My story – why I love supporting women!

Hi, I’m Emma from bras4mums.Emma

I just wanted to say hello to you all and briefly explain why I’m running bras4mums.

I’ve got three boys and during my first pregnancy, I just went into my local high street stores, which I guess most of you would probably do, and bought my maternity and nursing bras from the shops. They weren’t very pretty and they weren’t attractive. They fitted and they did the job, but they weren’t great!

So during my second pregnancy, I wore the same bras again, but having worn them probably for two years last time, they weren’t really supportive anymore.  I’d lost a lot of weight at that point, so my body shape had changed, and they really didn’t fit very well at all.  However, I didn’t really think anything of it and just carried on with old unsupportive and unattractive nursing bras!

During that time, I was also looking for work. I wanted to leave my employed work and become self-employed.  I was investigating various avenues and discovered there is a whole host of other maternity and nursing bra suppliers which you can’t probably find in the high street store, and these bras are pretty, really supportive and they are much better than the styles that you can get in the high street, particularly in the shops that I was going to, anyway!

So I set up my home fitting service around Cambridge in 2011 and I now visit mums, either pregnant or breastfeeding, and fit them in their new maternity or nursing bras.

Then about three years ago, I was given an opportunity to take over bras4mums, which meant I could increase the reach of the ladies that I support, because I’m so passionate about women wearing the right size bra for whatever stage of pregnancy or breastfeeding that they’re at, but also that they’re wearing something pretty and attractive and something they feel comfortable and confident in.

Cake Lingerie Sorbet Nursing BraYou don’t have to suffer like I suffered through my first two pregnancies with bras that are frumpy and unattractive and not very supportive.

I just really want to get that message out to women, so come and pop over to the website and have a look, and if you need any help or advice, then I’m here.

I’ve been through it, I understand, and I’m here to help you, because I really believe that at a time when your body’s changing so quickly, you can still feel good about yourself about yourself. You can actually be confident and be comfortable and be supported in gorgeous bras!

So, if you need any help or advice, drop me an email, call me, find me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and I’ll be happy to help.

downloadLooking forward to supporting you!

Emma x

Do I have to wear nursing bras?

Do I have to wear nursing bras? This question is often asked by ladies in their first pregnancy because it is all new to them and they don’t know what they need in terms of new bras.

However, the answer isn’t necessarily a straight ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and there are different reasons why you do or don’t have to wear nursing bras!

Firstly, let me explain what a nursing bra actually is, because if this is your first pregnancy, you might not actually understand the difference between a maternity bra and a nursing bra.

HOTmilk Eclipse Nursing Bra

Quite simply, a nursing bra is a bra which has nursing clips. These clips allow you to pull down the cup of the bra for easy feeding access. Usually these bras don’t have underwires in them, although there are several underwired nursing bras on the market*.  You can wear a nursing bra during pregnancy but is not necessary as you won’t need the nursing clips until you start breastfeeding.

*I don’t recommend wearing underwired nursing bras until after at least 12 weeks post birth. Read about underwired nursing bras here.

A maternity bra is just a term for a bra that you wear during pregnancy. Many ladies continue to wear their normal bras during pregnancy but then get to a stage where they are uncomfortable and need new bras. At this point, they usually move into wearing a maternity bra, which is essentially a soft cup bra that does not have nursing clips.

So, do you have to wear a nursing bra?

HOTmilk Eclipse Nursing Bra

During pregnancy, no it isn’t necessary, although many ladies will wear a nursing bra when they are moving from their normal bras to a soft cup bra. This is because many of the styles of nursing bra that I stock are designed to be worn during pregnancy as well as for breastfeeding. HOTmilk and Cake Lingerie bras for example, typically have 6 sets of hooks at the back. This means that you can start to wear the bra during early pregnancy on the tightest fitting and it will then grow with you as your bump expands.

If you are planning on breastfeeding though, then a nursing bra becomes more essential. By wearing a nursing bra, you will be well supported, particularly if your breasts become heavy when your milk comes in and you will be able to easily pull down the cup for access to your breast. The last thing you want when baby is hungry is not being able to easily attach baby to your breast!

