Kudos to InStyle magazine's June 2011 issue. When this shiny new magazine showed up in my mailbox (one of the perks of my job) my eye caught the cover heading "Ultimate Bra Guide: Wonder of Wonders! Miracle of Miracles!" Now, I have never been an avid bra-wearer despite being a somewhat full-breasted girl (okay, woman). I have much preferred tank tops with shelf bras or wireless bra-lets under my shirts. I've always had an issue with the way a bra fits and many years ago I swore off underwire (it must have been a male invention). When I became pregnant it was back to the bras - I had no other choice. I needed support and coverage for my eager-to-breastfeed body. After W was born - same story. You can't keep a nursing pad in place without something to put it in. Of course, with the wild engorgement I experienced my chest was rock solid so the need for support was moot. Still, all the 'experts' recommended wearing a bra and so I did. A few days after my milk came in I developed nasty double mastitis. Luckily, I caught it early and was able to treat it. I blame the bra and I know that next time I will be bra-free the first few weeks even if it means changing my shirt every hour.
Back to topic. Even though I may not be a big wearer of bras, I'm always interested to look at the new features to see if something (without under wire) catches my eye. I was not expecting, but was pleasantly surprised to see two (yes, not one but two!) nursing bras featured in the 5 page spread. Estimates say that anywhere from 1 to 3% of women in the U.S. are pregnant at any given time. Keeping in mind that only 50% of babies are still being breastfed at 6 months and I would estimate that only 0.5 to 2% of the female population is breastfeeding at any given time (I could not find data to support this). So having 2 out of 32 bras (6.25%) being nursing bras is an outstanding representation.
Now, if only we could get 6.25% of the female population to be nursing. Help me with the math... I think the only way to hit that figure would be for 75-100% of all women who give birth to be nursing to approximately 2.5 years - sounds like a good target to me!