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DD+ Night/Sleep Nursing Bra: Bravado “Custom” Original Nursing Bra for Even Larger Cup Sizes (and a Smaller or Bigger Band!)

2014 September 8
by Sarah

SO … I went and got pregnant and had another baby. She’s 10 weeks old already. How did that happen??

Doing this whole nursing thing the second time around, I thought I knew what to expect bra-wise. BUT. When I went to stock up on a few new nursing bras–my last bunch from Baby #1 were wrecked–I found some new options in my size range and was stoked.

Here’s what I’m digging for that first postpartum period when you’re breasts are like, “HEY! And you thought these were big before? Mwahahaha.”

First up: the sleep bra. You’re engorged, you’re leaking, you gotta keep those nursing pads in place — I never really wore a bra to bed before kids, but nursing? Yeah, I’m pretty much in the YOU MUST HAVE ONE camp. My go-to sleep bra is the same one Patricia first wrote about here: the Bravado Original Nursing Bra.

Bravado Original Nursing Bra via Bravado

Bravado Original Nursing Bra via Bravado

But here’s the exciting part: Breakout Bras carries a “custom” version that goes up even higher in cup size and smaller in band size! I wore the S++ with Baby #1 but was really just kinda fudging it with the cup fit. The size chart is super generic and the S++ is supposed to fit a 32-36 band in cups E-G. Ummmm…right.

The “Custom” version Breakout Bras has? It lets you specify a 30-32 band size (yes!) if you need a smaller band fit. AND you can order cup sizes F-G and H-I in a 30-32 band (double yes!).

Also? They carry more cup sizes in the S-XL band sizes, too — up to an L cup in 32-36 or 36-40 band sizes, a K in 38-42, and an I in 42-46 – and have a bigger band option than the XL; a 46-50 in F-G cup.

ON CUP SIZES: Yes, these are US cup sizes, so on first glance it seems to only accommodate up to the equivalent to a UK G (30-32 band) or HH (32-40 band), but honestly? The cup sizing on this bra runs *very* large and even with an 11″ difference between my band and cup size (a US K cup), I still have a bit of room. If you want some fit advice, email customer service at Breakout Bras. I did before I ordered to confirm if these were returnable if they didn’t fit (the “custom” part threw me off; YES, they are returnable) and if the 30-32 H-I had any chance of fitting. I gave them my measurements and the bra size/make I was currently wearing and they told me it would be no problem at all. They were right on!

Now, the downside — the custom bra sizes are $49.50 versus the regular $35. UGH. However! Breakout Bras does free shipping and, if you’re a returning customer, you get your own discount code worth 15% off. (Note: I’m not affiliated with Breakout Bras and am not receiving anything from them for this post–I just totally dig that they carry this custom option!)

Is the fit on this bra perfect? No. It’s still a little loose in the band and I look a bit, how shall we put this…saggy. But for a sleep bra? It’s comfortable, supportive for sleep, and keeps everything (including those super important nursing pads) where it should be. I’ll call that a WIN.

 

 

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My Nursing Essentials

2013 July 15
by Sarah

I wanted to share a few of the things that made me feel comfortable when I first started nursing in public with the little man. A quick disclosure: I believe in letting nursing mamas do their thing–whether that’s with a coverup, in a baby carrier, or au natural–baby’s gotta eat! For me, I felt most relaxed when I had some coverage.

The nursing outfits I always hear about are to layer a nursing tank with a button up or a T-shirt. The luxury! Nursing tanks were too small and unsupportive for me (I bought a Cantaloop–he he, get it? Gosh, I’m way too easily amused…)–tank and there was no way I could step foot in public in it, but it was great as a sleep tank in those first few weeks. Instead, during the first few months when the LO nursed all the time and on-the-go, I stuck with nursing bras and pulled up my normal tops under a nursing cover. For coverage in the back from hiking up my shirt (something you don’t have to worry about with a nursing tank), I liked higher waisted pants. 

1. Bebe au Lait coverup ($35).

Loved the stiff wire so I could see what I was doing and check on the babes. I tried something called the Boob Tube as well, but it was super awkward to manage with large boobs and I needed more coverage where I pulled my shirt up in the front. The Bebe au Lait design is super simple, a kind of apron around your neck, that you can throw on and pull off fast. It folds up really small in the diaper bag. I tried to find the most inconspicuous print, to keep it less “hello, I’m nursing!”

