Nursing Bras: When to Get Fitted and Other FAQs
Nursing bras may not be at the top of your mind when you first find out you’re pregnant, but it is good to do your research ahead of time. Pregnancy introduces many changes to your body, and as you are navigating your way through, you’ll notice that your body may be changing in more ways than just your belly beginning to grow!
So how do you know when it’s time to get fitted for a nursing bra? Everyone’s body is different: some people grow right away, their breasts get tender and larger, and it can be the first sign that they are pregnant. For others, the size doesn’t change during their pregnancy at all – and they don’t notice a difference in their bra size until their baby arrives and their milk comes in.
Look for Flexibility in a Bra During Pregnancy
There’s no way to predict what might happen for you, so how do you know when it’s time to get fitted for new bras or nursing bras? Even if you don’t end up breastfeeding, your breasts still change size and may be tender. “You really want flexibility,” counsels Judy Masucci, Owner of Levana Bratique in Wexford, PA. “You want something to grow and change with you as your body changes.”
“We recommend getting fitted when your current bras don’t work anymore,” says Masucci. If you are early in your pregnancy, bra experts will recommend that you get a regular bra in your new size. If you are closer to delivery, then they’ll likely put you in a nursing bra with flexible sizing.
What if you go your whole pregnancy and your bras are still fitting you? “Great, just come to get fitted before you have the baby so that you have something to wear after.”Masucci adds, “You don’t want to be coming here on your way home from the hospital.”
Since most people may not know what size they will be once their baby arrives, there are flexible products to invest in early to help as you change and grow through pregnancy and beyond. “We always look for a flexible option for pregnant people,” adds Masucci.
Wait Six Weeks for a Fitting for Structured Bras
Once you have the baby and you already have something flexible, Masucci recommends that you wait about six weeks before getting fitted for a more structured bra. During the first four to six weeks after baby is born, your levels of the milk-making hormone prolactin will be increasing each time milk is removed from your breasts. As a result, excessive leaking and breasts that fill quickly – and even spray milk during let down – are common and normal. “If you’re tired of the flexible bras and want something more supportive and more structured, six weeks is a good time to start thinking about it,” suggests Masucci.
Get a Bra Fitting By an Expert
Around the six-week mark, your body switches to a less hormone-related production to a more need-based production (supply and demand). “A lot of women notice they stop leaking, their breasts are softer, and that their size may decrease, which can lead some women think they’re losing their milk – they’re not,” says Masucci. At this point, you can wear something more structured (underwire, etc.) because your size likely isn’t going to change that much.
Interview with Judy P. Masucci, Ph.D., owner of the region’s only woman-owned specialty bra boutique, Levana Bratique. While an in-person fitting is always preferred, if circumstances don’t allow you to make a visit, there is always a Virtual Bra Fitting® Solution that Levana Bratique offers. Learn more by visiting levanabratique.com!