Bras and how to fit them during pregnancy and breastfeeding

We often get asked different questions about bra fitting during pregnancy and breastfeeding, particularly by first time mums who don’t know what to expect.  We’ve answered a few common questions here, but if you need more specific advice, please contact us.

Q: Can I wear my normal bras during pregnancy?

A: Your breasts will grow during the first trimester of your pregnancy, so it’s likely that your normal bra will be too small on the cup quite quickly.  Your rib cage starts to grow from about 12 weeks to the end of pregnancy, so you need to allow for this to happen with the bras that you buy. You may fins it more comfortable in a different style bra, as well as needing a new size.

Q: What is the difference between a maternity or nursing bra and a normal bra?

A: A maternity bra is generally a bra that has been designed to fit appropriately during the course of your pregnancy. It will accommodate your changing body and provide the required level of support and comfort. A nursing bra has nursing clips making it easy to breastfeed your baby. You can wear nursing bras during pregnancy, but bras without clips are not advised for breastfeeding.

Q: What size bra will I need during pregnancy/when breastfeeding?

A: A lot depends on your shape and size, e.g. how tall you are will affect how much your ribs grow, A general guide us that you’ll need a cup and band size bigger for pregnancy and 2 cup sizes bigger for breastfeeding. However, all our bodies are different, so we can work with you to get the right styles and sizes for you.

Q: When should I get fitter for my maternity bra and nursing bra?

A: Bras for pregnancy are best bought during your first trimester and will last, if fitted correctly, to the end of your pregnancy. Bras for breastfeeding are best bought at about 36 weeks when your ribs are starting to shrink as baby engages. The last thing you want to do with a new baby is go bra shopping!

Q: Why is it advised not to wear underwired bras?

A: Because your body and breasts are changing during pregnancy, you’ll find that the wires start to dig into your breast tissue. This is uncomfortable and can cause blocked milk ducts. There are some really supportive soft cup maternity and nursing bras, so you shouldn’t need a wire for shape or support.

Q: I love on a very small budget, how can I afford new bras, especially when on maternity leave?

A: Getting a good bra is important to your health, recovery and self esteem. Quality bras will last for your pregnancy and/or at least 6 months, so are an investment and will save you money in the long run.

Q: Do I need to wear a bra to sleep in?

A: You may find it more comfortable to wear a bra at night. You won’t need as much support as day wear, but you may prefer to have a light support bra, especially in the early days of pregnancy when your breasts are tender, or when breastfeeding to hold breast pads in place.

We hope this helps answer some of your questions, but if there is anything else you need to know, please ask us! #askbras4mums

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