Me and Nursing Bras: We Don’t Get Along

I nursed LilZ, unsuccessfully, for about six months before beginning to supplement for various reasons. However, in that six months I learned that nursing bras were a waste of my time and money. Now, I might have taken this stance because I was not in the financial situation to buy a $40 bra, but I’d like to think I just inherently knew that I would not need one. I used a cheap, wired (but unpadded) bra that I would simply pull around my boob when it was time to nurse. My nursing boobs got up to a DD size cup, so they weren’t tiny, but that $10 bra solution served the short span of nursing LilZ well.

With NikkiZ, I splurged for a few nursing bras. I actually had money and thought I’d see what the fuss was about. Only to decide after a few weeks that they annoyed the hell out of me. I switched back to my old $10 system and called it the year. I nursed her successfully for 14 months never looking back.

It has come time for me to make that decision again – and I opted against the nursing bra. AGAIN. I simply went and bought the cheap (they’re $11 now, however) bras with the underwire and no padding. They are cotton and kinda ugly although I could have bought them in pretty colors if I wanted. I spent less than $40 on three while passing the $45 rack of nursing bras in the corner. I just couldn’t bring myself to spend that kind of money on a bra that I found useless and UGLY AS HELL.

Here is my question: Am I alone? Is there anyone else who has failed to find the usefulness of a nursing bra? Or maybe I’m just a rare lucky one? Because I do find myself very blessed that I don’t have to spend $45 dollars on a bra. That leaves me more money left to make up for all of the beer I haven’t been drinking the last 9 months.

41 thoughts on “Me and Nursing Bras: We Don’t Get Along”

  1. I do use nursing bras, but they are only 10 Euro. They are balck and white, and i do like them.
    The only problem is they are a little big, and now that it is summer they sometimes show above my shirt.

    If i had to spend 30 Euro on a bra, i would also buy the cheap ones.

  2. I really loved my Bravado nursing bras. There’s no way that I could have lived without them. I am certain I would have contracted mastitis if I wore an underwire, so the cheap bras were out.

    You should look into a nursing tank top. It’s a lot more functional than the bra alone, and some of them are quite cute.

    I had a friend who’s baby would just slobber all over her, and a nursing bra that she had to flap down would get soaked, so she just pulled her regular bras above her breast. That way she wasn’t wet all the time.

  3. Oh, the nursing tank top. True love, it is.

    I actually like nursing bras, and am annoyed when I have to use my regular ones (ie the laundry pile has grown into something resembling a monster). I just went to Motherhood Maternity, and each was only $15. They are lasting this baby, and I’ll get new ones when/if I get blessed with another.

    Whatever works, though, right?

  4. I also wore nursing tanks and loved them. I got the cheapies from Target and they worked fine.

  5. I spent too much money on nursing bras the first time around until I discovered the nursing bras at Target. For $15 they have some support, they come in size E, and they are easy to use. I have learned that there ain’t nothin’ you can’t find at Target.

  6. I thought I did not need a nursing bra and refused to visit the stores where they sold them when I was pregnant(I had been told that those stores were full of “Nursing Nazis”, whatever that is). Anyway, using regular bras did not work at all for me. I had to visit one of “those” stores and I found out I had been LIED to by my friends. I found some super comfy nursing bras (Bravada, I think) and I lived in them for Charlie’s first year. I am pretty dang small in the chest area, even nursing or 9 months pregnant, so I wonder if that was the difference??

  7. I need to check out the nursing tanks. And they’re at Target? Are they in the bra section? I’ve never even HEARD of them!

  8. I liked my nursing bras. LIke the previous commenters, Target has cheap nursing bras. They are really helpful. I remembered even after I stopped nursing, I still wore them for a while afterwards.

  9. I second, third, fourth, (fifth?) I lost track. Nursing tanks! Target! I’m small (normally wear medium) and the large size is comfortable, the medium was too tight. I like that I could lift my shirt and my stomach wasn’t exposed. I like that they add some extra warmth in the cooler months. Should I admit to wearing one today? Should I admit my toddler is 2y5m? Should I admit she still nurses first thing in the morning and last thing at night?

