Everything You Need to Know: Nursing/Maternity Bras by Cake Maternity

January 19, 2018
You’ve heard it a million times by now, mama!  Your boobs are going to change a lot during pregnancy and your first few months as a new mom.  But remember, everyone is different!  Don’t let the horror stories of your mommy-message board scare you, your boobs will be magical & awesome before, during & after pregnancy.  You’ve got this!  Enjoy a little extra insight from our friends over at Cake Maternity.  They’re experts at all things lace, comfy & supportive.

It is during pregnancy and nursing that your breasts go through some dramatic change. It’s no secret that they can increase up to 3 cups sizes and will become much heavier.

Therefore, wearing the correct bra is vital for comfort and more importantly to maintain good breast health.

Your regular (non-maternity/nursing) bras will no longer cut it as they are designed without the key elements required in a maternity & nursing bra. The additional stretch & support is vital too, which a good maternity/nursing bra will definitely include.

What’s the difference between a maternity or nursing bra?  Let me explain:

Maternity bra features

  • Top cup stretch to allow for fullness in the bust
  • Lower cup is reinforced for strength and support
  • Available in both non-wire and flexible wire options depending on your preference
  • Strong supportive straps
  • Carefully positioned slings and stabilizers to project the bust correctly
  • 6 hooks and eyes for back band adjustment as needed
  • Cotton lining

Nursing bra features

  • Top cup stretch to allow for breast fluctuation
  • Lower cup is reinforced to support a heavy breast
  • Available in both non-wire and flexible wire options
  • Drop down cups for feeding
  • A frame sling for modesty or side sling
  • Supportive adjustable straps
  • 6 hooks and eyes for back band adjustment as the rib cage contracts back to normal
  • Cotton lining

Typically speaking a Nursing Bra can be worn as a maternity bra provided it is fits correctly, provided you don’t mind the nursing clips.

Can I wear my mainstream bra?

It is not advisable to wear your existing mainstream bras during pregnancy or whilst nursing. 

There are a number of reasons why:

  • Your bust will be substantially larger and your bras will no longer fit or feel comfortable
  • Your rib cage will have expanded and the back band will no longer fit comfortably
  • The elastics are unlikely to be strong or supportive enough to hold your heavier bust
  • No drop down cups for feeding
  • No cotton lining to enable your warmer body to breathe
  • The bras are likely to be itchy and irritable as they are not always designed for comfort
  • Most regular bras include a hard underwire

How do I pick the right bra for me?

There are many different styles of maternity and nursing bras: Seamless, contour, lace, t-shirt, molded, non-wire, flexible wire and fuller coverage.

These are available in different shapes too, some of which will be more suitable that others; plunge, balcony and fuller coverage.

When deciding which bra to buy, consider a few personal factors.  For example, the size of your breast, lifestyle, stage of pregnancy, need for versatility, personal style or preference for non-wired or wired fits should factor into your decision.

We advise you visit your local bra boutique to get fitted by a professional.  They will be able to discuss your personal needs and help you to find the right fit and, more importantly, the ideal bra for you.

How many maternity/nursing bras should I buy?

We recommend at least 3 bras for during your pregnancy and 3 when nursing.

This way you can wear one; have one in the wash and a spare in the draw.

It is advised to invest in good quality bras, as they are more likely to last.  Avoid the temptation to buy cheaper bras.  These tend to be made from inferior fabrics and trims. They will probably deteriorate a in much shorter timeframe and are likely will need to be replaced once they loose their elasticity and, consequently, all support.

When should I purchase my bras?

Maternity bra

Purchase your first maternity bra at approx. 6-8 weeks of pregnancy.  By this stage you will have noticed an increase in your bust size and your regular bras are unlikely to fit and will feel very uncomfortable.

PRO TIP:  Purchase a seamless bra at this stage.  The seamless bra will stretch with your changing body and will provide comfort and support without restriction.

At approximately 3 months of pregnancy you bust is likely to have stabilized and it is then recommended to wear more structured, cup sized bras.  Purchase non-wire or flexible wired maternity bras if you prefer.

Nursing bra

It is recommended to purchase for first nursing bras at approx. 9 months of pregnancy (a couple of weeks before birth).  Invest in a good structured cup sized bra that feel comfortable and is supportive.

PRO TIP:  Immediately post birth your breasts will become full and engorged as the milk comes in.  Once again, your seamless bras will be your best friend at this stage.  They will stretch and change with your body without restriction, providing you with that much needed comfort.

Only begin to wear your cupped size bras (purchased at 9 months of pregnancy) once your body has learnt to regulate its milk supply.  This is likely to be at approx. 6 weeks post birth. 

Good luck and happy shopping!

Everything You Need to Know: Nursing/Maternity Bras by Cake Maternity

Tracey Montford

Founder of Cake Maternity

Like many women out there, Tracey is an exceptional multi-tasker! Apart from steering a global business, managing 2 young boys & keeping the clan clean and fed, Tracey still finds time to provide creative inspiration and direction to the exceptional designs of Cake Maternity. From the branding, presentation and delivery, creativity is a big part of what Tracey does so naturally and effectively. Find out more at www.cakematernity.com or catch up with her on social @cakematernity

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