As soon as you conceive your body begins to change. In fact, within a couple of weeks a pregnant woman may notice changes in her breasts. The new hormones rushing around a woman's body trigger off increased blood supply to the breasts, sometimes resulting in a feeling of fullness and tenderness on the sides and at the top of the breasts. These changes can sometimes be the first signs that a baby is on the way. The tenderness may increase and the breasts will start to change shape and size as the milk glands get themselves ready for the possibility of nursing a newborn in a few months time.
These changes in the breast are going to mean that you will need to start shopping for a new bra or two. The main thing you need to ensure is that you don't simply go for a bigger version of what you were wearing before. As a pregnant woman, you will need increased support for the breast and diaphragm. Maternity bras as specially designed to provide this support and nursing versions also have the added practicality of drop down cups for ease of access to the breast during feeding.
As soon as there is noticeable change in the size and shape of your bust, you need to go and get fitted for a new bra. This is likely to be at around the three to four month mark. Fitting is important as lots of things will have changed, not just your cup size. Make sure that when you have decided on the bra you want, that you are able to fasten it on the tightest fastening which will allow for growth across your back and diaphragm, meaning the bra will last longer. You need a cup that will also allow for further growth in your breast. Don't go too big, but as a rule of thumb you should be able to slide your hand into the top part of the cup when the bra is fitted. The lower part of the cup though should still fit properly and provide enough support.
You should also keep an active eye on how your bra feels as your pregnancy develops as your body will continue to change. At around the seven month period you may want to think about having another fitting. Actively check to see if your bra is becoming restrictive in any way. If it is then it's time to go shopping. At this time though, you may want to look for a nursing bra which not only will provide you with the extra support you need but will also give you the added practicality of drop down cups for ease of access to the breast if you intend to breast feed.
You will probably find that by the end of your pregnancy you will have collected three or maybe four maternity bras from the point of view of practicality as you will find that you change them more often than your normal bras, especially after you start breast feeding due to the extra moisture involved. This doesn't take into account your desire for fashionable bras though. More and more underwear fashion labels are coming out with very pretty and stylish maternity bras that you may want to add to your collection so that you can continue to feel great no matter where you are or what your are wearing.
For up to six weeks after pregnancy, your breasts, shoulders, neck and back, will still need the extra support a maternity bra offers and so you should continue to wear them, even if you don't breastfeed for this amount of time. And of course, whilever you continue to breastfeed your baby, you should continue to wear a maternity bra.
Finally, you will probably find that even after you have stopped breastfeeding, your breasts may not return to the size and shape they were before you became pregnant, as the fat in the breast that moved aside to allow for expansion of the mammary tissue never really goes back to where it came from and so you may notice that your breasts have lost some of their previous fullness. Consequently, you will probably benefit from another bra fitting before you go out and buy any new regular bras.
Wayne Armstrong is the owner of the Designer Maternity Bras website. Come along and check out the latest fashionable maternity and nursing bra styles.
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