Her Bad Mother

Saturday, February 9, 2008

They're Real, And They're Not All That Spectacular

My boobs? Are gargantuan.

And they itch.

Which means, sadly, that my enjoyment of them is limited. Gigantic boobs are highly over-rated, if you ask me, and all the more so if they are both gigantic and itchy. They cause back pain, and skin discomfort, and I'll be damned if I can find a bra in which to cram these things that both a) contains them properly, and b) doesn't exascerbate the itchiness with crap like underwire (a torture device if there ever was one) or elastic or lace or, well, anything that presses against the skin. Which leaves one with giant cotton nursing bras, which, you know, don't exactly make one feel sex-AY.

(My ass? Also massive. But it is one of the very great mercies of Mother Nature and whatever gods are responsible for buttocks that the ass is located on one's back side. Where one cannot see it, unless one contorts oneself in front of a mirror, which one is not inclined to do when one has ballooned to the size of a baby whale. So, no, I do not spend a great deal of time reflecting upon the size of my ass. I just pretend that it's not there. ANYWAY.)

Remember these? NOT AS BIG AS THE NEW ONES, oh my hell.

The first time around the pregnancy and nursing block, the massive tits were a novelty. Oooh, look at these! A novelty that wore off as soon as there was a nipple-chomping infant latched to them, but still: there was a period of time, albeit short, during which I thought that they were pretty awesome. This, of course, was also a time during which I clung to the belief that they would just, you know, stay that way permanently, or that if they weren't destined to remain in a state of partum robustness, that they would just bounce right back to their regular perky 34B selves. This was a belief that was, of course, shattered not long after Wonderbaby weaned - and one that shattered devastatingly - but it was nice while it lasted. This time, I don't have the luxury of regarding my boobies through rose-coloured glasses: I note their massiveness and am immediately confronted by the fact that they will deflate. And that, I am sure, will not be pretty.

So: big, itchy and doomed to a tube-sock future. This sucks. What's a vain and uncomfortable pregnant woman to do?

Seriously: anyone got any good leads on pregnancy-safe boob moisturizers? Jumbo-sized bras without scratchy bits that aren't too ugly? Space-age titty technology that lifts and separates and restores mammary beauty? Anyone, anyone? PLEASE?

Help me. I pay in chocolate.


Blogger Mary said...

I have no advice, but would be fascinated to see what fetishists appear at your blog and what their search terms were. Somewhere out there, someone thinks the word "exascerbate" means something that makes hair grow on their palms.

10:36 PM  
Blogger karengreeners said...

almond oil to soothe the boobs, and i'm sorry to say, a nice bravado nursing bra to support the boobs. you know it's comfy, and if it's sexy you're looking for, just open the little doors!

11:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can give you bra advice. I am still nursing, and have quite a large set myself. I have an ANITA nursing bra. Comfortable, nice enough (plain). I bought one online, and one at a store in North York, but you can probably find them at any good lingerie shop.

Well worth the very high price tag.

11:16 PM  
Blogger NotSoSage said...

I liked my Bravado, too...but given that I never got beyond a B cup, even at the height of lactation, I can't really vouch for them on the, uh, support side. Mine just kind of held themselves up. :)

11:18 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'm sorry. This itchiness may be hormones - sounds like you have lots - in which case, I think that you'll be happiest with an oil - like olive oil, seriously. But, if you like buying your bath and body products in the bath and body aisle, get something nice like Hauschka Rose Body Oil. Also, take B6 vitamins to help your liver cope with the hormones. My sister was allergic to estrogen and itched everywhere for 9 months of pregnancy (twice).
Also, I have also like Anita for bras in lots of big sizes, but still pretty. I know of what I speak, after weaning I am a 32DD. Imagine the nursing and pregnancy sizes!!!! My niece made an attempt at nursing even though she was weaning from her preggo mama at the time- it all looked to go to be true to her!

11:20 PM  
Blogger flutter said...

Shea butter. Not lotion with shea butter, but plain ol shea butter.

That stuff is INCREDIBLE.

11:25 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

ooooh, good advice!

and for the record, I don't need 'sexy' in a bra. Just, maybe, not so much granny.

11:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All sounds about right to me [the advice that is to say]

For my own part, I loathed having a generous chest whilst pregnant and nursing.

I distinctly remember attending a formal dinner in a huge dining all, with all the bells and whistles, glamourous frocks and men in black and white attire.

The long tables were about ten foot wide but the man sitting opposite me managed to screw up a little wrap of paper and lob it over to my side to land in my cleavage........ooo the embarrassment.


