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:Our Guide To...Bras for maternity & nursing

When you're pregnant

How will my bra size change?

When you are pregnant, changes in your hormones cause a lot of changes to your body and your boobs will grow, sometimes very rapidly! This can feel a little alarming, especially when you already have more up top to start with! But don’t worry, this is totally normal and we are here to help.

You may have to wear several different bra sizes during your pregnancy and you’ll probably need both bigger cup and back sizes (as your bump grows and pushes your ribcage out). It’s incredible what our bodies do – we really are amazing!

Because your body and boobs will be changing so much, you need to keep an eye on how well your bras fit you throughout your whole pregnancy so you can spot when you need a different size. The good news is that the principles of knowing when your bra fits you properly are exactly the same as when you’re not pregnant (you can use our 3 step check at the bottom of the page to help you to do this). The only difference to bear in mind when you are pregnant is that you need to fasten new bras on the tightest hook, rather than the loosest, giving you room to expand!

If you are not sure, please come to see us at one of our shops for a maternity bra fitting, call us or talk to us via text or video chat and we can explain what you should be looking out for – we really do love to help. Just try to remember to keep checking the fit of your bras really regularly.

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What sort of bras can I wear when pregnant?

Underwired bras

Lots of women ask us if they should avoid wearing a wired bra during pregnancy and the answer is that it’s completely your choice. If you’ve been advised not to wear wires by your doctor or midwife, you should probably respect this. Although they are less rigid, this would also include avoiding bras with flexi-wires.

If you haven’t been given any specific medical advice to avoid underwired bras, you can make an informed decision about what’s right for you. It’s perfectly ok to continue to wear bras that are underwired as long as they fit you well. An underwired bra will give you more support and more of an upfront shape than a non-wired style. As long as your bra fits you properly and is comfortable, you can continue to wear underwired styles (or bras with flexi-wires) until you have your baby.

Non-wired bras

Although they won’t offer you the same level of support, non-wired bras will be more accommodating as your boobs grow. This might mean your bra will last a little longer before you need a different size. Many women find non-wired bras more comfortable during the later stages of pregnancy when your baby bump is really growing.

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WHEN YOU’RE A NEW MUM

Immediately after birth

We recommend you wear a non-wired bra immediately after birth and for the first few weeks after you’ve had your baby. Your milk coming in will affect the size and shape of your boobs so they will fluctuate a lot after giving birth. A non-wired style is less likely to dig in and be uncomfortable, or worse, cause problems like Mastitis (inflammation of the breast tissue).

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If you breastfeed

We advise that you are able to wear a non-wired nursing bra for at least four weeks after the birth of your baby. After that you can choose to stick to wearing non-wired styles or you can wear a nursing bra with flexi-wires (unless you have been given specific medical advice to avoid wires). Some women prefer nursing bras with flexi-wires as they find them a little more supportive and that they give better separation and shape. Once you stop breastfeeding and your milk has gone, or the size of your boobs has stopped changing so much, you can choose to return to underwired styles (this may take several weeks).

When to buy a nursing bra

While it’s great to try to plan ahead, there’s no way of telling what size you are going to be after your baby has been born so you may well need to re-assess! It’s best to try to wait until as late as possible in your pregnancy to buy one – ideally until after your 36th or 37th week of pregnancy. Don’t forget that we offer an express delivery service so we can get bras to you very quickly if you need a different style or size - or if you have an unexpected early arrival!

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NEED SOME MORE HELP?

If you need any more help or advice, we’re right here for you so please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our Customer Services teams are trained to fit maternity and nursing bras and we’re happy to talk to you or see you as often as you need advice. Each of our shops has a large fitting room (big enough to fit a buggy) and all our waiting areas are breast-feeding friendly so you don’t need to worry about rushing home to feed.