Buying Nursing Bras this Christmas

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It’s so easy to forget about our own needs at this time of year, but even more so if you are pregnant and expecting a baby in the run up to Christmas. Not only are you buying gifts for loved ones, but you are probably also decorating a nursery, buying clothes, nappies, cots, pushchairs, car seats and everything else you will need for baby’s arrival!

But what about what you need?  Have you thought about buying your nursing bras? 

HOTmilk Eclipse Nursing BraIf you are planning to breastfeed, I always recommend that you buy your nursing bras before baby arrives. This means that you will have a bra ready to wear as soon as you have the baby, so you won’t need to be shopping during those first few days when your breasts are sore and tender and you realise that the bras you have do not fit. 

Honestly, the last thing you need in the haze of having a new baby is trying to find a bra that fits!

I see so many ladies in the first few days post birth who have not planned ahead and call me desperate for good supportive bras because their milk has come in, their breasts are engorged and tender and their bras no longer fit them.

One common reason for not buying nursing bras before the baby arrives is that ladies do not know what size nursing bra they will need but that is where I can help!

The following is just a guide, but it does give you a starting point as to what size you are likely to need.  This is specifically for anyone in the last few weeks of pregnancy (36 weeks onwards) who need nursing bras. If you are at another stage of pregnancy or breastfeeding, then please get in touch and I’ll guide you with how to find the right size.

downloadFirstly, take a measurement under your bust, making sure the tape measure is firm against your rib cage.  This will give you your band size. If the number is an odd number, round up to the next even number.

Secondly, take a measurement around the fullest part of your bust, again making sure the tape measure is firm around your body.  The difference between your band size measurement and this measurement will give you the cup size.

For example, if your under bust measurement is 32 and your bust measurement is 37, you have 5 inches difference between those two measurements, so I’d suggest that you are around a 32DD in size.

Cup Size Difference in inches
A 1
B 2
C 3
D 4
DD 5
E 6
F 7
FF 8
G 9
GG 10

However, there are a couple of other important things that you need to be consider:

If you are around 36-37 weeks pregnant, then your rib cage is probably at the largest it will be, so you need to fit the bra on the loosest set of hooks to allow you to be able to tighten the band after you’ve had the baby to give your breasts the support they will need.

Also, your cup size is likely to increase by a cup size when your milk comes in, so I would always get a cup size bigger than you are now to allow for this growth in your breasts.

You will also need to the check the sizes the bra you choose comes in. Some styles don’t have double cup sizes, so this affects how you work out the cup size. Instead of a DD, you might need an E cup instead.

As for styles, I would always recommend a soft stretchy bra for the early few days when your breasts are sore and engorged and to sleep in. Styles like the Bravado Seamless Nursing Bra for up to an F cup and the Cake Lingerie Sugar Candy Nursing Bra for and F cup and above.

Bravado Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra

Bravado Seamless Nursing Bra

Sugar Candy Fuller Bust Seamless Nursing Bra

Sugar Candy Seamless Nursing Bra

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or if you are looking for something a bit prettier, then the HOTmilk Show Off Nursing Bra is a gorgeous design but again very supportive, right up to a H cup.

HOTmilk Show Off Nursing Bra Blue

HOTmilk Show Off Nursing Bra Blue

HOTmilk Show Off Nursing Bra Ivory

HOTmilk Show Off Nursing Bra Ivory

 

 

 

 

 

 

So now you know how to measure yourself, there is no excuse not to buy yourself some new nursing bras!

You will get free postage on orders over £75 and I offer free returns and unlimited exchanges. So if you are not sure that the bra you ordered is quite right, please get in touch with me and I’ll do a fit check for you. We can work out if you need a different size or style and make sure that you are comfortable and supported in your new bras!

If you are local to Cambridge, then I also offer a home fitting service, so please email me if you would like to book a fitting.

Happy shopping!

Emma x

My story – why I love supporting women!

Hi, I’m Emma from bras4mums.Emma

I just wanted to say hello to you all and briefly explain why I’m running bras4mums.

I’ve got three boys and during my first pregnancy, I just went into my local high street stores, which I guess most of you would probably do, and bought my maternity and nursing bras from the shops. They weren’t very pretty and they weren’t attractive. They fitted and they did the job, but they weren’t great!

