Selecting a maternity bra
Like regular fashion bras, maternity bras come in a variety of styles and fabrics to suit all moods and silhouettes. But unlike many conventional bras, nursing bras need to be extremely comfortable, supportive and flexible to hold and protect your increasing, and increasingly sensitive, breasts. While you may be tempted to simply buy a larger size of your favorite bra, this is not the best idea. Learn why you will need a maternity bra, how you can save a few dollars and which style will offer the most comfort and support for your body.
Maternity and Nursing Bras
As your breasts begin to outgrow your regular bras, you will need to invest in a maternity bra to get you through the next several months. A maternity bra is not simply a larger version of a full figure bra; it is designed a little differently in order to provide your breasts with the support they need. Although the fabric may fit around your breasts, it won't support the tender tissue very well, and you will quickly find that a regular fashion bra is simply not designed for a pregnant body.
Maternity bras can be expensive, and you will likely need to buy a couple of sizes to accommodate your body at both the early and later stages of pregnancy. If you intend to breastfeed, then instead of shelling out too much money for such a specific item, consider purchasing a nursing bra that you can wear both during your pregnancy and after you deliver. Although they offer the same support as maternity bras, nursing bras allow you to unfasten the cup fabric to feed your baby.
Choosing the Right Nursing Bra
If you typically wear an underwire bra, you may find that an underwire nursing bra offers the most familiar feeling. These bras generally have thicker padding around the wire or, alternatively, flexible plastic support around the cups. Keep in mind that, while an underwire nursing bra will provide the most support, some experts fear that the pressure of the wire ridge can lead to blocked milk ducts, so you may want to consider some other options.
A soft-cup nursing bra with sturdy, non-stretch straps will provide more support than you may think. The smooth fabric of a seamless nursing bra supports you discreetly, so you can continue to wear form-fitting tops and dresses without worrying about the visible lines of a cumbersome nursing bra. In fact, new fabric blends stretch easily to accommodate fluctuating breast size, but should also retain firm support and breathability.
A soft body and molded cups will certainly make for a more comfortable nursing sleep bra to support your chest and avoid discomfort overnight. When you shop for your bra, look for a style with easy clasps that can be released with one hand in order to make nursing easier.
A well-fitted nursing bra will mean the difference between a comfortable day and a painful one. If you are unsure of the accuracy of your measurements or are faced with a style dilemma, consult a professional bra fitter at a specialty lingerie store, or a retailer with an array of maternity products.