Did you know that your breasts, rib cage and bra size will change about 5 times throughout your pregnancy and breastfeeding journey? So if you find it hard to find a nursing bra to fit you perfectly throughout your monthly cycle, just imagine trying to find one when you are pregnant and breastfeeding.
There are some magicians out there, working with new yarns and techniques to invent and design the most supportive and comfortable bras that are also able to handle your size and milk fluctuations throughout your pregnancy and breastfeeding journey.
There are many different times when you should be measured for a maternity bra and a nursing bra, but these all depend on when you (individually) will change and increase. Everyone is different and every pregnancy is different, so your best bet is finding a bra that will fit and support you throughout your fluctuations.
What’s The Difference Between A Maternity Bra And A Nursing Bra?
Basically, the difference is the ability to nurse from it. A good maternity or pregnancy bra is usually one without wires and one that has support whilst being able to stretch and grow with you.
Nowadays, maternity bras can also have flexi-wires in them. A nursing bra has the structure of a maternity bra with the added ability to nurse from it.
What Kind Of Bra Should I Wear Whilst Pregnant?
Look for something that has the below qualities:
- Is soft, yet secure.
- Supportive without being restrictive. You want to ensure it has enough support to prevent ligament damage, without causing any compression.
- Comfortable and not going to cause any irritation.
- Breathable (Did you know your body generates more heat while pregnant?).
- Has the ability to stretch and grow with you. You’ll need a bra that accommodates rib cage expansion (look for 6 hook and eyes) as well as breast fluctuation (look for flexible wires and upper cup stretch).
Why Do I Need A Bra That Will Grow With My Breasts?
Compression of the breasts can result in blocked ducts which can eventually lead to mastitis. Blocked ducts can mean painful breastfeeding and engorgement, and if the flow of breastfeeding is interrupted for too long, can mean the end of your breastfeeding journey.
Your breasts will be changing size throughout your pregnancy with some fluctuations along the way. When you are breastfeeding, your breasts can change 10 times a day, up to two cup sizes each time.
When Should I Start Buying Maternity Bras?
You should buy maternity bras as soon as you become pregnant, as the most changes occur in the breast in the first 3 months. After this date time the main increase in size is in your diaphragm.
Your ribcage will unlock ,as does your pelvis, and your baby’s body when it grows, will displace the organs, and squish them. Therefore, you can find yourself out of breath and needing to pee every 3 minutes.
How Does A Pregnancy Bra Fit Throughout Both Pregnancy And Breastfeeding?
This is a tricky one. Some bras may fit throughout your pregnancy if they are a specific multi-cup fitting bra and have the adjustment for your ribcage. If you are buying a maternity bra that is cup sized and fitted to you, then this will be perfect for you for the 2nd and 3rd trimester.
Is It Possible To Outgrow The Pregnancy Bra That’s Supposed To Grow With Me?
Yes, unfortunately. A maternity or nursing bra will accommodate a certain amount of growth and sizes. We try our best to ensure that these are carefully considered but there can be other factors that can contribute to these differences being much greater than we foresee, such as twins, weight gain/weight loss, carrying high, engorgement and other factors such as buying your bra too small, or too big.
What Are The Benefits Of Wearing A Nursing Bra That Grows With Me?
You are most likely to be supported and comfortable when you will be wearing nursing bras. When you’re pregnant and breastfeeding, there are many factors that mean you will not be comfortable — from blood pressure, swollen feet, itchy skin, sleepless nights, heartburn and so forth – so you the more things that serve this purpose, the better.
Support is the big one though, as that is the greatest benefit of all. When you are not supported through fluctuations, these are the times when ligaments can be stretched because they are not used to the sudden added weight, and when stretched, can lead to sagging.
I’m Not Going To Breastfeed; Do I Still Need To Buy A Pregnancy Bra?
Whether you breastfeed or not, the size, shape and anatomy of your breasts will change throughout pregnancy. Even if you do not breastfeed after your baby is born, your milk will still come in after you have your baby.
There’s no stopping this natural process unless you have a predetermined medical condition and even then, your breasts will still change shape, size and will be growing ducts to fill up with milk. So, the answer is yes, of course.
How Should My Pregnancy Nursing Bra Fit Me Initially?
The band is the first place your bra should be fitting. You should be wearing your bra on the 1st or 2nd hook and eye in the first trimester – the closest fitting. It should be fitting you around the body snuggly, like a firm hug not a tight squeeze.
These were designed so you could expand an eye fitting for each month, and they should last you to the end of your pregnancy – then when you’ve had your baby and your ribcage contracts slowly, you can start to come back in overtime and your bra will last you longer for your breastfeeding journey too.
The cups are the second most important – these should be supporting your lower bust with no wrinkles and have enough room in the upper cup that they are sitting flat against your bust, but you can also slide 2 fingers comfortably across the top cup edge.
The wires or the cup’s channel should not be anywhere near your actual breast tissue, this should be sitting on the chest wall at the underarm and the centre front. If there is, go up a size. If your wires are sitting away from your body at the front, it means there’s not enough capacity in the cup, so go up a size.
What Is The Best Cake Maternity Pregnancy Bra That Is Designed To Grow With Your Breasts?
All our bras are designed to grow with you. Any bra that is seamless in our range is designed to stretch throughout your entire pregnancy and breastfeeding journey.
We specialise in seamless and multi-cup fitting bras. The ones that are specifically cup sized are more directed to the 2nd and 3rd trimester and after your dramatic fluctuations, or the first 6 weeks of milk making craziness has settled down and is more regulated.
Whatever your style, size, or activity – we are sure to have something to suit you and grow with you, so you are supported, comfortable and not having to worry about your bras because mama, we heard you’ve got enough on your plate.
Katie is the proud mum of two beautiful girls and has been responsible for all the designs, style and fit at Cake Maternity for over a decade now.
Katie is a nursing bra specialist and a fit, pattern and grading technician. She is passionate about breastfeeding and the many benefits it offers to both mum, bub and the environment. She is determined to make the breastfeeding journey a comfortable, supportive and beautiful one for all mums, understanding that it doesn’t always come easy to everyone. That’s why she has made it her mission to empower women as they mindfully navigate the world of motherhood and help make breastfeeding easier, through experience-driven innovation.