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What’s Wrong with Dita Von Teese Maternity Lingerie?

  |   By Elisabeth Dale

The Daily Beast’s Emma Mahony is offended by the new line of Dita Von Teese maternity lingerie. Having breastfed all three of my babies, I can understand why Ms. Mahoney might want Dita Von Teese to “keep your hands off our boobs.”

There’s a great deal of societal pressure for women to look and feel physically perfect after childbirth. I worry that our culture of celebrity makes it even harder for women understand and accept the realities of postpartum bodies and boobs.

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But it’s not a burlesque star’s new nursing bras we should reject. It’s the false premise that attractive foundations (aka women’s lingerie) are worn for the sole pleasure of an intimate viewer, not the actual wearer.

Ms. Mahony’s article makes these assumptions about the Dita Von Teese maternity collection:

First, that these lingerie sets are made for men to buy for their partners. I doubt many men understand the true function of nursing bras or where to shop for one. (If men could lactate, they might not see the utility in a different type of bra design.) Besides, the lingerie styles men purchase for women are more boudoir oriented and less practical. The Dita Von Teese maternity line is sold by Destination Maternity and clearly marketed to women.

dita von teese maternity lingerieDita Von Teese Nursing Bra
via Destination Maternity

Second, women have no desire to wear attractive nursing bras. If a woman is accustomed to and enjoys beautiful lingerie all her life, why shouldn’t she wear it during the few short months or couple of years she is breastfeeding? Despite warnings to the contrary, there’s no harm in wrapping lactating breasts in lace and wire. (There’s no proof that wired bras cause mastitis or interfere with milk production.) Plenty of other brands exist to meet the growing demand for beautiful maternity lingerie.

Cache Coeur WhiteCache Coeur Nursing Bra
Image via Destination Maternity

Third, that sexy and feminine maternity lingerie is all about forcing women to feel sexual when that’s the last thing on their minds. It took a long time before I even wanted to think about sex, after both my c-sections and a difficult vaginal birth. (Let’s face it, there’s no easy way to have a baby.) But having the option to wear something a bit more attractive might have helped shift my attitude. Wearing lingerie is not about putting my partner in “the mood.” It’s as much a gift to me and my own sexuality.

Mama Mia Nursing BraLe Mystere Mama Mia Nursing Bra
Image via Bare Necessities

The appeal of pretty, and even sexy, maternity lingerie is that it’s not about baby or Baby Daddy. It’s about dressing and embracing the body that took part in the miracle of birth. It’s about honoring the female vessel—including our amazing breasts–-that sustain and nurture a new life. To me, there’s nothing silly or sexist about the way Dita Von Teese celebrates women’s boobs.

What’s your view? Would you buy any of the pieces in the new Dita Von Teese Maternity Collection? Do you agree or disagree with the author of The Daily Beast article?

Image credit: Dita Von Teese Von Follies Maternity Collection

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Breast and bra expert, author, and founder of TheBreastLife.com. My latest book, The Bra Zone: How to Find Your Ideal Style, Size, and Support, busts common bra fitting myths and helps consumers navigate the confusing world of bra styles and sizes.