A few weeks ago I wrote about my breastfeeding concerns when it comes to feeding my second baby – Little S. In the post I wrote about some useful advice I have been given by a breastfeeding adviser, which helped to alleviate my anxieties. I am glad to say that the breastfeeding is going well. Recently we have been sent a Bravado breastfeeding bra to help us with this breastfeeding journey.
On taking the bra out of the box my first impression was that it looks more like a sports bra than a breastfeeding bra. The magic starts when you put it on… It is easily the most comfortable bra I’ve ever worn! The fabric is soft, it feels almost like skin against skin. The wide strap with 3 lines of hooks gives great support without giving the feeling of pressure. The overall feeling is like you are not wearing a bra, yet still feel supported – I know it sounds strange.
Aesthetically it’s a nice item, it’s a pleasure to wear. There is a number of different fabrics used for the main body, trimmings and straps, plus there are two colours – white and pearly pink. I love the attention to detail in terms of looks and practicality. Little things like contrast between mat and shiny fabrics adds a touch of glamour. Slightly wider shoulder straps give good support, but still look attractive thanks to pastel pink and an embroidered border. Unlike some of my other breastfeeding bras this one does not have the slight granny feel to it.
The removable inserts are a great idea when it comes to a breastfeeding bra. They offer enough stiffness to cover the fact you are wearing breast pads and if you are no longer wearing breast pads they hide your nipples (which are larger and elongated from feeding). Because of breastfeeding I tend to stick to padded bras, as I find it embarrassing that the outline of my nipples can be visible.
It really is a bra designed by women, for women. It is designed to be comfortable, yet attractive. It is feminine, but it’s not a sexy bra, designed with the male gaze in mind. The inserts give breasts a nice shape, but still allow them to look natural. Wearing this bra is a pleasure, which is wonderful as most of my breastfeeding clothes are clearly not designed to make mum feel attractive, they are simply practical. I only wish I got it sooner! The stretchy fabric and 4 adjustable lines of hooks would make it a comfy addition to maternity wardrobe (and it means you don’t need separate pregnancy and breastfeeding bras).
How does it perform when it comes to feeding? It does pass this test as well. The clips are easy to operate with one hand. The soft insert is a good compromise between a fabric bra and a padded one. I find that hard padded bras get in the way when feeding and are awkward especially when feeding in public, as they are more fiddly and make it harder to avoid ‘indecent exposure’.
The bra is to be washed at 30 degrees, which is energy efficient.
The whole bra passed Oeko-Tex Standard 100, which means there are no harmful substances in any part of the product. It is important as it is an item worn against skin, and of course baby has close contact with both the fabric and the breast.
The bra has been designed with longevity in mind, which means less waste. It can be worn during pregnancy and breastfeeding, but it also converts into a regular bra thanks to clever clips.
On the negative side: nylon forms 90% of the fabrics used and it takes 30-40 years to biodegrade (compared to a few months for cotton fabrics); spandex which has a 10% share will also eventually biodegrade, but it takes much longer; the inserts are made of polyester foam, which is non-biodegradable, however it is possible to recycle it back to virgin resources (here’s a very interesting article on why man made fibers are sometimes the greener choice).
All and all this bra is a good compromise, as breastfeeding has a smaller carbon footprint compared to formula (consider the bottles, teats, formula packaging, formula itself and various other paraphernalia).
PS. I have been sent the bra in exchange for an honest review. The views are entirely my own.