being a mom

I Just Threw Out A Nursing Bra Which Is Good Because My ‘Baby’ Is Nine-Years-Old

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Nursing Bra My mom doesn’t like to throw things away. She isn’t Hoarders-bound, but growing up in Latvia during WWII has probably caused her to be a bit reluctant to discard things she no longer has use for, because she sees it as wasteful. I can appreciate this. But what I can’t appreciate is the fact I just the other day threw out some skanky old threadbare nursing bra that I was wearing on occasion just because it was comfortable. And this bra wasn’t nine-years-old, the age of my younger kid, it was purchased when I was breastfeeding her brother, who is 11. Yes, the bra was expensive when I purchased it, because nursing bras do cost more than normal bras, but when it fully hit me that my favorite throw-on, schlubbing-around-the-house-and-doing-laundry bra was indeed a BRA USED FOR BREASTFEEDING it freaked me out, and into the trash it went.

It wasn’t a pretty bra. It was white at some point. It was worn and had some loose threads and I dried it in the dryer and it wasn’t like some majestic gorgeous undergarment. It was the type of bra I would never let my spouse see me in. I kept it because it was comfortable, and because I feel guilty on occasion when I throw things away. Because it feels wasteful. And because things are expensive. But a nursing bra! When I’m not nursing and haven’t been for seven years! When I no longer even have a uterus so there won’t be any babies in my future!

I bet you have something like this in your dresser. I don’t know what it is, a pair of jeans you will never fit into again, a pair of panties that have seen you through far too many menstrual cycles, a t-shirt with bleach stains on it. Why do we keep these things? What do they mean to us, because they sure as hell aren’t adding some magical bonus to our wardrobe or making us feel sexy or attractive or making an outfit when we get dressed for the day.

I think I kept my bra because it was comfy. And because I think a small part of me felt sad I would never use it for its intended purpose, because I’m not having any more kids. I think I held on to it for some many years because I liked throwing it on and it’s because it’s something my mom would have kept too. But if I wore this 60 dollar bra through nursing two kids and on occasion for the last seven years on and off when I was too lazy or too tired to put on a normal bra I think I got my monies worth.

I’m not going to go out into the rain and rummage through my garbage can to get it back, either.

I can buy a new bra! I have some money! I can buy a bra that is cotton with no underwire and probably even in some cute print that will be just as cozy as my old skanky breastfeeding bra. But it won’t have memories in it.

And I know how stupid that sounds. Trust me.

My new throw-on-shlubbing-around-the-house bra still won’t be something I want my spouse to see me in. And it also won’t be what I wore when feeding my babies, and what I wore while nursing through mastitis, and cracked nipples, and kids with fevers, and teething kids, and tiny little newborn kids who smelled like milk-fed kittens, their downy heads nestled against me as I nursed them by moonlight when the rest of my house was filled with sleeping people. We were the only two people who existed in the whole world – exhausted and old me, this new little human who was on this earth for less of a time than the butter in my refrigerator.

My kids are older and they are getting older and we are all getting older every single moment of every single day. I just won’t be wearing a skanky old nursing bra while doing it.

(Image: amazon)


  1. Bethany Ramos

    April 3, 2014 at 9:38 am

    I burned (rather, threw away) all of my nursing bras the day I stopped breast-feeding because I was so happy to be done!!!!

    • JulesInFL

      April 3, 2014 at 10:37 am

      I hear you! I got a five-pack of comfy cotton nursing bras on eBay (NEW, lest you think me disgusting). But after 9 months of heavy use, leaks, spit-up and laundering, they were in rough shape, and I didn’t want to look at them for another second. We’re planning on another kid, but I tossed them and figured I’d start fresh with another $25k value pack when the time comes.

    • Valerie

      April 3, 2014 at 11:05 am

      Freedom trash indeed!

