When should you first begin looking for a specific maternity bra and what should you look out for?
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. Most women find they go up a back and cup size. For example, a woman wearing a 34B will go up to a 36C usually in the first six months of pregnancy.
Bravado secret: Bras made of a flexible fabric such as Bravado’s Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra, make perfect maternity bras as they provide great comfort, shape and support during pregnancy, as well as breastfeeding – moulding to your body as it grows!
What advice can you offer about fitting – both in store and for women whose only option is shopping online?
It’s important to get fitted throughout your pregnancy as you will need the right support. A well-fitting maternity bra can really make a difference to tender breasts. Get fitted by a professional fitter in a shop or look for the company’s fit guide online to make sure that you’re accurately sized and know your correct size in their garments.
For example, in pregnancy your band and cup size will increase, and then once your milk comes in your cup size may go up again. Once your bras are delivered, try them on and make sure the cups fit comfortably over your breasts without any spillage. The back should feel supportive, not too tight or too loose. The main support should come from the band, not the straps so make sure they aren’t digging in or too tight. Remember different brands of bras may fit you differently.
Want help getting started? Visit our online fitting room.
Bravado secret: Bravado bras are designed especially to accommodate fluctuations in size. The Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra moulds to your exact shape, so if you do go up a size or two your bra will still be comfortable and supportive.
Underwire or soft-cup?
Any ill-fitting bra can affect your success with breastfeeding – which is often the case when people fit themselves for an underwire bra that will take them through pregnancy and nursing – hence underwire getting a bad rap!
A proper underwire bra, once a breastfeeding routine has been established (about six weeks post birth), is perfectly fine for nursing. It really comes down to personal preference – whichever style you feel most comfortable in.
Bravado secret: Bravado’s Bliss Nursing 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 underwire bra and gives them added comfort in their first few weeks of breastfeeding.
Maternity bra versus Nursing bra?
A maternity bra will 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 enable skin to skin contact.
Bravado secret: Our stringent test wear program and consultations with Lactation Consultants and Midwives ensure that all Bravado Bras can be used from maternity through to the end of breastfeeding. Nursing bras can be worn as maternity bras, they are often very comfortable and mould with your body throughout the different stages of pregnancy and beyond!
Are there options for specific situations (occasion wear, sports, more luxurious fabrics?)
Definitely, a nursing and maternity bra come in a wide range of fabrics, colours and designs. For something stylish, lacy and feminine mums might like Bravado’s Sweet Pea bra, as it is super comfortable and great for wearing under a pretty dress or top. Lots of maternity and nursing bras also come in a sports bra style and can be worn whilst exercising too. For light exercise, try Bravado’s Body Silk Seamless Yoga Nursing Bra.
Bravado secret: Our Essential Nursing Tank and Original Nursing Bra have an Oeko-Tex award for their fabric content so you can be sure that regardless of the style, you’re in quality materials.
What would your three top tips be for someone buying maternity and/or nursing bras?
- Make sure you are fitted, there’s nothing worse than an ill-fitting maternity bra especially when your breasts are tender and swollen.
- Make sure your bra fabric content includes a breathable fabric like cotton. Whilst nursing your body temperature will be approximately 1 degree higher than normal, so you’ll want a 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.
- When choosing a nursing bra make sure the cup drops down so you can have skin to skin contact and easy-access to breasts whilst breastfeeding. This is very important when establishing a breastfeeding routine.
For larger cup sizes, what specific advice would you give?
A nursing and maternity bra generally go up to larger sizes than regular bras, so don’t automatically assume you won’t find a bra to fit you. It may take a bit of research online to find out which brands accommodate larger sizes. Most importantly don’t settle for something that is too small.
Bravado secret: Bravado’s online fitting room and 24/7 customer service team are available to help fit a wide range of sizes and personal needs, so be sure to reach out!
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