As a bra lady, I often get asked when the best time to be fitted for a maternity bra is. There is no right answer to this question but many people are surprised to learn that some of the most significant changes to your breasts can occur in the first few weeks of pregnancy. In fact, for many women, the first indication they are pregnant is a change in breast comfort or size.
The reason this change is significant is twofold – not just because it can mean that your bra becomes immediately uncomfortable and can therefore lead to compression of the breast which in turn can lead to mastitis later on down the line, but also because from conception, your relaxin levels start to increase which leads to stretchy ligaments – this helps with delivery, but is not good for breasts!! This makes it critical that this initial increase is supported well and your breasts are not given the opportunity to sag in those first few precious weeks.
Some women find they are perfectly comfortable in their pre-pregnancy bras until quite late in pregnancy, but most agree that this changes as the baby reaches term. Your ribs and abdomen will increase in size gradually to accommodate your growing baby and this usually peaks around week 37 just before the baby’s head engages.
This usually means an increase in band size is needed in order to ensure your last few weeks of pregnancy aren’t too uncomfortable. A poorly fitting bra at this stage can lead to back problems, difficulty breathing and as mentioned before, any compression can cause damage to milk ducts which in turn can lead to mastitis.
All of this can sound overwhelming and unnecessarily worrying, so our advice to pregnant women is that you know best whether you are comfy or not, and if you discover you aren’t, then by all means have a fitting. You may be able to alleviate the problem with the simple addition of a bra extender, or a switch to a bra with an underwire designed specifically for maternity. A skilled bra fitter will be able to advise on the best and most cost effective course of action so there is no need to invest in bras that will only last a short while.
Maternity and breastfeeding bras have changed significantly over the last few years with brands such as Lorna Drew and Hot Milk providing gorgeousness alongside practical innovations that mean if they are fitted right they can see you through maternity, breastfeeding and beyond, giving real value for money.
So ladies, join me in considering your bra for a moment and if it does not enhance your posture, sit comfortably on your breasts and make you feel every bit lovely, then perhaps it is time to call a bra lady!
As part of the bra lady network, we specialise in helping women find the perfect bra for maternity, breastfeeding and beyond. All of our stock is designed for longevity and comes with nursing clips as standard and in sizes 28-52 and AA to L, so why not call now to arrange a professional fitting in the comfort and privacy of your own home.
Sam – the Bra Lady for the South Coast – firstname.lastname@example.org