Pregnancy brings about a lot of body changes, and with that comes new clothes. You might be so excited to shop for cute maternity wear, but don't forget to adjust your undergarments as well. Finding the right, supportive bras for your new pregnant body can actually do more than just keep the girls in place — they can also save you from unnecessary back pain (and catch all that leaking breast milk). So, what are the best bras for pregnancy?
"During pregnancy, a women's breasts may become large and more tender, and changing bras may be necessary", says Candice Fraser, M.D., Fellow of The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (F.A.C.O.G.) from Trinity Medical Care in New York. A pregnant woman should invest in more supportive and comfortable bras, Fraser notes, and these usually have wider strap and bands, and a soft lining, such as cotton. "Underwires," Fraser tells Romper, "may cause discomfort in pregnancy and can be avoided as breasts enlarge."
According to Parents, there's actually no such thing as maternity bras, but there are a lot of bras marketed towards pregnant women in a range of options. There's also a few things to look for when shopping for new bras while you're pregnant. For one thing, don't expect to buy the same bras you had pre-pregnancy just in a larger size. The design and construction of the bra that fits you best when pregnant could be something totally different.
Rachelle LaCroix Mallik, R.D., L.D.N., a registered dietician specializing in reproductive nutrition, including fertility, prenatal, and postnatal wellness, recently had a child and is currently breastfeeding. She tells Romper that she swears by nursing bras (her favorite is by a company called Storq) with soft cups (which provide some stretch as your breast size adjusts) and no clips. "They might be better for smaller-chested women, since it doesn't have underwire and is not super supportive," she says, "but I found it incredibly comfortable."
When you find one you like, buy more than one, but don't go crazy. Chances are that as your pregnancy progresses, your sizes will change, too. You'll likely have to shop again in a few months, and instead of buying ones with "room to grow," buying different sizes each time you need to is better for your body in the long run. (Consider it another thing to add to the baby budget).
Women find themselves having different bra needs at different stages of their pregnancy, but often, the ones most loved by pregnant women everywhere include soft, supportive straps, an easy on/off closure, and full coverage.
Do yourself a favor, and instead of shopping for these online, go to the store, get measured, and try a few on. Your breasts will thank you.