Your first months of exclusive breastfeeding are a cherished time of bonding and nourishment. At some point in the first year your baby will begin exploring solid foods, initially along with breast milk and gradually as a sole diet. As your breasts change to support this life-sustaining nutrition and then eventually you wean, your nursing bras will evolve as well.
Navigating the transition from nursing to not can be just as complicated as learning to breastfeed in the first place. We’re helping you work out the details and uncomplicate a very natural part of your child’s development.
Breastfeeding is a time like no other in your relationship with your baby. And just because your baby is ready for solids doesn’t mean breastfeeding is over. In fact, breastfeeding while you transition and beyond is highly encouraged since there’s no evidence that shows breast milk ceases to be healthy for your child.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for at least the first 4-6 months of your baby’s life. From there, you can gage signs of readiness, including:
Some parents begin with traditional purees such as oatmeal, rice cereal, fruits and vegetables. Others opt for more diverse first foods, such as meats, more complex grains, fish and eggs. Still others go for what’s known as baby-led weaning, which is the practice of waiting until babies independently show interest and ability in finger foods, usually table foods already being served to the rest of the family. (Contrary to what the name may imply, baby-led weaning is more about weaning onto solids than weaning off of breast milk.)
How ever you decide to introduce solids, you can continue breastfeeding for as long as you and your baby agree. You may find breastfeeding comforts your baby when going through the exciting yet unpredictable experience of trying new foods. Additionally, breast milk ensures your baby is getting all the right nutrition as you discover her likes and dislikes. Often babies and toddlers are picky at first so breast milk helps bridge that nutritional gap. Breastfeeding also creates a positive routine for your baby, such as the soothing embrace you enjoy before naps and bedtime.
As you surely know, each stage of pregnancy and breastfeeding is met with breast changes. Introducing solids and eventually weaning will certainly do the same. During pregnancy, maternity bras soothe your sensitive breasts by offering gentle, stretchy support. In your early stages of breastfeeding, stretch is still important as your breasts continue to expand and your size may fluctuate while your breast milk comes in and stabilizes. For nighttime feedings, nursing sleep bras and nursing camis are heavenly, like The Serenity, our favorite super soft sleep bra.
After a few months, you’ve probably found your “new normal” when it comes to your breastfeeding routine and milk supply. Your nursing bras may reflect that as you get back into styles that were your favorites pre-baby such as cute lace bras, underwire bras and t-shirt bras. One of our most popular is The Monroe nursing bra.
When your baby starts solids, you may gradually feel your breasts changing as your milk supply decreases to only meet the demands of your baby. Often moms leak for the first time during this shift because their babies are feeding less but their milk supply has not yet waned. This is a great time for nursing pads, which fit comfortably into both nursing bras and nursing tank tops. And you may want to return to bras that have a little give-and-take until your breasts return to their post-breastfeeding size.
Once weaning is complete, you can transition to Leading Lady’s line of regular bras and full figure bras. You’ll find many similar styles to your favorite nursing bras that include signature features like cushioned comfort straps, side-to-back smoothing zones, perfectly contoured cups, and designs that meet your everyday needs. Our Brigitte Collection has something that suits every woman with a standard t-shirt, full figured and lace styles!
As a woman, your body and breasts will continuously change during your lifetime. Leading Lady is by your side, providing bras, panties and other innovative products to support your every stage along the journey.