Buying a Maternity Bra

Getting a Good Fit

Most traditional lingerie rules don't apply to maternity or nursing bras. Consider seeking out a professional bra fitter. Although mass merchants and mall-based sellers of lingerie might have a staffer with maternity expertise, a department store lingerie department or a specialty store that caters to maternity wear will have a certified specialist on staff. She can help you make the appropriate choice. You can call ahead for an appointment.

Here are a few more fitting tips:

  • For the band size, measure around your body, just under the arms, with a measuring tape. If the measurement is an uneven number, round up to the next even number.
  • For the cup size, take a bust measurement, using a measuring tape, around the fullest part of your bust. Be sure the tape is flat against your back and level all around your body.
  • Signs of a good fit: the cup covers your breast, and nothing "spills out." The band is level all the way around, not riding up in back.
  • Try them on. This is the only way to be sure that you've found a bra with a good fit. Don't rush the process.

Underwires are a source of some controversy in the maternity bra business. There are lactation consultants who recommend against underwire bras for nursing mothers. The concern is that the rigid wire will put pressure on the breast and lead to blocked milk ducts. However, there are now nursing bras made with flexible plastic support, similar to an underwire. Most experts recommend that if you're used to wearing an underwire in your fashion bras, it's okay to try one out in a maternity bra. Be aware of any discomfort that may indicate the need for a change in bra style.

All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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