How to buy a… Maternity Bra!
Everything you need to know about buying maternity and nursing bras!
The difference between a maternity and a nursing bra
Maternity bras provide extra support during pregnancy when your breasts are growing and may feel tender. Whereas a nursing bra supports during breastfeeding and has special clips and a drop cup design, making it easy to breastfeed and allowing skin to skin contact.
Bravado secret: Nursing bras can be worn as maternity bras, as they are often wire free and very comfortable!
When to buy your first maternity bra
Every woman is different, but most will notice that their pre-pregnancy bras are feeling snug when they are about 3 months pregnant. It’s a good idea to get fitted professionally as 80% of women find they are wearing the wrong size.
Bravado secret: Bras made of stretchy material such as Bravado’s Body Silk Seamless or Original Nursing Bra make perfect maternity bras as they provide great comfort shape and support during pregnancy as well as once you are breastfeeding.
When to buy your first nursing bra
36 weeks is a good time to fit for your first nursing bra, as your body will be starting to prepare for birth and breastfeeding. Keep in mind that your size will probably increase once your milk comes in fully.
Bravado secret: Bravado bras are designed especially to accommodate fluctuations in size. The Body Silk Seamless moulds to your exact shape, so if you do go up a size or two your bra will still be comfortable and supportive.
Experts do not advise wearing an underwired bra during the later stages of pregnancy or during the first 2 months of breastfeeding. Some mums find that underwires put pressure on the milk ducts, which can lead to mastitis. An ill-fitting underwired bra can affect your success with breastfeeding.
Bravado secret: Bravado’s Bliss bra has a Flexi-fit support channel especially designed to give lift and support to tender breasts. Mums find this creates a similar look to that of an underwired bra, but without the discomfort!
Whilst you are nursing your body temperature will be approximately 1 degree higher than normal, so you’ll want a cotton bra that allows your skin to breathe. Breathable fabrics like cotton, also prevent the build-up of moisture, and therefore reduce the risk of infection.
Bravado secret: The Original Nursing Bra is made of soft cotton jersey and won’t irritate your skin at all!
Comfort whilst you sleep
Some mums may find they need extra support during the night. Wearing a bra can help reduce back pain, sagging and stretch marks on your chest because it holds you in place all night.
Bravado secret: If you don’t fancy wearing a bra, but need a little support you might prefer to try a vest with built in support. The Essential Nursing Tank gives plenty of support, and keeps your tummy covered too.
Your questions answered!
How will my bra size change throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding?
Most women will experience 3 main changes in bra size.
- During pregnancy expect to increase 1 or 2 cup sizes, and 1 or 2 band sizes.
- During the first 2 months of nursing expect to increase 1 or 2 cup sizes from your pregnancy size.
- After this, your band size will return to your pre-pregnancy size and your cup size should be 1 size larger than it originally was.
Bravado Tip: Breast size is not an indication of how much milk you will produce!
What can I do about leaking?
Leaks can be uncomfortable and embarrassing, but need not be a problem. Breast pads are a great way to keep leaks under control. Simply slip them in your bra, and change as needed. Bravado’s breastpads are washable, super soft and ultra-absorbent.
Bravado Tip: The Body Silk Seamless has removable foam pads that hide breastpads brilliantly, so you can keep leaks under wraps!
When can I wear an underwire again?
Once you have established a good breastfeeding pattern, this usually takes 6-8 weeks. If you do want to wear an underwire again Bravado advises an underwired nursing bra rather than a regular one.
Bravado Tip: The Allure nursing bra is especially designed for mums who want to go back to an underwire. It is made especially with a wide round wire that is shorter than the under-bust channel to minimize pressure and constriction for your comfort.
Written by the experts at Bravado! Designs – huge thanks for their help and advice!