Your Nursing Bra and Maternity Bra Fit Guide



Your body is changing in many ways and you’ve probably noticed your breasts are among the leaders of the pack. These sometimes awkward, sometimes uncomfortable changes are all for a really good reason: breastfeeding! As the weather warms this spring and you’re “weathering” your own transitions, comfortable maternity bras and nursing bras will support your journey through pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Breast Changes During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Tender breasts may be your first sign of pregnancy. This common side-effect is due to the exponential surge of hormones required to create a life-sustaining home in your womb. As early as your second trimester, your breasts begin the milk production process, and this is when many expectant moms experience true enlargement. Towards the end of your pregnancy, you are ready to produce colostrum, the first breast milk your baby will consume. By around the second week after birth, your mature milk will start coming in and your breasts may be engorged for periods of time during the day as you navigate the supply-and-demand feeding rhythm with your baby.

Each of these stages of breast changes can cause soreness and pain but the best nursing bras and maternity bras can be exactly the comfort you need. Comfort starts with a perfect bra fit! Today we’re sharing how to fit a bra that will not only help you feel amazing, but also temper body transitions during this special time.

How to Fit a Bra: Nursing Bras & Maternity Bras

Many moms-to-be and new moms experience bra fitting problems because their breasts may be growing more than ever before. Size fluctuations can continue throughout pregnancy, nursing and weaning. How’s a mom to know which maternity bras and which nursing bras will work for her?

Solving your bra fitting problems is all about knowing how to fit a bra and having option that work for your unique body at each stage.

Thanks to all those changes we just mentioned, you may find yourself measuring your bra size more often than usual during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. So knowing how to fit a bra is essential for your comfort and support.

Here’s how to fit a bra with our bra fit calculator:

Grab your tape measure or print one from our find your fit page. Put on a comfortable, nonpadded bra and get ready to take two measurements. First, you’ll calculate your band size by measuring around your chest under your arms. Then calculate your cup size by measuring at the fullest part of your bustline. For both of these measurements, keep the tape measure snug and level all the way around your body. Input your measurements in our bra fit calculator and you’ll come up with your bra size.

Nursing and maternity bra sizing runs the same as regular bras with a band size and cup size. You may have heard that you simply go up one band and one cup size to find a perfect bra fit in nursing bras. While it’s common to go up at least one band and one cup size, measuring yourself often is the best way to find your accurate size.

Maternity Bras

As soon as your regular bras start to feel snug, buy a few maternity bras that will keep you comfortable for the remainder of your pregnancy. The good news is they’ll help you transition to breastfeeding as soon as your baby arrives since Leading Lady’s maternity bras double as nursing bras. Just like your other maternity clothes, maternity bras feature soft fabrics that soothe tender breasts and stretch with your body during pregnancy.

Check out these extremely comfortable maternity bras in the Leading Lady collection:

The Janet is our super stretchy seamless wirefree maternity bra. It extends up to size 2X so it’s a great choice for women looking for plus size maternity bras.

The Janet - Seamless Wirefree Nursing Bra | 477

The Dorothy silky smooth lightly padded maternity bra is a t shirt bra with buttery cups that melt down for easy nursing access. It’s available as an underwire maternity bra or wireless maternity bra.

The Dorothy - Dreamy Comfort Wireless Maternity To Nursing Bra | 4028

The Natalie is a fantastic maternity sports bra. It has lightly padded cups and straps for comfort, with support for light to moderate exercise.

The Natalie - Cotton Sport Wirefree Nursing Bra | 4059

The Felicity comes in a maternity sleep bra 2-pack. The breathable cotton is light and gentle on your skin and supports your breasts to prevent shifting and sagging while you sleep.

The Felicity 2-Pack - Cotton Sleep Bras | 4024

If you’re looking for a one-stop option for yourself or a pregnant friend, our Deluxe Maternity/Nursing Kit offers the best of everything for moms-to-be including maternity leggings, a maternity top, a maternity sleep bra, a nursing cover, and washable nursing pads.

Nursing Bras

As soon as your baby arrives, you’ll need nursing bras to begin your breastfeeding journey. Be sure to bring them to the hospital because ideally you will begin nursing as soon as possible after birth. Your stretchy maternity bras will come in handy and you can add nursing tank tops and cotton nursing bra styles to the mix. After about 4-8 weeks of nursing, your mature milk will be in and you’ll have a sense of your bra size – at least for a while. Use our tips for how to fit a bra to measure yourself again at this time and then you can start wearing more diverse nursing bras. Your size may shift here and there for the first year or more of breastfeeding as you work through bouts of engorgement, introduce solids, and eventually wean. Continue measuring and re-fitting yourself.

Here’s a look at our best nursing bras and nursing tank tops:

The Uma wireless nursing bra comes in a 2-pack. This adorable cotton nursing bra is functional and flexible for all stages of breastfeeding.

The Uma - Cotton Wirefree Nursing Bra 2-Pack | 4001

The Monroe is our gorgeous luxe lace nursing bra. With just the right blend of stretch, support and sensuality, this pretty nursing bra comes in an underwire nursing bra and wireless nursing bra.

The Monroe - Luxe Body Lace Wireless Nursing Bra | 4054

The Danika nursing sports bra allows you to workout and breastfeed without a wardrobe change. This racerback nursing bra keeps you lifted for light to moderate workouts like power walking or mommy-and-me yoga.

  The Danika - Cotton Seamless Athleisure Sports Nursing Bra | 4020

The Chrissy wireless nursing bra and hands-free pump bra helps busy moms on-the-go. It’s a cute nursing bra with easy access when you’re with your baby, and a hands-free pump bra when you are separated.

The Chrissy - Wirefree Nursing & Hands-Free Pump Bra | 4034

The Melody padded nursing bra is an underwire nursing bra that enhances your silhouette. The tone-on-tone pattern is trendy, and the thin straps make this a great choice under spring tops.

The Melody - Nursing T-Shirt Bra | 4103

Our nursing tank tops come in a variety of styles, color and patterns. These nursing tops help simplify breastfeeding day or night and make great layering tops in springtime.

Nursing Cami With Built In Nursing Bra | 4025

Your baby will change your life forever. While the changes in your body are only temporary, a perfect bra fit at each stage will help you remain comfortable and focused on your new little love.

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