Breastfeeding is arguably one of the most natural things for your baby, so it comes as a surprise to many mothers (myself included) when things don’t come so easily. Even though I had done a little reading and attended a La Leche League meeting with my first, I still experienced problems with nursing my little one. Cracked and painful nipples, milk supply, latch problems – you name it, and I experienced it (with both newborns, surprisingly). One thing that doesn’t have to be difficult is fiddling with a bra.
During my first pregnancy, I purchased an underwire nursing bra thinking I needed the extra support. So. Uncomfortable. Trying to position baby without the wires poking one of us was a huge pain; I can’t imagine trying to do this in a normal bra.
The following product was sent to me at no cost to facilitate my review. All opinions remain my own. For more information, see my full disclosure policy.
The Belibea bra is a maternity and nursing bra that also allows you to pump hands free. It features two cups allowing you to wear one garmet for both nursing and pumping. It comes in 2 standard colors. There is also a cami available with the same features. The stretchy and soft material make it a great option for pregnancy as it will stretch to accomodate a growing bustline.
This has hands down become my go to bra. It’s super comfy (no underwires poking mine or baby’s head), allows easy access for nursing, and I don’t have to put on anything additional for hands free pumping. Super useful when you nurse one side and pump the other.
Similiar to other nursing bras and camis on the market, it unclasps at the top to turn the cup down. It has two layers of cups.
Unsnapping the first layer reveals a cup with a slit in the middle. This allows for a breastpump flange to be inserted into the bra for hands free pumping. This is such a sanity saver for me. Holding two flanges up to your breasts at the same time is annoying – you don’t have your hands, which isn’t an option if your pumping while little ones are around. Other hands free options on the market are usually a strapless bra that goes over your bra to pump, which I also find annoying as the velcro would snag, it would fall off, or whoops, forgot it. This bra is perfect. I’m no longer fiddling with a pumping bra and a baby. To preserve the shape and size of the hole, Belibea recommends inserting the flange from the inside, placing the smallest part of it through the hole. It’s slightly annoying at first, but once you get used to it, it’s not a big deal.
Unsnapping both layers allows quick and easy access to the breast for your nursing baby. The cup folds neatly down and there’s no icky wires in it to poke you or baby. It’s easy to unsnap underneath clothing, so nursing in public is a breeze (or as easy as it can be) Bigger ladies might find they want extra support when they go out, otherwise I didn’t have a problem with going out and about in it (I’m about a 38C).
It can also be used to combination feeding and pumping unlike the strapless pumping bra. I often unlatch one side completely to feed baby, and unlatch one cup on the other side to pump while she nurses. Even though the silicon hand pump that I use suctions to the breast, its nice looping it through the bra so kicking baby feet don’t release the suction.