Updated on October 16, 2015
Size Matters: When To Get Fitted for a Nursing Bra
When you’re planning on breastfeeding one of the greatest tools in your nursing arsenal will be your nursing bra. I can’t emphasize this enough: you want a GREAT nursing bra. How will you know what bra is going to work best for you after baby arrives? Get fitted! When should you do this? Before baby arrives so you have a nursing bra ready to go or should you wait until your milk supply is established? The answer is both!
You most definitely want to have a nursing bra at the ready when your baby arrives. The trouble is babies don’t like to arrive on schedule. For this reason, you’ll want to get fitted for your first nursing bra a handful of weeks before your due date. Right around 35 weeks pregnant is a great time for your first fitting. What you’re looking for is a transitional nursing bra. A transitional nursing bra is one that has lots of stretch to accommodate the fluctuating breast size you’ll experience when your milk comes in before your supply levels out. These bras tend to be more like a sports bra. You want the bra to have lots of give in the upper part of the cups, but still provide some support. Looks for bras with six closure settings at the back and make sure the band fits snug on the largest closure settings. After that baby is out your rib cage is going to shrink back down a bit, so if the band needs to be on the two to three smallest closure settings when you get fitted it will be too big to provide support a couple weeks after delivery. Most importantly, do not get an underwire bra, not even a “nursing underwire”. If they aren’t fitted just perfectly, those wires can lead to blocked milk ducts and you do not want that. My favourite transitional nursing bras are the Elle Macpherson Maternelle and the Royce Blossom. Both work great as sleep bras once you’ve moved on from needing a transitional nursing bra.
Once your milk supply is established and fairly steady you’ll no longer experience the huge fluctuations in breast size. Hooray! By this time you’re probably getting pretty tired of wearing a borderline granny bra too. Maybe that’s just me. By 4-5 weeks postpartum your breast size should be fairly stable, so it’s the perfect time to get fitted for a supportive (and hopefully nice looking) nursing bra. At this point you could go for a flex wire/nursing underwire bra, but I much prefer to stick with wire free nursing bras. There are plenty of brands out there that provide excellent support without the underwire. My personal favourite brand of nursing bra is Hotmilk. They have lovely bras with fabulous support.
You should re-evaluate the fit of your nursing bras every few months. Your body goes through a lot of changes after having a baby, so you want to be sure your nursing bra is fitting well in the cup and is snug in the band.
Do you have a favourite nursing bra? Tell me all about it!