So during my second pregnancy, I wore the same bras again, but having worn them probably for two years last time, they weren’t really supportive anymore.  I’d lost a lot of weight at that point, so my body shape had changed, and they really didn’t fit very well at all.  However, I didn’t really think anything of it and just carried on with old unsupportive and unattractive nursing bras!

During that time, I was also looking for work. I wanted to leave my employed work and become self-employed.  I was investigating various avenues and discovered there is a whole host of other maternity and nursing bra suppliers which you can’t probably find in the high street store, and these bras are pretty, really supportive and they are much better than the styles that you can get in the high street, particularly in the shops that I was going to, anyway!

So I set up my home fitting service around Cambridge in 2011 and I now visit mums, either pregnant or breastfeeding, and fit them in their new maternity or nursing bras.

Then about three years ago, I was given an opportunity to take over bras4mums, which meant I could increase the reach of the ladies that I support, because I’m so passionate about women wearing the right size bra for whatever stage of pregnancy or breastfeeding that they’re at, but also that they’re wearing something pretty and attractive and something they feel comfortable and confident in.

Cake Lingerie Sorbet Nursing BraYou don’t have to suffer like I suffered through my first two pregnancies with bras that are frumpy and unattractive and not very supportive.

I just really want to get that message out to women, so come and pop over to the website and have a look, and if you need any help or advice, then I’m here.

I’ve been through it, I understand, and I’m here to help you, because I really believe that at a time when your body’s changing so quickly, you can still feel good about yourself about yourself. You can actually be confident and be comfortable and be supported in gorgeous bras!

So, if you need any help or advice, drop me an email, call me, find me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and I’ll be happy to help.

downloadLooking forward to supporting you!

Emma x

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

Our Top Tips for Brafitting

So this morning, we hosted #BabyHour over on Twitter and it quickly became clear that lots of ladies were wearing the wrong sized bras, but didn’t really know how a bra should be fitting for them to be comfy.download

We quickly put together this list of top tips and the response was amazing! We certainly educated lots of ladies about brafitting this morning!

 

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1. Don’t expect to be the same size in every style of bra you try on!

2. You should be comfy & supported in whatever bra you are wearing. If it’s not comfy, it’s not right!

3. The support comes from getting the band size right. Many ladies wear a band far too big!

4. Your cup should be fully supported and no ‘double boob’ or ‘overspill’!

5. Some styles just won’t suit you! Find styles that work for you and stick to them!

6. You might need a different sized bra for different times during your monthly cycle.

7. A bra should only last for around 6 months. After that it will lose it’s support.

8. You should rotate your bras so that you don’t wear the same bra 2 days in a row.

So whichever style of bra you are wearing, make sure you follow these top tips and be comfy and supported!  We are always happy to give support and advice, either before you purchase or even after if you are not sure about the fit once it arrives!

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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 bras.download-150x150

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 info@bras4mums.co.uk

Bras for Pregnancy and Breastfeeding – what you need to know!

Bras! Where do you start? Some women when they get pregnant ignore the changes in their breasts and just carry on as usual and then finally when it all gets too uncomfortable buy new bras. But at that stage they then realise that they could have been comfy all along!

So, we suggest that you get new bras when you start to feel that the ones you’ve got don’t fit any more. Makes sense really doesn’t it? That’s what we do with our other clothing (unless we’re in denial about dress sizes!), so why not our bras?

Anita Maternity BustierOur breasts start to get ready for breastfeeding baby (even if you don’t plan to breastfeed, your breasts don’t know that!), when you first conceive. So we usually expect women to need a new bra during the first trimester. We suggest a simple soft bra, usually a bustier type bra, is a good buy at this stage. Women often get tender and sore breasts in the first 12-16 weeks, so a soft bra that you can sleep in is a good investment.

If you get more structured bras (that do up at the back, with a bit more support in them), I’d suggest you get them towards the end of the first trimester. Maybe after your first scan so you don’t mind too much about spending money now you know it’s really true that you’re pregnant! A rule of thumb for buying a maternity bra at this stage, is to increase the band size, and keep the same cup size, or increase it. You’ll know what’s best for you, and our specialist bra fitters can always advise you on what’s likely to last to the end of pregnancy.

