Maternity & Nursing
Bra Fitting Guide
During pregnancy, changes in hormones cause a lot of changes to your body and your boobs will grow and change, sometimes very rapidly! This means you need to keep an eye on how well your bras are fitting you throughout your whole pregnancy so you know when you need a different size. You may have to wear several different bra sizes during your pregnancy and you’ll probably need both bigger cup and back sizes (as your bump grows and pushes your ribcage out). It’s incredible what our bodies do – we really are amazing!
The good news is that the principles of knowing when your bra fits you properly are exactly the same as when you’re not pregnant so you can use our 3 step check to help you to do this. Alternatively, you can come in to our shops and we can show you what you should be looking out for. Just remember to keep checking!
If you’re planning to breastfeed, you’ll need a nursing bra so you’re ready for the days immediately after you’ve had your baby. While it’s great to try to plan ahead, there’s no way of telling what size you are going to be after your baby has been born so you may need to re-assess! We recommend waiting until later in your pregnancy to buy one – ideally until after your 36th or 37th week of pregnancy. Don’t forget that we offer an express delivery service so we can get bras to you very quickly if you need a style or different size quickly – or if you have an unexpected early arrival!
“WHEN TO BUY
A NURSING BRA”
We always advise you to wear a non-wired bra immediately after birth. Your milk coming in will affect the shape and size of your boobs and they may fluctuate a lot after giving birth, so a non-wired style is a better choice as it’s less likely to dig in and be uncomfortable, or worse, cause problems like Mastitis.
If you decide to breastfeed, you should stick to wearing non-wired bras as your boobs will change in size and shape all the time as you feed your baby. If you decide not to breastfeed, you will still need to wear a wire free bra initially. Once your milk has gone and the size of your boobs has stopped changing so much, you can return to underwired styles (this may take a few weeks).
It’s really important to us that you feel comfortable in the bras that you buy from us so, if once you’ve worn a new bra, you find it uncomfortable or you’re not happy with it for any reason, please stop wearing it and get in touch with us so that we can help. All our contact details can be found by scrolling down!
“WHAT TO DO IF YOUR
BRA IS UNCOMFORTABLE”
Underwired or non-wired?
You may well have heard that you should wear a wire free bra when you’re pregnant but unless you’ve been given specific medical advice, this isn’t necessarily the case. It’s really your choice.
With an underwired bra, the wires run around the bottom and sides of your breasts and if the wire bra presses on your milk glands or ducts, they can get blocked and inflamed (this is known as Mastitis and it can be horrible). It’s for this reason that some doctors and midwives will advise against wearing underwired bras when you’re pregnant.
Other doctors and midwives take a different approach which we share – that as long as your bra fits you properly, you’re keeping an eye on it really regularly and know when you need a different size, it’s fine for you to continue to wear underwired bras when you’re pregnant but you must keep checking the fit.
If you’ve been advised not to wear wires by your doctor or midwife, you should probably respect this but if you haven’t had that advice, it’s really up to you to make an informed choice about what’s right for you. We’ve put together some of the pros and cons of underwired and wire free bras which you might find helpful to think about when making this decision.
- PRO Support – Wires help to structure the bra and keep the fabric that supports your boobs in place
- PRO Shape – Underwired bras give a more uplifted shape. They come in a variety of styles – plunge, balconette, full cup, half cup etc.
- PRO Choice – We have lots of underwired style in our range so you can pick your preferred style (e.g. balconette) and still have a choice of colours and patterns.
- CON Comfort – If you have a high bump, the wires can dig in, unless they are cut high in the centre.
- CON Wrong Size – If you grow out of an underwired bra, there is the potential for the wires to dig into your breast tissue, which can block milk ducts and cause discomfort, or worse, Mastitis.
- PRO Comfort – As there aren’t any wires, these can’t dig into your bump or boobs so non-wired bras can feel more comfortable. They do often have deep under-bands though, so you may find they fold slightly when you sit down, particularly if your bump is high.
- PRO Wrong Size – There is more leeway with a non-wired bra if your boobs grow, as there are no wires to dig in and potentially cause a problem. This can give you more time to get a new bra. However, a badly fitting non-wired bra will still cause discomfort and problems, so you still need to keep an eye on it and make sure you’re in the right size.
- CON Support – Whilst a well-fitting non-wired bra will offer a good element of support, many women with bigger boobs find they are still not as supportive as underwired styles.
- CON Shape – To give support, non-wired styles need to be made with more fabric and therefore have greater coverage. Non-wired bras don’t offer the same shape as underwired styles as they don’t give the same uplift or separation.
- CON Choice – We only have a few non-wired styles so there isn’t as much choice. As wire-free styles tend to give fuller coverage, this can limit the choice of clothing you can wear too.
If you need any more help or advice, we’re right here for you so please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our Customer Services teams are trained to fit maternity and nursing bras and we’re happy to talk to you or see you as often as you need advice. Each of our shops has a large fitting room (big enough to fit a buggy) and all our waiting areas are breast-feeding friendly so you don’t need to worry about rushing home to feed.