Finding a bra during pregnancy that is comfortable, adapts with changes in your body and makes you feel attractive can be a nightmare!
A poor-fitting bra worn during pregnancy and nursing is not only incredibly uncomfortable, it can lead to back and neck strain says Tracey Montford founder of maternity lingerie brand CAKE Lingerie. “Hormonal changes results in rapid growth and fluctuations of the breasts. The skin and tissue is placed under a considerable amount of strain. This is followed later by loss in elasticity and volume.”
Structured and supportive maternity underwear is designed to protect breasts against ligament damage and provide a much desired relief and comfort for pregnant women and new mums.
Tracey explains: “There are six different types of bra tailored to suit a woman’s body shape and requirements based on the stage of her pregnancy. This begins from as early on as 0-3 months, up until she finishes nursing.”
0-3 months - An increase in cup size begins early on in a pregnancy with hormones creating glandular development and leading to engorgement in the first three months. Tracey advises on a stretchy, seamless maternity bra. “This will grow with you and will provide relief as you begin to develop,” she said.
3-6 months - The breast growth will start to slow during this period, however the ribcage will begin to expand. Tracey suggests: “Select a flexible-wire, non-wire or contour bra with six hooks and eyes. This will provide greater support and will allow extension with the body to manage growth.”
6-9 months - Cup-size at this stage will last into the first four weeks of nursing. “Purchase a minimum of three supportive nursing bras providing you with one to wear, one in the wash and one for your drawer. I recommend a flexible-wire, soft cup, contour, or fuller figure bras,” Tracey says.
Nursing - Flexibility is a necessity. Tracey explains: “Your breasts will swell and rapidly change size as they try to regulate milk supply. Use a non-wired, stretchy, seamless maternity bra that grows with you. A comfortable, non-restrictive bra can help avoid complications such as mastitis.”
Tracey’s top tips for maternity underwear shopping
1. Select a bra that fits comfortably to the near-tightest hook to accommodate the ribcage as it expands from the second trimester onwards.
2. The bra should provide good bust support and, importantly, doesn't flatten or squash your breast. Your breasts should appear separated and fit clearly into each cup.
3. A bra must comfortably fit towards the loosest hook. This will accommodate the ribcage as it contracts to its original size.
4. If you only need to increase your band size, remember to drop a cup size and vice versa. Bra bands are designed relative to body size.
5. Properly fitted flexible-wire bras provide superior, unrestricted support. When selecting one, ensure it sits under and behind the breast tissue.
6. Importantly, your size will most probably vary with each pregnancy. It’s best to be re-sized to ensure you receive the right levels of comfort and support.
To discover more or to see Cake Lingerie’s latest beautiful designs, visit CAKE Lingerie