Sweat and Milk is a women-owned company that was founded in response to a lack of stylish and functional nursing clothing solutions. I’ve had the pleasure of running in a few of Sweat and Milk’s bras, which effectively check about every box on my ridiculously high maintenance postpartum running bra wish list. Support, comfort, nursing and/or pumping capabilities, moisture management, and a reasonable price point can be enjoyed thanks to their thoughtful design.
In this article, we review two of Sweat and Milk’s bra options in their Venice line:
- Sweat and Milk Venice High Impact Full Coverage Nursing Sports Bra ($59)
- Sweat and Milk Venice 3 Ultimate Support Full Coverage Nursing and Pumping Sports Bra ($63)
In doing so, we discuss our general thoughts on Sweat and Milk’s bra sizing, support, and moisture management, as well as these two bras’ nursing and pumping capabilities.
Sweat and Milk Venice High Impact Full Coverage Nursing Sports Bra
If nursing is a much more common occurrence than pumping, then the Sweat and Milk Venice High Impact Full Coverage Nursing Sports Bra ($59) is the bra for you.
It is a full coverage, compression-style nursing bra, with wide adjustable straps and a six-row hook-and-eye closure for a highly customizable fit.
This nursing-only bra has just one clasp at the base of each strap for nursing access. With the outermost/primary fabric of the sports bra folded down, a liner remains that keeps your breasts separated, which is rather unique for a compression-style sports bra. A key component of this liner fabric on the nursing-only bra is that it provides a soft layer of fabric between your skin and the front clasp, successfully protecting the clavicle area from chafing. Additionally, there is just one clasp to release, thus streamlining the transition to nursing.Shop the Sweat and Milk Venice High Impact Full Coverage Nursing Sports Bra
Sweat and Milk Venice 3 Ultimate Support Full Coverage Nursing and Pumping Sports Bra
The need to pump in my house is routinely a byproduct of disappearing into the woods to run for a few hours and then returning to a bottle-fed baby after I missed a feeding. Thus, having pumping capabilities built into my sports bra, like in the Sweat and Milk Venice 3 Ultimate Support Full Coverage Nursing and Pumping Sports Bra ($63), is very convenient. It is a fully adjustable, compression-style bra, suitable for one-handed nursing and hands-free pumping, with breathable power mesh panels in the cup and removable foam inserts.
Classic maternity-style front clasps on this bra make for easy nursing and/or pumping access. This nursing- and pumping-compatible bra has two clasps on each side; the first layer can be folded down for pumping access and the second layer for nursing. I have successfully done both at the same time, though I’m not sure it’s really designed for simultaneous breastfeeding and pumping.
The pump-compatible layer doesn’t hold the flanges as tightly flush to my chest as other pumping-only bras I have, but it works well once you have your pump flipped on and suction has initiated.
I didn’t notice any significant chafing issues as a result of two sets of clasps per strap the first couple of times I ran in this bra; I suspect moderate intensity and temperate conditions (about 40 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit) likely helped accommodate this. However, when sweating more heavily or running in colder weather, I did experience chafing right where the nursing/pumping clasps are on the strap. I had wondered if running in the size small versus the size medium would minimize breast movement enough to eliminate this problem, but after testing both sizes, it didn’t seem to differ between the them.Shop the Sweat and Milk Venice 3 Ultimate Support Full Coverage Nursing and Pumping Sports Bra
Sweat and Milk Venice Sports Bras Level of Support and Sizing
The Sweat and Milk Venice High Impact Full Coverage Nursing Sports Bra and Sweat and Milk Venice 3 Ultimate Support Full Coverage Nursing and Pumping Sports Bra are Sweat and Milk’s highest impact bras and both of them do a great job at providing compression-style support without too aggressive a lockdown. When I met with a lactation consultant, she emphasized that for the prevention of mastitis, it was important to find well-fitted support without overdoing it on compression. When appropriately sized, these bras may fall right in that sweet spot for ideal postpartum support.
Most running companies that offer maternity apparel also offer sports bras that are compatible with nursing; however, the ones I have tried are not also conducive to high-impact activity and tend to run small. If your chest size remains small while breastfeeding, those may be just fine. I have certainly needed some higher caliber support for running and tend to wear only clothes that make nursing convenient.
One’s breast cup size will ebb and flow over the course of the day while breastfeeding; however, the sizing of the Sweat and Milk bras is based off your band measurement. Any size you order accommodates cup sizes ranging from A to G/I so can more than adapt to the inflation and deflation of the day.
