Did you know that throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding, your breasts undergo the most rapid and dramatic changes during your life?
It’s no wonder it’s so important to support them correctly, but with so many different types of maternity and nursing bras on the market, where do you even begin?
We’ve learned a thing or two during this time, so we’re here to break it down for you.
What you need to know about Maternity & Nursing bras
Purchasing a maternity or nursing bra can be overwhelming to say the least. In order to sift through the hundreds (even thousands) that are available, it’s easier to narrow it down according to your size, style, activity and what stage of pregnancy or postpartum you’re at.
Is buying a maternity or nursing bra 100% necessary? Absolutely not! What is necessary, though, is supporting your growing bust to ensure optimal breast health.
One of the earliest signs of pregnancy can be breast tenderness and swelling. During the first trimester, your breasts are already preparing to produce milk for your baby. It’s imperative to wear a well-fitting seamless bra during this stage to avoid any restriction on your precious milk ducts.
Further into your pregnancy, your body will continue to change, as your ribcage opens up to accommodate the little human inside you. This is why any good maternity and nursing bra will have up to 6 hook and eye options, so you can continue to let your bra out as your body expands, and bring it back in postpartum.
During the first 6-8 weeks postpartum, you’re going to experience even more growth as your milk comes in and learns to regulate. This can often leave your breasts sore, hot and itchy, which is why Cake bras are made using super soft, breathable materials.
The Different types of Nursing Bras
There’s so many factors to consider when choosing the right bra for you. When you’re feeding 8 – 12 times a day, you want to know the bra you’re wearing will support you at your fullest and your emptiest, but it’s also worth keeping in mind all of the following…
The wire (or not): Whether or not you can wear a wired bra during pregnancy and breastfeeding is an age-old debate. While we recommend mamas stick to wire-free, seamless styles during periods of rapid growth (the first trimester and the first 6-8 weeks postpartum), when your bust size is more stable it’s entirely up to you.
Basically, any bra that is not fitting you will be more likely to cause damage to your breasts, wires or not. All the flexi-wire bras at Cake are specifically designed to sit wider (and happier) on your ribcage as they have a wider “smile”. The wires also move and flex with you, so if you’re used to wearing wire pre-pregnancy you might find these styles are more “you”.
If you’re not comfortable in flexi-wires, never fear as our wire-free options are just as supportive as their wired cousins.
The styles: We’re firm believers that although you’re a mama or mama-to-be, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice your sense of style. That’s why we have everything from lace bralettes, t-shirt bras and plunge bras, to sports bras, crop tops and sleep bras.
The comfort: Comfort really is key when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding! Having a beautiful bra is pointless if it causes you any discomfort. A good nursing bra will have short stretch straps that don’t dig in, supple elastics and comfortable fabrics that are ideally breathable and absorbent.
The support: A good nursing bra will have graded support, aka the larger the bra size, the most support is required. Our Sugar Candy Nursing Bralette may look like your average seamless bra, but inside are a load of hidden support features like fabric slings and reinforced power mesh to ensure F-H cup mamas get all the support they need (and deserve).
The access: Our nursing bras have either drop down cups with nursing clips or pull aside breastfeeding access. Our Lotus Hands-free Pumping Bra has the latter, plus hidden openings to support your pump’s flanges! Win win.
All in all, whatever your needs, you can be sure to find a maternity or nursing bra that will suit you, fit you and support you.
You never know, once you try them and experience the ultimate comfort and support, you may never want to go back to your pre-baby bras.