Breastfeeding And Underwire Bras – Avoid Or Okay?

Breastfeeding And Underwire Bras – Avoid Or Okay?

During pregnancy, there’s usually a focus on a woman’s growing belly. Less attention is usually given to a woman’s developing breasts. But, just as your body is supporting the growth and development of your baby, your breasts are also changing in preparation for feeding your baby. It’s important to think about ways you can support them. One way you can do this is with supportive bras. But can breastfeeding and underwire bras be a problem?

If the only bras you own or prefer to use are underwire bras, what should you do?

Breastfeeding and Underwire Bras

Here are 3 things you should be aware of:

#1: Underwire Bras Might Place Extra Pressure On Your Breast

You may have heard from various sources that wearing an underwire bra while breastfeeding can increase the risk of blocked ducts or mastitis.

The theory is the wire of an underwire bra may inhibit blood and lymph flow, as well as restricting the flow of milk from the underlying milk ducts.

While this is possible, there’s no scientific evidence to show that underwire bras are linked with any breastfeeding problems. It’s just anecdotal information that gets passed on from various sources.

If you decide to wear an underwire bra while breastfeeding and end up with blocked ducts or mastitis, stop wearing them to see if it helps resolve the issue.

#2: What Works Best For You Is Important

Wearing bras that are most comfortable for you is important. If underwire bras are uncomfortable, then don’t wear them.

When breastfeeding, your breasts go up and down in size, as breastmilk gets made and removed. For this reason, the majority of breastfeeding mothers prefer bras with easy to open and close designs, and a flexible, breathable and comfortable fabric. But, the choice is yours.

#3: If You Choose An Underwire, Ensure It Fits Well

If an underwire bra is the bra of your choice for breastfeeding, be sure you choose bras that fit well.

Remember that your breast tissue extends all the way up into your armpit. If it digs in anywhere, it’s likely to get really annoying and possibly painful.

Recommended Reading: For more information about choosing a bra for breastfeeding, read BellyBelly’s article Nursing Bras – When Should I Get A Nursing Bra?



Renee Kam is mother to Jessica and Lara, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), a physiotherapist, author of 'The Newborn Baby Manual' and an Australian Breastfeeding Association Counsellor. In her spare time, Renee enjoys spending time with family and friends, horse riding, running and reading.

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