When Should I Get A Nursing Bra?

I have been asked this question so many times….and I have answered it for each mom who asks it – either on the phone, in my store or via email or social media. I discuss it all the time! It’s probably one of the most frequently asked questions that I hear. And for some reason, it never dawned on me to WRITE about it! Until my friend Katy told me how much it helped her. So here it goes…nursing bras in a nut shell.

Cake Turkish Delight Nursing BraWhen should I buy a nursing bra? It’s different for every mom. You should get a bra when you out-grow your current bras. Depending on you, that may be early on in your pregnancy or it may be later. If it’s really early, you might want to get a comfy sports-style bra that will last you a few months, but won’t break your bank. If you are getting closer to your due date – then it is probably time to start looking into getting a nursing bra – after all – you may as well ‘kill two birds with one stone’. Get something comfy for now – that will work later too. And if your size hasn’t changed much during your pregnancy, then waiting until about 36-38 weeks to purchase your nursing bras is generally recommended.

Won’t I get bigger when my milk comes in? You’ll notice a pattern here – almost all of these questions can be answered with “It’s different for every mom”. Yes, on average, most women will go up one full cup size when their milk comes in. Luckily for us, some of the great nursing bra manufacturers have taken that into consideration and they make bras with a little “give” in them so that you can get one that is suitable for “now” and will still work once your milk comes in. Are there any guarantees – this I CAN GUARANTEE you – there are NO HARD and FAST RULES about anything related to pregnancy and breastfeeding. Will your size go up? Likely, but not all women do. I have found that a general “rule of thumb” is that if you have grown a lot during your pregnancy, you tend not to grow as much when your milk comes in. And if you haven’t changed much during your pregnancy, then you can pretty safely expect to go up at least a cup size when your mature milk comes in.

What if my bra doesn’t fit me after my milk comes in? Well, the good news about things that “go up” – they usually “come back down.” Again – it’s different for every woman – but in general, you will go back down the same amount that you went up. For many women this happens at 6-8 weeks post-partum – when your body switches from “hormone-based” milk production to “need-based” milk production. For others it may not happen until later as your baby starts taking some solid foods in addition to breastmilk.

What type of bra should I get? This is probably the toughest question of all. Because again – it will differ for EVERYONE. Part of what will determine the ideal bra for you will be your size. Another part will be how much you have grown already. Another part will be your personal preferences and what types of bras you yourself like to wear.

Did your size change a lot when your milk came in? How about during your pregnancy? Do you need to know what size you are now? Sign up for one our Virtual Bra Fittings™ and we’ll help you figure it out!

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