Do I have to wear nursing bras?

Do I have to wear nursing bras? This question is often asked by ladies in their first pregnancy because it is all new to them and they don’t know what they need in terms of new bras.

However, the answer isn’t necessarily a straight ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and there are different reasons why you do or don’t have to wear nursing bras!

Firstly, let me explain what a nursing bra actually is, because if this is your first pregnancy, you might not actually understand the difference between a maternity bra and a nursing bra.

HOTmilk Eclipse Nursing Bra

Quite simply, a nursing bra is a bra which has nursing clips. These clips allow you to pull down the cup of the bra for easy feeding access. Usually these bras don’t have underwires in them, although there are several underwired nursing bras on the market*.  You can wear a nursing bra during pregnancy but is not necessary as you won’t need the nursing clips until you start breastfeeding.

*I don’t recommend wearing underwired nursing bras until after at least 12 weeks post birth. Read about underwired nursing bras here.

A maternity bra is just a term for a bra that you wear during pregnancy. Many ladies continue to wear their normal bras during pregnancy but then get to a stage where they are uncomfortable and need new bras. At this point, they usually move into wearing a maternity bra, which is essentially a soft cup bra that does not have nursing clips.

So, do you have to wear a nursing bra?

HOTmilk Eclipse Nursing Bra

During pregnancy, no it isn’t necessary, although many ladies will wear a nursing bra when they are moving from their normal bras to a soft cup bra. This is because many of the styles of nursing bra that I stock are designed to be worn during pregnancy as well as for breastfeeding. HOTmilk and Cake Lingerie bras for example, typically have 6 sets of hooks at the back. This means that you can start to wear the bra during early pregnancy on the tightest fitting and it will then grow with you as your bump expands.

If you are planning on breastfeeding though, then a nursing bra becomes more essential. By wearing a nursing bra, you will be well supported, particularly if your breasts become heavy when your milk comes in and you will be able to easily pull down the cup for access to your breast. The last thing you want when baby is hungry is not being able to easily attach baby to your breast!

So, does this all make sense? Have I answered your question: do I have to wear nursing bras? Is there anything else you want to know? Ask me here in the comments, or on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #brafittingFAQ and I will answer anything you need to know!

Emma x

February Bra of the Month

February has started very damp and gloomy here in Cambridge, so to offer a bit of brightness, here is the February bra of the month.

HOTmilk Lingerie black nursing braThe HOTmilk Eclipse Nursing Bra! This bra is very feminine and beautiful with a lace trim and a diamante in the middle. Nursing bras can be sexy too!

It comes in black and nude and the inside of the bra cup is lined with soft cotton, so is delicate against your sensitive breasts during breastfeeding or during pregnancy. The band offers good support, and the nursing clips are easy to use.

The Eclipse nursing bra is an A-frame style nursing bra, which offers some discreet support at the top of your cup, even when feeding.


Coming in a wide range of sizes from 32B to 42H, this bra also has matching bikini briefs so if you are someone who likes a matching set, then these are for you!

To get 10% off this bra during February, use #braofthemonth at the checkout.

Happy Shopping!

Emma x



Blue Monday Offer

Monday 16th January 2017 is allegedly the ‘most depressing’ day of the year!


Apparently we are all feeling down: Christmas seems ages ago, we are waiting to be paid, we are struggling to shift the excesses from over-indulgence, the weather is rubbish and we are already likely to have failed to keep our new year resolutions.

I have to say, that I don’t feel like this at all and I am excited about what 2017 will bring, both for bras4mums and for my family. I have lots of exciting things to look forward this year!

But I didn’t want Blue Monday to pass by without offering a little something to all you lovely ladies, so I am offering free postage on any orders* placed on Monday 16th January if you enter the code BLUE at the checkout.

Happy Shopping!

Emma x


*This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount code.

What to look for in a Maternity Bra

I found this old post that I wrote back in February 2012 when I was around 8 months pregnant with #3 son.  This was before I took over at bras4mums and about 2 years after I had trained as a bra fitter with the BraLady Network.  I’d forgotten that I’d written this, so thought I would share with you all now!

