Plus-Size Nursing Bra And Nursing Clothing Resources (USA)

by Kmom

Copyright 1996-2006 Kmom@Vireday.Com. All rights reserved.

Last updated: August 2006

CONTENTS

 

Introduction

This website contains four FAQs on plus-sized maternity clothes and products.  These include information on:

This particular FAQ contains information about nursing bras and nursing clothing in plus sizes (16+) for large women in the U.S. Please note that this website is NOT a commercial website and does not sell any of these products.  Kmom does not have a catalog, does not make any money off of these products, and does not receive any kind of a 'kickback' by listing these companies on her site.  Listings here are for information only.  

These FAQs were originally compiled from the Clothing for Big Folks in the US FAQ and from recommendations suggested by posters to various newsgroups and mailing lists (click here for more details). Opinions of companies are from contributors; my comments are in {brackets}. The information sections are mine, but are not intended to be medical advice. If you have any companies you would like to see added to these lists, please email me with the information.

This FAQ is now updated about once per year, sometimes twice if there are a lot of changes needed.  If you have emailed me changes or updates for the FAQ, keep in mind that it may take a while to see them in the FAQ.  I spend most of my limited computer time researching and writing the other areas of this website; to keep this part of the job manageable I limit my updates to once or twice a year.   Thank you for your understanding.

Take note that I have not confirmed the names and numbers of all companies; nor can I speak to the quality of any of them--Caveat Emptor! Keep in mind also that many of these are small cottage industries or online businesses, and these tend to go in and out of business or change contact information frequently. For that reason, you may find that some of this information is already incorrect by the time you read it. 

Maintaining this FAQ is a big job; I depend on the help of others to streamline the amount of work involved. If you find any errors, have updates on contact information, have feedback on the companies, or just have suggestions for improving the FAQ, please let me know. 

Good luck in your pregnancy, and good health to you and your baby!  ---------- kmom@plus-size-pregnancy.org  

 

Information Regarding Nursing Bras and Nursing Clothes

Sizes and Brands to Consider

If you plan to nurse, you will probably want a nursing bra. The amount of chest/cup size increase seems to vary greatly, so it's best to wait until about the eighth month of pregnancy to purchase a couple, then wait until after engorgement to buy more. However, do not wait until after baby is born to buy your first nursing bras, since your size will be temporarily larger due to engorgement.  Buy a few now to tide you over, then buy more a week or two after baby is born to assure the best long-term fit. 

The general rule for women of average size is to buy one numerical size and one cup size higher than normal.  However, this may not work for everyone, particularly very well-endowed women. Very well-endowed women in particular should carefully consult a knowledgeable representative when deciding on a size.  (Several companies in the FAQ below offer consultation with a professional lactation consultant, who will be able to advise you about sizing and bra choice.) Be sure to consult with the proprietor of the company you purchase from, since sizing advice varies widely with the manufacturer brand. The size you wear in one brand may not match the sizing of a different company.  

Some experts recommend buying 2 or so nursing bras ahead of time, using a bra back extender to get through engorgement, and then buy more nursing bras after your long-term nursing size is more established.  This is probably a VERY good idea (extenders are available from Motherwear and other stores), since a pregnant ribcage often expands due to the child, and then returns to its usual size after delivery. As mentioned, engorgement will also make your breasts temporarily larger than they will end up being later. Using the bra back extender can help your bra fit better during these times, and then you can eliminate it later when you return to your long-term nursing size. 

Several specific bra brands that are frequently recommended for very well-endowed women include:

At one time, Kmom was told that the Leading Lady 491 and Goddess 510 designs were being phased out, but this appears to have been unsubstantiated.  Of the brands listed above, Kmom prefers the Goddess bras, but your mileage may vary.  www.bosombuddies.com recommends the FanceeFree 94305 (a type Kmom has not tried) as the best nursing bra for well-endowed women, while other sites seem to recommend the Goddess 511 frequently as well as the FanceeFree 94305.  One mom who wears a 36K bra recommends the Norvell Bra, sold by www.customcomfortbypaula.com. Kmom has not tried the Anita bras but has heard good things about them from others.  They have one bra (the 5064) which has lower center snaps instead of bra-strap fastenings, which some women find more useful.  

Most nursing bras are available to about a size 44F or so.  The ones listed above generally are available to about a size 48E or 48J. Fancee Free 94305 is available to a size 50K, and the Norvell Bra is available to 52 LL.  For women in need of extremely large or unusual sizes, there are businesses that can custom-make an excellent bra for you (such as www.bigbra.com, ).  In addition, the Cameo/Colesce bra, while not specifically a nursing bra, has "drop" cups that women have reported to work great for nursing, and this bra is reportedly available to a size 52HH.  Although quite expensive, very well-endowed women report that this is a wonderful bra, and one that really helps minimize upper back pain.  Another option is to convert on of your own favorite bras into a nursing bra (see directions at http://crafts.sleepingbaby.net/braconvert.html ).

Of course, not all large women are well-endowed. For women who need a larger band size but a small cup size (i.e., a 44B), Bravado Bras are excellent. They can also be custom-made in many different fabrics. Bravados are carried by many different businesses, including www.bravadodesigns.com and www.nestmom.com.  Decent Exposures (www.decentexposures.com ) also makes an excellent custom-made bra that is terrific for women that need smaller cup sizes.  

Although both come in larger sizes, neither the Bravado bras nor the Decent Exposures bras are supportive enough for women who need very large cup sizes. Extremely well-endowed moms who have used these brands have reported recurrent problems with plugged ducts and mastitis.  If you are less well-endowed, however, these brands are quite good, or stores like Target and Wal-Mart often carry nursing bras to about 42D that are perfectly adequate yet more affordable.

One great website for comparing different types of nursing bras is www.plussizebras.org. This website is NOT commercial and sells no bras.  It merely compares and reviews the various types of bras available (often with photos), specifically for women who need an F cup or more.  They have a page on nursing bra choices (not all brands are represented yet, but many are), and links to retailers who do carry those bras.  They even have some non-USA brands and retailer links reviewed on their site.  

Whatever size you require, there are many bras and brands available, so be sure to shop around. A word of warning, however, about Internet companies---they tend to come and go rather quickly in some cases, so companies that are in business when this list was updated may well go out of business later. Additionally, many new companies come online every day and may not be listed yet in this FAQ, so be sure to do a search in order to identify any new resources that may be out there.

 

Hints for Nursing Bras

Nursing bras can help prevent a lot of problems, but they can also cause problems as well. Be sure you have really good, supportive nursing bras if you are well-endowed! This is extremely important. Some women try to get by with soft bras and just lift the bra up for nursing. This may work well for smaller-busted women, but is not supportive enough for really well-endowed women, where the weight of the breast can cause the milk ducts underneath to drain sluggishly or infect.  It may be possible to do this later on as baby nurses less and the breasts are less full, but this should definitely be avoided early in nursing.  When transitioning into a softer bra to just lift up for nursing, be sure to watch carefully for signs of plugged ducts or mastitis.    

Less well-endowed women sometimes try to get by with an athletic bra. Athletic bras tend to reduce "bounce" by constricting the breasts snugly; this can reduce milk supply in some women, or cause a tendency towards plugged ducts/mastitis. Thus, these bras are generally contraindicated in breastfeeding.  A looser, soft cup bra that can be just pulled up may be a good compromise--as long as you are not in the early days of nursing.

Underwires can press against sensitive duct tissue, and often are the source of recurrent duct problems, especially in larger women. Many lactation specialists also recommend against "cut-out" nursing bras, where the cup unfastens but there is a large flap at the bottom to help support the breast. Unfortunately, this can cause too much pressure on the milk sinuses and also cause recurrent problems with mastitis and clogged ducts. It's worth noting that some women use underwire or cut-out nursing bras without problems, so 'your mileage may vary', but in general these types are best-avoided in those who are extremely well-endowed.

