So the last time I reviewed a bra for the lovely Big Cup and Little Cup I was pregnant with my first baby and desperate for a bra to help with my ever expanding bust, which was ridiculously tender and sensitive.
Fast forward, and I have had two darling babies, the little one now just about to have his first birthday. I’ve been pregnant and/or breastfeeding for three years now without a break. My boobs have been through the wars and have the scars to prove it. I am still breastfeeding the little one, though just twice a day now, once first thing in the morning and at bedtime (I try to ignore any feeds during the night…) and things seem to have settled down. No longer am I leaking milk and needing to wear breast pads constantly; nor do I have the two-hourly pattern of boobs expanding to the size of watermelons and then shrinking to floppy oranges (alternate sides obviously – one wouldn’t like to look normal during any of this!) Now they are just very much adored saggy sacks and milk appears on demand without any huge storage compartments.
I realise this doesn’t create a particularly joyful picture. And so a couple of months ago I was at the end of my tether. I was fed up of feeling like an overworked dairy cow. Fed up of having to wear my skanky, old, stretched and very comfortable nursing bras morning and night. Fed up of looking and feeling like a tired old bag. There was nothing I could do about the tiredness, but a shopping trip went some of the way to helping with the rest of it, and a chat with good old Sian and Char provided an answer to my underwear issues.
And so I was presented with the prettiest, most welcome bra I had ever seen, ‘Poppy’ from Royce Lingerie. Char helped me with sizing (the ‘small’ size nursing bra I was used to didn’t really help give me an idea of proper bra sizing, and all I knew was that my boobs were nothing like they’d been before). We ended up ignoring the website’s suggestion (where they added a number of inches around the band measurement) and had to guestimate what would be best bearing in mind Char suggested that a 30DD might be best for me, and their smallest band size is 32. So, 32D it was.
I’ve lived in this bra for the past two months. It is brilliant. It’s comfortable, practical and yet doesn’t make me feel like a breastfeeding mummy all the time; I can actually feel like a vaguely attractive woman again! The fit is perfect and I tend to wear it on either of two middle hooks (out of a bank of four) depending on the day. It is non-wired: important when breastfeeding, as you don’t want the wiring to dig into any breast tissue, as that can cause blockages and consequently mastitis (NOT pleasant). As a result, the gore doesn’t sit flush with my chest wall, but then that is just a feature of all non-wired bras.
As with all nursing bras both sides feature a clip at the top of the cup which you can flick open in order to reveal the breast beneath: this bra is no different. But they seem to be somewhat camouflaged with the flowery pattern of the bra making it look less obvious! I have found, though, that although very easy to undo the clips one-handed, they can be difficult to re-fasten with one hand, especially if trying to keep a baby asleep on your knee. So I have had to put the baby down with boob still hanging out and then sort myself out. Not the end of the world when at home in the nursery, but less useful if out and about.
And that brings me on to my one problem with this bra: the moulded cups. Now, I like the fact that it has moulded cups that hide my protruding nipples most of the time and gives me a good shape, but when it comes to feeding they can be quite inconvenient, as they are difficult to fold down to get your breast out. As I’ve said, my baby is nearly a year old; he is a breastfeeding expert, he is massive and he also LOVES his food–so nothing stops him getting his chops round a nipple. However, if you are early on in your breastfeeding, or your baby is young or small, I can imagine these cups could really impact your ability to get baby to latch on properly (and therefore could cause sore, cracked nipples or even mastitis).
So, for me this bra is perfect. It did just what I needed it to do – made me feel human again whilst still maintaining breastfeeding. But it wouldn’t work in the earlier months; it doesn’t have the capacity to manage a watermelon to an orange in a single size, and those cups will just cause problems with the latch of a tiny baby. However, any mummy whose baby has reached nine months and is still breastfeeding and felt like I did…GET THIS BRA! I never realised underwear could make such a difference.
Though of course baby still won’t necessarily sleep…
The Poppy bra by Royce Lingerie is available to buy on their site for £30 in sizes 32 to 40 D to FF. The Poppy brief is available in sizes small, medium, large & extra large for £12.
This bra has also been reviewed by The Lingerie Detective in a 36DD.