my 2014 update on food-safe nipple cream.  Enjoy!

For today's video, I asked her to highlight her Top 5 picks for breastfeeding, and we ended up with a bonus in there.  It's a quick video (under 5 minutes)...also did a little picture gallery. 

Enjoy!
 




 : Talisha talked about in the different shapes of nursing pillows. This close-up shows the difference between a U-shaped pillow, and a L-shaped pillow like a Bosom Baby.that Talisha highlights.
Talisha talked about in the different shapes of nursing pillows. This close-up shows the difference between a U-shaped pillow, and a L-shaped pillow like a Bosom Baby.that Talisha highlights.
A note on food-safe nipple cream:  
One of our students is studying to be an aesthetician. She heard a presentation on lanolin.  Besides being marketed as a breast nipple cream, it is also a common ingredient in beauty products.  She learned in the lecture that depending on how the sheep is fed, the lanolin may have carcinogens in it *because* the grass that is fed to the sheep is not guaranteed to be free of pesticides and carcinogens.  And the chemicals that cannot be digested by the sheep is stored in the fat.  A little more on lanolin from PBS:

Lanolin Lanolin is the smelly pale-yellow natural oil found on sheep's wool. As a waste product in wool processing, it's also known as wool oil, wool wax, wool fat, or wool grease. It's a natural water repellant — the function of which, as it's not too hard to guess, is to waterproof the sheep. Lanolin also has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties that protect the sheep's skin from infection. Derived from the animal's oil glands, lanolin is a mixture of wool fat and 25-30% water. Wool fat is a mixture of many different chemical compounds, including cholesterol and the esters derived from 'fatty' acids containing 18 to 26 carbon atoms.

And this excerpt from an article in FORBES:

Lanolin is the oily secretion found in sheep wool...Those sheep are also very likely to have been dipped in insecticides on the farm. These pesticides can accumulate in fat tissue, which researchers worry could affect the breast milk of new mothers.


So between the carcinogen in the fats and the pesticides in the wool, research your lanolin-based nipple creams before you buy!  Or just go with something else, like the Motherlove cream that Talisha has on her Top 5 list.

What would be on your Top 5 List?
Please leave us a comment - it will be moderated and posted. 

More posts about Breastfeeding:
Breastfeeding Cafe Blog Carnival

Breastfeeding Awareness Month

Black Breastfeeding Week

 
Disclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonWe are now enrolling for our Winter Series
The Bradley Method® for New Parents:
December 5, 2014 through February 20, 2015
Classes meet at 6:30 pm

Bradley™ “Next” – full series plus focus on sibling preparation - for returning students only
By request - please contact us for more information
 

For more information or to register, please call us at 602-684-6567 or email us at [email protected]

Planning for Baby - Part 1

Posted on July 12, 2011 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)
Bradley Method® instructor Krystyna Bowman, AAHCC writes about planning for babyWe just had the privilege of attending our first “First Birthday Party” for one of the babies that was born to students from our first Bradley Method® class series.  She was also the first baby born in our career as Bradley Method® instructors - it was so fun to be part of the festivities!

While we were there, one of the other moms from their class mentioned that they were already trying for baby number two.  Which prompted Bruss to suggest that I write a post about things to consider when you are adding to your family.  I would add that this list is probably applicable whether you are thinking about or planning for your first child or additional children.  Thank you to my fellow Bradley® instructors Victoria Calleja, Lisa Pearson and Rachel Davis for helping me round out my list for today!

Money, money, money.
The first and most crucial question is can you afford to have a child, or an additional child, right now given your current financial situation?  I’m not talking about are you and your partner living your dream life yet, or close to what you imagine is perfect.  Sometimes people do that and wait so long that they are unable to have the family they want, even with the myriad of fertility treatments that are available.  I am talking about, can you comfortably support a growing family without having to add an extra job or extra shifts to your current work situation?  A baby is not a short term commitment - they belong to you for a lifetime, and yours will be the exclusive bank account that bankrolls their expenses for at least the first 18-22 years of their life.  Here are some of the costs associated with starting or growing, a family...

