When to Switch to a Maternity Bra and Why?

After three pregnancies and subsequent breastfeeding of three babies, I am well aware that boobs can change size and shape dramatically throughout motherhood.

I'm thrilled to share this guide from Cake Maternity on how to find the right bra for yourself during pregnancy. Because every mom wants to feel comfortable and still look nice.

"Breast health is particularly important during pregnancy.  It is during this time that your breasts go through an obvious change. Some women will experience an increase of up to 3-cup sizes.  The increased size and weight of the breast puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the ligaments that hold the breast in place. If proper support is not provided then more permanent damage can be experienced, resulting in sag.

When should I start wearing a maternity bra?
Most women will start to notice change in their breasts early on in their pregnancy (after 6 weeks).  Your breasts may become tender and swollen as the pregnancy hormone sets in.

It is advised to stop wearing your regular bras as soon as they start to feel uncomfortable.  This is likely to be a sign that they have become too small and are not providing good support or coverage any longer.

It is recommended to invest in a good quality seamless bra at this time. 

Seamless bras have been designed to stretch with your changing body while still providing that much needed support and coverage.
The easy sizing (XS-XXL) allows a number of cups sizes to fit into each bra size, making this the prefect transitional bra.

Cupped sized bras are not the best option during this time, as they may restrict breast growth causing discomfort and providing poor levels of coverage.

At approximately 3 to 4 months of pregnancy, most women will have noticed that their breasts have stabilized in growth.  It is recommended at this time to go and get fitted for a cup-sized bra.

A good fitting cupped size bra will provide greater levels of support now that the breast is larger and heavier than during pre-pregnancy. 

What is the difference between a maternity bra and a regular bra?
Regular bra
A regular bra is usually constructed from rigid fabrics that provide little flexibility or room for fluctuation in growth.  The fabrics used are often synthetic and laces are exposed directly to the skin.  The wires are rigid too and the bras are often designed to look good rather than for comfort.

Maternity bra
Maternity bras have been designed with a heavier fuller bust in mind.
There are many different types of maternity bras in the market place.  The ones you ultimately decide on should fit in with your lifestyle and provide you with comfort and support.

A good maternity bra will be rigid in the lower cup and have a small amount of stretch in the top of the cup, which allows for fluctuations in breast size.  The fabrics selected are not only picked for their durability but for comfort too. 

A good maternity bra will contain extra support in areas such as the reinforced shoulder straps; wider double layered back band, durable elastics and accessories.  Some maternity bras will contain flexible wires in them. The flexible wire not only provides extra support and a great shape, but also provides comfort as the wire moves more freely with the body.

The right fit
It is always advised to go and get fitted by a professional bra fitter.  During pregnancy our breasts and bodies change dramatically and it is almost impossible to know what size you have become.

Shop around and find a brand that suits your budget and feels great on.  This way, you will get value for money and all day comfort.

TIP:  If the bra does not feel good on in store don’t purchase it.  It is likely to remain in the drawer at home and will be a waste of money.

Always check:

-        The back band fits firm and is done up on the tightest hook early on in pregnancy.  You want to allow room for adjustment as your rib cage continues to expand.  A good maternity bra will have plenty of hooks and eyes for lots of adjustment.
-        Your breasts should be fully enclosed in the bra.  No breast tissue should be spilling out the top, side of bottom of the cups.
-        The shoulder straps should sit comfortably on the shoulder and should not be digging in.
-        The flexible wire should be sitting under and around the breast tissue.  At no point should the wire be touching or digging into the breast.
-        The breasts should be separated and not be compressed into a mono boob.
-        The bra should feel comfortable and supportive.  Your breasts should be sitting in a natural position.  Try your T-shirt on over the top of the bra to make sure you are getting the desired shape and look you are after."
   Like many women out there, Tracey Montford is an exceptional multi-tasker! Apart from steering a global business, managing 2 young boys & keeping the clan clean and fed, Tracey still finds time to provide creative inspiration and direction to the exceptional designs of Cake Maternity. From the branding, presentation and delivery, creativity is a big part of what Tracey does so naturally and effectively. Find out more at or catch up with her on social @cakematernity .

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