If you have soreness problems when breastfeeding, the most common culprit is poor positioning by the mother, or poor latch-on by the baby.  Often, correcting the baby's position or latch is all that is needed to make breastfeeding more comfortable.  If you have these problems, be sure to consult with a lactation consultant ASAP for extra evaluation and help.  

Another cause of breast soreness that is often overlooked is nursing bra problems, so be very careful when purchasing your bra. An excellent nursing bra is worth its weight in gold.  Although they tend to be expensive in larger sizes, they are well-worth their purchase price just by helping to prevent infections and other problems. If you have recurrent plugged ducts or mastitis, consider whether your bra is supportive enough or is too tight/pressing against key areas among the possible causes. An underwire bra, an unsupportive bra, or a  too-tight/ill-fitting bra is often the culprit.

Kmom has had personal experience in this; she does not generally get many plugged ducts or problems, but did encounter occasional problems at times. Upon reflection, she realized she had worn two of her less-supportive bras just before the problems occurred.  Whenever the bras were used for even a half-day, the problem recurred. By avoiding use of these bras, she was able to eliminate the problem.

If you nurse long-term (more than a year or so) then you may be able to return to using other bras even while nursing, but during the first 6-9 months or so, be very careful about the bras you pick. Be very sure to use only the best and most supportive nursing bras if you are well-endowed.  

Other hints for helping a sore breast/plugged duct include:  

Remember that if you have any problems, see a *professional* (certified) lactation consultant AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!. Going too long without *expert* help is a consistent cause of breastfeeding pain, poor supply, infections, and breastfeeding 'failure'. Swift and expert feedback is critical to resolving the majority of breastfeeding problems. Don't wait!

 

Hints For Nursing Clothing

There are many great companies that carry plus-sized nursing wear now.  One of the best places to start looking is www.jakeandme.com, as it has nursing wear available in sizes 4-30 (up to a 4x) and also has "talls" and "petites" available in all sizes too.  It is also one of the only places Kmom has ever found nursing dresses above a size 2/3x!!  However, selection does tend to be limited.  www.babybecoming.com also has some nursing clothes, often available into supersizes.  If you need a nursing outfit, especially one above a size 2x, Jake And Me and Baby Becoming are the places to start looking.  

www.motherwear.com sells a wide variety of truly beautiful nursing wear and has begun carrying them to size 2x and 3x, with a few items to a 4x.  J.C. Penney also has some nursing wear in its catalogue in plus sizes up to about a size 26 or so, and is often a more economical choice than other companies. www.plusmaternity.com has also started carrying more nursing clothes now too.

Many women wonder whether they will need nursing clothing, whether they should buy nursing clothing before the baby is born, how much nursing wear they will need, and what items are most important. The answer is---it varies according to your needs and budget. 

Some women swear by special nursing wear, while others feel it is unnecessary. Whether it is handy for you is something you'll have to discover when you get there. Generally speaking, special nursing wear is not really critical. If you have the money, you can invest in several nursing tops and perhaps something for a dressier occasion. If money is an issue but you think you will want nursing clothes, invest in a top or two and then see after a week or two postpartum whether it's really worth the expense in your situation. If you are really pressed for money, skip the nursing wear altogether. It can be helpful but it's not really critical to nursing success.

Using a two-piece outfit (a loose top and a bottom) and pulling up your shirt often works just as well as having a nursing top. You can also unbutton clothes from the top, but pulling up is FAR more discreet. Generally speaking, it seems to hold true that smaller-busted moms find nursing tops more important and handy to have; most nursing tops are not really designed for the needs of a really well-endowed mother, and they find it just as easy to get by in a regular shirt. However, your mileage may certainly vary! Do whatever seems to fit your needs best. [Note: many twin-moms feel that nursing wear is a must for them; women with other special nursing situations may also find it handier.]

Nursing wear usually has hidden slits for easier nursing, and these are covered by fabric flaps for modesty. Different types of nursing outfits have different access panels. Some have one central slit that you can access from either side; others have two slits, one on each side, covered by fabric. Some have a horizontal slit and fabric flaps, and there are other variations as well. These are hard to envision, so a visual aid is helpful. Excellent summaries of different types of nursing openings are available at www.laurascloset.com/nurop1.html, www.breast-is-best.com/pub/access.html,  and www.9monthsplus.com/eng/eng_bfo/eng_bfo_all_openings.htm.   You will want to study this to further familiarize yourself with how nursing clothing works before you make any decisions about buying anything.

Some moms in cold-weather areas like to wear an old comfy t-shirt and cut openings over the breasts to wear under their regular clothes.  That way they do not need special expensive nursing clothing, yet once they unbutton or lift up their other clothes, their tummies are not exposed and they stay warmer.  

Other moms buy a couple of basic nursing t-shirts and camisoles from Motherwear or other companies, and then wear these under their regular clothes for similar coverage.  Still other mom convert their favorite regular t-shirts into nursing shirts, a very thrifty way to get nursing clothes.  Instructions for converting a t-shirt into a nursing shirt can be found online at www.sleepingbaby.net/jan

Since most casual wear is easy to nurse in, if you are on a budget, you may want to purchase special nursing wear only for more formal occasions, since most 'regular' dresses are very awkward for nursing. The other alternative for dress-up occasions is to use a top-and-skirt set. This way you and baby have easy access and you do not need to purchase any special clothing.

Other options for budget-conscious moms include sewing their own nursing clothes; www.elizabethlee.com has many great patterns. Most go up to size 20 and some go to sizes 22 or 24.  NAAFA has a great book to help learn to size average-sized patterns accurately into plus sizes (Sewing For Plus Sizes, available from http://naafa.org ). An experienced sewer should be able to use this to alter regular patterns into plus patterns.  Or you can hire a local seamstress to help you customize the pattern and make a number of items for an economy discount.  There are even patterns online to help you make your own sling (at www.elizabethlee.com ) or nursing bra (at www.taunton.com/th/features/fitandfabric/bras/page1.htm) if you are a very advanced sewer!

 

Nursing in Public

Many mothers are very concerned about nursing discreetly in public, but with practice, it CAN be done with a minimum of fuss. Again, smaller-busted moms tend to find that special nursing clothing helps them nurse more discreetly in public, while well-endowed moms generally find that normal clothing (a loose top plus bottom) is more discreet for them. Nursing in a sling is often so discreet nobody even notices that you are nursing, but this is generally also easier for small-busted women than well-endowed ones. 

The key to being at ease with nursing in public is practice at home, mastering the latch-on process, and practicing in less-stressful situations first. While mastering the technique, keep a baby blanket nearby for security in case you feel you need more cover-up, but eventually you will not need it often. See the Nursing When Well-Endowed FAQ on this website for more specific hints about nursing in public, and below for hints for adapting special nursing holds for public nursing.

For women who have been schooled to be embarrassed about their bodies (as many large women have been), nursing in public often presents a daunting emotional challenge at first. However, with practice, it really is NOT that big a deal--take it from one who agonized over it! You CAN do it, or you *can* find a compromise that will give you a bit more privacy while still enabling your baby to nurse. It doesn't have to be all or nothing; with time and determination, you'll find something that works well for you.

 

Breastfeeding Hints

Women of size may want to experiment a bit more with different nursing positions in order to find what works best for them. The traditional 'cradle' hold often works well for small-busted women, including women who are 'overweight' but are a C/D cup or less pre-pregnancy). However, large-busted women (pre-pregnancy cup size DD+ or so) of any size often find the 'football' (under the arm) hold easier for nursing.  Kmom strongly recommends that they experiment with this position as well as others and find what works best for them.

With the football hold, the baby is held to the side of the body and under the arm (like a football) and its weight is supported by pillows or a chair armrest.  This frees the mother's arms and hands to help control the baby's latch-on and position, as well as to support the breast as needed. With the traditional cradle holds, the mother supports the baby with her arms and this makes it exceedingly difficult to support and guide the breast as much as most larger breasts need.   Since the very large breast generally needs so much support, it is difficult to hold the baby, support the breast, and guide the baby's latch-on as needed.  Therefore, the football hold often works best for well-endowed women in the early days of breastfeeding because it frees the mother from having to support the baby's body with her arms, , and some well-endowed moms use it long-term as well.  

