In the course of pregnancy and during breast-feeding, a woman’s bra size may change two or three times. The typical pregnant woman will gain an extra two inches under the bust and two inches across the bust, while her breasts can become a pound and a half heavier, putting a strain on the supporting, nonelastic tissues. If you don’t lift some of the weight from these ligaments, they will stretch and your breasts will sag permanently.
By the fourth or fifth month of pregnancy, most women find their usual bras too uncomfortable. This is the time to switch to maternity bras. When choosing maternity bras, keep these points in mind:
Measure for Correct Size
For exact size, measurements should be taken right under your breasts and around the fullest part of cup size. Before buying the bra, check its overall fit on you. If it’s riding up at the back, it’s probably too small. You can consult sales clerks at maternity and lingerie shops if you cannot decide on what to get. These people are trained as bra fitters.
Another important point to consider when buying maternity bras is the comfort it should provide, especially to a woman who is undergoing changes in the body. Always try on a bra before buying. Buy the most comfortable bra you can find; something you’d willingly wear day and night for several months. A bra with high cotton content, for example, will keep you cool.
Buy at least two bras initially. If these bras provide comfort, then you should consider buying the same type on your next trip to the lingerie store.
Go for the Right Style
Style is also a significant factor to consider when buying a bra. Opt for soft styling without underwiring, which may press against the tender breast tissue. The wire may also cause additional discomfort when you’re experiencing acid reflux.
Avoid plastic-lined bra which can cause soreness, cracking and infections on the skin. Instead, look for one that has well-finished seams.
As your breasts get heavier, you may need extra support. Wide, non-stretch straps that don’t cut into your shoulders can help spread the weight; they also prevent sagging. Three or four hooks also provide better support. The uplift or sling-type bra raises your breasts upward and inward, holding them securely. Do not choose bras that may flatten your breasts.
Get the Perfect Nursing Bra
A good nursing bra is something that you can flap on the cup with one hand. (Remember, you’ll be using the other hand to hold your baby!) Look for the flap-opening and front-opening types. These two nursing bra styles give good support during and after breast feeding.