How to tell when it’s time to upgrade to nursing bras – and why you need them!
One of the most overlooked stages of motherhood is the transition from your standard bras to a maternity bra.
When should you start wearing a nursing bra?
While there aren’t any set rules on this area because every woman is different but most women will want to change to a new bra in pregnancy already since your breasts often enlarge during pregnancy. Every pregnancy experience is different, there is one guideline that should absolutely be followed:
As soon as your current bras are starting to feel too small, it is time to change over to a nursing bra.
You will know that the time has come when your pre-pregnancy bras start to feel snug around your ribcage and unsupportive for your breasts. Having the right support is key and nursing bras are specifically designed to grow with you and your changing body throughout your pregnancy.
What is the difference between a standard bra and a nursing bra?
There is a little bit of lingo that surrounds nursing bras and if you have never known too much about them, some of it may sound a touch confusing, so, let’s break it down:
Nursing Clips – You definitely won’t find these on a standard bra.
Nursing clips allow you to drop down the cup to allow your baby to breastfeed. There are a couple of different types of nursing clips on the market, typically they are either a plastic clip that can be opened with one hand to allow for fuss-free access to the good stuff for your bub.
Pictured: MAZE Empowered High Support w. nursing clips
The other type of nursing clip is a magnetic one.
A magnetic nursing clip can be opened by twisting the clip and easily snapping it back with its other half with the magnetic pull. The biggest benefit of a magnetic clip is that they are very discreet and can often add to the look of your nursing bra its overall design.
Pictured: Hotmilk Warrior Soft Cup Wirefree w. magnetic clips (we had to show the back too, because... look at it!!)
Back Adjustors – A standard bra will generally come with 3 hook and eye adjustors however most maternity bras will feature 6 hook and eyes to allow you to extend the band while pregnant as you and your baby grow and then you are able to tighten it again once the baby is earth-side.
We're big fans of the Obsession bra from Hotmilk that gives 6 hook and eye fastenings along with full cup coverage. A great option for mamas with bigger cup sizes, plus, it has wider straps for even more support!
Pictured: Hotmilk Obession Flexiwire for Bigger Busts
Flexiwire – It’s in the name. A flexiwire bra differs to a standard underwire bra in that the flexible wire adjusts and moves with your changing breast shape. Flexiwire bras are great in pregnancy as they don’t put as much pressure on breasts as a standard bra however you still get the support and lift that you need and want.
Flexiwire bras are a great option for those with a bigger bust that are looking for comfort while not compromising on support during their pregnancy.
Pictured: Hotmilk Warrior Plunge with Flexiwire
Soft Cup – A soft cup bra has no padding or contour in the cup and is designed to offer the structure and support you need during pregnancy and breastfeeding without any irritation from seams or wires.
A soft cup bra is a great option for your hospital stay and the first few weeks of breastfeeding when you are all about comfort and learning about your baby’s needs while they are settling in to a routine.
Multifit – A multifit does just that, it fits across a number of cup sizes. On occasion, a multifit could cover 2 cup sizes or it could range up to 9 sizes depending on the style.
We love a multifit for pregnancy and breastfeeding as your body is constantly changing and the bra will do that with you.
The My Necessity wirefree is a multi-fit perfect for the hospital and sleeping. It also comes in a regular and full cup option!
Pictured: Hotmilk My Necessity - Black, Frappe, Rose
A-Frame – An A-Frame nursing bra provides a triangle frame around the top of the breast when the cup has been dropped down for feeding. Some mothers favour an A-Frame as it tends to cover more of the breast and provide more discreet feeding as well as more support when the cup is dropped down.
Cadenshae do great A-Frame nursing bras, in particular their sports bras. The A-Frame gives you a little more support for your workout as well as for feeding purposes.
Pictured: Cadenshae FIT2FEED - Stripe, also available in Black.
Side Sling – Not to be confused with a Singapore Sling..
With a side sling you will find a ‘sling’ of fabric on the outer side of the cup that supports the breast during feeding. Side-sling nursing bras reveal more of the breast (the top half) and allow greater skin-on-skin contact between yourself and bub during breastfeeding.
Hopefully this little cheat sheet has eased your mind a little bit for when it comes time to select the right maternity wear for you.
Whenever you decide it is time to make the switch to Nursing Bras, we at baby luno are here to help! We love hearing from customers on what their needs are and making sure every mother has the best possible fit when it comes to their maternity wear. We are really good and getting the perfect fit for our customers.
If you are ever in doubt or have any questions, please contact us or slide in those DM’s on social media @babylunoshop on Instagram and baby luno on Facebook.
Shop our incredible Nursing Bra range HERE