Sleeping in a bra is a punishment I would reserve for only my worst enemies. But when I was breastfeeding my daughter, a nighttime bra not only kept my boobs from aching every time I rolled over, but also prevented me from waking up in a puddle of my own milk. (Breastfeeding. It's as glamorous as it sounds.) But is it OK to sleep in a bra while breastfeeding? Waking up in my own milk isn't that bad if sleeping in a bra means I'm doing more damage than good, you know?
Turns out, you can totally sleep in a bra while breastfeeding. (You can also sleep without one if that's more your speed.) International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) Michelle Kunschke tells Romper that sleeping in a bra while breastfeeding is totally OK. "You can definitely wear a bra when breastfeeding," she says. "In fact, some stores, like Nordstrom for example, can alter any normal bra into a nursing bra." But she does have a warning — you don't want your bra too snug, especially if it has underwire. "It can hamper milk flow and contribute to plugged ducts," Kunschke says.
IBCLC Tania Archbold agrees and suggests that any bra you wear should be well-fitting, even during the day. "Generally, if you wear a bra, you want a well-fitting bra that isn't too tight or restricting," she says. "You don't want to pinch off any ducts, leading to plugged ducts." Archbold also notes that, while wearing a bra is a personal preference, it can be handy to hold washable or disposable breast pads to help absorb leaking milk.
If you decide a bra is beneficial for you at night, you can find nursing bras that don't have any underwire and are more comfortable to sleep in. You can also reach out to an IBCLC for information on how to measure your breasts so you can find a bra that fits best and won't be restrictive. Or you can go totally free and let your boobs hang out on their own. No judgment here. Breastfeeding is hard enough without worrying about your undergarments. (Everything's hard enough without worrying about your undergarments, let's be honest.)