What’s the difference between a maternity bra and a nursing bra?

A maternity bra is a bra designed to be sensitive and accommodating to your changing breasts, often with especially soft and stretchy fabric to give you room to grow and not irritate your increasingly sensitive skin. It is important to get a bra that supports because even if your bra size doesn’t change drastically the breast tissue will become fuller and heavier. There are lots of basic bras that can work during the early stages of pregnancy.  Look for something very soft with a generous cup like the Anita Microfiber Crop Top without wire or the Hedona from Chantelle or Smoothing Full Cup from Fantasie if you still want underwire support.


A nursing bra is obviously for nursing. It will have many of the same features as the maternity bra; soft, supportive, accommodating, but most nursing bras come with an extra side panel for support and some sort of clasped opening that allows the cup to drop down and easily allow the baby to feed or the mother to pump. During the first stages of breastfeeding, bra size may still vary depending on feeding schedule and milk production. Eventually milk production will settle into a more steady rhythm and breast size will stabilize accordingly.



When to buy?

At about four months it is probably time to get fitted for a maternity bra. Keep in mind that your breast will continue to change and grow.  The maternity bras should keep you going through the next three months but if they become uncomfortable or unsupportive don’t wait to upgrade to another size or style of maternity bra.  In the 7th or 8th month your breast size should stabilize and you should get fitted for your nursing bra leaving a little room in the cup.



What about a sleep bra?

Some women really appreciate the smooth comfort of a sleep bra.  A good sleep bra can help reduce back pain by giving extra support all night long. Choosing something with a soft cup and as few clips or hooks as possible is the key to getting all over comfort. Other women prefer a shelf cami or to simply rest freely.



Bringing Home Romance

After the baby is born it can be difficult to rekindle the romance. Many women experience a significant decrease in libido after giving birth. Often times the issue is hormonal, but even if the desire returns you may find yourself simply exhausted.


Make room for Romance

If you’ve lost the sense of sanctuary in your home try to find a space to reclaim for you and your partner.  Clear out the clutter to keep yourself calm. Make setting the mood a shared activity. Allow your partner to participate in creating space for intimacy.  Light a few scented candles and share a romantic bubble bath or treat each other with a relaxing massage.


Appreciate Yourself

Another significant issue is the change in self-image that occurs during and after pregnancy.  Establishing a new and healthy self-image can be difficult and confusing but taking the time to get know, understand and appreciate your new physique is the key to rebuilding that image.  Treat yourself to something beautiful.  Ease your way into romance with lingerie that comforts.


Don’t Be Afraid To Ask

Excerpt from Reclaiming Desire: 4 Keys to Finding Your Lost Libido by Andrew Goldstein, M.D., and Marianne Brandon, Ph. D;

A woman’s sexuality is vital to her self-image and self-esteem.  So if her sex drive should falter, the consequences can reach far beyond the bedroom-to her sense of value as a person, her perception of her relationship with her partner, and her satisfaction with life in general…

·        Pregnancy and childbirth create a number of physical and psychological changes that have a dramatic impact on a woman’s sexual desire and response.

·        Because of the hormonal fluctuations that occur through pregnancy, a woman’s libido may vary in each trimester.

·        Most women report a decline in sexual function and satisfaction up to 1 year after childbirth.

·        If low libido persists for more than a year postpartum, chances are that deeper relationship issues are at work.




Fashions That Work

Even in the early stages of pregnancy you’ll notice changes in your body and even if you’re not ready for maternity clothing, it’s important to start thinking about the way your clothing treats your body.  Make smart choices about fabric and cuts.  Stock up on versatile basics that can grow with you, like soft stretchy pants and loose fitting tees. Spice up your basics with a few bold prints and colorful accessories. Don’t be afraid of dresses or formal wear with Mama Spanx and Power Mama hosiery to finish the look.


Getting back to work but not sure you’re ready for the old suit and business shirt? Try layering your basic blazer over a nursing cami or an elegant cardigan over a nursing chemise for a pulled together look and easy nursing access. 



