Maternity Bra Guide: Advice for Mums-to-be

What is a maternity bra?

A maternity bra is a bra that you wear when you’re pregnant. It can be any bra that fits you well and is comfortable. Some women prefer to wear non-wired bras when they’re pregnant and some women prefer to stick to underwired bras. Here are some things to think about when deciding whether to wear underwired or non-wired bras.

When to buy a maternity bra?

You can buy a maternity bra whenever you feel ready! Some women find they need to try a new style or size early on while others wait until the second or third trimester and some women don’t buy one at all! It very much depends on how your boobs change while you’re expecting, and this is unique to every pregnancy.

How much does your bra size go up during pregnancy?

Your bra size can increase quite dramatically during pregnancy! You may have to wear several different bra sizes and you’ll probably need both bigger cup and back sizes (as your bump grows and your ribcage expands). 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.

How to measure bra size during pregnancy?

We don’t use tape measures to work out your bra size at Bravissimo. The good news is that the principles of knowing when your bra is a good fit are exactly the same as when you’re not pregnant (you can use the three step check from our bra fitting guide). 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 call us or talk to us via Live Chat and we can explain what you should be looking out for – we really do love to help, our contact details are at the bottom of this page. Just remember to keep checking the fit of your bras regularly.

Can you wear an underwire bra while pregnant?

Many Bravissimo girls ask us if they can wear an underwired bra while pregnant 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 respect this. This would also include avoiding bras with flexi-wires, even though they are less rigid.

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 okay to continue to wear bras that are underwired if they fit you well. An underwire maternity bra will give you more support and more of an upfront shape than a non wired maternity bra. As long as your bra fits you well and is comfortable, you can continue to wear underwired bras (or bras with flexi-wires) until you have your baby.

Can you wear a non-wired bra when you're pregnant?

Yes! 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 you might get more wear out of your bra 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. You might also want to try one of our sleep bras – they’re non-wired and have a soft band, so they're super comfortable and great when you’d like a bit of support for sleeping and lounging.

What bra should I wear 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 feel uncomfortable, or cause problems like Mastitis (inflammation of the breast tissue).

Need some more help with maternity bra sizing?

If you need any help or have any questions at all, we’re here for you so please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re happy to talk to you as often as you need advice. Our Customer Services teams are trained to fit maternity bras and you can talk to us on the phone, by text or video chat on our website, or by email. If you prefer to visit a store, all our fitters are trained in fitting maternity bras so don't worry, you are in safe hands.

If you’re planning to breastfeed check out our Nursing bra guide for some advice.