You're ready to return to exercise post baby! Hooray! But what about those brand new additions to your chest AKA your breastfeeding boobs? That's where a great maternity sports bra comes into action.
A comfortable, well-fitted maternity sports bra can make ALL the difference, and make returning to exercise a lot more comfortable. Offering both support and easy feeding access, a maternity sports bra allows you to return to your chosen form of exercise, without having to stress about feeding time. Because if you've ever tried to breastfeed in a traditional sports bra, you'll KNOW that it's really not a lot of fun!
Here's what to look for when choosing a maternity sports bra to best suit your needs.
Your boobs will change A LOT throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding. Tissues stretch, milk ducts develop, nipples change shape... there is a lot going on. Chances are good that your breasts will also feel a lot heavier and sometimes very tender and sore, especially in the late stages of pregnancy and early days of breastfeeding. It's important to consider your cup size and the chance that it will fluctuate when choosing a maternity sports bra. Many women end up waiting till after birth to purchase as they'll have a better idea of what size they may need.
Your cup size will also determine the style of bra that may work best for you. Click here to find out more about choosing a bra based on your cup size.
Your chosen form of activity and its associated 'bounce factor' needs to be a big consideration when choosing a bra. Low impact forms of exercise, like walking, are going to require a lot less support that a high impact gym class. We always recommend going for more, rather than less, support as it'll cover more bases (a more supportive bra can always be worn out walking but the reverse isn't always true).
Have a think about the kind of exercise/activities you'll be doing to help narrow down your choices
Low impact activities – Exercise like walking, yoga, cycling or just dealing with #mumlife AKA activities with minimal ‘bounce potential’. These activities require less support.
Moderate impact activities –Exercise like weights or classes at the gym AKA activities with some ‘bounce potential’. These activities require a moderate level of support.
High impact activities – Exercise that involves a lot of movement. Jogging/running, crossfit, more intense gym classes (F45 or similar). Without a good sports bra, these activities will see your breasts bouncing all over the place.
Just like when choosing a nursing bra, you should look for a maternity sports bra that is suited to the specific needs of a breastfeeding mama. Underwire or a heavily constrictive fit are not going to be great for your breasts (or milk flow) and can even lead to concerns like blockages or mastitis. Look for bras that offer plenty of support without constriction. Foam cups, wide padded straps, use of materials like power mesh and clever design can give amazing support without compromising on comfort. Click here to check out the Cadenshae range of maternity sports bras which offer support, comfort and easy breastfeeding access.
A nursing bra is only as good as its boob access! If it's a struggle to unclip, difficult to master one handed or doesn't offer easy access, cross it off your list! There is nothing worse than a hungry baby and a boob that's stuck inside a bra! Drop down nursing cups are a great option for active mamas as they're secure while you're working out but offer easy, one hand unclipping which is exactly what you need, especially when you're breastfeeding around the clock!
For more information on returning to exercise while breastfeeding, click here
Need help choosing a Cadenshe maternity sports bra? Click here
You've started to get a handle on #newmumlife and you've decided to dip your toe back into the world of exercise. HOORAY! Returning to exercise after pregnancy and birth is fantastic for both your physical and mental health as a new mama but it's important that you do it in the right way.
We spoke to Magdalena Hawley, founder and head trainer at Mums Going Strong Fitnessto get the lowdown.