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Choosing a Bra for During Pregnancy

14 January 2013

As soon as a woman becomes pregnant, her body begins to change. Pregnancy hormones begin circulating through the bloodstream, triggering glandular development. This can cause your breasts to grow and become tender as the milk glands expand in preparation for your new arrival.

Once you start to experience these changes, you may feel like your bras no longer fit or feel very uncomfortable. However, this doesn’t mean that you should just buy your regular bras in larger sizes. During pregnancy, your breasts have different needs. Wired bras can cause great discomfort and even damage the milk glands when worn during pregnancy. Belle Lingerie has a selection of maternity bras that are specifically designed to help you feel comfortable and accommodate the changes in your breasts that occur during pregnancy. Some also have drop cups to facilitate feeding once your baby is born.

How are Maternity Bras Different?

Maternity bras differ from regular women’s lingerie in a number of ways. Maternity bras are constructed of soft, comfortable cotton. Many women feel hot during pregnancy, and cotton will let the skin breathe and stay cool. Rather than having wires to support your breasts, maternity bras have a wide elastic band. They also have more hook and eye fastenings to accommodate your changing shape (Panache bras for maternity have 6 fastening positions). Maternity bras also offer more coverage than regular bras to provide increased comfort as breast become more sensitive. You may also choose to purchase a maternity bra that has drop cups to allow for feeding, like the Lorna Nursing Bra from Panache Lingerie.

How Should a Maternity Bra Fit?

When you first start wearing a maternity bra (at around the 3rd or 4th month of your pregnancy), you should wear it on the tightest hook and eye fastening. This will allow for the growth that will occur across your back and diaphragm. The lower cup should fit snugly for support, but there should be room in the upper cup to allow room for growth. As a guide, you should be able to slide your hand in the upper part of the cup.

You may need to change your maternity bra as your pregnancy progresses. You may need a larger size at around the 7th month of your pregnancy. However, if your bra begins to feel restrictive or uncomfortable in any way, you should be re-fitted.

How Long Should You Wear a Maternity Bra After Pregnancy?

For around 6 weeks after your pregnancy, your breasts, back, shoulders and neck will still need the support that a maternity bra offers. However, if you choose to breastfeed your baby, you should continue to wear your maternity bra until your baby has been weaned off breast milk.

After pregnancy and breast feeding, you may not be able to go back to your regular bras. Your breast may have changed shape or may not have the fullness that they did before. It’s recommended that you get re-fitted to ensure that you are wearing the right size bra.
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