It is important that pregnant and nursing women have supportive, comfortable bras. During this time, a woman’s breasts are constantly changing. It may seem like finding the perfect nursing or maternity bra is a daunting task but don’t get discouraged! Our guide to maternity bra fitting will help you find your way.
How Breasts Change During Pregnancy
Oh boy where do I start! One of the first signs of pregnancy is fuller breasts. All women are different, of course, but on average, women go up one to three sizes over the course of their pregnancy. In addition to fuller breasts, your expanding belly will require you to wear a bra with a larger band size.
After the Birth
You will experience engorgement about two to six days after giving birth. This is when the milk “comes in” and it’s also the point where your breasts are at their largest.
Your breast size will change from day to day when you’re first nursing but will soon go back to a constant size once nursing is on a regular schedule. However, your breast size will likely change! Most women return to their pre-pregnancy band size but will be up to three cup sizes larger than before.
It is important to re-measure yourself during and after your pregnancy. Your body and breasts are constantly changing and you want to make sure you’re in the proper fit and size.
Maternity Bras – What is that?
Maternity bras are specifically designed to be worn by pregnant women. There are some “regular” bras that can be worn by pregnant women but they must have the correct features. Here are some qualities you should look for in a bra when you’re pregnant.
- It should fit on the tight hook when you first buy them. This way you can expand when your breasts grow.
- If you’re carrying high, wear a non-underwire bra.
- Non-underwire bras are great during the third trimester.
- Maternity bras should be supportive and comfortable to prevent back pain
Buying maternity bras to fit your expanding size may become expensive. One tip to saving money is to wear nursing bras after the seventh month. Nursing bras provide many of the same benefits as maternity bras and can be used after the birth.
Why wear a maternity bra?
One of the reasons women should wear maternity bras is the comfort level. A maternity bra will help support your growing breasts as well as prevent back pain and even reduce stretch marks. Because your breasts are at their heaviest during pregnancy and nursing, it is especially important to wear a bra that fits. Many maternity bras are also designed free of allergens and toxins for sensitive skin.
When should I buy a nursing bra?
I suggest you buy your first nursing bra at 30 to 32 weeks. Most women are around the same bra size they were at 30 weeks following engorgement; this is a great time to measure yourself. Your first breastfeeding bras should be soft cup bras. These are non-underwire bras and provide room for your growing breasts – the flexible sizing will help you stay comfortable. You should also have two soft cup nursing bras – they will last longer if you alternate use. Also, once your cup size goes down, you can use these bras as sleep bras.
Once you and your baby are nursing on a regular schedule, you can start having fun with your nursing bras! Modern nursing bras come in a variety of colors and styles – you can feel and look sexy! Most women can also wear an underwire nursing bra during this time. Underwire nursing bras will provide optimal support for heavy breasts but it’s very important you’re wearing the correct size. The underwire should lie comfortably under the breast and should not interfere with milk production.
Nursing Bra Help
Have more nursing bra questions? Ask Linda for help determining the best maternity and nursing bras for you.
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