  2. chickadee

    April 3, 2014 at 9:41 am

    I had a pair of overalls that I had bought during my sophomore year in college…they were white/beige with black stripes and they were made by Espirit. Over the years, they became THE MOST COMFORTABLE OVERALL SHORTS IN THE WORLD (has to be capitalized in order to emphasize how awesomely comfortable they were….loose and 80s and AWESOME). My (now-ex) husband hates them, every post-husband guy I dated hated them, and my now-husband was horrified when he first saw me in them. I finally threw them away in 2006. Almost 17 years of awesomeness. I still miss those overalls.

  3. Megan Zander

    April 3, 2014 at 9:45 am

    I’m like this with black leggings. I wear them way past the point of decency, until they get friction holes in the crotchal region. I don’t know why I keep them, I get them on the cheep cheep at Target, and I buy new pairs but can’t bring myself to toss out the holey ones.

    • candyvines

      April 3, 2014 at 9:57 am

      Yard work?

    • Megan Zander

      April 3, 2014 at 9:59 am

      Ha! We have a condo, but I will tell myself that yes, these are my gardening leggings for when I set up the window boxes, love it!

    • candyvines

      April 3, 2014 at 10:00 am

      For sure, you don’t want to ruin your good leggings doing manual labor!

    • Valerie

      April 3, 2014 at 11:03 am

      Points for saying “crotchel region”. I say that all the time. And goochular region. Because gooch is hilarious to say.

    • Megan Zander

      April 3, 2014 at 3:31 pm

      I am 100% stealing gooch

    • Valerie

      April 3, 2014 at 3:37 pm

      Steal away. The more of us saying it, the better.

    • tSubh Dearg

      April 3, 2014 at 5:32 pm

      There is a GAA player in Ireland called The Gooch and now I am going to laugh every time I hear his name, which will be a lot as he his quite popular.

    • Valerie

      April 3, 2014 at 11:04 am

      And yeah, I wear my black leggings until I can’t really call them black anymore. More like dusty charcoal leggings.

    • Natasha B

      April 3, 2014 at 3:05 pm

      Oh gawd. The $15 pairs from target. I wear them long past the point of no return and still can’t part with them, so my drawers just have too many pairs of ‘wearable in public’ and ‘only for home’ black pants haha.

    • Megan Zander

      April 3, 2014 at 3:33 pm

      Yes! Not going to lie, I reach for the” home” leggings on days when my toddlers are particularly crabby bc they find the holes fascinating. Lazy but effective.

  4. Kelly

    April 3, 2014 at 9:46 am

    I don’t understand how people can keep wearing nursing bras for years after they stop breastfeeding. My boobs were huge when I was breastfeeding, they shrank back down to normal, pre-pregnancy size when I stopped. I thought that was normal but I guess not since so many women keep wearing their nursing bras for years.

    • Eve Vawter

      April 3, 2014 at 9:50 am

      I have no clue. Mine didn’t even fit right!

    • JulesInFL

      April 3, 2014 at 10:40 am

      Agreed. Sadly, I’ll never be that size again without surgical intervention (which for me is never). Back to my IBTC membership.

    • JAN

      April 3, 2014 at 12:58 pm

      I think this just varies by person, this is my third child and each time I’ve got up and stayed another cup size larger. It’s a hassle b/c then I have to buy new bras each time (although this is the last kiddo).

  5. MegzWray

    April 3, 2014 at 9:48 am

    I was JUST thinking this morning that my friends must think I’m the sloppiest dresser of all of them. I wear suits to work every day. Cute expensive bras and panties that I love. Would never imagine leaving the house without make-up. You get the idea. But as soon as I get home, I scrub my face and put on a grungy old t-shirt from college (Kappa Delta, AOT!), worn-out yoga pants and no bra. Usually the same outfit day after day. This is the only thing my friends see me in.

    The other day I met a GF for lunch out of the blue. She didn’t recognize me in a suit with make-up. Hysterical.

    • drumskinny

      April 3, 2014 at 12:22 pm

      Same here!! My hubby recently complained that he doesn’t see me in anything other than shlubby yoga pants, a t-shirt and a ponytail. I leave for work before he wakes up and I’m already home by the time he gets home from work. Poor thing – I guess a date night is in order!

