Recently I wrote a post about fitting yourself for a maternity bra (you can read it here, its very useful!) and as a result I have had a few people contact me asking for information about how to fit yourself for a nursing bra.
Well with nursing bras there are a few hard fast rules, but the basics of how you fit them is the same as a maternity bra, the major rule is only go for a bra fitting after 38 weeks (most brands will say 36 weeks, they are lying, ignore them, go after 38 weeks.)
Why do I have to wait until 38 weeks to get myself measured?
The reason you need to wait is simple really, the closer to your due date you are the more likely your milk is to have come in and started being produced, although this isn’t always the case (seldom the case in my experience, but it can happen). More importantly the closer you are to your due date the more likely baby is to have become engaged and therefore you get a more accurate bandwidth fitting – baring in mind that this is where your all important support comes from.
So to recap, here’s how you measure yourself for a bra, (if you read the previous maternity bra fitting post you can skip this bit):
Take the tape measure and place it under the bust (reading should be taken in inches, and it is best to keep your bra on when you do your measurement) measure around the under bust to get your bandwidth – bandwidth is what offers the support to your breasts and will help to take the pressure of your back, neck and shoulders so it is really important to get it right. Once you have your measurement in inches you add 5 to the number if it is an odd number (so measuring 31inches under bust would make you a 36″ bandwidth) or add 4 if it is an even number (so again 32 inches under bust will make you a 36″ bandwidth).
From there you will need to measure across the nipple line to give yourself the cup measurement. Now, the difference between your bandwidth and your nipple line measurement in inches determines your cup size. So for example: if you have measured, following the instructions above, as a 36inch bust and you measure yourself at 38 inches around the nipple line, you have a difference of 2 inches. So we go from 0 to 7 in standard fittings and the scale is as follows:
- 0 = A
- 1 = B
- 2 = C
- 3 = D
- 4 = DD
- 5 = E
- 6 = F
- 7 = GG
So with the above example, an inch difference of 2 would make you a C cup, so the bra size would be a 36C.
So I’ve got the measurement (which I’ve done at 38 weeks or later), what now?
So now you have your measurement, let’s say it s 36C, your maternity bra size will be 36D or DD, depending on how your milk production was during previous pregnancies or how much milk you are producing this time. I always recommend adding 1 cup size, no more, unless the current cup is very snug.
This is unfortunately the guess work part of fitting a nursing bra, anyone who tells you that your pre-birth nursing bra fitting will be 100% the nursing bra fitting you are 6 months down the line is telling you an epic porker. Its not true. The chances are that you won’t still be the same size, some women find that their milk production is excessive and they are very swollen others lose weight and find that their bandwidth decreases. The general rule is take your post 38 week measurement and add one cup size.
I have chosen to use Hot Milk images again, because, well they are so stylish!