How will my breasts change during pregnancy?
Congratulations on your new bundle of joy!
One of the first signs of pregnancy is fuller breasts. Your breasts may start to grow as early as week six, and this growth will continue through the pregnancy. During your pregnancy, rapidly increasing levels of both estrogen and progesterone are released causing breast tenderness, and your nipples and areolas may become swollen and change in color as well.
As early as week 16, your breasts may be able to produce milk and occasionally leak a straw colored fluid, known as colostrum. Colostrum is full of antibodies and helps your baby's immune system immediately after the birth, this is produced until your milk comes in a few days after the birth. If you notice that you are leaking colostrum, wearing breast pads may help to prevent it from soaking through to your clothes. A few days after birth, your milk will "come in" and your breast become engorged. Engorgement is the point when your breasts are the largest, at this time you want to make sure you are wearing a properly fitted nursing bra. If your bra is too tight it may restrict the flow and amount of milk produced. During these changes, it is important to remeasure yourself often and wear quality maternity bras and nursing bras during and post-pregnancy.
Whats the difference between a Nursing Bra and a Maternity Bra?
The term “maternity bra” and “nursing bra” are used interchangeably. Large Cup Size Nursing bras tend to have cups that open in order to make breast feeding easier, and many nursing bras are lined or designed to accommodate pads to catch any leakage instead of letting it seep through the bra and wet the shirt.
Maternity bras on the other hand, are specifically designed to comfortably support your growing breasts during pregnancy, with features like a wider strap, soft cotton lining, and extra hooks and eyes on the band . Typically you will not find any maternity bras with underwire cups, they are meant for comfort and support.
Why should you buy a Maternity bra?
Having the right bra to wear during your pregnancy is important. Large cup sized Maternity Bras will help relieve breast strain, allow for breast growth, and give needed support. Your breasts are made up of fatty and connective tissue, and glands. During your pregnancy, each breast can become heavier because of increased fluid and mammary gland growth. This puts surrounding skin and tissue under considerable strain, without proper support, your breasts could become deformed by the additional weight on your skin tissue. Also, for women who already have large breasts, there can be significant tension in the neck and shoulders, finding a supportive plus sized nursing bra will help alleviate these concerns. Finding a few good maternity bras and wearing them throughout your pregnancy is recommended for all women.
When should you buy a Maternity bra?
Most women start purchasing Maternity bras once they find out they have become pregnant, but by the fourth month of pregnancy is when most women no longer fit into there regular bras and start taking advantage of maternity bras. Maternity bras are made to fit comfortably on the last (tighest) hook early in your pregnancy, and by your last trimester you should be able to adjust to the looset hook.
Why should you buy a Nursing Bra?
Nursing bras are used when you make the choice to breast feed your new bundle of joy. Large cup size nursing bra cups are designed with two basic ideas in mind: drop down or cross over design to expose your breast for nursing, this allows for easy and discrete feeding of your newborn. The drop down nursing is ideal for day feeding or public feeding with privacy in mind, the cross over is ideal for sleeping and relaxing around the house. They are both designed to allow the mother to insert breast pads to absorb leaking milk between feedings. It's also very important to wear nursing bras post pregnancy as proper breast support will help elevate back tension, stress, and pain from the extra weight of the breasts.
When should you buy a Nursing Bra?
It's ok to wait until you enter your third trimester to start buying nursing bras, however you should invest in a good maternity bra before then. Your breast size should stabilize by the 7th or 8th month, this is a good time to get fitted for your large cup size nursing bra, keep in mind it is a good idea to purchase one that is one cup size larger than normal. You will need the extra room once your breasts begin producing milk after birth. Being in the correct bra and cup size will help you relax and be comfortable, so you can enjoy all the wonders you have ahead of you.
Finding the right fit!
Just like regular bra fittings, finding the perfect fitted Nursing bra can be anything less then perfect. During your pregnancy and breastfeeding you can expect your cup size to increase by 1-3 sizes, if not more. For a perfectly fitted Nursing bra you want to follow the same procedues in the Sizing Guide. Keep in mind that comfort is the key and a nursing bra that is too small can cause mastitis and plugged milk ducts. You want to be sure you give yourself enough room in the cups as well as the band.
Other Maternity & Nursing Wear
While searching for Maternity & Nursing bras, you will want to try the Anita 1504 Seamless Maternity Brief, Anita Rebelt 1887 Panty Brief for post pregnancy support, or for keeping cool on those hot summer days the Anita Treasure Island 9676 Cornflower Blue Maternity Tankini, and much more!