Unlike a nursing bra, your standard bra cannot accommodate your growing body. In pregnancy and while nursing, you will notice a change in breast size and sensitivity.
Every woman deserves a nursing bra created to accommodate her body as it changes. You should start shopping as soon as your breasts start to grow or become too sensitive.
For most women, these changes start at 16 weeks. Thereafter, they become more prominent as the pregnancy progresses.
Every woman is different and when to buy nursing bra/s might be different for you.
Body Changes During and Post Pregnancy and How They Influence Nursing Bra Choices
As soon as hormone production increases, you will experience physical body changes. Typically, you will experience major changes in sequence:
Body Changes in the First Trimester
In the first trimester your body will grow in volume to create space for the growing fetus.
In the first few weeks of pregnancy, your breasts may become tender and swollen. If you have not taken a pregnancy test, this might be one of the signs you'll experience. For most women, the tenderness and swelling will dissipate as the body adjusts.
You may also notice your nipples become bigger and more sensitive and the areolas darken.
At this stage, you might not need any supportive nursing wear. You can continue wearing your normal bras and other outfits.
Body Changes in the Second Trimester
In the second trimester, your estrogen levels continue to rise. Your breasts will likely appear fuller.
As milk ducts develop, your breasts become heavier. You will start to see a noticeable change in the size of your breasts. Your current bras will start to get a little tight, creating the need for a nursing bra.
The growth will vary; some women will grow by a cup size while others may grow by several cup sizes.
At this stage, you need to purchase a maternity bra. Since your breasts will continue to grow, you need a bra made to accommodate these changes.
In the second trimester, your breasts also start producing colostrum, the first form of breast milk. This may lead to leakage of breast milk. You need a bra with removable padding you can wear or remove as needed.
Body Changes in the Third Trimester
In the third trimester, you may start experiencing breast tenderness, swelling, and soreness again.
At this stage, wearing a nursing bra and/or sleep bra can make you more comfortable. Getting a supportive nursing bra will prevent breast pain and ligament damage.
Besides an increase in breast volume, your ribcage will expand. This can affect your band size forcing you to go up a size or more when buying a nursing bra.
Failing to upgrade to a nursing bra as your rib cage grows can affect your breathing. This becomes even harder if you need to exercise.
Breast Engorgement Postpartum
Immediately after birth, you will experience breast engorgement. This is the sudden increase in breast size and tenderness from increased milk production. Engorgement happens before your breasts learn to regulate milk supply.
At this stage, something as simple as feeding your baby can become painful. Engorgement will develop two to five days post-birth and last for up to four weeks.
Wearing a nursing bra at this stage will offer support. The advantage of nursing bras is their ability to adjust even as your breasts get bigger. If you buy nursing bras made with soft fabrics, you can wear them even when your breasts are engorged.
Breast Changes Four-Eight Weeks Post Birth
Once your breasts learn how to regulate milk production, the engorgement will reduce.
Between the fourth and the eighth week, your breasts will go back to the size they were in the eighth and ninth months of your pregnancy.
Your cup sizes will start to become predictable. Your cup size may change at different times of the day. The change will depend on your breastfeeding schedule. You can predict the change and adjust your bra accordingly.
When Should You Start Shopping for Nursing Bras?
Your maternity and nursing bra shopping can start anywhere between the second trimester up until eight weeks after birth.
Paying attention to your body will help you determine the best time to buy a nursing bra. If you experience rapid breast growth in pregnancy, you will need to make a purchase earlier.
Conversely, if you experience little to no change in breast size, you can wait until the eighth month of pregnancy.
A good rule of thumb is that your bra should never be tight. You should buy a new bra if:
- You take off your bra and notice indentations where the straps and band were.
- Your breasts start spilling out of the cup.
- You feel pain when wearing the bra but the pain disappears once you take it off.
- Your bra feels snug and uncomfortable.
If you fit your normal bras throughout your pregnancy, purchase at least two nursing bras before the birth of your child. They will offer comfort through the breast engorgement phase and make breastfeeding easier.
Once you start shopping, focus on ensuring your nursing bra is fitted correctly. In most cases, your bra size will change several times pre- and post-birth.
Nursing bras are designed to handle these changes. A good quality nursery bra will:
- Offer flexible fabrics to accommodate your breasts as they change. The fabric should stretch and shrink to accommodate your breasts at their fullest.
- Have 6 or more hooks at the back. You can use the hooks to adjust the fit on your nursing bras at different stages of breast fullness.
- Come with adjustable strap extenders. You can tighten or loosen the straps as necessary.
The right time to buy nursing bras boils down to your individual experience. You are the only one who can determine the best time to start shopping for nursing bras.
How To Find the Right Fit When Buying a Nursing Bra
You will most likely start shopping for a nursing bra as your breasts grow.
When purchasing nursing bras in pregnancy, you need to find a vendor that makes shopping easy and convenient.
New Bloom Maternity makes it easy for you to purchase bras, maternity clothes, and other nursing necessities. They offer an extensive online nursing catalog you can access from the comfort of your home.
They offer a flexible exchange policy to help you find the right bra size. Once you're ready to transition from your regular bra, visit their website.
With New Bloom Maternity, you will find an easy to use sizing guide to help you find the best cup and band size for your body. If you are unsure, you can order a few sizes and fit them from your home. Once you find the right size, you can return the rest and have them send replacements in your size.
While shopping, make sure you look into all the bra options available. It will take time to find the best style for your lifestyle.
At New Bloom Maternity, you can choose from a wide selection of bras, such as:
- The everyday maternity bras for your day-to-day wear. This is the bra you will wear the most. You should get at least two to three everyday bras.
- The sleeping bra for support throughout the night. This is one of the best solutions for comfort especially if you experience milk leaks at night.
- The beauty bra for special occasions and outings. This bra gives you a beautiful silhouette and easy access to your breasts. You can wear it outdoors and enjoy easy access when you need to feed or pump.
Find your nursing bra size and style today and see if your order qualifies for free shipping.