FROM BUMP TO BEYOND
Maternity bras can be a minefield and for new mums the barrage of information can be both overwhelming and confusing. Here we talk you through Pregnancy, Nursing & Beyond and some of the things you can expect your breasts to go through.
We suggest you book in for an in-store or virtual appointment with one of our expert team who can advise on size selection and recommend the best pieces for you.
During the first trimester you’ll experience a growth spurt. This can vary in size depending on the person. Usually the size will stabilise towards the end of the first trimester, so this is a good time to get fitted for a comfy & supportive bra – lots of women continue to wear wired bras, but with flatter & more flexible wires that do not rub the bump or irritate the side of the breast. Bras during pregnancy do not necessarily need to be nursing styles.
Also very close to the start of the pregnancy your breasts will become tender to the touch, and this typically lasts until around the 20 weeks stage.
In addition to the breasts becoming larger and firmer, your nipples will darken towards the 20 weeks stage, and often remain darker until after the child is born. Pigmentation is normal and can sometimes be seen elsewhere on the body. Stretch marks may appear around the breast, commonly underneath and on top.
NURSING / POSTPARTUM
Milk can come just before or after birth (whether or not you decide to breast feed), and inevitably the breast size will increase once again. Your pregnancy bras should not be used at this stage, as they will be too small. The size will start getting smaller as soon as feeding slows, the body will react.
Some people get their milk through before birth or can stimulate their nipples to do so. Once the milk has arrived an accurate nursing (or regular) bra measure can be made, but this can also be approximated close to due date, as you may not want to go for a bra fitting so soon after birth. Try and get measured for nursing bras / post pregnancy options as near due date as possible before or after.
In preparation for nursing and throughout your nipples will increase in size and remain darker than pre-pregnancy. The breasts will be firmer and veins will likely be more visible.
When you stop feeding / expressing
or lose your milk, the breasts can take 4-6 weeks to reach a consistent size.They may well not return to the size that they were pre-pregnancy so after 6 weeks would be a good time to get re-measured. If your weight changes during the longer term post-milk, your breast size will change again and Therefore should be checked by a bra fitter to ensure you’re receiving adequate support.
Having experienced much change in a relatively short period, your breasts may feel ’looser’ than pre pregnancy. Breasts include muscles, ligaments, tissue and skin which will recover over time provided they’re adequately supported by a good fitting bra, this can also affect the way that clothing sits and self confidence of course.
Stretch marks can be noticeable on the breasts as the size decreases, but these will fade with time and some use bio oil to assist.
Our founder - and mum herself! - E sits down for a special in depth discussion, where she answers questions submitted by our community of Pant Pals on all things maternity.