Bonus: Shade while they’re sleeping on planes…

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Snoozing under the Bebe au Lait

2. Jag Jeans “Malia” High Rise Slim Leg (available at Zappos or Nordstrom, $64). LOOOVED these pants post-partum. They pull on with no zipper or button to awkwardly cut into your post baby deflated balloon belly–plus 50000000 points. The upper panel is not super stretchy like maternity pants, it’s a stretch denim that has some give so you feel comfy but was also sturdy enough to keep my belly from sloshing around. The back comes up pretty high so you don’t have to worry about flashing a whale tail while nursing.  Photo on 7-14-13 at 3.33 PM #3 Photo on 7-14-13 at 3.40 PM #5

3. Leggings. My old Madewell ones were easy to pull up higher on the waist to sit closer to my natural waist.  I’m sure there are plenty of other brands you could hike up, too. Same thing as Jag Jeans, here–covering up any exposed back while the Bebe au Lait covered up the front.

Screen Shot 2013-07-14 at 3.56.26 PM

Image via Madewell

4. Workout clothes. Especially for the first few weeks home…don’t even try on most of your pre-pregnancy stuff (especially pants)!! Spandex is your friend. Trust.

I liked my Astro pants (same ones that I wore throughout my entire pregnancybecause they came up high (again, loved that for coverage in the back) and helped pull my belly in so I could wear a stretchy workout top without feeling too self-conscious, but Lululemon doesn’t seem to make those anymore. Maybe the Groove pants would be a good alternative (well, as long as they’re not see through!). I also lived in my workout tops because hardly any shirts fit me while I was engorged and the stretch was perfect for the extra boob volume.  

5. TOPS? 

What the heck tops do you wear while your boobs are extra big? My outfits were hit or miss, especially because it was fall and winter during my most active nursing days and sweaters + nursing boobs = Kathy comic “Ack! Ack!” reenactment in the dressing room. I found a few sweaters / tops on the longer side that had a band at the bottom so it cinched a bit, in thinner knits, and I liked those the best. I also tried longer shells to pair with long cardigans and blazers. But I never felt totally together, so I’ll hand it over to you lovely ladies. What tops do you go for during the nursing months? Please share in the comments!!

Here’s an outfit I attempted 4 weeks postpartum and then another 9 weeks PP. I tried my best :)

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4 weeks PP and sleepy :)

Halloween, 9 weeks PP

Halloween, 2 months PP

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Boobs and Babies: Thoughts on Full Busted Nursing Bras

2013 June 8

Hello!! I have been wanting to do a post for ages, and every time I sat down at my computer after tidying up after the baby or doing the laundry, he’d, of course, wake up from his nap. Without fail. And suddenly here I am, with a precious 9 month old son and feeling very guilty for having abandoned my blog!

So, first things first, a pic of the little guy:

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I’m soaking up all the mom moments and loving watching him go from a tiny little thing who conked out every few minutes to a wild bundle of energy racing around the apartment to find everything he’s not supposed to touch! Every parent says they grow up quickly, but I didn’t realize how fast it all would happen until all these milestones started piling up one on top of the next and I started packing away the 4th big bin of clothes. Sniff…

So, onto something boob-related…NURSING!

To be honest, I was very non-commmittal about the whole thing going in. I had heard about all these horrible sounding things like clogged ducts and mastitis, not to mention engorgement (bigger boobs??? Are you kidding? How could they grow any more than my 9 month bra size??). But I thankfully and luckily didn’t have trouble getting going at the hospital with the wonderful nurses who showed me the ropes and reassured me when I couldn’t tell if I was getting the latch right. With a good supply and a hungry little guy we were off and, somehow, now coming up to the 1 year birthday when I can wean him to milk when we’re ready.

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One of many nursing comas on the Boppy in the early days

But despite an easy nursing relationship with two minor hiccups (2 clogged ducts I resolved on my own following tips on the amazing Kellymom), I gotta be honest. The thing that was the biggest hurdle was finding nursing bras in my size that made me feel good, and reading June’s recent post about this brought all those feelings right back. I wanted to wait to post about nursing bras until I found ones I loved so I could help provide solutions, but the options were scarce in my cup/band combo. I don’t want to scare anyone away from nursing for fear of this, though–honestly, this issue made me dig in my heels even more to figure out a solution, because, as my hormones would have said if they could have: Damn if I’m going to stop feeding my child because the bra options for me are scarce! Whatever, bra companies!

Hormone-rant aside, if you’re in the middle range of the full-busted cup continuum, don’t worry; there are some good options, like Anita, which guest poster Patricia mentioned here, and June is on the case to find even more. They may not be the most beautiful bras in the world but they do the job.

But if you cross up into the higher end of the cup range with a small band, where I found myself (I think around a 30J/JJ until recently; allowing for fitting-myself error, as I probably overestimated the cup to avoid wires touching my breast tissue for fear of mastitis), the options include soft bras by Royce, Freya, Panache and one Cake Lingerie option (Cheesecake) and for underwires, going out on a limb with a special order Ewa Michalak. None of the soft cups gave me enough support with my heavy nursing boobs, and I was super droopy in them. My Ewa special order I’ll tackle separately, but I couldn’t use them.

