What Size Bra To Buy When Pregnant

Can You Wear A Non

Maternity Bras: Tips on Shopping for Pregnancy Bras by LiviRae Lingerie

Yes! Although they wont offer you the same level of support, non-wired bras will be more accommodating as your boobs grow. This might mean you might get more wear out of your bra before you need a different size. Many women find non-wired bras more comfortable during the later stages of pregnancy when your baby bump is really growing. You might also want to try one of our sleep bras theyre non-wired and have a soft band, so they’re super comfortable and great when youd like a bit of support for sleeping and lounging.

When Should I Get Fitted For A Maternity Bra

A womans cup size will expand on an average anywhere up to 3-4 sizes throughout pregnancy, and her frame by up to 10cm by the end of pregnancy to accommodate her growing baby. Usually your bust size will settle by the 4th-5th month. So, during this period, you can look to invest in your maternity and nursing bras to fit you for the remainder of pregnancy and into motherhood. In other words, from this point onwards, a maternity bra is a must for your bust! You can watch our reference videos on how to measure your bust or schedule a personal video fitting session with our fit expert, Anna, to ensure you get the perfect fit the first time.

Bonus: How To Measure For A Nursing Bra

Getting accurate bust measurements is key to finding the perfect fit. A soft measuring tape works best, but if you dont have one, you can use a ruler and a ribbon, scarf, sash, or belt.

To find your size from your measurements , begin by measuring your underbust. This is the area directly under your breasts, around your rib cage. The flexible tape measure should be snug but not tight.

Round your underbust measurement to the next whole, even number. This rounded number is your band size.

Next, get your fullest bust measurement. Wrap the tape measure around your back and snugly across the fullest part of your breasts.

Then, subtract your band size from your fullest bust measurement. Each whole number difference is one cup size. A difference of two inches is a B cup, three inches is a C cup, four inches is a D cup, and so on.

For example, if your underbust is 37 inches, you’d round it up to 38. If your fullest bust measurement is 44 inches, youd subtract 38 from 44 to get six, which is a cup size of F.

The correct bra size given these measurements is 38F, which is an XL-Busty in most Kindred Bravely bras .

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All About Maternity Bras

For many a mom-to-be, the moment of truth comes at about 16 weeks. That’s when your breasts, in preparation for their feeding duties, begin to outgrow your carefully-chosen fashion bras. Lingerie is an intimate item and having the rules rewritten for pregnancy is no fun. But experts agree that when your sleek and sexy undergarments no longer contain their charges, it’s time for a maternity bra.

Specially-constructed and often fitted and sold by trained experts, a maternity and nursing bra affords a level of support that average lingerie just can’t match. “Too many women look at the price points of a maternity or nursing bra and think, well, I don’t really need this. I’ll just go and buy a bigger size of my regular bra for $7.99,” says Robin Polack, senior vice president of Leading Lady, a manufacturer of lingerie for moms-to-be and new moms. “But when you start coming out of your bra and you find you’re adjusting the straps 30 times a day, you start to realize the importance of a specially-designed bra.”

But much of what you know from years of buying fashion bras really doesn’t apply to the maternity market. So here are some tips from the experts on how to buy and fit a maternity bra.

It Is Not A One And Done Process

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Just as with your growing belly, your breast will hit points of rapid growth and periods of stagnation. When buying bras during pregnancy, dont run out and buy all new bras the minute you notice your breast size changing because chances are, they will change again before this journey is over. Also, note that your rib cage is often expanding until about 36 weeks so your band size might change as well. However, some women do not notice much of a change in their bra size and that is okay, too!

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Kindred Bravely Sublime Nursing Sports Bra

Whether youre perfecting your yoga pose, sweating at Barre, hiking in the woods or just power-walking around town, you cant go wrong with this sweat-wicking, racerback nursing bra. The stretchy but supportive fabric, adjustable straps and wireless design can take you from pregnancy to postpartum and beyond, and the clips provide discreet, one-handed nursing access. The best part? This style is available in a range of inclusive sizes designed to fit cup sizes B to I.

Buy it: $40, KindredBravely.com

How To Size Maternity And Nursing Bras

We know how pesky it can be to find the right-sized bra for maternity and nursing.

We also know how awkward it can be to go to a store and have someone get all up in your business to get measurements.

In this guide, were going to go over the ins and outs of finding the right maternity and nursing bra size for you.

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Protect The Girls And Be Comfy

Now that weve covered how to get your bra measurements and how to check for proper fit, hopefully, youll feel more supported in your maternity and nursing bras. With all of the issues we face during pregnancy and nursing, having an ill-fitting bra shouldnt be added to that list.

The main thing to keep in mind is to make sure youre comfortable. If a bra feels uncomfortable, thats a big indicator that it doesnt fit properly. As long as the girls are comfortable, theyll likely be more protected from issues like plugged ducts or mastitis.

