How to choose the perfect maternity bra?
By Pooja Merani
Most moms-to-be and new moms go through changes in their bodies during pregnancy. And like the rest of their bodies, their breasts are also changing – getting bigger and more sensitive to touch. This transformation is usually due to hormonal changes, weight gain, an expanding rib cage and, in later stages of pregnancy, mammary glands preparing to produce milk for the baby.
With these changes, your breasts certainly deserve comfortable support. And while it can be tempting to settle for the bras you already have, it’s best to invest in a few maternity bras.
What is a maternity bra and how is it different from regular bras?
Regular bras come in a wide range of colors, designs, styles, and fabrics that are ideal for matching with various outfits. However, a maternity bra is an upgraded version that won’t come in as many colors, styles, or levels of use as a conventional bra. They are specially designed to comfortably support your growing breasts during pregnancy.
Maternity bras – which have a soft cotton lining with extra layers of fabric, larger straps and a band with extra hooks – tend to provide maximum comfort and longevity throughout pregnancy.
A well-fitting maternity bra is essential for your comfort
New moms and moms-to-be are given a pregnancy bra and usually outgrow it within a few months, which is quite embarrassing. Plus, the hassle of buying another set of pregnancy bras becomes a nightmare when they already have so much on their plate.
However, with body changes, it is necessary to make an effort to choose lingerie that fits your changing figure. The goal is to feel comfortable and supported during this pivotal moment of motherhood.
The right size can have a huge impact on how you feel. So rather than struggling with old bras (unsuitable for the new you), switch to a properly measured bra from the start of your pregnancy. If you already notice a growth in your measurement, it is recommended to change it during the first trimester of pregnancy. Any major store that offers a free measuring service, like Wacoal, could be your starting point for finding your ideal size.
Always wear a bra with wide straps to support the increased weight of your chest and to distribute the weight across the shoulders. Look for straps that can be adjusted to elevate your new breasts. It would be ideal if you could find maternity bras that also function as nursing bras, with a clip that opens to allow easy breastfeeding in the future.
Choose the best fit
The following tips may be helpful in determining the correct fit for your maternity bra:
Start by measuring around your body, just under your arms.
Round to the nearest even number if the measurement is an odd number.
Next, measure the fullest area of your bust, making sure the tape is flat against your back and level all around.
If the cup hides your breasts without spilling out and the band is level all the way around without riding up the back, you’ve found your perfect bra!
Be sure to try them; it’s the only way to know if you’ve found the perfect bra. Buying a maternity bra shouldn’t be as difficult as it first seems. Choose a brand that offers a fit so professional fitters can help you find the perfect fit.
Materials that will be your best friend
The fabric you choose will be directly related to the level of comfort you expect from your maternity bra. The weather and your body temperature are important considerations when choosing the material of your maternity bra. Breathable fabric is recommended as you may sweat more under or between your breasts during your pregnancy. Therefore, choose natural fabrics like cotton and silk for your everyday lingerie. You can always keep nylon and spandex spares on hand for those days when you just want to get changed!
Non-wired or wired?
The concern with wearing an underwire bra during pregnancy is that the wire can obstruct blood flow and interfere with milk ducts and production, which begins before your baby is born. Given the seriousness of the situation, it is best to avoid wearing an underwired bra when your breast size increases as it can interfere with glandular function.
Wear bras according to time
Throughout the day, you should wear a bra that provides adequate support without irritating or chafing your skin, such as padded bras with straps. Even cotton and nylon bras offer extreme comfort during pregnancy. If you need more support, it is recommended to test night bras at night. Maternity bras are lighter and softer. Cotton is a pleasant fabric because it is light and breathable.
Every woman is different, and every pregnancy too. This means that your breasts will change in a way unique to you. It is important for women to buy maternity bras based on their growth and comfort. And with a range of choices available, it’s possible to find bras that suit their style and comfort.
(The author is COO, Wacoal India. The opinions expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of FinancialExpress.com.)