April 21, 2011

Back to the Underwear

For those of you who have followed this blog since shortly after Nathaniel was born, you're already all too familiar with the fact that I have issues with nursing bras. For the newer readers, allow me to introduce you to the horrific disease currently maligning my body. It's called boobs.

From the tender age of thirteen, I was the busty girl. Only once in my entire life do I recall successfully shopping for a bra at a regular store. For the record, I think it was a Walmart. And I'm pretty sure it was a training bra with no purpose whatsoever than to placate my desire to grow up too fast. My parents were sneaky like that.

But whatever the reason, shortly thereafter, I grew into my own. In other words, my ability to bra shop at regular stores vanished out the window along with the A's, B's, C's, and D's of bra shopping. Oh yes, how fun. Because what teenage girl doesn't like to feel like a freak when Victoria's Secret DOESN'T EVEN MAKE HER SIZE? (This may or may not have contributed to the body image issues I alluded to recently. If I still had my shrink's phone number, I would call and ask. Or sob to her over the phone.)

After college, I made peace with my bosom and even made it through my first pregnancy and nursing experience with two nursing bras- one that could only be worn at night (thanks to a very poor fit) and one for the sparkling daylight hours. Unfortunately, that day bra was a "full coverage" bra. Men, that means I had to wear a turtleneck to cover it up. While I live in Long Underwear Country in the eternally-frigid state of Minnesota,  I refuse to wear turtlenecks. On principle.

So I basically rocked the sleazy bra look while I nursed Nathaniel for eight months. Sexy, I know.

I resolved to do things differently with this baby. You know, purely to avoid the men ogling me with a look that said, Hmmm. How much, baby? Shockingly, despite the fact that I have no problem talking about boobs, my episiotomy, or pushing a small bowling ball out of my vagina, I'm not into that kind of thing.

A few months ago, I purchased a new nursing bra. One that didn't require a turtleneck! And it had lace! And I celebrated! And then realized that the way the bra was made was not at all conducive to a person with, well, any sort of bust whatsoever. What a waste of money.

So I turned to my last (and yes, I do mean last) resort. I scoured the great and mighty Internet and found one final place that carried nursing bras in my size, Bravado. I thought I would outsmart the system so I ordered my previous nursing size and then refused to leave my front door until the box arrived.

I knew as soon as I pulled the bra from it's plastic wrapping, THERE WAS NO WAY. Naturally, I had to try it on anyway and let me tell you, THERE WAS NO WAY. And because the bra companies are clearly out to kick me when I'm down, I went online to exchange it for a larger size when I realized that IT DOESN'T COME IN A LARGER SIZE.

I called customer service. And, despite some of my notorious past experiences with customer service representatives when I'm pregnant and hormonal, I was actually nice. Ten points to the freak of nature. Thankfully, God sent a very understanding customer service lady my way because she directed me to an entirely different bra (one of only two that comes in my size), helped me place a new order, and didn't make any comments about the fact that my boobs clearly have plans for world domination.

So here's hoping that my new bra will actually fit and won't require a turtleneck to ward off the sleazebags. And for those of you who are fortunate enough to be able to be able to go to your local mall and buy a bra, be grateful. Because porn star boobs aren't all they're cracked up to be.


  1. Oh the curse of big boobs! HOTmilk bras actually look pretty and come in a ton of sizes!! I haven't gotten up the nerve to actually buy one yet. I'll stick with my Glamourmom FULL BUST tanks for now!! ; ) Make sure you get the full bust, regular ones are useless for girls like us!

  2. Hmm. Thanks for the tip on the HOTmilk bras! Looks like a few of them actually come in my size (plus they're really pretty). I may have to check those out!!!

  3. You're a fabulous writer! I like how this post has it's very own boob label! LOL Sorry for the boobie crisis, but hang in there mamma(I promise the pun was unintentional)! It will all be worth it in the end :-)

  4. And another boob vent. I remember talking to a friend while I was pregnant and her always small boobs shrank to smaller than prepregnancy after she stopped nursing. I was dancing when she said that, there was hope! But of course that is not how it happened for me.

  5. @Dawn~ I had the same moment of hope, when I heard that. No such luck here either!

  6. I agree with Dawn's comment too!! I heard stories about that before I nursed too. Unfortunately, my hopes were dashed too- mine only shrunk down to what they were before I got pregnant once I weaned the kiddo. Who knows? Maybe I'll hit the jackpot next time!

  7. So lame - I have my fingers crossed for you!! Did you try sports bras when you were nursing? I don't have your problem, but I found that the crossover (yoga style) sports bras actually worked pretty well for nursing and were great for nighttime...good luck!
    Amber :)

  8. I actually did use a sports bra while I was nursing Nathaniel, but it was, sadly, only for working out. I wasn't able to find a crossover nursing bra (or tank) that had enough support. The ones I tried felt like I wasn't wearing a bra at all. That said, who knows? Maybe I was just trying the wrong ones?

  9. I am back down to a D cup for the first time in about 11 years (was at a DD+). This might sound nuts, but I actually just used my regular bras for nursing -- I still have the nursing bra my mother purchased for me before I had my first child. I used it once. Ok, no, I PUT IT ON once. Just long enough to see that I needed to take it right back off.

    This technique of using regular bras DOES break any bra down over time (I usually had two with each pregnancy that I had to toss when all was said and done), but they do last long enough to get through about 10 months of nursing and it worked fabulously for me in all respects. My youngest is going to be 2-years-old next month and I JUST tossed the two bras I used to nurse her. I was able to use them up until last month -- that was when I realized my boobs were hanging about four inches lower than I wished them to hang.

    Anyway, when I nursed, I just folded the cups in to let the girls fly free.

    Hope your new one will do what it's supposed to do, but if not, you might give this technique a whirl.

    Great blog, BTW! :D

    -Jennifer P.

  10. Who invented boobs anyway? I hope you find your boobs a nice home soon...

  11. Oh, boobs. More trouble than they're worth most times...

    http://www.sleepingbaby.net/jan/Baby/braconvert.html -- You can convert your normal bras to nursing bras with very minimal sewing skills required. That might save you a headache or two?

  12. Thanks for the link, Jen! Those are great instructions. I think if I could find a real bra that would fit while nursing, that would be a great option. If the bra I ordered doesn't fit, I may have to look into developing my sewing skills!