Moms at Work

Lots of women return to their jobs after childbirth.  The transition can be difficult but the key is preparedness.  At least two weeks before returning to work you should gradually introduce the coming changes both to your infant and your self. Practice pumping breast milk at home.  Introduce your baby to the bottle early and have a secondary caregiver offer bottles before you go back to work.  Planning ahead can make the new routine easier for everyone and give you the time needed to work out problems without being late to work.   


Once back at work, breastfeeding can be quick and easy if you have the right supplies. Prepare your bag the night before with all your nursing needs; pump, breast pads, bottles, etc. Don’t forget extra things like an ice pack for long commutes and food for yourself. Why not bring a portable music player to help you relax plus you can time your breaks with the tracks. At work you’ll need a private and preferably quiet place with a comfy chair to sit in while you pump, plus room in the office fridge to keep the milk. 






Hospital Day

So you’ve got your hospital bag packed with the really important stuff like insurance papers and baby’s car seat. But what about packing a few special things for yourself?


Bring some things to make yourself feel welcome and warm while pacing the halls; like a good pair of slippers and warm socks, a cozy nightgown that’s not made of paper and a comfy robe that doesn’t open in the back. Gather up a few homey items to make the sterile rooms a little more lively like family photos, something from baby’s new room, your favorite throw blanket and of course your own pillow.



Planning Patience

You’ve been waiting nine months for delivery day but now that it’s here the real wait begins.  Be prepared for long check in at the hospital with small activities like knitting (or if you don’t trust yourself with sharp objects- checkers).  Pack a few energy snacks and juices for your partner or family members so they don’t miss something while running to the snack machine.  In for a really long wait? Bring along birth announcements and have friends and family start filling them out.



Sensational Experience

Make the day pleasing to all your senses or as many of them as you can still feel! The hustle bustle of delivery can be overwhelming, but if you plan ahead you can feel confident and comfortable. 


Settled into the hospital but not sure what to do next? Try to relax. Get your partner involved and keep you both busy with a relaxing massage or foot bath.  Bring some massage oil in a pleasing aroma or a scented bath bomb to fizz at your feet. Give yourself a soothing soundtrack via a portable audio device.



Bring Home New Home Remedies

While pregnant or nursing you have to be particularly careful about what you put into your own body because it will transfer to baby too. Common problems will need less common solutions since most medications can have adverse affects on baby’s delicate system.  There’s a wealth of wisdom to be found in some old-fashioned home remedies, that can just as effective of their over the counter counterparts.



Blocked Milk Ducts

Many new moms make more milk than needed which can clog and engorge the breasts.  Soaking breasts in a warm water bath and massaging from chest to nipple can release the excess milk and relieve the pain and pressure.

Herbal Relief: Make poultice or compress with soothing herbs like comfrey or parsley; wrap a small handful of herbs in a small piece of cheesecloth or similar fabric, tie up with string.  Boil the pouch in simmering water for 10 to 15 minutes then allow to cool before applying to irritated areas.

Cold Potato: Make a cold potato poultice to reduce inflammation and relieve mastitis. Apply raw grated potato to the area and cover with a cloth.



Tea & Milk

There are lots of herbal teas that can boost milk production, herbalists recommend various teas made from Aniseed (also a digestive aid), Milk Thistle, Alfalfa (which is also high in silica and calcium), Goat’s Rue (an Australian import to increase production of milk solids) and Raspberry Leaf (which also can be recommended during pregnancy for uterine toning). Check with your physician and a local herbalist for personalized advice.



Nipple Relief

Nursing nipples need extra care!  Most moms will experience mild to moderate nipple irritation. Keeping the area moisturized will reduce chafing and irritation. So treat a little tenderness with soothing Vitamin E oil or aloe vera gel. Need more comfort? Try an herbal compress or poultice to sooth sore nipples.

Check Out The Great Nursing Products Mentioned in This Article and More at: www.alamodelingerie.com

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