The key to using the football hold successfully is to use as many pillows as needed to bring the baby up to the level of your breasts (bring the baby to your breasts, not your breasts to the baby).  Many women do not use enough pillows at first, making them tend to lean over the baby to nurse.  This is hard on her back and on the integrity of this hold, and can result in soreness.  Have plenty of pillows available to use as needed when learning to breastfeed, especially if you use the football hold.  You may also need to flex the baby's body at the hips so that it does not push against the back of the chair or arch its back.  

An excellent aid to learning how to use the football position is the Medela video, "Breastfeeding Your Baby: Positioning", which can be bought by calling 1-800-TELL-YOU. Another good resource is The Nursing Mother's Companion by Kathleen Huggins, Kmom's top recommendation for nursing manuals. Finally, the website at  www.breastfeeding.com/helpme/helpme_video.html has excellent pictures and even downloadable movies of the various nursing positions, including the football hold (what appears to be a space in that URL is actually an underline).

When going out in public, the traditional cradle hold may make it difficult to be discreet if you are well-endowed. You can either hope to find a perfectly private spot wherever you go (a car, dressing room, or private office works well), use a blanket over your breasts as you nurse, or you can use the football hold instead for nursing in public. This is awkward to get used to but ultimately much more discreet and comfortable; not enough well-endowed women explore this option. 

To use the football hold in public, put a large diaper bag behind and to the side of you, then prop the baby up on the bag and your lap in order to achieve a more comfortable, discreet position. Then use your shirt to cover the breast up to and around the baby's mouth; very little flesh is exposed this way. Some will be exposed briefly while latching on or detaching, but much more flesh would be exposed with the cradle hold in women who are well-endowed! Turning away briefly while latching on, or using a blanket briefly to cover up while getting started is an option for those who wish to avoid even the briefest glimpse of flesh.

When you and baby are first learning to nurse, be sure to pre-express some milk before trying to latch on, especially during engorgement (temporary extra breast fullness when the mature milk 'comes in'). This will soften the breast and make it easier for a small baby to latch on. Many well-endowed women have difficulty at first with the baby latching on to the large breast, especially if they have flat nipples (no distinct protruding nipple). This leads many to abandon breastfeeding prematurely. 

The best advice in this situation is one of prevention. Nurse EARLY and OFTEN in order to prevent engorgement from becoming severe, and then pre-express some milk shortly before trying to latch on the baby. Pre-expressing will soften the breast and help bring out flat or slightly inverted nipples, making it much easier for a small baby to latch on correctly. The football hold offers additional benefits in this scenario as well, since it allows for greater control over the baby's head as you guide it towards the nipple, and you can see to check the latch-on more easily.

Some moms are able use the cradle hold without problem from the very start; others go on to use it as they and their babies become more proficient at nursing, while still other moms choose to stay with the football hold until the baby is much older. Whatever way works best for you is fine. The key is flexibility and experimentation to find what works for you.

More hints for breastfeeding when well-endowed are available in another section of this website. Kmom strongly recommends reading this section if you are well-endowed. Large women have a lower rate of breastfeeding in several studies than women of average size, but a great deal of this may well be due to the lack of advice and support for women of size in how to adapt breastfeeding techniques when needed. 

Don't let anyone tell you that you cannot breastfeed your baby simply because of your size; even VERY well-endowed women have succeeded in nursing their babies long-term. Sometimes it takes an adjustment in positioning and technique, an appropriate nursing bra, and expert help knowledgeable in helping well-endowed women, but it CAN be done! And for many of us who started the process dubious about the 'joys' of breastfeeding but determined to try it for the sake of our babies, it can be an incredibly powerful and healing path to body acceptance. Not only is it great for your baby, but it can be great for YOU, too.


Nursing Bra and Nursing Clothing Resources

Abracadabra - The Mom Shop

Has maternity and nursing clothing and accessories. Mostly sizes to 16-18 but a few to 22-24. 1-3X mostly in tops and pants, not dresses or career wear. Lots of nursing bras. Also has bra extenders, baby slings, breast pumps, My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow (good for plus-sizes), support belts, some sewing patterns, plus books and videos on pregnancy topics.

A-Bra Lingerie Boutique

A lingerie store for plus sizes; carries some nursing bras such as Goddess and will do mail-order with 50% up front. Has another bra that they can adapt for sizes above 48; whether this is suitable is unknown.

Ann's Bra Shop

Reportedly a great resource for bras of all sizes.  Carries Goddess, Anita nursing bras, etc.  

Baby and Me Consignments

Large selection of new and "pre-loved" maternity and nursing wear in great condition. Wide variety of clothing available, from professional clothing, formal wear, bathing suits, nursing nightgowns, dresses, etc. to everyday clothing. Brand-new nursing bras up to 46G. Many new items also available. Customers encouraged to re-consign after their baby's birth. Up to size 24/3x.

Baby Becoming

One of THE best places to start your search for maternity wear. Good customer service, friendly and inspirational owner--Charlotte Bradley. Mostly carries maternity wear but does carry some nursing clothing now. Has maternity jumpers, dresses, tops, pants, nightgowns, light coats, jumpsuits/overalls, swimsuit, underwear, pantyhose, support belts, nursing tops, and nursing nighties. Most nursing bras used are Decent Exposure bras (fine for nursing if you are small- or medium-busted, but Kmom does not recommend them for well-endowed nursing moms); now has Fancee Free nursing bras too. Also carries products such as a large-size baby sling, an Ameda Egnell breast pump with an extra-large flange, and Lansinoh (lanolin cream for easing soreness). Prices are middling high (not unusual for a small cottage industry), but quality is good.

Barb's Large and Lovely

Carries Goddess and Leading Lady bras; also BBW clothing for sizes 1X-8X.

BiggerBras.Com

This company apparently carries bras in a wider variety of sizes than usually found elsewhere, so if you are looking for hard-to-find sizes like large band sizes but smaller cup sizes, or very large cup sizes, you might try this company first.

Birth and Baby

This may be one of the best places to start looking for nursing bras and accessories. Nursing bras, breast pumps, baby slings, nursing pillows, nursing clothes, accessories. Carries brands with many cup E and larger sizes, including Goddess, Fancee Free, Olga, and many others. Also has support belts, including the Belly Bra (to 2x; limited time) and Reenie R Maternity Belt (goes around hips only; to size 2x or 22), plus a nursing pillow which is good for larger women (Four Dee Nurse Mate Pillow). Nursing clothing selections to 3x. Wide selection of bras and other products. Operated by P.J. Jacobsen, International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and La Leche Leader. Seattle-area.

Bosom Buddies

Regular bras, sports bras, and nursing bras in brands such as Leading Lady, Fancee Free, Bravado, and Goddess. They recommend the Fancee Free 94305 as the best bra for well-endowed women, saying that the "inner 'sling' type construction gives great support, [and is] far more comfortable and breastfeeding-friendly than any underwire." Also large size maternity belts, breast pumps, and a number of products not always shown on their website.  Will also do special orders.  Also does mail orders, including to women in Europe and Japan.  They have a special 'Try the Fit Kit' to help women know how to order/fit a bra, even via the internet.  Details on their website.   Owner is a professionally certified lactation consultant (IBCLC).  

Bras Customfit by Maxine

Nursing bras 26A-64N and custom bras made to any size. Used to have some maternity swimwear, cup-sized, but not making this right now. Say you found her through a fat-acceptance clothing list on internet.

