Madge and Dorcas Need a New Home

May 3, 2013

I’ve been dreading this day. I’m effectively down to one bra, and that one is a bit too small. Admittedly, I only had three bras to start with, and one of those is a demi-cup and has always had quad-boob potential. But the girls are now starting to spill out of my two full-coverage bras. Not so much that I can’t wear them, but enough that I find the need to readjust during the day. And one of those two is just a tad smaller than the other, so… Well, you get the idea. Madge and Dorcas are outgrowing my bras. (Madge is the right one, Dorcas the slightly smaller left. It’s a literary reference. Gold star to those of you who can figure it out.)

But before I get into today’s experience, allow me to digress.

I am all for breastfeeding. If you can. And if you can’t? Then by all means feed your baby formula. And don’t feel guilty about it. I hope to breastfeed. I plan to breastfeed. But I also know that because my brother was failure-to-thrive and I looked as scrawny as him, my mother didn’t breastfeed either of us for long. And you know what? We turned out fine. So, yes, I agree that if you can breastfeed, that’s ideal, but I get really tired of hearing about how detrimental it is to babies if they aren’t breastfed. I especially get tired of hearing poor working mothers get lectured by their economic superiors. Breast pump covered 100% by insurance? That’s great! But you know what it’s not going to do? It’s not going to give a hotel housekeeper what she really needs: time. Having a breast pump doesn’t mean having the time to use it. It also doesn’t mean having someplace to store the expressed milk until you can get it home.

And you know what else isn’t going to help poor working mothers to breastfeed? Having your breastfeeding center open Monday through Friday between 9 and 4:30.

So, I admit that my proletariat hackles were already slightly raised when I went to Bronson’s breastfeeding center after work today. But my midwife said they had a good selection of reasonably priced bras, including ones that would be able to accommodate Madge and Dorcas, so that’s where I went. (I was a bit appalled when I checked their website and saw their hours. If my boss weren’t so laid back about the hours I choose to work, I wouldn’t be able to get to the center during the hours they’re open. And I have a cushy middle-class office job. Like I said: proletariat hackles raised.)

And this “good selection” of bras? They have two. A plain nursing bra and a sleep nursing bra. They did appear to have the cup sizes I was looking for, but they did not appear to have a band as small as I’m looking for. But, the display is floor to ceiling, with the smallest bands on the top, and I’m short. So I asked for guidance.

I’ve heard about the lactation consultants at Bronson. And most of what I’ve heard has not been exactly positive. And the consultant who came out to help me? Well, first she told me that I wasn’t far enough along to be fit for a nursing bra, so I should just go and buy a regular bra. I reminded her that I’m starting with a G/GG cup, and she proceeded to lecture me on how bra sizes don’t really mean anything because each style fits differently. I did interrupt her to say I was well aware of that and there was a reason I was wearing bras I bought from a specialty shop in England. I said I was looking for guidance on what sort of fit I should look for. All she could tell me was to come back when I was 34 weeks. Yes, there’s nothing like a woman with maybe a C cup telling you to just go bra shopping. She wasn’t unpleasant, but she was far from helpful.

Oh, and I won’t be going back to buy nursing bras there either. The bras I bought at the specialty shop in England? You know, where the cost of living is a lot higher than it is in Kalamazoo? Yeah, they cost less than what Bronson charges for their two styles of nursing bra. I’ll take my business elsewhere. To someplace with better prices, a better selection, and people who won’t patronize me. I wear a G cup. I know how a bra is supposed to fit.


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