Adapting a regular bra into a nursing bra.

12:55 pm


Having been pregnant, breastfeeding or both for the best part of 16 plus years, there's no way I was going to spend all that time in some dodgy ill fitting non supportive nursing bra, and I'm sorry to say that if like me you are blessed in the boobage department, most nursing bras fall horribly short of being supportive enough, and certainly wouldn't win any prizes for their looks.
Ten years ago when Angus was born I realised, if I wanted to wear pretty bras and have nursing access I was going to have to do something about it myself. That's when I began experimenting and realised it was so very very easy to alter my regular bras into nursing bras.
I would say though, it's so important to start out with bras that actually fit. So many women wear the wrong size bra, and when you are nursing, the wrong size bra not only makes you look awful it can contribute to blocked ducts and in the worst cases mastitis. A good fitting, supportive bra can make you look 10lbs lighter. So get fitted by someone reputable. Most high street stores are terrible at fitting bras. I can highly recommend Bravissimo for the larger busted ladies out there. Even over the phone they give an excellent service. I've also had good experiences in John Lewis, and if you are lucky enough to have an old fashioned undies shop nearby, make use of them. In my experience they are the best. A good fitter will have no need at all for a tape measure!
I would also suggest that until your breastfeeding relationship and milk supply are well established you stick with the non wired well fitted nursing bras, those early weeks are too important to mess with. (my faves for big boobs are Royce, and Freya...believe me I've tried plenty, and nothing else comes close to these.
So, with your well fitting bra (in my experience full cups work better than balconette or half cups) all picked out, you now need a few supplies, some nursing clips (I salvage them from old bras, ask on freecycle etc. these days people save them for me!), some elastic; underwear elastic is nice and soft, but regular 8 cord elastic will suffice, and some matching thread.

Gather your materials, bra, nursing clips and elastic

Measure approx 5 cms up the bra strap from the front, and cut.

measure approx 5 cms up the bra strap from the front.
cut
Untitled

Thread the clip parts onto the cut straps. This is sometimes a bit tricky because the straps can be a little wide.

thread clips

Stich the clips in place using a satin stitch or a wide closely spaced zig zag.

attach clips with a satin stitch
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled

You now have a bra with drop cups, but if you used it like this, you would lose the top strap at each nursing.
This is why we add elastic. Thread the elastic through the top clip.

Thread elastic to top part of clip...
...and stitch in place with satin stitch

Stich in place, again using a satin stitch.
Now clip together the nursing clip and look to where you will attach the bottom end of the elastic. I usually attach it just past the side seam.

Find place to attach bottom end of elastic.

Stitch in place.

Stitch in place

And you are done!

One completed nursing bra adaptation.

Don't be shy, say hello!

20 comments

  1. This is excellent - thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. If I ever need one I think I will ask you to do it for me lol.
    V
    xxx

    ReplyDelete
  3. thank you for this! i need new bras. but if I can adapt some of my now rather old 'nice' bras with bits from my stretched beyond belief nursing bras, that'll be fab.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is a great post, one of the best ideas and I have never seen anyone do this, let alone show how. While I personally not be needing nursing bras anytime in the future, I really hope one of my 3 daughters will! Are you planning to keep this as a sidebar tutorial?

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is fab! I'll need to give this a go. I'm fed up with having no waist when I am wearing a nursing bra.

    ReplyDelete
  6. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! This is just what I needed. Your opening paragraph really summs it up - if you are large, most nursing bras just don't support! :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Awesome post. I wish I had it five years ago, because I can only breastfeed with one boob, so it would be nice to have a one-sided only nursing bra. I'm still breastfeeding Thor, so maybe I should consider trying it, just to see. Thank you again. xo

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm sending you all my bras.. ha ha!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great tutorial! Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Totally Awesome!! I shared with others too. Now I need to have a baby for this too.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Totally Awesome!! I shared with others too. Now I need to have a baby for this too.

    ReplyDelete
  12. actually got one altered while dh took baby for a walk- less than 30 min job even with making food for big kid in the middle! brilliant, thanks so much xxx

    ReplyDelete
  13. Get your own personal bra shop with brayola. The only place to see bras you will love based on your style, size and shape. Powered by women everywhere. full figure bras

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you for this tutorial.
    I too find shop-bought nursing bras to be a joke!
    My heart goes out to you and your family. I read Florance's story in floods of tears. Our little ones are so so precious. I just wanted you to know that Florence and your family have touched me.

    ReplyDelete
  15. How did you decide what size clips to get? Just measure the width of the bra strap?

    ReplyDelete
  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Sarah is teaching us how to convert a regular bra into a nursing bra. You can make the conversion in less than an hour and for less than
    www.apparelshopusa.com/bali-comfort-revolution-smart-size-wirefree-bra-101.html

    ReplyDelete
  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Why pick a nursing bra over regular bra for the duration of breastfeeding? Females's breasts bear an awfully difficult exchange during being pregnant and after giving delivery. For the duration of the last trimester of pregnancy, the brain is sending understanding to the breasts to prepare for milk for the little one. After giving delivery, as soon as the youngster begins to suck he is mother's breasts, a dramatic trade in lady's breast will comply with. Engorgement of the breast is very long-established predicament during the first days of breastfeeding. It's the state where woman's breast shall be full of milk, nevertheless it won't be ready to flow out to start with. That makes it a hurtful situation for brand new mothers.

    ReplyDelete

Hi, I love to hear from readers, hate to think I'm talking to myself here, so don't be shy say hello!