A common (and very valid) question I get asked a lot is about bras for pregnancy and postpartum. So I reached out to Andrea Munk at Cedar Lily Bra Boutique to get some clear answers. Here’s what she had to say:
Do I need a new bra for pregnancy?
Every woman's body is affected differently by pregnancy. You might find that your breasts start getting bigger very soon after finding out you are pregnant. You might not notice much of a change until later on in your pregnancy or after your baby is born. During the later stages of pregnancy, your rib-cage will begin to expand as well. Both of these are reasons why you might need to get a new bra during pregnancy. Also, if you typically wear underwire, you will likely want to switch to a wire free bra, as for most people, underwire begins to feel uncomfortable.
What size should I get?
If you are getting a new bra during pregnancy, it is a good idea to get a bra that is one size too big in the band as well as in the cup, just to leave room for growth. You can start out by wearing the bra on the tightest setting and then gradually going to the larger settings as you grow.
Can I use a bra that I already own?
You can certainly wear a bra that you own for as long as you are comfortable. If your cup size isn't changing, you can add a bra extender to your bra to make it last longer.
Do you have any brand recommendations for nursing bras?
I have heard that Bravado bras are very comfortable, especially for right after baby is born, for around the house, and for sleep. They are very soft and stretchy and come in a wide range of sizes.
Mayana Geneviere is a local Toronto company, that makes gorgeous, yet practical and comfortable bras for pregnant and postpartum bodies.
If you are looking for something with more structure and support, I recommend having a regular bra converted into a nursing bra with The Babe Magnet Nursing Bra Conversion Kit. The magnet clasps make them very easy to open and close with one hand. You can find a Babe Magnet sewist near you, by clicking here.
If you are nursing your baby, it’s often recommended by lactation professionals, to wait until 4-6 weeks postpartum before wearing underwire. And if you choose to wear underwire, make sure that it goes completely around your breast tissue, being careful not to block your milk ducts.
Do you have any other helpful information?
It is very hard to know when is the right time to buy a nursing bra. I recommend that women buy 2-3 comfortable, wire free nursing bras that they can wear when baby is born. These can be bought 2 weeks before the due date and sized up a couple of sizes in the cup to accommodate for growth. At about 6 weeks postpartum, you can get a more structured nursing bra in which you feel supported and which makes you look and feel good in your clothes. Your size will continue to change as your baby grows, so I recommend only getting 1 or 2 bras at a time so you don't waste your money on bras that will only fit you for a short time.
Happy Baby Growing and Bra Shopping!