11:34 PM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

- Would cocoa butter work? Maybe shea butter?

- I always hear that Olga makes relatively nice bras for big boobs. I think I had a couple of these myself when I last had a giant rack.

- And yeah, I loved my DDs too, exceptfor the fact that my skin is so delicate they were coated in stretch marks, too. Totally gorgy, no?

2:17 AM  
Blogger the dragonfly said...

Oh, I remember that itching. Yuck yuck yuck! And I never found anything that helped. I hope all this advice helps you...and I hope I remember it when (if) it happens to me again!!

I never got very big (slightly bigger than B, I think)...but the itchiness was wretched!

3:50 AM  
Blogger ewe are here said...

Like Dragonfly, I never got that big (from an A to a C and back again, thank gawd), but there was some annoying itchniness.

Secondplus the shea butter/cocoa butter... very soothing, plus help prevent stretch marks.

4:35 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I can not believe that I, the detester of all things Seinfeld, am the first one to make the comment on the real/fabulous nudge.

But hey. I did :)

Also, I am a non-fan of underwires, which annoys me because all the cutesy V-day bras at WalMart have underwire. Dammit.

4:43 AM  
Blogger the mad momma said...

cocoa butter? aloe vera? almond oil? all work. in India we use clarified butter (ghee)... smells awful, works wonders. a tiny drop of oil in your navel after a bath keeps your body less itchy. all the best!

5:31 AM  
Blogger Run ANC said...

Bravado has changed for the better. And Nummies make some really pretty ones. You should try thr store Evymama right here in the Village. They have a website too.

7:27 AM  
Blogger motherbumper said...

Thyme Maternity makes a not-too-hideous all cotton nursing bra in black or white and honestly I started wearing mine pre-birthin' the Bumper. It saved me from the "binding torture" and I'm 100% almond oil (though I'm sure the shea butter would rock it also). But restoring mammary beauty as it once was? The girls have a new look now, work it, embrace it, and hold 'em up proudly!

7:35 AM  
Blogger motherbumper said...

I meant 100% behind almond oil - it's fantastic (and add some chocolate, roll in nuts and you'll look like almond rocca!).

7:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved my Bravado bras (and I was a 36D at my most boobariffic), and while they're not exactly a sexy design, I suppose, you can get them in animal print. ;)

9:13 AM  
Blogger Beck said...

I really loved my Bravado bras - I had several, including a black one which my mother-in-law was SURE would warp The Baby.
Using a moisturizing shower gel helps, and all of the aforementioned lotions... good luck. I can remember this VIVIDLY.

9:20 AM  
Blogger Lara said...

My boobs are enormously too large without lactating so I was at my wits end trying to figure out how to handle them. Milkface (Ottawa-based) was a great place to find bras that fit me - http://www.milkface.com/SearchResult.aspx?CategoryID=8

10:09 AM  
Blogger Badness Jones said...

There's a lingerie store on Bloor St (near Bathurst) called Secrets from Your Sister. They have a website too...great staff, great selection of nursing bras and bras in general. Go there. I can't bear the smell of shea butter, but cocoa butter works too - there's a cream and lotion made from it sold for pregnant tummies....they have it at Shoppers....I can't remember the name....

My gargantuan nursing boobs are midway through their deflation. Sigh. This sucks.

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've had chronically itchy legs for years now (they have to itch at least as bad as your boobs, I can scratch them till they're bleeding if I'm not careful), and my favorite lotion for them is Crabtree & Evelyn's Avocado Body Butter. It's not too greasy and it has this fantastic smell to it that's not overpoweringly strong, just... green.

10:59 AM  
Blogger Jenifer said...

Well they beat me to the punch these great commenters. I was going to suggest a Bravado as well.

A friend swore by some kind of Aveeno itch lotion during her pregnancy. For me (I wasn't very itchy, but I do have really dry skin) I used either pure cocoa butter or shea butter. Another friend used Gold Bond...but that might be medicated I think.

For the record my boobs did not grow - nada - nothing. Until my milk came in I was wearing my same old regular bras my entire pregnancy. Urban myth I tell ya!

I hope one of these ideas works, seems like you have a few to try.

11:50 AM  
Blogger Laural Dawn said...

I bought gold bond anti-itch cream. I told my ob and she said it's fine till you're nursing (duh). It is very effective. But, I have itchy feet and legs - not boobs.
As for bras - I'm a 36DD unpregnant. My current size is ginormous.
I have no advice. I think I would scare people if I left the house without my underwire bras.

