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Rated: E · Article · How-To/Advice · #801249
a practical idea for nursing bras that REALLY fit!
Honest- I am NOT fixated on underwear! It's just that after more than 15 continuous years of breastfeeding I've become quite the connoisseur of nursing bras. Being mega-cup sized hasn't helped me any either. A couple years ago I alerted you to the existance of a sport-bra style nursing bra I came across, pricey but comfortable. Now I see even Meijer carries a version of that style. This is good.

HOWEVER- after two years of using that style I find that I am STILL dealing with the same problem I have always had- nursing bras just don't provide the support a large-busted woman needs AND they cost too much at that. I put my analytical mind to the task of figuring out just why that is. I think I have found out the answer AND I have finally solved the problem!

The reason nursing bras fail to support the large-busted woman is because the nursing flap involves the entire cup. In order to be easily released for nursing, none of the flap actually bears any weight. That measly little rim that goes around the breast underneath the flap does nothing to support a large breast. I got thinking about it and realized that the WHOLE breast doesn't need to be bared in order to nurse- just the nipple area. This got me thinking that you could use a normal bra (reasonably priced & any style you like) for nursing by cutting a round hole (about 2 1/2-3" diameter) at the tip of the cup, then constructing a flap to cover it.

After a number of failed experiments (like leaving the circular flap attached at the bottom and using velcro to close it- the nipple just stuck out the side of the flap! OR making a large triangular flap of knit fabric sewed along the bottom of each cup & sewing the circular cutout on it to plug the hole- that one involved an awful lot of velcro to close it up and looked like ... well, never mind!) I FINALLY solved it in a way that is cheap, quick & ecological (huh?)!!! It took me all of 20 minutes to turn a regular bra into a nursing bra that is comfortable AND supportive AND inexpensive.

If you are like me, I never throw away old bras. They have just stacked up over the years in my drawer, despite worn out elastic, stretched out straps, etc. I'm always afraid I'll be desperate one day, and they'd be better than nothing. My nursing bra method uses these old bras, so drag 'em out and pick the ones with the best fitting cups. If you are neat and don't save such stuff, try buying a used nursing bra at a resale shop or garage sale- it doesn't have to be EXACTLY your size, since you are only going to use the nursing flaps. As long as the flap would cover a good portion of the breast, it should work.

Here's what you do, step by step:

1 regular bra
1 old nursing bra
sewing shears
pen or fabric marker
sewing machine with zigzag stitch

1) Buy a regular bra that fits you the way you like- these are ALWAYS cheaper than nursing bras.

2) Go in your bathroom with the scissors, pen, pins & bras. Lock the door & ignore the yells for you from the other side. This won't take long!.

3) Put the bra on.

4) Looking in the mirror, carefully draw a generous circle around the nipple area of each breast with the pen. It needs to be at least as big as the areola around your nipple, but don't make it much bigger than that. You want to leave most of the cup to support the breast.

5) Carefully cut each entire nursing flap off the old bra. This part is rarely worn out, no matter how old the bra! Also cut off the strips with the clip or hook or snap that attaches the flaps at the top. You now have two nursing flaps with nicley finished edges (except for the sides where you cut them) and working hooks for closing them.

6) Looking in the mirror, carefully position the flaps over the cups of your new bra & gently pin them along the cut edges. This will involve pinning a tiny bit at the lower part of each side as well as the bottom edge of each flap. Don't worry if the flap doesn't totally reach the bottom of the bra cup- if you have an extra seam along the lower part of the breast, it won't show, and it won't keep the flap from opening. Pin the strips with the hooks in place on your bra straps so that the flaps will be able to close appropriately. Try opening & closing the flap; adjust it until it's right.

7) Carefully take the bra off. Get dressed. Unlock the door & answer a million questions about what you were doing in there.

8) On your sewing machine, carefully zigzag stitch the cut edges of the flaps to the new bra. Zigzag stitch along the upper edge of each hook strip.

9) Carefully cut out the circles you drew on the cups of the new bra. Zigzag stitch along the cut edges of the new bra.

YOU ARE DONE!!! Wasn't that easy???

Now you MUST go read
It's Totally Out of My League  (18+)
Review with a twist
#856966 by PlannerDan
. It chronicles the totally spontaneous & hilarious results of a poor male stumbling upon this piece!

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