Learning the importance of a good sports bra, the hard way!
Boobs, breasts, feeding stations, gazumbas, or my personal favourite, boobie burgers.
Whatever we might call them in that post-partum stage, one thing is for sure: these two beauties have taken on a whole new meaning! I have so much more respect for breasts than I ever did before. And with this new found respect, I find myself wishing that I could turn back time, and explained to the younger me about the importance of a good, well fitted sports bra…especially for all those high impact, ligament stretching sports I used to participate in.
Like most sport-addicted teens though, I didn’t fully appreciate the damage I was doing to the ‘givers of life’ on my body! I wore ill-fitting bras most of the time, but would simply double up to avoid further bounce. Talk about wishing I could turn back time!
This realization and longing to go back in time first hit when I was pregnant with my first baby. I think it was at about week 15 when I could no longer fit into my pretty and comfortable C-cups, and went to be fitted for some maternity bras. This experience turned into an emotional rollercoaster that I was not prepared for in any way. Encouraged by my mother-in-law, I went off to one of Australia’s leading department stores and was fitted by an older lady, who, although nice enough, definitely did not make me feel better about the situation I faced! When we had completed the fitting, she promptly lead me to the Maternity section, advised me to look for some ‘E’ cups, and left. I stood there and suddenly felt a wave of hormone-induced emotion rush over me. There I was, in front of rows of massive, ugly looking bras, all of which looked like they were FAR too big for me and hideously ugly! I pulled myself together and started looking for maternity sports bras. When I asked for help, and they advised that they didn’t carry maternity sports bras, that was the last straw. I practically threw my sunnies on and ran out the door in tears, to the sanctuary of my car where I cried and cried. I composed myself to drive home, but when I walked in the door and my husband opened it, I burst into tears again. I’m sure he had to stifle a laugh when I sobbed “I’M AN E-CUP” into his chest, but I was genuinely horrified!
Eventually, necessity took over and I purchased a few maternity bras, which were as ugly as they were practical. I also bought a few ‘DD’ Sports Bras from a cheaper department store, which to this day have remained in my drawer since they are hideous, huge and offer zero support!
The increase in my breast size throughout pregnancy became part of my downfall from a healthy lifestyle. Without a supportive sports bra but with boobs that continued to grow, I used the ‘bounce’ factor as an excuse to cease activity! Once baby arrived, the situation only grew worse. Now dealing with engorged, leaky boobs and a newborn who knew me as her 24/7 milk bar, the desire for higher impact exercise was taken over by the realities of navigating my new life as a mum.
I got away with wearing fairly supportive maternity bras during low impact exercise. But the day finally came when I felt ready to really start moving! My daughter was about 5 months old, still breastfeeding, and I had a full day of sessions ahead of us where I wanted to incorporate moves such as squat jumps and stride lunges, definitely ‘high impact’ enough to require a sports bra! So what did I do? Put on one of my old sports bras, and when she needed a feed, I just tried to squeeze my boob through the narrow opening enough that she could suckle. Well…you might imagine how this turned out. My baby girl was in fits as she wasn’t getting enough milk. My boobs were painful from trying to squeeze out of a sports bra to feed her. Nearing the end of my final class that day, boobs engorged, somewhat lumpy and hot, I was feeling like I had the flu coming on. 20 minutes later and on the border of collapse, I got myself home, called a neighbour to watch my daughter and struggled off to the Doctor to see WTF was wrong with me! And you guessed it…mastitis had set in.
MASTITIS. Yuck. If you haven’t heard about it, read my blog on it here. Just don’t do what I did and find out the hard way ☹
This was the wake up call I needed to get my butt online and start to research for a supportive, ‘E-Cup+’ sports bra. At the time, I could only find one that suited: the Tata-Tamer from Lululemon. Not maternity, but at least I could squirm out of it well enough to feed my baby when I needed to!
2 years on and 3 bra sizes later, I have FINALLY found a company that offers beautiful maternity bras to fit the ever-changing sizing of my boobs. They also have a maternity sports bra! Knowing I’ll be able to feed my baby before, during or after a workout, is absolute freedom. This company is Yummy Mummy Lingerie ☺
If you are reading this post, hopefully you’ve already had a look at their range. But be sure to spread the word and share this information broadly! You might just save a fellow Mummy from yet another challenge of motherhood.
About the Author: Jenine Dilts-Bayman is the founder of Mums With Bubs Fitness, a Perth-based business specializing in pre & postnatal fitness programs for Mums with their children, aged 6 weeks to 4 years. The sessions focus on bonding through fitness in a supportive, fun and progressive training environment!
Jenine holds over 10 years industry experience, her Certificiate IV in Fitness, an Honours degree in Sports Management, and specializes in pre and postnatal training. She is enthusiastic about the positive difference Mums With Bubs Fitness’ services can make to strengthening families, both physically and emotionally. Jenine is also the author of ‘Finding Yourself, & Your Health, After Baby: Your 5 Week Guide to Inspired Motherly Living’.
“It’s about getting active every day, and making it a social, fun activity to do with your kids”
Jenine is a mother to her two year old daughter, and currently pregnant with her second child. For more information on Mums With Bubs Fitness programs and locations, please see www.mumswithbubsfitness.com.au or on Facebook www.facebook.com/MumsWithBubsFitness Or, contact Jenine Dilts-Bayman directly at 0406 116 180 or email firstname.lastname@example.org