    • Guets

      April 3, 2014 at 2:28 pm

      My husband complains about the same thing! He likes getting dressed whereas when I come home I put on some of his shorts and a tee and sports bra. No matter how many times I go bra shopping they seem to at some point all stab me so I want it off as soon as possible after work. Psssh. Sometimes he sees me when I look nice coming home from work 😛

    • JAN

      April 3, 2014 at 12:22 pm

      I have some old comfy KD shirts I still put in for lounging around the house…and they’re way older than Eve’s nursing bra!

  6. pixie

    April 3, 2014 at 9:51 am

    I used to hate not throwing things away and now I kind of enjoy it. Mostly because it means yay! shopping for new clothes! And you got off light if $60 is an expensive bra for you. The only way I can get away with paying $60 for a bra is if it’s on sale. 😉
    Oh the joys of having a bra-size that normal bra stores (and normal stores in general) deny exists. Hurray for buying bras at specialty stores that import their stuff from Europe where they actually make cup sizes larger than a DD, including in smaller rib-sizes.

    • Megan Zander

      April 3, 2014 at 9:55 am

      If you don’t mind me asking, where do you order from? I can never find my size in stores, or if I do it’s a grandma bra. But I’ve never ordered offline bc I just don’t know what’s good.

    • pixie

      April 3, 2014 at 9:57 am

      I’ve never ordered online, actually, but there’s a couple of specialty stores within driving distance of my hometown that gets them in and one where I go to university. You can probably google “specialty lingerie in [city]” and find something in your area; that’s how I found the one here where I go to school.

      Edit: here’s the site one of the brands that the stores carry. They’re pricy, but good quality and fit well. And they look very pretty.

    • Megan Zander

      April 3, 2014 at 10:11 am

      Cool thanks

    • Tinyfaeri

      April 3, 2014 at 10:01 am

      Bare Necessities is a good place online. They have pretty much every size you can imagine, and a good returns policy.

    • Megan Zander

      April 3, 2014 at 10:11 am

      Thanks, I’ll check them out!

    • tSubh Dearg

      April 3, 2014 at 11:13 am

      These guys are a really good UK company that do large, pretty bras:
      They also do a range of clothing that is specially adjusted in the boob region so that things like button down shirts actually fit without gapping! I rotate their dresses for work because they actually fit properly.

      Or you could try the bra makers to the Queen, Rigby and Peller. They have nice bras, are VERY expenisve, but their bras last forever!

    • Guets

      April 3, 2014 at 2:25 pm

      I’ve been hearing a lot about Bravissimo and I can’t wait to get some stuff from there. I can barely find bras that fit but get into the tops and swimsuits and I’m s.o.l.
      Thanks for the tips!

    • tSubh Dearg

      April 3, 2014 at 5:33 pm

      You’re welcome, hope you find something you like that fits!

    • Aldonza

      April 3, 2014 at 7:10 pm

      Bravissimo is where I finally was able to order a swimsuit that fit me! I’m a 34H, so buying swimsuits in stores meant either ones that had my boobs popping out like a playmate, or would fit the girls, but made me look like I was wearing my 92 year old grandmother’s swimsuit. Bravissimo has a wide range of suits available for busty broads and I can’t explain how excited I was when I first tried my newly purchased swimsuit on!

    • Bunny Lou

      April 3, 2014 at 8:26 pm

      But if the clothing is specially tailored to my bust size… THEN WHAT SIZE CLOTHING WOULD I BE?

      I’ve spent years buying clothes that don’t fit my waist but fit my chest… This is like overwhelming freedom, but it’s still overwhelming.

    • tSubh Dearg

      April 4, 2014 at 3:35 am

      It’s amazing! I am forever moving up sizes to get dresses that will fit across the bust (which is depressing in itself, because I’m already a big girl) This way I get to wear my dress size which fits properly on the waist and shoulders without it looking like my bust is trying to escape to freedom!
      I really don’t understand why more clothing companies don’t have a small range of extra bust room clothes, it’s not like there isn’t a market for it. But then I am also amazed at the lack of stylish clothes for plus size girls, when there is also a market for that.

