Is it necessary to wear a bra during pregnancy? The short answer is no, it isn’t necessary at all. But, as with all things pregnancy related – it isn’t always as simple as that.
While it isn’t necessary to wear a bra when you are pregnant, you might find that you are more comfortable if you do wear one. As your pregnancy progresses and your belly expands, so too do your breasts. This rapid growth, along with the influx of hormones, can make your breasts feel sore and uncomfortable, and wearing a bra can help to ease that pain and discomfort by giving your lady lumps some much needed support. Having sore breasts is bad enough, having sore breasts that are bouncing around unsupported underneath your shirt can feel like the cruellest form of torture.
But, of course, it isn’t quite as simple as lifting out your favorite ‘go-to’ bra and going about your day, because when you are pregnant you need a special kind of bra – a maternity bra.
What Is A Maternity Bra?
A maternity bra is just like a regular bra, only on steroids. Generally, they have wider straps for extra comfort, and most of them don’t have an underwire. The lack of underwire is to allow room for your expanding ribcage as well as being for added comfort. Underwired bras can add to breast discomfort associated with pregnancy, and some people believe that an underwire can inhibit blood flow as well as cause issues with milk production, although those rumors have been largely unfounded. Some maternity bras will have an underwire, but it will most likely be a lot more forgiving than the underwire found in a regular bra.
When Should You Get Measured For A Maternity Bra?
As your breasts continue to grow throughout your pregnancy, you will most likely need to be measured two or three times throughout to ensure you are wearing a bra that fits correctly. There is no right or wrong time to get measured, but most women find that they need to have their first measurement done for a maternity bra by the end of the first trimester as your regular bras are likely to have become a little snug by that stage. After this, just listen to your body. You will know yourself when you are outgrowing your first maternity bra as it will start to feel tight or uncomfortable. You may even start spilling out of it. It might even be the case that you’ll need to get measured again halfway through the second trimester and then again halfway through your third trimester. It’s important not to guess your size, though. An ill-fitting bra can immensely increase your discomfort and even cause back pain. Anything that is going to make your pregnancy more comfortable is well worth investing in. Most places have free bra-fitting services so it’s important to make use of these so you know you are wearing the right size.
How Do You Know If Your Bra Is A Good Fit?
Generally speaking, a comfortable bra that doesn’t slip down or dig in is a well fitted bra. If you find that your bra leaves deep grooves in your shoulders, or the straps are forever falling down, or if your breasts are spilling over the top of the cups – you probably need a different size. Your breasts should also stay put inside the cup, if they are bouncing around and feel unsupported, it’s time get fitted for a new one.
When To Buy A Nursing Bra?
I’ve made a whole post about this where I go in to a lot more detail, you can read it here.
A nursing bra can look similar to a maternity bra with its wider straps and lack of underwire, but it will also have special cups that provide easy access to the nipple. It’s a good idea to buy a nursing bra towards the end of your pregnancy when your breasts are not likely to get much bigger. A professional fitting service can help with finding the right nursing bra for you. It might also be a good idea to get fitted again a few months after you’ve given birth if you are going to continue breastfeeding as you may need a different size as your body adjusts to not being pregnant anymore.
Nightgowns With Built-In Bras.
It may also be a good idea to look at night time bras. Your breasts might leak milk at night even if you are not breastfeeding, and they might feel sore or uncomfortable being unsupported, even in bed. For this reason, a lot of women like to wear nightdresses with built-in bras. There are lots of different nightdresses with built-in support available on the market today, and here are some of my favorites;
Amoy madrola Women’s Sleepwear With Built-In Bra Nightgown Sexy Lingerie Satin Chemises This soft cotton nightgown by Amoy Madrola is lightweight, soft and comfortable, making it perfect for when the weather gets a little warmer. It can be worn on its own or layered for lounging around the house. Plus, it comes in various different cup sizes and is comfortable for lots of different body types.
It does run a little small for some, though, so you might need to buy a bigger size for a more comfortable fit.
Alaroo Short Sleeve Built-in Shelf Bra Padded Bra Cups Tops Shirt Dress Sleepwear Gray The t-shirt style nightgown by Alaroo is really flattering as well as comfortable. It has a shelf bra built-in giving you a good amount of support and it is also casual enough to wear as lounge-wear.
It is hand wash only, which can be pretty off-putting for those of us who want to be able to put everything in the washer/dryer.
iLoveSIA 3PCS Women’s Maternity Breastfeeding Dress Nursing Nightgown This pack of three nightgowns by iLoveSIA is a must for any breastfeeding mothers out there. As there are three in the pack, you only need to buy one pack and rotate between the three nightgowns. They all come with removable foam cups for discreet support and have a handy clasp to allow for easy access to your nipple for those night feeds.
It can run small so you might want to buy a bigger size to be safe, and it only comes in two colors which can be annoying when you want more of a variety.
See also: How to wear a belly support band.