Bravado Bras

An excellent and popular nursing bra,  Bravado bras are usually made of 92% cotton, 8% spandex. They come in many pretty colors and patterns, so it's a nice alternative to the usual boring basic nursing bras. (This is great; why don't more companies realize nursing moms would like more style and color???)  Bras come in 12 sizes.  They have 3 styles/cup sizes: Basic, Plus, and Double Plus (this last is for larger-breasted women).  They have 4 different band sizes, S (32-36), M (36-40), L (38-42), and XL (42-46).  Sizes reportedly tend to run a bit small. Custom-made bras can be made for an additional $10.  

{It is Kmom's experience and opinion that Bravados are a terrific bra for women who are less well-endowed, but that they are not supportive enough in the larger cup sizes for most well-endowed women. Other well-endowed moms also have reported that this brand tended to encourage plugged ducts and mastitis.  Kmom highly recommends this bra brand for women who wear small to moderate cup sizes before pregnancy (and some women who are DD cups will probably be okay as well), but those women who are truly well-endowed (DDD cup or bigger pre-pregnancy) should probably consider a different brand.  Of course, Your Mileage May Vary.}

Break Out Bras

rAnother bra company that carries full-figure bras, nursing bras, maternity bras, and related products.  One mom says, "They have really good prices, reviews on most of their products, a great selection of sizes, free shipping and handling, and they ship really quickly.  Oh, and for subsequent order, you get a discount.  I love them.  It took me 8 weeks to get my bras through a specialty shop here in town and 3 days to get the same bra from breakout bras."  

Breast Is Best/Family Resources

This may be one of the best places to start looking for nursing bras and accessories. Nursing bras, breast pumps, baby slings, nursing pillows, nursing clothes, accessories. Carries brands with many cup E and larger sizes, including Goddess, Fancee Free, Olga, and many others. Also has support belts, including the Belly Bra (to 2x; limited time) and Reenie R Maternity Belt (goes around hips only; to size 2x or 22), plus a nursing pillow which is good for larger women (Four Dee Nurse Mate Pillow). Nursing clothing selections to 3x. Wide selection of bras and other products. Operated by P.J. Jacobsen, International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and La Leche Leader. Seattle-area.

Bust Stop

Catalog $2. Bras up to 60GG. Has maternity/nursing bras also, to about 48G. Carries a wide variety of brands, including Goddess, Leading Lady, Suzanne, Olga, and others. Will custom-fit bras too.

Cameo/Colesce Bras

Not specifically a nursing bra but has "drop" cups that are reported to work very well for nursing.  Available to larger sizes than most nursing bras.  Most nursing bras go to 48J or so, this bra is supposed to be available to 52HH.  While very expensive, this bra has gotten rave reviews from well-endowed women for eliminating or reducing upper back pain.  According to one mom, "They hook lower on the back and support you from below instead of pulling on your shoulders.  All my upper back pain disappeared when I started wearing this bra!!"  Joyce at the Bras Etc. store above will help you custom fit the bra, even by mail, and reportedly carries more varied sizes in stock than some other companies.  

Cameo Coutures, Inc.

Custom-made large bras. Expensive (about $50) but comfy. Well-made and long-lasting. No underwires. RAVE reviews from customers. Supposedly can make nursing bras too.

Celange's Lingerie

Store does not specialize in nursing bras, but they do advertise regular bras to 56DD, so if you are above the usual nursing bra sizes, you might want to buy one of these bras and then use it to create your own nursing bra (see the www.sleepingbaby..net/jan/ website for directions).  This store also advertises large size panties, teddies, nightgowns, lounge wear and pantyhose to 7x.  

Creative Woman, Wizard of Bras

Nursing bras (including Goddess Bras) to 48J with bra extenders for larger band sizes. Custom fitting. Large bras, lingerie, and even some costumes for holidays carried as well! Owner: Bonnie Kaufman.

Custom Comfort

Mom-owned business that sells bras, slings and cloth diapers.  Sells Norvell bras, which are reputed to be especially good for women who wear extremely large cup sizes (bra sizes from 28-52, cup sizes A- LL in each size).  She may be able to custom-make a larger size too.  The cups open so they can work as nursing bras.

Cyberbaby

Comfortable and supportive nursing bra made of cotton/lycra. Up to band size 42-46, cup size F-G.

Dan Howard's Maternity Factory Outlet/Mothertime Maternity and Babywear

Lots of maternity wear in various styles, but mostly casual wear in plus-sizes. Goes mostly to XL/1X, but has occasional items in 2x or 3x. Stores in 24 states plus Canada. May be expanding the plus line more in the future. Has some tall maternity wear (to size 16/18), and some nursing bras.

Decent Exposures

{Not recommended for very large-busted women---not supportive enough, see advice section. May be OK for women of moderate cup size, however.} Bras "have no hardware and are quite comfortable...Come in a variety of colors", cup sizes AA to K and band sizes 30-58 or so. Can be used for nursing bras by just lifting up the cup, or you can have nursing flaps put in for about $12 (lined lycra is most supportive, cotton not recommended for large sizes). Follow the sizing instructions carefully, they may be different than regular sizing (they often run large.) They also sell underwear up to size 12. If you don't like how something fits, they will adjust it for free (deepening the armholes, re-cutting the legs, etc.). They also have leggings up to size 4-5X (36 or so), but they tend to be snug. Ordering accuracy is sometimes poor, so confirm.

Ecobaby Organics

Has cotton underwire nursing bras up to 46H. Go to catalogue, then to breastfeeding corner, then to supplies. Also has huge selection of many 'natural' baby products, such as organic and natural fiber clothes, bedding and diapering products, wooden and stuffed toys, and some homeopathic remedies. Maternity and nursing clothes and slings; they did not previously carry many plus sizes but have apparently added a number of new choices, including nursing wear to size 5x. Matching outfits for kids too.  Quote from a customer: "Ginny (the owner) is well-versed in breastfeeding. She is always available with advice and suggestions for nursing bras and tops. She carries most sizes (including very large and special sizes) and will refer if she cannot provide...she does carry more and more for nursing and larger women and will do custom-runs if there is demand."

Elizabeth Lee Designs

Patterns to sew nursing clothing; some maternity. Most go up to a size 16, many to size 20, and some to sizes 22 and 24. Helpful on the phone. Has a pattern for a nursing swimsuit, sizes 6-24.  Also has Fancee Free Nursing Bra (to 48J) and other nursing bras. Many Leading Lady bras, which is one of the better brands. Has patterns for other items as well, such as slings and nursing pillows like Boppy's and fitted cotton diapers too. Reportedly, the sizing runs generous, and they have multi-sized patterns available as well. Have started a new service where they will sew a pattern FOR you. Call and ask if they can expand the size range if needed.

Expecting Style - may be out of business?

Retail clothing store in Memphis, TN area. Has large-sized maternity and nursing clothes up to 3x (26/28) and sometimes 4-5x. Nursing bras to 46G. Carries the following lines in plus sizes: REBEL, Fit for Two, Matthew Cole, Cody Patrick, Japanese Weekend, Baby Becoming, Hayley Michaels, and Precious Cargo. Customers report excellent service. Also may do some maternity rentals as well; call and ask.

There is still a business online at www.ExpectingStyle.com but the addresses and such are totally different now.  A customer reported that the above store was out of business; it may be that they moved to a new place or are only online now, or it may be that another business (also from Memphis!) has co-opted the domain name.  The new information is P.O. Box 9771  Memphis, TN  38190; (901) 344-8288.  The items listed at www.ExpectingStyle.com/plus.html mostly go to 3x (24/26) but may have items up to 5x available.  Call and ask. 

Gigi's Body Shapers

"We specialize in body shapers, custom-fit bras (over 250 sizes), pregnancy and back support undergarments, postpartum support shapers, etc."

Goddess Bras

Well-made, large-size bras. {This company had the most often recommended nursing bras in a survey. Goddess Model 510 in particular received mention.} Unfortunately, they have recently stopped making Goddess 510, but are now starting to make Goddess 511; it is unclear whether Goddess 511 is as good. Early reports are that the 511 is essentially the same but in cotton, which would be nice. A number of 510 models will still be in stock for a while, but get them while they are still available. Also available at Creative Woman (818)358-6216, www.breastisbest.com, and Lady Grace, see other entries.