Medical Costs of Pregnancy Care:
Most care providers work under a “universal” plan, which means that you pay one fee that includes all your pre-natal care after the pregnancy confirmation visit until the time your baby is delivered.  If your care provider is a traditional OB/GYN, your insurance company will probably cover the fee, no questions asked.  You will probably pay a co-pay for a percentage of that total cost.  The percentage of that cost you will bear depends on the type of insurance coverage you or your partner has.  

If you choose a home birth or birth center birth, you may be paying more out of pocket, although the cost of care is less.  Expenses in this case include midwifery care and/or the care providers at the birth center and delivery. Our midwives also include four postpartum visits in their fee.  Again, depending on which insurance carrier you have and their contract with you or your employer, the cost of non-traditional care may or may not be covered.  In addition, there are co-pays if you opt for or are “supposed to have” blood tests, pregnancy screenings and genetic screening or genetic testing.  You may have costs involved for any ultrasounds - “it depends on your insurance plan”.  

A couple of other “medical” costs to factor in are the cost of pre-natal supplements and doula care.  Pre-natals vary in cost depending on whether you buy name brand, generic or prescription supplements.  There are also a variety of herbal supplements and teas that you may want to consider for use through pregnancy and labor.

We encourage students to budget for a doula based on our great experience with doula care.  Continuous doula care has been shown to have the following potential benefits according to research studies:  reduced stress and anxiety in mother/partner, shorter labor with fewer complications, reduced need for interventions (epidural, vacuum extraction, forceps), reduced C-section rate, increased positive feelings about your birth experience, decreased incidence of postpartum depression, better success with breastfeeding the newborn and a stronger relationship with her partner.  Our experience has been that is well worth the investment, especially if you are planning a hospital birth.

Non-Medical Pregnancy Costs:
How about non-medical costs you might incur before your baby arrives?  You will have to invest in maternity clothes at some point - you can always save money by shopping re-sale stores or doing an exchange with a friend who isn’t pregnant at the moment.

Keeping in mind that mom is growing a whole new person - it is worth evaluating your grocery habits.  Nutritious and whole food for mom, organic when possible, are the best way you can lower the risk of complications with pregnancy and labor and have a healthy outcome for mom and baby.  Nutrition is the one thing we can completely control and have a positive impact on our pregnancy and our child’s physical profile for the rest of their lives. (read more)

When it comes to getting ready for baby, there is a lot of “gear”.  Thankfully, these costs are usually defrayed by the wonderful tradition of showering the new family with gifts before the blessed occasion.  At a minimum you will want to consider a good, safe car seat, a pack-n-play, a stroller, a diaper bag, baby layette (0-6 mo clothing, receiving blankets, burp cloths), some kind of baby carrier, a pediatric first-aid kit, a baby-safe bathtub.  Have you thought about doing disposable or cloth diapers?  If you know what you are going to do before your baby shower, you can include the necessary supplies on your registry.  

Here’s a short list of add-ons: a baby monitor, nursing supplies (nursing covers, breast pads and breast cream), a nursing pillow, a nursing stool, breast pump, milk storage bags, bottles, bottle warmer, wipe warmer, pacifiers, baby clothes hamper, swaddle blankets, organizers, activity centers, activity chairs, a swing, nursery decor, a crib, a crib mattress, baby bedding, crib mobile, changing station, an armoire or dresser chest of drawers, a rocker/glider and a high chair.  

Depending on the depth of the circle of your family and friends, you may or may not complete your registry.  Bear the costs of completing your registry in mind as you budget for baby.  What do you think you really need, versus the things that you want but are not really necessary?  Are you willing to shop yard sales, resale or consignment to save money?

