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Nursing Bra Styles and Fit Guide



  • BEST NURSING & MATERNITY BRAS

    During pregnancy, hormonal changes help prep moms to provide newborns with the sustenance they need to grow. In fact, at around four weeks along, sore, swollen, unusually sensitive breasts are commonly one of the earliest signs of pregnancy.


    Some women can experience an increase of up to three cup sizes during pregnancy. Eventually, your usual bras will become too small and restrictive to serve their purpose. That’s when you’ll need to pick up a few comfortable, supportive maternity bras for daily wear.


    This guide will walk you through the many types and features of maternity and nursing bras and how they differ from regular bras, as well as:



    Now let’s find you a fab nursing bra!


  • WHAT IS A MATERNITY BRA AND HOW IS IT DIFFERENT THAN A REGULAR BRA?

    A nursing bra is specially designed to deliver extra support and comfort with features that make it easy and convenient for you to nurse. Typically, it has a clasp at the top of the cup that can be released to expose the breast during feedings, and wider, adjustable comfort straps.


    Most nursing bras are made from soft, stretchy materials, and they usually don’t have seams near the nipple to prevent chafing. Some are underwire, some are wire-free—it’s a personal preference. Cups accommodate fluctuations in breast size, and the back band may have extra hook-and-eyes that allow you to let out the bra as your rib cage expands.


  • WHEN TO BUY NURSING BRAS

    You should get fitted for and take home your nursing bra around the eight-month mark. That's the recommended time because this is the size your breasts will most likely return to at around six weeks after birth, once your body regulates its milk supply.


    Tip: During the first three to four weeks after giving birth, it’s extra important to wear a stretchy, comfortable, supportive bra because breast size fluctuates a lot. After the fourth week, your body will start to become accustomed to your baby’s eating patterns. We suggest having at least three nursing bras, so you can be wearing one while one is in the wash and the other is on the drying rack.


    Still not sure what size to get? Call a Bra Fit Expert for a complimentary, personalized over-the-phone bra fitting at 877-728-9272 (select option 4).


  • HOW TO PICK A NURSING BRA

    When selecting your nursing bra, consider your lifestyle. What type of clothes do you typically wear? Are you active? Are you going back to work or staying at home? Answering these questions will help you determine what style of maternity bra will work best for you.


    As with any bra, there are different styles of nursing bras available to choose from, including:


    • Seamless
    • Contour
    • Plunge
    • Sports
    • Sleep
    • Fuller Bust
    • Soft Cup
    • Molded Cups and more

    You know better than anyone how important it is to listen to your body, and this also applies to shopping for nursing bras. Your maternity bra should never feel uncomfortable or restrictive. The straps shouldn’t dig in or feel too loose or too tight.


  • HOW TO USE A NURSING BRA

    A traditional nursing bra fits a lot like a regular bra and may or may not have a clasp in the back. Unlike a regular bra, though, it also has clasps at the top of the cups. When you're ready to nurse your baby, you simply unhook that clasp on the side you want to nurse and fold the cup down. When you're done nursing, lift up the cup and re-fasten the clasp.



  • MATERNITY BRA FAQs

    Here are answers to the most common questions we get about maternity bras:


    • WHAT’S THE BEST MATERNITY BRA FOR SLEEPING?

      For as close to a good night’s sleep as you’re likely to get, we recommend a soft and seamless nursing bra, like the Playtex Seamless Nursing Wire-Free Bra, the Confetti Seamless Nursing Bra from Bravado Designs or the Anita Wire-Free Nursing Bra.


    • HOW DO I KNOW IF MY MATERNITY BRA FITS RIGHT?

      A maternity bra that fits properly will:


      • Support breasts without digging in
      • Keep breasts contained to avoid spilling out of the top of the cup
      • Have comfortable, adjustable straps that don’t slip off shoulders
      • Have an adjustable back band across that doesn’t ride up
      • Be stretchy enough to allow for size fluctuations

      Properly sizing your nursing bra is key because any pressure on the breasts can up the risk of mastitis or blocked ducts.


    • WHY IS COTTON BEST FOR NURSING BRAS?

      Synthetic materials can cause skin irritation and sweating, whereas cotton, cotton linings and cotton blends are breathable and soft, allow moisture to be released and help keep you cooler and more comfortable. Some women can develop sensitivities to synthetic fibers in pregnancy, so choosing some cotton content is the safest bet.


    • WHAT ARE BREAST PADS AND WILL I NEED THEM? ?

      A breast pad is a round piece of absorbent material placed inside the bra cups over the nipples to absorb any leaked breastmilk. It’s not uncommon to leak, and it can happen for a variety of reasons, especially in the early weeks of breastfeeding.


      Whether or not you will need them will depend on your breasts. If you do need them, choose washable or disposable breast pads, and replace them when they get damp to help reduce the risk of nipple soreness.


  • SO WHAT’S THE BEST MATERNITY BRA?

    When you’re breastfeeding, you want a nursing bra that’s comfortable, supportive and easy to maneuver. We’ve sourced the top maternity bra brands for women of all shapes and sizes, and they’re all as stylish as you are.


    Shop our full selection of nursing and maternity bras now.


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