There are a few unlucky ladies whose breasts continue to grow during pregnancy, but this is rare. So, the bra that you get at the end of your first trimester should last you to the end of your pregnancy, AS LONG AS YOU’VE FITTED IT ON IT’S TIGHTEST SETTING WHEN YOU BOUGHT IT, to allow for the band to grow with your rib cage during pregnancy.

HOTmilk Show Off nursing bra

HOTmilk Show Off Nursing Bra

The best time to get fitted for nursing bras, is at about 35-36 weeks, when your ribs are at their biggest. This way we know that your ribs will get smaller, but your breasts will get bigger – yes, again! You fit this bra on it’s loosest setting as you would a normal bra. So, the starting point at this stage is your pre-pregnancy band size, and 2-3 cup sizes bigger than you were before you got pregnant.

Always make sure the bra covers your whole breast as anything pressing on the breast can cause blocked ducts, and potentially lead to mastitis, which you really do not want. Sometimes you need to change the style of the bra, rather than just change the size. Ask our specialist fitters for advice on different styles you can try.

Bra fitting is not easy at the best of times, with all styles and manufacturers fitting differently. It’s even more complicated with an ever changing body and breast shape. But, it’s so important to be comfortable. Yes, comfort above style during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Some would disagree, but if you’re not comfy, it can affect your milk let down when feeding, and can also make you feel grumpy about being uncomfortable.

There is so much selection out there of maternity and nursing bras (and you can wear nursing bras during pregnancy if they’re the right style for you.) Some of you will have more limited choice with your size. But there may still be a choice if you use a specialist bra shop, like bras4mums.

The bras4mums range caters for the many changes your body will undergo during pregnancy and breast feeding, with your complete comfort in mind. With bras4mums, you can be a loving mother and an attractive woman, presenting a stunning cleavage and curvaceous silhouette to be proud of! In a perfectly fitting, functional yet feminine bra you will feel beautiful inside and out! Happy, confident Mums produce happy babies – you and your baby deserve the best!

 

When should I be fitted for a maternity bra?

One of the first questions we get asked by women once they find out that they are pregnant is ‘When should I get fitted for a maternity bra?’

Recently we have had a lot of ladies a few weeks into pregnancy who have come to us as they are just so uncomfortable in their ‘normal’ bras that they need something softer.  Changes in their body will mean that the bras that they are used to wearing are no longer the right size or shape to give them the support they need.

As soon as you discover you’re pregnant, you’ll probably notice a change in your breasts. For some ladies, this change is what first alerts them to the fact that they may be pregnant! Breasts can be tender, tingly, sore and they can feel bigger from the very early stages of pregnancy.

Anita maternity bra

Anita maternity bra

We recommend you get a comfy maternity bra for this very early stage, particularly if you have sore breasts. Something like the Anita maternity bra, or Emma Jane maternity bra are ideal at this time. For larger breasted ladies, the Royce Sadie Maternity bra is an ideal solution.

You may find that wearing a bra at night helps with the tenderness, but we’re all different. What works for your sister or friend may not work for you!

Your first bra fitting for a maternity bra should be towards the end of your first trimester. This can be from week 10 – 14.  Anything pressing on your breast tissue can cause discomfort and blocked ducts, even at this early stage!  Depending on your height, the bras you get at this stage should last you until the end of your pregnancy.

bra fitting on tightest hookWhen you try bras on at end of the first trimester, make sure they’re fitting firmly when fitted on their tightest setting i.e. you can’t see any other hooks on the back of the bra. This way, the bra will last you during your pregnancy when your ribs grow during the rest of your pregnancy.

The only time this doesn’t always work, is if you’re on the shorter side! Your ribs will grow more than a taller lady during your pregnancy. You may be able to get away with using bra extenders, but as you can see from this photo, a bra extender may make the bra too wide for your shoulders & a new size bra may be the best option for you.

HOTmilk Show Off nursing bra

HOTmilk Show Off

You can choose any bras that are comfy and support your whole breast. These can be with or without nursing clips as they don’t show through clothing and you have more choice from suppliers like Cake, Bravado and HOTmilk. You may notice that one breast is bigger than the other – this is totally normal, and is often a more noticeable difference during pregnancy.

