Transition bras: nursing only or a post op option?
I haven’t posted in a while now, partially because my time has been filled with all things baby, but also partially because there is not much to share. Until recently! Now I’ve got some more great bra things to share, and hopefully some progress on breastfeeding, insufficient glandular tissue, and implants.
Most of my focus has been on breastfeeding. It’s normally a challenge, but add in low supply due to IGT and it becomes more of challenge, to the point of being a daily obsession. Before Gabrielle was born I was worried about what size I would need after milk came in. I didn’t want to buy too much, or really anything. In the same way we only bought 3 bottles, I didn’t want to buy tons of nursing bras when I wasn’t sure how it would work out.
A little searching and I found what is called a transition nursing bra. It’s a super stretchy material similar to that of the Ahh bra or Genie bra. The point of a transition bra is to stretch with your as your breasts change during the early stages of breastfeeding. Sounds pretty perfect? Well it’s, not. But it is useful and it could be useful during the early post op period from a breast surgery.
Meet the Shaparee Seamless Pullover Nursing Bra. It’s a basic sport style bra with tons of stretch. It has a high neck for size increases, wide straps, and a racer back. Please ignore the wear & tear, and the dog hair. I’ve been using the heck out of this bra. Partially because its comfortable (if not very supportive, hence the not perfect), partially because I haven’t ordered new bras and added nursing clasps yet.
Looking at it, it looks like a basic sports bra. It has light compression when first worn, perfect for the early post op period. It is very stretchy, you can bring it up over your feet if needed. The straps are wide, but not very strong so while they don’t dig they do absolutely nothing for the small amount of support they should provide.
The clasp is a normal nursing clasp. I’ve pulled it to the side so you can see the internal sling that joins the cup to the band. I like the wide but stretchy construction of this for the early post op period. It is good because it provides support to the sides if you get the feeling like your new implant is going to fall into your armpit. This feeling goes away as you get used to he new implant, but it can be disconcerting. It is not restricting, it will stretch as you have some swelling. Unlike a normal nursing bra which usually has a side sling with little stretch.
Here is another picture that shows that side sling. Most post op bras are designed to support but stretch for swelling. But I cannot count the number of times post op that I felt really constricted in my bra. It feels almost like these new boobs are suffocating because things just aren’t quite stretchy enough. Now is when a nursing clasp is perfect. Just unhook those clasps, pull the “cups” down and let your new girls breathe. You still have support under the breast from the band, but the slight compression from the cups is removed. (**If you have major pain or swelling changes please contact your surgeon. These are signs of a possible complication.)
So while we all hesitate to grab a “mom bra” for our post op period, this is a type of bra that you really should consider. Many women compare the feeling of engorgement to how their new breasts feel during the post op period. Don’t think of your post op options in terms of a nursing bra, sports bra, or whatever. Think of them in terms of comfort, wearability, and practicality. After all, it is just a bra to transition you through the healing process.