  10. I like cotton nursing bras, but apparently my tastes run cheap. I had a few kinds, bu my favorite ones were the cheapest from Motherhood Maternity outlet – they cost like $12 and didn’t have a layer underneath to get in the way.

  11. In the bra section at Target, brand ‘Top Secret’. Oh, and the one I might have put on this morning? might be a medium.

  12. Well, I am certainly thrilled to read all your responses to Zoot b/c I am just about it in the same boat to be making the “nursing bra” decision and coincidentally I am heading to Target tonight… thanks Zoot for bringing this up and thanks ladies for the info!

  13. I hated nursing bras. I couldn’t ever get the little latch undone and ended up having to yank on it, looking rather ridiculous. It was far easier just to slip a regular bra up or down. These are things I didn’t think I’d ever write about for all the world to see.

  14. Love the Target nursing tank tops! I had a couple last time around but bought three more for this baby. I like the newer style better (they are longer) but need to go buy some new ones in a smaller size now that I’ve lost some of the baby weight. The best part is that they keep the jiggly post-baby belly covered while you are nursing.

    I know you’re not a big fan of Wal-Mart, but I also love the sports bra style nursing bras they carry and they are only around $12 or so.

  15. HA! A double d? you lucky thing- My nursing bra is a 32 I. My normal boobs are a dd- so, that being said no ten bucks on the planet can support them so I had a few bras made, it cost a lot but is worth it to me. They are so heavy I really need the support, though I doubt it will help much in the long run. Im bound to be rolling them up and stuffing them in after I wean.

  16. I love my nursing bras! But I go with the Bravados. Target nursing tanks didn’t work for me because they have circle cutouts for the boob and they felt like my boobs were being constricted in a vise. The Motherhood tanks were better, a slit opening instead of a circle. The Bravado one I bought this time is top-notch. You can wear it as a regular tank and no one would ever know. I highly recommend splurging on that one.

  17. man, i spend $70 on ONE bra. ONE BRA! and i bought it about two weeks before i found i was pregnant with this baby.

    cruel fate!

    i’ve just picked up some nursing bras from motherhood for $14 each, so i won’t feel bad for having bought them if this baby decides she’d rather not eat at the dairy barn. but the new $70 bra is looming.

  18. I swear by my Bravado nursing bras – I got mine at a hospital’s store here for $20 a piece. I was always a little leery of the underwire bras because of the increased risk for plugged milk ducts.

  19. i’m into my fourth month of nursing my son, and i have three nursing bras and only one of them i wear and don’t totally hate. and this bra? i didn’t start wearing until the second month anyway. prior to that, i’d just worn my regular bras, so i understand your desire to keep wearing yours. nursing bras are supposed to make things easier, so when they don’t, why even bother? and they’re so damn pricey (for bigger boobs, anyway). i can recommended the nursing bra made by “melinda g” but only for the larger-chested gals and only if they really prefer to use a nursing bra over a regular one. i’m not convinced nursing bras make things easier.

  20. I might be worse. I just bought a pack of sports bras and whipped my boob out the top when it was time. I’m so sexy.

  21. Another one saying check out the nursing bras at tanks at Target. Bras are $12.99/tanks $16.99. I wear a DD now and they have that size. They are great and cheap!

  22. Well, it’s complicated. :) I’m a 32 C/D normally and a solid 32D nursing. I’m not big enough though to pull them out the top-think girth not depth :) So, I do need nursing bras, but also can’t go with the cheapies b/c those don’t come in my size. Actually, most of the nice ones don’t either… welcome to my life. Babe is 7 months and counting. I can’t wait to go back to my nice bras.

  23. Oh, and the new Target nursing tanks are great-there are sides, but nothing in the middle, no slits or holes. I do love my one Bravado too, hate my glamourmom.

  24. The only thing I hate about my nursing bras is that I feel like I can only wear t-shirts with them. They can’t be dressed up because they are lumpy and don’t do a thing to make my boobs look decent. I do love how easy it is to get to them though.

    I also use the Target nursing tanks, but only to sleep in. I’m an H, so they don’t give enough support if I’m upright.

