Olivia (left) is wearing the 'Luxe Bra' and Kate is sporting the 'Ultimate Bra,' both in confetti/white. Both gorgeous ladies are wearing the 'Classic Maternity Leggings' in black.
Even in this day and age, there’s not a lot around when it comes to nursing bras for women with a little bit ‘more’ so to speak. If you’re on a mission to find a nursing bra for your hefty, beautiful ‘girls,’ then check out these little snippets of advice, they may just help you to make the best selection possible!
1. Have you got the right size mama?
It’s so very common for new mums to buy the wrong size nursing bra, especially as they get larger when pregnant, and even larger again when their milk comes in!
Trying to squeeze breasts into a nursing bra that’s too small can cause a plethora of issues:
- Discomfort and breast swelling.
- Difficult nursing access.
- Breast infections (blocked ducts or mastitis).
- Bra straps that dig in.
- Added strain on the back.
- Aggravated nipples.
- Under-boob rashes.
- Spillage out the sides and top of the bra.
So, to avoid all those nasties, if you’re buying in store, make sure you go alone, (without any children to rush you) and ask a bra specialist to measure you up correctly. Do not be embarrassed, they’ve seen so many breasts, they couldn't care less anymore! Your boobs are perfectly normal, relax!
If you’re buying online, be sure to check the company’s size guide. If they don’t have one, be wary…you may end up with the wrong size and then have to deal with return issues. To that point, if buying online, make sure the company you’re buying from has a good return/exchange policy and a top quality customer service to help you with your exchange. You don’t need any added stress in our life right now, no matter how small!
2. Avoid these things…
If you have big boobs, unfortunately your chances of getting blocked ducts or mastitis can increase (yay). So, you want to avoid...
- Ill-fitting bras – as above!
- Thin straps.
- Thin fabrics such as lace, as your breasts will have very little support.
- Wires or underwires as they can put additional pressure on the milk ducts. Say NO to the wire!
3. Not able to find an extra-large cup with a small band size?
This is a problem for a lot of women. Most bras on the market are a size 12B, 12C, 12D, 12E, 12F, but once you get into a G, H, I or J cup, all of a sudden those cup sizes are only available for women in sizes 18, 20 or 22. Dumb.
This means many of us are walking around with the wrong band size, and if you've got the wrong band size then you’re not going to get the support you need…cue problems! Having a wider firm band at the bottom of the bra disperses weight evenly throughout the under bust, which is so important as the majority of support comes from underneath.
One possible solution is to try Cadenshae's Luxe Bra as it was specially designed to accommodate women with an extra large cup and a small band size. Could be a goer?
4. What if I need the same cup size, but my band size increases?
For whatever reason many women’s band size increases while pregnant and/or breastfeeding but the cup size remains the same. If the cups of your bra fit well but your band is too small then the bra needs to be able to allow for a few more centimetres in the under-band.
Cadenshae (them again?) have come to the rescue on this one as well, by creating the Ultimate Bra with a specially designed adjustable back band, as well as convertible straps which can morph into a racerback design. This gives you the flexibility of increasing the band size, without going up a cup size. Genius!
5. What should a properly fitting nursing bra feel like if you have big breasts?
- You should be able to slip two of your fingers underneath the band with ease.
- The wing support should feel nice and secure, but not restrictive.
- The bra should comfortably expand and contract with you through your deepest breath.
- Cups should always fit smoothly across the breasts, without any spillage, bulging or digging into your breast tissue.
- Your posture should be upright with your shoulders drawn back slightly, not pulled forward.
- There should be no elements of the bra digging into your body; i.e. straps leaving imprints on your shoulders or back.
'Luxe Bra' in charcoal.
6. What should I look for in a good nursing bra?
Large boobs have more needs than the average boob, no doubt.
Here’s what you should be looking for in a quality nursing bra:
- Sturdy fabrics to provide comfort, stretch and support.
- Encapsulating cups to lift and separate the breasts. No squishing!
- Wide straps to disperse weight and prevent the bra from digging in.
- Adjustability to allow you to perform different degrees of intensity in exercise.
- Full coverage and all over support.
- No underwire.
