Maternity Bras

Baby Sees It® Cotton Wirefree Nursing Bra (423)

In the first trimester, most moms-to-be start thinking about maternity bras, as one of the effects of hormonal changes that come with pregnancy is larger breasts. In the first two to three weeks, the breasts may start to feel tender and heavier, but by the fourth week, most women have signs of growth. In the past, many women felt that maternity underwear was unattractive, but now they can have fun looking for these garments.

Some women will need to get a larger size by the end of the first trimester. For most women, by week 16 of their pregnancy the need for bigger bras begins as they start to outgrow their regular bras. The second fitting is normally around week 17 of pregnancy. Three bras are the minimum most women will need during their pregnancy, although some buy more depending on their lifestyle.

How to Choose Maternity Bras

Lace-Cup Wirefree Nursing Bra (407)

The first recommendation when buying maternity bras is to avoid those with underwire. Some experts advise against the underwire as it can press against the milk ducts causing blockage and even mild infection. Of course, quality underwire bras will not cause any physical discomfort, but some women would rather not take the chance.

Selecting the right size is important for many reasons, the main one being comfort. During pregnancy and breastfeeding, your cup size will increase and having enough support will ensure that you are comfortable throughout all three trimesters. Some manufacturers such as Bravado make bras that provide added support for heavier breasts without using underwire.

Tips for buying this undergarment include the following:

Lytess Post Maternity Lift-up Bra
  • Take the measurement around the fullest part of your breasts with a tape measure to get your cup size. To get the most comfortable fit, do this in the second trimester when the breasts typically get bigger. For the band which can also be uncomfortable if it is too tight, measure around your body going right under your arm above your ribcage. For uneven numbers, go up one size to make it an even number.
  • When fitting the bra make sure that the cup fully covers the breast. As you grow larger, the edges of the small cup of a bra will cut into your skin.
  • Buy those made from material like cotton, which is soft and allows the skin to breathe. Avoid those that have lines across the nipple area as they can rub against the nipples, which are already sensitive due to hormonal changes.
  • Select bras with a series of hooks so that you can easily adjust the band’s width as you grow.

Many large department stores also carry maternity wear, including underwear. When it comes time to find comfortable maternity bras, stores, such as Marks and Spencer, not only carry maternity underwear, they also have fitters. These professional fitters will help you find the right size bra that is comfortable and capable of providing the support you need.

Elle Macpherson Intimates Maternelle Maternity Bra

A Pea in a Pod also carries these special bras, with and without underwire in various styles. Debenhams is another store known for its quality bras in various styles and sizes. Some common bra brands to consider if you want comfort while pregnant include Loveable, Triumph and HotMilk. With the right measurement, it is possible to purchase them online, but make sure the retailer has a return policy just in case they do not fit well.

Maternity bras will still come in handy after the birth as the breasts will still be full for months afterwards, especially for women who breastfeed their babies. The material will provide some cushioning and support for tender breasts that result from feeding a baby. In fact, some women include maternity nursing bras in their maternity lingerie collection, which is a good way to save some money, and good nursing bras work well during pregnancy.

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