During pregnancy, almost every part of your body changes in one way or another. Your fingers can swell, your nose can get wider, your tummy expands, and not to mention, hello cankles! One of the areas of your body that changes the most, though, is your breasts. On average, a woman’s breasts will increase around 3 cup sizes during pregnancy. Some may go up as much as 5 though! Ouch.
While all the other parts of your body can be left to their own devices as they’ll generally return to what they were pre-baby, your pregnancy boobs require a little extra TLC to keep them as healthy as possible. How do I take care of my breasts, you may ask? Well, it all starts with wearing the right bra for your stage of pregnancy or postpartum.
So you’ve just found out you’re pregnant and suddenly your tender and swollen breasts make so much sense! They’re sore to the touch, sometimes a bit itchy, and just downright uncomfortable. You may not be sharing the news with your friends or family yet, but now’s the time to start taking care of your new pregnancy boobs.
Now that your breasts are getting larger, the position of the wire in all your pre-pregnancy bras will be all wrong, so avoid wires at all costs! The best bras for this stage are double-layered, seamless bras. They offer the perfect amount of support without restriction.
If this is your first bub and you’re worried about your nipples showing through (once you’re breastfeeding you won’t care who sees them), you can opt for a lightly padded bra, just as long as it’s wireless. Bonus points for memory foam cups!
Another perk of these styles is that each size (XS-XXL) will fit multiple cup and band combinations, so you can wear them throughout your pregnancy and the postpartum period. Keep this in mind because you’ll be getting back into these bad boys later on in your journey!
Trimester 2 & 3:
Now that you’ve made it through the first trimester, you’ll find your breast size starts to stabilise. As bub grows in your tummy though, your band size will continue to expand. If you’re purchasing a bra at this point in your journey, as long as you fit it to the tightest hook and it has 6 rows of hooks and eyes, it should see you through to your 9th month. You can also reintroduce wired bras, but make sure they’re super flexible, unlike your rigid pre-pregnancy ones.
Other features to look out for in a good maternity bra is stretch in the top cup to allow for continued growth, additional support in the lower cup, wide straps and a thick back band for extra comfort and durability. If you’re going back to wires, opt for flexi-wire that sits wider on your ribcage to ensure there’s no pressure on your developing milk ducts.
The Final Stretch:
Approaching your baby’s birth is one of the most exciting times of your life, but it doesn’t come without its discomfort. You’ll definitely want a comfortable bra during this stage, as you may feel very restricted doing everyday things, such as tying your shoelaces. Now’s the time to get back into your seamless bras.
Your body will rapidly change post-birth, and not just because you’ve now had your baby. Your breasts will increase in size again (by a lot) with their number one job now is feeding your baby. When your milk comes in, there will be a sudden increase in size and weight. Your skin may feel stretched and this can also make it itchy. With the increase in blood flow, your breasts can also feel very hot.
Seamless bras are a must at this stage too, but keep an eye out for ones you can insert nursing pads into. When your body’s first learning to regulate its milk supply there can be some leaks.
6 Weeks Postpartum:
So you’re starting to adjust to your new sleep routine. Your breasts have also been doing some adjusting of their own. They’re now able to regulate their flow of milk, so your breast size is going to be more consistent from now on (not including the daily fluctuations, of course).
You can start wearing your favourite flexi-wire bras again, just make sure they’re the correct size and they have ample top cup stretch to support your breasts before and after feeds.
TimTams Nursing Bra by Cake Maternity
So there you have it! A quick breakdown of the stages of pregnancy and postpartum and the types of bras you should be wearing when. At Cake Maternity, we have bras specifically designed for every stage. Each is specially crafted and engineered using the highest quality fabrics to ensure they last the distance while providing superior comfort and support.
Katie is the proud mum of two beautiful girls and has been responsible for all the designs, style and fit at Cake Maternity for over a decade now.
Katie is a nursing bra specialist and a fit, pattern and grading technician. She is passionate about breastfeeding and the many benefits it offers to both mum, bub and the environment.
She is determined to make the breastfeeding journey a comfortable, supportive and beautiful one for all mums, understanding that it doesn’t always come easy to everyone. That’s why she has made it her mission to empower women as they mindfully navigate the world of motherhood and help make breastfeeding easier, through experience-driven innovation.