The best solution I found for myself?

Making my own. Even with my remedial sewing machine skills, I knocked one out in an hour. If you’ve sewn more recently than 15 years ago, you’ll probably be done much faster. I followed these two tutorials at Hourglassy and Venusian Glow and made my Panache Jasmine (I liked it because of the stretch lace at the top–great for cup fluctuation between feedings–and the closer-set cups and bigger cup range than the Andorra) a nursing workhorse.

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Next time around, my strategy will be to order this bra or one in a similar style in sizes one to two cup sizes up prior to having the baby, try them on when possible and return the sizes that don’t work (I *cover my nips* with Bandaids when trying on bras while nursing to avoid unfortunate leaking and return issues!) and tackle the alterations when I can. A lot of sites give you 60 days to return so you can get through that engorgement period and see what size you settle into.

Also: some Nordstrom’s will do nursing bra alterations. My experience was that the alterations department chose which bras they’d turn into nursing bras and there weren’t very many. The department manager did her best with their available stock and what the alterations department could do, and had them take an Elomi Caitlyn 34J and cut 3″ off the back and add nursing bra clasps. The uplift was better, but the cups were huge and the wires wrapped around onto my back, giving me a very wide east-west look and eventually bruising me… It was better than the soft wires but not as good as my own alterations, which were cheaper to do than Nordstrom, which charged for the band and the nursing bra alterations for a grand total of $35 per bra. As usual, the customer service from Nordstrom’s was wonderful and the manager was incredibly sweet and encouraging about finding a solution.

Hopefully I will be able to post more in the coming months. I don’t think I’ll be writing on a regular schedule, but we’ll see how it goes!

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A Little Maternity Leave :)

2012 August 3
by Sarah

I’m due any day now, and, well, my brain officially left the building about a week and a half ago! I likely won’t be posting for a couple of months while I get acclimated to Baby and sleep deprivation and feeding and diaper changing, unless I have a free moment to share something booby-related with you all. BUT! I don’t want to leave you hanging. There are TONS of great large breast blogs out there now which I’ve tried to keep up with in my blog roll (on the right side of my blog; just scroll down!)–highly recommended reading, all of them. Keep up with all the goings-on of the DD+ community with any one of these!

And, if you happen to have an idea for a DD+ guest post, whether it’s fashion or bra related or about topics that come up with having a large chest in general, please email me at info at stackdd.com. I’d love to consider it!

See you all on the other side….!!! Xx

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What I Wore: Bras, Pregnancy Edition, and How to Save Money

2012 July 19
by Sarah

In the last few posts, I’ve talked about how my breasts have changed over the course of my pregnancy, bra fitting and bra recommendations, and pregnancy bra fitting advice that REALLY didn’t work for me and why. But undergoing all this change hasn’t been cheap! No one’s ever going to have the same type of breast change in pregnancy, but I thought it might be helpful to see exactly how I got by with bras during my pregnancy and share some tips for saving money while your chest is in flux. So, without further ado…

WHAT I WORE IN BRAS, beginning of pregnancy through 36 weeks:

read more…

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A Fitting Gone Wrong, Part Two: Pregnancy Fit Issues and How To Avoid Them!

2012 July 13

Yesterday I showed you what happened with a pregnancy bra fitting that went awry. The results were not pretty! So I picked Linda’s brain (from Linda’s Bra Salon) to see why the advice used to fit me–be able to fit a whole handful in the top of each cup–didn’t work.

Q: Ack!! Help! What happened with these bras?

read more…

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A Fitting Gone Wrong: Pregnancy Bra Advice That Didn’t Work For Me

2012 July 12

All right, as promised, today I’m going to dive in with some of the pregnancy bra fitting advice that *didn’t* work for me!

One very reputable store I went to tried their very best to fit me, but here’s what happened when I wore the new bras I purchased from them. Sorry for the gruesome photo, but this is simply a case where the picture explains it much better:

So what happened here?

read more…

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The DD+ Reading Roundup

2012 July 10
by Sarah

I love when other bloggers round up their favorite inspirations, news, and reads so I can catch up on everything I’ve missed. But I have been so inconsistent about doing it here! I’m hoping to do this more often if you find it helpful. And coming shortly, a post with the rest of my pregnancy/nursing bra fittings, mishaps, and recs.

