Back in December 2019, my husband, Nick, and I found out the most exciting news, that we were expecting our first baby! This was (and still is) a dream come true for us as we have always wanted to become parents. 2020 was going to be a good year for us, I was turning 30, we were moving into a new house and we had to get ready for the new arrival! That is, until we heard the news about COVID-19 back in March.
It's not easy enjoying a first time pregnancy when there is a global pandemic going on. As well as my body changing dramatically, I haven't been able to experience the fun side of pregnancy, with shopping trips for baby clothes and showing off my baby bump to friends and family. Midwife appointments and scans are limited to only myself and antenatal classes are either cancelled or scheduled to take place online. That social interaction, I think, is extremely important with a first child, because you're unsure about everything, from pregnancy tips and birth plans to breastfeeding and bottle feeding.
I may be going on a bit, but being first time parents is a huge milestone for any couple and it's the little things like this that makes pregnancy enjoyable.
My bra experience through pregnancy
I want to share my experience with bras throughout pregnancy. I'm currently 24 weeks and I've already been through the wars when it comes to getting the right size that is comfortable and doesn't look like I have a mono-boob! We all have unique experiences when it comes to our breasts and pregnancy. It's usual for our breasts to get bigger and our nipples to get darker, but you never know how big or how dark until you experience it for yourself.
From 16 weeks, my breasts starting changing shape and size and my bras started getting rather uncomfortable throughout the day. I knew it was start to re-evaluate my bras and see which ones felt comfortable and which ones didn't. I made a pile of ones I could still wear and ones I would store away till after the pregnancy (hopefully they will still fit!). This didn't leave me with many bras at all, 2 bras to be exact. This was a travesty for me, because as you can imagine, my lingerie drawer is filled with lovely colours and shapes that I just couldn't wear anymore! At this time, I was still able to wear underwired bras, but needed to remeasure myself to check what bra size I was. I changed bra size from a 30F to a 32F, so my back size and cup size had both increased since the start of the pregnancy. No wonder why I was feeling uncomfortable!
I ended up getting two new bras, one light bra and one dark bra, to wear until the baby bump started getting bigger. This is when I would need to start wearing soft cup bras as my ribcage would start to expand a lot. I have learnt that wearing and fitting for bras whilst pregnant is not easy and it's all down to how comfortable you feel at the time. Many women prefer to wear soft cup bras straight away and some women want to wear underwired bras right up until near the birth. One thing I always recommend when wearing underwired bras when pregnant, is always check that the underwires are not digging into your breasts under your armpit or at the centre front. This can have serious effects on your milk ducts when you breastfeed and can cause extreme discomfort. You can read more Maternity Bras FAQs here >
Now I'm 24 weeks pregnant, and have completely turned to soft cup bras and bralettes because they are just far more comfortable for me and I don't get any horrible rubbing on my rib cage especially in the heat! My go-to bra right now is the Cosabella Never Say Never Sweetie Bralette because it's supportive and extremely pretty. It's designed for fuller cups and smaller rib cages and for my bra size, 32F, it's perfect in a size Small.
At around 33 - 34 weeks, I will start to look at getting a few nursing bras for breastfeeding. This is when my breasts will be at their fullest and I can adjust the nursing bras to the right size after the baby's birth. I have my eye on one particular nursing bra, the Royce Blossom Nursing Bra, that adjusts between three cup sizes, so it's perfect for when the breasts fluctuate with breastfeeding. You can read more about nursing bras here >
If you're finding any of your bras uncomfortable and not supportive, it's definitely worth checking your bra size using either online bra fitting guides or a bra size calculator. A lot of lingerie websites also have an online chat function where fitting experts are there to talk to you and offer advice on bras and bra fitting. This is a great way to discuss your concerns and any questions you may have about maternity and nursing bras. This is available over at Knicker Locker as well, so please ask them anything!
Your breasts will continue to change shape and size right up until you stop breastfeeding, and even then you may not fit back into your old bras, just like your clothes as well. This is just one of the major changes your body makes when having a baby, but, of course, we would never want to change it, because having a baby is such a wonderful and beautiful thing to any mum and mum-to-be.
Keeping active in home isolation
Pregnant women are now classed as more vulnerable with COVID-19, therefore where we go and what we do is limited. Trying to keep active and motivated whilst at home has been difficult for me as well. Although I'm still working in the week and posting out orders, it's sometimes hard to distinguish one day from another. You end falling into the same routine everyday because it works for you. Below is a list of activities that are keeping me busy through home isolation and might help you as well.
Don't forget, that if you are doing daily exercise, to keep your breasts comfortable and supported as best you can, with a good fitting sports bra. With your breasts getting bigger, you don't want them to move around or ache when you are exercising. It isn't nice for you or your breasts! If you're unsure where to start with a sports bra, read this sports bra guide >
Keeping yourself active and motivated:
- Make sure you go for a long walk everyday to keep your legs strong and your body moving. Try a new walk every other day for a bit of fun. It's great for the mind and soul!
- Schedule in some pregnancy yoga. There are plenty of YouTube videos and Apps that you can download and try out, even if it's only for 20 minutes.
- Have a plan in place for the next day, so you don't get bored easily. Make sure you complete at least one new thing everyday.
- Look at doing a a couple of free online training courses related to your job. I'm currently working through online courses with Google Digital Garage.
- Read pregnancy books and fiction books to keep your mind occupied, instead of watching the T.V. Pop a chair out in the sun and get reading.
- Remember to do your pelvic floor exercises. (I'm always forgetting!)
- Start a new hobby you've been meaning to do for a while. Maybe learn a new language online, or try out some new baking skills.
In these unexpected times, it's difficult to know whether our lives will ever go back to normal, but all we can do is adapt and move forward with every challenge that comes our way. My thoughts go out to every women experiencing pregnancy through COVID-19, just like me. It won't be easy over the next couple of months, but we just need to keep our heads high and go through every day with a positive mind.
Enjoy the little things in life and remember to get ready for that perfect little miracle that will be making an appearance soon. We certainly are!