Maternity and Nursing Bras & Fitting Advice
The world of maternity & nursing bras can be an intimidating one!
When it comes to fitting maternity bras, we have a wealth of knowledge and experience that we can pass on to you, all with the goal of making your experience a little easier and more enjoyable.
We're here to "support" you! x
Maternity Fitting Info & Advice
There's so much to learn, and so much information out there. Here is a friendly place to start...
When is it okay to wear underwired nursing bras? Generally, you shouldn't wear a wire when you feel like your breasts are changing in size drastically throughout the day, not for the first few weeks after giving birth, and not if you are highly sensitive to issues like mastitis.
Both wired and non-wired styles should be supportive if they fit correctly. Wired nursing bras can give you a more defined and separated shape. All our wired nursing styles at The Fitting Room have flexi-wires which move with you to keep you comfortable. Click to view Flexi-Wire styles...
The 'My Necessity Cami Top' has proven to be a fan favourite at The Fitting Room. Customers are raving about it, as well as some of our Fitting Specialists as they have gone through their own pregnancies. Designed to be worn both during and after pregnancy, it is fantastic for sleeping in, under layers or even out on its own as daywear. A great gift too!
Sizes 10-18 (S-XXL)
Everyone is different, however, it is common to go up a couple/few cup sizes during pregnancy, with another increase when your milk comes in. Your diaphragm also expands requiring a bra in one or two band sizes larger than before. Breast tissue becomes heavier and more dense as milk ducts develop, plus your back will be working hard thanks to your growing bump. This all makes a supportive and well-fitting bra even more important.
Use our Fitting & Size Guide to check if your bra fits correctly, plus a guide to measuring yourself at home if needed...
At a minimum, we suggest you have 3 bras or bra-like garments that fit correctly for the stage you are at. One on, one in the wash, and one in your drawer ready to go.
Once your baby has arrived and feeding has been established, it is often handy to have more. Washing is not a priority with a new baby around. Baby accidents and spills occur all the time, and you may also leak through your breast pads, requiring a change. Some women wish to wear a soft nursing bra at night also. A spare bra in your nappy bag is a great idea too!
There are generally two different ways the internal support structure of a nursing bra can be designed; with an A-frame or a side-sling. We stock a variety of bras in both these styles. It is your personal preference what you find the most comfortable.
Have a read to find out what the benefits of each style are, so you can see what will be the best fit for you.
Plastic clips: 1 hand unclip to open.
Magnetic clips: 2-handed twist to open.
• Check the cup drops down far enough for feeding. Ideally, the cup should sit lower than the A-frame at the centre, so it drops down further.
• Make sure any internal A-frame or side sling doesn’t cut in anywhere over the breast or at the underarm when the cup is dropped down
• Note: it will depend on the type of fabric in the top cup as to how much this area will give when dropping the cup down.
Maternity bras tend to have 6 rows of hook and eye placements which help you to get as much wear as possible out of your bra.
These extra hooks allow you to:
1. Loosen the bra as your ribcage expands during pregnancy for added comfort.
2. Tighten it a little once your baby 'drops' in the final days/weeks before birth.
3. Tighten further as your body gradually returns to its pre-pregnancy form in the months following birth.
Every woman's pregnancy is different, but one guarantee is that your breasts will change during pregnancy and after delivery. Here we have created a timeline to guide you through your maternity bra journey.
The first 12 weeks of pregnancy
Many women can find they have a significant change in breast size within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. We recommend you come in for a fitting if you are experiencing this, so we can make sure you are feeling comfortable and supported. At this stage, you can either be fitted into a ‘normal’ bra or a nursing bra. However, you will likely need to come back closer to your due date to get fitted into a nursing bra as your size changes. We will get the bra fitting comfortably on the tightest hook so you can loosen it as needed as your ribs expand. This size should last you for the majority of your pregnancy as the breast size tends to plateau before your milk comes in. You can also try a non-wired bralette (see below) that is specially designed for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
At around 6 Months
If you haven't purchased a maternity bra by now, your current bras are probably feeling tight and uncomfortable. You can still wear a 'normal' bra, as long as it fits correctly, or move into nursing bras. Our nursing bras look a little different to your usual bras. They have 6 rows of hooks and eyes to allow for rib expansion and let you make the band tighter as you get smaller once your baby arrives. We will get you fitting around the middle-tighter set of hooks so you can adjust the band as needed, making the bra fit for longer.
Towards the end of your pregnancy, it is important to be fitted for a nursing bra. Leave it as late as possible, while allowing for a few weeks if we need to order something in for you, or if you end up giving birth early. This is usually around 36 weeks. We will be able to make sure that the bra band will fit for the rest of your pregnancy and after your baby arrives. We will also check that you have enough space in the cup for when your milk comes in!
When your baby is a few months old
Breast feeding/mixed feeding
Your breasts have gone through a major journey as your milk has come in and regulated itself. You should now get a 'break' in size changes as your breast volume will stay relatively stable until your baby changes their nursing habits. Your tummy and back/ribcage are still reducing in size, so make sure your bra is firm around your body, and do it up on a tighter hook if needed.
If your current bras are too big in the cup, it's time for a fitting! You may wish to try a flexi-wire style now! Now we want you to wear new nursing bras on the second-to-loosest hook; you can loosen it if you need (particularly at night if wearing your bra to bed with breast pads), but more importantly, so you can tighten it as it stretches and as your back measurement reduces. For your cup size, try on bras when you are between feeds; this gives an average cup size, allowing the stretch in the fabric to accommodate any volume increase just prior to feeding. If you are unable to come into store for a fitting we have a few ways we can help, just get in touch with us.
When your baby is a few months old
If you are bottle feeding, this will generally be the time where your breast tissue and ribcage feel they have gone back to their pre-pregnancy state. However, you may find that your previous bras don't fit quite right as the breasts may have 'settled' into a different size, or a slightly different shape. It's time for a fitting! It is important to have a new bra fitting you well (feeling firm but comfortable), on the loosest hook. This allows you to wear the bra on a tighter hook as it stretches and/or as your back measurement continues to reduce post-pregnancy. If you are unable to come into store we have a few ways we can help. Get in touch with us and we will do our best to help you from afar via phone, email or virtual fitting.
"I'd had several recommendations for this shop. Having had a baby 8 weeks ago, I was struggling to find nursing bras in bigger-busted sizes, failing miserably. Nothing was too much trouble - my fitter took her time and was very patient, I had bubs with me, and he wasn't too keen on shopping! After measuring, she brought a selection in to try on and I actually found some that fit! They were super comfy, supportive, pretty and very reasonable priced for the high-end quality. Badly fitting bras were making me feel self conscious and putting me off going out. I chose bras, a nursing camisole and even got a swimsuit! With my purchase I was also give washing advice for keeping my items in great condition, along with an eco-friendly canvas bag.
One of the items I wanted wasn't in stock, so she called the other shop. They had it and she offered to have it posted to me. I decided to drive across town and pick it up, as I was so pleased with being able to find what I needed - the kind fitters at that store came out to the car with item wrapped, as my baby was asleep in the car!
Hands down my customer experience with this store has been nothing but excellent, the staff are friendly, welcoming and very knowledgeable. This is the best customer service I have had in years - thank you." • Liz
Non-wired 'easy-fit' maternity styles
These designs offer maximum comfort and longevity, lasting through all the stages of early motherhood
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