Medically Reviewed by

Simple Wishes Hands Free Pumping Bra

Bra fitting and sizing in pregnancy and after birth

With over 7,000 reviews and a near five-star rating, its no wonder this popular pick is one of the best hands-free nursing bras out there. Designed specifically for pumping, it features a zippered front, an adjustable Velcro back and even an extra panel with a zippered extender to ensure a perfect fit as your body changes. It works with all major breast pump brands and holds the shields and bottles securely.

Buy it: $30, SimpleWishes.com

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What Bra Size Should You Buy

Start by measuring the number of inches around your rib cage. Just place the tape measure round your rib cage and under your breasts, making sure its flat and straight. Take this number and add 4 to it if its an even number, or 5 if its an odd number. The result is your band measurement or bra size the 34-type number of a 34D bra.

Once the bra is on you should be able to run a finger comfortably underneath and along the band. Make sure the straps arent cutting into your shoulders and ensure the band doesnt lift up when you raise your arms.

While youll find this is roughly how the sizing works at big names like Mothercare and Mamas & Papas, theres no guarantee that all companies follow the same sizing methods. Nothing beats trying a bra on, and if you are buying online, check the sites sizing guide and that they do exchanges or returns.

Finally, consider a back extender a little strap with hooks and eyes that fit to your existing bra strap, giving you space to breath. It prolongs the life of your maternity bra, especially in the last month or so when your ribcage has fully expanded.

Medela Nursing Bra For Sleep And Breastfeeding

This racerback nursing bra is perfect for wearing to bed. The crisscross front design means instant, one-handed access. Plus, the four-way stretch fabric comfortably adapts to your changing body, and also wicks moisture away . Its even OEKO-TEX certified, meaning you can rest assured there are no nasty chemicals in the materials of this Medela nursing bra.

Buy it: $16,

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Milx Nursing And Pumping Sports Bra

This pick is designed as a nursing sports bra, but really its an all-in-one bra for new moms. Its secure, comfy, breathable and moisture-wicking, so youll feel great wearing it all day long. The cups easily pull aside for nursing or pumping, and the lower neckline means you can wear it under everyday clothes. Theres even an adjustable rib band, so you can get a great fit as your body grows and shrinks.

Buy it: $79, Milx.com

First Trimester Maternity Bras

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The first trimester is the beginning of your magical pregnancy journey, though it may not always feel magical. This period is often characterized by bloating, morning sickness, and exhaustion — after all, it takes a lot of energy to grow a human!

Though many people continue wearing their pre-pregnancy bras during the first trimester, if youre feeling tired, sensitive , or nauseous, youll want a bra that will bring you ultimate comfort. We have some great options for you!

The French Terry Racerback Bra has wide straps and provides light support for B-I cup sizes. Its made of a rayon-bamboo blend that stretches easily — so you wont have to deal with restrictive bras, which can cause increased breast tenderness. The French Terry is also a great sleeping bra .

The Organic Cotton Bra has scoopback coverage and a more structured fabric that is great for B-G cup sizes. For ultimate comfort and light support during the night , these sleep bras can help you get the rest you need.

The stretchy cups of the Simply Sublime® Bra accommodate growing breasts and changing bra sizes. The removable padding gives your bust a nice shape, and the buttery-soft material feels simply sublime on increasingly tender breasts . Due to its incredible stretch, this bra works great throughout pregnancy and postpartum.

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Royce Lingerie Blossom Nursing Bra

Specialising in wire-free bras, Royce Lingerie sells a range of maternity and nursing bras, as well as breast pads and bra extenders.

The Blossom Nursing Bra, available in cup sizes CC to JJ, handily features a triple cup to accommodate fluctuating breast size throughout pregnancy and beyond.

We like that the bra can be worn in two ways, either as a crop top or gathered in the middle as a supportive bra, and its available in striking patterns, from leopard print to polka dot.

While there is room to grow cup-wise, the back band fits snuggly, too. Overall, its a great consideration if youre looking for a bra to see you through from the first trimester to postpartum.

Playtex Women’s Nursing Pullover Sleep Bra


What we like: This lightweight sleep bra is designed for “foggy” feedings and lets you easily get set up for late-night nursing. The light fabric is breathable and soft.

What to consider: This bra is designed only for sleep because of that, there isnt much support. It will probably not be your daily wearer.

What the reviews say: Women who purchased this bra consistently mentioned how comfortable these sleep bras are. As your skin is stretching and shrinking with the fluctuation of milk, these bras are a soft and easy solution for nighttime feeds. With the minimal support, however, some women with a larger bust found this bra to be lacking.

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Nursing Vs Maternity Bra: Do I Need Both

While similar to a standard bra, a maternity bra is designed with a womans pregnant body in mind. The cuts, fabrics and support of maternity bras may differ from a traditional bra. Women often have to purchase different maternity bras during their pregnancy.

