Re: Need a padded nursing bra
I was always a padded + underwire girl, too, for the same reasons you have! I found that since nursing, my nipples have gotten softer and don't stick out under a light weight bra like they used to (at least as long as I don't have a hungry baby rooting around for them - LOL). The heavily padded nursing bras are really akward to get folded back so he can nurse - I ended up basically never using the ones that I had.
I tried to stay away from underwire because of the above mentioned mastitis issues, plus the LC who taught my breastfeeding class said that wearing an underwire bra can damage up to half of your milk glands by over compressing them, so even if you don't get mastitis, you will have decreased milk making potential because of this damage. I still think I'd prefer underwire if I weren't nursing, but there is something to be said for how comfortable the softcup bras are - I sleep in my nursing bras, and can't imagine doing that with underwire (nor can I imagine having to plan ahead enough to have a bra clean to change into at night, lol). And I've noticed that the softcup nursing bras are MUCH more supportive than softcup non-nursing bras.
PS - I found my favorite nursing bras at Motherhood Maternity and at Sears. Target's looked kind of cheap and flimsy. I couldn't even find any at Walmart. My fav, (still actually, but esp with a new baby) is a Medela brand one, it's seamless microfiber, kind of built like a sports bra. I used to hate sports bras, but this one is so comfortable I can even wear it if I am engorged, and it supports (and you don't loose your breast pads) even if you forget to fasten a shoulder - which I do all the time.
Andrea - Mama to Lexy (9/7/05) & Serenity (3/14/09)! My Feedback: DS EBay