By Ash Siddell
I’ve always been a petite girl and spent a lot of my teenage years hoping that I’d wake up the next morning with a bust two cup-sizes bigger than my 34AA, my pyjama top stretching at the seams. Needless to say, that never happened but I gradually came to enjoy my shape and the benefits of having a smaller chest.
When I became pregnant, I knew immediately that I would want to breastfeed. Being an avid list-maker I soon had lots of lists of what we’d need over the next few months and despite advice to wait until the end of your pregnancy to buy nursing bras, I started looking so that I knew what was available and where I might want to buy them from.
After looking at a few online maternity shops it wasn’t long before memories of my teenage years came flooding back. Hours of time spent trawling the shops trying on bras that were ill-fitting with strangely shaped cups and frumpy fabric.
Ordinary smaller bras seem to try to turn you into the next Pamela Anderson with mountains of padding, gel and “chicken fillet” inserts, not helping to make you feel at all natural or confident with the way you look.
All I’ve ever wanted is to be able to embrace my natural figure by wearing pretty and shapely underwear like other women.
Strangely, nursing bras appear to be at completely the other end of the spectrum. The rare and elusive ‘A cup’ nursing bras that I came across were made of ghastly white stretchy fabric with no shape to the cups whatsoever. Trawling through pregnancy and baby forums, suggestions were that with small boobs you probably don’t even need to wear a bra so don’t bother buying one… I appreciate that us ‘littlies’ may not need the support that larger bosomed ladies need, but seriously, no bra?!
I also kept coming across people telling me that your boobs always grow by at least one or two cup sizes when you have a baby and reading testimonials of women going from an A cup to E cup within a few months. I still wasn’t convinced and didn’t fancy the prospect of struggling to find a bra once my little one had arrived.
Some advice I found suggested a ‘make your own nursing bra’ tutorial so I optimistically altered one of my existing bras, adding in clips and extending straps to create drop-down cups for feeding. The aesthetic result wasn’t bad but I knew the fit wouldn’t stand up to much once I’d added in nursing pads. And as I’d taken out the underwire, there wasn’t much shape left underneath the cups. Unfortunately it was another dead-end.
One day during my search I decided to brave a trip to Mothercare where they have some nursing bras by dress size instead of cup size. I’m usually a size 8/10 but was staggered to find that not even a size 16 felt comfortable around my ribs! I couldn’t quite believe that the sizing would be so inaccurate.
My mum is also smaller busted (I’ll blame her for the genes…) and when I asked her where she got suitable bras from when she was nursing, she replied that she made do with a bra that was too big and put thick breast pads in! This only made me more determined to feel comfortable and beautiful in a bra that fitted well, while embarking on the journey of breastfeeding for the first time.
By that point I had spent a lot of time online, trying to research suppliers that make smaller sized nursing bras and found a fantastic manufacturer that would offer me samples on a wholesale basis.
That’s when the idea for Petite Maman started to take shape: my own niche company selling purely smaller sized nursing bras in A and B cups. I received my first sample bra by airmail from a specialist international manufacturer just days before my due date! Finally, I had found nursing lingerie that was great quality, beautiful and most importantly suited my figure.
Road testing began when my baby boy arrived and I was really impressed with the sleep bras, moulded bras and lightly padded bras that I tried out in the collection.
I don’t know about you, but in my experience breastfeeding can throw up enough obstacles without having an ill-fitting bra to contend with as well!
I’d like to think that by offering these bras I can help to make a mum’s pregnancy and breastfeeding journey just that bit easier and more enjoyable. Being a mum changes your role in life as well as your body but it shouldn’t stop you feeling confident as a woman.
So without further ado, I am pleased to offer these A and B cup bras to help you become the ‘Yummy Mummy’ you were born to be!