Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Nursing tank for the busty breastfeeding mama

modest middlesI followed a Google ads link in my Gmail account and found a company started by a nursing mama of four. She offers a product called Modest Middles, which is the tank you can see at right here. It has a deep U-shaped neckline and a long, form-fitting body.

The point is to allow for discreet nursing by covering that postpartum stretch-marked tummy (anyone?) and keep your back and sides warm. Then you can wear whatever shirt you want and just lift it up to nurse, keeping the top of your chest covered as well. I vary in how discreet I am at breastfeeding in public, but I can see this being a blessing for mamas who don't want to fiddle with a blanket or cover-up but would otherwise feel uncomfortable having chest or tummy skin exposed in public.

But -- the reason I'm writing about it is the one feature I absolutely love. It allows breastfeeding mothers to wear a regular nursing bra, of whatever size. Because the neckline stretches below your bra, you can be any cup size above that.

When I was first looking at nursing wear, I considered the popular Glamourmom Nursing Bra Tank, pictured at left. But with an I-cup chest (that's not a typo), a nursing tank bra wouldn't do anything for me, assuming it would even stretch to fit. I need an underwire (in as close to the appropriate size as I can get. Note to nursing-bra manufacturers: Consider making a 36I in an underwire so I can stop buying 38H. Thanks!).

I think the GlamourMom would provide adequate support for more reasonable cup sizes, but I would have to wear a bra underneath it anyway. The Modest Middles tank wouldn't put extra fabric across my chest where I don't need it, and would allow me to wear my regular nursing bra.

Now, for whatever reason, I've taken to writing about products I've never used. This is another of those. For one thing, it's $29.99. Granted, the GlamourMom is $39.

But for either price, I'm sticking with my tried-and-true methods of wearing a regular stretchy cotton tank or long-sleeve shirt (depending on the season) under an overshirt. Then I just pull one or the other or both up or down and stretch out the neckline(s) as needed.

But I'm curious -- has anyone ever tried the Modest Middles? Does anyone think the name GlamourMom sounds a lot more appealing? Ha ha. If you love either, tell me why I should buy a fabulous new nursing tank the next time I'm feeling the need to splurge.

14 comments:

Jenny said...

Wow, that's a great idea. The price does seem a bit high--not that it isn't worth it, but I work in a boutique and just kind of doubt we'd sell them steadily at that price. I really wouldn't need one, because I love the Bravado Essential Tank. I'm a smallish C-cup so it's not like I need heavy-duty support! We actually do well with the Bravado tanks for larger women too (they are head and shoulders above Glamourmom when it comes to support), but I can definitely see the benefit of adding comfortable belly coverage to that perfect nursing bra. I don't know if I'd have named it that though. I might have gone with "Comfy Tummies" or something that emphasizes soft and comfortable over the controversial discretion issue.

Hobo Mama said...

Oh, cool, I'll have to check out the Bravado. http://tinyurl.com/bravadotank It might be nice to try out a supportive tank. I do wear regular shelf-bra tanks around the house and at night, but they're not nursing ones -- I figure at home I can show as much skin as I like! :)

Comfy Tummies -- that's cute! Yeah, just the word "modest" makes me think of religious orders that emphasize particular clothing. And then "middles" -- well, that's what we're trying to downplay with this tank, right? So maybe the owner will read this and think about a different name. :) Bra-less Nursing Tank? Comfy Cover Camisole? Comfort Tank? Undercover Mummy Tummy? Nursing Wonders? I notice that GlamourMom doesn't really describe the product as much as create an image, so maybe they could take a cue from that. Any other suggestions, post away!

Jenny said...

The Bravado tank only goes to F/G, but it may stretch a little over that. I can wear either a 34 B/C or D/E, and the F/G is a visible jump in size, just holding it up and looking at it. I don't think I've seen any nursing bras from our vendors (Bravado and Medela) in an I-cup, although there ARE women out there who need one. It's especially rough when you have such a small band size, because, I don't know, they figure if you're an I-cup your band size will be bigger too. That is not always the case. It makes me feel so bad, though. We had one pregnant lady come in nearly in tears because her breasts had gotten so large that her bras were leaving her with big blisters and she couldn't find any larger.

Jessie said...

Good idea, I got plain cami's from Target and when I wanted to bf would just pull them down and then unhook my bra. Same thing as you did but I would pull up my regular shirt. Totally not as hard as I am making it sound :)

Roxanne Beckford Hoge said...