  25. Psssh I can flop my boob out of a ten dollar bra as easily as I can out of a 40 dollar one. I like to go to Sams Club or Costco and get some sports bras to sleep in i get three for $15.00 and then I just buy cheapo bras wherever I find them and they work fine.

  26. I don’t like nursing bras, either. I am too impatient to fiddle with the snaps, so I just use regular cheap bras and pull my boob out while pushing the bra to the side.

    It’s worked for us, and I’ve been nursing my son for nearly a year. You definitely aren’t alone! :)

  27. I don’t know if you read Blissfully Domestic, but Alli from Mrs. Fussypants made an entire post about how she’s never worn a nursing bra with any of her children, but instead modified sports camisoles with the built-in shelf, I think. I don’t know exactly where to link, but I did find her post very interesting and I would try it if I ever had to nurse again.

  28. I nursed my son for 14.5 months, and used only sports bras. Easy to pull up or down and very comfy. I hated nursing bras.

    However, I may have to look into nursing tank tops now…

  29. I bought my nursing bra’s from Target, 3 colors. I also bought all 3 of the nursing tanks they had (white, grey, black) and I LIVE in them. For winter I wear them as a layer under sweaters, and in warmer weather I wear them under tanks. Very nice especially while nursing in public, I don’t like lifting the shirt and exposing the lovely skin on my back, so the bra tank hides it all!!

    Also, I use my bebe au lait nursing cover…LOVE that also. The website (www.goo-ga.com) is having a 40% off right now although they’re being sold at some Targets right now.

    You know, if Target doesn’t have it, you don’t need it!!

  30. I’m a step below you, Zoot . . . although I NEED the support of a wire? It bugs. So I buy fairly cheap ($14 on sale at Kohls or Mervyns) bras WITHOUT wires and just flop my boob out from under it. Terrible, I know. But all my nursing bras were uncomfortable and by the time I’d get the dang latches undone, baby would be screaming his/her bloody head off! And that makes public nursing not so subtle!

    If you find a good one? Let me know. And maybe I’ll give it whirl. Although if I acually spent money on a bra, baby girl would likely self-wean the next day. Just saying!

  31. I feel you on the fit and general unattractiveness of nursing bras. HATE!

    I bought cheap Warner’s nursing bras last time and got another one this time. They’re ugly, but they cost less than 20 bucks and they work fine and I don’t mind abusing them in the dryer. I tried on a Bravado or two but I hated them so didn’t buy them. They felt cheap and they dug in in bad places and they were expensive to boot! I did like my nursing tank too and would probably get another this time too, especially because the early days will be during the summer. I made do with one last time but it got a lot of use, even in the winter under my shirts because it covered my fish-belly white, squishy, newly-post-partum stomach when I had to hoist up my shirt to nurse.

  32. I have a few nursing bras, never paying over $15 (THANK YOU TARGET) that I actually like. However, I do the regular bra thing too. Since I am not small chested it isn’t an issue for me really. I use the nursing bras when I know I am going to be out and about a lot during the day as they are a little easier to undo and nurse without causing too much attention.

  33. I am with you. I got up to a DDD and E while nursing. I bought 6 of those ugly yet functional bras at Big Lots ($5.00 ea) and they carried me through 13 months of Breastfeeding. I am about to invest in a bunch more as I am due in September with another. I am not even going to bother with nursing bras. With DDDs there is no brestfeeding discretion anyways.

  34. I’m with you – screw the nursing bra. I nursed two kids for a total of 30 months and never wore one. I tried it, but I couldn’t get the hang of it so I went with underwire sans padding for the day, and sports bras at night. It worked for me!

  35. I’ll join the small bunch cheering for the Bravado brand. So comfortable. I just went with the sports bra style… but I know they have a couple other styles. I haven’t been nursing in 2 years… but I still wear them to bed. With the new baby due in July I’m planning on splurging (they’re not cheap) and buying a few new ones. For me… they were very worth it.

  36. But you only have to wait until after AndyZ is born and then beer is GOOD for you. Did you know that a couple of hundred years ago, wet nurses (subs for rich mothers who didn’t want to be bothered with nursing babies) were actually provided several pints of beer per day BY CONTRACT? Seriously. They required the beer as part of doing the job.

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