Growing Life

Run by a professional lactation consultant and RN who also has plus-sized salespeople too. Carries some plus-sized maternity clothes to 3x (tops, dresses, pants, etc.). Lots of nursing wear to 3x and is currently manufacturing their own line which will go to 4x! Nursing bras in the store to 42J; can order a nursing bra to size 48J (the Extra Extra Support nursing bra). Also has nursing pillows, slings, breastpumps, etc., will do professional bra fittings, and has nursing classes, parenting classes, support groups, and information on parenting related issues on site.

How to Make Your Own Bra (article)

Online article on how to make your own bra. Gives pointers, where to find supplies, companies that sell kits to make bras, etc. Other resources for sewing your own nursing bras include the online newsgroup, rec.crafts.textiles.sewing, and the website, www.funhouse.com/babs/FAQ.html.

Internet Apparel

Not much information, just a note that they carry bras in sizes 32A to 56FF and 52I, depending on style. "Customers can 'Search By Size' to view only those bras which are available in their own size. A greater selection of name brand average and full-figure bras is on the way."

Jake and Me Clothing Company

100% cotton clothing, sold by an excellent and customer-friendly company. Maternity and Nursing wear for women, pants and dresses sizes 4-30, shirts to 4X.  Wide selection of choices.  Excellent choice for finding clothing for taller women; inseams can be chosen from 28 inches to 38 inches, with the options of Petite, Regulars, and Talls. In addition, carries clothing for babies to 24 months, and kids 2T-6T.  A great resource!

Lactation Connection

Cotton nursing bras (sizes 32B to 50J), extenders for each type of bra, nursing tops to 3x, breast pump rentals, pump accessories and replacement parts, slings, nursing pillows, etc. This store has the largest nursing bra Kmom has seen yet;  a Leading Lady 110 (FGH) sleep/leisure bra with front hooks.  Owner notes that for nursing bras in general, if you need an I or J cup, order the next band size up than your measurements indicate for a more comfortable fit.  Owner Tanya Roberts is a professional lactation consultant (IBCLC).     

Lady Grace Intimate Apparel

Maternity bras to 48J, including Leading Lady, Goddess, and Fancee Free nursing bras. Stores on east coast of USA, including in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. Send email with your name, mailing address, daytime phone number for free catalogue.  Also has a wide selection of non-maternity bras, slips, nightgowns, swimsuits, girdles, and post-mastectomy products.

Laughing Sisters

Catalog $1. They make and sell 'unusually high-quality nightgowns' of their own design, similar to the full old-fashioned gowns of the past. Extremely full and graciously gathered with set-in sleeves. Sizes up to supersize, and they will custom-make gowns too. According to one customer, "Superb and glorious, well-constructed and high-quality." They also make flannel or summerweight cotton nightgowns for nursing women with two openings concealed in deep pleats in gathers at the yoke. "The owner is an amusing woman to speak with. She sells her gowns in two sizes, Small and Medium. Medium is for about 24-36+, which she said she named Medium because that's her size and it's her company. She also will custom-size as necessary."

Laura's Closet

Nursing tops and sleepwear, mostly in sizes to XL, but a few things to 3x. Tie-die nursing shirts!

Lauren Silva Intimate Apparel

Sells intimate apparel, including some plus-size maternity bras.  

Leading Lady Bras

Style LL491, all cotton, is a pretty good nursing bra, comfortable but lumpy under clothing. It was reported that it was not going to be made anymore, but this is apparently untrue and this bra is still available. Many other styles available too. Sizes go up to 48J or so. Back extenders available for even larger sizes. These bras and many others available through Lady Grace or Breast is Best.

Lingerie and More (Ann Murdock's)

Plus-sized lingerie and bra store that will do some things by mail order. Sizes 16-32, or some clothing to 8x that might work for maternity. Carries Goddess and Leading Lady bras.

Little Koala Mother and Baby Catalogue

Maternity sizes only to XXL (18/20) and nursing sizes to XL (14/16) BUT does have nursing bras to 48J and even has a sleep/leisure bra to 52G. Also carries Bravado Nursing Bras (good for smaller-chested women).

Mama Shark's Swimwear, Inc.

"Attractive, affordable swimwear for the breastfeeding mother." Bathing suits for the nursing mother, sizes to 2x (22/24). Location listing available for a store near you; call Fran Sharkey at above number between 10-3, EST.

Mama T's

Nursing clothing mostly to 2x.  

Maternal Expressions Breastfeeding Boutique

Supplies and equipment for the nursing family from slings to books to bras to pumps, including rentals. Good breastfeeding advice available too! Bra brands include TR Sport Bras, Fancee Free, Bravado, Medela Bras (including the new Hands-Free Pumping bra). (3 stores in the Detroit, Michigan area.)

The Maternity Closet

RENTS plus-size maternity clothes! $20-30 per month, nice-quality clothing. Some dressy/career options but not a lot of selection. Some stuff to 3x. Free shipping in US. Check to see if nursing clothes are available.

Maternity For Less

Store and web business in Albany, New York.  Significant portion of the site devoted to plus size maternity clothes.  Jeans and Khakis to size 26, dresses, suits, sportswear to size 3x, and lingerie with bras to 46H.  Owner states, "I can even do personalized shopping since only a small percentage of our stock is on the web.  And.....we do it all at a 15% discount."  

Maternity Treasures

Virtual Consignment Store for used/pre-owned maternity clothes.  Sizes up to about 2x currently; will be searching for more plus sizes. Check back frequently to see current stock list. 

McCall's, pattern #8254

Nursing Tops. The shirts are 'crop top' style and two types of vest style. The pattern sizes are: x-small (4-6), small (8-10), medium (12-14), large (16-18), and x-large (20-22). They do have the finished garment measurements on the envelope (running from 42.5" bust for x-small to 56" bust for x-large). The pattern is listed for $10.95.  Note:  This pattern may be out-of-print now.

Milk Express

A number of nursing bras, including a T-Back nursing bra, Bravado nursing bras, etc.

MilkFace Nursingwear

Nursingwear, bras, slings, and many breastfeeding-related products.  Sizes to 2x.  

Mommy Gear

Many nursing bras, nursing clothes (some with matching outfits for baby), breastpumps for sale or rent, and other nursing products.  Owner is named Dawn.  

Mommy Place

Owned by an RN.  She carries Bravado Bras and other similar products, plus a complete line of Ameda Egnell Breast Pumps (an excellent brand) and supplies at discounted prices.

Mommies and Poppies

Store and online company with some plus-sized offerings (see http://www.mommies-poppies.com/products/list.html?mode=list&submode=cat&cat_id=52 ).  Also carries many bfing-related products like breast pumps, pads, etc.  

Mother Baby Care

Nursing bras, cups A-H.  Slings (Over The Shoulder Baby Holders).  Breastfeeding classes.  Breastpump rentals/sales.  Newborn care/Mother care/Breastfeeding support.  Run by two nurses.  

Motherhood Maternity

Emphasis on comfort in this excellent collection. T-shirts, denim shirts, jeans, knit V-necks, dresses in all lengths, swimwear, and sleepwear; some careerwear too. Sizes 1x-3x. Very cute stuff, reasonably priced. Very promising company! Another good place to buy a lot of maternity basics. Has a link for nursing bras etc.

Mother's Nature Auctions

Website with an auction board where women can buy or sell used maternity or nursing clothing, some of it in plus sizes. Good way to cut corners for the budget-conscious mom!  Originally founded by a plus-size mom.

