Oh, what these babies do to us! Alison, I feel for you, really feel for you, because I'm five months out from my third c-section (no, even when you do lose the weight, it's just not the same, is it?), I'm nursing, and I've been there, squeezing the girls into too-small suit tops, combing the internet for separates since the top and the bottom don't match and generally dreading (while dying for) pool time.
I've reconciled myself to just owning my slightly (snort!) looser tummy and keep wearing bikinis. Ironically, they're a great option for a nursing, postpartum mama whose boobs are off the charts because you don't have to worry about tankini/bandini fabric being too loose around the middle, or falling out of a one-piece that fits on top but is roomy on the bottom, or (worse?) vice-versa. Talk to me again when I've been asked for the umpteenth billion time when I'm due. Or, since we'll be swimming at the gym's pool this summer, whether I need a trainer. . .
Now, while I do love the Splendid bandini you ordered, and I do think it will be nursing-friendly, I have to say that, given your measurements, and looking at the woman who is modeling it, I believe there's a chance it might not work out. I hope I'm wrong, because it's flippin' adorable, but unless the triple "D" part of the 32DDD portion of your email was a type-o, I'm thinking the girls may need more support than this suit seems to be offering.
This leaves you two options, the first of which is a little crazy, but I'm not sure why I've never heard of it until, both on our second pregnancies at the time (why don't maternity suits have any support!?), a friend and I invented the swim bra. Here's what you do: layer a strapless or halter bikini top (depending on the cut) under your suit of choice, and voila, you have a swim bra. Warning: this doesn't always work out. I have not personally tried the combination I am showing here, and it's definitely not a science, just a suggestion if you find that you are in love with this suit and cannot let it go, but want a little more support.
If you find the swim bra approach isn't working for you, I must say I was surprised by the number and quality of "cup-sized swimwear" (the search engine euphemism for large busted) suits I found, particularly at Figleaves.com. My favorite here, as a possible replacement for the Splendid bandini, is the Preppy Stripe Underwire tankini from Figleaves, and I adore the retro feel of the Freya Swim Fever tankini, but I truly do love each one of these. They're all great tankinis that I think are going to help you feel a little bit (but not too much!) more covered and confident. As for nursing, I think just slipping one strap off your shoulder should do the trick, though Victoria's Secret's Plunge Tankini (caution, this is sized to DD) is the clear choice for breastfeeding-friendliness, obvs ; ).
$72 - figleaves.com
$54 - figleaves.com
$134 - nordstrom.com
$105 - barenecessities.com
$134 - nordstrom.com
$132 - victoriassecret.com
$69 - figleaves.com
$116 - figleaves.com
If you find you're not of the tankini mindset after all, consider these fab cup-sized bikinis–most of them go up to size 38FF, so they really have most mamas covered.
$64 - nordstrom.com
$88 - nordstrom.com
$35 - figleaves.com
$158 - figleaves.com
$68 - figleaves.com
Thank you so much for writing in, Alison! We looove our reader questions.
Also, congratulations to the winner of our Kokopax giveaway! Andie Brands, please send us an email so we can get the Kokpax carrier to you ASAP!