Bra Fitting For Breastfeeding

I see so many ladies in the first few days post birth who have not planned ahead and call me desperate for good supportive bras because their milk has come in, their breasts are engorged and tender and their bras no longer fit them.

One common reason for not buying nursing bras before the baby arrives is that ladies do not know what size nursing bra they will need but that is where I can help!

The following is just a guide, but it does give you a starting point as to what size you are likely to need.

Bra fitting for breastfeeding (36+ weeks pregnant onwards)

Firstly, take a measurement under your bust, making sure the tape measure is firm against your rib cage.  This will give you your band size. If the number is an odd number, round up to the next even number.

Secondly, take a measurement around the fullest part of your bust, again making sure the tape measure is firm around your body.  The difference between your band size measurement and this measurement will give you the cup size.

For example, if your under bust measurement is 32 and your bust measurement is 37, you have 5 inches difference between those two measurements, so I’d suggest that you are around a 32DD in size.

Cup SizeDifference in inches
A1
B2
C3
D4
DD5
E6
F7
FF8
G9
GG10

However, there are a couple of other important things that you need to be consider:

If you are around 36-37 weeks pregnant, then your rib cage is probably at the largest it will be, so you need to fit the bra on the loosest set of hooks to allow you to be able to tighten the band after you’ve had the baby to give your breasts the support they will need.

Also, your cup size is likely to increase by a cup size when your milk comes in, so I would always get a cup size bigger than you are now to allow for this growth in your breasts.

As for styles, I would always recommend a soft stretchy bra for the early few days when your breasts are sore and engorged and to sleep in. Styles like the Bravado Seamless Nursing Bra for up to an F cup and the Cake Lingerie Sugar Candy Nursing Bra for and F cup and above.

Or if you are looking for something a bit prettier, then the HOTmilk Show Off Nursing Bra is a gorgeous design but again very supportive, right up to a H cup.

Bra fitting for breastfeeding (early days of feeding)

If you have had your baby, your milk has come in and your bras now don’t fit you, then follow the guidelines on measuring yourself as above. Make sure that you measure yourself at your fullest (i.e. just before you feed baby) as this will give you the largest cup size measurement that you will need.  You will still need to fit your bra on the loosest fitting but you won’t need to increase your cup size measurement as long as you work this out when you are at your fullest.

As for styles, I would always recommend a soft stretchy bra for the early few days when your breasts are sore and engorged and to sleep in. Styles like the Bravado Seamless Nursing Bra for up to an F cup and the Cake Lingerie Sugar Candy Nursing Bra for and F cup and above.

Bra fitting for breastfeeding (12 weeks post birth onwards)

After around about 12 weeks post birth, your milk supply will settle down and you may find that your cup size decreases as your body will now produce milk on demand when your baby feeds, rather than producing and storing it in your breasts.

Follow the above guidelines on how to measure yourself, still wearing your bra on the loosest fitting and working out your new cup size based on the difference between the two measurements. You will not need to make any adjustments to these measurements and a bra in the right size now should last you through to the end of breastfeeding if you continue to breastfeed for up to a year.

Bra fitting for breastfeeding (6 months post birth onwards)

If you are planning to continue breastfeeding beyond 6 months, then you may want to consider an underwired nursing bra. These bras will give you a bit more support, especially if you prefer an underwired bra or have a larger cup size. As long as it is properly fitted and does not press onto any of your milk ducts, then an underwired nursing bra should not cause any problems for feeding after 6 months.

Follow the above guidelines on how to measure yourself, still wearing your bra on the loosest fitting and working out your cup size based on the difference between the two measurements.  You will not need to make any adjustments to these measurements to find the right size bra.

This information is only a guide and every bra will fit differently. If you want to talk through how your bra is fitting, about how your body is changing, or you need advice about what size or style bras you need, then please contact me, I’m here to support you!