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Maternity & Nursing Bras


What are Maternity Bras?

Comfort is key during pregnancy. A maternity bra will help support you when your breasts start changing size. Generally maternity bras are non-wired, this is due to your body shape changing so quickly, it prevents any potential damage to the breast tissue.

Even though we recommend wearing a soft cup bra during pregnancy, you can wear underwired bras as long as you keep checking the fit. You need to be able to spot the signs when a bra doesn't fit anymore. Do the wires rub? Do the underwires dig into your breast tissue?


When to start wearing maternity bras during pregnancy?

Your breasts will start to get fuller and more tender throughout your pregnancy. You may start to grow out of your normal bras between 12 - 16 weeks of pregnancy and some women decide to wear nursing bras at this stage to keep for after the pregnancy as well. Make sure when purchasing your maternity bras, that there is room in the cups and around the underband for you to grow.


What size maternity bra should I buy?

When fitting for a maternity bra, it is recommended to fit on the tightest hook at the start of your pregnancy. Throughout pregnancy your ribcage will expand, therefore increasing your back size too, this allows you to loosen the back when it gets too tight. 

Your cup size will also get bigger due to your milk ducts developing through pregnancy but this should stabilise around 7 months until after the birth. Most maternity bras are made from stretch fabric to give you more room in the cup to grow, this also protects the milk ducts when breastfeeding.

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What are Nursing Bras?

There are subtle differences between a nursing bra and a maternity bra. The most obvious being the drop down clips on a nursing bra which allows easy access when breastfeeding. Nursing bras are also designed to give you more support as your breasts will feel very sensitive and start to swell after the birth because of the milk. Many bra fitters will class a maternity bra as a soft cup bra with good stretch and comfort. 


When to buy a Nursing Bra?

We recommend getting a nursing bra in your 8th month of pregnancy, this is when you should be at your fullest. Start by fitting your nursing bra on the loosest hook, after pregnancy your band size will decrease allowing you to tighten them. You will also fluctuate with your cup size, especially when your milk comes in, so it's advisable to buy a bra with a little spare material in the cup. However, we do not advise wearing an underwired bra for any part of breastfeeding, pressure from the underwires can cause blocked milk ducts, which can be extremely painful.


How many Nursing Bras do I need?

It's good to start with at least two nursing bras at the beginning of breastfeeding. Your breasts will be sensitive at this stage, so two good fitting nursing bras will help you feel more comfortable and mean you and swap between the two. Some women like to buy a sleep bra as they feel more comfortable in bed, this is a personal choice depending on whether your breasts are tender, full and sensitive. 

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What To Consider When Getting A Maternity or Nursing Bra

  • Wide straps that adjust all the way will give you extra support and comfort. This will allow you to alter your bra when you get uncomfortable and relieve strain from your shoulders.
  • Soft, stretch cups will give you more room for your breasts to grow over time and avoid irritation anywhere.
  • A deeper underband and wide hook and eyes will provide you with better support.
  • A full cup bra with a deep centre will help with comfort when your breasts become more sensitive and slightly heavier. You might want to consider a sports bra as well.
  • Make sure the cups fit well with no bulging in the cup or under the arm. If the cups crease slightly, its no bad thing, as you will most likely grow into it anyway.


Anatomy of a Nursing Bra


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