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Maternity Bra Tips: Everything You Need To Know

Written on 07 March 2021

Maternity bra tips

The world of maternity can feel like a minefield, especially if it’s your first pregnancy. That confusion doesn’t end when it comes to maternity bras either. In this article, we’ll talk you through the top maternity bra tips, helping you to choose the right maternity bra to support you through your pregnancy.

Maternity bras are designed to support your breasts through your pregnancy. Choose a well-fitting maternity bra and you may find that it helps with back pain, neck pain, breast pain and even helps to reduce sagging.


Support Your Breasts Through The Changes Of Pregnancy

It’s not just your bump that grows during pregnancy. Many women find that their breasts also grow through their pregnancy due to the body’s levels of progesterone increasing and milk ducts getting ready to feed your baby.

But is a maternity bra really necessary during pregnancy? And how do you choose the right one?

Read on to find out everything you need to know about maternity bras.

View our range of maternity bras here


What Is A Maternity Bra?

A maternity bra is designed to support your breasts through the changes of pregnancy, helping to eliminate many of the aches and pains of pregnancy. This includes back and neck pain along with breast pain.  

Maternity bras usually have wider straps to give your breasts the extra support that they need during pregnancy. They also often have extra hooks and eyes on the band to accommodate for your expanding rib cage.

You’ll find that maternity bras don’t usually have underwires. This is because many women find underwires uncomfortable during pregnancy. As your breasts change, you’ll find that your bra size changes regularly. If an underwired bra becomes too small, the wires can dig into your breast tissue, affecting your changing milk ducts. This could lead to blocked milk ducts or even mastitis.


Do You Need A Maternity Bra? 

Your breasts will go through many changes during pregnancy. This is a result of your increased levels of progesterone. You may find that your breasts swell or feel uncomfortable and regular bras may contribute to this. 

It’s recommended to wear a non-wired maternity bra to support your breasts through your pregnancy. Maternity bras will accommodate your changing breasts comfortably, without digging in to your delicate tissue. This can help to prevent issues such as blocked milk ducts and mastitis, as well as helping you to be more comfortable. 

See our full range of maternity bras here


Is There A Difference Between A Maternity Bra And A Nursing Bra?

Maternity and nursing bras are often grouped together, but they’re not the same thing. Maternity bras are designed to be worn throughout your pregnancy to support your changing breasts. Nursing bras are worn once your baby arrives to make breastfeeding easier and provide support to your breasts during your breastfeeding journey.

You’ll need a maternity bra even if you don’t plan to breastfeed your baby. This is because maternity bras are designed to give your breasts the support they need during your pregnancy, whether or not you’ll be breastfeeding.

However, there are bras available which can be used for both maternity and nursing. These bras have all of the features of a maternity bra, along with clips on the straps to make breastfeeding your baby easy.  

You can find our range of maternity and nursing bras here 


When Should You Buy A Maternity Bra? 

Many women wonder when is the right time to switch to a maternity bra. Although you may not feel like you need a maternity bra straight away, it’s a good idea to begin wearing a maternity bra as early as possible. The earlier you purchase your maternity bras, the more time you’ll have to benefit from them.  

Even from the early weeks of pregnancy, your breasts will be beginning to go through changes to prepare for your upcoming birth. You may find that your breasts are particularly sensitive during these early weeks of pregnancy and a well-fitted maternity bra can help to ease this discomfort.

In the second trimester, you may notice that sleeping without a bra at night is becoming uncomfortable. Wearing a maternity sleep bra to bed can support your breasts while you sleep, helping you to get a comfortable night’s sleep.

By your third trimester, your bust may have increased by up to four cup sizes and two band sizes. This demonstrates the huge changes that our bodies go through during pregnancy. Your maternity bra will provide a high level of support, helping to prevent back pain – something which is very common at this stage of pregnancy. 

Discover our range of maternity bras


How to choose a maternity bra - maternity bra tips

How To Choose A Maternity Bra

There are many things to consider when you’re choosing a maternity bra. It can feel like a bit of a minefield, especially if it’s your first pregnancy and you’ve never had to consider it before.

First of all, look for a bra which has good support. This will help to prevent back and neck pain whilst giving your breasts the support that they need. Look for wide straps and a deep centre at the front. This will help to eliminate bounce and give you the best possible support.

