Do I really need a maternity bra? Everything you need to know.

Do I really need a maternity bra? Everything you need to know.

Many women report that they “knew” they were pregnant because their breasts felt heavy and more sensitive than usual. At around six weeks’ pregnant, you might notice them becoming bigger, as your breasts prepare to produce milk to feed your baby. If you’re feeling in need of more support or your bra is no longer comfortable, it’s a good idea to visit a maternity lingerie department to be measured. We asked Mothercare, which stocks all sorts of maternity lingerie for pregnancy and new mums and has trained staff in each store to help you make the right choice, for some advice on maternity bras.

When do I need my first maternity bra?

As soon as your current bras start to feel uncomfortable and your breasts become more sensitive, it’s time to move into a maternity bra. Breasts are supported by ligaments rather than muscle, making them susceptible to hormonal changes, so it’s a good idea to get measured as soon as you know you’re pregnant.

Why wire-free maternity and nursing bras?

Many healthcare professionals will recommend that you avoid wearing wired bras during pregnancy. With all these rapid changes happening to your body, non-wired maternity bras won’t dig into the sensitive breast tissue. A fully supportive non-wired bra will also help your breasts to retain their shape after your pregnancy and far beyond.

How often should I be measured?

As soon as you become uncomfortable in the bra you are currently wearing during pregnancy, and especially if you find your breasts are fluctuating in size, get yourself measured. As a rough estimate, get measured once every trimester. Fluctuating in size is due to hormonal changes that your body is constantly undergoing and is completely normal. Breasts may increase by up to 2lb during pregnancy, so it is important to get regularly checked to ensure you remain fully supported throughout.

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Do I need a nursing bra?

If you are planning on breastfeeding, start thinking about a nursing bra at around 36-38 weeks’ pregnant. These have drop-down clips to make feeding your baby easier. If you visit your local Mothercare the trained bra fitters will be able to offer advice on the best bra to suit you and estimate your cup size in preparation for when your milk comes in.

Do I need a sleep bra?

Night time can be particularly uncomfortable for many women, and you may find a soft sleep bra will help support your increasing bust size as you sleep. In addition, most women find that once they have their baby they need to wear a bra or sleep bra in bed to hold the breast pads in place (breast pads capture breast milk that leaks as you sleep). Remember that looking after your breasts now will have a positive long-term effect in the future. For more advice, log on to www.mothercare.ie

maternity & infant