So, does this all make sense? Have I answered your question: do I have to wear nursing bras? Is there anything else you want to know? Ask me here in the comments, or on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #brafittingFAQ and I will answer anything you need to know!

Emma x

February Bra of the Month

February has started very damp and gloomy here in Cambridge, so to offer a bit of brightness, here is the February bra of the month.

HOTmilk Lingerie black nursing braThe HOTmilk Eclipse Nursing Bra! This bra is very feminine and beautiful with a lace trim and a diamante in the middle. Nursing bras can be sexy too!

It comes in black and nude and the inside of the bra cup is lined with soft cotton, so is delicate against your sensitive breasts during breastfeeding or during pregnancy. The band offers good support, and the nursing clips are easy to use.

The Eclipse nursing bra is an A-frame style nursing bra, which offers some discreet support at the top of your cup, even when feeding.

 

Coming in a wide range of sizes from 32B to 42H, this bra also has matching bikini briefs so if you are someone who likes a matching set, then these are for you!

To get 10% off this bra during February, use #braofthemonth at the checkout.

Happy Shopping!

Emma x

 

 

Lorna Drew Grace Maternity & Nursing Bras

We are delighted to be working once again with Lorna Drew, who has created a fantastic range of maternity and nursing bras.

The first style we are introducing is ‘Grace’ which is available in both a soft cup maternity bra and a Flexi Underwired Nursing Bra.

Lorna Drew Grace Maternity Bra

Lorna Drew Grace Black Maternity Bra

Lorna Drew Grace Maternity Bra

Lorna Drew Grace Cream Maternity Bra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Available in two colours, black & nude or cream & dove, we think you will love this style as much as we do!

Also available are matching briefs or high waisted shorts, so you can still feel comfortable and attractive whilst pregnant or breastfeeding!

The Lorna Drew Nursing Bra collection has been created for the modern woman who wants beautiful and flattering breastfeeding bras. All of their bras come with 100% pure cotton lining for full comfort and breathability.

The Grace Flexi Underwired Nursing Bra also features the signature patented nursing bra clip that can be adjusted over 3 cup sizes to suit a nursing mothers fluctuating body shape.

To understand how the clip works to adjust over the three cup sizes, Lorna Drew have produced this video.

We will be introducing more styles from Lorna Drew over the next few months so keep an eye out for these too!

HOTmilk Show Off Nursing Bra & Nightwear Christmas Offers

The HOTmilk Show Off Nursing bra is one of our most popular nursing bra styles and we are delighted with the Christmas limited edition in the Vintage Floral design.

HOTmilk Show Off Nursing Bra Vintage Floral

HOTmilk Show Off Vintage Floral

As a special offer we have the bra & briefs available for just £37 (RRP £49).

Even better news is that HOTmilk have widened the range of sizes the Show Off Nursing Bra is available in, in the Vintage Floral design, so this style covers sizes 32B – 42H.

HOTmilk Show Off Nursing Bra Vintage Floral

HOTmilk Show Off Nursing Bra Vintage Floral

So if you are looking for a new nursing bra set, this is perfect for a Christmas look! Don’t forget that you can wear breastfeeding bras during pregnancy too, so treat yourself and feel good during the party season 😉

 

Or if you have enough bras, what about the new nightwear, also in the Vintage Floral Design?

You can choose between the long sleeve top and trousers if you like to keep warm, or the shorts and vest top if you find you are finding you are a bit warm through pregnancy!

Vintage Floral Long PJ Set

Vintage Floral Long PJ Set

Vintage Floral Short PJ Set

Vintage Floral Short PJ Set

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have both of these sets also on special offer so maybe drop a few hints about what you would like this Christmas!!

We would love to hear what you think of the Vintage Floral ranges, so please leave your comments below 😉

Hospital bag – What should you pack?

With an ever expanding belly and time flying like there’s no tomorrow, the question “have you packed your hospital bag” is one that has some pregnant mums to be crying with sheer frustration. What to pack? What will we need? They aren’t silly questions, after all – you’ve not had a baby before so it’s moving into the unknown. Continue reading

Breastfeeding Awareness

There are a lot of events happening over the next week 23-29th June, supported by Royal College of Midwives & local breastfeeding groups.

Free_to_FeedBreastfeeding is still seen as some sort of a mystery, with strong opinions expressed by women, men and the media about its normality in our society.