Motherwear

Quote: "They carry a large selection of nursing bras, most of which run to F or G cups (some only to DD) and one style (my favorite) which goes up to a 46I. Their selection ranges from minimal support 'night-time' bras, underwires and sturdily constructed, non-underwire, very supportive bras...(Their bras) are the most comfortable bras I've ever worn, pregnant, nursing or not! They also carry bra extenders for about $2 each." Many other nursing-related products as well. Truly outstanding catalogue, but most clothing items only go to XL or 2X, some 3X. Just beginning to add tops in 4x. Good source for larger bras, and the clothing is very attractive. {Kmom recommends the Extra Support Bra---goes to 46I---but NOT the Great Support Bra----cuts on the sides and shoulders. However, others have been known to swear by this bra.}

The Nursing Baby

The Nursing Baby offers information and support for breastfeeding mothers as well as breastfeeding products. Carries breast pumps, breastfeeding accessories, baby slings, nursing pillows and clothes, nursing bras and nursing pads, breastfeeding creams, galactagogues for milk supply, and many more items to enhance the breastfeeding relationship. "We specialize in low price nursing clothes (dresses, breastfeeding tops, nightgowns, and shirts) which are stylish and affordable."  Owner reports that they carry nursing bras from 32B to 50J (special order) and have nursing tops/dresses to size 3x.  About 25% of their customers are plus-sized. 

The Nurtured Baby (catalog)

Quote: "They have cloth diapers, Bravado bras, diaper accessories, nursing pads, cloth menstrual pads, and even a bumper sticker 'Human Milk for Human babies.'"

OMOM Trading and Swapping Board

OMOM is a mailing list of support for new moms who are 'overweight'. They have created a trading website where people can sell, trade, borrow, or swap old maternity/nursing clothing and equipment. Great spot to go for the budget-conscious. This URL may eventually change; if you try it and it doesn't work, further information about this may be able to be found at www.fertilityplus.org.

One Hot Mama

Nursing wear mostly to 1x-2x, with some 3x items.  Nursing nightgowns too.  1x=16/18, 2x=20/22, and 3x=22/24, according to the website.

Parenting Concepts

Breastfeeding-friendly website, with many breastfeeding products.  Most famous for its slings, Sling-EZee, which comes in an XL size.  Also carries a nice-looking nursing pillow, the Bosom Baby Plush Line Nursing Pillow.  It is V-shaped, comes in extra soft material (like velour), and has a zippered, removable pillowcase so it can be washed (an unusual feature in nursing pillows).

JC Penney's Maternity Catalog

Maternity and some nursing outfits up to size 3X; Talls to XL. Maternity and Nursing Bras up to about 44DD, plus maternity panties, nightgowns, tummy support briefs, and pantyhose. Good quality, quite a wide selection of clothes. Some find their sizing tends to run small. Mostly reasonable prices. An excellent place to start purchasing maternity clothes if you are in the smaller mid-sizes of large. Often has discounts for internet ordering or when ordering at certain times; be sure to ask. Website available but not well-designed; call for maternity catalog if you have time before baby; it will be easier to use.  Also always check if there's an Outlet store in your area, where many of these items are available at a large discount.

Pickles and Ice Cream

Really nice plus-sized maternity clothes for both work and play. Mostly to size 26 or 28 but a few larger things (to size 32). Also has bathing suits, panties, pantyhose, support belts, and nursing bras to 48J. Several nice dressier career options available, such as dresses and suits. Starting to carry some nursing clothes as well. Very impressive new company! This would be an excellent place to stock up on many maternity basics.

Plus Size Bras

Non-commercial website which does not SELL bras, but does compare and review bra options in sizes above an F cup, including maternity and nursing bras.  It then has contact info and links to retailers that sell those bra brands.  Includes companies that sell in the USA, and some companies that sell in the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, and possibly Mexico.  A good review (with photos) of some of the different types of bras available in larger cup sizes. New updates periodically, so check back often.  

Queen Lingerie

Boutique that carries one-of-a-kind lingerie and clothes, sized from regular to plus to supersize.  Reportedly carries a huge selection of plus-size bras, and also carries maternity and nursing apparel (see www.queen-lingerie.com/nursingapparel.html for listings).  

Rainbow Mama

Tie-dye t-shirts and many tie-dye baby products that advocate for breastfeeding, midwifery, natural birth, and attachment parenting.  One of the owners is a plus-sized mom herself.  They stock t-shirts to 4x and are capable of making up to 6x shirts.  Great products!

Self Expressions

Medela breast pumps, maternity and nursing bras to 46H, Over the Shoulder Baby Holder slings (large sizes in stock now), My Brest Friend nursing pillow, and many other breastfeeding-related products.  Also carries maternity and new mother panties by Medela in Queen Size (1x, 2x, 3x), which fits hips 41" to 49".  Owner also notes that Medela has now designed a new breastshield for their pumps.  It's for women who have larger nipples and find the standard flanges uncomfortable.  It's called the "Personal Fit" and Self Expressions carries it. You can view it at www.selfexpressions.com/perbreas2eac.html

The Smart Saver

Bras to 48DD in most styles.  

Sparrow's Nest/Nestmom.com

Proprietor Marti Grahl makes nursing tees (including some in plus sizes) and regular tees with 'attachment parenting' slogans and designs on them. Nursing tees available to 1x/2x (26" wide); larger sizes (3x-10x) are available but selection and price vary. Email for more info about nursing tees in larger sizes. Also carries slings and Bravado bras. Ask her about custom-making a sling to your size; she made one of Kmom's slings. Now has a secure shopping cart option;  they still take the major credit cards and PayPal as well.  Great owner!

The Stork Shoppe

Retail maternity store in Manitowoc, WI, run by a Certified Lactation Educator and RN. Carries some plus sizes in maternity and nursing bras/clothing.

Suzanne Bras and Corsets

Bras in sizes 26C-60MM.  They work by mail, with careful instructions to get a good fit.  Also makes custom bras; will make pregnancy and nursing bras as well as many other types of bras and corsets. Will also convert regular bras into nursing bras for an additional fee. Customers have raved about the quality and superb comfort level of the bras, the custom-fitting process, and the excellent customer service.  Expensive bras, but well-endowed customers say they were definitely worth the price.    

Two Texas Belles

Info about Jeunique Bras, available to size 46KK.  Also carries a pregnancy support garment.

Underwraps: Clothing for Nursing Mothers

Brochure online for breastfeeding mothers. Easy care clothing. Will make special-sized order if needed. All prices are Canadian funds. Owner: Marcia Fair.

X-Chrom

"X-Chrom, an online sportsbra stores, features over 35 styles of sports bras in more than 60 sizes.  We offer only high-quality merchandise in hard-to-find sizes, including large cup (d, dd, ddd, e, f, ff, g) and full-figure bras, plus sizes, maternity and nursing bras, and solutions for breast augmentation and reduction."

Yes!  Breastfeeding

Nursing bra that some extremely well-endowed moms swear by.  Sports-style bra, large wide back for better support, no underwires, one-handed unlatching of the bra cup, side panel for extra support, flexible sizing as your bra sizes goes up and down in the latter part of pregnancy/early days of nursing.  Company is in Vancouver, British Columbia but they ship.  Some retail stores carry it; the site lists these.  Also carried by internet companies like www.hipbaby.com.  Sold by companies in the UK, Canada, US, and Australia; see the website to find these companies.  

Yummy Mummy

Clothing sizes only to 16/18 but also carries Bravado Bras (see above entry). Their sling is 'one-size-fits-all' and may fit the smaller sizes of plus women, but the website has photos of sling positions and how to use them, at www.nurture-parenting.com/sling.htm.

 

Patterns for Sewing

*{The following companies carry large-size sewing patterns, though little to no maternity stuff. They are included because they may be useful for women to make clothes a size or two larger than normal for maternity wear, or they could be adapted into maternity patterns by the sewing-literate.}

Convert Your Own Bra Into A Nursing Bra

Directions for easily converting your own favorite bra into a nursing bra in just a few easy steps.  Includes photos and directions.  Also has directions for sewing slings of various types, a nursing pillow custom-fitted to you, and your own nursing t-shirts.