    • Bunny Lou

      April 3, 2014 at 8:34 pm

      I have to write again. I love you. You’re amazing.

  7. candyvines

    April 3, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Eve – I love how you write about your kids when they were little. You make it sound so lovely and sweet.

    Can I hijack this thread and ask what the best nursing bra is? I have one from Motherhood Maternity that’s OK for day, no underwire but supportive. But I’m not crazy about it. And I have one pullover knit one from Amazon (Maria I HATE EVERYTHING Guido recommended) that’s good for night and lazy Sundays. Do I need to suck it up and get fitted at Intimacy for $$$?

    • Tinyfaeri

      April 3, 2014 at 10:05 am

      Bare Necessities online had a good selection of pretty nursing bras, both with underwire and without, and there was one other that I can’t remember. I also got some from amazon – price compare between the two before you buy. Both usually have good returns policies, so you can get a bunch of styles and sizes and see what works for you, then return the rest.

    • candyvines

      April 3, 2014 at 10:15 am

      Thank you, I’ll check them out!

    • Erin Murphy

      April 3, 2014 at 11:58 am

      Are you looking for more nighttime or day time bras? I personally love nursing camis because I didn’t like my tummy pre-baby so hiding it now is a must. They’re also nice if you use any type of baby wearing device because they are long enough to cover where a normal shirt may hike up. Anyway target frequently has them on sale buy one get one 50% off. Wal-Mart has them too but target’s are softer and come in better colors.

    • candyvines

      April 3, 2014 at 1:52 pm

      Thanks for responding! I love the idea of the nursing tanks – plan to pick up a few of those closer to due date, but for now want a supportive but comfortable bra for everyday wear that I can use for nursing.

    • Natasha B

      April 3, 2014 at 3:09 pm

      I second the nursing has them also (uh, 40%off today hey yo) and I wear them under everything when nursing-makes not flashing the tummy so much easier. Plus for night, when you want something you can stick nursing pads in but don’t want to sleep in a bra.
      I third Bare Necessities nursing bras-just ordered some more 🙂

    • candyvines

      April 3, 2014 at 3:15 pm

      Thanks, headed over now to take a look!

    • JAN

      April 3, 2014 at 12:53 pm

      I like Anita brand nursing bras. I’m a 34G and I feel like they give decent support. I also second Bare Necessities, my favorite non-nursing brand is Fantasie of England. Good luck.

    • candyvines

      April 3, 2014 at 1:50 pm

      Thank you! I am looking for something with a good amount of support.

  8. Véronique Houde

    April 3, 2014 at 9:53 am

    I’m wearing a nursing bra right now because I’m in my third trimester and NOTHING is comfortable anymore and I can’t stand my expensive cute bras. My nursing bra at least doesn’t chafe or poke me the wrong way lol

    • Megan Zander

      April 3, 2014 at 9:56 am

      When I was pregnant I was in nursing bras from week 9 and on, nothing else fit and they were sooo comfy!

    • Valerie

      April 3, 2014 at 11:02 am

      Yup. Especially with my second when I started leaking milk ridiculously early. The nursing bras did a better job holding in the leakage pads I had to start wearing around the clock.

  9. Alicia Kiner

    April 3, 2014 at 9:56 am

    Let’s face it, finding a comfortable bra is not an easy feat. If you find one that is comfortable and holds up for that long, why not keep it? Even if it is designed for nursing, so what? It’s not like it’s not a bra first. If you weren’t wearing it still, then it was time for it to go, but you were, so who cares? 😉 Some days, people should just be happy we moms bother to put one on at all!

  10. biggerthanthesound

    April 3, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Okay, so I would wear a worn out, threadbare nursing bra every fucking day if my boobs could still look like that instead of sad, wrinkly ghosts of what once was.

    • Eve Vawter

      April 3, 2014 at 10:26 am

      This needs to be made into a cartoon with a ghost please

    • biggerthanthesound

      April 3, 2014 at 11:02 am

      I’m not sure why it is uploading two. But, I suppose it’s kind of fitting. Sad ghost boobs.

