One of the things that will change during pregnancy is your breast size. Pregnancy hormones trigger glandular development and increased blood supply in the breast region, which leads to tender and fullness of breasts. This means that you need a type of bra that can go along with the changes in your breasts without compromising comfort.
A standard, ordinary bra is a type of undergarment worn by women for breast support. You can have it either wired or non-wired. On the other hand, a maternity bra is different. Although the main purpose is the same, a maternity bra comes with added features for extra support and comfort that will differentiate it from the standard bra.
Therefore, in order to create this article, we took the help of the specialists at Uplifties to ensure that you can purchase the right bras for yourself.
Wired or Non-Wired- Which one should you choose?
The question now is should you go for wired or non-wired?
It depends. As much as possible, it is recommended that you stick to non-wired maternity bras for extra comfort and to prevent pressure on your breasts, especially when they are fuller, thereby minimizing mastitis. In case you prefer underwire bras, go for maternity bras with flexible low-gauge wire support.
If you are wondering the difference between non-wired maternity bras and non-wired nursing bras, it’s all about functionality. Nursing bras have drop cups and retainer straps to hold the strap in place during breastfeeding. These nursing features are not present in maternity bras.
What to look for in a maternity bra?
Maternity bras come in many shapes and sizes and it can be difficult to know what to look for. Every woman is a different size and shape and thus the right maternity bra will be different for every woman, but there are some things that all women should look for in their maternity bras.
Any good maternity bra should fit well. That is, it should not be too big or too small. It’s a good idea to have your bra fitted professionally to ensure it fits properly and many bra shops provide free fitting services for their customers. Points to remember when deciding if a maternity bra fits properly include:
- The bra should not be too big or too small. If the bra is too loose or too tight, try a different size or style;
- It should be comfortable and support your breasts;
- Your breasts should completely fill the bra cups, but not bulge out of the cups (at the top, bottom or sides);
- The bra strap should fit comfortably around your chest and back. Make sure it is not digging into the skin and that the front and back are at the same level on your torso;
- The shoulder straps should support the weight of your breasts;
- The shoulder straps should fit tightly enough that they stay in place when you move your body, but not so tightly that they dig into your skin;
- Never buy a bra to ‘grow into’. A bra that is too big will not provide the support your breasts need. If you are concerned that your breasts are still growing, it might be better to wait a few weeks. Some women need to change bras a couple of times during pregnancy;
- Adjustable fasteners provide more flexibility for your changing breasts during pregnancy. Bras which clasp at the back are usually adjustable (have several fastening positions), whereas those which clasp at the front usually have only a single fastener. Back clasping maternity bras are therefore recommended.
Maternity nursing bras have cups which clip open and closed to make breastfeeding a bit easier. If you are planning to breastfeed it is likely that the maternity bra you wear during pregnancy will also be the bra you wear while breastfeeding your newborn, so it’s good to think about what sort of cups will suit you best. Some clip open from the shoulder, whereas others clip open from the front, and you may find that one or the other style suits you better. Have a go at opening and closing the cup when you are fitting your bra to see if it works for you.
There are also different types of openings. On some maternity bras the entire cup folds down when it is unclipped, and these are generally the best type to go for. Cups in which only a tiny trapdoor-like section folds back can restrict the breasts and put unnecessary pressure on them.
Maternity bras with wide shoulder straps and a thick band below the cups provide the best support.
Aside from these tips, it is important that you wear a bra appropriate for your size and one that can withstand the physical changes in your body. You may ask a salesperson to assist you in finding the right size or choose the right size appropriately after carefully going through the measurement provide on the website, in case you are shopping online. At the same time, it helps if you fit the bra starting from the tightest hook to allow your rib cage to expand as your tummy gets bigger.