Pregnancy can be a joyous and memorable experience–unfortunately, it can also be an uncomfortable one. This is due to a growing belly, aches and pains, and a chest that’s rapidly changing sizes.
One of the earliest changes that women notice during pregnancy is the size of their breasts. Breasts may become increasingly tender and heavy due to a combination of factors, like:
- Changing levels of hormones like estrogen and progesterone
- The development and regulation of milk ducts
- Increased blood volume
The result of these changes is that your breasts may vary in size throughout your pregnancy, from the first trimester to postpartum. You’ll likely need one or more bras during and after your pregnancy.
Maternity and Nursing bras–What is the Difference?
A maternity bra is any bra that is used during pregnancy, whereas a nursing bra features clips and cups that allow access for breastfeeding.
Maternity and nursing bras are designed to provide support and comfort for expecting mothers, along with those who are breastfeeding. But when should you get fitted for one? If you notice any of the following signs, it might be time for a new bra:
Your Current Bra is Uncomfortable
Too many women know the feeling of a bra that doesn’t quite fit. If it’s too small, you’ll be eager to take it off at the end of your day.
Many nursing bra styles are designed to accommodate multiple cup sizes and offer additional hooks and eyes, making them a great option during pregnancy. They can also be used for nursing once the baby arrives. A regular bra that has more stretch in the cup and is fit to accommodate rib cage changes, which can also be a great maternity bra option.
If your regular bra isn’t cutting it anymore, consider upgrading—you deserve to be comfortable!
Your Body is Changing
Nursing and maternity bras are designed to accommodate changing shapes. More than just your bust size will increase; your ribs may also expand.
Many women notice that their cup sizes change in the 1st or 2nd trimester. Your cup size may increase early on in your pregnancy. After the baby is born and you begin breastfeeding, your body might continue to change. As your body regulates its milk supply, your cup size could increase again.
Some women are hesitant to purchase a maternity or nursing bra at the beginning of their pregnancy; they know that their breasts will continue to change over the coming months and after the baby is born. While this approach makes sense, it isn’t worth sacrificing your comfort for a poorly fitting bra.
You’ve Started Breastfeeding
We may see a lot of pictures in the media that make breastfeeding look easy and natural. But those who have breastfed know that it isn’t always comfortable. You are most likely dealing with heavy, tender breasts–not to mention leakage or blocked ducts. A well-fitting nursing bra can help alleviate these discomforts.
Many nursing bras do not have underwires. This allows for flexibility and comfort. Breast size can change significantly when milk first comes in and then often stabilizes once milk supply is established. During these changes, wireless nursing bras are recommended to reduce the risk of blocking milk ducts. Wireless nursing bras are a great choice for the hospital bag and should be fit in the few weeks leading up to your due date.
Wired nursing bras will provide more shaping and support than wireless options. To prevent blocking milk ducts, wired nursing bras are recommended a few weeks into nursing once milk supply is established and breast size is not changing.
Is it Time for a Nursing or Maternity Bra?
Many women have a difficult time finding bras that properly fit their chest and back. We’re all unique, especially as our bodies change with pregnancy. You deserve a bra that fits your body and makes you feel beautiful.
We offer complimentary bra fittings in Winnipeg. With our assistance, you can find a nursing bra that is comfortable, flexible, and gives you room to grow. We’re committed to helping new mothers find something that fits perfectly.