12:05 PM  
Blogger Liv said...

Have you seen Mustela's range of pregnancy products? I know Nordstrom.com has them, but that might not help a northern sister. Try Mustela.com maybe. That stuff rocks. Also, Medela makes a hell of a bra. I liked the no underwire ones with the strong sides but soft cups. They're good for big girls. :) hth

12:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The best thing I ever tried for itchy boobage was Renew from Melaleuca. Hard to find a dealer, but well worth the quest.
It moisturizes like nobody's bidness, and calms the itchy wherever it may be found. It also really helped my contact dermatitis, and I wish I had some more.

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used Aveeno, Gold Bond, and Cocoa Butter. One of the other things that worked well for me(being hugely preggo in the summer, and getting a horrible itchy rash was to use a diaper cream(yes i know it sounds icky) right where the band is especially, but I used it all over where it itched(until I started nursing). It helped a lot, and helps keep the sweating from making you itch worse. It wasn't as bad for me the 2nd and 3rd time around, but those times, I used the cocoa butter.

2:57 PM  
Blogger crazymumma said...

shea butter.

Go to Thyme Maternity and spend next months mortgage on a couple of bras.

My rack never went away. I know it means that I never lost my baby weight, but I still have the cans.

I hate em.

But yours looked great at Blogher.

3:08 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

It IS a shame that during their moments of greatness, we are in the worst possible state to enjoy them. And I totally, totally, am with you on the deflation. Its just not fair.

3:36 PM  
Blogger Minnesota Matron said...

Dr Hauschka's mighty fine but you'll need to sell pictures of those boobs in order to buy some. Aloe is cheaper and if you buy a plant, you can pluck off a bit and just squeeze the goo straight out. Wonderbaby will love the novelty. And-- I LOVED the novelty bonus breasts too and I had some good ones before. Now? After nursing three children for a total of six years (in very uneven distributions) I have acorn sized breasts -- complete with the nipples that never stop popping -- that are the texture of marshmallows. Pretty fine product, hmmm?

5:19 PM  
Blogger Victoria said...

Bloghopping tonight...I used Eucerin Calming Cream with Oatmeal all over my body while pregnant. Expensive but good stuff.

7:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and if in toronto.....
sophia's for a good bra.

7:35 PM  
Blogger gmoney said...

I wear a 40 DDD (!!!! GAAADDDD !!!) and I have found that Lane Bryant has GREAT bras for well endowed ladies. No too $$$-y and plenty of styles and colors to choose from.

8:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I how I feel your pain. I went from a 36DD to a 42J. Yes, J. I skipped 5 letters. I'm a size 12. I looked like a weeble. I didn't even know the bra alphabet went that high.

After I had baby 1 and my milk came in, I was carrying torpedos. It was astonishing. I went to a Lady Grace store to get fitted and the Armenian ladies felt me up, saying "Oh, you're a full one." I swear they had to have some little troll sized man dig in the basement to come up with the bras. They were Leading Lady and Fancee Free, I think.

When I am normal sized and not knocked up, I totally recommend Wacoals, especially the minimizers.

For boob itch, I love Eucerin, and Neutrogena hand cream. Shea butter was too greasy for me.
Good luck!

8:17 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

bra for pregnant boobs: victoria secret cotton collection. no lie. nursing bra: bravado worked great first time around, but now has given me an AWFUL rash. waiting for some new all cotton bras from figleaves.com. lotion: aveeno with colloidal oatmeal. amen.

8:39 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Can I just say thank you for asking the question? My "girls" have been itching to high heaven for weeks now. I figured the skin is dry from the winter time. Gawd it's so annoying. And sort of a conversation stopper when you have to itch your left one mid-sentence.

Oh the sexiness of pregnancy.

9:06 PM  
Blogger Suburban Gorgon said...

I wear a DD when I'm NOT pregnant, so I'm very familiar with places to buy larger bras and the brands, etc. For comfort, Olga is the way to go, no matter where you buy it. For variety in sizes that you can't get at Vicky's Sec., try a website called biggerbras.com. They've got bloody everything.

9:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am one of those women who has big boobs normally, and enormous ones during pregnancy. I love La Senza VTEC bras. I find them really comfy and they have great support (which is totally needed at this stage of the game).
I wish they made nursing bras, though, because I find that nursing bras are not made to support big jugs.

10:15 PM  
Blogger MommyTime said...

