Gone are the days of the ugly, style-less maternity bra. Today there are so many different styles, forms and designs to choose from that it can become a little overwhelming and confusing when it’s time to buy one. We’ve spoken to our experts and they’ve shared their top 10 tips to buying maternity bras to help you get the right fit.
Get fitted when you start to feel uncomfortable wearing your every-day bra.
There is no hard science to when is the right time to get fitted as every woman is different and develops differently over the course of pregnancy.
The breast starts to prepare for lactation quite early in most pregnancies. Around 16 weeks gestation is where most changes to the breast have occurred and is a great time to be fitted
Maternity bras aren’t for everyone
It’s up to you and your comfort to decide what kind of bra you wear. Some women find that any and all bras are too much to bear, where the straps are irritating and the confinement is restrictive.
But wearing a bra certainly helps to avoid stretching of delicate breast tissue which leads to sagging. It is also more discrete and gives a better silhouette to clothing.
An ill-fitting maternity bra can lead to neck, shoulder and back strain. For many women, it’s not until they wear a comfortable bra that they learn there’s an alternative to digging shoulder straps and uncomfortable chest strain. This is why it is so important to listen to the changing body throughout the entire pregnancy.
Maternity bras can be pretty
You probably have this image in your head of what a maternity bra should look like. Let us guess, its white, very rigid, and looks like something you’d find in the back corner of your closet.
The truth is, maternity bras have come a long way. You shouldn’t have to forfeit personal preference when you’re choosing a bra. Make sure your bra reflects your own personal style and you feel comfortable and happy wearing it, otherwise you’ll just feel unattractive.
Don’t forget about tube bras!
Tube bras and maternity singlets often come with built in support. These are especially appealing to women with smaller breasts or women that are not used to wearing a bra.
You’ll be sleeping in this, so pick something comfortable
Most women feel some breast discomfort while sleeping. This is due to hormonal changes and an increase in fluid in the chest area. Crop tops with built in support are a great option for sleeping as they are relatively seamless and can be a more comfortable option.
Pick something with closures that are easy for removal
Practice with opening and closing the tab closures which open the bra flaps for breastfeeding. Most are designed to be used with one hand but some are just better designed ergonomically than others. You will spend a lot of time opening and closing your bra flaps so it makes sense to invest in bras which make this process as easy as possible.
All bra sizes are the same
Maternity bras carry the same sizing as normal bras. They’re not special in any way. But saying that, your breasts are rapidly changing, meaning it’s probably safer to get fitted than buy the same size as you normally would
Buy as many bras as you feel comfortable in
It really is up to you how many bras you want to buy. If your breast size is changing rapidly and you are finding your breasts are not well supported and comfortable because your bras are becoming too small, then you have no option but to get larger sized bras.
Go as seamless as possible
Buy a bra with seam friendly cups designed to avoid the nipple area and therefore the risk of chafing. Seams and stitching across the nipple area or unlined bras can cause irritation to already tender and sensitive breasts.
You’ll be back
Be prepared for two (or three) trips. If you're buying your first maternity bra in your first or even second trimester, keep in mind that you may have to make an additional trip in the final weeks. Resist the temptation to buy your first bras with "room to grow." They won't fit properly at the onset. Better to just resign yourself to the idea that you may outgrow your first maternity bra.