XO, Sarah

  • First, the exciting news that we in the US have our first Curvy Kate Star in a Bra, the lovely Krista Cousins! I love her positivity and energy for transforming the bra landscape here in America: “The time for a beautiful, busty, body revolution is now and I am very prepared to lead us all to victory.” Krista went into the contest thinking she was a 34 or 36 F and discovered she’s a 30GG. Here’s to more women finding bras that fit well and signing up for a good fitting at their local specialty lingerie shop or via Skype!

  • The Lingerie Addict interviews new nursing bra brand Lorna Drew’s managing director Lorna Drew on how she came up with her adjustable cup concept and her passion to help support nursing moms. I’ve been following this company as one of the only ones I’ve seen who makes 30 bands up to a J cup (UK) with something resembling a normal shape and am interested to see how it stacks up to other nursing brands out there.
  • I’m loving this bright coral or soft lilac Lululemon running top! It has a super cute back cut-out with a girly lace trim that looks like it would still accommodate our extra-wide DD+ sports bra straps. Plus, like many Lulu tops, it seems long enough that it wouldn’t ride up in the front from the extra fabric the boobs take up. Has anyone tried this??

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Bra Fitting During Pregnancy: Keeping Up With All That Change!

2012 July 5

Let’s talk some more about pregnant boobs!

Last week I showed you how my breasts had changed from the first trimester to week 33 of my third trimester and gave the actual measurements of how they changed. But keeping up with all that in bras? Now that’s been a learning experience, so I wanted to share some of the tips and hints I’ve gotten from professional bra fitters for pregnancy along the way and how they worked for me, as well as a few things I discovered, too.

(PS: I know I promised to post this last week, but my brain died last Thursday–thank you, Baby StackDD+! It seems it has finally returned to functional today. Thank you, God!)

Tip #1:

read more…

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Claudette Giveaway Winner Announcement!

2012 June 29
tags:
by Sarah

This was so hard! All the stories you guys shared were awesome and so positive–it’s amazing how much a bra that fits well can transform how we feel about ourselves!

I love reading about how you learned that things that were taken as a given with bras became signs of ill fit:

  • “Though I noticed that the straps either dug in or slipped off, breasts fell out of cups etc I thought that was the norm so I sailed along in my youthful ignorance.” — The Baroness
  • “I didn’t know how a good bra should fit, I didn’t know a good bra could make my breasts look amazing, I didn’t know a good bra would make clothes fit properly. Worst of all, I didn’t know that constant back pain and sore breasts are NOT a normal part of wearing a bra. … I set out to fix my bra problem. …  [T]urns out I’m a 32G/30GG!” –Kaya

 

And how you reacted to learning your new size and wearing the right bra:

  • “I wore too-small bras for years, where the band was too big and the cups too small. I  didn’t really know any different, though, so I was incredibly surprised to find out my true size when I finally went to a small bra boutique–I’d been about 4 cup sizes off!” — Nora
  • “[My first bra fitting] made me realize that my breasts are neither too large, nor too small, they are mine – and perfect exactly the way they are.” — Megan
  • “[E]ven though I don’t look like a D cup, I found I was …. and all three of us–my two girls and me-feel and look great!!!” –Kim L
  • “Getting my first accurately-sized bra in the first time in years was a revelation.” — Lena

 

And the best part? How your new bras are working for you:

  • “Before, I tried my hardest to cover up (which can be hard, since even the smallest v-necks always seemed to show too much.) Now I’m a lot more comfortable wearing shirts that I would have never worn before. And I think they fit better, too. — Katie
  • “[E]ven a relatively boring bra can really flatter my figure.” –Reesa
  • “My boobs didn’t droop anymore. I no longer resembled someone’s grandmother. I had a waist, and it was tiny! Looking at my reflection in that mirror, for once truly supported, I felt beautiful—unreservedly, without exceptions or addendums, beautiful—for the first time in my life.” –Eileen

The winner gets this!!

While all of your stories moved me, and I found many parts of Eileen and Katie’s stories, especially, that I could identify with, the person I selected to win still hasn’t found a bra to fit her. She hasn’t yet experienced the rest of these a-ha moments but is on the verge, guessing that she’s a 34I (34G in Claudette). So CASSIDY, I’d like you to be able to know what a bra in your actual size can do for you! I’d love to help get you in your first well-fitting bra with Claudette’s help!!

CASSIDY’S STORY:

To be honest, I still have never had a properly fitting bra. I wear ones that will “work” but I just can’t bring myself to spend the money on a good fitting bra. (I think I wear a 34I but could be very off on that after reading all your tips) I would love, love, love to win this so that I can finally see how it is!

Thanks again to everyone who entered! This is the second giveaway I’ve been able to host, and I hope to have the opportunity to do so again! To keep up with contests and the rest of my posts, you may want to consider subscribing to my Feedburner on the sidebar to have my latest entries delivered to your inbox so you don’t miss a thing :) Xx

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