I went from a 32C to a 36DD while nursing, and in the preggo time in between I was all itch all the time. Horrific. I send you all the sympathy in the world. The two creams I recommend (neither greasy) are Udder Cream (cheap and available at Trader Joe's in the US and online, smells lovely, and is the only thing that works on my kids' ecsema too) and an apricot cream made by Origins (sold in a pot too, but expensive).

For bras, I struggled along and so can't offer much. My suggestions are to go for cotton with no seams and a wider elastic band. I know Japanese Weekend has some that friends swore by (not too cheap).

Good luck. I hope the creams help.

11:01 PM  
Blogger Liz Miller said...

The other thing that helps is an all-cotton nursing pad (you know, the flannel kind, not the disposable kind). Even better if you coat the nursing pad with soothing lotion. That way you don't stain your expensive nursing bra!

12:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ack - *snort* - I laughed so hard I choked on my OJ. LOVE IT! I have no real advice, but I totally empathize. Can't wait to hear how things turn out.

10:04 AM  
Blogger Lady M said...

I only have one bra left that fits, and I'm not too excited about shopping for more. Sigh.

Burt's Bees has several "Mama Bee" creams and there's a line called ErbaOrganics that has a "Mommy-to-be" set of creams too. Maybe one of them will work. I got lucky and my sister -in-law sent a bunch. Haven't tried them yet.

12:08 PM  
Blogger Candygirlflies said...

I am a well endowed gal, even when I'm not pregnant, and am a theatrical costumer by trade... And the best advice I can offer is to go and be properly fitted for a bra before you buy any more. Not only will a qualified professional be able to help you with sizing (and hopefully give you a good fit, with a little extra "room-to-grow"), but they will also make certain that you get a bra that will give you the extra support you need. I had a terrible time with pain in my shoulders and back, as well as itchy, stretching skin. Having a couple of really good bras that fit me properly made all the difference. It is far better to invest in a few that fit really well, than to have many that don't "do enough" for you.

Here is my favourite shop:


They have several locations, carry many different lines and styles, in all kinds of different materials. I am absolutely certain that they will be able to help you, and you'll come out of there feeling great!!

For my itchy skin, I used Palmer's Cocoa Butter products, as well as shea butter. Aloe is also wonderfully soothing.

Pamper yourself, HBM. You deserve it!!

xo CGF

3:54 PM  
Blogger KimC said...

I'm from the south, and while I was pregnant, I was told so many superstitions and myths that I could've written a book with them- one of them was that scratching the itchy belly/ boobs made the stretch marks worse.

I kind of bought it. That said, I just carried lotion around with me and rubbed lotion on the belly desperately every chance I got, and refreshed the boob lotion when I went to go pee about every 10 minutes, because my preggo bladder? was the size of a dime.
I still haven't figured out the bra thing. I don't want to take out a loan to buy a bra that fits, and I am not an off the shelf size, so I have been pimping the nursing tanks. For 13+ months.
Somebody really needs to get the nursing bra thing figured out.
Sorry I hijacked your comments.

6:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, veins?! Like a roadmap. The only reason I'm digging the veiny boobs this time around is that it's a change from the post-nursing uncooked turkey flesh that I was left with from my daughter. Sadly, I have no advice, but am eating up all the stuff posted by others. Thanks for asking!

I was proud of my D cups last time. Now all I can muster is a sulky "my cups otherfloweth" when I survey the ill fit before my husband.

10:15 PM  
Blogger KG said...

Just forget about the bra - you can always go hippie/earth mother style with long nasty armpit hair and big flapping boobs. Can't say that I've tried it myself, but it can only be helpful for keeping away freaky pregnancy fetish men who hit on pregnant women in the supermarket . . .

11:14 AM  
Blogger Hannah said...

Thank you so much for this post, as a big girl anyway (I'm a 34G when I'm not pregnant, my current size is something like "frackin' enormous and terrifies small children") I'm loving these tips from other mommies.

11:22 AM  
Blogger Don Mills Diva said...

I wish I had some advice...I LOVED my boobs while I was breastfeeding - I felt never more like a Playboy model. But OMG when I stopped...the horror.

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Deflate. Yep. That's the perfect word for it.

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I started rubbing the anti-stretchmark lotion that i have on the boobs. I've never seen lotion specifically for stretching boobs...

3:56 PM  
Blogger caramama said...

For the iching: Aquaphor has been so helpful.

For the nursing bras in larger sizes: I also really like the Anita bras. Also, Elle McPherson has a brand that has a fantastic non-underwire nursing bra that is super comfy and supportive. And it comes in good colors--I have it in purple and pink!

