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Friday Q&A: Maternity Bra Edition!


With a huge percentage of new babies born in June, July, August and September, now is the time of year that many moms-to-be are shopping for maternity bras, learning about nursing bras, and experiencing all of the changes that come along with the final trimester of pregnancy. Maternity bras can be a daunting topic to navigate, in the midst of all of the things clamoring for your attention, so here are a few of the most common maternity bra Q&As for your Friday reading:

Question from Poots:

When should I start wearing a maternity bra? At how many months should one start wearing a maternity bra and why is the traditional underwired sort so bad?

Every woman’s body and pregnancy is different, so the short answer is: you should switch to a maternity bra when your regular bras are no longer providing enough support! For most women, this happens in the third trimester, although it may happen earlier or later depending on your pregnancy.

Regarding underwires: underwire maternity bras aren’t bad at all! There are myths and plenty of second-hand anecdotes that underwires can cause problems with the mammary glands or binding of the breast tissue, but that simply isn’t true. The only time this might occur is with a poorly-fitted bra, in which case all bets are off. So check out our fit guidelines to make sure you get a properly-fitted maternity bra, and feel free to go underwire or wireless as you like – it’s all about how you’re most comfortable!

Question from Your Highness:

What is the difference between a normal bra and a maternity bra? I’m only 5 weeks along and yet my bras are getting suuuuuper uncomfortable and i’m already popping out of them. I keep reading that I should get a maternity bra? What is the difference between that a non-maternity bra?

At five weeks, it’s not uncommon to start to feel breast tenderness, nipple sensitivity and an increase in breast size. While the breasts increase in size throughout a pregnancy – particularly in the final trimester – it doesn’t take long for some women’s bras to get quite uncomfortable.

A maternity bra differs from a normal bra in that it is designed with the changes to a woman’s body during pregnancy in mind. Many maternity bras feature molded cups or seam-free cups so there are no seams to irritate sore or sensitive breast tissue. Maternity bras are typically made of a material with some give and stretch, to be more forgiving as breast size changes. They tend to have wider straps and a wider band to provide good support to swelling breasts. And they’re designed with comfort in mind. A good maternity bra would mitigate many of the discomforts you’re having!

Question from Mirage:

What is the difference between maternity bras and nursing bras? Our lactation consultant recommended that we get a nursing bra. What is the difference between the two?

There are two main differences between maternity bras and nursing bras: nursing bras tend to have cups that open in order to facilitate breast feeding, and many nursing bras are lined or designed to accommodate pads to catch any leakage instead of letting it seep through the bra and wet the shirt.

There’s a lot of crossover between maternity bras and nursing bras – they tend to have similar design features, and we feature many bras in both categories here at Big Girls Bras. Realistically, you can buy nursing bras to wear as maternity bras during the final stages of the pregnancy, and then use them as intended to nurse after the baby is born.

What about it, new mommies-to-be – do you have any more questions about maternity bras? Or nursing bras? We’re happy to feature a Part 2 to this Q&A if you need more info!

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