To wear or not to wear a bra to bed when breastfeeding is a question that many nursing moms struggle to find an answer to. Some moms argue that when they wear a bra to bed they feel restricted while others feel that not wearing one makes them leak more. I believe the answer to this question comes down to personal preference. Lactation experts, however, give more detailed information regarding this and provide recommendations for breastfeeding moms who prefer to sleep in a bra.
Why would you wear a bra to bed when breastfeeding?
- For support
According to lactation experts, sleeping in a bra provides the much-needed support especially when your breasts a full, which prevents leakage.
- Minimize leaking
You will realize that when you walk around the house without a bra, milk starts to leak. I guess this happens mainly due to the law of gravity. So to prevent this, wearing a well-fitting bra as you sleep, helps to reduce leakage at night.
- To hold breast pads
If you are one of those nursing moms whose milk leak excessively at night, wearing a bra is important so as to hold the breast pads.
- For comfort
When you start breastfeeding, your nipples may become extra sensitive and painful when they rub against your dress or top. A good bra will keep your boobs contained and protect the nipples; hence giving you comfort as you sleep.
What kind of bra to wear while breastfeeding: Recommendations
- Wear a sleep bra
If you have to sleep in a bra, a sleep bra provides the much-needed support and comfort compared to a normal bra. This is because they are made of a unique material that stretches easily giving your boobs room to expand and prevent engorgement. Also, they do not have an underwire, they are soft, and do not have back fasteners.
- Get a bra that does not have an underwire
Most normal bras have an underwire that may block the milk ducts and cause engorgement. Sleep bras, on the other hand, do not have an underwire. You should also avoid bras with an underwire because they may interfere with the flow of milk or affect your breathing while sleeping.
- Ensure it is not tight
A tight bra will definitely make it difficult for you to breath. It will also affect the flow of milk since it leaves no room for your breasts to expand as you sleep. A loose bra will be more appropriate since putting a lot of pressure on your breasts will prevent milk flow.
- The bra should fit breast pads
If your main reason for wearing a bra while sleeping to prevent milk from leaking and messing your sheets, then put breast pads under your sleep bra. Sleep bras stretch easily; hence, they hold the breast pads quite well.
- Wear a nursing tank with a built-in/shelf bra
Some nursing tank tops have a built in bra that serves well as a nursing bra. The built in bras come with removable pads. You can add more pads or replace them with thicker breast pads to prevent leaking of milk. If you want to get yourself a good nursing tank or bra to sleep in, check out this review.
To conclude, there are no written rules regarding whether or not you should wear a bra to bed when breastfeeding. If you feel comfortable wearing one, then go ahead but make sure you observe the recommendations discussed above so as not to affect milk flow. But if you feel restricted and uncomfortable then avoid them.