Pregnancy brings many changes to a woman’s body. Many expecting mothers often wonder how their breasts are going to change and whether they will need different kind of bras when pregnant and breastfeeding. Let’s find out.
Do you need a new bra during pregnancy?
Just like your bump, your breasts will increase in size too. Though it might seem harmless to continue using your existing bras, it is advisable to invest in some new ones. Your growing breasts will become heavier and they will develop glandular tissues. They will soon be starting to produce milk for nursing your little one. This will surely add a few pounds to your breasts which deserve more support and comfort.
When to get a new bra?
When you take off your bra and see deep marks made by the bra cloth along the straps, it’s time to purchase some new bras. Your bras will start to feel too tight or your breasts will start to spill out from the bra cups. As every pregnancy is different, each woman’s breast size increases differently. The breast size increases during pregnancy and then might not increase until the last few months. The opposite can also be true - all depending on your body growth. So you might have to change bras accordingly.
Difference between regular and nursing bras
Nursing or maternity bras have larger straps, soft cotton lining, and extra hooks. There are many different kinds of maternity bras available in the market. The basic difference between the two is that they have openings or panels allowing easy access to the nipples for breastfeeding.
Many women buy both buying nursing bras and larger sizes of their regular bras. So choose which option works best for you. But do make sure that you are wearing a correct and rightly fitted bra.
Also Read: A step by step guide on breastfeeding for new moms
How to find the right fit with a nursing bra?
In order to find the right fit, you need to find your proper measurements. Start by wearing your best fitted non-padded bra.
Step 1: Determine Your Band Size
First measure around the bra band, directly under your breasts. Make sure the tape is level and snug - neighter tight nor loose. Round off the measurement to the nearest whole number.
Now, If the number is even, add four inches. If it’s odd, add five. This sum is your final band size is the sum of this calculation. Example - If you measured 32 inches then your band size is 36. If you measured 33 inches then your band size is 38.
Step 2: Take Your Bust Measurement
Now measure around the fullest part of your chest - at the nipple level and again round to the nearest whole number.
Step 3: Calculate Your Cup Size
Subtract your band size from your bust measurement and refer to chart.
For example, if the breast size is 41 inches and bra band size is 38 the difference would be three inches. Then your bra size is 38C
When trying on bras look for the best comfort level. If the bra is loose, your breasts will not get support. Once you have the bra make sure it is the right fit. It should have the right alignment with the nipples. It would be wise to ask other moms about the types of bras they use.
Which style bras are best for breastfeeding?
One should pick a bra with sturdy seams and straps. If your breasts are on the larger side, then go with bras which have straps that are at least an inch wide on the shoulder. Most mothers find underwire bras uncomfortable since the breast size changes depending on whether they are full of milk or not.
There are various different types of bra styles that are available, which one can use during breastfeeding. Most moms use a bra that has front panels which can be opened while breastfeeding. Another style that is popular has a front opening nursing bra.
Also Read: Healthy diet plan for breastfeeding moms
How to choose a comfortable bra?
Choose a material that is soft and allows your skin to breathe. Cotton is the fabric of choice since it dries quickly. It is always better to wear a bra that doesn’t have an underwire. This is because an underwire bra doesn’t leave scope for expansion. Underwire bras can lead to clogging of the milk ducts and this can be extremely painful. So it’s best to avoid padded and synthetic bras.
If your bra feels just a little tight under the breast and is otherwise well-fitting around your breast, just get some bra extenders and increase the size of your straps slightly to make room for some air.
Do I need to wear a bra at night?
It can become very uncomfortable to wear a bra at night. Although many women prefer not to wear one while they sleep, some do wear a bra since they want to provide support to their growing breasts, even at night. If you wish to wear a bra at night, choose a bra that is extremely soft and not too tight. A soft cotton bra is the best option since it allows your skin to get sufficient air to breathe.
Can bras cause infections while nursing?
When you breastfeed, a little milk can get leaked onto your bra either before or after feeding. Make it a point to clean your nipples before and after every feed. Use breast pads to absorb the leakage. Another option is to wear an antimicrobial feeding bra which can keep you hygienic and prevent you baby from contracting any infections.
This might also interest you: Breastfeeding Guide for the first month of baby
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