Nursing Mom's Sewing List

Email list-serv for nursing moms who sew and/or convert their own bras to nursing bras.  Lots of support for folks interested in sewing nursing clothes and bras.  

Elizabeth Lee Designs

Patterns to sew nursing clothing; some maternity. Most go up to a size 16, many to size 20, and some to sizes 22 and 24. Helpful on the phone. One pattern for Fancee Free Nursing Bra (to 48J); others are for smaller-sized nursing bras. Many Leading Lady bras, which is one of the better brands. Has patterns for other items as well, such as slings and nursing pillows like Boppy's and fitted cotton diapers too. Reportedly, the sizing runs generous, and they have multi-sized patterns available as well.  May do sewing for you by special arrangement.

Sewing For Big Folks

Very little information, just a reference for the website.

Sewing For Plus Sizes: Design, Fit, and Construction for Ample Apparel

Book by Barbara Decker (Taunton Press, 1999) which can be used as a guide to sewing 'designer clothes in any size'.  Techniques for sizing up any pattern, with an 'easy-to-read guide that will make any project easy'.  If you want to sew some maternity or nursing clothes for yourself from regular-sized patterns, this book would be an excellent investment.

Sewing Your Own Nursing Clothes

Two excellent websites with directions for making regular clothes or patterns into nursing clothes.  Also has info and instructions on adding maternity panels to skirts or pants.  

Simplicity Patterns

Simplicity reportedly has patterns in 2 lines, the BBW line and the HOAX line (for different body types). To size 32W.

Stretch and Sew Patterns

Website for Stretch and Sew Patterns, which some women really like.  They reportedly have plus-size patterns and supposedly each pattern is interchangeable, meaning that the sleeve on one will work on another, etc. 

 

Resources for Further Information and Help with Breastfeeding

The Breastfeeding Advocacy Page

Extensive discussion and documentation on the many benefits of breastmilk. Excellent resource, with many medical references and studies examined.

Breastfeeding After Reduction Surgery

Information, hints, and FAQs about Breastfeeding after Breast Reduction Surgery.  Reportedly an excellent resource.  

Breastfeeding.Com

Superb site devoted to helping mothers nurse. Usual advocacy information, but its best value lies in its extensive photos of babies nursing in various positions, even video clips of how to do the various positions (including the much-neglected football hold!). Extensive photography of nursing babies, including twins, tandem nursing (toddler and newborn), multiethnic nursing mothers, etc., plus lots of beautiful artwork of nursing mothers from ancient to modern art.

The Breastfeeding Helpline (A La Leche League International Service)

Recorded information available immediately. Counselors available during certain hours.

CARE NW (Care and Advice on Reproductive Exposures)

This *INVALUABLE* service provides information on the effects of drugs and other exposures on the developing fetus and during lactation. If you are not sure about the safety of a certain drug or chemical exposure during pregnancy or during breastfeeding, call and they will research it for you. They often have access to more complete information than your physician. Their services were formerly available only to residents of the Pacific Northwest, USA, but they have now opened up to service elsewhere through the use of the 900 number. At this time, they will also work via email, but request that a donation be mailed after they give you their research on your question. No amount is specified, but I would hope that people would honor this generously as it's a very valuable service. (So far they have had some problems with people using the service and then not donating, so the email option may be taken away.)

Hale's Medications and Mother's Milk

THE most reliable source for up-to-date information about medications while nursing is this book. It is updated every year; every medical library and pediatrician should have it. Unfortunately, not all do. A smaller version of the book is available at the website plus information about the full book. If you really need to access this book, call a large local hospital and ask for the medical librarian. Ask if they have this book, and if not, whether they can borrow the book from another hospital or library. If not, they can probably photocopy the page of the medication in question for you and mail it to your local hospital. Most hospitals do this for free, but some may charge a small amount.

International Lactation Consultant Association

THE place to start searching for a truly qualified lactation consultant, one with the initials "IBCLC" after their names!  To search for an IBCLC in your area (USA or Internationally), go to http://www.associationhome.com/ilca/web/referral.cfm

La Leche League International

The very best resource for information/support for nursing around. Call to find the nearest meeting to you, or to get in contact with a volunteer leader to ask questions or get a referral to a good lactation consultant. Also check out the web site! The best time to start attending meetings is BEFORE you deliver. Some women are afraid LLL is too radical for them; most are not, but quality depends on the local leadership. However, the philosophy is "take what you need and leave the rest behind," so if you don't agree with something, ignore that recommendation. Truly an exceptional resource. Also offers many fine pamphlets on nursing-related topics/concerns.

Medela, Inc. Breastfeeding Tips and Products

Call 1-800-TELL-YOU for Breastfeeding Advice Booklet that gives hints on breastfeeding, as well as offers several Medela products. Some products that might assist a large woman in particular are the Extra Large Glass Breastshield Kit (#610.7041) and a 15-minute video on Breastfeeding Your Baby - Positioning (#610V010). This excellent short presentation on positioning includes the football hold, which often works better for women who are extremely well-endowed, as well as more traditional holds. This is often not covered in other books or videos on the subject, so this is an extremely valuable asset to a large woman. A longer version of this video is available but the positioning section is all that's really needed for most people. A spanish version can also be ordered.

Nursing Mother's Association of Australia

Sort of like a La Leche League-type organization for Australia; anecdotal reports Kmom has heard have been very positive. Contact them for support for nursing or for consultation if you encounter problems. Email counseling available.  Will also order slings with longer straps for plus-size moms.

Nursing Mother's Counsel

Another breastfeeding support organization in the USA, emphasizing peer support and volunteer leader help.

parent-l mailing list

An extensive, high-volume mailing list designed to support breastfeeding and parenting the nursing child. There is somewhat of an emphasis on extended breastfeeding and attachment parenting. To subscribe to the single message mode simply send a message to parent-l-request@uts.edu.au with 'subscribe' in the body of the message.

Pumping Advice and Story

Owner of the BigMom's mailing list details her story of breastfeeding difficulties at first, pumping travails, how she stuck it out, pumping advice to others, etc. (the space in the URL above is really an underline).

Pumping Moms Information Exchange Website

Information about pumping etc. Many good FAQs and a great Links page!

Rx List

Provides comprehensive information about 4000 commonly prescribed drugs; no charge. However, if this list is like the Physician's Desk Reference, it is overly conservative because of liability fears, and may list certain drugs as incompatible with nursing when under certain circumstances they might be ok. Use this list as an adjunct resource but not as your sole resource when researching drugs and lactation.

Working Cow Website

More info about being a nursing mom while working outside the home, pumping advice, etc.

 

Nursing Book Resources

These are the best books on the market, in Kmom's opinion. Your Mileage May Vary! You can find these books through various sources, including

The Nursing Mother's Companion, Kathleen Huggins, 4th Revised Edition, c. 1998?.

By far the easiest-to-use and most practical of nursing guides. Pack this one in your hospital bag! Especially useful is the quick-reference Survival Guide for the First Weeks--much easier to use for trouble-shooting if you have any questions or problems. Has a few brief references to the problems of larger breasts, and actually shows some in a section on the different sizes and shapes of breasts. 4th Edition has more attention to the problems well-endowed women can encounter. One of the only nursing books to address this!

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, La Leche League International, 7th Revised Edition, c. 2003.

Classic text on breastfeeding, very well-done--but does not address the issues that can challenge some large-breasted women. Barely addresses the football hold, and some women find it very preachy. Still worth reading, however, and the section on medical benefits of breastfeeding is superb---a must-read.

So That's What They're For! Breastfeeding Basics. Janet Tamaro, c. 1996.

A more humorous approach to breastfeeding, but still full of useful information. A great book to get if you are not sure whether you want to nurse or not, or if you think you should but are not really crazy about the idea. Good for spouses too. Good book, but don't make it your only nursing manual; use it in tandem with another nursing manual like Nursing Mother's Companion or Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. Contains a few sizist remarks but still overall a good asset.

