No matter what your size or shape, making sure you feel comfortable during your pregnancy and throughout motherhood is important for both you and your baby. This is especially true for women who need more specialized nursing wear, including hard-to-find plus size nursing bras.
Want to know which plus size maternity and plus size nursing bra best suits your body type? We’ll help you figure it all out, including understanding the differences between maternity bras and nursing bras and how to properly calculate your current bra size, plus insider tips to find the best plus size maternity and nursing bras.
Plus Size Nursing Bras versus Plus Size Maternity Bras – What’s the difference?
When you’re pregnant, your breasts will grow and become more sensitive than normal as a result of hormonal shifts, your expanding rib cage, and weight gain. Then, towards the third trimester of your pregnancy, your breasts prepare for milk production, increasing your breast size even more.
For women who already have larger breast sizes, the added swelling caused by pregnancy along with the increasing feelings of discomfort creates the need for specialized support.
The key things you want to look for in a great plus size maternity bra are:
Imagine the support of an underwire bra with the comfort of a sports bra—that’s what a great maternity bras should deliver when it comes to design, support and comfort!
Keep in mind, each woman experiences changes in an unique way—Some moms see a drastic change within the first trimester and others may experience a gradual growth during their entire pregnancy. The majority of women, though, grow out of their current bra collection anywhere between their sixth to fourteenth week of pregnancy.
The main difference between maternity bras and nursing bras is one key feature: nursing bras make sure the breasts are easily accessible for baby to nurse whereas maternity bras is a bra that provides comfort to moms while pregnant. A good option for women is to seek a bra that acts as both a maternity bra and a nursing bra. Buying bras that will see you through both your pregnancy and breastfeeding will both save you money, and provide support throughout your maternity and breastfeeding journey.
When should you buy a nursing bra? We’ve found that many women choose to purchase nursing bras during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester, and wear them as a maternity bra. This gives you the opportunity to get the support you need for pregnancy, and allow you to be ready for baby and nursing.
Now it’s time to figure out what your bra size is in order to purchase the perfect plus size nursing bra for you.
In order to get your exact bra size, there are two areas you need to measure:
Getting an accurate rib band measurement is important because it helps determine not only the size of the bra band you will need to fit around your torso, but also ensures you feel comfortable wearing your maternity or nursing bra—this means no lines across your torso or where your straps were when you take your bra off.
Start by wearing an unpadded bra when measuring. This will ensure you get an accurate measurement of both your rib band and your cup size.
Next, with the open ends held in each hand, take the measuring tape and wrap it around your back directly under your armpits, pulling at an upward angle. Double check in the mirror to make sure the measuring tape isn’t twisted and is positioned correctly under your armpits. The measuring tape should be tight but not constricting.
The measuring tape will come above the breasts and meet at your rib cage. Lastly, write down your measurements for your rib band size. Since most bras are sized on a scale of even numbers, round up if your measurement falls on an odd number.
Though rib cage measurements are important for knowing the band size you need, determining your cup size is also crucial. When you’re pregnant, your breasts may already be very tender and sensitive and wearing a tight or unsupportive ill-fitting bra just isn’t a good idea. Plus, you want to find a nursing bra that not only fits well, but also offers you easy access for breastfeeding.
In order to get your accurate cup measurement, start off by wrapping the measuring tape around your back once again and moving towards the front—you want the measuring tape to sit at the fullest part of your breasts with a little bit of slack. Double check in the mirror to make sure the measuring tape isn’t twisted and is positioned correctly under your armpits. Next, push the tape into the gap between your breasts—this ensures you get the perfect cup size measurement. Lastly, write down your measurements for your cup size.
If you are having trouble determining where exactly you should be measuring yourself for your accurate bra size, review our fit video below.
Ready to shop for the perfect plus size nursing bra for you and your baby? Consider the Bravado Designs Essential Embrace Nursing Bra. We think it’s the best plus size maternity bras on the market. Here’s why:
Recognized by experts and A-listers alike, Bravado Designs bras are thoroughly user tested and mom-approved. See our ratings and colors now.
No matter what bra you end up choosing, make sure you choose the one that best suits your lifestyle and if it means splurging a little extra money on a plus size nursing bra, you deserve the comfort and support.