Here are some of the most Frequently Asked Questions about bras during pregnancy and nursing. Wearing the right bras throughout your pregnancy and feeding will make life much easier!
What are Maternity Bras?
Lots of women think that maternity bras are the same as nursing bras, this isn’t the case. Maternity bras are worn pre and sometimes post baby to support your boobs as they change size. The bras are made of stretchy material so they can adapt as your boobs grow and then reduce. Maternity bras can be expensive so you may want to opt for a Wirefree bra that supports you but doesn't constrict your breast tissue with wire.
What features should a maternity bra have?
A comfortable maternity bra should have deep side bands to take the majority of your breasts’ weight. The shoulder straps should be a little wider and soft but supportive enough not to stretch.
• Unlike buying a bra at any other stage in life a maternity bra should fit on the tightest hook first so that you can loosen it as your boobs grow. This is the opposite advice to buying a regular bra!!
• It’s so important that the band (the tight part of the bra) is NOT pressing against your breast tissue. It needs to lie flat under your boobs and against your ribcage. Pressure on the breast tissue can lead to a plugged duct and ultimately mastitis or breast infection.
• Make sure the cup gives you full coverage. For lots of women this will be a departure from sexy plunge bras or girly balconettes, but it’s very important that your WHOLE breast is encased in the cup for support.
• Your temperature can change when you’re pregnant and breastfeeding (especially if it’s during the summer months) so make sure you buy breathable bras with a high cotton content or microfiber.
When do I need a Nursing Bra?
If you decide to breastfeed then a nursing bra is essential so you can easily access your boobs without having to struggle out of a regular bra. The cups are designed to drop down from a clip so you can feed easily then reclasp your cup without any fuss.
What features should my Nursing Bra have?
Nursing bras are usually seamless so that your boobs aren’t irritated by unnecessary edges when you’re very sensitive. They are mostly wirefree as wires can impede the flow of milk in your breasts and cause other problems like mastitis.
When should I buy new bras?
You should always buy a new bra when your boobs change shape or size. As soon as your boobs begin to change shape you should get a new bra, this may be a maternity bra or you may want a regular wirefree bra. Most women find that they need a new bra in the fourth month and onwards from there. You may find that by the end of your third trimester your boobs change by a whole cup size and that’s before your milk comes in.
How do I find my size?
You can follow our fitting guide at all the stages along your pregnancy. Getting to know your boobs and buying new bras as your shape changes will keep you comfortable through your pregnancy.
Should my maternity/nursing bra be soft cup or underwire?
If you’re a person that takes bra fitting seriously and never wears an ill-fitting bra then wired bras are OK. The problem is that lots of us get lazy and let our boobs sit in badly fitting bras. You can’t run this risk when you’re pregnant because your boobs are super-sensitive and you run the risk of an infection from blocked ducts. Wirefree bras pose less risk and are suitable to wear at night which can never be said of a wired bra.
When should I buy my nursing bras?
Ideally you want to wait until 8 days after your baby is born, HOWEVER, you’ve got a brand new baby and the last thing you’ll want to do is bra shop!! So the best approximation is to measure yourself in your 8th or early 9th month then buy a nursing bra that is ONE FULL CUP SIZE BIGGER than your current size at that time. This is about how much volume you inherit once your milk comes. It will also make your life a lot easier to have a nursing bra on hand from day one.
How should I take care of my bras?
Bras endure a lot, especially nursing bras, so it’s important to have enough bras so you can wear one, have one in the wash and one airing. This way you will extend the life of each bra and keep trapped moisture away from your skin, minimizing the risk of skin irritation. You should use a gentle fabric soap like Woolite and nothing biological. Check out our Bra Clinic for more information on caring for your lingerie.
How big are my boobs going to get?
I know for big busted girls this can seem a scary prospect. But the reality is that if you keep on top of your changing shape and buy bras to fit it will lessen the impact of your bust increase. If you want to get an idea of how your boobs are going to change it’s worth asking your Mom as the progression is often genetic. You will experience your most sudden change when your milk comes. This can be a painful adjustment so having the right size bra will help during this transition. It also helps to get a regular feeding pattern to balance out your milk supply and reduce any pain. After a couple of weeks you should find your boobs settling down to about one cup size bigger than your third trimester bra size.
How do I put on my bra when I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Whichever way you find most comfortable (and practical) is probably the right thing for you but do remember that you should lean forward and allow your boobs to fill the cups keeping breast tissue away from constriction.