Breastfeeding Your Baby, Sheila Kitzinger c.1989

Beautiful pictures, including many of women of a good variety of colors and breast sizes/shapes. Spends most of its time on the traditional cradle holds, but does mention strategies for dealing with large breasts (supporting breast with hand, a breast sling, or tucking the baby under your arm, which is another way to describe the football hold). Nice as a supplemental resource but don't use as your only nursing manual.

Bestfeeding: Getting Breastfeeding Right for You, Renfrew, Fisher, and Arms. c. 1990.

Deals *only* with the cradle position, but has *extensive* discussion and photographs of positioning problems and strategies. Truly excellent for diagnosing and correcting positioning problems! Great photographs, but not much breast-size diversity. Still worth checking out from a library.

 

What To Do With Used Plus-Sized Maternity Clothing

When you are done having children, what should you do with your used plus-sized maternity and nursing clothing/products?  There are several options for you to consider.

First, Kmom strongly encourages women of size to consider donating all or part of their wardrobe to other plus-sized moms who need extra help affording these clothes.  Many larger women are economically disadvantaged and cannot afford to buy this kind of clothing.  They rely on donations, consignment stores, used clothing stores, or gifts from other big moms.  Unfortunately, little is donated to these resources.  Many big moms end up making do in pregnancy with little or nothing that fits right.  To donate your used maternity clothing, contact email support groups like the Big Moms list or those sponsored by www.fertilityplus.org and ask if anyone needs any maternity donations in your size.

Another option is to contact your local pregnancy resource hotlines and ask around your community about organizations that would like to have plus-sized maternity clothing.  Or you can donate to a national shelter through organizations like www.pregnancyhelpcenter.net (1-800-395-HELP).  Or you can mail your clothing directly to:

If you need the money, you can sell your plus-sized maternity and nursing wear (and slings etc.) online.  Selling it through online companies like eBay usually can net you quite a bit of your investment back.  Or you can sell it through the OMOM Trading and Swapping Board, http://www.network54.com/Forum/goto?forumid=14843This URL may eventually change; if you try it and it doesn't work, further information about this swapping board may be able to be found at www.fertilityplus.org.  Other auction boards that may also sell plus-sized items include http://www.mothersnature.com/cgi-bin/Auction

However, Kmom requests that if you decide to resell your clothing and baby equipment to recoup part of your costs, please consider donating at least one or two items to other big moms in need.  There is nothing wrong with trying to make back some of your money spent on maternity clothing, but please be willing to make a small donation to help out our less-advantaged sisters.  There really is a shortage of affordable and readily available gently-used maternity etc. clothing in plus sizes.  It's up to US to help out.  

 

Other Size-Acceptance Resources

Organizations

NAAFA (National Association for the Advancement of Fat Acceptance)

A human rights organization working very hard on social and legal fronts to make fat people's lives a bit easier. They have several mailing lists, which you can find out more about through NAAFA's website. If you are concerned about size prejudice, NAAFA wants you!

International Size Acceptance Association

Another organization working hard on size-acceptance issues.  They have a links page that connects to a number of non-maternity clothing options, often for very large sizes.  If you have trouble finding clothes in your size, you might want to check out their list of links.  

Websites

Size Wise

Collection of information and links to size-positive sites.  "Dedicated to bring you all the information you need to live your life fully---at any size."  

GrandStyle.Com

Lots of info and products geared towards larger women; lots of links to other size-positive sites.  

Newsgroups

alt.support.big-folks

An internet newsgroup for support for large people. Dieting discussions are not part of the charter; fat-acceptance is. A number of FAQs for big-folks are posted bi-weekly here; their web site is www.faqs.org/faqs/fat-acceptance-faq/. These FAQs include general clothing resources, health FAQs, research FAQs, and general resources FAQs. An excellent resource for more information.

soc.support.fat-acceptance.moderated

Another internet newsgroup about fat-acceptance, not dieting. Many topics are cross-posted with alt.support.big-folks, but not all are. The Big-Folks FAQs are also cross-posted here.  The advantage here is that this is a moderated newsgroup, so some of the trolls and spammers that annoy other fat-acceptance newsgroups are screened out.  

Mailing Lists

Big Moms Mailing List

Kmom's favorite mailing list (though she likes many others too!). Devoted to the concerns of big moms everywhere. Topics include size concerns, general parenting issues, and issues unique to big moms, as well as general socializing and support. You do not need to be a mom or pregnant to join, just interested in having kids someday. Not just for moms with new babies; moms with kids of all ages (biological, adopted, or foster) are all welcome. Discussions can occasionally get vigorous; list is not moderated but posts are usually very supportive. Note: This is not a diet-free list; be sure to use clear subject headers for any discussion of dieting/non-dieting issues (see subscription info). In order to subscribe, send a message to the above email address with a body of SUBRCRIBE big_moms_list. 

Mailing Lists for Large Women and Pregnancy

Source of a large number of mailing lists on large women and pregnancy. All lists are semi-moderated and well-run. Go to www.fertilityplus.org for information about joining.

Other Lists for Large Moms

Fat-Acceptance Mailing List

To join, email the above majordomo address. In the body of your email, put only the words "subscribe fat-acceptance" (without punctuation). Most people on this list are NAAFA members, but you do not have to be a member to subscribe.

ICAN Mailing List (International Cesarean Awareness Network)

High-volume but invaluable mailing list for women who are recovering from a c-section or trying to avoid one. Very pro-VBAC; lots of information about educating yourself about childbirth care. To subscribe, email the above address and put the word 'subscribe' (no punctuation) in the body of the message (nothing else).

 

About This FAQ

Some of the information in this document is drawn from the FAQ, Clothing for Big Folks in the US. This contains numerous clothing resources for large people, including ski clothes, lingerie, wedding/formal attire, shoes, costumes, exercise wear, etc. and is an invaluable resource---Kmom highly recommends checking into it! There are also a number of other related FAQs on plus-size clothing resources for the UK, Canada, Europe, Australia, etc. Other related FAQs include information on health questions for large people, obesity research, common questions, etc. These FAQs are posted bi-weekly to the newsgroups soc.support.fat-acceptance.moderated and alt.support.big-folks. They are also available at www.faqs.org/faqs/fat-acceptance-faq/.

There are other online lists of clothing resources for plus-sized people; these tend to come and go a bit and are not always reliable. However, more information is better than none, so try looking at:

Thanks to Sasha Wood who contributed a great deal to the fat-acceptance FAQs from which this FAQ was first drawn. Thanks also to Rebecca Smith Wadell, who maintains a number of mailing lists for large women in the process of trying to have children, and to Laura De Leon, who maintains the Big Moms mailing list. They have provided a support service that has been truly invaluable to many. Many entries to the maternity and nursing clothing FAQ have come from suggestions from these lists, and the past and present members who have helped in this way must also be thanked.

Many other people (too many to credit individually!) contributed information that appears herein via email, the fat-acceptance net groups, etc. Thanks to them all. Some entries were also drawn from resource lists put out by articles in BBW magazine and Mode magazine. Many others were found through online searches and digging by Kmom. Thanks to all who have helped contribute to this FAQ! In particular, special thanks to those who take time to email Kmom specially with contact information updates, new additions, and suggestions. Your assistance is greatly appreciated!

This FAQ is updated about once a year. Suggestions for additions/improvements are always welcome. Contact Kmom with your information by emailing her at kmom@plus-size-pregnancy.org .


Copyright 1996-2006 Kmom@Vireday.Com. Permission is granted to copy and redistribute the clothing section ONLY of this website, provided that this copyright notice is not removed or altered, that the clothing section is used in its entirety ONLY, that it is used for non-commercial purposes ONLY, and that it is provided for no charge. No portion of this work may be sold or published elsewhere, either by itself or as part of a larger work, without the express written permission of the author; this restriction covers all publication media, electrical, chemical, mechanical or other such as may arise over time.

Correspondences to:  kmom@plus-size-pregnancy.org 


[ Back to Kmom Area ]