Maternity Bra or Nursing Bra is a brassiere that provides supplementary support for milk-filled breasts, and permits comfortable breastfeeding without the need to remove the bra. This is accomplished by special bra cups that can be opened to expose the nipple while the cup still supports the breast. Maternity Bras can have different designs, including softcup designs and underwire designs. Traditionally, Maternity Bra or Nursing Bra is made with flaps of fabric over the cup which can be unclasped and pulled down to access the breast. Even with the flap pulled down, the cup supports the breast. No-flap versions made of stretchable fabric which can pulled to the side at feeding time are also available.
Even in the first months of pregnancy, a woman's breast will begin to change and to become sensitive. As soon as your pre-pregnancy bras become uncomfortable, you should choose bras to fit your new size. We highly recommend having three bras in your current size. Buy more than one, one to wear, one to wash and one to hang dry. Experts say it's important to have at least two or three and launder them often for optimum health benefits.
Since the pregnancy the size of breast changes, any bra that accommodates this fluctuation is incredibly important, particularly during the third trimester and the first 2 months of breastfeeding. In addition to being important for comfort, an ill-fitting bra or a bra that does not grow or shrink with the mother could result in infection if it is compressing a milk gland, extremely painful, mastitis is difficult, not just physically, but also emotionally for the mother. A well-fitting nursing bra provides support to the breasts and helps to maintain breast shape by limiting the stretching of supportive tissue.
Specially-constructed and often fitted and sold by trained experts, a maternity and maternity bra affords a level of support that average lingerie just can't match. "Too many women look at the price points of a maternity or nursing bra and think, well, I don't really need this. I'll just go and buy a bigger size of my regular bra. But when you start coming out of your bra and you find you're adjusting the straps 30 times a day, you start to realize the importance of a specially-designed bra.
Don't just buy a bigger fashion bra. This seems like it would be an easy solution, just size up a cup and add an inch or two of the extension. But honestly, that doesn't solve your problem. The fabric may fit around your enlarged breasts, but the design and construction of a fashion bra doesn't provide the support necessary for a pregnant or maternity woman.
Be prepared for two trips. If you're buying your first Nursing Bra or Maternity Bra in your first or even second trimester, keep in mind that you may have to make an additional trip in the final weeks. Resist the temptation to buy your first bras with "room to grow." They won't fit properly at the onset. Better to just resign yourself to the idea that you may outgrow your first maternity bra.
We do not recommend wearing an underwire for sleeping. Because you are lying down, the wires will put pressure on breast tissue differently then during normal wear and this can lead to plugged milk ducts, pain & infection.