Breaking up with a favourite bra that has been your soulmate (or breast-friend-forever) is quite a tough ordeal. But there is an abundance of pretty and comfortable bras in the maternity and nursing bra world. Read on for our list of bust issues we all experience during and after pregnancy. You’re not on your own! Most fuller-busted women share these woes.
1. Your bust size can increase up to 4 cup sizes.
A woman who has been pregnant will most likely tell you about the crazy fluctuations in her breasts. Our bodies are constantly changing whether pregnant or not, but during a pregnancy we can go up by four entire cup sizes!
Our tip: Even if you grow out of your maternity bras during your pregnancy, they may fit again once your milk supply has settled. No guarantees though, every woman springs back differently.
2. Working out is a nightmare with sensitive and swollen breasts.
Going for a run can be a world of pain. You may want to work out and then you discover how sore and sensitive your breasts are from normal movement, so much worse with fast-paced walking or jumping!
There are some brands that offer supportive maternity sports bras. We love the Hotmilk’s Activate Full Cup Sports Bra which gives good support and it has a firm band to relieve strain from your shoulders during physical activity.
3. Maternity bras fit differently depending on your trimester or nursing stage.
If you get fitted in the first trimester we recommend that your bra fits on the tightest hook, so you can loosen it as your rib cage expands with your baby's growth. Toward the end of your pregnancy your rib cage will reach capacity and your bra should be firm on the loosest hook but allow some space in the cups for your milk to come in. However, none of the above is a guarantee... because every single pregnancy, and every woman, is different and varied. So basically, there’s no pattern you can follow & no promises - these things can be different for every woman.
4. Your bra will change the shape of all your clothes, constantly.
Along with your changing bra size, you will likely experience a change of clothing size, regularly. Getting a good fitting, comfortable maternity bra can alleviate the pressure of feeling like nothing really fits you.
Sometimes experienced in your third trimester, colostrum may leak and cause patches on your bras. Breast pads can truly help and it's usually a sign that you will be a magic milk-maker!
Our tip: Take your breast pads to your bra fitting with you, you will see how they’ll fit under the bra with comfort and you’ll also prevent any embarrassing leakages during that fitting.
6. Potential permanent size change after pregnancy.
All those hopes of going back to your previous size may be dashed when you realise your bust size is not decreasing after having breast fed. Your rib cage will go back down, but the bust has a mind of its own.
7. When your bust grows, there’s no more hiding your pregnancy.
You may find that your new look is 'cleavage'. There’s no hiding a growing bust, but there are bras to correctly fit you that allow the increase in size to look more natural under clothing. For some people this growth happens instantly, before the other bump is even in sight.
8. Considering non-wired bras for the first time.
This may be the moment you take back every hurtful thing you’ve said about wire-free bras. They’re not so bad. Ahh the comfort. That’s when wire-free bras are superheroes. Brava has a range of wire-free maternity bras in D+ cup sizes.
Our tip: If you're really not keen on a wirefree bra there are plenty of options because all of Brava’s maternity bras are flexi-wire, so their wires are not wire – they are actually plastic and not harsh on the skin. However, if the time comes when you start feeling the wire push against your breast tissue, it’s time for a size change or to give a wire-free bra a go. It can increase your comfort level at a time of so many changes for you.
9. Accepting the marvel of your rib cage.
Have you ever marvelled at your rib cage before? It expands, fits around a full-grown baby and then it shrinks back to its previous size or close enough. When it comes to correctly fitting bras, this is the moment when you can fully understand the importance of having a good fit around the rib cage. That rib cage does a lot of heavy lifting for us ladies.
10. Not knowing what your body is planning next.
Our bodies are obviously miracle-workers. You realise how much they can truly change, especially during a pregnancy. You can get fitted and be several sizes throughout the pregnancy. Your 10F bust can go up to a 12GG and then to a 10H, its tricky because you may not know what to assume when you're expecting. It is a lovely bonus if you’re ready to accept the changes and get fitted into nursing bras that are supportive and comfortable.
For a specialist maternity bra fitting, head to a Brava Lingerie store and have one of our experts work with you to understand the fit of your bra, what your options are and to make sure you’re comfortable at this amazing, but puzzling time.