Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Guest Post - By Tracey-Jane Hughes Bras for Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

bras4mums is based in Chorley, Lancashire, England, set up by a Mother with 2 small boys (the idea formed when the youngest was 3 weeks old!).

bras4mums is a website set up to help women find the right type of maternity bra or nursing bra for this different and special time in their life. It has been designed by a Mum who breastfed 2 babies until they were about 8 months old after receiving some awful advice and nursing bras during pregnancy and breastfeeding! All the lingerie stock, swimwear, breast feeding pillows, tops and breastpads have been tried and tested by Mums to be and Mums, with feedback throughout the site to guide you.

Tracey-Jane has put together this great guest post on how to choose the best bras for pregnancy and breastfeeding

Bras! Where do you start? Some women when they get pregnant ignore the changes in their breasts and just carry on as usual and then finally when it all gets too uncomfortable buy new bras. But at that stage they then realise that they could have been comfy all along!

So, we suggest that you get new bras when you start to feel that the ones you’ve got don’t fit any more. Makes sense really doesn’t it? That’s what we do with our other clothing (unless we’re in denial about dress sizes!), so why not our bras?

Our breasts start to get ready for breastfeeding baby (even if you don’t plan to breastfeed, your breasts don’t know that!), when you first conceive. So we usually expect women to need a new bra during the first trimester. We suggest a simple soft bra, usually a bustier type bra, is a good buy at this stage. Women often get tender and sore breasts in the first 12-16 weeks, so a soft bra that you can sleep in is a good investment.

If you get more structured bras (that do up at the back, with a bit more support in them), I’d suggest you get them towards the end of the first trimester. Maybe after your first scan so you don’t mind too much about spending money now you know it’s really true that you’re pregnant! A rule of thumb for buying a maternity bra at this stage is to increase the band size, and keep the same cup size, or increase it. You’ll know what’s best for you, and specialist bra fitters can always advise you on what’s likely to last to the end of pregnancy.

There are a few unlucky ladies whose breasts continue to grow during pregnancy, but this is rare. So, the bra that you get at the end of your first trimester should last you to the end of your pregnancy, AS LONG AS YOU’VE FITTED IT ON IT’S TIGHTEST SETTING WHEN YOU BOUGHT IT, to allow for the band to grow with your rib cage during pregnancy.

The best time to get fitted for nursing bras, is at about 35-36 weeks, when your ribs are at their biggest. This way we know that your ribs will get smaller, but your breasts will get bigger – yes, again! So, the starting point at this stage is your pre-pregnancy band size, and 2-3 cup sizes bigger than you were before you got pregnant.

Always make sure the bra covers your whole breast as anything pressing on the breast can cause blocked ducts, and potentially lead to mastitis, which you really do not want. Sometimes you need to change the style of the bra, rather than just change the size. Ask a specialist fitter for advice on different styles you can try.

Bra fitting is not easy at the best of times, with all styles and manufacturers fitting differently. It’s even more complicated with an ever changing body and breast shape. But, it’s so important to be comfortable. Yes, comfort above style during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Some would disagree, but if you’re not comfy, it can affect your milk let down when feeding, and can also make you feel grumpy about being uncomfortable.

There is so much selection out there of maternity and nursing bras (and you can wear nursing bras during pregnancy if they’re the right style for you. We have older ladies wearing the HOTmilk styles as they want attractive bras without wires!). Some of you will have more limited choice with your size. But there may still be a choice if you use a specialist bra shop.

bras4mums is a specialist maternity and nursing bra shop that offers online, email, phone advice. We offer unlimited free UK returns and exchanges, so that we can work with you to get the right style and size if the first ones aren’t quite right. We stock the widest selection of maternity and nursing bras in the UK, and have a shop in Lancashire and offer a home fitting service in the North West of England. We try to attend as many regional baby shows as we can to offer a fitting service in other parts of the country. Please do ask, challenge, or let us know what bras or advice have worked for you. We love to find new styles that suit more women!

Thank you so much for this post Tracey-Jane

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    You have a nice blog. A 40-week pregnancy is really just a blip in our whole life time, but the problem with clothing during that time is very painful. Keeping this in mind, two best friends and mother of two children each started http://www.bellybundles.com. We have high quality maternity clothes there and we would like to hear your feedback on our products.

    Carina - Maternity clothing


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