Top Nursing Bras and Tips for the Already Well-Endowed DD+ Mama, Part Three: DD+ Pumping Bras

PumpEase pumping bra

{This is the third installment of StackDD+ reader Patricia’s guest series on nursing bras for full-busted mamas. Don’t miss the first two posts in this series covering when to buy nursing bras and which ones to buy first, and her top picks for underwired and non-underwired nursing bras. Don’t forget to add your two cents in the comments! XO, Sarah}

No matter how nursing ends up working out in the end, most new moms I know had a hard time with it in the beginning. And there are some mom and baby pairs who never get their act together. My baby and I are such a pair – we nursed exclusively for the first couple of weeks, but due to some serious latch problems, followed by a parade of nursing horribles (mastitis, thrush, and nipple trauma – oh, my!), I transitioned us to bottle-feeding.

I decided to pump exclusively, which was a lot of work, especially in the beginning. But it ended up fine and has allowed me to provide my little guy with my milk full time, as well as donate to others. With all that pumping going on, I discovered the wonders of the hands-free pumping bra.

 

TIP:  If you plan on pumping at all, invest in a hands-free pumping bra or two. 

If you do end up pumping somewhat regularly with an electric double pump, whether it’s full-time or on occasion, or when you return to work, a hands-free pumping bra is a lifesaver. It enables you to hook up your pump to yourself and have your hands free, so you can read, work, eat, etc. Twenty or thirty minutes sitting at the pump may not seem like a long time to you, but with a baby in the house, you’ll treasure it.

All my frustrations of finding a nursing bra were multiplied when I began a search for a pumping bra. Options are terribly limited for anyone of size, cup-wise.  I couldn’t find anything close to my cup and band size.

But, thankfully, I finally managed to find one bra that worked great.

BEST PUMPING BRA

Snugabell Pump Ease bra ($38, and worth every penny!; also available on Amazon

pump ease

I strongly recommend this bra: it saved my life with pumping back in the early weeks, when I was pumping 7-8 times per day (and through the night) to establish my supply! It’s made of stretchy bathing suit-like material and comfortably holds the pump flanges so that they are secure. The fabric has held up well over the months, with occasional cold hand washes.

And, it even comes in cute patterns.  I have two – one in cherries on pink, and one in blue with white polka dots:

Image

At first I was wary of the sizing because it goes small-medium-large-x large, but the sizes go by measurements, and this style of bra isn’t meant to necessarily look or feel like an ordinary bra with holes cut out of it, like some others I saw. It simply sits on top of the breasts, if that makes sense, without squishing them too much. The Medium size works great for my fluctuating 34G to 34I nursing size.

PumpEase pumping bra
Sizes for the PumpEase pumping bra

As shown in the photo above, I wear it over my nursing bra – I just take down the flaps first. This makes it extra convenient to slip on when you have to pump, as you don’t have to change into a whole new bra (I believe lots of other hands-free pumping bras share this feature).

Another huge advantage of the way this bra fits is that you can reach over and under it and do breast compressions and massage mid-pump – because the bra does not constrict or enclose you like a normal bra. For me, breast compressions are key to getting maximum milk output while pumping, and preventing clogs.

**By the way, if you find yourself in the situation where you are considering pumping exclusively, I recommend visiting the Exclusive Pumpers message board on Baby Center for invaluable tips, information, and support. The leading post, “Top Ten Frequently Asked Questions About Exclusively Pumping”, is essential reading for any pumping mom.**

In the final installation of this series, Patricia shares her thoughts on the nursing bra options currently available. Don’t miss it!

Patricia Shepard is an attorney and, most recently, law school teaching fellow, turned stay-at-home mom.  She lives in San Diego, California with her husband and baby boy.

 

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