Good luck! Mine are still huge and ichy and my baby is 11 months! I hope yours goes away sooner.

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

has anyone recommended mother's special blend oil to you yet? if not, i wholeheartedly love it- used it through pg and nursing the pnut, am using it this time around as well. it is a combo of a bunch of different oils and has a slightly chocolatey smell to it which is nice. you can get it on am*zon for not too much. one bottle lasted me the whole time last time, too.

wish i could help with the bra suggestions. what horrifies me this time is i had forgotten THE VEINS- jesus freakin christ it's like someone drew all over these things with a teal magic marker. and it's not pretty!

hope your itch is soothed soon.

6:06 PM  
Blogger BOSSY said...

Those look like vintage BlogHer boobies to Bossy, no? Circa 2007?

7:17 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Circa 2006. I was way less whorish in 2007.

8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i just had to comment and commiserate. My boobs blow up to the size of two air born zeppelins when pregnant and then when my milk comes in they briefly eclipse my face, hell my entire body.

If you are in teh market for ginormous nursing bras biggerbras dot com has something called teh goddess. i used it first and second time around with good results. I did not order it this last pregnancy b/c.. well I would of had to order the largest cup size and even that was threatening to not fit.. yeah.. J CUP omg!!

oh and the worst itchiness, is when your mipples itch. Oh my heck- no graceful way to do that at all

4:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HBM maybe you could just go bra-less when you don't have to be out anywhere and aveeno is great lotion for itchies....as for a bra to wear out sorry i only own one brassiere and only wear it when going out so as to make a good impression and the girls are still pretty big so need the support...hahaha...LAVANDULA

4:32 PM  
Blogger Mimi said...

didn't read rest of comments, but when I swelled up to a 34h (mother of jesus!) I went with bravado: no wires, padded shoulder, soft and silky with a pattern on the outside, and cotton and smoooooth on the inside. Um, four hooks and all, but they come in black and pink and white, and the FIT and they FEEL GREAT.

8:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two suggestions, beyond those already posted:
1. No soap, and cooler baths. I no it seems repugnant to not use soap on the offending itchy parts, since boobs get sweaty too, but seriously, it prevented the itch and cured cracking nipples too. My skin was so sensitive that any bath product, even the ones that formerly were OK, seemed to cause the itch. And this time of year, with dry indoors, keeping the showers a little less hot helps with the itch.
2. Cotton, or at least cotton lined bras, nursing or otherwise. I couldn't cope with any polyester.
I'm wearing stuff from a company called Emma Jane. I bought them originally at a snooty store in Ottawa, surely they are sold in your city. Get them fitted properly, pay what you need to, then buy your second bra (and third etc) online for about half price.

8:26 PM  
Blogger TheMacMommy said...

Man, we all love us some boobie blogging, don't we?

I have to recommend Medela's Beautiful Beginnings. I absolutely love this bra. I've been nursing for 19 months now. We're on the way weaning now :(

This bra got me through some really tough times. I bought 2 of them and they are all I wear when it comes to nursing bras.

I am a 40 DD and I had major nipple trauma in the beginning and this bra was the most gentle and non-scratchy thing I could find. It's like wearing pantyhose on your boobs...strange, but it really works and is very supportive.

This link has the best pic I could find but it's in German.

This is the link for where I bought my 2nd one at a much better price than the local bra fitting hospital.

Best of luck to you! :)

7:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always had perfectly fitting special ordered bras as a 30 DD. Then I had kids, and had to try to find 32 J+ cups.... AHHH ! I hated all Fancy Free bras, and was basically miserable with child #1. With child #2, I found www.birthandbaby.com. They have the most nursing bras on the planet, and you can order a bunch, try on, and send back what you don't like.

I ended up loving the Anita 5022, plus another Anita i don't know the # of.

1:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoops, I meant Anita 5041.

1:39 AM  
Blogger Marty, a.k.a. canape said...

I love my Goddess bra (#2050) in a lovely 38H. It reigns in the girls and is cozy too.

4:27 PM  
Blogger the mystic said...

You make me laugh! And sadly, I'm an expert on these matters...

I highly recommend cocoa butter (good on the stomach if you don't want stretchmarks too), then do those resistance exercises as much as possible where you squeeze your hands together and start holding them at the waist, moving them to above your head, then start over.

And the most comfortable bras ever (though they are not pretty, I didn't care about pretty when I was nursing/pregnant) are Bravado. You can get them in black and leopard print and such if you want to pretend like they're not TOO god-awful ugly, but they are SO comfy.

12:43 AM  

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