Looking for Support
November 13, 2008
I'm going to totally embarrass my mom here and talk about my underwear in public. Specifically, nursing bras and how much they suck. (Ha! Suck! I am hilarious!)
I didn't buy new nursing bras when Molly was born. Why? Because I already own four, and combined those flimsy pieces of lace and spandex cost as much as one mortgage payment. They'd last a little longer, right? Get me through at least another six months, right?
WRONG. I should have thrown two of them away while I was still nursing Jack – the cheapy ones a friend picked up for me. Due to short-sightedness and an inflated sense of confidence, I hadn't bought any before he was born. (Or nursing pads or pump accessories or Lansinoh…please do not be this dumb.) Everyone said you get even bigger after the baby is born, so I didn't think it made much sense to buy one BEFORE. It wasn't until my third hazy day trapped with a newborn that I realized I might like to leave my house again and would need proper undergarments to do so.
If you are size Extra Super Enormous, it is oh-so-mortifying to ask a size Petite and Dainty to run an emergency bra errand on your behalf. She found two in the largest possible size: a sports bra style that creates the dreaded Uniboob and an underwire contraption that looks supportive, but falls down on the job. LITERALLY.
After a few weeks stuffing myself into those things, I finally understood that you get what you pay for when it comes to nursing bras. I took my lumpy post-partum self to the maternity boutique in the fancy shopping mall in search of a bra that might actually hold me up. I was so desperate, I even agreed to be measured (by a size Flat, if you're interested). Within seconds, I was handed a heap of bras in size (GASP) 38F and hurried into a dressing room to suffer my embarrassment in private.
Nearly all the bras in the heap were lacking underwire. I knew I'd read something somewhere about not buying underwire nursing bras, and the saleslady (size Flat, I'll remind you) made sure to inform me of this fact as well, but these people are joking, right? Underwire is something of a necessity for those of us who wear size Extra Super Enormous. I don't think I've worn a bra without underwire since, oh, sixth grade. I was relieved that the one underwire bra fit and fit well. I also kept one of the no-wire bras because this was my first baby and I was still following the rules.
And then I realized these bras were $60. EACH.
I bought them anyway and over a year later they're still all I've got. One of the wires has busted through the seams and is jabbing me in a place I really don't want to be jabbed. The straps are tightened as far as they'll go, and I've got the hooks set on the farthest row. The other bra has yellowed with age and lost all elasticity. My other two nursing bras are buried in the bottom of my underwear drawer because I think that if I can't see them, they don't exist.
I can no longer ignore the droopy, ratty, stretched-out state of a VERY important part of a new mom's wardrobe. I'm ready to spend an obscene amount of money, and I don't even care if it looks like it's been designed by Cold War-era Russian scientists. I'm just worried I'll go shopping and find out I'm now a 38Z.