Can I wear underwire bras when pregnant or breastfeeding?

In short, the answer is yes. Are you hearing conflicting advice? Like many aspects of pregnancy and parenthood, there are millions of opinions out there about what you should or shouldn't wear, eat, and do when pregnant or breastfeeding... so who do you listen to? The answer is YOU.  Like all decisions regarding your pregnancy and baby, it's important to educate yourself to help you to make informed choices. And then decide what is best for you.

Brava has fitted 1000's of women and in a nutshell our advice is this: if you are fitted correctly and aware of your changing shape and how your maternity bra should fit/feel (any good bra fitter should explain this), then we believe it is OK to wear underwire bras when pregnant or breastfeeding. If your GP or midwife says otherwise, we recommend that you listen to their reasons and make your own decision like you would with any pregnancy decision.

We have spoken with many midwives and the consensus appears to be that as long as an underwired bra is fitted correctly, then it is simply a personal decision. The bottom line is: if your underwire bra is uncomfortable, don't wear it. Otherwise you can wear it without worry at any stage of your pregnancy.

So why all the fuss about underwire?

Some practitioners will not endorse underwires because breasts continually change shape throughout pregnancy and underwired bras are typically less flexible and expandable. The concern is that wired bras could possibly obstruct the increased blood flow and compress the milk ducts.  Ill-fitting bra wires are one of a number of causes of mastitis; others include illness, stress, a skipped feed... there can be a multitude of reasons. Nowadays there are some very effective maternity bras by brands such as Elomi, Anita and Cake Lingerie that offer a flexiwire designed to flex with your body as it changes. Some women decide during later stages of pregnancy that wirefree bras are more comfortable, returning to flexiwire nursing bras for more bust separation, definition and support once they've established breastfeeding.

Should I sleep in a nursing bra for extra support? 

The best style to wear in bed is a crop-style top or a nursing tank, as they have no hooks to dig in at the back and you can slip nursing pads in easily.

When should I have a maternity bra fitting?

When you start to feel your bras are no longer fitting, you feel uncomfortable or you just want peace of mind when you first discover you are pregnant, please visit one of our three Melbourne stores or contact us by phone or email for maternity bra advice.

Brava is with you throughout your many life stages, especially the most important one - becoming a Mum. We have all that you need whether it be a plain, pretty or sexy maternity bra with the best maternity brands for the fuller-bust in cup sizes from D - K and back sizes 8 - 22.  If you have any questions or comments about nursing and maternity bras, please comment below!

For more information on nursing bras and breast feeding please visit the Australian Breastfeeding Association.