- Padding to prevent leaks.
- Easy access to the breast for feeding.
- Ability to grow with you through pregnancy and nursing.
7. What should I look for in a good nursing SPORTS bra?
Breasts can weigh a lot - in fact the average weight of a F cup is 1.2kg and if it's not being supported properly, you can't move too much as it can rip the tissue in your breasts, ummm ouch! Having large breasts can be a massive hindrance for some, and if they don’t have the right bra, then exercise is simply out of the question. Boo!
Here’s what you should be looking for in a quality nursing sports bra:
- Padded straps for extra comfort.
- Enough support to take the load off your back.
- Wider straps around the back to help disperse any pain points.
- Seams designed to expand and contract with you.
- Complete coverage to provide all round support.
- Thick bands underneath the bust to reduce vertical movement.
- No wires to help prevent blocked ducts and mastitis.
- Lightweight breathable fabric for comfort (but it needs to be strong enough to keep its shape).
- At the front of the bra, you should look for foam moulded cups and nylon spandex over top so it's offering some stretch, but also a lot of support.
- Adjustable backs are key, as some days you may prefer the support of a racerback design.
- Bra extender – this will give you a few more centimetres, on those ‘really full’ (i.e. your baby slept through the night for once, wooohoo!) days.
8. What are the benefits of wearing a nursing sports bra for large breasts?
A nursing sports bra for the big breasted mum has all the support features of a normal sports bra as listed above but they have drop down cups so you can easily breastfeed.
Wearing a nursing sports bra that fits properly, and provides great support and comfort ensures you can enjoy any type of exercise as a mum. Whether it's low impact such as walking, or high impact exercise if you like to keep more active.
- With padded straps for extra comfort.
- With extreme comfort in mind for everyday use.
- To provide the right level of support to take the load off your back.
- With wider straps around the back to help disperse any pain points.
- For comfort and breathability with seams designed to expand and contract with you.
- To cover as much of the breast as possible, providing all-round support, serving as your helping hands.
- To promote better posture as the stress on your shoulders and back is greatly reduced by distributing the weight evenly throughout the back.
- With thicker bands underneath the bust to reduce vertical movement and provide more comfort.
- To fit correctly and adjust easily, so that if you're doing exercise you can have the straps shortened or lengthened depending on how much support you want or need.
- No wires. The way the bras are structured, they provide a tonne of support to stop the breasts from moving without squishing them.
- With special fabrics. Along the back inside wings, we use a power mesh, which is a lightweight breathable fabric - but it's also really strong so keeps its shape. Then in the front of the bra, we have foam moulded cups and nylon spandex over top, so it's offering some stretch, but also a lot of support.
- With an adjustable back and the option to convert to a racerback design for more support. This also enables you to use a bra extender because they aren’t fixed racerback nursing bras.
- So that you don’t need a dedicated pumping bra. The fabrics we use in the Ultimate and Luxe bras are sturdier, therefore they hold a breast pump on better.
All of these elements make them not only the best nursing bra for large breasts but the best sports bra for large breasts and high impact activity in general. We get a lot of big busted women ordering these bras even when they aren’t pregnant or breastfeeding because they offer so much support and comfort that they simply can’t find anywhere else on the market.
9. How can the right nursing bra help to breastfeed with large breasts?
We're often asked if we have any breastfeeding tips for larger breasted mums. Getting large breasts out for nursing is more difficult, especially when breastfeeding in public.
Traditionally mums would unclip their bra and then have to lift their breast out to feed. But unclipping a bra gets rid of the whole support system, not to mention you're left with very little coverage.
1. Easy drop down cups:
The front panel of the cups have clips at the top. These enable the front panel to fold down for easy breastfeeding while still providing support.
'Ultimate Bra' in confetti/white.
2. A-frame under layer nursing sling.
When you unclip and fold down the drop down cups there is an A-frame under layer nursing sling that continues to provide support and coverage, particularly for the 'side boob' and the top of the breast which are most often revealed.
Another bonus is it's a lot easier to get your baby to latch on because your breasts are being lifted and supported whilst feeding.
'Luxe Bra' in charcoal.
