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

February 9, 2008

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.

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    { 62 comments }

    marymurtz February 8, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    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.

    kgirl February 9, 2008 at 12:15 am

    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!

    Naomi (Urban Mummy) February 9, 2008 at 12:16 am

    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.

    NotSoSage February 9, 2008 at 12:18 am

    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. :)

    Karen February 9, 2008 at 12:20 am

    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!

    flutter February 9, 2008 at 12:25 am

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

    That stuff is INCREDIBLE.

    Her Bad Mother February 9, 2008 at 12:28 am

    ooooh, good advice!

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

    Maddy February 9, 2008 at 12:34 am

    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.

    Cheers

    kittenpie February 9, 2008 at 3:17 am

    - 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?

    the dragonfly February 9, 2008 at 4:50 am

    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!

    ewe are here February 9, 2008 at 5:35 am

    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.

    Kirsten February 9, 2008 at 5:43 am

    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.

    the mad momma February 9, 2008 at 6:31 am

    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!

    nomotherearth February 9, 2008 at 8:27 am

    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.

    motherbumper February 9, 2008 at 8:35 am

    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!

    motherbumper February 9, 2008 at 8:36 am

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

    Mir February 9, 2008 at 10:13 am

    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. ;)

    Beck February 9, 2008 at 10:20 am

    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.

    Lara February 9, 2008 at 11:09 am

    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

    Badness Jones February 9, 2008 at 11:17 am

    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.

    GeekLady February 9, 2008 at 11:59 am

    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.

    Jenifer February 9, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    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.

    Laural Dawn February 9, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    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.

    liv February 9, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    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

    psychicgeek.com February 9, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    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.

    Anonymous February 9, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    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.

    crazymumma February 9, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    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.

    Catherine February 9, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    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.

    Minnesota Matron February 9, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    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?

    Jane the Sane February 9, 2008 at 8:19 pm

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

    Anonymous February 9, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    lanisol.

    Kate February 9, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    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.

    Anonymous February 9, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    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!

    Heather February 9, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    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.

    Heather February 9, 2008 at 10:06 pm

    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.

    Suburban Gorgon February 9, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    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.

    cheezewhizandmustard February 9, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    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.

    MommyTime February 10, 2008 at 12:01 am

    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.

    liz February 10, 2008 at 1:36 am

    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!

    wright February 10, 2008 at 11:04 am

    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.

    Lady M February 10, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    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.

    Candygirlflies February 10, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    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:

    http://www.lineaintima.com/Home.aspx

    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

    Kimberly February 10, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    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.

    Roz February 10, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    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.

    Law Student Hot Mama February 11, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    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 . . .

    Hannah February 11, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    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.

    Don Mills Diva February 11, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    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.

    Miss Britt February 11, 2008 at 4:44 pm

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

    Tina C. February 11, 2008 at 4:56 pm

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

    caramama February 11, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    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.

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