Let’s face it, ladies; nursing bras tend to be a little lack luster (and that’s being polite!). The last thing a woman wants after having a baby is to wear some plain, colourless bra in a style to match the unfortunate “granny panties”. Or at least that has been my experience! I typically buy from places like Victoria’s Secret so going from fun, bright, frilly undergarments to drab, colourless, plain cotton was a bit of a depressing thought during my most recent pregnancy. I think most of us like to feel beautiful and while beauty certainly IS on the inside, sometimes what we dress ourselves in reflects how we feel on the outside as well. There is certainly nothing wrong with a plain, functional bra for nursing, but for me it was the issue of feeling like I didn’t have a choice in the matter. I like wearing pretty things for myself, even if no-one else sees.
Enter Hotmilk lingerie! I was fortunate enough to be given one of their bras to try recently and I am so in love! I have been dubious about ordering online because normally I am able to try things on before I buy, and as any breastfeeding mother knows, breasts tend to change in size and shape from one feed to another. So while I was happy and excited to try this out, I was also entering it with a fair bit of trepidation.
When I first opened the mail, I was struck by how beautifully it was packaged. Usually when I have ordered online, things are just shoved in an envelope without any attention to detail. Not so in the case of my Hotmilk! I wish I had taken the time to get a photo of the outer packaging, but I was a little too excited to wait! As you can see, the bra itself was wrapped in beautiful, hot pink tissue paper.
On their website, there are many different styles to choose from. I am glad I received this pretty little thing – the Chic Ivory Nursing Bra! It is lacey and soft, with a splash of vibrant colour on the bows. I tend to have a lot of light tops so a light-coloured bra is perfect, but I also love the added bit of brightness! Hotmilk has a large array of bras to choose from; they range from lacey to smooth, nursing to regular.
I was pleasantly surprised when I tried it on to see that – YES – it was a perfect fit! I highly encourage everyone to get professionally fitted before buying a bra (whether in person or online). There is a ridiculously high percentage of women who are wearing a bra that fits entirely incorrectly and it can make a big difference to the comfort, function, and life of a bra. This bra was contoured to my body without being too tight in certain places or too loose in others. I find that, while nursing, there is a big issue of a bra not fitting correctly for me, even if it IS the right size, so it was great to see that this bra fit so very well. It fit well continually throughout the day, even right before a feed when my breasts were heavy with milk, and after when they were quite a bit smaller. The cups are created to stretch with the breast so this is a very helpful feature.
Of course, one of the best features, for me, is the fact that this is a nursing bra. So far, I have simply (and sometimes rather awkwardly) been using my regular bras while breastfeeding and let’s just say it isn’t pretty and I have a feeling I am ruining all my bras by doing so. I am so happy to finally have an attractive alternative! The clasps are very easy to undo and do back up one-handed (I have pretty bad carpal tunnel, so this is saying something!).
I also enjoy that the band at the back is wider than some bras, and that there are many options as my postpartum size changes. I tend to gain a lot of weight during pregnancy and then lose quite a bit afterwards and I am confident that this bra would have brought me through the entire pregnancy, had I worn it at the time.
There were only a couple (minor) downsides that I could see. One thing I noticed is that the shoulder straps don’t seem quite as long as I am used to in a bra. On the longest setting it is just right, if not a tiny bit snug. I wonder if those with a long torso might find this to be a problem. Either that or my breasts have just entirely given up after breastfeeding three kids and are on their quest for freedom! As well, the bra cup, when it is released to breastfeed, has another fabric behind it that has a large hole in it which the breast comes through. I’m sure for many women this isn’t an issue as it is just my personal preference, but I wear a lot of tank tops and breastfeed by pulling them down rather than lifting my shirt up and so this extra fabric makes it look a bit weird (to me).
All in all, I am really digging this bra! I would give it 4/5 stars for all around function, appearance, and comfort. I really look forward to ordering from Hotmilk in the future; did I mention that they have free shipping for all orders in the US and Canada that exceed $80? Awesome! They also carry a wide range of sleepwear and even have a section of their website devoted to guiding men in how to order for their lady loves. I hope you’ve all found this review helpful as you move through pregnancy and your postpartum period (and beyond!). If it calls to you, please check out their website at http://www.hotmilklingerie.com/