Another consideration is the expense of child-proofing your home.  At a minimum there are outlet covers to buy.  Depending on your space, you may need baby gates, bumper pads, rubber edge guards for hard corners.  Do you want to install toilet clamps to keep little hands out of the toilet?  The good news about child-proofing is that it can be done in stages.  You could add all the items to your registry and hope for the best with the knowledge that you can always budget for and build on child-proofing later as baby gets older and more mobile.

I almost forgot! Budget in tuition for an informative and comprehensive childbirth class!  The Bradley Method® covers many different topics about pregnancy, labor, childbirth and breastfeeding.  We strive to prepare moms and their coaches for the healthiest possible pregnancy and the foundation they need to make informed choices about their labor, birth and parenting.

Along with childbirth preparation classes, there are also other classes and services that are available to help you have an easier, more comfortable pregnancy: chiropractic care, prenatal massage, yoga classes, prenatal exercise programs or water aerobics classes.  Some you will need or want a professional for, others you can do through self-study to save money - just check in with your care provider before taking advantage of these classes or services.

Lastly, have you considered documenting your pregnancy?  Pregnancy photographers vary in price range.  I have also had students use high-quality cameras and have very nice pictures turn out - how much you spend depends on what exactly you want to capture and the quality of the prints you want.  There is also belly-casting, when someone makes a plaster-of-Paris cast of your pregnant torso.  You can read up and do this on your own, or you can pay an experienced belly caster with an artistic eye to create a piece of art you can proudly display on a wall.

Here is a list of costs to consider after your baby is born:
Placenta Encapsulation
- Benefits as per PBi (see link below): pills contains your own natural hormones, it is perfectly made for you, it balances your system, replenishes depleted iron, gives you more energy, lessens postnatal bleeding, has been shown to increase milk production, helps you have a happier postpartum period, hastens return of uterus to pre-pregnancy state, shown to be helpful during menopause.

Cord-blood Banking
From the National Cord Blood Banking site: "Cord blood offers a number of advantages to donors and transplant recipients. It is easy to collect, often more likely to provide a suitable match and is stored frozen, ready to use."  There are fee-for-service companies, as well as companies that store blood on a donation basis at no charge to you.  The trade-off there is that you have no guarantee that your baby's blood will be available should the need arise. (see links below)

Lactation Consultant
- A lactation consultant is a professional who can answer your questions about breastfeeding and help you overcome breastfeeding challenges. Prices vary based on their training, experience, and certification levels.  If you are serious about sticking with breastfeeding, hiring one to help you overcome any hurdles is a must.  On a budget?  Attend free La Leche League meetings.  You will receive reputable peer-to-peer help from trained La Leche League Leaders.  They are a group of volunteers who hold monthly meetings and also have a 24-hour helpline.  Know that if they feel something is out of their realm, they will refer you back to a professional lactation consultant.

Continued great nutrition for mom
- Especially if mom is going to be breastfeeding her/your newborn baby.  The better the mom’s diet, the better nutrition she will supply for the baby that is going to double in size the first year alone, and continue to develop it’s mental capabilities throughout the first year.  Mom will also want to continue with prenatal pills or some kind of vitamin and/or herbal program...all it takes is money!  Which brings me to... 

Take-home Pay
- If you are both working, do you need both your incomes to keep paying your bills?  If one parent wants to stay home to raise the child, do you have a good plan to make that possible?  Have you tried to live within your new, pared-down budget before you conceive?  How realistic did you and your partner find this budget?  If you can’t make it work on a double-income or single-income, and you still feel like now is the “right time” to have a baby, is one of you willing to add the extra job or extra shift while the other one essentially becomes a single parent?  I have great respect for couples who make this decision and make it work - they are my heroes.  Every baby is a blessing and I take my hat off to parents who take this responsibility seriously.

