Before I get into all the closely guarded maternity bra secrets, let me tell you why you need a maternity bra:
It’s a pretty well known (& looked forward to) fact that your boobs are going to grow (& fluctuate in size) during pregnancy.
So it only makes sense that you’d need a special bra to not only support your bigger girls and keep them comfy, but to actually ‘grow’ with and keep your boobs & milk ducts safe.
A good maternity bra is designed to do all four of these things to keep you neck, back and breast pain free while feeling confident and sexy as your body changes.
The absolute best time to buy a maternity bra
From talking with hundreds of moms along with my own experience I’d say the day your ‘normal’ bras start feeling uncomfy is when you should look for (& grab) a maternity bra.
And this usually happens within the first 8-12 weeks of pregnancy, but every momma is different!
Nonetheless, when the big day eventually comes around, you should measure yourself and grab 3 maternity bras right away - one to wash, one to wear, and one extra of course! - using my secret buying ‘trick’ to get the perfect fit (more on this later).
Everything a maternity bra does (& the difference between maternity, nursing and standard bras)
An over-the-top good maternity bra will:
- Support your growing boobs, without an underwire
- ‘Grow’ with your boobs and ribcage, without being restrictive
- Have very soft and smooth cups to keep you very comfy
- Not dig in and have wider and softer straps
- Be breathable, yet still leak proof
- Have sewn in breast pads
- Be made mostly of cotton
- Have a wide, soft and stretchy band with 4 eye & hooks
- Let you “sleep like a baby” without any irritation at night
- Make you feel cute & sexy
Whereas a standard bra only needs to do 3 things - keep you supported, keep you *somewhat* comfy and keep you feeling good. They’re far from ideal for your changing body.
A nursing bra on the other hand usually does everything a maternity bra does, except it’ll have built-in clips for you to drop the cup and feed your baby.
Your best bet is to grab a few 2-in-1 maternity and nursing bras as they’re usually no more expensive than either one and they really are the best of both worlds.
The proper way to wash maternity bras
Pretty much all mommas need soft, absorbent breastfeeding pads throughout pregnancy and there’s three ways maternity bras include them:
- A little pouch where you can place your own pads
- Built-in padding that IS NOT sewn in
- Built-in padding that IS sewn in
Maternity bras without sewn in padding are a bit tricky to wash. You can only hand wash them and when you do, you’ve gotta be very careful not to bunch up the padding and deform the bra.
But a bra with sewn in padding can be thrown in with your regular load and dried however you like.
The same can be said for padless bras, but I recommend a bra with sewn in padding as it saves money, is better for the environment, and looks & feels better than padless bras.
My secret buying ‘trick’ to finding the best fitting & feeling maternity bra possible
Instead of listing all the ways to get a good fitting maternity bra (there’s a lot), I’ll just tell you the easiest, most hassle free way to A. get the perfect fit and B. get the comfiest bra possible.
Find a company that offers a “Perfect Fit Guarantee”, - basically fast & free returns - measure yourself and grab a few of them.
If they offer enough support, have room for you to grow and keep you comfy to the point where you forget you’re wearing ‘em, keep them! If not, get a free exchange for the proper size.
That’s all! Now it’s time to go search through hundreds of websites for a maternity bra you can wear.
Just kidding! I actually know of a maternity bra you’ll LOVE to wear and it seems like one thousand, four hundred and ninety two other mommas who left 5 star reviews on it would agree.
With love <3
Maria, Co-Founder of Momma’s Shop