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When to Buy a Nursing Bra & Proper Bra Fit for the Nursing Mom


The famous Body Silk Nursing Bra by Bravado

During pregnancy, when your regular bras start to feel tight, it's time to buy a maternity nursing bra to ensure maxiumum comfort and support. Most women buy maternity nursing bras during their second trimester. You will most likely need to buy a bra that is one band size larger and 1-3 cup sizes larger than your "regular" bras. Maternity nursing bras are especially made with extra stretch in the cup and will grow with your changing shape throughout pregnancy. Please remember that once you give birth and begin to nurse, your cup size may even increase more as your milk is coming in. Some moms need up to 4-5 cup sizes larger than their regular bras! Our selection of nursing bras fits up to cup size N, so you can be sure to find a nursing bra that fits no matter what your size is.

So, what type of bra does a new mom begin with? During pregnancy, most moms love the idea of still wearing an underwire nursing bra, this is fine as long as it fits properly and has enough stretch in the cup to grow with you. Our most popular underwire nursing bra during matenity for support is the Smoothing Support Underwire by Elomi which fits up to cup size K and the most popular underwire nursing bra that reminds moms most of their "regular" bras is the Anita® 5068 Seamless Underwire Nursing Bra which fits up to cup size I.  

Other popular types of maternity and nursing bras are called comfort nursing bras, the sizes are usually small, medium, large, etc….. These bras are designed for a variation of size ranges and made especially for times when you want to wear a less structured bra. Comfort nursing bras are easy to love and you will continue to wear them throughout your pregnancy and nursing journey. Most popular comfort nursing bra styles are the famous Body Silk Nursing Bra and the The Original Nursing Bra both by Bravado Designs. If you are fuller in the cup, try The Original Nursing Bra Full Cup or Cake Lingerie's Rock Candy Nursing Bra

Another popular, transitional bra style is called a sleep bra. These bras are great for nighttime nursing or at home with baby when comfort is key. Sleep bras are soft elastic, criss-crossed style bras that allow the breast to come out by moving the fabric over to the outside of the breast, commonly called a “pull aside” for nursing access. They are very comfortable, however offer little “suspension” which can make the breasts look a little “saggy” when going out. A sleep bra is a better choice for lounging at home and sleeping, of course. Sleep bras also do not offer a lot of support to our ample-breasted sisters, however you can buy plus sized sleep bras all the way up to size 3X here at Nursing Bra Express. 

Something else that is all the rage, right now, is the nursing tank. We love this option. There are different styles and the sizing is transitional sizing, as well, like that of the comfort bras. They offer good support and work well on their own top on hot days or as a second layer on chilly days. They are perfect for layering under your favorite non-nursing tops to keep your tummy covered while nursing.  Most have quick release clasps or pull aside cups for easy and discreet nursing. The Dream Nursing Tank by Bravado Designs and Toffee Shaping Seamless Nursing Tank by Cake Lingerie® are our top picks for comfort and style for pregnancy and nursing. They both "grow" with your ever changing figure and will keep you comfy!

Measuring Yourself for a Fitted Nursing Bra

How to measure:

Step 1: Determine your band size (i.e. 36, 38, etc).  To do this, measure yourself around by bringing the measuring tape around your back, under your armpits and up above your breasts.  Round all fractional numbers to the nearest whole number. 

Step 2: Determine your cup size - Now measure yourself around the same way but this time around the center of the breast (the fullest part of your breast), rather than the under the armpits. Round all fractional numbers up to the nearest whole number. Subtract your band size circumference from the mid-breast circumference to find the cup size.

Example: If your band size is 36 and you have a 40 inch mid-breast circumference, then you have 4 inches worth of cup size. Each cup inch stands for a bra cup size…. A, B, C, D, etc. You would be looking for a bra around 36D.  If you measure between cup sizes, always size UP.

If the Difference is: Your Cup Size is:
1/2" - 1" A
2" B
3" C
4" D
5" DD/E
6" DDD/F
7" G
8" H
9" I
10" J
11" k
12" L
13" M

We are here to help you! Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any assistance with measuring yourself or determining your bra size! We’d love to hear from you!
call us (855-528-7600)
Email Customer Service

The way the bra fits is the true indicator of size, however. Try the bra on (preferably with a dry breast pad) to make sure the band is not binding, too loose, or that any underwire does not cut into the mammary tissue. An improper fit to your nursing bras can lead to other lactating breast issues (see common lactation problems).

Good luck on finding the perfect nursing bra right here at Nursing Bra Express! We have a wide variety of nursing bras and we want you to find your perfect fit right here, please feel free to ask us any questions you may have and we will be glad to assist you during this precious time in your life.
Call  855-528-7600
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