You may notice that maternity bras offer good coverage. This is to keep your breasts comfortable as they become more sensitive through your pregnancy. Look for a maternity bra which gives a good level of coverage for maximum comfort.

The best maternity bras are those which will grow with you. This will save you from needing to buy a new bra as your breasts grow through your pregnancy. Look for maternity bras which have a minimum of three or four hook positions as this will allow you to adjust your bra as your breasts grow and your rib cage expands.

You may find that you’re most comfortable in cotton bras, or those which have a cotton lining. During pregnancy, it’s common for your body temperature to rise slightly. Choosing a cotton maternity bra will allow your skin to breathe and reduce irritation. We love the Royce Luna maternity bra which features a breathable cotton lining for extra comfort.

Finally, if you’re considering breastfeeding your baby, you may want to look for maternity bras which can also be used for nursing. These bras have clips on the straps, allowing you to easily and comfortably breastfeed your baby. Opting for a combined maternity and nursing bra could help to save you money in the long run. 

View our full range of maternity bras here


What Size Maternity Bra Do You Need?

During pregnancy, it’s normal for your breasts to grow and for your rib cage to expand. This is a result of the increased levels of progesterone in your body which helps your body to prepare for the birth of your baby.

As your breasts grow and your rib cage expands, it’s normal for your bra size to increase. Maternity bras are made to accommodate for this, growing with your changing body.

We’d recommend starting with a maternity bra which is one cup size and one band size bigger than your usual size. It should fit comfortably on the tightest band setting. This will allow you to loosen the band as your rib cage expands through your pregnancy.  

It’s always a good idea to buy your maternity bra from a reputable supplier. The best suppliers will be happy to offer advice on fitting your maternity bra and will exchange or refund your bra if it doesn’t fit properly.

If you need more help choosing the right size of maternity bra, feel free to drop us an email or give us a call for a chat. We’re always happy to help.

You can contact us here


Can you wear underwired bras during pregnancy - maternity bra tips

Can You Wear Underwired Bras During Pregnancy?

Many professionals advise against wearing underwired bras during pregnancy. This is not because underwired bras are inherently dangerous during pregnancy, but because they can cause problems if they don’t fit properly.

If an underwired bra becomes too small, the wire could dig into your breast tissue, potentially causing damage. The underwire could cause your milk ducts to become blocked, which can lead to mastitis – a painful breast infection.

As your breasts are continuously changing during pregnancy, it’s often advised that you avoid underwired bras. This is because although your bra may fit perfectly one week, it could be too small a week later as a result of how quickly your breasts are growing.  

If you do decide to opt for an underwired maternity bra, you’ll need to regularly check the fit to ensure that the wires aren’t digging in to your breast tissue. Underwired bras which have flexi-wires are less rigid and therefore less likely to cause problems whilst providing excellent shape and support. 

Discover the Freya Pure underwired nursing bra


Related Questions

Should I wear a bra at night during pregnancy?

There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to sleeping in a bra during pregnancy. Some women find that their breasts are uncomfortable at night when they’re pregnant. Sleeping in a maternity bra can give you the extra support that you need, allowing you to have a good night’s sleep.

How Can I Prevent My Breasts From Sagging During Pregnancy?

It’s completely normal for your breasts to change during pregnancy as a result of your increased hormone levels. Whether or not your breasts bounce back into shape after pregnancy depends mainly on the levels of collagen and elastin in your skin. However, a well-fitting and supportive maternity bra can help to stop your breasts from sagging during pregnancy.

How Many Maternity Bras Do You Need?

The number of maternity bras that you’ll need will depend on how often you want to wash them. Most women find that two or three maternity bras is ideal. If you decide to purchase maternity sleep bras as well as daytime bras, you’ll probably find that you need slightly more.  


Find Your Perfect Maternity Bra Today

If you’re ready to find the right maternity bra to support you through your pregnancy, we have a wide range of maternity and nursing bras to choose from. With world-renowned brands such as Royce, Panache, Freya and Elomi, you’re bound to find something you love. 

View our range of maternity bras here


Also see:

Why does my bra hurt my back?

Best sports bras for saggy breasts

Why your bra strap falls down off your shoulders

The best bra for big bust support

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