If you’re expecting a child and you’re wondering whether you need to buy a new bra or if you can wear your regular bras, the answer is simple. You will need to add at least three new maternity bras to your wardrobe for your pregnancy. During pregnancy, your breasts can increase in size by several cup sizes.
Although the amount of size change and the timing of size change can vary greatly from woman to woman, there’s no doubt that your breasts will change in one way or another. Some women find their breasts outgrow their bras in as little as 6-8 weeks, while others may not see much change until their second or third trimesters. What is for sure is that the shifting hormones, weight gain, milk production, and expansion of the rib cage caused by pregnancy cause both band size and cup size growth.
As your body changes with pregnancy, a regular bra won't provide the support you need. Maternity bras are constructed specifically to support breasts that are heavier with pregnancy and to stretch enough to accommodate growing breasts. They have greater cup coverage to keep breasts contained and supported. They usually have at least three closure settings, with up to six columns. This allows you to start on the tightest closure and loosen it as your breasts grow.
Maternity bras come in a variety of styles, both underwire and soft cup and many women find soft cup to be more comfortable during pregnancy. Either way, look for a band that lays flat on your ribcage, under your breasts. Some styles have wider straps and a u-shaped or leotard back, which can help ease shoulder and back pain. Some soft cup styles are constructed with inner support bands or side support slings that protect and support breasts. Pregnancy bras with either underwire or soft cups are made in a variety of fabrics. Smooth microfiber is almost invisible under clothing. If you find that pregnancy is causing swings in body temperature, try a maternity bra with moisture-wicking capability or a cotton bra.