The importance of a good maternity and nursing bra
There’s so much to consider when you first fall pregnant that the last thing on your mind is your underwear. However most new mothers don’t realise that wearing a bra with an incorrect fit or support system can cause complications during the later parts of pregnancy and into the nursing period. Therefore the beginning of your pregnancy is an important time to make sure that you have the right bra.
During your first trimester a network of lymph glands and milk ducts will start to develop in your breasts and a well-fitted maternity bra can make sure this happens correctly. Its important to be aware that bra underwires can affect the development of these ducts and glands inhibiting circulation, causing discomfort and even leading to infection. Maternity and nursing bras don’t have underwires for this very reason.
So what’s the difference between a maternity and nursing bra?
When it comes to features, they are basically the same. The primary difference is that a nursing bra has clips that allow breastfeeding. If you buy a nursing bra at the beginning of your pregnancy thinking it will last you until after you finish breastfeeding you will probably be disappointed.
Most women’s breasts increase in size during pregnancy and increase again after their baby is born and mature milk is produced. Their ribcage also expands as their baby and belly grows larger and retracts again once the baby is born. These changes affect both the cup and band size – and therefore the bra that should be worn.
The lack of natural muscle support in the breast increases the chance of sagging or changes to the breast shape at this time, so the right bra can provide the necessary support to maintain your breast shape.
With all of this in mind, you should be prepared to purchase several different bra sizes during and after pregnancy. You’ll probably buy fewer maternity and nursing bras than regular bras, which means they will be washed more frequently and therefore stretch and wear out faster. Hand washing and line drying (in spite of care instructions to machine wash) will prolong their life and make sure you get the support you need.
Would you like more information? Send Khali an email for a free copy of her Guide to Maternity Lingerie: khali.whatley[at]mamere.com.au