Emma x


I thought I would write this post now as it is a topic that has been very important to me over the past eight months!! During my first two pregnancies, I was wearing the wrong the sized bras and it is only in this pregnancy, since I have become a bralady, that I am now wearing the right size. I can honestly say that I have been much more comfortable this time round and I know I have also helped other pregnant women over the past year to be supported throughout their pregnancies as well.

Your breasts start to change in pregnancy not long after you have conceived. Some women find that the first ‘sign’ they have that they are pregnant is when they notice changes in their breasts. It is normal for your breasts to increase a cup size in the first trimester and for me, I needed to go up a cup size after about 6 weeks in my first pregnancy.

During pregnancy, your abdomen and lower rib cage increase in size to allow room for the baby to grow. This means that the band measurement right underneath your breasts will increase during your pregnancy so it is important that there is room in your bra to grow too! Your maternity bra needs to be fitted on the tightest fitting so that you can expand it as your ribcage grows. By the end of your pregnancy, you might even find that you need a bra extender for the final few weeks just to give you that extra bit of comfort without needing to buy another new bra.

As your breasts are continually changing throughout your pregnancy, it is best to choose a soft cup bra rather than an underwired bra. Soft cups will fit your changing breasts throughout your pregnancy whereas an underwired bra is likely to only fit you for a few weeks.

It is important that you get checked regularly throughout your pregnancy to make sure that your bras are still supporting your breasts. By looking after your breasts in pregnancy, you can help prevent mastitis if you are planning on breastfeeding. Even during pregnancy, your breasts are getting ready to produce milk and if your bra doesn’t fit properly, pressure on the milk ducts can lead to blockages and eventually mastitis. A supportive bra through pregnancy could also help to delay ‘sagging’ which many women experience once they have breastfed!

These are just a few guidelines of things to be aware of when you are buying a maternity bra and different styles of bras will fit differently, so it is important that you try several different bras before making a final decision. Remember, you will be wearing these bras for the rest of your pregnancy and you need to feel comfortable! Being pregnant can be tiring and uncomfortable as it is so by having a well fitted bra, at least you know that your breasts are being supported!


Give A Gift That Cares with Forever’s Aloe Vera Beauty Ranges

Christmas is nearly upon us!! Are you running out of gift ideas? Why not treat someone to premium makeup and luxury skincare, all specifically designed to encourage radiant skin.

Give a gift that cares as much as you do!

Forever provides you with a choice of high quality, aloe-inspired products that are ideal for a variety of people.




The Aromatherapy Spa products include Relaxation Bath Salts, Relaxation Shower Gel and Relaxation Massage Lotion. Used alone or together, someone special can enjoy the benefits of an Aromatherapy Spa experience right in the comfort of their own home!




The Flawless By Sonya make up range is infused with the goodness of aloe and the latest innovations that nature and science offer.





Or what about the Sonya Skincare range? There are five signature products which combine the importance of cleansing, exfoliating, toning and moisturising to leave you with beautiful, healthy skin. The collection includes Aloe Purifying Cleanser, Aloe Deep-Cleansing Exfoliator, Aloe Refreshing Toner, Aloe Balancing Cream and Aloe Nourishing Serum. These can be bought individually or all together for that extra special gift.



The Fleur du Jouvence range is definitely is an all-round care package for your skin. These superbly matched products are presented in a decorative box and contain pure aloe vera gel, special plant extracts, pH-balanced fruit acids with jojoba and apricot kernel oil, plus fat-soluble vitamins. As well as containing collagen and elastin, it offers your skin everything it needs to appear healthy and radiant, from deep pore cleansing to nutrient-rich moisturising care. The name given to this exclusive facial care collection – The Flower of Youth – speaks for itself.


Or take a look at the special Festive Section to find some great offers, including the Forever Essentials Tri-Pack and not forgetting the men in your life, there is the Gentleman’s Pride After Shave.

If you are still stuck for what to choose, give us a budget and we will put together a gift for you, with gift wrapping available for a small additional fee.

For guaranteed delivery before Christmas, please email all orders to by Wednesday 16th December. Orders placed directly via my website need to be placed by 1pm on Monday 21st December for Christmas delivery.