3. Separate cups to provide the ultimate support.
Most mums with big busts dread the “uni-boob.” They don't want their breasts pushed together, they want them lifted up and in their own spacing for the most comfort and support possible.
The Ultimate and Luxe bras are designed to lift the breasts up and support the back properly. These bras gives the breasts a nice shape and put each breast in its own encapsulated cup. No more “mono-boob” or “uni-boob!”
Kate is rocking the 'Ultimate Bra' in confetti/white.
10. Nursing bras for large breasts reviews.
“Ultimate Bra, comfort and support! So happy with my purchase of the Ultimate Bra! Wish I had found these bras sooner and not wasted so much money on other brands. It's so hard to find a bra that fits properly and gives you the support and comfort you need. I cannot recommend these bras enough! Ladies if you’re looking for comfort and support these are perfect!!! Very happy. Donna.”
“The best bra for an active mum! I wish I knew about this bra with my first two kids! I have not been able to find a good supportive sports bra while nursing due my large size. I have problems with blocked ducts with other sports bras because they compress so much. This bra does not do that at all. Great support and no compression. Love it! Ali.”
"One word for this bra (Ultimate Bra)...AMAZING! In all honesty, it did take me a while to decide to purchase this bra. I was looking for good nursing activewear bras and even though some say not to, I wanted underwire as I felt underwire was going to be the only type of bra which supported my E cup breasts, particularly for the kind of workouts I do. I went to 'Bras and Things' and wasted my money on non-nursing sports bras because let's be honest, there isn’t a lot on offer for nursing sports bras. However, I quickly realised it was too difficult trying to feed bub while wearing these. So I jumped back on the Cadenshae website and decided to give one a go. Boy, I’m glad I did! And you know what, I learnt something...that I definitely don't need underwire if the bra is well made. The Ultimate Bra is awesome - really well made, super comfortable, very supportive and also convenient for nursing. Words cannot express how impressed I am with this product, and the price is also awesome for the quality. I’m about to go buy some more online now and I’m going to change out all my nursing bras and just wear the Ultimates from now on. Seriously, don’t hesitate as I did and just buy the damn bra! You’ll be wasting your money if you buy anything from anywhere else! Anita.”
“I've just received my order of the new Luxe Bra (and some of the hoodies which are also amazing) and I couldn't be happier. As a 10J lady who has also had radiation and surgery on one breast, I'd been really struggling with wearing any kind of bra/crop top that was supportive, didn't make me uncomfortable or look weird! This delivery has literally been life-changing and given me back some confidence. Thank you so much Nikki, and team.”
“My Luxe bra has just arrived, and I just want to say thank you so much! I absolutely love it! It’s really comfy, has a super cute pattern and the fit is fantastic! I’m currently only 23 weeks pregnant and have already gone up roughly two cup sizes and it fits well now, yet also has plenty of room in the cup for when my milk comes in. Thank you so much for bringing out such a brilliant bra for us already larger chested ladies! Cheers, Brooke.”
“When I read the words, “this is the bra you were hoping someone would make” I allowed myself to get my hopes up and finally hit ‘complete order.’ I AM SO HAPPY I DID! I could have cried with relief when I put it on for the first time. I’m six months postpartum and have been a 10G since my second trimester. I tried the Ultimate Bra in a 10 and 12 but the cup size was too small in a 10 and the band too big in a 12. The Luxe bra is the perfect solution to this problem. I ordered an 8 and a 10 to try as I was a little sceptical I would fit something with an 8 on the tag but I needn’t have worried, the recommended size on the conversion chart was perfect. The bra is well-made, comfortable and pretty sturdy. The straps are a generous-enough length that I can clip them together as a racerback and still have some length to spare. Also love that the racerback clip can be moved up and down along the strap, I hate it when they cross too high up on my back. The thick under bust band is awesome, it feels really firm but doesn’t dig in uncomfortably. I am so happy and impressed. Will definitely be buying the other colour and hanging out for more. Well done! Annie”
So there you have it - ten tidbits of advice to help you with your purchase. All the best mum, you and your 'girls' have totally got this!
Written by Nikki Clarke.