I can't believe it took me so long to work around the "stack error" message -- but I was going to suggest the Bravado tank as well. My other tip, heresy for someone who sells hot nursingwear, is that if you love a bra that fits you and that has a stretchy cup, use that instead of a nursing bra. Just pull it aside to nurse -- I used a bunch of Calvin Klein bras with the twins (my actual, identical twin babies, not breasts that I call twins. But I digress ...). If you don't mind potentially ruining a bra, it can be cheaper. Also, check out Bella Materna's underwire bras -- beautiful! http://www.bellamaterna.com/shop/UnderwireNursingBras_Seamless_Bra_Full-PID5253-1361.aspx. They go up to a G -- but be sure to have yourself measured. We often miscalculate the ribcage number, and that would lead to the wrong bra size.
Okay, I'll go back to chasing toddlers now.

andie said...

I was actually a J cup while nursing -- and I wore the Fancee Free nursing bra (they go up to L). It's not an underwire, but wait -- the foam support inside the cup is more supportive than many underwire bras. I never thought I could do without a wire until I tried this bra. Take a look at http://www.fanceefreemfg.com/html/94305.html

It's hard to describe the foam part. It's sort of like another (fairly stiff) cup inside the cup, but it doesn't cover the nipple.

You can buy them a lot of places online, but I found them at www.biggerbras.com.

Good luck!

Hobo Mama said...

Thanks for all the suggestions, mama friends! I'm going in soon to be measured again, at which point my current bras might need replacing, so it's great to have options.

jessie: I totally know what you mean! I do the same two-shirt pull (one up, one down) when I'm trying to be nice and discreet. Wearing a thin cami is a good option for summer especially, since it doesn't add too much of a layer underneath. I kept using my maternity ones, because they were so nice and stretchy. :)

roxanne: Great tips! Just for funny, I'll mention that an online calculator had me at 42B — um, okaaay. I figured out my current size by trying on bra after bra at a boutique and having the competent saleswoman there lend me a hand at fitting — much more helpful and accurate! I think I'll get sized again, though, to see if anything's changed since.

andie: Oh, totally — I'd heard about that foam kind and wondered if it really worked. I'm glad to have a review from a like-chested lady. :) And I think I even have a credit at BiggerBras after my sports-bra-buying fail.

wilcox said...

I've tried the Modest Middle and love it! I too have done the regular tank pull down, but got frustrated with fumbling. Also, the tops got stretched out and laid funny under my shirts. Modest Middles are really soft and wearing my own nursing bra is a must for me. I went in with a friend on the multiple tank discount (it worked even though we ordered different sizes). I actually saved money because I only needed the one Modest Middle to go under all of my regular shirts instead of buying several traditional nursing shirts (all $20-40 a piece)I wear it everyday.

Anonymous said...

I have tried the bravado tank, and it *sorta* works. I usually wear a 36j while nursing, and a gg when not. I bought one in 38F/G for wear while pregnant -- and hot.

While my boobs spill over the top, its not nearly as bad as most of the other bra-sized tanks I have tried.

The Glamourmom doesn't fit at all. The underband is too loose and therefore it doesn't offer me any support w hen I attempt to go up a size. For sleep or something I suppose it would be ok, but I sure wouldn't spend that much on it.

Anonymous said...

Another option. Undercover Mama tanks are strapless and hook right to your nursing bra. It looks like a regular tank when you wear them and is so easy to use because you leave it hooked and it just opens with your bra. No fussing around. I love them. I even wear them when I'm not nursing but need a layering undershirt. The website is www.undercovermama.com

KM said...

Looks like Modest Middles may have taken your advice. I thought I recognized the graphics on www.undercovermama.com and sure enough they're the same as Modest Middles homepage.

KM said...

It turns out Modest Middles and Undercover Mama are not connected, just happened to use the same website template. Both ideas look interesting to me. I have the opposite problem with nursing bras, I often can't find them small enough since I'm only a B.

Tanya Roberts, BSEd, LC said...

The Bravado Essential Nursing tank is really supportive and it runs a little large so the FG cup size will fit up to an H in most cases. They just added the 42 and 44 band sizes at http://www.lactationconnection.com

Ruiz's Pieces said...

I received a Modest Middle from a friend. I can't remember if it was with my first or second child. I absolutely loved it. I have even used it as I became pregnant again (to cover my tummy when my normal shirts didn't quite cover and maternity tops were not yet needed). I was surprised about the price, but I think in the end it is worth it. I mean I am still saving by nursing and not using formula.

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