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.
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
We love the LaVie range of products here at Milkbar. Designed in collaboration with breastfeeding experts, the LaVie range of products were created to help make your breastfeeding journey that little bit easier.
Many mamas may be familiar with the original LaVie Lactation massager, that nifty tool that uses gentle vibration to stimulate milk flow and break down blocks and sore spots but the LaVie range doesn't actually stop there! There are two other products that can be super handy for the breastfeeding and pumping mum.
Let's take a look at the range to help work out which one might suit you best.
There are many reasons why a mama may sometimes need to supplement her baby with expressed breast milk or formula.
While giving this little bit extra via a bottle is usually what we think of first, a Supplemental Nursing System or SNS can be a super handy option for supplementing mamas who want to avoid nipple confusion and keep baby at the breast full time.