Sleeping in a bra? On purpose? You ordinarily wouldn’t consider heading to bed wearing a bra, or wearing one 24/7 for that matter, but when it comes to pregnancy and nursing it just makes sense for many women.
Throughout your pregnancy and breastfeeding, your breasts will likely become fuller, heavier and more sensitive. A soft, stretchy-but-supportive bra can make you feel much more comfortable. Sleep bras hold your breasts gently in place, helping to prevent back pain, sagging and stretch marks on your chest.
After your baby is born—and even before the birth—some women have breast milk leaks. Avoid waking up with wet patches on your chest or bedding by tucking an absorbent washable breast pad into each bra cup catches the leaks and wicks moisture away from your skin, helping to keep your skin healthy.
When you’re breastfeeding, your body temperature is about one degree above normal (no, that wasn’t your imagination), so look for a sleep bra that’s made of breathable cotton. The Sweet Pea Nursing Bra is a customer favorite because it’s seamless, stretchy and lightweight. Another great option is the award-winning, lactation consultant-approved Original Nursing Bra, which also offers plenty of soft flexibility as well as a smooth racerback style with no hooks or clasps, and a wide band to provide even support under the breasts.
It could be time to rethink your usual T-shirt-and-boxers or nightgown too. There is a wide range of nursing sleepwear that’s specially designed to provide easy access for breastfeeding—and you definitely want those midnight feeds to be as easy as possible!
Choose a sleepshirt or nightgown that opens generously at the front via drop down clips, panels or snap openings, so you’ll be able to have that all-important skin-to-skin contact with your baby. (Remember, the Bravado bra cups drop down and away from your body to give your baby full access to your breast.) That open access also means you’ll be able to lie down to nurse if you wish.
If you’ve had a C-section, you’ll probably want to skip the pyjama pants which could press against your incision while it’s healing, and opt for a nightshirt or nightgown instead. Regardless of the sleepwear style you choose, look for cotton for easy care and breathability. A matching robe is not a bad idea either—it’s cozy, and it helps you look a bit more pulled together on those inevitable days when 2pm rolls around and you haven’t gotten dressed yet. And of course, choose a color or pattern that you really love, to give you a bit of a mental boost. After all, you and your baby are going to be spending some time hanging out together in your jammies.