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Oh Nursing Bra, How I Despise Thee

I am a busty girl. I wasn’t always — I didn’t even wear a bra until halfway through junior high and then it was just because I had to change for gym class. But somehow starting in high school and continuing on through college, I actually managed to, excuse my French, développer une paire. (Or for those of you who are not as sophisticated as me and can't say only dirty things and nothing of actual use in other languages: grow a pair.)

I hovered happily around a full B cup until my late 20s, when I put on a bit of cheese weight followed closely by some more weight followed closely by s’mores weight. Suddenly I was a 34DDD. Then I got pregnant and all of my bras stopped fitting again. Upon getting measured for new ones, I was astounded to find out I was now a 36F.

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I was horrified and sort of proud at the same time. I took pictures of myself trying on bras in the new humongous size with the tags clearly displayed and sent them to my husband. (He still calls those pictures the, “worst attempt at sexting ever.”) I was forced to purchase those bras that you and your 9-year-old friends once goggled at upon seeing them in a department store. “Here Stephanie, I found a training bra in your size!” (Collapses into pile of giggles).

(Nursing bras) don’t inspire me to write achingly beautiful love sonnets in their honor, like I sometimes do on the subject of Justin Timberlake.

So for a while I walked around with this massive chest preceding my entrance to any room. I wasn’t used to being quite so well-endowed and I pulled many an accidental boob graze on many an unsuspecting Starbucks barista. Eventually my stomach overtook my boobs and I felt more like myself again ... that is until nursing bras entered the picture.

Because UGH. I hate them. I hate them so much in fact that they’ve actually become a muse of sorts. Or the opposite of a muse actually. Because they don’t inspire me to write achingly beautiful love sonnets in their honor, like I sometimes do on the subject of Justin Timberlake. Rather, I compose odes to their absurdity in my journal and proselytize their horribleness to the other mothers at story time. (For the record, they do not hate nursing bras as much as I do. One woman even calls them her “Mardi Gras Bras.”)

The reasons I abhor these bras are manifold.

They give me the dreaded “uni-boob,” they are not nearly supportive enough for my large chest and they’re just uncomfortable in general. Even the sports nursing bras I have for some reason just don’t do the job. So I often find myself at the gym (well not often exactly, let’s be honest with ourselves LAUREN) jogging on the treadmill with both arms firmly crossed over my chest, lest my lady parts start flying about the room and slapping people (namely me — but I cannot promise safety to the gentleman on the treadmill next to me) in the face.

Plus when my daughter was still nursing all the way to sleep, I swear the re-clipping of a nursing bra could wake her out of even the deepest milk coma. She’d be blissfully dreaming one moment and then click, screaming. It was suddenly like I was marshaling a parade replete with trumpeting elephants through her room.

Some days I decide I’m done with nursing bras and lovingly pull an older model out of my drawer and slip it over my shoulders and sigh. But a little while later after I’ve struggled in and out of the regular sous-vêtements (there I go with the dirty French again) every two hours (my baby is fat and hungry, yo) or accidentally given someone more of a show than I intended (I’m sorry Target shoppers), I’m cursing and throwing back on the dreaded nursing bra.

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I love breastfeeding my daughter but I live for the day when I can shed the nursing bras forever, or at least until the next hungry baby comes along. Until then I’ll deal with unsatisfactory underwear and spend entirely too much time browsing sensible bras online. “Look at this one," I gasp to my husband from the other side of the couch. "Full coverage, underwire for days, thick straps, HEAVEN.”

He glances over. “Lovely. I can’t wait to see pictures of you wearing that.”

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