From our perspective, bras4mums was developed 9 years ago, when T-J was breastfeeding no.2 baby & couldn’t easily get nursing bras with a toddler in tow! Her experiences showed that despite all the negative information she received, (neither Mother had breastfed & didn’t understand how you can ‘measure’ what food baby was getting!), she could do what was best for her and both babies. She returned to work when no.1 was 5 months old and continued to express and feed no.1 until 9 months old. Second time around, T-J had to suddenly stop feeding when she went to care for her sick mother for a few weeks 200 miles away from baby.

This week, we’d like to share some stories our customers have shared over the years about their experiences. They’re not unique, but certainly show the diverse situations and feelings we have as mothers, (and fathers), when breastfeeding our children. Please feel free to add your comments, or if you’d like to share your story, we’d love to hear from you. Send your story to info@bras4mums.co.uk.

If you’re part of breastfeeding group, please do share your events on our facebook page, and we’ll do our best to share what we can. We do know that some women can’t breastfeed for all sorts of reasons. We hope you can join in with your experiences this week as well, as it’s all about breastfeeding awareness!

We look forward to continuing to Supporting You over the next 9 years, (imagine, an 18 year old baby!), Through Pregnancy and Beyond

Breastfeeding Support Groups, (not exhaustive):

Association of Breastfeeding Mothers , Breastfeeding Network, National Childbirth Trust (NCT), La Leche League

Bra Lady – advice & support with bras during pregnancy, breastfeeding and beyond

We apologise

We’ve had a tough couple of months, and unfortunately, our service levels have not been up to our usual standards. It has affected some of you, more than others, for which we apologise.

We’ve had long-term staff illness at the same time as staff holidays, and the office has had many periods when it has been un-manned. We’re not excusing it. It’s just what’s happened, and we’re sorry if you’ve been affected.

Staff are now on the road to recovery, and holidays are almost over, so we’re hoping to start geting back on track in the next week. It will take some time to get totally up to date, but we’ll be starting to make progress when the office re-opens after Bank Holiday Monday.

We’ll also be making plans so this doesn’t ever happen again.

Please accept our apology, and a discount code for 10% off your next order – b4mums11

T-J & the bras4mums team

Looking forward to 2013

fireworksWe’re very much looking forward to 2013 for all sorts of reasons.

2012 has been a difficult time for us. As a small business, when things happen in staff’s personal lives, it has a knock on effect on the business. Unfortunately this has occurred during 2012 and our customer service has suffered.We apologise if you’ve been affected. We’re still getting everything up to date for a new start in 2013.

We’ve now got a new member in the office team, Maggie Robinson, who will be  processing orders and answering queries most days of the week. Maggie is a Mum of 2 and is excited about joining the team and doing something new in between school runs! T-J will remain the main bra fitter to answer your queries, although the growing Bra Lady team will be called upon as they all have different specialisms.

The home bra fitting service is expected to extend across more areas, (currently Preston & Central Lancashire, Wigan and Manchester, Surrey and West Sussex, Brighton & Shoreham by Sea, Cambridge, and coming soon, West Midlands), as more franchisees are trained and start their own business. We’re also very excited to be supporting breastfeeding support groups in Preston and Leyland and Wakefield and our own bra fitters in Grantham via the BreastMates breastfeeding group.

We’re looking forward to some new styles from our suppliers, with a new innovation from Royce which we’re looking forward to fitting with (February), and new styles from Lorna Drew and HOTmilk Lingerie which we’re sure you’ll love this year.

We’re looking at increasing our ranges, as always, to support more women during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and beyond. If there are styles, or products you’d like to see us stock, please let us know.

We’re excited about re-introducing our pregnancy and breastfeeding diaries which we know many women found so helpful. If you’d like to write about your experiences for us to share with others please email info@bras4mums.co.uk, or tweet us @bras4mums

We wish you and your family a happy, and more importantly a healthy year ahead. We’re committed to Supporting You…through pregnancy and beyond.

If you’d like to know more, the Support4Women blog addresses the issues of Priorities in a person’s life, and the nightmare a small business can be part of whilst continuing to trade. We welcome your comments on personal and business issues via the blogs or emails.