Become a bras4mums agent

We know that very often and in many parts of the country, women find it very difficult to find a maternity or nursing bra. One that fits, one that is comfy, one that is pretty… the list goes on for what women are looking for in their maternity or nursing

We also know that despite all the support and advice we can provide, buying bras off the internet can also be a daunting task and many would prefer to try the bras on before buying.

With that in mind, we have a fantastic opportunity for you!

Are you a new mum meeting other local mums?  Are you a midwife, doula, breastfeeding supporter or other healthcare professional looking for another way to support your clients?

With a minimal start up cost, negotiable to your local requirements, and some basic training, would you like to supplement your income?

We are looking for ladies across the country to support pregnant ladies and breastfeeding mums in their area and spread the bras4mums love!

Could this be you?

If you would like more information on this great opportunity, please email us at

bras4mums Christmas Offers

banner-Chrismas 2015

We’ve got something special for you this Christmas. We’ve got some lovely offers for you, your friends and colleagues.  Including half prices bras and briefs, free breastpads and money off some of our favourite bras and nightwear!  And don’t forget you can always buy gift vouchers instead of a bra.

We’re looking forward to Supporting You and your family during 2016 and beyond, and hope you will share your stories with us and all our friends.

Happy preparation for Christmas, and we’re here to help you get the right bras during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Any items purchased as gifts can be exchanged free of charge. Let us know by email if your order is for a gift and we’ll add in a special returns form with the delivery.

Last posting dates:

10th December – Australia & New Zealand

15th December – Canada, Eastern Europe and USA

18th December – Western Europe

20th December – UK first class mail

22nd December – UK, Special Delivery

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

Getting Fitted for a Nursing Bra

Nursing bras are bras made with nursing clips to make breastfeeding your baby easy and comfortable.

There are plenty of different styles to choose from, from soft and stretchy to pretty or underwired (though we don’t recommend underwired nursing bras until your baby at least 12 weeks old).

You may also want to consider a different bra for sleeping in which will still give you the support you need at night but not as firm in the support as your daytime bra.

Most nursing bras use a simple nursing clip which you can unfasten one-handed, (with practice!), and sit flat against the body, so can also be worn during pregnancy.

If you’re comfortable in your bras during pregnancy, you may be best to leave buying a nursing bra when you’re about 35-36 weeks pregnant. This is when your ribs are at their biggest, and as bra fitters, we know that your ribs will get smaller and your breasts will increase in size when baby is born.

It’s also the time when most pregnant women are getting everything ready for the birth, and from 37 weeks baby appearing at any time is a possibility! If you leave buying your nursing bra until after baby is born, then you’ll either be sending someone else out to buy something, or, you’ll have your newborn with you and it may not be the easiest experience to get fitted for a bra!

At 36 weeks, there is often a gap between breasts and bump, so the bra fitter can ensure the bra is fitting firmly around your rib cage, and ensure that, with knowledge of your pre-pregnancy bra size, this important part of the bra fitting is done correctly. A lot of the nursing bra styles have 6 hooks across the band, so that you know you’ll still have space to make the bra smaller when baby is born. The alternative is a bra extender, which will ensure you don’t buy a bra that is too big in 2 weeks time!

So, get your bra fitting booked in your diary for about 35-36 weeks. bras4mums can help by phone, email, twitter or Facebook.

The bras you buy now will be great for the first 12 weeks-ish of breastfeeding. At this stage your breasts will change again, so we advise a new fitting at this stage for the next 6 months of breastfeeding.

Win Tickets to the Sandown Park Baby & Toddler Show 17-19 April

We are very excited about the new Baby & Toddler Show in April which is being held at Sandown Park.

We will be there on stand B38 to give advice and free fittings for pregnant ladies and new mums and we have 5 pairs of tickets worth £20 each to giveaway :)

Along with our usual popular styles from HOTmilk, Bravado, Cake Lingerie, Emma-Jane & Carriwell, we will be launching a new style from Cake Lingerie…. more details will be here soon.

We will also have a range of breastfeeding clothing and accessories, so we look forward to seeing and supporting you on your pregnancy and breastfeeding journey.

Simply enter the prize draw below, which closes on 12th April 2015.

All tickets have to be booked through the Baby and Toddler Show website by 16th April to be valid.

a Rafflecopter giveaway