    • Eve Vawter

      April 3, 2014 at 12:11 pm

      please make this into a movie now

    • biggerthanthesound

      April 3, 2014 at 12:27 pm

      Not going to lie, I have a really great idea for a gif… but I’m off work today and I’m supposed to be doing something fun with the kids for spring break. My three year old may nap.

    • Eve Vawter

      April 3, 2014 at 1:21 pm

      I have my fingers crossed!

  11. Maria Guido

    April 3, 2014 at 10:45 am

    I plan on purchasing the nursing bra I am wearing right now for the rest of my life.

    • shamrokk

      April 3, 2014 at 3:34 pm

      What bra is that? My daughter is 7 months and I STILL haven’t found a good one =/

  12. Valerie

    April 3, 2014 at 11:00 am

    I kept my old ones for a long time too. Memories + comfort + cheapness= old stringy 6-year old gray/white bra.

    But this applies to my regular casual wardrobe too. I keep things forever. I only just threw out some PJ shorts I’ve had since college because they got a rip that extended to my b-hole. And I don’t wear underwear when I sleep soo…….they became a dusting rag.

  13. tSubh Dearg

    April 3, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Is it bad that I think $60 doesn’t sound too bad for the cost of a bra? Mine generally cost between €55 and €90 ($75 – $125) each because I have massive boobs. I shudder to think how much nursing bras in my size are going to cost 🙁

    • pixie

      April 3, 2014 at 1:58 pm

      Yep, I don’t want to think about cost of nursing bras, either!! That’s about the same price range as the bras I have to buy for my giant boobs.

    • Iwill Findu

      April 3, 2014 at 2:26 pm

      about the same my nursing bras were only $80-90 which is what I would normally spend on a bra.

  14. Jessica

    April 3, 2014 at 11:17 am

    That last paragraph had me tearing up a little. My baby is only 3 months but I already know it’s going by too fast!

  15. val97

    April 3, 2014 at 11:20 am

    There’s a newish trend of bralettes. I think they are really cute, so I finally bought one. And I love it! It doesn’t have a ton of support, so it’s more for wearing around the house or in a yoga pants ensemble rather than under a hot number, but it’s so comfortable.

  16. Andy

    April 3, 2014 at 11:33 am

    Although I will be burning my nursing bras when my son weans, I have a pair of ratty old yoga pants from college that, despite my having gained 30 pounds since that time, still fit. I can’t bring myself to throw them out, because that was a very happy time in my life. Stupid I know.

  17. Robotic Socks

    April 3, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Is it me or is it a bit nippy in here?

    • Valerie

      April 3, 2014 at 1:43 pm

      Just more M’ish porn for you.

  18. Jessie

    April 3, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    I have a bra that doesn’t even fit me anymore (cup size-wise) and the straps and band are all stretched out to hell, but I keep it because I wear my GOOD bras until they’re all dirty and then I wash them all on the same day, and since they can’t be put in the dryer and The Girls are far too large to go unrestrained for even five minutes, ON GOES THE CRAPPY “LOANER” BRA until they’re dry. The damned thing is terrible and it hurts me, but on the bright side it makes me appreciate my lovely, expensive Victoria’s Secret bras all the more once I get back into them.

  19. Iwill Findu

    April 3, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Now I don’t feel so bad for clinging to my 18 yr old manky hoodie.

  20. HoolieB

    April 3, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    The last paragraph made me tear up.

  21. SA

    April 3, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Damn. That’s impressive. Not as much because of the years of usage, but my poor tired boobs were so deflated after that I finally had to retire the nursing bra because it kept flapping up in awkward positions with nothing to fill it!

    Still hanging on to the nursing camis though…husband calls them those shirts with the weird flaps. I think he has already forgotten the days of me walking around with one boob hanging out of them.

  22. TheGirlWhoWoreGlasses

    April 3, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    Totally unrelated to nursing bras, but my family is from Latvia too!

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