So lets talk maternity bras… something that every pregnant woman has to contend with that can be a big worry for some, especially if you don’t know the ins and outs, or are a bit shy about getting fitted yourself.
Maternity Bras: Why can’t I just use my normal bra?
Well, if you think about it logically you don’t usually wear your normal clothes during pregnancy, you wear maternity clothes, so you don’t wear your normal bras either. You need additional support, and a band that will accommodate your expanding diaphragm and changing body.
Also another really important thing to remember is that underwired bras are bad for you when you are pregnant or feeding, especially if you intend to breastfeed as the wire can damage the soft breast tissue of your milk ducts, hence the reason you need a soft non wire bra. Not only are they bad for milk production, but they are also really uncomfortable!
When do I get measured?
Truth is, you will need to be measured several times within your pregnancy, once during each trimester (first at around 12 weeks), and then at 38+ weeks for your nursing bra. The reason for this is that your body will change and need different supports at different times – I’m not suggesting you will definitely need a new bra each measurement but you just might, so be prepared to spend a fair amount on lingerie at this stage in your life!
How do the measurements work?
Well, during my bra fitting training, this is how I was taught to measure a bust:
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 32inches 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.
Now, this is a fitting guide, but as with all clothing, bras need to be tried on as every 36C or whatever will be different to the last, because, well like everything in pregnancy, it can’t just be easy!
One of my favourite maternity bra brands is Bravado, unlike a lot of brands some of their bras will grow with you to a certain degree which means you may well get away with one bra from your first trimester to your third. I am currently STILL wearing their nursing bras and I love them, intact I may never go back to those pre-baby Victoria’s Secret bras because they seem to land me back in the maternity bras every time 😉
Did you have any positive experiences with maternity lingerie? Are you shy of being fitted?