Before I got pregnant with my first child, I can remember researching all the must-have items for pregnancy and postpartum. One of the items that many Moms boasted that all women have was a good and well-fitted maternity and nursing bra. At the time I was a bit naive, and didn’t see the importance of having this well-fitted undergarment during pregnancy. I mean a bra was a bra in the grand scheme of things, right?! How much could pregnancy really make your breasts change?!
Let me tell you – I was in for a wake up call when I got pregnant with my first.
The first 0 to 3 months of pregnancy. I didn’t see any changes. I didn’t suffer from the symptom of tenderness or engorgement as result of hormones.
By months 3 to 6 of pregnancy, I started to feel a little discomfort around where my breasts would sit upon my rib cage. Little had I realized that your rib cage starts to expand during your second trimester, as your breasts slowly start beginning to grow.
By months 6 to 9 of pregnancy, enough was enough. I constantly felt the weight of my breasts on my rib cage. It almost felt like my growing belly was holding them up. I wound up at this point purchasing a flexible wire bra and a non-wired stretchy bra. The benefit was that at this stage in pregnancy, my breasts had developed to the size that would have also be my nursing cup-size.
For my other 3 pregnancies, I have found that I have been able to make due just wearing a regular flexible wire bra. It is interesting how comfort can vary from pregnancy to pregnancy.
The same can also happen while breastfeeding.
While breastfeeding my third, I had the hardest time during the first few weeks postpartum finding a nursing bra that worked best for my body. I constantly found myself engorged, battling mastitis and just so comfortable. I wound wire bras were so uncomfortable, but that a lot of non-wired nursing bras offered little to no support.
What was a girl to do?
Thankfully, Cake Maternity – an award winning maternity and nursing lingerie brand specializes in the design and manufacturing of supportive, comfortable bras and was able to offer some guidance.
They advised that during the first 0 to 4 weeks postpartum that you may wish to use a non-wired, stretchy and seamless bra, as they can grow with you and adapt to your body with how it changes. During these weeks is when your breasts tend to swell and rapidly change in size as your milk supply regulates. For this reason it is important to get yourself a comfortable, non-restrictive bra. This can help prevent complications like mastitis.
Once you have reach 4+ weeks postpartum, you will want to purchase at minimum 3 supportive nursing bras. This way you can always have a rotation going of one to wear, one in the wash and one in your drawer. By this stage in the game, your milk flow should be now regulated and your cup size should be well-established, apart from the daily supply fluctuations. By 4+ weeks postpartum, I always found myself most comfortable wearing a flexible-wire, soft cup or contour bra during the day and a non-wired, stretchy bra overnight. Mind you – wearing a night time nursing bra is not a must. I just happened to have issues with leakage, so felt better supported with a nighttime nursing bra at my disposal.
Being that the birth of my 4th child is impending… in fact… you may be here in as little as 4 days time, I am well-prepared. I have a drawer full of stretchy, non-wired nursing bras. As well as, I recently picked up this cute Midnight Parfait Bra from Cake Maternity.
I happen to really adore this flexible-wire bra. It has offered me great support during my final trimester of pregnancy, and the cups have offered enough stretch to grow with my ever-changing breasts. Heaven knows – how much breasts can change during pregnancy and postpartum.
I can’t wait to wear this bra while nursing my little guy. I know it may not be something I wear until 4+ weeks postpartum, but even so… I can’t wait to break it out when I am ready. The nursing bra is made from a beautiful lace and mesh. The black, in my opinion, also offers that little bit of a sexy vibe, if you know what I mean. Even with the sexy appeal, the bra is super comfortable. The cups are cotton-lined, as are the straps – making this bra great for not only providing optimal support, but ensuring you are also comfortable.
Sizing yourself for a nursing bra can be a little confusing, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
When sizing for a maternity and nursing bra:
- Select one that comfortably fits to the tightest hook to accommodate your rib cage as it expands, especially from the second trimester and on wards.
- Select a bra that provides good support for your bust, and more importantly do not choose a bra that compresses your breasts. You will want a bra that allows room for your breasts to clearly fill each cup while also keeping them separated in appearance.
- If selecting a nursing bra, pick one that fits comfortably towards the loosest hook. This allows room for it to adjust to your rib cage as it contracts back to it’s original size.
- If you reach a point where you need to increase the band size, make sure you drop a cup size and vice versa.
- When purchasing a flexible wire bra, ensure it sits under and behind the breast tissue so that you are provided with unrestricted support.
- Your bra size will vary with each pregnancy. Each pregnancy can be so different from the last, so will your bra size. Make sure with each pregnancy to get yourself resized in order to ensure that you are wearing a bra that offers you optimal comfort and support.
For more great sizing tips and advice, visit Cake Maternity’s sizing guide.
Like what you have seen, and interested in learning more? I highly recommend checking out Cake Maternity for all your maternity and nursing needs. Whether you are looking for a new bra, postpartum swimwear or some amazing lounge wear, they have a little something for all the pregnant and new Momma’s to enjoy.
Disclosure: I was provided with products from Cake Maternity for review purposes. All opinions are those of my own.