You’ve got to be comfortable when you are pregnant, and one of the keys to comfort is a great fitting bra! This doesn’t, however, mean simply moving into a larger sized standard bra in a style that you have worn pre-pregnancy. Maternity bras are specifically designed to accommodate changes in your breasts providing breast and diaphragm support during pregnancy. And when baby is born and ready for feeding, maternity bras have specially designed drop feeding cups. Thanks to Bub Hub, we found an online guide to maternity bra fitting. Please read this BEFORE you go out shopping.
It is very important that you are fitted for a maternity bra as soon as there is a noticeable increase in the size of your bust. As a general rule this occurs around the third to fourth month of pregnancy.
How does a maternity bra differ from a standard bra?
Although there are many different styles of maternity bras available, the diagram on the right shows you the key design features that differentiate a maternity bra from a standard bra.
How do I know if I have the correct fitting?
In the early months of your pregnancy your bra should be fitted on the tightest hook and eye fastenings to allow for growth across the back and diaphragm. The cup should also allow room for extra growth of the bust. As a guide, you should be able to slide your hand into the upper section of the cup to assess if there is enough room for expansion. However the lower cup should fit well for support.
How often should I have my maternity bra fitting checked?
Depending on bust development, you should have another fitting at approximately 7 months. However if you feel the bra is restrictive in any way you should have your fitting checked immediately.
Can I wear an underwire bra during pregnancy?
It is recommended that during pregnancy you do not wear an underwire bra. A soft cup is less restrictive through the underbust and will allow for growth. They provide as much support as an underwire bra.
Should I wear my maternity bra while sleeping?
Yes you should if you are feeling uncomfortable. Wear a maternity bra that stretches with your movements. It is especially handy for those night time feeds.
How many bras will I need?
During pregnancy, you should at the least have two maternity bras. During breastfeeding stages you may want to purchase a third or fourth bra, particularly because of the moisture associated with breastfeeding.
How should I wash/care for my maternity bras and underwear?
Hand wash in warm water. Do not use bleach or fabric softener. Hang your maternity bra in the shade to dry. Avoid using a clothes dryer, as the heat intensity will crack or break the elastic fibres in these garments.
How long should I wear my maternity bra for following delivery?
For approximately six weeks following the birth of your baby, you will still need the support for your breasts, shoulders, neck and back of a maternity bra, even if you do not carry on breastfeeding during this six week period. If you are breastfeeding, you should continue to wear a maternity bra until you have weaned your baby off the breast.
Should I have another bra fitting after my pregnancy?
Although the glands will return to their pre-pregnant state, the breasts themselves may not have the fullness they had before. This is because the fat which was displaced by the expansion of the mammary tissue is never replaced in quite the same way. Following your pregnancy and breastfeeding we recommend that you have another fitting to ensure you are in the right size bra.
All images and diagram supplied courtesy of Triumph International.