When I breastfed my twins over 5 years ago, I suffered through bad nursing bras. I just couldn’t get a good fit and the bras were either uncomfortable and/or gave me no support and/or delivered the dreaded “uniboob.” Despite nursing them for 17 months, I was never able to find a bra that I really liked in stores or online.
When I was pregnant with my youngest son (currently 8.5 months), I was determined to get nursing bras that I really liked.
This task has been harder than I thought it would be.
My hometown is woefully deficient in the nursing bra department, at least in the size, support, shape, and style I wanted.
Size: I needed a small band size but large cup size (apparently 34 DD is a “rare” size in nursing bras? Really?)
Support: great support without underwire
Shape: Padded cups are a must for me. And I’d also like to have two boobs, not one
Style: Pretty would be nice. I am a woman, not just a milk-machine.
I went from store to store in town trying on dozens of bras. Nothing worked.
So I went online. Bravado bras from bravadodesigns.com has great quality bras in several styles. I have tried 4 of them and here are my thoughts about the Body Silk, Bliss, Allure Underwire, and Essential Embrace nursing bras.
(disclaimer: I have not been paid by bravado for these reviews. I just hope this info will help another mama out. All images are from bravadodesigns.com)
Note: All Bravado bras have easy to use clips that can be opened with one hand. All of the cups fall away from the breast for skin-to-skin contact too. All of the bras come in several colors (white, nude, and black). Each bra reviewed is around $50 (kind of expensive but the price matches the quality).
Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra
This is the first bra I tried from Bravado. It comes in LOTS of colors but I bought the nude (in fact, I bought the nude color for all my bras as it is the most convenient for my wardrobe). I bought this bra when I was about 3-4 months into nursing and my milk supply was still regulating.
Pros: This bra is SO comfortable. It doesn’t have padded cups but it does have a pockets in each cup for removable foam pads (or breast pads) that help give a nice shape and modesty coverage. Wearing this bra feels like you aren’t wearing a bra at all.
Cons: While the model looks awesome in this bra, I must admit that the bra did not give me much in the “lift and separate” department. Yep…uniboob. Sigh. Also, it is not a sexy bra. At all. However, it is SO comfortable that it makes up for the lack of sexy. And lift. And separate. Almost. I bought a large (this one comes in S, M, L, etc) but I think I would buy a medium if I were to buy again.
Recommend? YES! Especially for those early months of breastfeeding. Great around the house bra, sleep bra, and, if you really don’t care (I didn’t!), around town bra.
Bravado Bliss Nursing Bra
Well, my vanity was getting a little tired of saggy uniboob so I decided to branch out of the oh-so-comfortable Body Silk and try another type of bra: The Bliss.
Pros: It has padded cups and no underwire. Plus it looked pretty in the picture.
Cons: When it came in the mail, I did not like it at all. It looked like a 90 year old grandma bra. Plus it gave me cone boobs. UG! I don’t know what is worse: uniboob or cone boobs. I read some reviews online that said that the cone boob look goes away after a few washings but after trying the bra on, it seemed to squish rather than lift and separate. Overall, it was a weird fit for me.
Recommend? I sent this bra back. It may be a good fit for other women but I just couldn’t get over the squished yet cone boob look.
The Allure Underwire Nursing Bra
After I sent the Bliss back I fell into nursing bra despair. I felt like finding a nursing bra with my 4S criteria (see above) was impossible! After a few weeks of looking around town again (no luck), I ordered the Allure Underwire bra.
Pros: This bra should play two songs when tried on: “I Feel Like A Woman” and “I Feel Pretty.” Seriously, this bra looks amazing! Lift! Separate! Beautiful lace (that’s not scratchy!)! Probably the best assessment came from my husband: “Wow! That does NOT look like a nursing bra.”
(Thanks, honey. I think).
But this bra does look great and made me feel great too. Major confidence booster (in every way possible)!
Cons: While the underwire does offer amazing lift and shape, it is not 100% whisper-dream comfortable. When I got it I had not worn underwire for over a year (since my pregnancy) and it took a bit of getting used to. While I am more used to it now, I still “think” about the bra while I have it on. However, I kept it because it looks so darn good and I am vain. 🙂
Yes, I would recommend it especially for women who are going back to work (as I will be when the school year starts) but with the note that it isn’t 100% comfortable. However, for me, the looks make up for the lack of comfort. (yes…vanity…).
UPDATE (OCT 2013): After wearing this bra for a few months, I now love it. It has molded to my body and is really comfortable. I just had to get used to underwire again. I actually ordered another one so now I have two in this style.
A note about underwire: I waited until my breast feeding was fulling established before buying an underwire bra. Wearing underwire during the first few months of breastfeeding can cause blocked milk ducts and all kinds of uncomfortableness.
The Essential Embrace Nursing Bra
So, while I liked the Allure, I still prefer non-underwire bras. Bravado just came out with the Essential Embrace so I decided to get it a try! It promised amazing support without underwire and great shape too (plus all the other nursing essentials all Bravado bras have. See Note). So I ordered it and I like it!
Pros: It does have great support without underwire (amazing!). If the Allure Underwire is a 10 in support (no sagging at all!), I would say that the Embrace would be an 8 (the Body Silk would be a 5 or 6). Not bad for a non-underwire bra! The cups are smooth and very soft too.
Cons: I didn’t realize this bra was didn’t have padded cups until I got it. Bummer. I personally like/need padded cups for modesty-sake. But, I worked it out. Around the house it is great without cups and still gives a nice shape. Out of the house, I just tuck in the padded cups that I got with the Body Silk bra. Perfect coverage.
Recommend? Yes, definitely. Overall, I really like the Embrace for comfort, shape, and support. It isn’t “sexy” per se, but it does look nice. If it had lightly padded cups, it would probably be perfect.
So, I have three nursing bras that I like. Right now I am switching between the Allure Underwire and the Embrace most days. While none of the bras have all of my 4S essentials, I am a definitely more happy with my nursing bras this time around that when I nursed five years ago. My recommendation to other nursing (or pregnant) moms would be to try lots of nursing bras and don’t just settle for a bra that “kind of” works during this special time in your life.