However, a size medium, for example, is appropriate only for a band size of 36 (if A to E) or 34 (if F to H). To say I have struggled to determine a reliable cup/band size during the peri-partum period is an understatement. “Mall measuring tape lady” gave me the postpartum bra prescription of 32DDD (F). Skeptical, I compared with my latest, seemingly reliable, home measuring approach and landed at 34DDD (F). Therefore, the most appropriate size according to the Sweat and Milk size chart would be a small or a medium — depending on whether I went with measuring tape lady’s assessment or my own.
Given that I use the smallest clasp setting on the medium, I also tried a size small, which worked okay on the largest band clasp, but was ultimately not as comfortable as the medium. For a runner, it may generally be safest to err on the side of slightly bigger band measurement to accommodate deep inhales/exhales.
If you’re interested in Sweat and Milk’s bras — which you should be — I would suggest ordering per the size guide. Note that sizing on various models in the Sweat and Milk bra line may vary, so follow each model’s specific size guide. If you fall between sizes, take advantage of Sweat and Milk’s 30-day return/exchange policy by ordering more than one to decide which fits the best.
Sweat and Milk Venice Sports Bras Moisture Management
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the Sweat and Milk Venice High Impact Full Coverage Nursing Sports Bra and the Sweat and Milk Venice 3 Ultimate Support Full Coverage Nursing and Pumping Sports Bra is their ability to do all the things and have impressive moisture management.
While testing sports bras for iRunFar’s upcoming maternity running apparel guide, I felt like finding a bra that was relatively dry at the end of a run was akin to capturing a unicorn. The wool-infused bras tested for that project seemed best in this regard, but I honestly didn’t expect to find superior moisture management in these bras’ luxurious tech fabric (87% polyester, 13% spandex).
Six-weeks postpartum landed the day after Christmas when my posse and I planned a five-mile trail run/hike/whatever-it-turned-out-to-be, followed by our favorite lunch spot. I think we’ve all attempted to grab lunch or coffee post-run in a sweaty sports bra and nearly frozen to death. I tossed on a puffy and, surprisingly, never got cold. That story has been on repeat as runs have continued to be followed by sustenance, errands, and countless other mom tasks.
I’ve closely examined these bras once I finally made it to the shower to try and decide if they’re actually dry. Now that I’ve had the pleasure of running in them both in temperate winter conditions and tropical vacation climates, they have sustained their fair share of sweat. To say they’re dry post-run is a stretch. However, the breathable, four-way stretch and antibacterial fabric continues to provide some of the best moisture management I’ve experienced in a high-impact sports bra for a larger cup size.
Sweat and Milk Venice Sports Bras Overall Impressions
Bottom line, I have been very impressed with the support, comfort, moisture management, and nursing/pumping capabilities of the Sweat and Milk bras I’ve tested — the Sweat and Milk Venice High Impact Full Coverage Nursing Sports Bra and the Sweat and Milk Venice 3 Ultimate Support Full Coverage Nursing and Pumping Sports Bra. They meet all the demands of an active motherhood, are attractive (go figure?), and are priced at approximately two-thirds the cost of my other high-impact favorites.
I personally prefer to wear sports bras 99.9% of the time, so I own three of these to simplify the nursing/pumping/running/comfort/laundry demands of the rest of this year of my life. A significant advantage of the Sweat and Milk Venice High Impact Full Coverage Nursing Sports Bra is that there is protection from chafing, thanks to the liner fabric under the clasps. The WATO factor (ease in which one can “Whip A Tit Out”) also gives this nursing-only sports bra a leg up.
Otherwise, the two models are very comparable and I happily share Sweat and Milk’s invitation to, “Nurse at ease. Sweat in style,” by acquiring a few!
Sweat and Milk Venice Sports Bras Other Styles
The Sweat and Milk Venice 4 Ultimate Support Full Coverage Nursing and Pumping Sports Bra ($65) is also popular, differing only from the Venice 3, which we review above in this article, by the presence of an attractive triangle laser cut along the neckline and a couple extra dollars.Shop the Sweat and Milk Venice 4 Ultimate Support Full Coverage Nursing and Pumping Sports Bra
Call for Comments
- Have you tried either of the bras in this review? How did you find them?
- Are there other nursing and pumping bras that you would recommend?