There are many many different styles and designs of maternity bras for you to choose from. Just as there are many different body shapes and sizes. Finding the best maternity bra is about finding what is right for you. This post is Part 1 of a 2 part post which shares answers to some of the questions I get asked most about choosing maternity bras. I hope it helps you find the best maternity bra for yourself.
Is there a difference between normal bras, maternity bras, and nursing bras?
The name Maternity bra and Nursing bra are used interchangeably and pretty much mean the same thing :). Maternity or nursing bras are specially designed to cater to the changes in a woman’s breast during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Maternity bras offer greater support to improve comfort for tender and growing breasts. The special features that maternity bras have which make them different to normal or non-maternity bras include:
- Wider straps to minimise straps digging into shoulders
- Greater use of soft fabrics such as cotton, especially in the bra lining, to avoid chafing, itching and improve breathability for those sweaty days! (Discretion By Gina Nursing bra has a beautiful soft lace – below)
- Minimal, concealed or careful placement of seams so that stitching does not irritate sore and tender breasts
- Extra hooks and eyes on the band to allow loosening when the ribcage and diaphragm expands during pregnancy and then tightening after bub is born and diaphragm reduces in size
- Flexi wire instead of rigid underwire (more on this in Part 2 of this post)
- Drop-down cups and one handed clips to allow the bra cup to fall away from the breast and allow easy access for breastfeeding and clipped back firmly in place after nursing
*Please note that there are some maternity bras that do not have drop-down cups or nursing clips. An example of these are Cantaloop Pregnancy Bras which are a great choice if you find that you are growing out of your normal bras very early on in your pregnancy. Always double check that the bra has drop-down cups if this is what you are wanting in your maternity bra.
Do I really need to wear a maternity bra?
Maternity bras are specifically designed to support the changes your breasts and ribcage will undergo during pregnancy. Wearing a maternity bra – or not- is entirely a personal choice. Most women agree however that wearing a supportive bra during pregnancy can help reduce the stretching of breast tissues that in turn can result in sagging. Women who have larger breasts are likely to find a maternity bra much more comfortable than a normal bra (look for something like HOTmilk Obsession Nursing Bra – below).
The drop-down cup and one handed nursing clips – that are the major defining feature of the best maternity bras – certainly make breastfeeding easier. The breastfeeding feature and convenience it allows is the major reason that most women choose to wear a maternity bra once bub is born 🙂
Will I need to buy a new bra during pregnancy?
The answer to this question is usually “Yes”. Along with the amazing growth and development of your bub, your breasts are also growing in readiness for your baby. It is likely that you will grow out of your normal bra and require a size or two larger. There are many great maternity brands and styles to choose from that are reasonably priced and offer great value as well as comfort. Maternity bras from Yummy Mummy Lingerie range from $35 upwards – check out our sale page for some great clearance items right now.
When should I buy a maternity bra?
From the moment your bub is conceived, your body will begin to undergo changes. Breast changes may start to occur within the first couple of weeks and/or anytime from there onwards. For some of you, your breasts will continue to grow and be tender through your whole pregnancy! For others the changes may not be felt until closer to your due date when your milk glands expand noticeably in preparation for breastfeeding.
Every one of you will experience these changes differently – and each new pregnancy may be different for you! So the time for you to buy a maternity bra will vary. Some of you may feel your bra becoming too tight and need to go up a size very early on in your pregnancy and many of you may not. As a rule, by approximately four months of pregnancy most of the changes in the breast have occurred and for many of you, this is a good time to invest in several good maternity bras. The next time that you should buy a maternity bra is 2-3 weeks before your due date. At this stage it is recommended to go up one (sometimes two) cup size from your current size or choose a bra that is really stretchy and comfy (eg Cake Cotton Candy below) and that will grow with you. This is because your cup size will increase by at least one size when your milk comes in, and you’ll also need a little room for your breast pads.
A good rule of thumb is that at any time during your pregnancy if your bra is feeling too tight, uncomfortable or is leaving indentation marks in your skin it is time to buy a new one 🙂
Is there a best maternity bra?
The best maternity bra is the one that ticks the big three – Comfort, Support and Appearance – for you. A bra that supports your breasts well, is comfortable to wear and you love the look of it is the best maternity bra for you. If any one of these factors are missing then you may find yourself wishing for the end of the day so you can take it off. Each brand of maternity lingerie has their own best selling style. Visit Yummy Mummy Lingerie to see examples of these styles such as HOTMILK Forever Yours, Cake Cotton Candy and Cadenshae Ultimate. Check out our list of YML best sellers in 2017 to give you some ideas.
Stay tuned for the second part of this post (coming soon……) which talks about sports bras and styles that will grow with you best during pregnancy.
Good luck with choosing the best maternity bra for you
Here at Yummy Mummy Lingerie have a great range of maternity bras to suit all shapes and sizes. Whether you are after comfort, style or a sports maternity bra, we have something suitable for you. We also sell quality complimentary maternity wear such as maternity sleepwear, maternity active wear and nursing singlets. Book an appointment or we ship Australia wide and overseas. Please contact us for assistance on firstname.lastname@example.org