When Should I Start Wearing Maternity Bras?

When to buy a maternity bra

When Should I Start Wearing Maternity Bras?

Buying a Maternity or Nursing Bra can be a daunting task for the new mama. So, we’ve compiled our top tips to make it seamless and easy for you to answer the questions around when to buy and when to wear a maternity bra!

Today we’ll cover:

1. When should I wear a maternity bra

2. When do I need to buy a maternity bra

3. Should I wear a bra to sleep during pregnancy

4. Benefits of wearing a maternity bra

5. Effects of not wearing a maternity bra

1. When should I wear a maternity bra

As there are many hormones circulating from very early in pregnancy, whilst your body does the miraculous job of creating and supporting a whole new human being, we recommend wearing a maternity bra from early on in pregnancy. Because of the myriad of changes going on, it’s advisable to wear a maternity bra as early as you start to feel changes in your breasts, (which varies from woman to woman) but ideally from at least the end of the first trimester.

2. When do I need to buy a maternity bra

A woman’s cup size will expand on average, anywhere up to 3-4 sizes throughout pregnancy, and her frame (ribcage area) by up to 10cm by the end of pregnancy. Usually your bust size will settle by the 4th-5th month, so you can look to invest in your maternity and nursing bras to fit you for the remainder of pregnancy and into motherhood from this point onwards.

3. Should I wear a bra to sleep during pregnancy

You may want to wear a soft bra to sleep in throughout pregnancy – a bamboo or soft cotton bra that is underwire free is ideal for overnight.
Choose soft, underwire free bra made with breathable and natural fabrics like those mentioned above, and sleeping in a bra will be beneficial for comfort and support. You may also start to leak colostrum (crazy hey! but fear not, only small amounts!) later in pregnancy so wearing a bra may help to keep this contained)

4. Benefits of wearing a maternity bra

The Australian Breastfeeding Association recommends underwire free bras for the duration of pregnancy and breastfeeding. This is because wire can cause compression on the breast tissue responsible for milk production (your mammary glands).

Despite ditching the wire, we DO want to ensure we have adequate support, as your growing bust places extra pressure on your postural muscles and spine, and you may find you are getting some pregnancy related neck and back aches and pains. Investing in good support, ideally with included postural support (such as our “Gazelle Nursing Bra” and “Ultimate Nursing Bra”) will help to nix these discomforts.
The benefits of purchasing a maternity bra mean you will also be ready to go when your little one enters the world, if you are choosing to breastfeed; (most Maternity bras also double as Nursing bras with discreet nursing clips). Even if you are choosing not to breastfeed, a maternity bra will be needed in the early stages post baby as your milk “comes in,” and then slowly subsides. A maternity, underwire-free bra will help with avoiding mastitis by avoiding pressure areas in your breasts.
Mastitis is an infection caused by a blockage in your milk ducts, often when we have over-supply, change feeding schedule or are away from our baby or pump too long in those early months.

The hormones of pregnancy and breastfeeding also mean some changes in the collagen, or connective tissue in the body, and so some of the sagging that commonly occurs with a woman’s breast tissue throughout the pregnancy to motherhood journey is attributed to these hormonal changes. Wearing a supportive, well fitting bra can help to minimise sagging breasts – a bonus of a supportive Maternity and Nursing bra!

5. Effects of not wearing a maternity bra

Wearing a standard underwire bra, or a bra that is incorrectly sized, can place pressure on certain areas of your breasts and put you at risk of mastitis. This can also be the result of changes in yours or your baby’s schedule, meaning milk is being extracted at a different frequency than usual and can cause a build up of milk supply.
Not wearing a maternity bra means you will likely be compromising on comfort – every pregnant woman’s nightmare. Do yourself a favour and invest in quality, comfortable and supportive Maternity and Nursing bras to serve you from pregnancy into motherhood 🙂
Shop our range of Physio and Mother designed elegant active Maternity to Nursing bras here.