Childcare
- if both parents continue to work, there has to be a provision for childcare in your budget.  You can plan on spending a minimum of $200/week in most areas here in Arizona.  It is best to find a reputable provider with whom you feel 1000% comfortable.  You will be leaving the care and nurturing of your most precious gift in their hands for the extent of time you drop them off, commute to work, complete your work day, and commute back to pick them up.

Clothing
- Your baby will be outgrowing their layette before you know it - some parents find themselves buying 18 mo. or 24 mo. clothing before Baby reaches their first birthday.  How about mom - will mom need a post-pregnancy size of “bottoms” clothing?  Then their are nursing bras and nursing “tops” if mom plans to breastfeed.  Again, you can save money by participating in a clothing swap group, or buying consignment or resale.

Medical Care
- If you are going to a traditional pediatrician, there is usually a "universal" coverage for the first year of visits and vaccines.  If you want to look for “green” care, there are  pediatric naturopaths.  We also start chiropractic care in infancy.  You can ask an alternative care provider if they offer "family plans" that would make regular visits affordable if they don’t take insurance coverage.

Entertainment
- Museums, zoo, and field trips usually cost money.  Some establishments offer a Free Day every month, or maybe it’s a “free” period of time during the day.  Looking for more "free"?  Libraries and hospitals are also a great source for free educational programs.  I also found a great resource here in the Phoenix area that helps me find free or low-cost activities to enrich our children's world!  Check out Active Moms Magazine (see link below) - they have both a print and digital version that is published on a monthly basis.  They provide listings for family-friendly things to do on every day of the month.

Transportation
- Will you be needing a larger car?  If yes, how will you pay for it?  Can you pay cash or will you have to finance it and add another bill to your list of monthly outlays?

As your children grow, they will continue to factor into your family budget for things like:
Extended Travel, College fund, Furniture for their big-kid rooms, Groceries for growing children (teenage boys!!), Utilities for kiddos that are bathing and using household electricity everyday, Schooling expenses, Hobby, Sport and Team expenses...maybe you will eventually want a larger home or yard for your children to be able to spread out...

Since this post is already full of food-for-thought, I will wait for Friday to discuss considerations such as Child Spacing, Nursing Relationship, and Sibling Preparation as you add to your loving family.  Until then, break out your calculators and let me know how your baby prep is adding up!

Disclaimer:
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

References and Resources:
Doula Care


Placenta Encapsulation

Cord-blood Banking


Lactation Consultant

Active Moms Magazine

Cost Calculator for Raising a Child

Maternity and Nursing Bras

Posted on April 8, 2011 at 7:42 AM Comments comments (2)
Pregnancy Information Desk: Maternity and Nursing Bras

One of our students asked if she should buy a nursing bra while she was still pregnant.  Here are some thoughts on why it’s something to consider investing in now:

  • You will probably want a clean bra to put on after your baby is born, so buying one that you can nurse in makes sense.
  • You will probably not want to be doing laundry as soon as you get home, so having a clean bra waiting for you at home is a good idea.
  • You may want to get used to it before baby comes – how it feels, how it fits and how it works are a good thing to figure out before the baby arrives.   Doing it afterward may be too much newness at once.
  • Right now you have time to try on lots of styles and do some comparison-shopping.  Shopping for nursing bras is not the best reason to bring a newborn out in a crowd, and you certainly don’t want to rely on the bra your husband picks out.

Having said those things, here are some suggestions on how to chose a good nursing bra.  Since they offer ample support, they also work well as a maternity bra.  It is likely that your breasts will start to increase in size and density before baby arrives.

First of all, think about your activity level.  Do you do regular exercise?  Are you active during the day?  Do you plan to go back to work? What kind of bra do you like to wear now?

Next, consider your budget.  What makes the most sense for you to purchase right now?

If you are on a limited budget, in the short term consider investing in a day bra and a sleep bra. You would rotate the wash cycle - one goes on, the other goes in the wash so it's ready to wear in 12 hours.

