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How to fit a maternity bra

Friday, 16 August 2013  |  Admin

Ok so you're newly pregnant, and your boobs have ballooned, or perhaps they're just tender and a little bigger.
Or maybe you're a little bit further into the pregnancy and your bras are cutting into you around your rib cage and leaving red marks. All are signs that you need to move into maternity bras!
If you, like most people, don't know where to start, don't panic - it's pretty easy!

Unfortunately, many people will initially go to high street stores like M&S and see a couple of maternity styles - and then leave in horror! Or worse, be fitted by somebody who thinks they knows best about how you feel in that bra, or just gives you one two sizes too big, and you walk out having spent money on an ugly bra that doesn't fit and you don't even like!
You DON'T have to look or feel frumpy in your lingerie whilst you're pregnant.
You're still you, just a pregnant version of you - so don't settle - get some bras that you like and WANT to wear!

Now don't panic, but the best thing is probably to come out of underwired bras. It's not a hard and fast rule - if you still feel comfortable in a well-fitting wired bra, then fine. But the likelihood is that you will be more comfortable in non-wired. But fear not - in the right bra, fitted well, you can still achieve great support AND a great shape (yes, we all still want a nice cleavage!).
But if the thought of wearing a non-wired bra brings you out into a sweat, then we do have some wired maternity (and nursing) bras - hurrah!


But what is the difference between a maternity and nursing bra? We hear you (and lots of other ladies!) ask.....

Well, essentially, not so much.
Maternity bras usually have softer styles of fabric to accommodate a growing cup with gentle support if you're feeling tender, and are non-wired so that your rib cage isn't restricted. More about this later...
Nursing bras are pretty much the same idea, except they also have the facility to breast feed - so will have a clip where the top of the cup meets the strap, meaning that the front part of the bra can be pulled down to feed your baby, whilst you're still wearing the bra.
So as there is not much difference, do you really need to buy a set of maternity bras, and a set of nursing bras?
Well, no is the simple answer!
Here at Mummy & Little Me we like to fit you in bras that you can wear during your pregnancy but also into nursing.
If you get into these bras as soon as you need them, you'll be more comfortable for longer, and it'll be better value for money, too!

If you'd like to try breastfeeding your baby when the time comes, it's worth remembering that if you wait and decide to buy some nursing bras, that haven't had any other use, very late into your pregnancy, and if you then unfortunately are unable to breast feed, it would be an awful waste of money. Our ethos is, get some lovely bras that are maternity AND nursing styles, and get your money's worth!

However you may ask, "is it not too early get a nursing bra?", if you are only 20 weeks or less. Well, with Mummy & Little Me fitting you, no it's not. As long as we know how many weeks along you are, we are able to give you a professional fitting based on how you're likely to grow throughout your pregnancy from the stage you're at when you come to see us, both in your back size, and in your cup.

Now's where we come back to talking about your rib cage - from about 15 weeks, to make room for baby growing inside you, you will find your rib and diaphragm area lifting slightly and expanding. This might be up to 2 sizes in your back size, so if you were a size 32 back before getting pregnant, you may find you fit a 34 or bigger at your peak of pregnancy.
But don't worry, you won't keep expanding, and your rib cage will come back in again afterwards!

To account for your changing back size - expanding during pregnancy, and coming back in again when baby's born when you may be nursing - we stock bras that have between four and six rows of hooks and eyes on the back. This allows you to adjust your bra with your changing size (meaning that you don't have to buy and new bra every time you go up a size!).

Now of course, nobody can guarantee just how much your cups will fill with milk when baby arrives, but on average we would say that during maternity, if you can fit your hand inside your bra cup comfortably and the fabric stretches nicely - this is a good guide. This should take you to at least one cup size bigger if you need it. You'll also feel confident that if you're nursing, at different points your cups will be fuller, or fuller on one side than the other, and these bras will also accommodate that nicely.

One of our all time favourites, and best selling bras is the Bravado Seamless bra.


This bra ticks all the boxes you're likely to have!
- Completely seamless so you can wear it under anything - and even in bed if you're sore
- If your bump is high, the band around your rib cage is nice and wide so no digging in
- The edging looks rather like a camisole top, so if you have lower-cut tops or wrap dresses, it's ok if you can see this bra as it doesn't even look like a bra!
- It has a great stretchy fabric that has a memory in the material - it will grow and change with you, whilst moulding itself to you all the time, and no baggy fabrics after lots of wearing and washing
- Non wired, so incredibly comfortable, but inbuilt support where you need it to give you a great shape (no sagging!)
- The perfect maternity through to nursing bra
- Good value at £29.99
- When fitting these bras in the shop, our customers often ask to keep it on as they are immediately so much more comfortable!

The Bravado Seamless is like an every day, easy to wear t-shirt bra, but if you're looking for something a bit more sexy (yes, this is still allowed when you're pregnant!) then we have lots of these styles to choose from, too; we even have maternity and nursing plunge bras!
Check out our full selection in our shop in Leeds Corn Exchange or on our website:



We have a lovely air conditioned boutique where you can try them on at your own pace and we are there every step of the way to provide guidance.

Here are our top tips and advice for bra fittings:

- Some people prefer to wear trousers and a top rather than dresses when you come for a fitting, so that you only need to take off your top for the fitting
- Don't worry - we won't have to see your boobs with no bra on! We pass you a bra to try on and will take a look at it once it's on
- Remember we've seen it all! Spotty backs and sweaty hormonal pregnancy skin - don't worry! We do fittings all the time so just relax and enjoy getting into a comfortable bra!
- Don't worry if you can't fasten your bra yourself - we can do that for you
- Darkening and more sensitive nipples are the norm during pregnancy
- If you're having a fitting once you've had your baby and are nursing, bear in mind the fullness of your cups at the time of the fitting, and you can move your breast pad over to the bras you are trying on if you're worried about leaking
- If you've worn some maternity/nursing bras throughout pregnancy but baby's arrived and your cups have filled in to a much bigger size that expected, you may need a bigger bra, but don't throw away your other ones - if you nurse for some time, you'll find your milk flow will slow down and your size will go down again
- How many bras do I need? Get as many bras as you would normally wear pre-pregnancy - think about colours to wear with the clothing you wear, and make sure you have enough for when they are in the wash - especially during nursing when they will be in the wash much more frequently!

At Mummy & Little Me you're in safe hands - you don't need to book for a fitting - and if you're not local we can advise over the telephone.


Angela Knight