How to measure and fit a maternity bra
Shopping online can be super fun…when you know exactly what size you are and what looks good on your body. Shopping online when your body is changing and you’re not sure what style fits you well now is super…not so fun at times. We’ve been through it before and know a tip or two to make your maternity shopping experience really easy and fun the way it should be!
When it comes to buying maternity bras you CAN get it right the first time and you CAN do it from the comfort of your own home. That’s a win win for sure!
If you haven’t had a chance to find out what the big deal is with maternity bras, check this out and if you’re keen to find out what all the lingo means and which styles are best suited to you, don’t go past this article.
I’m buying online. How do I measure myself properly?
- To ensure you get the best bra and best fit specific to you, make sure you aren’t wearing a bra with underwire or padding when you do your measuring.
- Grab a tape measure, a pen and paper, a mirror and get acquainted with yourself.
- To measure your band size, firmly wrap the measuring tape under your bust. You’ll want this to be nice and straight all the way around your ribcage.
- To work out the correct cup size, use the tape to gently measure around the fullest part of your bust – usually that’s from your nipple line, all the way around you. If you’re bulging over the top and bottom of the measuring tape, it’s too firm. You want a relaxed measure on this one, not a firm one.
- Now consult the size chart on the product page.
- Also importantly, pay attention to the sizing info specific to each bra. Where we find that people generally size up or down in certain styles, we’ll make a note of it so look out for those.
I’ve received my new bra – yay! – how do I know if it fits correctly?
There are 3 things you want to look for:
- Unless you’re at the end of your pregnancy, you don’t want the band to be too tight and only able to be done up on the very last hook and eye. The tighter you can do up the bra, the better as this gives you (potentially) 6 hooks worth of growing room. If you’re around halfway through your pregnancy, doing the bra up anywhere from the tightest hook and eye up to the middle hook is perfect. The further along you are, the less hooks you’ll want left available to loosen the bra with. As a general rule, allow yourself an extra 2 hooks to loosen the bra by if you’re around 30 weeks pregnant. There is a reason for being precise with where you can do the bra up because not only will this give you room to grow but you also know that it’ll fit you once baby is out.
- The shoulder straps should also be firm to give you the best support but not cutting in. You should always adjust to comfort but there should be no more than an inch when you lift the strap up and it shouldn’t be able to slip off your shoulder.
- We can’t stress enough how important it is that the cups fit you well. If you’ve chosen a bra with flexi-wire, it’s particularly important that it doesn’t cut across the breast tissue at any point. You want the flexi-wire to end almost at your arm pit. That is, it’s going all the way around the base of your bust.
- It is often assumed in pregnancy that you need to buy a bra with room in the cup to grow a couple of sizes, (ever been told to stick a fist in your bra?.. ah.. no no no..) this can mean you will not get adequate support. You want to allow for potential fluctuations in size though, so by putting flat fingers into the top of the cup, you’ll be able to see whether you have the room you need when your milk is flowing. You don’t want the cup to be so roomy that it puckers at the top but it’s also super important that it doesn’t dig in and cause you to spill out of it.
- Keep in mind here that you will usually need a completely different bra for regular wear as the one you will use in the first few weeks after baby is out. Your size may (or may not) fluctuate a LOT in those first few weeks so we recommend a seamless soft cup for this period. Good news is you'll keep using this 'post-birth' bra for a long time yet to sleep in and stop those breast pads from wondering around all over the place!
- Most women (we say 'most' loosely as there is no normal for all things maternity) will eventually return to their pre-birth size (different from their pre-pregnancy size) so bras purchased during pregnancy often get heaps of wear during the nursing journey - after the milk flow settles. And if not, embrace your new size with a beautiful new bra or two and know that there is still a chance you will get back into them further down the track.
What if the fit isn't right? We'll help you out. Provided you've done no more than try on the bra we do accept exchanges on sizes/styles so check out our policy here :)
This may seem like a lot to take in but we promise, once you get a good fitting maternity bra you’ll never look back! And one final tip: start with at least 3 maternity bras – 1 to wear, 1 to wash and 1 as a back-up in the draw…you’ll never regret having that back up!!