Being a pregnant woman in 2022 is a vastly different experience than it was even thirty years ago. Not only is the medical technology significantly improved–can you believe your mother’s generation of expectant parents was generally given only one ultrasound to take home during the whole pregnancy?–but so is the general understanding of proper pregnancy practices–such as knowing to avoid drinking and smoking, for example. Not so long ago it was also far less common and accepted to see women proudly showing their incredible pregnant bodies in the media (thank you Demi Moore for that iconic pregnancy photoshoot that sparked change) or even just around town. And the clothing choices are vastly improved over what they used to be limited to.
Pregnancy Style Then and Now
Let’s take a brief walk down memory lane. The pregnancy your mother lived through was not the same that mothers today experience. Parents then were often offered no option to know the sex of their baby in advance; maternity leave was reduced in length; paternity leave was practically unheard of. And the art of narrowing in on how far along the pregnancy was probably wasn’t a science your parents benefited from.
Also, we have to talk about pregnancy clothing! For most of the last century pregnant women were to be dressed in loose fitting clothes that tented over the stomach. Smock, trapeze, and tent dresses; empire waist ensembles; lots of pleating–these were all popular choices that draped women in yards of fabric. Thankfully, culture and fashion have shifted to allow pregnant women much more flexibility to dress as they normally would.
Fitted clothing that accentuates baby bumps was once taboo but now women in every term of their pregnancies are rocking fitted clothes (looking at you, Kim Kardashian). The same is true for nursing dresses; because nursing in public–or even really acknowledging nursing at all–was taboo as well, you can bet there weren’t cute nursing clothes like there are today.
If you’re a mother, you don’t just have to think about dressing on the outside during and after your pregnancy, but should also prioritize your undergarments!
You’re Going to Need Some Nursing Bras!
Once you begin nursing, your pregnancy has ended but the real work has only just begun. Although some articles of your clothing can return to your pre-pregnancy picks, your intimates call for a revamping to help you through this stage of motherhood.
We’re talking specifically about nursing bras. Regular lingerie simply isn’t going to cut it when you’ve got to think about leaking, pumping, and unfastening your bra while holding your little one. Fortunately for all hopeful, expectant, and new mamas out there, nursing bras have never been so cleverly designed and comfortable–not to mention stylish!
The Best Nursing Bras
The main variation between nursing bras and their regular counterparts is that nursing bras are designed to be easily and instantly adjustable, so they come in options that allow the cups to be moved aside, unclasped, unzipped, or some variation of this. A common misconception about nursing bras is that they aren’t a necessary expense since they only have a temporary use. While this preference will be different for everyone, mothers quickly realize how much additional convenience nursing bras offer during the one-handed scramble of nursing time.
Additionally, proper bra fit is essential when nursing; wearing a bra that is too tight can result in blocked milk ducts and eventual mastitis (an inflammation of the breasts). Nursing bras can help prevent this.
Here are the most stylish nursing bra designs we’re loving in 2022.
Unclasping Nursing Bras
Nursing bras are designed to make access as simple as possible. A convenient option is one with hardware that frees you to easily unclasp and re-clasp the flap of the cup. You’ll probably even be able to master the art of unclasping the cup with one hand while you’re holding your little one so all you have to focus on is furthering the bond between you and your baby.
Leak Proof Nursing Bras
The threat of the leak is always present for nursing moms but thankfully there are bras designed specifically with this in mind. These nursing bras are padding-free support made to sit against your skin that come with reusable pads, also sometimes called “soft cups,” that slip into the cups to give that extra protection against stains showing up on your shirt.
Nursing Tank Tops
While they look like normal tank tops, nursing tops are made with discreet clasp or fold features for easy access. Because of the support of the built-in bras in these tanks, they can be worn on their own or under clothes. Soft cotton tank tops are an essential in every closet, so we love that they have nursing alternatives to help mamas keep this clothing favorite in their wardrobes.
Breast Pumping Bras
Breast pumping can be time consuming, and moms need a bra that accommodates the sudden nature of the pump. It’s awesome that there are nursing bras to make the mindless chore of pumping take up less precious time of the day. These bras are made with flaps that lift or fold to the side to allow the breast pumps to be attached and stay on so while you’re pumping you can also be doing anything else you want!
Elastic or Foldable Nursing Bras
These bras are ones we love because of how comfortable and normal they feel. They’re made without underwires and often padding-free so they sit right against the skin in a soft material perfect for sleeping or relaxing (since new mamas have got to grab the Zzz’s whenever and wherever they can!). They’re great for nursing because elastic allows you to flexibly pull the neckline down, while the foldable nursing bras allow you to pull down the front flap section without worrying about hardware digging into your skin when you’re resting.
Aren’t we all so glad for all the ways the process of giving birth (and afterwards) has improved today compared to what it looked like even recently in the past? Not only is the medical side of giving birth safer and more advanced than ever before, but the whole experience of being pregnant is more enjoyable due to adjustments around parental leave, better ultrasound equipment, the reduced stigma surrounding pregnancy shown in the media–and of course, cuter and more comfortable maternity clothes!