A well-designed nursing bra is a breastfeeding mom’s best ally. Ms Pomelo, a UK-based company that makes bras with a focus on proper bra health design, offers a nursing line that tackles new issues brought on by breastfeeding. From suddenly heavier breasts, to the risk of mastitis, and accommodating an active infant, breastfeeding moms face many challenges in their journey. The Ms Pomelo line designs its nursing bras with these factors in mind, while staying true to its mission to design gorgeous bras that promote better breast health.
Ilona Shariga, CEO and Founder of Ms Pomelo, tells Parentology about the brand’s nursing line, what good bra health looks like, and shares pointers for picking the right nursing bras.
What areas of health does bra wearing affect?
Let’s discuss four key aspects of bra health: breathing, posture, digestion and skin.
Breathing: When a bra band is too tight, you won’t get adequate lung expansion when you inhale. This means you won’t get enough oxygen when breathing, resulting in a net balance of oxygen deficiency. When you operate on low oxygen levels for extended period of time, it negatively affects all bodily function. In severe cases this can even lead to brain damage.
Posture: This is another big element of bra health. Wearing a bra that doesn’t give good support can put more strain on muscles, causing tension and discomfort. This can aggravate other symptoms like headaches, muscle aches and pains.
Digestion: A restrictive bra can cause indigestion and increase the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. When the bra is tight, the restriction in the spine and rib cage can adversely affect neural structures originating from this part of the spine. This can negatively impact functioning of the organs and muscles in this area.
Skin: The bra is in close contact with skin for extended periods of time. This is why it is important to make sure the fabric takes care of your skin and continues to do so over time. Choosing a breathable fabric that can be cleaned properly is key to preventing fungal infection and friction-caused irritations.
Tell us about the Ms Pomelo nursing bra line.
We launched the line in 2016 on the encouragement from our personal friends who were breastfeeding at the time. Many commented on how breastfeeding in combination with limited sleep and absence of attractive functional nursing wear in retail can be an identity-stripping experience for new moms. So we decided to convert two of our regular styles – Showstopper and Pola Negri – into nursing bras, called the Happy Mummy and Mama Chic. We engaged lactation consultants to give us pointers, removed the underwires to comply with mainstream medical recommendations, brought in the needed nursing infrastructure, added hypoallergenic cotton lining and a splash of juicy colors. Voila – our nursing line was born!
What main considerations went into designing the line?
In terms of ease of use, the key ask was easy one-handed drop-down cup and reliable frame support that would enable easy access and support the heavy breast while allowing the mother to focus on holding the baby’s head — but not both, which was a complaint on styles available on the market.
In terms of indications for breast tissue sensitivities, we mimicked our current design of the T-cup structure, resembling the natural breast shape. We also kept our use of cotton lining in the cups, which meets high standards for health and comfort. We chose styles that had minimal seaming around typically sensitive areas. All these practices have helped us win the support of multiple breast clinics, which recommend us to patients.
Finally, we thought about two separate size groups when creating the styles. While Mama Chic emphasizes style for lighter frames, Happy Mummy delivers comfortable secure experience for heavy busts.
Tips for Picking the Right Nursing Bra
- Do not start too early. In the last weeks of pregnancy your breasts are about the same size as when you are breastfeeding, so wait until then to get fitted.
- Choose an underwire-free bra as the wires can cut in. The band needs to be slightly looser as the breasts really do expand and reduce during the day.
- The absolutely worst feature on most nursing bras is seam running vertically down the bra cup. If you have thrush, this seam causes friction and exacerbates the already painful area.
- Budget the room for breast pads in the first few weeks.
- Aim for breathable hypoallergenic fabric (cotton or bamboo) and lightweight product. Your breasts will feel hotter than usual when breastfeeding.
- Choose various styles in a few different sizes (check the return policy) and play with them at home. Fiddle with the straps and cups. Make sure you can undo clasps one-handed before narrowing it down to your final collection of four to seven nursing bras.
*Parentology is teaming up with Ms. Pomelo for a reader giveaway — one person will win both designs of Ms. Pomelo’s nursing bras! LIKE our Facebook page and leave a comment below to be entered. A drawing will take place on May 10.
In the meantime, to learn more about Ms. Pomelo, visit https://mspomelo.com.
An important logistic for US readers — UK sizes are one cup smaller than US cups sizes. Visit this conversion link when ordering: https://mspomelo.com/bra-school/international-bra-size-conversion-table/