Oh, breastfeeding bras. It’s not enough that you have to deal with all the early trauma of pain and cracked nipples, then near-constant feeds for months, and having to wear practical clothes that allow you to feed in public. But have you seen some of the nursing underwear that’s available? Super-wide straps, sensible fabrics, frumpy high necklines. Seriously not sexy.
OK I jest, about breastfeeding at least (we’re still happily doing it, nearly 17 months in, and it’s been one of the most surprising and fulfilling elements of motherhood for me). But fear not on the bra front! Because Bravado is at hand, the answer to all your maternal-wear woes.
I’ve been wearing the Bravado Silk Seamless bras almost non-stop since Eliza was born, following the recommendation of another mum friend. I was sent the Bravado Bliss bra and the Bravado breastfeeding vest to review, and not wanting to spoil this post upfront, both of them are fantastic.
The Bravado Bliss nursing bra is a t-shirt bra made of structured foam with very gentle underwiring, so it gives a lot of uplift. It is supremely comfortable and you can’t really feel you have it on – which is always the mark of a good bra, don’t you think? I was sent the black version (as in the photos above) but you can also buy it in white or nude. It has a satin finish with lace detailing, making it much prettier than your traditional cotton affair.
Access-wise, there’s a simple hook and clasp design on each cup. It’s easy to undo and do back up one-handed, even in the dark. The shape of the bra means you don’t get any unnecessary lines through your clothes, which is a welcome benefit if you’re breast-padded up to the max out in public.
The only slight negative for me is that because it’s more structured and not made of the same stretch fabric of the Silk Seamfree bras, there’s not as much give for the fluctuations in boob size that you’ll invariably have during the day when you start breastfeeding.
But saying that, it’s a welcome return to proper bra territory. I’ll definitely carry on wearing this one even when we stop, especially as it comes with a handy coverter kit.
I was also sent the Bravado Essential Nursing vest in purple. It’s essentially a fitted vest top with a nursing bra built in. Breastfeeding vests are such a fantastic idea for layering under your normal clothes, especially for new mums who might not be quite ready to flash the post-pregno belly just yet. And speaking as someone who had a winter baby, they keep you warm when it’s cold (especially during night feeds).
The Bravado vest doesn’t have the hook design of the breastfeeding bras, I’m not sure why – it has a looped clasp which is fine to undo but really tricky to do back up on-handed. It’s also ruched at the front which means it’s not quite as smooth under some tops.
However, unlike other breastfeeding vest tops I tried, this has proper internal support, indeed it come in actual bra sizes and not a size range. It feels really fitted and holds everything in – it’s great for sleeping in and it would be perfect for a spot of post-baby exercise. It’s also a nicely thick fabric which isn’t see-through in the slightest. And there’s a range of different colours so you’re not just stuck with boring black or white.
I said before that you can’t go wrong with the Cantaloop bra, which I still think is a good bra, but any Bravado bra or vest is brilliant; a must-have essential for any breastfeeding mum.
More on breastfeeding…lovely nursing dresses, my first post on the things that surprised me about it, and my second post on breastfeeding over a year. I’m also taking part in the Great British Breastfeeding Scavenger hunt at the end of this month, so watch out for more posts and some giveaways.
Thanks Bravado! We were sent the Bliss bra and breastfeeding vest for the purposes of this review. Here’s my disclosure policy.