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How To Know What Size Maternity Bra To Buy

Are you expecting a little bundle of joy? Congrats! Let us help educate you on your new Maternity Bra size!

Belle-Lingerie23 March 2023


How To Know What Size Maternity Bra To Buy

Discovering you’re going to have a baby can be an exciting time - but after the initial thrill, you might find yourself with a long list of things to do in order to prepare for the newest member of your family. And while some things can wait until closer to your due date, others you’ll need to think about earlier in your pregnancy - maternity clothes included. 


If choosing a maternity bra seems like a complicated task, don’t worry. Below, we outline everything you should be aware of to help make your decision as simple as possible. 


How Much Does Bra Size Change In Pregnancy?


Growth is one of the most noticeable changes you’ll go through as your baby develops, but did you know it’s not just your bump that will expand? Expectant mothers will typically find that their breasts grow over the course of their pregnancy as well, in preparation for feeding a newborn. It’s also common for your chest size to get bigger as well - your ribcage dilates in order to make room for the growing baby. 

Most women can expect to go up one or two cup sizes during pregnancy as well as a few inches in the band size, but every woman is different.


Sometimes this growth is noticeable as early as the sixth week of pregnancy, whereas in other cases, it might not show up until the third trimester. If you’ve been pregnant more than once before, you might also find each pregnancy is different.


For this reason, it’s a good idea to let go of preconceived notions about when you should consider getting a maternity bra. The best time to get one is when you start to feel uncomfortable in your usual bra - this indicates that your regular size is no longer appropriate. When this time comes, you should measure your new size as you normally would - and don’t forget to opt for the size that allows the bra to fit well on the tightest hook. This gives you a little leeway for continued growth.


What Bra To Wear During Pregnancy


Once you’ve measured your new bra size, your next choice is about the type of bra you should get. You might be tempted to stick with your usual style, if you have one, but it’s worth considering the benefits of a specially designed maternity bra made for women going through pregnancy. 

Maternity Bras tend to give extra support that can help to reduce back pain as your breasts grow. They’re often also made out of breathable fabrics that keep your breasts cool to avoid irritation. Typically, these fabrics will also be stretchy and soft for maximum comfort - avoiding seam lines wherever possible as these can be irritating.


Things To Consider When Choosing A Maternity Bra

When it comes to choosing the right maternity bra for you, there are a few things you should consider in order to make the best decision. Paying attention to the following four considerations should help you to make the ideal choice.


As we’ve mentioned, you’ll usually need to go up a size or two when you buy a maternity bra, and the best way to be sure what size you need is to measure yourself. Bear in mind that your size will likely change throughout your pregnancy, so it’s a good idea to measure yourself regularly and buy a new maternity bra whenever you need to. You’ll thank yourself for it when you’re comfortable in a well-fitting bra. 


Size doesn’t tell the whole story when it comes to how well your bra fits, and you should be looking out for all the standard indications when you buy a maternity bra. The band should sit straight across your back, with enough give for you to pull it roughly an inch away from your body. As for the cups, you should make sure your breasts fit inside well, without spilling, bulging or gaping in any place. The straps should sit naturally on your shoulders without falling down or cutting into your skin. 


When you buy a maternity bra nearer to the start of your pregnancy, you’ll want to buy one that fits snugly on the tightest hook, giving you room to grow as your pregnancy progresses. However, if you’re shopping for a bra towards the end of your pregnancy, the opposite is true. After the birth, your band size will start to reduce again, so your new bra should fit well on the loosest setting, allowing you to tighten it as needed. 



Being comfortable in your new bra is key, and this is extra important when you’re pregnant. Choosing the right bra for you means thinking about all the little details that make a bra comfortable - such as opting for a padded or non-padded bra.


When it comes to the underwire, some women prefer to stick to wireless maternity bras such as the Panache Katherine Nursing Bra. During pregnancy, women’s breasts are often more sensitive than usual, meaning that underwires may cause irritation that can become a bigger problem as your pregnancy progresses. Opting for non-wired maternity bras could save you from discomfort in the coming months. 


However, if you need the extra support and don’t find underwires uncomfortable, there are plenty of underwired maternity bras available to fit you as well. For example, the Freya Pure Moulded Nursing Bra can support you throughout your pregnancy with maximum comfort. 



Finally, the last thing you should consider when choosing a maternity bra is its versatility. Particularly towards the end of your pregnancy, you may be starting to think about breastfeeding and how you’ll manage it. One thing you can do to make things easier for yourself is consider buying a nursing bra. This specialised type of bra has ‘drop cups’ which can be unhooked from the base of the straps. The cup then opens away from your breast, giving you and your baby easy access to the nipple.

Many maternity bras double up as nursing bras for ultimate versatility.

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