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Bravado! Designs Nursing Bras & Accessories

Maternity Bra sizing help: From Bravado

Congratulations, you’re pregnant!

Back in the day when “leaky” described that pesky faucet and “let-down” conveyed feelings when the lunch special was sold out, buying a bra was a fairly routine procedure. Then, you found out you were pregnant – how fabulous! Of course, the growing, glowing belly you definitely expected. But starting to bust out of the bra size you’ve been for as long as you could remember was probably not what you anticipated, right?!

Your bra size will change.

At some point in your pregnancy (often but not always around the second month), breasts will start becoming larger as they prepare to nurse the new arrival. Some women experience this as a feeling of fullness rather than actual increase in size, and others are very aware of needing a larger cup size. Some women will continue to increase in cup size over the course of their pregnancy, and others find they have an increase during their first trimester, and not again until close to the end of their pregnancy. As your belly increases in size, your rib cage (band) measurement will also likely increase. Women who are petite or carrying high will often experience more increase in rib band than women who are taller or carrying low. Overall, in our experience, most women increase one, two or three cup sizes and one or two rib band sizes over the course of their pregnancy.

After giving birth it changes again.

After giving birth, when your milk “comes in”, your breasts will swell significantly, feel extremely achy and heavy – and you’ll likely experience another increase of one or two more cup sizes from your third trimester. And, expect your cup size to vary before and after each time you nurse your little one. Typically after 6-12 weeks of nursing, these breast fluctuations settle down. Once you establish your breastfeeding routine, most moms begin to decrease a few cup sizes once more. And around this point, your rib band size may begin to go back to your pre-pregnancy size. This is the size you will likely stay until you finish breastfeeding and you’ll now find you’ve grown one cup size.

Examples to illustrate how your bra size will likely change:

Stage
Pre-pregnancy
During pregnancy
A few days after birth
A few months after birth
Size
34 B
36 or 38, C or D
36 or 38, D or E(DD
34 C
Size
36 C
38 or 40, D or E(DD)
38 or 40, E(DD) or F(DDD)
36 D
Size
36 D
38 or 40, E(DD) or F(DDD)
38 or 40, F(DDD) or G
36 E(DD)
Size
38 C
40 or 42, D or E(DD)
40 or 42, E(DD) or F(DDD)
38 D
What To Look For In A Bra While You’re Pregnant
The most important thing is that the bra fits you NOW. The type and style of bra will then determine how much flexibility you’ll have to grow with it. For example, look for maternity and nursing bras which feature: 4+ columns of hooks and eyes (to expand the rib band), an elastic band around the rib cage, and cotton/spandex fiber content blend in the cups (to allow for comfortable and supported expansion in the cups). Consideration of these features, in advance of your purchase, will ensure lasting versatility throughout your entire pregnancy. Be sure to prioritize proper fit, as well as the flexibility and functionality of the bra you ultimately choose. While we recommend buying a maternity bra - high quality traditional soft-cup, underwire and even sport bras may also work well for you during pregnancy. Many pregnant moms decide to go with a nursing bra rather than a traditional bra, so she can also use it to nurse when she has her baby. Bravado! Nursing bras are specifically designed to accommodate continual breast fluctuation best.

The best time to buy a nursing bra is during the last few weeks of your pregnancy. A general rule of thumb is to keep your current band measurement and increase the cup 1-2 sizes. You should be able to wear this size for the first 2-3 months post-delivery, after which, both rib band and cup size will begin to decrease.

Size Fluctuations (during breastfeeding) and On-going Good Breast Health

In light of all of these breast size changes, a bra that accommodates some fluctuation is critically important, particularly during the first 2 months of breastfeeding. Choosing the correct fitting Bravado! nursing bra is critical for comfort and, more importantly, will greatly lessen your likelihood of developing a painful infection called mastitis! Wearing an ill-fitting bra could result in infection if it is compressing a milk gland.

How Many Bras Should A Pregnant or Nursing Mom Own?

A good rule of thumb is that you should have three bras that fit you at any particular point in time – the one that you’re wearing, a clean one to change into, and one in the wash.

Bra Fitting
Not sure what size you wear? Visit our bra fitting guide for instructions on how to measure yourself.
Bravado! Styles by Department
Bravado! Bras by Size


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