 

Underwires or no wires?

We suggest you avoid bras with wires in during your pregnancy, mainly for comfort, but mainly because they can be very structured and not flexible enough to move around your growing breasts and body. If you do want to wear wired bras, then we’d suggest the Anita underwired bras as they use more flexible wires and the fabric is more suitable for pregnancy.

If all goes well, your maternity bra will last until 35-36 weeks when it’ll be time to get your nursing bras fitted. This way, you get the best value out of all your bras during your pregancy and breastfeeding. We’ll cover nursing bra fitting another day.

We hope this helps give an overview of when to get fitted for a maternity bra during your pregnancy. We’re here to help answer your queries, and offer personal advice by phone, email, twitter or Facebook – whichever suits you!

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

Win tickets for the East of England Baby Show

Win 1 of 5 pairs of tickets to the East of England Baby & Toddler Show

We love meeting pregnant and breastfeeding women at baby shows and helping them to find comfy, supportive & pretty bras! Now we’re looking forward to supporting even more women at the East of England Baby Show on Sunday 2nd November at the East of England Showground in Peterborough.

brasformums at Manchester

bras4mums at Manchester

We’ve got 5 pairs of tickets to give away, so you can come for a bra fitting on the stand and try one of our many ranges, covering sizes 28 – 48 band & A – L cups.
The giveaway closes on 30th October to give us time to get the tickets out to you in the post.

Come and see us on the bras4mums stand. We’re bringing most of our range, and will have a fitting room available for you to try on, and have advice from our experienced bra fitter Emma. If there’s anything particular you want us to bring for you to see or try, please let us know by 31st October, so we can put it in the van!

 

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When will my breasts get back to normal?

This is a question we hear frequently. It’s often when a woman has been breastfeeding, and wants to ‘get back to normal bras’. Is this something you’ve considered, or chatted about with girlfriends?

Well, firstly, what’s normal for you will be different to your friends or sisters. It depends on lots of factors, but it’s mainly our own DNA and hormones that affect what happens to our body. Whilst a bra may affect longevity of well shaped and toned breasts, it can’t affect what will naturally happen over time – gravity.

Depending how long you breastfeed for, and how often you’re feeding, is probably the most important factor in answering this question. If you’re feeding morning and night, and have been for the last month or so, and continue to do so for the next few months, then this ‘normal’ for you will allow your breasts to settle into a new pattern. When you stop breastfeeding altogether, it will still take a few months for your breasts to get used to not making milk. However, as they’ve only been used twice a day, this should be a relatively small change for you.

If, on the other hand, you’ve been breastfeeding fully and are now returning to work and expect to finish breastfeeding totally, your change in breast shape and size will be more dramatic. There will still be some months before things settle totally, but you’ve been making milk for your baby for the past 6 months, and now you’re not. Your body needs time to readjust.

The other question to think about is if you’re planning to lose weight. Weight gain and loss can make a big difference to your breast shape and size at any time in your life, not just after baby has been born.

Some women will keep their fuller breasts, others will lose the fullness they had before pregnancy, particularly at the top of the breast. Just be aware of what’s happened to you so you can adjust your bra styles accordingly.

HOTmilk Lingerie black nursing bra

HOTmilk Eclipse nursing bra

What can I do about it? Well, all you can do is wait really. However, you do need to make sure your breasts are properly supported throughout breastfeeding and the changes. Remembering bras last, in their fully supportive state, for about 6 months, treating yourself to good bras that will last through your changes are a good investment. Don’t leave it thinking “I’ll get bras once my breasts have settled”, and be without good support for the next 4 months! Get yourself a good, nursing bra that you’re comfortable wearing for work, and or pleasure, that will last through these final changes. There’s lots of lovely nursing bras out there, so you’ll feel ‘normal’ at any stage. Our sister site bras4all stocks ‘normal bras’, so our bra fitters are able to help you through this time of transition.

Any questions? If you have a question about bra fitting, please email it to info@bras4mums.co.uk, or tweet us @bras4mums and we’ll be happy to find the answer. With over 10 years of bra fitting pregnant and breastfeeding women, we’ve seen most things at least once!