Even if you can only afford one bra – it’s important to keep it clean to prevent it from smelling like sour milk.  Going without a bra while it is in the wash will let you nipples enjoy the fresh air and reduce the chance of infection from being moist if you are wearing breast pads.  Debbie Gillespie, IBCLC, says, “Most new moms use disposable nursing pads so I suggest to moms that they change their nursing pads every time they open up their bras, to minimize bacteria.”

If you need to, wear another type of supportive, comfortable bra while you run your nursing bra through the wash.  For longer wear, you can hang dry it – as it heats up, you can save your bra and some energy by hanging it outside in indirect sunlight – the heat will have it dry in no time!

If you have a more flexible budget, you can consider buying one of each and feeling them out to see which ones you truly need more of – besides everyday bras, there are sports bras and sleep bras.  Maybe you will even splurge on a dressier bra that can be worn with a date-night blouse and has a little peek-a-boo camisole lace going on.  Who says that momma can’t be sexy anymore?

Here are some of the benefits of each one:
Everyday bra – made of a soft fabric, should offer could support and easy access for the times that you need to nurse in public.  Make sure that the fasteners will withstand several washes and that it offers good support if you need it.

Sleep bra – most often made from cotton, light on support, easy access for nighttime feedings.  Ultimately, you want to be able to open it in your sleep.  It usually doesn’t have fasteners, so look for a good product with fabric that resumes its shape after being stretched out around the breast for feeding.

Sports bra – made of a durable nylon-cotton blend for function and for breathability, with a little extra padding in the front to absorb leaks.
Look for fasteners with easy access and durability in the wash with this bra, too.  Most moms aren’t released to resume their pre-pregnancy activity level until after the six-week check up, so you could wait for six weeks to purchase a sports bra.

Date night bra – Date nights after baby usually mean bringing baby along if you are nursing on demand – there is nothing wrong with having an attractive bra that is also functional!  Details like peek-a-boo lace or pretty ribbons make them pretty under a v-neck top, and yet they are functional in that you can nurse baby as needed on your night out with Dad.  Look for good support and easy access when nursing in public.

Talisha Heiden, owner of Modern Mommy Boutique, offers this suggestion, "When buying a nursing bra before your baby arrives, it is a good idea to buy it one size larger than you measure right now."  Your breasts will grow a little more as they start milk production, and a well-fitting adjustable bra is an asset when everything around your breast area is feeling a little swollen.

Due to the engorgement factor that may last a couple of days to several weeks, I would also suggest that you avoid any bras with underwire when buying your first nursing bras.  The wire may not feel great digging into your swollen breast.  If you can go without the wire, there are several products out there that offer support and a comfortable wear in the early weeks.

Once your breasts figure out the supply-and-demand cycle your baby needs, you can adjust straps and closures to the correct sizes.
It’s easier and more economical to adjust the bra than to go out and buy a bigger or smaller bra size for different cycles in your breastfeeding relationship with your child.

Thanks to Talisha Heiden, owner of Modern Mommy Boutique, for letting me photograph her merchandise for today's blog post.  She offers a complimentary fitting if you need help buying a nursing bra.  And, if you are in the Phoenix area, please join us tomorrow at the Modern Mommy Boutique Grand Opening from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.


