During pregnancy, not only does the belly get bigger, but the breasts also change and prepare for the onset of milk. Choosing a well-fitting, supportive pregnancy and nursing bra is essential so that you literally feel well-supported before and after birth. Tikbow asked an underwear expert what to look for when buying.
As a rule, the bust grows by one to two bust sizes during pregnancy, and at the same time the circumference of the entire upper body and thus the underbust girth usually increase as well. Your normal bras will no longer fit, and you will also need special fold-down cups so that you can easily breastfeed your baby later. Lingerie expert Denise Reinke advises in the Berlin specialty store "Brafinette" to Übergrößen as well as pregnancy lingerie and nursing bras and recommends expectant müttern the purchase of at least two bras: "Here it depends on the individual need, but with two copies you are also provided, if a bra is in the laundry."
Do I need an extra nursing bra?
It is not absolutely necessary to distinguish between pregnancy and nursing bras, explains Reinke: “There are flexible bras that cover all needs and grow during pregnancy, and whose cups can be folded down after birth in order to breastfeed the baby. In addition to these multifunctional bras, there are also bras that explicitly address the different needs during pregnancy and breastfeeding: "The special pregnancy cup is flexible at the front and grows with", explains the expert. "For many women, the nipples are very sensitive during this time, so the fabric is particularly soft. The explicit nursing bra, on the other hand, is made of firmer material and thus offers more protection." Due to milk production, the breasts become very heavy during the nursing period and need additional support.
How to calculate the right bra size
If you are looking for a bra, you should bear in mind that every body is different, which is why the sizes are also very different during pregnancy and breastfeeding. In order to find the right bra, it is therefore advisable to measure the breasts exactly or to seek advice in a specialist store. Especially if you want a bra with a bump, you should seek advice before buying,” says Denise Reinke. "The Bügel must fit optimally to avoid milk retention." However, the size"of the nursing bra can also be calculated with the support of your loved one at home: Your personal bra measurements are calculated from the underbust measurement and the chest measurement (place the band just above the nipple), the underbust measurement determines the length of the band. Subtracting this from the chest circumference (the widest part) gives the correct unit for the cup, the breast size.
Various extra functions
In contrast to normal bras, the breastfeeding variants come with all kinds of extras that you first have to get used to: Hooks, removable or fold-down cups and clips make breastfeeding more comfortable for the new mom and the baby. Even with all these additional functions, the nursing bra can be worn during pregnancy if the size of the normal bra is no longer sufficient. However, it is not advisable to buy too early – if the pregnancy is not yet far advanced, you may underestimate the final volume of the breast and not fit in later.
Test before breastfeeding emergency
To make sure you feel comfortable while breastfeeding, you should try out the new functions of the nursing bra when trying it on for the first time – this will make it easier and faster to use later. Especially the clips on the straps should be opened and closed by hand in the store, so that you can use them with baby in your arms. Many women also wear nursing bras at night: they comfortably wrap the often aching and tense breasts, and nursing pads gently catch leaking breast milk.
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Bustiers as an alternative
For many women, breastfeeding bustiers, which are made of firm material and are usually also sold by pharmacies, are a pleasant alternative to the Bügel bra. They are usually available in the common sizes S, M and L, can be easily stretched, grow accordingly and can be easily cleaned in the washing machine. And another tip: If your favorite pre-pregnancy bra doesn’t fit properly after the end of breastfeeding, we recommend bra straps that hook onto the clasp. They are available in lingerie stores in different colors and ensure a comfortable fit.