As your breasts begin to produce milk, they will fluctuate–a lot! So when it comes to choosing and buying nursing bras, where do you even begin? When do you take measurements and how do you know it’s going to be there to support you day and night?
In the quest to find the absolute perfect nursing bra, here are three essential tips for expecting moms.
1. Shop at the Appropriate Time
Many first-time moms tend to either rush out to buy a nursing bra or wait until the last minute. Sadly, both scenarios usually end up with an inadequate nursing bra that is unsupportive and not quite the right fit.
We suggest finding a happy medium. While you can always shop around to get an idea of what kind of nursing bra you need, it’s wise to wait until specific ideal times to measure yourself and actually follow through with the purchase.
While it’s nearly impossible to determine how your breasts will react during pregnancy and how much they will grow, at least wait until after the fourth week to take measurements. Before then, your body is still figuring out how to regulate milk and your breasts will continue to fluctuate in size. What could be one size on one day could be two to three cup sizes the next. So, wait until your breasts have had the opportunity to regulate through the baby’s feeding schedule and amounts.
Until this fifth-week mark, avoid cupped size bras that will compress your breasts while they’re engorged with milk. Instead, find a seamless nursing bra that is designed to stretch and provide support without being too restrictive.
However, there is an exception should you wish to purchase a nursing bra before the baby delivers. You can also measure for a nursing bra around the eighth month of pregnancy. By the eighth month, you’ve likely gained most of your baby weight and your body has adapted to its new shapes and changes. Therefore, your breast size should be relatively close to what it would be at the fifth-week mark.
2. Measure Yourself Correctly
Keep in mind that bra sizes also increase in cup sizes, which is why we also recommend that you find a super comfortable nursing bra.
A professional can accurately measure you at a shop, or you can also do it in the comfort of your own home. However you determine your nursing bra size, it’s important to make sure it’s a proper fit that will make you feel comfortable and secure.
How to Measure Bra Band and Cup Size for Nursing Bras
Using a soft tape measure, measure the area directly under your breasts. Ensuring the tape is snug each time, you will take two measurements. If you find the measurement to be somewhere floated between two-inch marks, simply round up to the nearest number. Using the tape measure again, determine your cup size. This time, wrap the tape around the fullest part of your breasts.
When you get your bra, always try it on to ensure it fits. Test the different features your bra comes with, such as its hooks and full drop cups. Pay attention to the way the material feels against your skin.
Ask yourself if the nursing bra provides enough support and if it has a solid cup shape so there’s no breast spillage. The band should be low and even beneath your breasts and shouldn’t slide or shift. It’s also wise to try the bra on while sitting and then standing up, taking notice of how supportive it is against your breasts.
While you’re trying on your new nursing bra, use this breakdown to determine whether it is too big or too small. These signs should point you in the right direction.
Your nursing bra is too big if you experience any of these issues:
- Breasts slip from beneath the bottom band
- Nursing bra rides up the back
- Cups show wrinkles
- Straps slip off your shoulders, even on the tightest setting
Your nursing bra is too small if you experience any of these issues:
- Breasts are revealed or slip from sides
- Discomforting feel or pokes
- The center arches and doesn’t lie flat, causing it to ride up
One final aspect new moms should focus on is the strap clips. Chances are you’ll be cradling a baby in one arm, so you want to be sure you can easily unhook, open and close the strap clips with one hand.
Where some women go wrong is ordering too large of a cup size. Instead, keep in mind that nursing bras are built with stretchy materials, meant to fluctuate in size along with your breasts.
3. Buy More Than One Bra
Always buy more than one nursing bra. Depending on how often your baby feeds and when you wash your bra, we suggest having at least three nursing bras on hand for breastfeeding. That way, you can cycle through wearing one, washing one and having a backup between the two.
Fortunately, there are also many different nursing bras to choose from. However, it’s important to consider your lifestyle, the clothes you tend to wear, your daily activities and more. All of these factors tie in and help you determine which suits you.
Our wireless back support nursing bra offers new moms an underbust band and a criss-cross back for improving posture and adding that extra bit of support.
There’s also our nursing bra with a feed tracker, which offers a front closure, allowing you to breastfeed without having to take off your entire bra. This nursing bra also comes with a clip-on strap to keep track of breast rotations to know which to use to feed your baby.