Nursing bras have additional functionality that maternity bras dont. In the later months of pregnancy, a womans bust expands as her body prepares to nurse a good nursing bra is designed to support a heavy bust. The bras use strong supportive straps and added support at the back to support post-pregnancy, fluctuating breasts.

When it comes to shopping for bras during your pregnancy, it is up to you to determine whether you need both maternity and nursing bras or if one type will support you through your pregnancy and postpartum. Many women who plan on nursing and/or pumping choose to purchase nursing bras and wear those before the baby arrives. It is advised that you get fitted for your maternity or nursing bras as your cup size increases, typically around three months. Some women may even experience growth up to three cup sizes larger than their pre-pregnancy size.

Benefits Of Different Maternity Bras

Nursing bras or Maternity Bras | Pregnancy Tips | How to Choose between Nursing and Maternity Bras

Wearing a bra that is too small for you can be an uncomfortable experience. It is difficult to know how much your breasts will change throughout the entire maternity and nursing experience as each womans body is unique and will change differently: some mums only gain one cup size, while others increase by three or more cup sizes. For this reason it is beneficial to wear well-designed bras and tank tops that will adapt to your bodys changing shape and provide a comfortable experience.

During the day a comfortable wire-free, seam-free and supportive nursing bra is the best option. You can start wearing this type of bra during pregnancy when you outgrow your regular bras. When you begin nursing, bras with full drop cups will allow you to breastfeed your baby easily and discreetly.

For easy feedings at night, you should choose a sleep bra that is comfortable, breathable and keeps breast pads in place.

How to fit your maternity bra in 3 simple steps

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The Truth About Underwire

Some nursing experts will tell you that underwire can hinder your milk production or even cause mastitis or other problems. While thats not always the case, underwire isnt necessarily your friend while youre pregnant.

The main reason is comfortand frankly, with todays bra technology theres simply no reason to sacrifice. Plus, theres a trend to move back towards natural breast shapes and away from the high, padded bras of the 2000s. Can you find underwire maternity and nursing bras? Yes! Is it ok to use them if you want to? Yes! However, dont be afraid to try non-underwire options, too.

Playtex Women’s Nursing Shaping Foam Wirefree Bra


What we like: The Playtex shaping nursing bra is designed to keep your feminine shape while nursing. The materials in this bra feature X-temp technology designed to keep a nursing mother cool and the Playtex 4-way system for superior support and comfort.

What to consider: The way this bra is cut is more generous than a traditional full coverage bra. It may not fit as expected, so purchasing online can be difficult.

What the reviews say: Women loved that this bra can be worn as a maternity bra or nursing bra. Many reviewers mentioned the comfort of the strap and the nice amount of support it provided. A few women mentioned that this bra runs large and the fit was off.

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Best Maternity And Nursing Sports Bras

Just because you have a new babyor are expecting one on the waydoesnt mean you have to stop moving rather, it means you need a bra thatll work even harder for you while you get in your exercise. The best maternity and nursing sports bras offer secure support, full coverage and quick, easy access for breastfeeding or pumping either after a workout or smack in the middle of one.

Tips For Buying The Right Fit Bra

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Here are the signs of a good fit and an ill-fit bra.

Signs of a well-fitting bra
Breasts are completely inside the cups
No wrinkles or bumps develop in the cups
The middle section of the bra, between the breasts, is flat.
If there is an underwire, it should not touch your breast tissue and must lie flat on the chest
Rib band of the bra sits below the shoulder blades
Signs of an ill-fitting bra
Breasts spill over the top or sides of the bra
Straps keep falling off the shoulders
Bra straps dig into the shoulders
Breasts have no lift or support and sag
Back band keeps riding upwards

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The Best Baby Sleep Aids To Help Babies Sleep Through The Night

Choosing a maternity bra that can double as a nursing bra will max out your cost-per-wear too. A nursing bra usually has clips at the straps, which allow each cup to be released from the main body of the bra enabling access to the breast, says Sally Neale. They can also be made from soft stretchy fabric in a design that can easily be pulled to one side.

How To Measure Yourself For A Nursing Bra

Youll need to determine two things your rib band and cup size. Only two measurements!

Step 1

Determine your band size . To do this, measure yourself around by bringing the measuring tape around your rib cage underneath the bust line, making sure the tape measure is flat and straight across your back. Pull the tape nice and tight . If you measure between two numbers for example 34.6 inches, then round off to the next whole number example 35 to get your band size.

Now refer to the chart below to determine your band size

Step 2

Now find your cup size by measuring across the fullest part of your bust . Measure your bust at its fullest part make sure that the tape measure is even across the front and back and not twisted. Again, round off to the next whole number.


All you need to do now is to take away the rib band measurement from the cup size measurement. Each number or inch represents one letter. Refer to the table below.

For example, if your rib band is 32 inches and your cup measurement is 34 inches 34-32 = 2, 2 equates to a B cup

. So, your recommended nursing bra size is a 32B

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