Krystyna' Favorite Nursing Bra : by Elle McPherson - After nursing 3 children in a variety of situations, this is hands-down my favorite bra.  Offers great support and easy access along with pretty styling.
Krystyna' Favorite Nursing Bra
by Elle McPherson - After nursing 3 children in a variety of situations, this is hands-down my favorite bra. Offers great support and easy access along with pretty styling.
Krystyna's Favorite Nursing Bra : by Elle McPherson - also available in black, I have one of these in my drawer to wear under my black blouses or dresses.
Krystyna's Favorite Nursing Bra
by Elle McPherson - also available in black, I have one of these in my drawer to wear under my black blouses or dresses.
If you can only buy one bra... : this is the one I suggest.   The Glamourmom® Mbody™ Starter Nursing Bra, while  not the "prettiest" - it is the most functional and comfortable thanks to the  breathable, absorbent, stretchy cotton/elastane blend.  It is cool also comfortable for sleeping, too.
If you can only buy one bra...
this is the one I suggest. The Glamourmom® Mbody™ Starter Nursing Bra, while not the "prettiest" - it is the most functional and comfortable thanks to the breathable, absorbent, stretchy cotton/elastane blend. It is cool also comfortable for sleeping, too.
My second choice if you are only buying one bra : By Cantaloop™: Super soft & stretchy fabric adjusts to breasts' changing shape.  With no irritating seams and an integrated inner cup, this is another versatile day to sleep bra.
My second choice if you are only buying one bra
By Cantaloop™: Super soft & stretchy fabric adjusts to breasts' changing shape. With no irritating seams and an integrated inner cup, this is another versatile day to sleep bra.
Talisha's best-selling nursing tank : By Cantaloop™:  Same soft fabric and benefits as the nursing bra, this tank is great for moms who like to layer and/or keep their bellies covered while they nurse.
Talisha's best-selling nursing tank
By Cantaloop™: Same soft fabric and benefits as the nursing bra, this tank is great for moms who like to layer and/or keep their bellies covered while they nurse.
Everyday Bra : Bravado Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra - offers ample support through pregnancy and breastfeeding: "everyone loves this seamless nursing bra that molds to your shape"
Everyday Bra
Bravado Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra - offers ample support through pregnancy and breastfeeding: "everyone loves this seamless nursing bra that molds to your shape"
Everyday Bra : Bravado Bliss Nursing Bra -  offers ample support through pregnancy and breastfeeding:  it "is the perfect foam cup t-shirt nursing bra that features our proprietary Flexi-Fit™ support channel, giving you an elegant shape and exceptional fit for everyday use"
Everyday Bra
Bravado Bliss Nursing Bra - offers ample support through pregnancy and breastfeeding: it "is the perfect foam cup t-shirt nursing bra that features our proprietary Flexi-Fit™ support channel, giving you an elegant shape and exceptional fit for everyday use"
Easy-Open clasp : Close-up of the clasp on the Bravado Bliss Nursing Bra
Easy-Open clasp
Close-up of the clasp on the Bravado Bliss Nursing Bra
Sleep Bras : By La Leche League - this slip open style worked well for me and I loved the easy access at night!
Sleep Bras
By La Leche League - this slip open style worked well for me and I loved the easy access at night!
Sports Bras : Some comfy and supportive options: 
By La Leche League in Gray;
By  Milkalicious in White
Sports Bras
Some comfy and supportive options:
By La Leche League in Gray;
By Milkalicious in White
Easy Clasp : Close up of the easy-open closure on the Milkalicious bra - very easy to open and close with one hand.
Easy Clasp
Close up of the easy-open closure on the Milkalicious bra - very easy to open and close with one hand.
Some pretties : By You! Lingerie
Some pretties
By You! Lingerie
More pretties : By You! Lingerie
More pretties
By You! Lingerie
Yes - even nursing moms can wear leopard! : By You! Lingerie
Yes - even nursing moms can wear leopard!
By You! Lingerie
Nursing Bras with Bling : By HOTmilk - luminous nursing bra in champagne with gardenia lace
Nursing Bras with Bling
By HOTmilk - luminous nursing bra in champagne with gardenia lace
Bling in jet black : By HOTmilk - blaze nursing bra in microfiber fabric
Bling in jet black
By HOTmilk - blaze nursing bra in microfiber fabric
They even make them strapless! : By La Leche League - this microfiber option also comes with clear-straps for extra support when you need it.
They even make them strapless!
By La Leche League - this microfiber option also comes with clear-straps for extra support when you need it.









Disclaimer:
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.